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Gridiron Players Club (12/17/23)

(3 Picks)

Follow the Unit instructions. They're there for a reason.


NFL

1:00PM EST: CLE/CHI Over 37 (5 Units).


Justin Fields has played well the last few weeks completing 62 of 93 (66.7%) passes for 609 yards and 2 touchdowns, no interceptions. He also added 42 carries for 221 yards (5.3 YPC). The Bears offense has scored 28 and 26 in 2 of their last 3 games. They'll face a Browns defense that's struggling. They're allowing an average of 30.7 points per game over their last 3. They really haven't been great for the majority of this season. Going back their last 8 games, JAX scored 27, LAR 36, DEN 29, PIT 10, BAL 31, ARI 0, SEA 24, IND 38. They beat up on a bad Steelers team and a Clayton Tune led Arizona team. Injuries have played a part in the CLE defense collapse, and they're banged up once more today.


Offensively the Browns can score points. They're the 12th ranked scoring offense and their offensive line plays a big part in that. They've dealt with a revolving door at QB but continue to find ways leaning on a quality ground game. They also do a good job in pass protection which is vital for their current QB, Joe Flacco. Flacco still has his cannon and can make all the throws. He's made 2 starts for CLE, throwing for 565 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. The Bears defense ranks 31st in sacks per game so he'll have some time to make throws downfield. They're also the 23rd ranked scoring defense.


Their defense has played a bit better of late, but it looks more like fools’ gold. This defense has been bad all season long and a few good games against struggling teams doesn't mean much. They did hold the Lions to just 13 points their last time out but that's the 2nd meeting of a divisional opponent and Detroit had been out of sorts. Chicago also played them 4 weeks ago and let up 31 points. Outside of that they held a Justin Jefersonless Vikings team to 10 and the Carolina Panthers to 13. Prior to those last 4 games they gave up 24 to the Saints and 30 to the Chargers. They're allowing more than 26 points per game on the road and have allowed at least 20 points in all but 1 road start. With CLE at home, they'll score points.


4:05PM EST: LA Rams -6 (4 Units).


The Commanders defense just plain sucks. They've allowed 29 points or more to everyone except for the Mac Jones Patriots, Tyrod Taylor led Giants, Desmon Ridder and the Falcons, and the Arizona Cardinals week 1. The LA Rams are still an incredibly talented offense and Kyren Williams is the glue. In games he plays the Rams average 26.9 points per game. That's regardless of the injuries that they've dealt with in the WR room today. He's active and healthy today as is Cooper Kupp and Puca Nacua.


That's something the Rams haven't had the luxury of too much this year. Both Kupp and Williams have spent time hurt but the Rams offense is pretty much full strength outside of WR Tutu-Atwell. Kyren returned from injury 3 weeks ago and their offense taken off since. They scored 37 @ Arizona, 36 vs CLE, then more impressively put up 31 in Baltimore. They also have the luxury of playing at Home against this terrible Washington defense.


Defensively the Rams have been solid. They allow 22.3 points per game which is right around league average, but they've just been blasted by elite offenses. The Ravens put up 37 on them, Cowboys 43, and 49ers 30. Fortunately for them, Washington isn't anywhere close to an Elite offense and their starting RB Bijan Robinson is out. If you exclude those 3 performances, the Rams defense is allowing just 18 points per game in their other 10 games. Going back the Commanders have scored 15, 10, and 19 points.


Rams are also coming off a tough loss here. They won 3 straight before losing to the AFC's #1 seed in Overtime on the road. They're 6-7 and the current 8 seed in the NFC playoff picture. This is a must win game if they want to get in as a wildcard. They'll be ready to rock.


8:20PM EST: (BAL) Kolar Anytime TD +1800 (1 Unit)


Continuation...


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.

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