Monkey Knife Fight is one of the fastest-growing daily fantasy sites and offers a unique product that is a lot of fun. There are no salary caps and you do not have to compete against DFS pros. Instead, you simply find the combination of player props you are most confident in and pick more or less for each player. Since each combination (two or more players) of players are playing in the same game, we can use correlation to our advantage. For example, if we know that one starting quarterback throws for more yards than projected, the opposing quarterback is more likely to throw for more yards also. By targeting the right props, we can put ourselves in a great position to make a profit.
In this weekly article, we will count down the five best props of the week, saving the best for last.
Note: The props may change slightly throughout the week.
Number 5: Thursday Night Special, Minshew and Fitzpatrick Fantasy Points
- Footballguys projects Minshew for 20.1 fantasy points and Fitzpatrick for 18.4. We are getting value on the MORE side for both players.
- This is a positive correlation play. If Gardner Minshew has a bigger than expected fantasy performance tonight, it becomes more likely that Ryan Fitzpatrick also has a bigger than expected fantasy game (and vice versa). This is a play with positive expected value given that we will receive a 3X return. Both quarterbacks should hit the MORE side more than 25% of the time, which is our break-even percentage for this type of prop.
- The fantasy points prop is more attractive than the pure passing prop for these two quarterbacks because both players add fantasy value with their legs and are in a matchup where that rushing ability is more likely to come into play. Neither rushing offense has shown much, so we can feel confident that most of the touchdowns will come via the pass.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick actually led the Dolphins in rushing yards (243) and rushing touchdowns (4) last season. While he does not typically come to mind when thinking about dual-threat quarterbacks, Fitzpatrick produced the sixth-most rushing fantasy points at quarterback last season. He outscored Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes II, and Ryan Tannehill as a runner last season.
- Despite not starting the whole season, Gardner Minshew had the fifth-most rushing yards (344) from the quarterback position last season.
- Minshew is tied for second in the NFL (behind only Russell Wilson) in touchdowns passes so far this season. If he throws for three touchdowns for the third straight week, he is virtually guaranteed to top 19.5 fantasy points.
- Josh Allen just picked apart this Miami pass defense last week (417 yards and 4 touchdowns). Big-ticket free-agent cornerback Byron Jones went out with a first-quarter injury and his loss was felt in a big way. Jones is out for tonight’s game. With Minshew playing at a high level, he has a good chance to pick apart this vulnerable Miami pass defense like Allen just did.
Number 4: MORE on the MVPs
- In a primetime Monday night matchup between the league’s last two MVPs, we should expect both stars to bring their best. When Baltimore played Kansas City last season, Mahomes threw for 374 yards and Jackson threw for 267.
- Lamar Jackson made a big leap as a passer in his second NFL season. It looks like he has made another leap as he goes into his second full season as a starter.
Lamar is on another level right now. To put this much heat on a perfectly-placed ball from that angle just doesn't make sense. Look at his shoulders on the end zone angle and tell me it makes sense. pic.twitter.com/Q0SQOTW76i— Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass) September 24, 2020
- This is a spot where both offenses will need to put up a lot of points and stay aggressive for four quarters. The Ravens are 3.5-point home favorites, so it is expected to be close. Plus, the game total is 54 points and rising.
- Through two games, Jackson is averaging 239.5 passing yards per game but that number is misleading. Jackson is averaging 177 passing yards per game in the first half (full game pace of 354 passing yards). With the Ravens jumping out to big early leads, he has only thrown the ball 8.0 times per game in the second half. Facing off against Mahomes, we will get a full four quarters of Jackson passing for the first time this season.
- After blowing out the Texans in Week 1, Patrick Mahomes II was forced to be aggressive in Week 2 and led a late comeback win over the Chargers on his way to 302 passing yards. He made some of those throws that very few quarterbacks in the history of the game are capable of.
- This is a strong correlation play. To come out ahead over the long run, we need to hit on over 25% of these pick two props (when we are getting 3X our money back). If this game was played 100 times, both quarterbacks would top these numbers more than 25 times so this is a play with positive expected value.
Number 3: Patriots-Raiders Long shot Play
- Monkey Knife Fight has a huge number of options in terms of how many players you want to include in your picks. In this longshot play, we need to go a perfect 5 out of 5 in picking more or less.
- The degree of difficulty is high but so is the reward. In this case, we 15X our buy-in. Or put another way, if we did 16 of these props this season, we would only need to hit once to break even. If we hit on 2-of-16, we would double our money.
