Sat. Jan 23rd, 2021


While you debate which running backs to start this week, please keep something in mind: The average per-game Fantasy point total of top-12 running backs in non-PPR and PPR are lower from 2019’s totals — 15.3 in PPR and 12.4 in non-PPR. Those numbers might rise as the weather turns cold and teams start to run with higher frequency, but it’s evidence that an already frustrating position in Fantasy is only getting leaner. Remember, any running back with 15-touch potential is a must-start, but it’s the running backs who work the goal line who have an edge in non-PPR, and it’s the guys who catch three-plus passes per game who have the edge in PPR. 

More Week 10 help: Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: All positions | Starts and Sits, Sleepers and Busts | QB Preview | RB Preview | WR Preview | TE Preview | Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: QB | Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: RB | Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: WR | Seven Big Questions | Waiver Wire | Trade Values | Cut List | Winners and Losers | Believe It or Not        

All lines from William Hill Sportsbook.

The line wants us to believe: There’s no home-field advantage for the Titans. But they’ve had convincing wins over the Bills and Bears at home and had the Steelers on the ropes. Indy is 2-2 on the road and their offense has a lot of issues to work itself out of. I have a hard time trusting the Colts to score 23 points as their implied team total suggests. The Titans should with a big dose of Derrick Henry.

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The line wants us to believe: The Giants are in for another nail-biter. New York has played five straight where they’ve either lost by three or fewer or won. So it makes sense that this is the line. It’s fair. Philadelphia coming off a bye with several players returning from injury certainly seem like an advantage.

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The line wants us to believe: The Packers defense isn’t so bad that they can’t blow out opponents. Four of the Packers last five wins have been by 14-plus points. It’s probably not surprising when you think of Aaron Rodgers, but totally surprising when you think about the Packers defense. Public perception is that the Jaguars stink, and it’s pretty much true. The oddsmakers might have gotten away with a larger line (Packers minus-16?), but maybe they hesitated because the Jaguars have managed to lose their past two by 10 or fewer points.

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The line wants us to believe: The Lions can beat a team other than Jacksonville by more than three points. Seriously, two of the Lions’ three wins are by three or fewer points. In a matchup of two teams that botch their matchups on a weekly basis, it’s probably safer to take points, even if that means counting on Alex Smith. Washington has the top-ranked pass defense in the league and has a higher-ranked run defense (23rd) than Detroit (30th).

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The line wants us to believe: The Browns can outscore the Texans. Maybe it was their drubbing at Pittsburgh or their matchup versus the Raiders in a tornado that made me forget that the Browns have actually scored at least 32 points in each of their wins. But the public hasn’t forgotten — they’re riding with the Browns — but have they forgotten that Cleveland’s defense gave up 34 points to the Bengals and 38 to the Steelers? Houston could easily cover the three.

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The line wants us to believe: Sunday night never happened. Something might be up with the Bucs — they got caught in a trap game at the Giants in Week 8 and then got caught looking stupid against the Saints. Carolina’s defense is nothing like New Orleans’, but its offense has proven to be pesky. My sense is that the public is still overrating the Buccaneers and underrating the Panthers.

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The line wants us to believe: The Chargers will find another heartbreaking way to lose. I mean, you can’t beat the narrative, right? But couldn’t the oddsmakers have gotten away with giving the Bolts more than 2.5 points? With the Dolphins winning two straight, they could have easily gotten a minus-4 point line. I’m still not sure Tua Tagovailoa is playing his best football, and if the Chargers’ pass rush is at full strength, Miami will have a hard time. I feel foolish saying it, but I’m riding with the Bolts and the points.

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The line wants us to believe: Las Vegas isn’t that much better than the Broncos. Las Vegas barely hung on against the Chargers last week, and now they’re modest favorites over a Broncos team that’s furiously come back in each of its past two games. The truth is, Denver’s offense is kind of fun, and their defense was missing several starters that should return in the secondary this week. Meanwhile, Las Vegas’ defense has been brutal, allowing at least 24 points to everyone except the Browns in a wind-aided victory two weeks ago. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Broncos give the Raiders a game.

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The line wants us to believe: In a high-scoring game, Arizona is better. After losing to the Dolphins last week, the betting public figures to chase Buffalo even if they’re on the road. This is where I’m supposed to say, “don’t do that” and pick the Cardinals, but Arizona’s defense has really only impressed against the Cowboys, their coaching hasn’t been quite as savvy as many hoped, Josh Allen hasn’t been a train wreck, and Kyler Murray has been prone to turnovers. Yeah, it feels sucker-ific, but I think Buffalo is the right side to be on.

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The line wants us to believe: The 49ers won’t keep it close, but they won’t totally get blown out. I can’t believe it’s only nine points, but then again, the Saints’ blowout win over the Buccaneers last week was only their second win by more than one score (both against Tampa Bay). However, each of the 49ers past three losses have been by 10-plus points. Each week there are one or two bets where I just know I’m taking the fishy side, but I can’t help it. I’ll buy into the Saints defense rattling Nick Mullens.

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The line wants us to believe: The Rams are deserving favorites. What? Why? How? Didn’t we just see the Rams get their doors blown off by the Dolphins? Well, yeah, and we also saw the Seahawks defense completely blow it against the Bills. There’s no doubt that the oddsmakers could have made the Seahawks a favorite, maybe even a three-point favorite. They didn’t do it. They want your money on the Seahawks. You might find it hard to do, but you’ve got to give the rested Rams your confidence.

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The line wants us to believe: Joe Burrow can’t hang with the Steeler gang. Pretty sure Garrett Gilbert just hung with the Steelers last week, and Lamar Jackson and Ryan Tannehill the weeks before that. We’re starting to see some cracks in the Steelers foundation — Ben Roethlisberger is playing hurt, the pass defense is letting up some numbers, the run game hasn’t been as stout. Obviously if Roethlisberger winds up not playing, the Bengals side will be popular, but getting the points might be the side to be on anyway.

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The line wants us to believe: The Patriots are as bad as the Jets made them look. Did the oddsmakers give the Ravens enough points? Couldn’t they have gotten away with more? After all, the Ravens spiked Bill Belichick’s bunch by 17 points last year. And this time around, it’s Baltimore with the much better defense. Am I getting suckered? Maybe, but I just don’t see how the Patriots offense contends.

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The line wants us to believe: Dalvin Cook and the Vikings defense are mirages. Honestly, who in their right mind would take the Bears getting only 2.5 points?! This should be at least Minnesota minus-5! Naturally, I think it’s a trap. Chicago has won four straight in the series, holding the Vikings to 20 or fewer points in each. The Vikings defense was fortunate against the Packers, and the Lions imploded as usual. That may explain the past two weeks. The Bears, with their backs against the wall, pull out another “how’d-they-do-that” victory.

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