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NFL Daily Plug: Monday Edition

The Monday Daily Plug is an abbreviated version of the Sunday Daily Plug, intended to give you a quick rundown on Monday's NFL matchup for DFS and sports betting purposes. The highlights:

  • Players to target/avoid in the Monday game
  • Recommended bankroll allocation for the Monday Showdown slate
  • Optimal contest selection for the single game slate

For analysis on every player for this slate, check out the Occupy Model.

Let’s get to the game!

Betting Odds

Denver -3 (opened DEN -3), 42.5 (opened 45)

Team Totals:

Broncos: 22.75
Raiders: 19.75

Spread %s:

Broncos: 46%
Raiders: 54%

Expensive Plays

Case Keenum, DEN QB & Derek Carr, OAK QB
Seeing as how this is the second divisional matchup of the season between these two teams and it’s expected to be poor weather conditions (rain and 15-20 mph winds), the total in this game has dropped 2.5 points since the line opened (from 45 to 42.5).

So, this is a great slate to ignore the QB position in high-risk contests, as neither Derek Carr nor Case Keenum has inspired much confidence for fantasy players this season. We must note, however, that Carr ranks higher than Keenum in our Occupy Model -- this has been a rarity this season when the more expensive QB is ranked higher on the single game slate.

In low-risk contests, we prefer fitting just one of these QBs, and we’ll side with our model in giving Carr the edge.

Phillip Lindsay, DEN RB
The most expensive player on DraftKings tonight -- and second-most expensive on FanDuel -- expect the electric rookie to be one of the highest-owned players on the slate. He’s disappointed over the last two weeks, rushing for just 54 yards on 28 carries, but it should be easier sledding tonight against one of the worst rush defenses in the league in Oakland. The weather should put the ball in the RBs’ hands more tonight, and Lindsay has the highest floor/ceiling of any back on the field. Lindsay is an ideal MVP candidate for either site in any contest type. Because of his popularity, though, just know you’ll have to differentiate the rest of your lineup in high-risk contests.

Jared Cook, OAK TE
Jared Cook has been Carr’s favorite target this season, racking up 93 targets and producing the best fantasy season of his 10-year career. Leading the team in air yards over the last two weeks, Cook has potentially the highest upside of any receiving option on tonight’s single game slate. It’s rare to suggest it, but this tight end is an MVP/CPT option in high-risk contests.

Value Plays

Tim Patrick, DEN WR & DeSean Hamilton, DEN WR
Yeah, the DEN WR corps is a bit different looking now than from the preseason depth chart. With Demaryius Thomas traded and Emmanuel Sanders out for the year, Hamilton and Patrick have stepped into featured roles in the Broncos offense. Since Sanders went down before the Week 14 game, Patrick and Hamilton have earned identical air yards shares (32 percent) and nearly identical target shares (21 percent for Patrick, 23 percent for Hamilton). Hamilton has done a lot more with his air yards than Hamilton, doubling Hamilton's yardage total over the last two games (150 to 75). We think both are great plays in all contest types, while giving Hamilton the edge in lower-risk contests because of his higher floor based on his role in the slot. Like Cook, both are sneaky MVP options in high-risk contests.

Jordy Nelson, OAK WR and Marcell Ateman, OAK WR
Jordy Nelson leads the Raiders in targets over the last three weeks (26), so he’s the preferred WR if you’re picking someone from the Oakland side. If you need a cheap, high-risk flier to help fit in higher-priced guys, it’s hard to ignore Ateman’s team-leading 12.6 yards-per-target over the last two games.

Doug Martin, OAK RB
If this game remains as close the spread indicates, Doug Martin should approach 15 carries, which is more than enough to consider him as a value on this slate. It may be surprising to hear this, but Martin has 15 red zone opportunities over the last three weeks -- he has a legit shot at multiple TDs here.

Matt LaCosse, DEN TE
He’s cheap, and Keenum likes the tight end position, as LaCosse earned six targets last Saturday. A punt play, LaCosse has an excellent matchup versus the team allowing the second-highest percentage of passing yards to go to the tight end position this year. While we’re here, the other DEN TE, Brian Parker ($400, two targets each of last two games), is a high-risk punt on DraftKings.

Note: It’s probably wise to avoid the kickers on tonight’s slate given the weather. Instead, look towards both defenses on DraftKings in what should be a low-scoring affair.

Bankroll Allocation


A balanced approach, use 2-3% of your bankroll tonight.

Contest Selection

Use 50-75% of tonight’s allocation in a low-risk lineup. Use Lindsay or one of the QBs at the MVP spot, use at least one QB in a FLEX spot (if you don’t use one at MVP), and fill in the rest with the value plays and DSTs (on DK). Enter H2Hs and Double Ups.

Use the remaining allocation to look for a cross-sport satellite to target, creating 2-3 high-risk lineups with a RB or WR/TE in the MVP spot. RBs are generally better bets in lower scoring games as your MVP, so keep that in mind. As always, enter these high-risk lineups into 100-player leagues on FanDuel and Multipliers / Single Entry GPPs on DraftKings.

You can read more about risk tolerance and contest selection in our Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Profitable DFS Player.