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Week 15 NFL Sunday Instant Reactions & Week 16 Betting Lines Preview

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Matt Savoca reacts to the Week 15 NFL games, going over all the IMPORTANT NEWS and injuries, and gives an early look at Week 16 NFL betting lines

Welcome to the Week 15 edition of the Instant Reactions and Betting Lines Look Ahead column of the 2021 NFL season. The column will break down key stats and observations from around the NFL and provide tips for NFL DFS players and bettors looking to get an early jump on next week’s betting lines. Let us dive into the all the NFL DFS tips insights.

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Week 15 NFL DFS Sunday Reactions & Week 16 Betting

Scoring Was Down on Sunday

Sunday featured the fewest touchdowns on a day with 10-plus games since 1994. Three teams won by scoring less than 20 points, and only nine skill players scored more than 20 PPR points. Check with the Awesemo sports betting model to have the latest projections in the NFL going forward.

Tyler Huntley and Mark Andrews have a Special Bond

Only two players earned double-digit receptions, and both players happened to play for the Ravens. While Marquise Brown had a quality afternoon, earning a league-high 14 targets, it was Andrews who stole the show, catching 10 of 13 looks for 136 yards receiving, 58 of which he produced after the catch. Andrews has now seen 24 targets over his last two games and now ranks No. 1 in among all tight ends in targets per snap and total expected points added. Despite their big receiving days, the Ravens were not able to pull off the upset against Green Bay and now open Week 16 as 2.5-point underdogs on the road against the Bengals, who are now first in the AFC North. With both of the Ravens’ big receivers performing well with Huntley, and a chance for Lamar Jackson to return to the lineup, the Ravens moneyline does not look like a bad bet at all this week.

Week 15 Featured Tons of Targets to Tight Ends

Mark Andrews was not the only tight end soaking up opportunities within their respective offense this week, as Week 15 featured four tight ends who earned 10 or more looks. Travis Kelce began Week 15 with a bang by taking his 13th target to the house for a walk-off overtime touchdown to beat the Chargers. Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz each saw 11 targets, with both players earning 30% of their team’s air yards. Hunter Henry saw only eight targets, fifth most among tight ends in Week 15, but three were in the end zone, and he ultimately converted two for touchdowns during the Patriots’ losing effort against the Colts All four tight ends are on Week 16’s main slate, and all but the Ravens open the week as favorites.

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Kirk, Ertz Led Hopkins-less Cardinals in Targets

The Cardinals looked like an absolute disaster in Detroit, losing handily to the 1-11-1 Lions 30-12 in the biggest upset of the week. It was the first time in NFL history that a team with two wins or fewer beat a team with 10 or more wins by double digits. With DeAndre Hopkins sidelined for the foreseeable future, quarterback Kyler Murray struggled to get the offense going all afternoon, ultimately choosing to target four different receivers eight-plus times. A.J. Green, whom many expected to be the No. 1 option, was one of them, but Green tied with Antoine Wesley in both target share (16%) and red-zone target share (22%) on Sunday. Instead, Ertz saw 11 looks, while Christian Kirk led the team in targets and air yards, seeing a season-high 12 targets and 31% air yards share. While the sample size is too small to glean if this target share is signal or noise, it is worth noting that Kirk, Ertz and Wesley were the only three receivers to play on 80% or more of snaps. The Cardinals open as just 1-point favorites against the Colts in the highest Vegas-total game of the week next Sunday.


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Amon-Ra St. Brown is Turning into an Opportunity Hog in Detroit

The star of Detroit’s big win over Arizona was undoubtedly Amon-Ra St. Brown, who saw caught eight passes for 90 yards and a touchdown, leading the Lions in fantasy scoring. St. Brown was even utilized as a rusher out of the backfield Sunday, indicating Detroit is committed to getting St. Brown touches. Especially with T.J. Hockenson lost for the season and D’Andre Swift still sidelined nursing a shoulder injury, St. Brown should continue to be the featured skill position player with the Lions’ middling but improving pass offense. St. Brown was the only player on Sunday to earn 40% of his team’s targets and 40% of his team’s air yards.

A Packers Receiver Not Named Adams Led the League in Air Yards

The Ravens admitted in their post-game presser that they were going to let anyone except for Davante Adams beat them, and he still managed to tie for the team-high in targets and get in the end zone for another typical “Davante Adams day” in fantasy scoring, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers clearly noticed the Ravens’ defensive plan of attack and began peppering Marquez Valdes-Scantling with opportunities downfield. Valdes-Scantling saw seven targets, the same amount as Adams, and had an average depth of target of 22.0 yards, by far the highest on the team. Valdes-Scantling’s 154 air yards were a season high, as were his 98 yards receiving. Valdes-Scantling and the Packers are 7.5-point favorites at home against the Bears, and that spread is generous to Chicago. Green Bay could trounce the Bears next Sunday.


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If you’re interested in other DFS NFL picks for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, daily fantasy football rankings, and NFL DFS stacking. Take a look at our NFL depth chart list, NFL inactives and NFL lineups. View our FanDuel NFL rankings and our DraftKings NFL DFS ownership rankings. We also have showdown projections and NFL single-game ownership projections.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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