Though it seemed like we just might make it through the 2021-22 NFL season without the same level of COVID-induced madness as last year, we’re back to postponements and weird non-weekend schedules. In fact, two consecutive days with multiple games gets started this evening when the Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears all take the field.
Keeping in mind the health and safety of the players is the primary concern here, I don’t think anyone’s ever had an issue with six hours of football, right? Let’s break it down.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, $6,800 - This seems to be the best combination of talent and matchup on tonight’s slate. Cousins entered Week 15 sitting top five in the NFL in 300-yard passing games (5) and passing touchdowns (27), all while averaging a very respectable 0.54 DKFP per drop back — especially for a QB that doesn’t add any value with his legs. The Bears D/ST ($2,700) has also been hemorrhaging fantasy points to opposing pivots as of late, as the team has conceded an NFC-worst 7.8 yards per opponent pass attempt the past three weeks.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings, $5,300 - Fields has only made four starts since the beginning of Week 8; however, within that span of time, he’s averaging more DKFP per drop back (0.57) than Josh Allen, Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford. Obviously the rookie QB is still very inconsistent, but we’re all seeing the flashes of ceiling way more often than we were in the first half of the season. He’s also simply rushed for 245 yards in that aforementioned stretch, which will cure a lot of issues in fantasy. With the Vikings surrendering the second-most DKFP per contest to opposing QBs, Fields is in a great spot.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $7,900 - While it should be pointed out that Kareem Hunt (ankle/health protocols) being inactive doesn’t suddenly translate into Chubb seeing an insane snap share — he’ll split carries with D’Earnest Johnson ($5,400) — the Georgia product has exploded his in last two starts with Hunt unavailable. In matchups against the Lions and the Bengals, Chubb averaged 133.5 rushing yards and 29.4 DKFP. Considering the Raiders have allowed the third-most DKFP per game to opposing RBs, it’ll be difficult to fade Chubb on Monday.
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings, $5,900 - In the simplest terms, Montgomery is script-proof. The man just never leaves the field. Since returning from a length absence in Week 9, Montgomery has played on an eye-popping 83.0% of Chicago’s 329 offensive snaps. That is a level of volume that is becoming increasingly rare among starting RBs. In his last three games, Montgomery’s racked up 65 total touches and 19 targets. Again: Volume. Volume, volume and more volume.
Refer a friend and get $20 DK Dollars! Head to the DraftKings Playbook Promo page for more details!
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns, $6,500 - Even with safety John Johnson cleared from the league’s health protocols this morning, the Browns are going to be missing so many key pieces of their secondary. I assure you, no one who’s left is going to be able to cover Renfrow. Including the Dallas game where Darren Waller (knee) was initially injured, Renfrow has thrived as Las Vegas’ No. 1 target, averaging 10.0 receptions, 117.7 receiving yards and 26.5 DKFP per contest. I can’t envision a scenario where the Clemson product doesn’t see double-digit targets once again on Monday.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $4,200 - How much exposure do you really want to a Browns’ passing attack led by Nick Mullens ($4,900)? Well, while I probably wouldn’t want to start Mullens himself, Peoples-Jones should be the beneficiary of some extra volume with Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper in the league’s health protocols. The Raiders’ secondary has also been torn apart by WRs as of late, as the team has surrendered an NFL-worst 10.1 yards per target to opposing wideouts since Week 12.
Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, $4,200 - After seeing nine targets in Week 13 — in a contest where Adam Thielen ($6,700; ankle) only logged six snaps — Conklin only saw two targets in Week 14’s victory over the Steelers. So, you know, the returns have been inconsistent. Still, if Thielen is unable to play tonight, Conklin has some appeal. The tight end has an extremely notable 24.1% target share in the red zone in 2021 and the Vikings boast by far this slate’s highest implied team total.
Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $2,500 - We’re going to have to find some variance somewhere, right? Bryant’s currently questionable for tonight’s game with an ankle issue, but he appears on track to be active. With Hooper out, the sophomore should see some significant snaps and the Raiders have allowed five touchdowns to opposing TEs in their last six contests. It’s worth a shot.
Vikings D/ST, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, $3,200 - Though Fields has looked better as of late, this will still be just his 10th career start and 12th game. In the previous 11, he’s been sacked 33 times, thrown 10 interceptions and fumbled 10 times. The Bears as a team have turned the ball over on 15.4% of their drives this season — the fifth-highest mark in the league. I’d anticipate the Vikings being able to force some of these negative plays.
Raiders D/ST, Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns, $3,000 - At one point this week, the Browns had 20 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Mullens has been on the practice squad for the whole season and will have to start because Cleveland is missing their top two QBs. My faith in the Raiders defense has been low all season, but of the options we have on this slate, they’re clearly in the most advantageous spot.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.