If Week 7 of the NFL feels a little light, it’s because it is. Six teams on a bye, which obviously reduces the number of games by three, but beyond that, the six teams — the Cowboys, Chargers, Bills, Vikings, Steelers, and Jaguars — have a combined 22-16 record. Take out the Jags, it’s 21-11. Point being? A lot of good teams are off this week.
And when good teams are off — and this is breaking news fresh into the Sports Handle desk — that also means there are a ton of great offensive players that won’t be in the main slate DFS pool. I mean, look at those teams up there. These are DFS powerhouses. It makes putting together a quality team — especially a quality tournament team — all the more difficult. If there ever was a week to avoid chalky construction, this is shaping up as one.
Except … the chalky options look really, really, really strong this week. From high-priced gems like Derrick Henry going up against the horrid Chiefs run defense to Davante Adams going up against the equally horrid WFT pass defense to Darrell Henderson Jr.’s ridiculous price to Lamar Jackson’s equally ridiculous price … the list goes on.
On the betting front, it’s also a weird one, as half of the main-slate games feature touchdown-or-more spreads (with one more, Bengals-Ravens, sitting at 6.5 right now).
And three of those games … well, the spreads are basically the sportsbooks saying, “We’ve had it with the teasers, but if you want to try again this week, we’re gonna make it tough.”
The Buccaneers are consensus 12.5-point favorites over the Bears, the Rams 16-point favorites over the Lions, and the Cardinals are 18 points over the Texans. All of these games have been bet up tremendously since the lines came out, with the Bucs giving another 2.5 points, the Rams another 2.5 points, and the Cards another 3.5 points.
Making things even more interesting, those three games are all late games, meaning … well, meaning the sportsbooks, if I had to guess, are going to be facing a surfeit of Bucs -6.5, Rams -9, and Cards -12 teasers. (And a handful more of those three with the Patriots at -1 and the Packers at -1.5 added in for good measure.)
This set-up is coming on the heels of favorites going 9-3 last week, which pretty much crushed the books.
So yeah. This is a weird week for the NFL, one of the weirder ones in recent memory. Short slate, heavy favorites, painfully obvious DFS plays. It’s almost too easy to make money this week, which obviously means things are going to go sideways quicker than the original Debbie Downer sketch. (BTW, I swear, whenever I’m feeling blue, I watch this. Gets me every time. Enjoy.)
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
The thing with this feature here is we only need to hit two of them over the course of the year to be profitable, which means we only need to hit one every nine weeks, and through six weeks we’re (I’m) 0-6, which means we’re still right on track. (My glasses are so rose-colored, I’m walking around here like Mr. Magoo after three too many. Anyway … )
Here’s the play, placed over at Caesars: Welp, never mind the “only need to hit two of them” nonsense. After this week, we’re gonna be profitable no matter what. Here it is: New England giving a touchdown at home against the Jets, the Packers giving 7.5 at home against the WFT, over 47 in the Bengals-Ravens game, and the Tennessee Titans winning outright at home over the Kansas City Chiefs. Add ‘em up, and this is a mullet of a parlay at +1987. (That’s right. A mullet of a parlay. You know, 1987, mullets, that kinda thing?) (Keep it right here for mid-’80s references stretched to the absolute breaking point.)
OK, the rationale: The Patriots defense is going to (once again) decimate Zach Wilson, the Packers offense is going to embarrass the WFT defense, the Bengals are going to do their part against the Ravens with big splash plays, and … I mean, why can’t the Titans beat the Chiefs at home? The Chiefs are giving up 5.2 yards a carry to opposing running backs, and the Titans have a good one, I’m told.
Last time the Titans and Bills played, Derrick Henry gave us one of the nastiest stiff arms ever 💪😤
Monday Night Football | 8:15 PM ET | @espn
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 18, 2021
The on-paper, no doubt, three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Lost last week, down to 2-4 on this little experiment, headed back to FanDuel where I like the Packers giving 1.5 points to the WFT, the Buccaneers giving 6.5 points to the Bears, and the Patriots giving a point to the Jets.
Seriously — there is zero chance this loses. (That sound you hear is the Ron Howard narrator voice warming up.)
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
You know, I really wish you’d stop asking me this question. You’ll know if I won, OK?
So you didn’t win?
Shut up your stupid face.
Now you’re just being mean to me and as such I’m going to show everyone a picture of your mullet, circa 1987
DraftKings DFS play(s) of the week
Gave you Joe Mixon last week, and he went off for 26.3 points, and I played him in … literally 2% of my lineups. I also walked around with that mullet above — that’s not a shadow, to be clear — for about two years, so clearly I am not to be trusted, period, full stop.
JOE MIXON TO THE HOUSE pic.twitter.com/gtcXK6dcWD
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 17, 2021
This week? Darrell Henderson against the Lions at $6.6K is the clear and obvious pick, but digging deeper, I like 1) Calvin Ridley for the same $6.6K against the Dolphins, as Ridley’s target counts have gone 8, 10, 11, 13 this year and 2) Robby Anderson at $4.8K against the Giants. Now, with Robby, this is purely an ownership play. He’s been hyped everywhere, each week, but after last week’s 11-target (yay!) 11-yard (wut?) performance, I have to think the industry will finally stop it. Basically, there’s a chance he’s 5% owned and there’s a better than 5% chance he goes 8-150-2. (Looking forward to that happening and this mulleted schmuck playing him in 2% of his lineups.)
Survivor pick of the week
I was never so happy to be wrong, picking the Broncos last week, and thus eliminating me from my fictional survivor pool. But I uh … screwed up, as I had already picked the Broncos. So let’s call it a mulligan? OK, sure. Gimme the Packers this week.
Trap game of the week
Nailed it last week, saying the Seahawks were going to cover the 5.5 points against the Steelers. Up to 4-2 identifying dogs this year. This week, I’m going to Monday night, and I’m sticking with the same Seahawks. This week they’re at home, and the New Orleans Saints are 4.5-point favorites. My rationale is exactly the same as last week: Two teams that want to grind the clock with their running games, and this week we have the benefit of the Hawks being at home. Seahawks and the points all day long.
Player props I like
Last week was a 1-4 disaster, punctuated by Melvin Gordon going over his prop by 3.5 yards in a game in which the Broncos had no business giving him the opportunity to do so, grrrrr. This week, not a lot I love, so let’s keep it short and sweet as we head over to DraftKings: Patrick Mahomes over .5 interceptions at -105. That’s it. The end.
Patrick Mahomes has 13 interceptions in his last 14 starts. pic.twitter.com/1I5eKBWVSp
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 16, 2021
My mortal lock five-star only for my best customers can’t-lose guaranteed best bet of the week
Welp, the Chargers finally burned me last week, bringing our mortal locks down to a very mortal 3-3. This week, gonna stick with my Packers love, giving 7.5 to the WFT. We need this one. Daddy may not need a new pair of shoes, but he does need a haircut, clearly.