3 Underdog NFL Picks For Wild Card Weekend: Fantasy Draft & DFS Pick Em Strategy
The NFL playoffs are here, and Underdog Pick Em contests allow fantasy players to predict stat lines and fantasy points for almost all fantasy-relevant players. Underdog entries are limited to five Pick Ems. DFS contests featuring fantasy football drafts are also available. Let’s look at some Underdog NFL picks for Super Wild Card Weekend. You can compare Underdog lines to odds at betting sites by checking out TheLines.com’s Prop Finder Tool.
underdog NFL Picks to consider For Super wild card weekend
Texans QB CJ Stroud
Underdog Line: 245.5 Passing Yards
Best Line At Sportsbooks:
While there is a lot of justifiable hype around rookie sensation CJ Stroud, I’m here to caution you in this spot. Stroud will face a Cleveland defense that has been elite this season. The Browns have surrendered the second-fewest passing yards and completions to opposing QBs this year. They have also forced the opposing QB to make many mistakes, as they are third in the league in INT’s.
Even when looking into the micro matchup for Stroud, there is much to be cautious about. According to Fantasy Points data, the Browns are scheming the fourth-most man coverage (36.3%) and second-most Cover 1 (33%). Stroud against man coverage (among 39 qualifiers):
- 52.9% completion (22nd)
- -0.11 EPA/play (38th)
This will also, obviously, be the rookie’s first-ever playoff game. With the Browns’ defense best in the league against the pass and only 15th against the rush, the Texans might focus more on establishing the run. A heavy dose of the run would make sense to keep the pressure off of Stroud, who might face some playoff jitters. For all those reasons, look for Stroud to go lower than 245.5 passing yards.
Browns TE David Njoku
Underdog Line: 55.5 Receiving Yards
Best Line At Sportsbooks:
This is a smash spot for Njoku, who is quietly becoming a focal point of this Browns offense. The ceiling in this spot is sky-high when looking at the matchup and the recent usage for Njoku. Regarding the matchup, the Texans allowed the most receptions, second-most targets, and fourth-most receiving yards to opposing TEs in 2023.
Regarding usage, the Browns have increased their pass rate since Joe Flacco took over as the starter, which is feeding into the hands of Njoku. With Flacco on the field, Cleveland has averaged 5.8 yards per play on offense, higher than all of previous Browns starting QB’s Deshaun Watson (5.1), P.J. Walker (4.2), and Dorian Thompson–Robinson (3.5).
Over Njoku’s last four games, the University of Miami product has averaged seven receptions, 93.25 yards, and 1.0 TDs. When these two teams played in December, Njoku got six catches. He didn’t quite get the yardage, but that was because the Texans allowed for over 200 yards to Amari Cooper. Assuming they learn that lesson, Njoku will benefit. 55.5 is too low, in my opinion.
Rams QB Matthew Stafford
Underdog Line: 271.5 Passing Yards
Best Line At Sportsbooks:
There are multiple reasons why higher than 271.5 makes perfect sense here. First, the Rams enter this game as an underdog, meaning they should be trailing. If LA is trailing, Stafford will be forced to throw the ball more than he typically does. Secondly, the Detroit pass defense has been downright awful this season.
Heading into this wild card game, Detroit’s pass defense has allowed the last three quarterbacks to throw for passing yardage totals of 396, 345, and 411. If Nick Mullens can break 396 twice in three weeks, Stafford should be similarly able to pick them apart. Having thrown for 300+ yards in back-to-back games while averaging over nine yards per pass attempt, Stafford should easily soar over this number. The other advantage is that Stafford will be well used to playing in Detroit, having been there for so many years.
Best of luck with your wild card weekend Underdog NFL picks.
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Underdog Pick em Contest tips
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