Sanaynay's USFL Week 9 Betting Guide - 4 Deep Sports

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Sanaynay’s USFL Week 9 Betting Guide

USFL Week 9

General Thoughts:

We’re getting down to the final 2 weeks of the USFL regular season and 2 playoff spots have been locked in. The home team Birmingham Stallions have maintained their perfect record through 8 weeks and will certainly push to have a perfect record in the inaugural USFL season. The New Jersey Generals have locked in the next playoff spot, as they have won 7 in a row after their Week 1 loss. The Philadelphia Stars are coming on HOT as they are firing on all cylinders and just dropped a season-high 46 points on the Michigan Panthers. This week we will see the New Orleans Breakers battle the Tampa Bay Bandits in what is virtually a playoff game, as the loser is on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. The Panthers, Maulers, and Gamblers all have 1 win and will likely fall to the 3 playoff teams first mentioned here this week and eventually fade away as the season ends. 

Power Rankings after Week 8:

  1.     Birmingham Stallions
  2.     New Jersey Generals
  3.     Philadelphia Stars
  4.     New Orleans Breakers
  5.     Tampa Bay Bandits
  6.     Michigan Panthers
  7.     Pittsburgh Maulers
  8.     Houston Gamblers

 

Saturday 6/11/22 @ 1:00 pm ET

New Jersey Generals vs. Michigan Panthers (NJ -7.5 TOTAL 47)

The Generals made relatively easy work of the lowly Pittsburgh Maulers last Friday night. They were up 16 heading into halftime while their offense went stagnant, which allowed the Maulers to make it a closer game. The Maulers then scored a late TD and then converted their 4th and 12, but ultimately, we were still able to cover as the Generals won by 11. DeAndre Johnson was active for the first time in 2 weeks, but it was Luiz Perez who took 100% of the snaps. I can see this being the case for the remainder of the season to give Johnson ample amount of time to recover from his ankle injury and they can run dual QBs in the playoffs. Perez went 18/24 for 220 yards and a score. The Generals really centralized their targets to 3 guys with efforts being made to get the ball in Turpin’s hands (5/83/1 on 6 targets) and J’Mon Moore (4/45/0 on 6 targets). I would target these 2 in this matchup against the Panthers, who have been absolutely burnt on every level of their defense.

On the ground, Victor and Williams had almost a 50/50 split. Victor ended with the better stat line as he gets the goal line carries and the carries to run out the clock. He ended with 17 carries for 87 yards and 3 (!) TDs. Williams’ line wasn’t bad as he went 12 for 66, but without a score. This makes Victor more fantasy viable and another great play for DFS this week.

The Panthers just gave up an astounding 46 points to Case Cookus and the Philadelphia Stars. Cookus ended up torching this defense for 247 passing yards and 4 passing TDs while adding 118 yards rushing including a 79-yard TD run. This bodes extremely well for Perez, who should see similar success in the air. On offense, Paxton Lynch saw all of the QB snaps and played relatively well. I was expecting to see Josh Love out there and all reports had him being the starter as he was even active. But it was Lynch who saw the go at QB. He finished 27/40/251 with 2 TDs and 2 INTs while also fumbling a QB sneak on the 1-yard line. He added 7 carries for 20 yards and a score. If Lynch gets the nod in this one, he’ll be a great DFS play as he is likely to play from behind against the Gamblers’ defense that the Maulers just showed was beatable in that scenario. Lynch narrowed the target tree to Lance Lenoir (8/64/0 on 12 targets) and La’Michael Pettway (7/97/1 on 8 targets). Both are DFS viable if you stack with Lynch.

Reggie Corbin left this game in the 1st quarter after only 3 carries with an injury. He did not return and the Panthers turned to the duo tandem of Cameron Scarlett and Stevie Scott. Scarlett gained more yards, on half the carries, while seeing 4 targets in the air to Scott’s 2. Scarlett finished with 5/35/0 with 3/19/1 in the air while Scott finished 11/29 on the ground and 2/19 in the air. Scarlett is a sneaky DFS play as I expect the Panthers to be playing from behind and having to throw a lot to catch up to the Generals.

Over 47 here is one of my favorite plays on the weekend.

