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    Dave Richard

    Fantasy Football Guy

    Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning to CBS Sports in 2006. Since then he's crunched the numbers, studied the film, developed tiers and trade charts, previewed every NFL game, talked to the decision makers and earned multiple honors, including induction into the Fantasy (FSWA) Hall of Fame. For Dave Richard media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.

    @daverichard

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    Dave's Past Picks

    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Aiyuk has proven to be the 49ers' man-coverage beater, dominating targets with a 29% target per route run rate on the year against man coverage. It's significantly lower -- 21.8% against zone coverage (a shade lower in his past five with Purdy), and with fewer yards per catch and a much lower Yards After Catch per reception average. If the Chiefs play heavy zone coverage, Aiyuk will struggle to put up numbers. Furthermore, just 12 of Aiyuk's 81 catches all year have come when Brock Purdy's gotten the ball out quickly (two seconds or less). If Purdy's pressured as expected, that'll further take opportunities away from Aiyuk. The expectation he'll line up across from shut-down corner L'Jarius Sneed often makes him even less appealing.

    Pick Made: Feb 09, 7:48 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    I think the Chiefs defense will play a lot of zone coverage and pressure Purdy up front. Theoretically that keeps them from allowing big plays, but giving up a lot of short ones. When Purdy's pressured, which has happened on 40.1% of his dropbacks, throwing to McCaffrey has been his No. 1 option, especially lately (27.6% target per route run rate in his past five meaningful games, 21.1% for the year). Those opportunities should lead to McCaffrey finding room to run against a Chiefs defense that's let up 6.6 yards per catch to running backs this year (which is good), but 7.3 yards per catch to RBs in their past five meaningful games.

    Pick Made: Feb 09, 7:45 pm UTC
    Feb 11 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    San Francisco
    22
    @ Kansas City
    25
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    The line shouldn't be anywhere near this high. Mahomes has been under 250 yards in 4 of his past 5, and the 49ers haven't allowed 260 yards in 5 of their past 6. The Niners have been good against the pass all year, but in their past four meaningful games they held QBs to 6.4 yards per attempt with 5 completions on 14 pass attempts of 20-plus Air Yards. Mahomes has not been nearly as aggressive in HIS past five games -- his Average Depth of Target sat at 5.7 yards and his deep pass rate was 13.1%, both real low. And, there's a legit shot the Chiefs will be able to run the ball just as the Lions, Packers, Commanders, Ravens and Cardinals did.

    Pick Made: Feb 09, 7:43 pm UTC
    Jan 28 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    Detroit
    31
    @ San Francisco
    34
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    In his second game back after hurting his knee in Week 18, LaPorta had 65 yards. That's where I'd expect him to end up this week against the Niners, who in their past five games have allowed a 79.5% catch rate, 10.4 yards per catch and 4.3 Yards After Catch per reception to tight ends. I wouldn't expect a bunch of big plays from LaPorta, but a 10-yard average is reasonable, and if that's the case then we'd need just five grabs against the 49ers' primarily zone-heavy defense. It helps that LaPorta, on the season, has averaged a full yard per catch more against zone coverage.

    Pick Made: Jan 26, 9:01 pm UTC
    Jan 28 2024, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Kansas City
    17
    @ Baltimore
    10
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Kelce has at least 70 yards in each of his past two, both win-or-go-home games where Patrick Mahomes leaned on him. I expect Baltimore to play a lot of zone this week, just as they have recently. They've allowed some pretty big numbers recently to TEs -- when lined up in the slot or out wide, the Ravens have let up an insane 21.1 yards per catch in their past four meaningful games. Both Buffalo and Miami were better versus TEs and Kelce ripped both of them. It helps that Kelce has a higher target share against zone (21.8%) than man (15.5%). And if you dig history, then you'll like that Kelce has at least 73 yards in each of five career games against Baltimore.

    Pick Made: Jan 26, 9:01 pm UTC
    Jan 28 2024, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Kansas City
    17
    @ Baltimore
    10
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Mahomes has at least 37 pass attempts in 11 of 18 games this season. And, for what it's worth, 37-plus pass attempts in 5 of 6 losses. In 17 games against Baltimore (excluding Week 18's meaningless game), opponents average 37.3 pass attempts per game. Pair all of that with Isiah Pacheco playing at less than 100% and the Chiefs offensive line missing starting guard Joe Thuney and it's reasonable to expect Kansas City to struggle to run and be forced to lean on Mahomes. When they're tied or behind in a game Mahomes is in, they average a pass play 66.7% of the time. If they're in a close one or trailing against the Ravens, Mahomes will take over.

    Pick Made: Jan 26, 9:01 pm UTC
    Jan 28 2024, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Kansas City
    17
    @ Baltimore
    10
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    If we don't count the Ravens' Week 18 meaningless game, then Hill has surpassed 7.5 rushes in 2 of his past 3. It's helped that he's seemingly become the Ravens' most-utilized RB, playing over 50% of the snaps in 3 of his past 4 (2 of past 3 if you remove Week 18). He was much more explosive than Gus Edwards last week and should be able to take advantage of a Chiefs run defense that has struggled against power-gap blocking in their past four meaningful games (5.4 yards per carry). Hill has averaged 5.4 yards per rush in power-gap, which is 2.0 yards per carry higher than Edwards. Hill was over this total last week … in the early fourth quarter.

