Updated: Nov 23, 2020
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OUR WEEK 11 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PICKS
Single games can be harder to predict because you really need to predict the game flow as a whole in order to hit on your Prize Picks. Is the game going to be a shootout? The odds are more players will hit the over. Will the game be a defensive battle and low scoring? Will one team get way ahead, and just start running?
So what do we think will happen in this Monday Night Football matchup?
The Rams come into the game with a stout defense that is shutting teams down. They rank #1 against fantasy WR’s, #2 against fantasy QB’s, and #5 against fantasy RB’s. They also have the kind of interior pressure (thanks to all-world DT Aaron Donald) that’s usually very effective against older pocket passers like Tom Brady.
On offense, the Rams have a lot of weapons but spread the ball around a lot. They have 3 relevant WRs, 2 TEs, and 3 RBs who can all score in any given week. The Bucs are even more loaded on offense and have the same kind of high-end depth with 3 top-tier WRs, an unpredictable RB group, and two sometimes-relevant TEs.
On both sides, the key questions are remarkably similar. Who leads each backfield in carries? Darrell Henderson has been the leader for LA, but rookie Cam Akers is seeing his opportunities go up, and Malcolm Brown always seems to vulture goal-line carries and key snaps at the worst times for fantasy managers. Ronald Jones is coming off a huge week for the Bucs, but a more pass-heavy game has been his kryptonite, as Jones can often be a disaster in pass protection and the Tampa coaching staff has been using Leonard Fournette more often in obvious passing situations.
Both teams have shutdown-type cornerbacks: the exceptional Jalen Ramsey for LA and the less-heralded but suffocating Carlton Davis for Tampa. If they shadow a single receiver for the whole game, both are liable to take one key fantasy option completely out of play.
Here’s how we think things are going to shakedown!
*We recommend picking two players and doing a Flex play to hedge your bets if one game doesn't go the way you expect.* OUR PLAYER PRIZE PICKS
Tom Brady vs LAR - 21 points - UNDER (Jared)
Brady has generally been awesome this year. But the obvious counter to an aging pocket passer is a pocket-collapsing presence on the interior of the defensive line. And Aaron Donald is the absolute best one in the entire league. The Rams defense has 11 sacks in their past three games, and they’ve given up the second-fewest fantasy points to QBs of any team this year. Last week, they held MVP frontrunner, Russell Wilson, to 11.9. We’d expect the Bucs to try to protect their 43-year-old QB by relying on the run game a little more, and without super high volume in a tough matchup, 21 points is a high bar for Brady.
Rob Gronkowski vs LAR - 9 points - OVER (Trent)
The Rams are allowing the fewest fantasy points to WR’s in the league, but they’re only mid-tier against TEs. Gronk has really turned it on these last few games. Gronk will probably need a TD to hit the over here, but he has scored a TD in 4 of the last 5 games. I’m banking on Brady relying on his security blanket here, and I’m taking the over!
Darrell Henderson @ TB - 8.5 points - UNDER (Jared)
The Rams defense has been incredibly stingy this season. They’ve given up the 6th-fewest fantasy points to the RB position - and that’s their weakest point, compared to 2nd-fewest to QBs and the fewest in the league to WRs. But it feels like Henderson is fighting two matchups this week: one against the brutal Bucs defense and another against coach Sean McVay’s frustrating propensity to rotate his running backs in and out. Last week, Cam Akers had 10 touches (all carries) and Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson each had 8. Henderson barely scraped over 8.5, and only because he had a touchdown. Meanwhile Brown stole 2 touchdowns. We wouldn’t expect there to be that many TDs to go around in this one, compared to last week’s tilt with the very beatable Seattle defense. So we feel decent about picking the under, even with a quite low line.
Cooper Kupp @ TB - 15 points UNDER (Trent)
The Bucs CB’s are pretty underrated, and they have been showing out! Honestly, I would probably take the under on Kupp, Woods, and Reynolds, assuming 1 will go over, and the other two will probably be under. If I have to choose one, I’m going to pick on Kupp, because he has the highest line of the three at 15 points. He is probably going to need a TD to hit that line, and we love taking the under on guys who are TD dependent and averaging a TD in less than 50% of their games. Kupp only has 2 TD’s on the year (weeks 3 & 4), so the odds are better that he doesn’t come down with one in this game.
Chris Godwin vs LAR - 14 points - Jared (OVER)
Godwin has two major plusses for me: (1) he works mostly out of the slot, and while stud corner Jalen Ramsey has actually traveled to the slot a decent amount this season, we’d probably expect him to mostly be covering Mike Evans or Antonio Brown on the outside. (2) If the pass rush is getting to Brady, Godwin is probably the outlet for short, quick hits over the middle. Godwin hasn’t had less than 6 targets in a game yet this year, so I think his usage is probably the safest of any Tampa receiver, though the line is certainly a high one.
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