It's time for a Week 13 Vibe Check (2-2):
The Tennessee Titans season has felt like a roller coaster. A steady climb of wins to start the season, some shakier than others, but still they went up, up, and up, even through a COVID outbreak. Then the first drop to the Steelers, a game in which they looked lost until the fourth quarter, and further down after the Bengals handled them easily.
Things looked up against the Bears before a Thursday smackdown by the Colts that sent the Titans uncontrollably spiraling. Yet they pulled out of the tailspin to deliver two victories over quality opponents, including a payback game in Indy.
Up, and up they went, again, lulling us into the false sense of security that all the most thrilling of rides do before throwing you down at a 90 degree angle, turning your stomach to mush. That's exactly what the Titans did. Their D looked abysmal, the run game was a non-starter (Henry mustered a measly 60 yards), and Tannenhill could only get them so close, mostly in garbage time. Taking the favored Titans and Henry over 100.5 yards feels ridiculous now. It's how you start 0-2 in one fell swoop.
Luckily, our weekend would rebound during the Monday night doubleheader. As for the Washington Football Team, I only wish I bet them on the moneyline. All the signs were there, and that D did not disappoint.
Then in the next game, Deebo Samuel got us the props equivalent of a backdoor cover. The man didn't catch a ball in the first half but went berserk in the second, totaling all six of his catches and 73 yards, which hit our over. Never a doubt!
Deebo Samuel bowls through the Bills defense to secure us a cover.John Medina
Colts -3 over Raiders
It took a Gregg Williams job-costing Cover Zero play call for the Raiders to escape New Jersey with a win. Right now, they still have Trent Brown and Josh Jacobs, two of their most important offensive players listed as questionable, which hurts against a Colts D that's been generating pressure, while blitzing at the second lowest rate in the league, and stopping the run at the seventh best rate.
Meanwhile, the offense has been stable under Rivers behind one of the best lines in the league. He's managed to spread the ball around to his array of weapons, including rookies Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor.
Steelers +2 over Bills
This is a short term memory line. Everyone remembers seeing the Steelers getting beat by the Football Team and the BIlls picking apart the Niners D on Monday night. After back to back games getting moved and playing on short rest, the Steelers will actually get to enjoy some semblance of normalcy by playing on Sunday.
Alex Smith might've just made that Steelers D look human, but for most of the year, they've been the class of the league. I would bet on a return to form and, generally, a close game between the two division leaders — in which case, I'll take the team getting the points, especially coming off their first loss of the season.
TJ Watt is on a mission this season🔥 https://t.co/DY0Zn6t4Zw— PFF (@PFF)1607388627.0
Saints -7.5 over Eagles
The Saints have been HOT with Taysom Hill, filling in admirably for Drew Brees, while the Eagles have been NOT with Carsen Wentz earning a spot on the bench. New Orleans started shaky, but has surged behind a healthy and effective pass defense, holding teams to under 212.8 yards a game. Impressive, even if it's skewed by facing a Denver team, who had a college-QB-turned-practice-squad-WR as starter.
Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts is about to face a top five D, in his first ever start, which historically doesn't line up in his favor. Sure, there's not much tape on him, so little that every snap came from the shotgun against second string Green Bay defenders, but don't let the uncertainty scare you. The Eagles are undermanned at every level, and the Saints offense has proven viable against anyone anywhere any time.
Jalen Hurts' final stat line: 5/12 Comp/Att 138 Total Yards 1 TD 1 INT https://t.co/IHedO4IAgL— ESPN (@ESPN)1607301112.0
Justin Herbert over 281.5 yards
The rookie phenom might be coming off his worst start as a pro, but that's just some Belichek dark magic at work. Herbert has been statistically tremendous this season, eclipsing 300 yards regularly. This is the perfect spot for a strong rebound, as the Falcons are currently 30th in pass defense, allowing 285.2 yards per game.
The Falcons have been able to generate more pressure after Raheem Morris took over as interim head coach, yet that hasn't bothered Herbert at all thus far. Take the kid to go off.
As the NFL postseason got underway last week, it became clear we need to make some halftime adjustments with our picks this week.
The Ravens were an easy cover for us, especially once Lamer found his groove and the grooves in Tennessee's D. Throw in a few head scratching punts by Mike Vrabel and that does the trick.
Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs came up two catches short for us with three targets left on the table. It was always going to be tough to get that many grabs, but it was worth a few bucks just to see what would happen.
Please, please, please remind me never to bet unders. I haven't hit one all year and yet the siren's song calls me to shore. I maintain this is the best one I bet all year. The pick 6 and DK Metcalf bomb in the second quarter killed after the best start imaginable. After 15 minutes, we had a combined score of 3, 15 minutes of game time later? 30. Bananas.
Then I don't really know what else to say about Pittsburgh losing to Baker Mayfield and co. that hasn't already been said. I just have to edit my list of completely impossible things to put, "Snowing in the Sahara desert," and "Taylor Swift ever getting back together with Jake Gyllenhaal" above "The Browns beating the Steelers in the playoffs."
Put on your general manager hat for a moment and ask yourself this question: If my team struggled mightily the past couple seasons, is struggling now and will continue to struggle, would I trade my franchise star?
It's an extremely difficult decision to make, but it's something the Washington Wizards have to be pondering with shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Beal has been on an absolute rampage through 11 games, posting a league-high 34.9 points per game on 49% shooting and 38% from distance. He's also dishing out five assists and grabbing 5.3 rebounds with 1.5 steals. All that in 36 minutes a night, yet the Wizards are 3-8 which is the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
"I'm pissed off," Beal told reporters after his 60-point game on Jan. 6. "I'm mad. I don't count [them]. ... Any of my career-highs, they've been in losses. So I don't give a damn. You can throw it right out the window with the other two or three I've had."
His frustration is evident, and though he hasn't verbalized that he wants out of D.C., it's hard not to think that the idea hasn't crossed his mind at least once with how bad the Wizards have been recently.
From 2018-20, they went a combined 57-97 with John Wall sidelined after he tore his Achilles. Before this season began, the Wizards acquired Russell Westbrook in exchange for Wall and a pick, thinking they were getting an upgrade at point guard. Plot twist, they weren't.
Wall is healthy and playing good basketball in Houston while Westbrook is sitting back-to-backs and is currently nursing a quad injury. More importantly, he doesn't make them much better because of his lack of defense and is thus piling up meaningless triple-doubles that don't translate to team success.
Each Friday, FindBet will preview the week's DFS slate, highlighting players that are priced well on DFS sites, as well as some contrarian plays that can push your team to the top of the leader board.
Most NFL DFS games have you putting a team together with players from a certain slate of games. It could be just Sunday 1:00 PM games, or it could be every game that is slated for the week. Once the last game that has eligible players is over, the final payouts are made according to how many fantasy points each team scored. Each player is worth a certain dollar amount, and you have a cap of $60,000 to build your team with. You have to have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 DEF.
The general scoring rules include (6) points for each rushing and receiving touchdown, (4) points for each passing touchdown, (0.1) points for each rushing and receiving yard gained, (0.04) points for each passing yard, and also (0.5) points for each reception. There are other scoring opportunities for defenses. Let's take a look at players we like in the first round of the NFL playoffs this weekend.