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: +42 units
During the Conference Championship Games, we suffered our worst beat of the season as a play went from winner to loser in unbelievable fashion. Let's review.
- Our best call of the week was one we called "Under Jones," taking the under on rushing yards for Aaron Jones (76.5) and Ronald Jones II (61.5). They finished with 27 and 16 rushing yards, respectively.
- We had a miss worthy of Scott Van Pelt's Bad Beats segment. Our pick was Aaron Rodgers over 22.5 fantasy points and Tom Brady over 20.5 fantasy points. Rodgers got there (24.8) but Brady came up just short (20.1). However, it was the way Brady came up just short that made this one frustrating. Just one minute after halftime, he threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Cam Brate, his third touchdown pass of the day. Along with his yardage total, he had already hit the over on his fantasy points at 20.6. However, it was all downhill from there. Brady threw interceptions (-1 fantasy point each) on each of the Buccaneers' next three possessions, dropping him back below 20.5 fantasy points and he came up just short on the game. He somehow managed to score negative fantasy points over the final 28 minutes of the contest.
- We hit only one side of our Travis Kelce/John Brown pick. Kelce went way over 20.5 fantasy points (36.8) but Brown had a quiet day and went under 11.5 fantasy points.
- We were on the wrong side of a Buffalo passing-game stack with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs coming up short against Patrick Mahomes II and Kelce.
- Our longshot 5-prop parlay was one decent completion from Allen to Diggs away from hitting. All three of our Kansas City picks hit but Allen and Diggs both came up about 20 yards short.
Number 5: GOAT and the Future GOAT
- With all of our props this week coming from the same game, we have to start with the quarterbacks. Do we think this game is a shootout or defensively dominated? These are a pair of very talented defenses playing at a high level. However, when in doubt, we should side with greatness. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL. Patrick Mahomes II has a strong chance to one day end up challenging for that mantle. All of our picks this week are going to flow from the assumption that these two both show up in a big way.
- One of the best things about Monkey Knife Fight player props is that we can use correlation to gain an edge. This is a great example. If one of the two quarterbacks has a big passing day, the other is more likely to hit his over as well.
- Footballguys legend David Dodds has been doing projections for over 20 years. In his Game Predictor this week, he projects Mahomes and the Chiefs to pass for 346 yards and Brady and the Buccaneers to pass for 309 yards. Even with these high passing props, we see some small amount of value here on the over side.
- All signs point to a pass-heavy game script. The Chiefs offense attempted the 4th-most passes in the NFL (39.2 per game) and are facing a Tampa Bay defense that forces teams to throw more than they normally would. In fact, the Buccaneers defense faced a higher percentage of pass plays against (65.4%) than any team in the NFL.
- Tampa Bay is also a pass-heavy offense, attempting 38.7 passes per game (6th-most). In their regular-season meeting against the Chiefs, Tampa Bay ran the ball just 13 times. While some of this was due to falling behind early, Tampa Bay had little offensive success prior to abandoning the run entirely in a valiant attempt at a late comeback.
- The Chiefs were also extremely pass-heavy in the regular-season meeting, with Patrick Mahomes II attempting 49 passes and throwing for a season-high 462 passing yards. These numbers could have been even more dramatic had the Chiefs not jumped out to an early lead.
- One strong indicator of whether a pass-heavy approach can be successful is a team's conversion rate on 3rd-and-long and 3rd-and-medium. If a team is able to convert at a high rate on these types of plays, it indicates an ability to have passing success even when the other team expects pass. The biggest difference between this Buccaneers offense during their current win streak and their relative struggles midway through the season is the quantum leap forward Tampa Bay has made on third-down passes.
Buc's third down passing offense has been great in the playoffs (51% success rate) so what are they doing well?— Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina) February 3, 2021
1 big thing: taking deep shots from reduced splits or form the slot. Buy some extra space outside with the WR inside the numbers. pic.twitter.com/Y8mUuqvUrq
Number 4: Elite Wide Receivers Make Plays
- As noted above, we are going to err on the side of believing that two elite quarterbacks and some great offensive coaching minds (Andy Reid, Bruce Arians, Eric Bienemy, and Byron Leftwich) show out on the big stage. If we think Brady and Mahomes have big days throwing the ball, it is easy to understand why we also like the chances of their top targets.
