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. Since each combination (two or more 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.
In this weekly article, we will count down the five best props of the week, saving the best for last.
Looking back at last week
Last Week: -1 unit
Full Season: +43 units
We came out slightly behind last week but are still up huge on the season. We hit on only one of our five parlays with a couple of near misses and a couple that were not real close.
- We noted the over on Jarvis Landry's fantasy points (12.5) was our favorite prop of the week and he got there fairly easily (16.0 points) with seven catches and a touchdown. We narrowly hit the over on Tyreek Hill's fantasy points (19.5) on the other side. He had eight catches and 118 total yards (19.8 fantasy points).
- We were correct in taking the under on Jared Goff's passing yards (220.5) and the under for Aaron Rodgers (275.5 yards) was looking solid until he hit Allen Lazard for the long touchdown late.
- We had the over on John Brown receiving yards (54.5). He hit the over quickly and had 11 targets in the game. But we also had over 65.5 rushing yards for J.K. Dobbins, who had 93 total yards but did over half of his damage on receptions.
- We badly underestimated the impact the weather would have in Buffalo. Neither Josh Allen nor Lamar Jackson came anywhere near hitting the over on their fantasy points.
- We had too much faith in Drew Brees. He came nowhere near hitting his passing yardage over against the Buccaneers. We also narrowly missed on the under for Ronald Jones II rushing yards. He only played 29% of the snaps but hit his 59.5 yard over in large part due to getting loose for one long run.
Number 5: Riding with the Hall of Famers
- This is a positive correlation play. We are essentially putting our chips on a belief that this game, between two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, having a greater than 25% chance of turning into at least a modest shootout.
- These are the two hottest passing offenses in the entire NFL with both having proven to have answers even against elite pass defenses.
The top four teams in Passing DVOA since Week 10:— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) January 21, 2021
1. Packers pic.twitter.com/8I7fG3u0FU
- These props are both highly likely to go over if we get three touchdowns and the touchdown projection should be the main focus of our analysis on this prop.
- Since Week 7, Rodgers has scored at least 3 touchdowns in 11-of-12 games. The Packers are far and away the most pass-heavy team in the NFL this season when they get down near the goal line. Given this fact, it is unsurprising that Rodgers led the NFL with 48 passing touchdowns (3.0 per game).
- As an added bonus, Rodgers has 4 rushing touchdowns in his last 9 games. To steal a poker term, this gives us yet another “out” when it comes to getting to the over. A quick six points on a rushing touchdown would make the probability of hitting the over much more likely.
- Tom Brady also has 4 rushing touchdowns this season, including a sneak from more than a yard out last week against the Saints.
- Brady finished second in the NFL behind Rodgers with 40 passing touchdowns and has been playing his best football of late. While the weather will be cold, that should not be a concern for Brady.
- The one note of caution here is that Rodgers did struggle mightily against this same defense early in the season. However, almost all of his issues were dealing with the blitz. He went 3-of-12 with 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions against the blitz and was sacked twice. Against all other defenses, Rodgers has thrown 15 touchdowns and only 1 interception when blitzed. Rodgers has not taken a single sack against a blitz since the Tampa game in Week 6.
- It is not like the Tampa defense’s blitz has been an unsolvable mystery either. Aside from the huge success in that Packers game, Tampa has given up 13 touchdowns and grabbed just one interception while blitzing this year. The blitzing success in Week 6 looks fluky.
- A big reason for Rodgers’ struggles in that game was not having Allen Lazard and Davante Adams playing at less than 100% with an ankle injury.
Number 4: Under Jones
- Some simple back of the napkin math can be a good starting for many props. Tampa Bay is allowing just 3.40 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season. If Tampa holds Aaron Jones to that season average, he would need 23 carries to hit the over on 76.5 yards.
- Jones has not had more than 20 carries in a game all season. In fact, he has had more than 15 carries in a game only twice since Week 4. He is simply not getting enough carries to take the over against this defense. The Packers have been using all three of their running backs in recent weeks, making it harder for Jones to put up big rushing numbers.
- Our Footballguys consensus projection is that Aaron Jones only gets 13 carries for 58 yards.
- Our consensus projections also see a lot of value on the under for Ronald Jones II, who we project for 42 rushing yards.
- Tampa Bay should have some success on the ground but this is looking like a split backfield. Leonard Fournette, a.k.a. Playoff Lenny, has been excellent in the Buccaneers' two wins with 239 total yards against a pair of excellent defenses.
- Over the past six games, the Green Bay defense has allowed an average of 75.3 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs. If they hold the Buccaneers to anywhere near that number, Jones is unlikely to hit the over here given the RBBC approach we expect to see.
