The NFL was still in full swing on Tuesday Night of Christmas Week when the Rams and Eagles picked up crucial wins over the Seahawks and Football Team in their respective matchups, and with these games in the books, NFL fans need to start preparing for the holiday slate on a quick turnaround. This article will cover The Professor’s low-cost options for DFS on the Sunday slate of NFL action on Christmas Weekend.
Derek Carr, DEN @ LVR, $7000 FanDuel / $5800 DraftKings
Derek Carr’s performance at the end of the Raiders’ comeback win over the Browns was a microcosm of Carr’s time with the Raiders; mistakes were made, some by Carr himself, but he showed no quit and managed to pull out a win, in part because the Raiders faced a mediocre opponent. Carr went for 341 passing yards and two touchdowns when the Raiders won 34-24 in Denver earlier this season; Denver’s defense has played better football of late, but now Carr gets them at home as he looks to repeat the performance.
Joe Burrow, BAL @ CIN, $7100 FanDuel / $5900 DraftKings
Joe Burrow posted an underwhelming stat line against Denver last week but got the win on the road; now he faces a less-talented, injury-depleted Ravens defense with the AFC North on the line. Star running back Joe Mixon is nursing a sprained ankle, which puts more weight on Burrow’s shoulders, but the former LSU star has answered the bell when his team has had its back against the wall this season. Burrow has thrown fewer than two touchdowns in five of the last six games after he rattled off three straight games with three touchdown passes in the middle of the NFL season; look for him to break out of this funk in a spotlight moment.
Jalen Hurts, NYG @ PHI, $7700 FanDuel / $6400 DraftKings
Jalen Hurts is available at a relatively low price after his recent absence with an ankle injury, but despite being credited with an early interception that tight end Dallas Goedert dropped, then inadvertently kicked up to Landon Collins, Hurts got off to a strong start in his return, completing 20 of his 26 pass attempts in the first half and running for two touchdowns. Hurts had a nightmarish three-interception performance against the Giants in their first matchup, but he should rebound in the rematch.
Miles Sanders, NYG @ PHI, $6400 FanDuel / $5600 DraftKings
Several obstacles have conspired to limit Miles Sanders’ production this season: first, the Eagles went with a bizarre, pass-heavy approach for much of the early season, then Sanders got hurt the same week the team re-focused on the run, and then quarterback Jalen Hurts when Sanders got back in the mix. With all of that behind him, Philadelphia’s talented back is set up for a strong finish to the season as the Eagles chase a playoff berth. Sanders ran for 131 yards against Washington to close out Week 15 and is an attractive option at this price point.
Ronald Jones, TB @ CAR, $5400 FanDuel / $5100 DraftKings
Starting running back Leonard Fournette will be unavailable for Tampa Bay this week, which sets Ronald Jones up with a critical opportunity this week. Jones has averaged 5.1 yards per carry this season, and while Tampa Bay was able to get the whole band back together for 2021, general manager Jason Licht will need to start making some tough decisions the longer the Brady era goes on. Fournette has earned a pay raise with his play during this NFL season; Jones has one season left on his rookie deal, so if he can step up as the lead back in Fournette’s absence, it could mean that his backfield mate has to find that paycheck elsewhere next year.
Justin Jackson, LAC @ HOU, $5400 FanDuel / $4200 DraftKings
Austin Ekeler will need to play a starring role if the Chargers are going to go anywhere in the NFL playoffs, and with Ekeler battling multiple nagging injuries entering this game, the Chargers could look to lean on his backups if they are able to get a lead on the lowly Houston Texans. Justin Jackson’s frequent injury issues have prevented him from establishing a consistent role, but the Northwestern product has put up strong numbers when he gets on the field play could get an opportunity to build on the 99 total yards he posted last week.
Gabriel Davis, BUF @ NE, $5300 FanDuel / $4700 DraftKings
Gabriel Davis is primed to play a significant role for the Bills this week; fellow receiver Cole Beasley is on the COVID list and Emmanuel Sanders has tailed off in the second half of the NFL season, which means that quarterback Josh Allen needs Davis to continue to step up as his role expands. Given the issues Buffalo has had running the ball with anyone besides their quarterback, this might be a blessing in disguise; Beasley and Sanders are savvy route runners but can’t match Davis’s height-weight-speed combination, and the young receiver’s size and physicality could boost an offense that needs an attitude injection.
Tee Higgins, BAL @ CIN, $6500 FanDuel / $6200 DraftKings
Tee Higgins saw his streak of 100-yard receiving games end at three when the Broncos held him to two catches and 23 yards, but the former Clemson Tiger could have a huge impact against the Ravens this week. Higgins was targeted 15 times the first time the teams matched up but only managed seven catches for 62 yards; the second-year receiver has found a new level since then and should post big numbers if he gets half of the 15 targets he saw the first time around.
Mike Williams, LAC @ HOU, $6600 FanDuel / $6100 DraftKings
Another lanky receiver who played for the Clemson Tigers, Mike Williams only caught three of his nine targets against the Chiefs last week, but the fact that quarterback Justin Herbert targeted Williams so frequently in the endzone bodes well for his fantasy prospects moving forward. The Chargers have made this game against the Texans a must-win after their loss to the Chiefs last week; look for Herbert to come out humming and for Williams to get in on the action with a big play downfield.
Dallas Goedert, NYG @ PHI, $5900 FanDuel / $5100 DraftKings
Dallas Goedert posted his second consecutive 100-yard game on Tuesday, racking up 135 receiving yards against the Football Team and dispelling the notion that Goedert and quarterback Jalen Hurts lacked chemistry. The tight end is looking for revenge after he only had one catch for three yards in the first game against the Giants; Goedert should continue to build his rapport with quarterback Jalen Hurts as the Eagles take on New York ahead of their rematch with the Football Team in two weeks. It’s a schedule that sets the tight end up for a memorable end to the NFL season.
This article covered The Professor’s low-cost DFS plays for the upcoming week. For more fantasy content from The Professor check out his weekly appearance on Razor’s RedZone and the rest of his content on BeerLife Sports!
Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.
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