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Underdog's Fantasy Pick 'Em is a fun way to test our powers of prediction against the market. The two keys to success are picking the best players to target and taking advantage of correlations where we can increase our odds. You play Pick 'Em by simply choosing "Higher" or "Lower" on at least two player props. If you choose successfully, this is the payout structure:
- Two picks = 3X
- Three picks = 6X
- Four picks = 10X
- Five picks = 20X
In this weekly article, we will list our favorite plays of the week and the reasoning behind them.
Week 5 Review
Overall Picks (6-5 on the week, 32-21 on the season)
Overall Units (+3, +1 on the season)
- Our 6X Dolphins-Giants play hit. Tua Tagovailoa was the Week 5 free square (0.5 total yards). Wan'Dale Robinson had more than 3.5 receptions (five), and De'Von Achane easily topped 49.5 rushing yards (151).
- The four-way rookie prop had a couple of hits. Tyjae Spears went higher on rushing yards (23.5) with 34, and Josh Downs easily topped his receiving yardage prop (33.5) with 97 yards. We also had a couple of misses. Bijan Robinson's 12 receiving yards came in below his prop (29.5), and Michael Wilson also came up short of his receiving total (37.5) with just 18 yards.
- The Jets-Broncos plays did not hit, with Breece Hall dominating the game. We thought the Jets offense would be more balanced, but Zach Wilson attempted just 26 passes, going under his 29.5 total. Allen Lazard (34.5) also came up just short with 33 receiving yards, and rumors of Marvin Mims (22.5 receiving yards) were untrue, as he managed just four yards. We were on the right side of Dalvin Cook's rushing yardage, as he went for just 23 yards.
Lessons learned: It was a solid but unspectacular week. The two Pick 'Ems that focused on single games look like +EV plays with the benefit of hindsight, even though only one of the two hit. Taking advantage of those positive correlations is a big key to overcoming the odds against us due to the payout structure. We are going to lean heavily into these same game correlations for our Week 6 picks.
Week 6 Picks
This is the first of three very similar plays we are going to recommend this week. We are going to take the over on three different game stacks, each paying out between 10X and 20X. The goal is to hit on one of the three and at least 3X our entry fees for the week overall. In this Pick 'Em, we are going to show faith in the 49ers passing offense despite an extremely difficult matchup against the Browns defense. That matchup is giving us some very favorable numbers against a team that has dissected some other good defenses, including the Cowboys, just last week.
Higher than 202.5 Passing Yards
- Purdy has thrown for at least 206 yards in every single game this season and has three straight games with 250-plus passing yards.
- In his last 12 starts (playoffs included), Purdy has topped 202.5 passing yards 10 times (83.3%). The two times he did not hit the over were (1) the Eagles playoff game in which he was injured on the first drive and threw only four passes and (2) a Week 18 blowout of the Cardinals.
- This is unlikely to be a game where the 49ers can just ride the running game. Cleveland has given up the fourth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL.
- The driving idea behind this play is a general belief that Brock Purdy is playing quarterback at an incredibly high level right now and seems to be only getting better. Over his last three games, he has completed 75.6% of his passes for 845 yards and 7 touchdowns for a passer rating of 136.5. He has averaged 281.7 yards per game over that stretch despite every game being a blowout win of at least 18 points.
Higher than 37.5 Receiving Yards
- The beauty of plays like these is that we are getting massive positive correlations. Again, the theory of this play is Purdy throwing for more than 202.5 yards, in which case Samuel would be a great bet to top 37.5 yards. Samuel has 18.3% of the 49ers receiving yards this season.
- Samuel has had at least 55 receiving yards in four of five games (80%) this season.
Higher than 43.5 Receiving Yards
- Aiyuk has played the full complement of snaps in three games this season and topped 58 yards in each of those games. His median output in healthy games this season is 129 receiving yards.
- Aiyuk has had only one game with less than 43 receiving yards since Brock Purdy took over midway through the 2022 season.
- Aiyuk has averaged 14.0 yards per target on the season. If he can maintain that efficiency, he needs just four targets to easily top 43.5 receiving yards.
Higher than 2.0 Receptions
- This fits in with our correlation because if Purdy is able to have a good day throwing the ball, then the Browns are likely to have to play aggressively to keep up.
- Ford has averaged 3.3 catches on 4.3 targets per game since the injury to Nick Chubb and has at least two catches in each of those games.
- The 49ers have given up the 5th-most receptions to opposing running backs this season (6.0 per game).
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