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Gridiron Players Club (12/10/23)

NFL

(3 Picks)


1:00PM: (BAL) Charlie Kolar Anytime TD +1700 (1 Units)

+1700 on Fanduel, shop around.


With Mark Andrews out Charlie Kolar's snap counts are increasing. He served as TE3 behind Isiah Likely with Andrews healthy, but he's been bumped up to TE2 duties. He set season highs in both total snaps (19) and Percentage of snaps (27%). It's right on par with Likely's workload when he served as TE2.


Kolar was drafted in the 4th round out of Iowa State in the 2022 draft. He was Brock Purdy's go to Red Zone target and for good reason. He's a big target at 6'6, 250, and with long arms. He has strong hands at the point of attack combined with excellent body positioning that keeps defenders away from the Ball. He reeled in 23 touchdowns during his time at Iowa State.


This isn't College anymore but he's just part of a good TE room. He was also hurt during his rookie season, so he was behind the 8-Ball to start. This isn't the same Ravens team that rolls out 2 TE sets all the time like previous seasons, but they do when they get down into the Red Zone. He leaked out into the end zone off play-action a couple times in last week’s game. This is a 1 Unit Play, and something we will continue to back until it happens. As long as his snaps and red zone work stays up. He'll get his first career TD at some point with the Ravens offense scoring like it is.


4:05PM EST: SF 49ers 13.5 (3 Units)


This series has been all San Fran. They've won 4 straight head-to-head meetings against Seattle and covered this spread in 3 of the 4. Geno Smith has really struggled against the 49ers defense. His completion % remains high but he simply can't push the ball downfield. In his 3 games vs SF since joining SEA, he's averaging just 205 passing yards per game on 33.7 pass attempts. He threw 1 TD and 2 interceptions in those games. He was also sacked 6 times in their first meeting this season.


The 49ers defense is clicking and getting home. Since acquiring Chase Young they've had the best pass rush in the NFL and it's not even close. They've played 4 games since then and had 18 combined sacks. Wasn't like they padded their stats against bad teams or offensive lines either. The 4 opponents were Philly, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville. Seattle may be coming off a fine day against the Cowboys, but San Fran is the much better opponent. The Cowboys have played one of the easiest schedules in the NFL and their defense has benefited. The few respectable offense's Dallas has played, has moved the ball.


Offensively the 49ers should find very little resistance again this week. Seattle is the 25th ranked scoring defense and 23rd in yards allowed per game. Their only strength is their pass rush, but Purdy has been the 6th toughest QB to bring down all season. They're averaging 33.5 points per game over their last 4 contests. That coincides with the return of Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams. With their full complement of weapons healthy this 49ers team has won all 9 of their games and 8 of them by double digits. In fact, they've covered this spread in 7 of their 9 wins this season. SF's offense has averaged 31.75 points per game over their last 4 meetings with Seattle.


8:20PM EST: Eagles +3.5. (4 Units)


Speaking of Dallas, they're overrated. They're a quality football team but that defense is not nearly as elite as they're made out to be. The Seahawks just carved them up for 35 points. Philly also scored 28 points against them in their first meeting. Dallas has played the Giants twice, Jets, Cardinals w/o Murray, Patriots, Panthers, and Commanders. Their other games have been against SF, LAC, LAR, PHI, and SEA. Those 5 quality teams averaged 28.4 points per game against Dallas.


The Eagles offense hasn't been smooth sailing much, but it coincides with the loss of Dallas Goedert. He returns to the lineup today and it's a major boost. He helps the Eagles offense in literally every facet of the game. From elite route running, catching passes, run blocking, and even pass protection. They didn't have a capable back-up and their offense stalled at times.


Besides the ugly game against SF last week, Philly's offense has been fine. They're just inconsistent. They scored 37 against Buffalo, 21 in Arrowhead, 38 against Dallas despite losing Goedert in that game. They just haven't been as consistent as we're used to seeing but again, Goedert is going to do wonders for this offense. They've really struggled to attack the middle of the field, but Hurts gets his big athletic target back. Much more stress on opposing linebackers when you don't know if he's coming to block you or slip by you for an easy completion.


Philly's defense has been a bit of a mess but they're healthier this week. They will be getting Zach Cunningham back at LB and Fletched Cox was a full participant in each of the last 2 practices. He was banged up week 12 and played week 13 after missing practice all of last week. They also went out and grabbed Shaq Leonard, which brings much needed experience and leadership to the middle of that defense. He may not be the same all-pro type of player, but he will provide an immediate impact for Philly.


They still have an elite rush defense, and it stymied the Cowboys in their first meeting. It's something they've been able to rely on this season and it helps down in the red zone. It will also force Dak to throw quite a bit and while he hasn't thrown too many interceptions this year, he's still Dak Prescott. This is one of the biggest games of his career and certainly the biggest of this season. Prime Time Dak isn't a good thing, and we'll believe he's turned the corner after he does it. For now, the last 8 years of his career are enough to believe he'll come up short once again.

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