- These large-group plays give us an extreme opportunity to use correlation to our advantage. There is a huge correlation between a quarterback’s passing yards and the receiving output of his top pass catcher, for example. In this prop, we go MORE on both Cam Newton (234.5 passing yards) and Julian Edelman (5.5 receptions). These two props should be highly correlated. We are going to go with LESS for Derek Carr (249.5 passing yards) and Darren Waller (62.5 receiving yards) on another correlated play.
- Cam Newton has been playing at an extremely high level. His ability to read the defense and put the ball into tight windows as on full display last week.
- We can combine these player props into a unified theory of the game. In this case, our theory is that the Raiders have some success running the ball and do not put up big passing numbers. We are also banking on Bill Belichick’s proven ability to take away the opposing offense’s top pass catcher (Darren Waller). On the other side of the ball, we are operating on the theory that the Patriots' outstanding passing performance against the Seahawks wasn’t a mirage.
Number 2: MORE Miles Sanders and Tyler Boyd
- The Bengals-Eagles game has some shootout potential with a solid game total of 46.5 points.
- Miles Sanders looks to be the centerpiece of the Eagles offense. Even in a losing effort last week, Sanders had 20 carries for 95 yards against a tough Rams front while making his season debut. He is one of the few true workhorse starting backs in the NFL.
- The Bengals defense is in a bad way. After losing nose tackles Ryan Glasgow, Renell Wren, and Josh Tupou for the season, the Bengals defensive tackle depth was decimated. Defensive tackles Geno Atkins and Mike Daniels are also both sidelined with injuries. Cincinnati is left with D.J. Reader and a bunch of defensive tackles who were street free agents.
- The Bengals were not likely to be a good run defense even a full strength. With the injuries at defensive tackle, the run defense has been a disaster. The Browns ran all over the Bengals for 215 rushing yards last week.
- The lone bright spot for the Bengals this season has been the passing offense led by Joe Burrow. He threw for 316 yards against the Browns despite some hiccups that could have led to much bigger numbers.
- The Bengals' most consistent pass-catcher has been Tyler Boyd. Through two games, he has 11 catches. With Darius Slay expected to focus on A.J. Green and the Eagles defensive line having a big advantage against the Bengals offensive line, Boyd is in a great spot to rack up a bunch of targets again from the slot.
Number 1: Jones and Mullens undervalued
- Both teams are without their starting running backs. This is a key factor because their absences should affect the offensive game plans.
- When Saquon Barkley is healthy, it makes sense for the Giants to feed him the ball because at some point they know he is going to break off a long run. That is not the case with Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman, or the recently-signed Devonta Freeman. Assuming it will take some time for Freeman to get up to speed and Dion Lewis (who has often been used as the third-down back) is the top back this week, we could see the offense being especially pass-heavy to take advantage of his skill set.
- The 49ers will be without both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman on Sunday. Stepping in as the starter is Jerick McKinnon. He too has a skill set that works best in a pass-first offense. In fact, McKinnon has as many targets (6) as carries thus far this season. The 49ers offense is designed in a way that uses the short passing game as almost an extension of the running offense. Quick screens to wide receivers and tight ends along with passes to the running backs and fullback Kyle Juszczyck are low-risk ways to get the ball into the hand of playmakers. These plays should allow Nick Mullens to rack up some cheap, easy yardage.
- The 188.5 number for Mullens is egregiously low. He started eight games for the 49ers in 2018 and threw for at least 221 yards in each of those eight outings. He averaged a whopping 285 passing yards per game and was on pace for over 4,500 passing yards. The consensus of the projection experts at Footballguys is that Mullens will throw for 240 yards. This is massive value.
- Daniel Jones has thrown for at least 240 yards in each of his last five outings. He is averaging 260 passing yards per game this season despite playing what may end up being two of the better pass defenses in the NFL (Steelers and Bears). It will likely be a huge relief for Jones to come into a game knowing his offensive line will not be overmatched (more on this below) and that he should actually have some time in the pocket. In addition to the numbers backing the play, this just feels like a spot Jones should put up one of his big weeks (he had five games with 300+ passing yards as a rookie in 12 starts).
- This is not the 49ers defense everyone typically fears. San Francisco’s two elite edge rushers, Nick Bosa and Dee Ford are out.
EDGE player Nick Bosa may have been the most impactful injury of Wk 2— Mike Tannenbaum (@RealTannenbaum) September 23, 2020
In 2019 Bosa had ~25% of the 49ers defensive QB pressures (45/177)
He also led the team in QBKDs (12) QB hurries (24) & was 2nd in sacks (9)
Bosa as a disruptive force will be greatly missed by their defense