Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers SF -9.5, O/U 42
This game deserves every bit of the 10 point spread in favor of the 49ers. The 49ers have won ten in a row with seven of them coming in the way of a double digit victory. One of those three games that they won by single digits was, however, the Seattle Seahawks, whom the 49ers took down in Seattle 21-13 back in Week 15 on TNF.
The Week 2 matchup between the 49ers and Seahawks feels like centuries ago and in this game, the 49ers won 27-7. In that game, Geno Smith went 24/30 for 197 scoresless yards with one turnover. The 49ers completely dominated him and Geno didn’t do a ton better in their Week 15 matchup. In that matchup, Geno went 31/44 for 238 yards and a score but was able to secure the ball with zero turnovers. The Seahawks are going to have a hard time sustaining long drives against the 49ers unless Geno Smith can find some success, something he has been unable to do against this team this year. Both Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf can be considered as one-off players for DFS purposes with my slight nod going to Tyler Lockett as the 49ers are more susceptible to the slot than perimeter WRs. You could also take a look at the Seahawks TE, Noah Fant as a DFS option. Fant has seen at least three targets in each of his last four games, gathering 13 receptions for 104 yards and two scores in that span. The last time the Seahawks faced the 49ers in Week 15, Fant saw six targets, catching five of them for 32 yards and a score.
I’m not interested at all in Kenneth Walker this weekend. Walker has been good to close out his rookie year, rushing for 354 yards on 78 carries (4.54 YPC) over his last three games and is largely dependent on volume in games that the Seahawks have been competitive in. Walker gets next to no air work but it is worth mentioning that he saw five targets, catching four of them for 32 yards against this 49ers team in Week 15. In that game he ran the ball 12 times for 47 scoreless yards and I expect more of the same outcome in this one as the 49ers gave up the fewest fantasy points to opposing backs in the NFL over the course of the 2022 season.
Brock Purdy has been ballin out since becoming the starting QB for the 49ers. The 49ers have scored 33, 35, 21, 37, 37, and 38 points in the six games since Purdy became the starter. He has thrown for at least two TDs in every single start this season for the 49ers, amassing 1,308 passing yards over his six starts with the aforementioned 6-0 record over that span. He doesn’t do anything special, he just doesn’t make mistakes which I suppose is special in its own right. He distributes the ball to his elite playmakers and lets Kyle Shanahan call a great game and the talent group around him makes him look great. Of the talent group, I like Deebo Samuel to make his impact felt in this game. The Seahawks are susceptible to the middle of the field and on the ground, both places where Deebo should see the majority of his touches. I also like George Kittle at TE and I would advise against rostering Brandon Aiyuk. The Seahawks have clamped perimeter WRs all year long. Both of the rookie outside corners for the Seahawks have played exceptionally well and I don’t expect Shanahan to willingly attack that area of the field.
Christian McCaffrey is going to eat in this game. The Seahawks have leaked fantasy points to opposing RBs all year, especially as of late. Since Week 10, they’ve given up the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing backs and have given up the most amongst the remaining teams still playing. I think we all know the talent that is Christian McCaffrey, and he is going to see the volume to back it up. The 49ers paid a good amount of draft capital to bring CMC into the fold and he hasn’t disappointed. I would be shocked if he doesn’t top 100 total yards on 25+ touches in this game with a chance at multiple scores. He is the clear cut, raw top RB choice for fantasy this weekend. However, I do want to mention Elijah Mitchell who is likely to spell off of CMC in this game. Mitchell looked healthy in the 49ers Week 18 win over the Cardinals. He played ten snaps in that game, running the ball five times for 55 yards and two scores. With his speed and the running lanes he is likely to have, I like his odds of getting in the endzone at +270.
I think the 49ers handle the Seahawks easily in this game. Christian McCaffrey is going to be running in wide open holes all day and be used as the focal point of the offense with Deebo mixed in.
LA Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars LAC -2.5, O/U 47.5
Both the LA Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars are playing very good football as they enter into the playoff fold. The Chargers were on a four game winning streak before losing to the Broncos in Week 18 to close out the season. The Jacksonville Jaguars closed out an epic Division comeback after starting the season 3-7, finishing with a 9-8 record. They won six of their final seven games including a five game win streak to end the season.