- As with the quarterbacks, we are also getting a positive correlation between the receiving success of these two team's top wide receivers. There is a reason why "running it back" with an opposing team's top wide receiver along with your primary stack is such an effective daily fantasy strategy.
- In the previous meeting between these two teams, Hill and Evans combined to score 5 touchdowns on 24 targets. Neither defense had an answer for the opposing star.
- Hill had a career game the last time he faced this Tampa Bay defense, catching 13 passes for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns.
- While the Buccaneers will certainly make adjustments to their game plan to try to limit Hill, including plenty of double teams, Hill should still get his. His on-field speed is unmatched and Tampa Bay's top cornerback, Carlton Davis, has struggled against speed receivers at times. Davis is a long, physical cornerback with solid athleticism but he ran a 4.53-second forty-yard dash at the combine. As you can see in the highlights above, he simply could not stick with Hill when Hill hit top gear. Hill's elite play speed combined with the ability of Patrick Mahomes II to extend plays allows him to earn separation even when seeing extra defensive attention.
What makes Tyreek Hill one of the NFL's best offensive playmakers?@cheetah has rare 🚀 off the line of scrimmage, especially when trying to get vertical on corner, post, go & crossing routes.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) February 3, 2021
📷: Avg Top Speed (MPH) within 1 second by route type#SBLV | #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/hzE5yVaoYC
Number 3: Super Bowl Super Parlay
All the Overs
- It is the Super Bowl and we should have some fun. After grinding it out all season, we are +43 units and can take a few chances on odds with a longer shot of hitting.
- Even when taking some shots at longer odds, we want to leverage correlation to increase our chances of success. Here, we are simply betting on a pass-heavy game script for both teams and relatively high-scoring games. In that realistic scenario, the overs on each of these props hits a decent amount of the time. We are getting 35X our money if this hits, so if this scenario plays out even 1 in 30 times, we come out ahead in the long run.
- The skill sets of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are perfect complements to each other. It makes it nearly impossible for teams to take both of them away from the Chiefs since Hill often demands extra safety attention due to his deep speed and it is hard to use an extra safety over top of Hill while also trying to double Kelce in the middle of the field.
#Chiefs TE Travis Kelce & WR Tyreek Hill have become one of the best receiving duos in NFL history. I asked Patrick Mahomes II how they play off one another so well - his answer & more in this @nfltotalaccess Super Bowl LV report👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/kmS0eJ1lfI— Omar Ruiz (@OmarDRuiz) February 3, 2021
- Sammy Watkins is poised to return from a nagging calf injury that he re-aggravated in Week 16. He is another key aspect of this offense since he is likely to see single coverage almost exclusively. If he is healthy enough to make plays, the odds that Mahomes has a big passing day increase substantially.
Number 2: Combined Receiving Yardage
Over 345.5 for 5X
- With only one game on the slate, we are going to dig deeper into some alternative props this week. For the first time all season, we are going to target a combined receiving yardage prop. This is another fun way to attack the receiving overs given that we are banking on this game turning into a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair.
- Given that we only project this trio for 267 receiving yards, there is not much value on the 2X or 3X props. Instead, it makes sense to swing for the fences with the 5X target.
- These three players are uniquely well-suited for one of these combined yardage props. For this to hit, we know we are likely to need at least one huge receiving day from one in the trio.
- Luckily, each of these players has proven to have a huge receiving yardage upside.
- Kelce has had 109+ receiving yards in 7-of-10 weeks going back to Week 8. He has the highest floor of the group and has a great chance to make a strong contribution to the total.
- Hill and Evans are two of the highest-upside receivers in the NFL. Evans has had four games with 180+ receiving yards over the last two seasons. If he has his fifth such game in the Super Bowl, we are very likely to hit our 5X. Hill also has massive individual upside. The last time these two teams met, he had 269 receiving yards. Hill has an unmatched ability to get behind the defense to score long touchdowns. If he can hit on one long score in this game, the odds of our hitting the 5X goal increase substantially.