FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Bears at Saints
Per our oddsFire tool, 63% of the money and 56% of the bets on the spread have been on New Orleans while a whopping 93% of the cash on the moneyline is on the Saints' side. Bettors are backing the over, too, with 62% of the bets and 64% of the money on the over.
For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.
This past offseason, our Brandon Gdula did a deep dive on single-game strategy. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.
Alvin Kamara, Saints ($15,000)
This is the first chance we've had to roster Alvin Kamara -- who is fully expected to play in this game -- since his six-touchdown day, and I think a lot of people will thrust him into the MVP spot. Our algorithm projects Kamara as the slate's highest-scoring player and the top point-per-dollar option, pegging him to put up 20.9 FanDuel points. His game-breaking ability in addition to his elite receiving usage gives him an outstanding floor/ceiling combination.
The negatives are that Kamara is coming off a positive COVID test and hasn't practiced with the team (in person) in more than a week. Maybe he's a step slower than usual, or maybe the Saints don't give him his typical allotment of snaps, especially if they get out to a comfortable lead. Plus, the Bears' defense gave up the ninth-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs (18.6) and the seventh-fewest receptions.
There are some legit worries here. At the same time, Kamara could come out and go nuts anyway, and he did rock this Chicago D for 163 total yards in the regular season, including 96 receiving yards on nine grabs (13 targets).
I'll definitely have some of Kamara at MVP, but I like a few other options, too.
Drew Brees, Saints ($14,500)
The Saints are implied for four touchdowns, so if you don't have Kamara at MVP, Drew Brees is a logical pivot. I'll likely land here a lot, and I'd expect Brees and Kamara to be the chalk MVP plays.
While Brees isn't the same high-upside dude he was a couple years ago, he's gone for at least 19.00 FanDuel points six times in his past eight games, doing so in difficult matchups against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs and Bears (19.60).
Chicago has been tough on signal callers, permitting just 18.0 FanDuel points per game to the position, the 11th-fewest. But we've seen quarterbacks have good fantasy days against them over the latter half the year, including Aaron Rodgers (26.00 and 25.64), Kirk Cousins (18.58 and 20.34), Matthew Stafford (27.08) and Brees' aforementioned outing. Plus, Brees should finally have his full arsenal of weapons, with Michael Thomas ($14,000) expected to return along with Kamara.
Our model has Brees posting 18.3 FanDuel points.
Michael Thomas, Saints ($14,000)
Thomas feels like a forgotten man this season as he finished with just 40 grabs for 438 scoreless yards. On FanDuel's multi-game slates, Thomas was listed at a discounted salary. We get no such luck here, but that could lower his popularity.
This is just the fourth time all season that Kamara, Brees and Thomas are all healthy at the start of a game -- and there's a chance Kamara isn't 100%. Thomas' target share is just 20.7% in games with the Saints' Big Three active. But he got hurt in one of the games, Brees was injured in another and a third tilt was a blowout, so that 20.7% clip comes with a lot of noise. A year ago, Thomas saw 11.6 targets per game and averaged a league-leading 107.8 yards per outing.
While the matchup could be better as Chicago gave up just 26.7 FanDuel points per game to receivers, the seventh-fewest, we project Thomas for 15.9 FanDuel points, meaning we have three Saints projected for at least 15.0 FanDuel points. Thomas is a risky MVP play because we haven't seen any huge games from him this campaign, but I will sprinkle him into the multiplier spot in a some lineups. He's a bet-on-talent play who could get a target bump if Kamara is eased in at all.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears ($14,000)
I'll be honest: I'm terrified of the Bears' offense. Their implied total of 18.50 points is tied for the lowest of the entire weekend, and despite their impressive second half of the year, they mostly beat up on bad defenses. The Saints are not that, ranking fifth in overall D, ninth in run defense and third in pass defense, according to our schedule-adjusted numbers.
But we have to roster at least one Chicago player, and in a game in which the Bears may need to air it out to keep pace, Mitchell Trubisky has some appeal. Our projections don't hate him, slating him for 16.0 FanDuel points, and Trubisky offers juice as a runner, notching 18 carries over the past four games. He could have additional scrambles with more drop backs in this one.
Anthony Miller ($8,500) and Javon Wims ($3,500), Bears
Darnell Mooney is out, and that makes Anthony Miller and Javon Wims viable value plays on a slate without many of those. Miller and Wims split up work last week, the game in which Mooney went down. In that one, Miller ran 27 routes while Wims ran 24, according to Pro Football Focus.
In the past five games, Mooney had seen a 20.1% target share and accounted for 31.8% of the Bears' deep targets, per our Jim Sannes. His absence opens up significant volume. On top of that, the Bears' secondary pass-game pieces could be busier than normal with Allen Robinson ($12,500) getting Marshon Lattimore and the Bears likely facing a negative game script.
Wims' salary is extremely handy and rostering him makes it possible to jam in four high-salaried studs. As such, he could be a wildly popular target.
Latavius Murray, Saints ($8,500)
With the Saints' targets funneled to mostly Kamara and Thomas, New Orleans doesn't offer much in the way of value plays. Latavius Murray checks a few boxes, though.
Even if Kamara is 100%, Murray is on the value radar. He totaled double-digit carries in eight games this year and racked up four scores. He ran for at least 35 yards nine times. That's not amazing, obviously, but you have to overlook some things with most low-salary plays on single-game slates -- and maybe he falls into the end zone.
There's also a chance Murray sees a little more work than usual if Kamara isn't full go. We have him getting 7.5 FanDuel points, and that's with Kamara forecasted for 20.9.