Justin Herbert enters this game having thrown the 2nd most pass attempts in the NFL this season. He has thrown the ball an average of 41.12 times per game and I expect that to continue in this matchup against the Jaguars in a game that carries the highest game total on the slate next to the Giants & Vikings matchup. Due to unknown circumstances, the Chargers played their starters for the entirety of their season finale against the Broncos in Week 18. They lost Mike Williams in the game and he is likely out for the game this weekend. This would mean Joshua Palmer steps up and will play outside for the Chargers in an expanded role but where we want to attack the Jaguars defense is over the middle. The Jaguars have played sound ball against perimeter WRs but have been susceptible to the slot where Keenan Allen patrols. Since coming back in Week 11, Keenan has seen double digit targets in four of those eight games. He has caught at least five balls in every single one and has touched 14 targets in three of them. He is back to his former self and the Chargers will rely heavily on Keenan this week, he should be viewed as a premier DFS option, especially on Draftkings. If you want to save money from Keenan Allen, you can take a look at Joshua Palmer who is going to be filling in for Mike Williams on the perimeter or DeAndre Carter who will continue his role as a big play threat for this Chargers offense. Nothing in particular sticks out about either matchup but Palmer should see the volume of 5+ targets and Carter will get at least one big play opportunity in this game. Gerald Everett is a play based on scoring a TD as I don’t envision him commanding enough volume to be DFS relevant outside of the showdown slate.
Austin Ekeler finished this season as the RB1 overall and looks to continue his pace through the air against the Jaguars this weekend. In the first matchup between these two teams, Ekeler caught all eight of his balls for 48 scoreless yards. Over his last three games he has seen exactly four targets in each of them, catching all 12 of those targets for 87 scoreless yards. The Jaguars have given up the 2nd most receptions to RBs this season, giving up 107 for 815 yards to opposing backs. The Jags have also found their identity on defense which is stepping up to the plate and stopping opposing teams on the ground. I don’t expect Ekeler to have a ton of success running it here but 6+ targets should be the expectation here. It is worth mentioning that Ekeler’s air volume has dropped dramatically since Keenan Allen has returned to full health. I’m acknowledging that as a reality but also shoving it to the side given this is a must win game and Mike Williams is out. This offense will funnel almost completely through Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler on Saturday night.
Trevor Lawrence has played nearly perfect over the Jaguars winning streak and played perfect in the Jaguars early season win over the Chargers. In that game, Trevor Lawrence went 28/39 for 262 yards and three scores without a turnover. Since Week 12, Lawrence has scored 19.5 points per game, going 160/236 for 1,779 passing yards with 12 scores and 2 picks over that time, having people bring his name up in MVP talks. He has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal as well with Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Evan Engram, and Travis Etienne all playing at a high level. The Chargers play very stout pass defense and since Week 10 they have given up 210 passing yards per game to opposing QBs, with opposing perimeter WRs only scoring 11.2 PPR points per game and slot WRs only scoring 12.8 per game. I do think the Jaguars have success in the air here but where they will win the game is on the ground with Travis Etienne. One player we can’t sleep on is Jamal Agnew. Pederson is known for his creativity and Agnew is a quiet playmaker who Pederson will design plays for throughout the game. If Lawrence didn’t fumble the pitch to Agnew in Week 18, Agnew would have walked in with a 30-yard TD. Playing Agnew’s Anytime TD prop at +850 has tremendous value.
Travis Etienne has exploded onto the scene in his first healthy year in the league, rushing for 100+ yards five times this season, finishing with 1,125 total on the season which was the 9th most in the NFL. He will face off against one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL, a defense that funnels opposing offenses to run the ball. On the season, they have been smoked for 5.6 yards per carry from opposing backs, giving up the 7th most PPR points to opposing backs while only giving up 5.6 points per game in the air to the RBs, which is the least amongst all teams in the bottom 10. Etienne will have plenty of room to run in this game and should explode for at least one long run.
The Jaguars are going to pull this one off at home. They severely outmatch the Chargers in terms of coaching and I think it will show here. The Charger’s inability to stop the run is likely going to end their season when they won’t be able to get off the field as the Jaguars offense has their way running the ball late in the game.