    Pick Made: Jan 26, 9:01 pm UTC
    Jan 21 2024, 11:30 pm UTC
    League
    Kansas City
    27
    @ Buffalo
    24
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Allen had 42 pass attempts at Kansas City in Week 14, and then topped 33 pass attempts just once since then -- at Miami in Week 18. Push comes to shove, the Bills will ride Allen to victory in important games, just as they've tried to do in each of four straight against the Chiefs when he attempted at least 37 passes including in two playoff games. It helps that Kansas City's run defense has been awesome: 3.7 yards per carry in its past five while holding Miami's amazing RBs to 3.0 yards per rush last week. That's forced the Chiefs' opponents to throw plenty -- three straight have attempted at least 33 passes, and 11 of 18 on the season have too.

    Pick Made: Jan 19, 9:43 pm UTC
    Jan 21 2024, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Tampa Bay
    23
    @ Detroit
    31
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    White has been under 23 receiving yards in two straight, both of which were solid if not commanding wins by the Bucs. I'm not sure that will be the case this week against the Lions and their tough run defense. And before Week 18, White had at least 24 receiving yards in four straight games and in 7 of 9 games. Over their past five games the Lions have been right around league average in catch rate (78.9%) and yards per catch (7.0) to running backs, but about a full yard worse in yards after catch per reception. And if the Lions play heavy zone coverage like I think they will, Mayfield will check-down and give White some chances to pick up yardage.

    Pick Made: Jan 19, 9:43 pm UTC
    Jan 21 2024, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Tampa Bay
    23
    @ Detroit
    31
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Detroit has allowed at least 36 pass attempts in four straight, fueled by their run defense holding RBs to 3.6 in their past five games. Rachaad White hasn't been quite as good as he was about a month ago (under 100 total yds in 4 straight), so this could point to a solid amount of throwing for Tampa Bay, which Mayfield did a lot of back in Week 6. Then, the Lions used heavy zone coverage in an effort to take away big plays, and Mayfield stunk -- but still attempted 37 passes. I suspect Detroit will try to do the same thing. And this feels safer than Mayfield's yardage prop, which is 257.5 and seems too good to be true.

    Pick Made: Jan 19, 9:43 pm UTC
    Jan 21 2024, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Tampa Bay
    23
    @ Detroit
    31
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Gibbs has had at least 11 rushing attempts in 5 of his past 6 games, but not last week against the Rams and their tough run defense. No doubt, the Bucs run defense is very good, but Gibbs is the perfect fit against an aggressive front that can be beaten by explosive runners. I think the Lions lean into that and give Gibbs more carries. There's also some pretty good history: Since Week 4, Gibbs has followed up a game with under 10 carries with one with 11 or more the following week. I think he gets back into the swing of things versus Tampa Bay.

    Pick Made: Jan 19, 9:43 pm UTC
    Jan 21 2024, 1:15 am UTC
    League
    Green Bay
    21
    @ San Francisco
    24
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Love's been over this in three straight games and in 4 of his past 5. He's been hot and clearly capable of defeating a strong pass rush, which he did last week at Dallas. A 4.8% sack rate (third-best in football) confirms that he can escape pressure and throw downfield. His receivers are capable of making plays after the catch and the likelihood of him trailing against the Niners only makes this outcome stronger. It's also a much better buy than taking the over on his 35.5 pass attempts. I've seen this as high as 251.5 -- and I'd still take the over on that number.

    Pick Made: Jan 19, 9:43 pm UTC
    Jan 15 2024, 9:30 pm UTC
    League
    Pittsburgh
    17
    @ Buffalo
    31
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    In the seven games since the Bills changed playcallers, Cook has had 15 touches or more in every outing, 15 or more carries in 5 of 7 games and at least 16 carries in every single home game. The matchup isn't easy as the Steelers are pretty good against the run, but that hasn't stopped opponents from attempting 22.7 RB rushes per game with 10 RBs getting at least 16 carries. In fact, a RB has 16+ carries in all but one of Pittsburgh's seven losses this year -- it was Cleveland in Week 11 when it split evenly between their top two backs. Tack on the certifiably cold and blustery weather expected in Buffalo on Sunday, and it feels like Cook should run wild.

    Pick Made: Jan 12, 9:27 pm UTC
    Jan 15 2024, 1:15 am UTC
    League
    L.A. Rams
    23
    @ Detroit
    24
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Goff has gone over this in 4 of his past 5 games and was two shy of hitting the over last week in their dominant win over Minnesota. That's good, but the matchup is what counts. The Rams defense has been thrown on 40.8 times per game between Weeks 13 through 17 (games that mattered), the third-most in that span. This Rams pass defense has been bad, but their run defense has been really good. Both teams' run defenses have, actually, setting up a showdown where passing dominates. And Goff might have his full arsenal with Sam LaPorta practicing on Friday. There's room to take this one up to around 35.5.

    Pick Made: Jan 12, 9:27 pm UTC
    Jan 15 2024, 1:15 am UTC
    League
    L.A. Rams
    23
    @ Detroit
    24
    +555
    9-4 in Last 13 NFL Player Props Picks
    Analysis:

    Williams has 20-plus rushes in seven games this season. Of those seven, six were Rams wins, and of those six Rams wins, four were by eight or more points. I don't see a blowout coming, maybe a close win and that's it, but the Lions have been dominant against the run to the point that opposing offenses have given up rushing on them. Detroit has seen 17.4 RB rush attempts per game this season, the second-lowest mark in the league, and only have had running backs -- plural -- total 20 or more carries four times. There has not been a single running back with 20-plus carries against the Lions this season.

    Pick Made: Jan 12, 9:27 pm UTC