Wild Card Weekend Sunday MKF Picks



There are three NFL Wild Card Playoff games on Sunday and Monkey Knife Fight has you covered, with chances to play and win in all three.

The Baltimore Ravens stumbled midseason before winning five straight down the stretch. They visit a Titans team that was mostly good, winning five of seven to finish the regular season, but they had some inconsistent performances.

A six-game losing streak somehow didn’t keep the Chicago Bears from reaching the postseason and they won three of four to get in. The New Orleans Saints won 11 of their last 13 games, and both losses were by a field goal.

The last game of the weekend has the Cleveland Browns meeting the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns have had some Covid-19 problems this week, which is really inconsiderate timing on behalf of the virus, but they won ix of eight to make the playoffs. After starting the season with 11 straight wins, the Steelers lost four of five, including in Week 17 at Cleveland.

Here are some contests to consider for Saturday’s triple-header NFL action on Monkey Knife Fight.

🏈 Ravens @ Titans


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Ryan Tannehill LESS THAN 239.5 PASSING YARDS

The Titans quarterback is not the one driving the offense but has averaged 238.7 passing yards per game this season, throwing for 240 yards or more seven times. He matches up with a Ravens defense that allowed just 221 passing yards per game and 5.6 net yards per attempt, both in the top five defensively.

Lamar Jackson LESS THAN 190.5 PASSING YARDS

Every team that played the Titans this season passed for more than 200 yards, except for the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson threw for 186 yards in Week 10 and averaged 183.8 passing yards per game. He was also held under 190 passing yards in five of the last six games.

Derrick Henry MORE THAN 122.5 RUSHING YARDS

Henry won the Triple Crown of rushing for the second straight season, leading the league in carries (378), rushing yards (2027) and rushing touchdowns (17). He averaged 126.7 rushing yards per game and ran for 133 yards against the Ravens in Week 11. Baltimore is only allowing 108.8 rushing yards per game but 4.6 yards per carry is worse than league average and that is a vulnerability that Henry may be able to exploit. It’s also preposterous to expect 123 or more rushing yards from any running back but Henry isn’t like any other running back in the league right now.

A.J. Brown LESS THAN 5.5 RECEPTIONS

Even after recording 10 catches in Week 17, Brown is averaging an even 5.0 receptions per game this season. Facing a Ravens defense that is better than average against the pass moves towards the under.

J.K. Dobbins MORE THAN 67.5 RUSHING YARDS

Baltimore’s rookie runner took hold of the starting job late in the season, running for more than 67 yards in four of the last six games, including a season-high 160 rushing yards at Cincinnati in Week 17. Tennessee has allowed 120.8 rushing yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry, allowing 10 running backs to rush for more than 67 yards against them (and two more finished on exactly 67 yards).

🏈 Bears @ Saints


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Drew Brees LESS THAN 266.5 PASSING YARDS

Brees passed for at least 267 yards in six of 12 games that he played in during the regular season and averaged 246.5 passing yards per game, though that includes Week 10 when he had to drag his broken ribs off the field early. The Bears have allowed more than 266 passing yards once in the past four weeks, twice in the past six; good enough to believe that they can limit Brees.

Mitch Trubisky MORE THAN 244.5 PASSING YARDS

Although Trubisky averaged only 205.5 passing yards per game, he threw for at least 245 in four of his last five starts. New Orleans had a quality, better-than-average pass defense this season but allowed at least 245 passing yards in four of the last five games.

David Montgomery LESS THAN 66.5 RUSHING YARDS

This may be a complicated situation because the underdog Bears may be chasing the Saints in this game which isn’t conducive to earning yards on the ground but Montgomery has also rushed for at least 67 yards in six straight games. The Saints, though, are a force against the run, allowing 93.9 rushing yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry.

Emmanuel Sanders MORE THAN 51.5 RECEIVING YARDS

Sanders was a non-factor at times this season but had a solid finish, with three straight games over 60 yards receiving. The Bears defense is better than average against the pass though maybe not by enough to like their chances against Sanders.

Rapidfire

Thomas +0.5 receiving yards vs. Allen Robinson

An ankle injury has plagued Thomas all season and he hasn’t played since Week 14 but in his last four games before getting sidelined, he averaged 85.8 receiving yards per game; shades of old Michael Thomas. Robinson averaged 78.1 receiving yards per game this season and had more than 70 receiving yards in five of the last six games. I’m choosing to believe that Thomas will be healthy enough to be a major receiving threat for the Saints.

🏈 Browns @ Steelers

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Ben Roethlisberger MORE THAN 280.5 PASSING YARDS

This is a significant ask of Big Ben, whose ability to throw the ball down the field came under fire at times this season. The Browns were below average against the pass and gave up 315 passing yards to Steelers backup Mason Rudolph just last week.

Baker Mayfield LESS THAN 237.5 PASSING YARDS

Mayfield had thrown for more than 238 yards in five straight games before he was held under 200 (in a win over Pittsburgh) in Week 17. He averaged 222.7 passing yards per game and goes against a Steelers team that was dominant against the pass – 194.4 passing yards per game and 5.3 net yards per pass attempt.

Nick Chubb MORE THAN 74.5 RUSHING YARDS

One of the premier runners in the game, Chubb averaged 88.9 rushing yards per game and had at least 75 rushing yards in eight of 12 contests in which he played. The Steelers run defense allowed opponents 4.3 yards per carry, which is not enough reason to expect them to stop Chubb.

JuJu Smith-Schuster MORE THAN 5.5 RECEPTIONS

It was not the most productive season of Smith-Schuster’s career but he stayed active in the Steelers’ short passing attack and had at least six catches in eight of the last 10 games.

Rapidfire

Diontae Johnson -0.5 receiving yards vs. Jarvis Landry

For the season, Johnson averaged 61.5 receiving yards per game while Landry averaged 56.0 yards per game. While Landry is a reliable consistent performer, Johnson offers a much higher ceiling.

*The numbers in this article are subject to change at anytime leading up to kick-off of each respective game*

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Need more FREE MKF picks? Check out Will Harris' TD Dance selections for the Sunday slate of games!

Scott Cullen

Scott is a sportswriter with a focus on analytics, rankings, fantasy. Even though he’s Canadian, his interests and analysis extend a wee bit beyond hockey and maple syrup. Eh?

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