- Ronald Jones II did hit his rushing over while running for 62 yards last week (when we were also on the under), but the underlying usage numbers point to that performance as somewhat fluky. Jones only played 29% of the offensive snaps.
Number 3: Bills Stack
- We are going with a strong correlation play here. If Josh Allen is able to keep up with Patrick Mahomes II as a passer, odds are good that his clear top target, Stefon Diggs, more than keeps pace with Travis Kelce.
- Allen-Diggs stacks have been one of our go-to plays in this article all season and we usually have come out on top. This duo has found something special and has been especially potent of late. Diggs had 106 receiving yards last week, 128 yards in Week 18, 76 yards in one half of play Week 17, 145 yards in Week 16, 147 yards in Week 15, and 130 yards in Week 15. But for playing just one half in Week 17, Diggs would be riding a five-game streak of 100+ yard receiving games.
- Allen has been as prolific as Mahomes down the stretch of the 2020 season and we should not be getting 39.5 yards here, especially with Mahomes dinged up.
- The Bills are not worried about establishing the run. This offense is likely to come out slinging it against the Chiefs just like they did against the Ravens last week when they made only token attempts to run the ball before for the fourth quarter.
From @ESPNStatsInfo: The Bills passed (attempts + sacks) on 23 of 26 plays in the 1st half, or 88.5%.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 17, 2021
According to Elias, the highest pass percentage in a playoff game all-time is 85.7% -- by the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX (54 of 63 plays).
- There should be no illusions about how you beat Patrick Mahomes II. Trying to run the ball and play keep away does not work. You have to be aggressive and try to score a bunch of points. This is the way.
Points needed to beat the Chiefs in their nine losses with Patrick Mahomes II under center....— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) January 20, 2021
Playing "keep away" has essentially worked once. You have to come in with a Rocky Balboa mindset and just throw with them. pic.twitter.com/7P18llM9lz
- While no defense is going to completely stop Patrick Mahomes II, the Bills defense should have the talent to at least slow the Chiefs passing attack. Buffalo allowed just 6.1 yards per passing attempt this season. Tre’Davious White is one of the league’s top corners and should at least be able to slow Tyreek Hill. Tremaine Edmunds is one of the longest and most athletic linebackers in the NFL and should have some coverage wins against Travis Kelce.
- While Kelce scored a pair of touchdowns in the Week 6 meeting against the Bills, Edmunds was able to hold him to his third-lowest yardage total (65 yards) of the season.
Number 2: Overs for Brown and Kelce
- Travis Kelce has gone over 20.5 fantasy points eight times in his last nine games.
- He has scored a touchdown in five straight games. If he gets into the end zone for a sixth-straight game, we should feel great about the over. In his last 10 games he scored a touchdown, Kelce has scored more than 20.5 fantasy points every single time.
- As Willie McGinest noted, the Bills are likely to ask Tremaine Edmunds to cover Travis Kelce 1-on-1 with some regularity. That was a matchup Kelce exploited when these teams last played and one he can win down in the red zone. He scored two touchdowns against the Bills in their previous matchup.
Tremaine Edmunds terrible coverage. Kelce touchdown— Sal Maiorana (@salmaiorana) October 19, 2020
- John Brown has struggled with health this season but looks to be rounding into shape at just the right time. We were on Brown’s receiving yardage total last week and he hit the over before halftime.
- If we assume that the Bills take a pass-heavy approach again with Zach Moss out, Brown should see a bunch of targets. He was targeted a whopping 11 times last week and should be Allen’s #2 target behind only Stefon Diggs again this week.
- We are getting some positive correlation here. If one of the top targets for one of these teams has a relatively big day, the top pass catchers on the other side are more likely to hit their overs as well.
Number 1: Shooting our shot on a shootout
Overs Across the Board
- This is admittedly a bit of a long shot play but we are getting a healthy 15X payout if this one hits.
- The positive correlations on this play are overwhelming. It starts with the quarterbacks. If both Patrick Mahomes II and Josh Allen throw for 309+ passing yards, then odds increase dramatically that Kelce and Hill have big receiving days and that Stefon Diggs has yet another 100+ yard receiving day.
- Even without the positive correlations, there is solid value in each of these overs.
- Stefon Diggs has averaged 117.7 receiving yards per game over his last seven and he sat the entire second half in one of those games.
- Travis Kelce has had more than 7.5 catches eight times in his last nine games.
- Tyreek Hill has had more than 5.5 catches six times in his last eight games. Both times he failed to reach this total, he played less than his full complement of snaps because he was nursing an ankle injury. This is our favorite individual prop of the entire weekend.