 

Saturday 6/11/22 @ 6:00 pm ET

Houston Gamblers vs. Birmingham Stallions (BHAM -12.5 TOTAL 44.5)

The Gamblers looked awful in their Week 8 loss to the Tampa Bay Bandits. They couldn’t keep back the Bandits’ average pass rush and Bahar consistently missed his targets or made the wrong reads. This was partly due to the pressure he saw almost every play, but it’s going to be MUCH worse this week. Bahar finished 19/34 for 159 yards without a score and 1 INT. If Bahar is forced to play in Week 9 against the Stallions’ pass rush, it is going to get ugly. It is worth noting that Teo Redding finished with 44 yards on 5 catches with 8 total targets. I’m not interested in these pass catchers, but he could see a similar volume when the Gamblers fall behind again Saturday against the Stallions.

Mark Thompson was a late scratch for the Gamblers last week so Devwah Whaley took the majority of the RB snaps for the Gamblers. He finished with a putrid 11/31/0, but did add in 4 catches for 26 yards on 5 targets. I’m not interested in anyone in this backfield, even if Thompson is healthy.

The Stallions barely squeaked out a win over the Breakers in Week 8 as they won 10-9 on a late FG while then stopping the Breakers with their pass rush to end the game on the other side of the ball. In all reality, this game shouldn’t have been this close. On the very first drive of the game, the Stallions fumbled the ball away on the 1-yard line. J’Mar Smith again saw all of the QB snaps, going 15/29 for 183 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. With Victor Bolden out, all of the targets went to Marlon Williams, who saw 12 of them, finishing with 7 catches and 109 yards. It is obvious now that it doesn’t matter who it is, it is the next man up for the alpha WR role and they want to pepper their main guy. If Bolden is back next week, he is worth a DFS shot here. If he is out, Williams is a smash play.

CJ Marable came back from injury in this one without an injury designation leading up to Week 8, but it didn’t matter. He only saw 5 carries for 20 yards, while Scarbrough netted the 1A role going for 54 yards on 14 carries. Scarbrough also saw 4 targets to Marable’s 1. Scarbrough has taken the alpha back role in this offense moving forward and is a great DFS play in this one.

I like Birmingham -12.5 – If Thorson is back for the Gamblers, I’ll be eyeing over 44.5.

 

Sunday 6/12/22 @ 4:00 pm ET

Tampa Bay Bandits vs. New Orleans Breakers (NO -2.5 TOTAL 44.5)

The Bandits looked like garbage, but they got the job done Sunday afternoon against the Gamblers. The Bandits ran the ball 37 times vs. 21 pass attempts for Jordan Ta’amu. Ta’amu finished going 12/21 for 98 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. His main target was Rashard Davis, but on his 6 targets, Davis only finished with a 3/37/0 stat line. I wouldn’t expect much more out of this air game Sunday against the Breakers.

On the ground, Washington out touched Emmons, but Emmons ended up out-producing Washington on a per touch basis. Washington managed 20 runs for only 60 yards while Emmons added 12 for 51. I don’t expect them to get this sort of volume this coming week against a superior opponent. Not interested in either for DFS.

The Breakers played in what I will consider an outlier game from an efficiency standpoint. Sloter ended up with 3 picks on his 40 pass attempts. He completed 23 of those attempts for only 251 yards while unable to throw for a TD. He spread the ball around to the typical beneficiaries of the offense in Adams, Dixon, Canella, and Taylor. I don’t think the volume will be there for Sloter this week as I think the Breakers want to run the ball here. I’ll likely be steering clear of this offense in DFS.

Both of the Breakers’ backfield mates split the touches down the middle. Ellis led the way on the ground with 11 carries for 41 yards while Jones added 10 carries for 27 yards and a score, bringing in a lone catch for 1 yard. Neither are fantasy viable as long as they are splitting down the middle.

I like the Breakers Moneyline here. This is essentially a playoff game for both, since if the Breakers win, they eliminate the Bandits, but if the Bandits win this game and in Week 10, they will make the playoffs. I also don’t think they get to 45 points, so I do like under 44.5 as a secondary play.

 

Sunday 6/12/22 @ 7:30 pm ET

Philadelphia Stars vs. Pittsburgh Maulers (PHI -8.5 TOTAL 47.5)

Case Cookus went absolutely bonkers in the Stars’ Week 8 victory over the Michigan Panthers. Cookus finished going 20/26 in the air for 247 yards and 4 passing TDs. He added 118 yards on the ground on 4 carries and a TD, which was the byproduct of a 79-yard TD run late in the 4th quarter to silence any hope the Panthers had at competing in this game. Cookus was never pressured and had one of those games for the ages. The WR with the most volume was Jordan Suell who caught all 5 of his targets for 46 yards and a TD. This offense is spread around to guys like Suell, