The Professor’s NFL Week 3 In Review

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Week 3 is in the books and it’s time to tally the Professor’s wins and losses. This article will review the Professor’s Prop Bet wins and losses, and he will assign grades to the Survivor Pool and DFS advice provided on Razor’s Red Zone.

Prop Bets: 6-2 (75.0%) in Week 3, 16-12 (57.1%) on season

Russell Wilson, QB, SEA, Over 283.5 Passing Yards: Win

Russell Wilson did not rack up the touchdown numbers I thought he might, but Seattle’s garbage-time drive saw Wilson rack up 39 passing yards to finish with 298 for the game, which was over the number at 283.5. In a game where the Seahawks were down by thirteen, this prop bet win was a Hardball moment (for those familiar with the Keanu Reeves film).

Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN, Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns: Win

Kirk Cousins hit two touchdowns early and finished with three in Minnesota’s win over the San Francisco 49ers. This Vikings offense is clicking, with tight end Tyler Conklin showing he can be a productive receiver in addition to his role as an in-line blocker.

Nick Chubb, RB, CLE, Over 77.5 Rushing Yards: Win

I mentioned in the Chubb writeup that he would be unable to maintain his 6.8 yards per carry from the first two weeks and that hit home in a big way, but Chubb managed 84 yards on his 22 carries (3.8 ypc) and got over the 77.5-yard mark. Cleveland ran the ball 42 times in their victory over Chicago.

Devin Singletary, RB, BUF, Over 14.5 Receiving Yards: Loss

Six Bills racked up over 14.5 receiving yards, but Singletary was not one of them, with one catch on two targets for zero yards in a disappointing performance. It’s been a wild ride in the Buffalo backfield, which had Zack Moss inactive Week One, in the secondary role in Week Two, and producing more efficient numbers while handling more carries and targets than Singletary in Week Three. There’s a long season ahead, but Moss appears to be wresting away this job.

Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, JAX, Under 51.5 Receiving Yards: Win

Until I did this review, I thought I had lost the Shenault prop because I had my model’s number (41.6) as 41.5 in my head and the 48 yards Shenault posted is obviously over that. Fortunately, it is under 51.5, so this one was a narrow win. The secondary bet offered on quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s interceptions at 0.5 also cleared in notable fashion, but at -230 I’m not counting a win.

Allen Lazard, WR, GB, Over 2.5 Receptions: Win

Lazard made his lone target count, hauling in one catch for 42 yards, but fortunately, this bet was on the number of receptions and not the total receiving yards. Fellow receiver Davante Adams sucked up 18 of Green Bay’s 31 targets and will make it difficult for any other Green Bay receiver to get consistent week-to-week volume.

Mark Andrews, TE, BAL, Over 49.5 Receiving Yards: Win

The stars of the day for the Baltimore were receiver Sammy Watkins and kicker Justin Tucker, but Andrews had a big day as well with five receptions for 109 receiving yards, easily clearing the 49.5 for this prop bet.

Teaser: Justin Herbert, QB, LAC, Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns and Darius Slayton, WR, NYG, Over 2.5 Receptions: Loss

Herbert held up his end of this prop bet, but Slayton pulled a hamstring and left in the first half with only one catch to his name, so the “teaser” goes in the books as a loss.


Razor’s Red Zone Grades

Survivor Pool Favorites: Carolina, Baltimore

The Survivor Pool is a pass/fail grade, so while Carolina won comfortably and Baltimore had to rely on one of the most unlikely final drives the NFL could produce, they both get a Pass.

Survivor Pool Contrarian: New England

New England got waxed at home 28-13, with rookie quarterback Mac Jones throwing three interceptions. New England’s first two opponents (Miami, New York Jets) have not been impressive and after three weeks, the AFC East looks like a one-team division despite Buffalo’s Week One Loss. This selection gets a Fail.

Thursday Night MVP: Sam Darnold, QB, CAR

Quarterback Sam Darnold was the night’s MVP with running back Christian McCaffrey exiting early with a hamstring injury. It was a close pick between the two for the MVP slot, but the Darnold pick gets an A for the night.

Thursday Night Must-Have: D.J. Moore, WR, CAR, and Robby Anderson, WR, CAR

Carolina’s top two receivers from 2020 both appeared to be attractive plays with Darnold, but the 2021 Carolina target share has changed dramatically from 2020. Moore is the clear number one receiver and his eight-catch, 126-yard performance gets this pick a B+, but Anderson has found himself lost in the mix with other pass-catchers including Dan Arnold and rookies Terrace Marshal Jr. and Tommy Tremble emerging. It doesn’t help that Anderson dropped a routine hook route on Thursday, but it’s a strange scenario given the significant contract extension he signed before the season. Anderson posted one catch for eight yards, which gets an F.

Thursday Night Savings: David Johnson, RB, HOU or Phillip Lindsay, RB, HOU

The Texans running back duo were an attempt to get some production from a cluttered backfield, but this busted. Johnson had two carries for eleven yards with no receptions, which gets an F, and Lindsay had seven carries for five yards, which gets an F+ because he did tie for the second-most touches on Houston even if he did nothing with them. Receiver Anthony Miller was a far better option. Carolina saw rookies Chubba Hubbard (RB) and Tommy Tremble (TE) post production and both are options to watch moving forward; Tremble only had two touches (one run, one catch) but he moves fluidly for a big man and has the tools to be a weapon at the tight end position.

Sunday Slate QBs: Russell Wilson, QB, SEA (Star) and Justin Fields, QB, CHI or Justin Herbert, QB, LAC (Value)

Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards and one touchdown, which might get by in a 50/50 or small pool, but isn’t winning anything big. More was expected against this Minnesota defense; the Wilson recommendation gets a C-.

The Justin Fields value pick gets an F; when a quarterback’s combined pass completions and rush attempts is equal to the number of sacks he took, it’s an obvious indicator the day went poorly. It will be interesting to watch how Fields responds moving forward. Justin Herbert’s name was also included as a more expensive “value” and he posted four touchdowns and 281 passing yards, which gets an A.

Sunday Slate RBs: Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN (Star) and Javonte Williams, RB, DEN (Value)

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was out against the Seahawks, so this grade comes back as an incomplete. Backup Alexander Mattison had a productive day in Cook’s absence.

Javonte Williams lost a fumble on the goal line on a run that would have given him a second rushing touchdown on the day. Williams did not pull ahead in the carry share as both he and veteran Melvin Gordon struggled to run efficiently (2.6 yards per carry Williams, 3.4 Gordon), but he did score a touchdown and catch three balls for 33 yards despite only running for 29 yards. He got a touchdown as a value pick, so this pick gets a C+.

Sunday Slate WRs: D.K. Metcalf, WR, SEA and Stefon Diggs, WR, BUF (Star) and Rondale Moore, ARI (Value)

D.K. Metcalf had a breakout game against Minnesota, at least as far as 2021 goes. His six receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown were solid, if not spectacular, and the selection gets a B.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen found his rhythm based on the numbers, but Diggs wasn’t the main beneficiary this week, coming in second to Cole Beasley in targets and third in receiving yards behind Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders, the latter of whom pulled in two touchdowns. Diggs posted six receptions for sixty-two yards, which isn’t a disaster but gets a D+.

Rondale Moore posted all of one yard on his two receptions as the Cardinals relied on A.J. Green and Christian Kirk in the passing game. This value pick gets an F, but I’m still in on Moore for the season, though Arizona has a far deeper cast of weapons than in past years with coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray, so this could be a guessing game.

Conclusion

This article reviewed The Professor’s advice on BeerLife Sports for Week 3. It was a second straight strong week on prop bets with a 6-2 record and the Survivor Pool Favorites won, but The Professor will be hard at work identifying contrarian picks and fantasy values for Week 4 after a lackluster performance. The Professor’s model output, game previews, cheat sheets, prop bet articles, and appearances on Razor’s RedZone are all available at BeerLife Sports.

About the author:

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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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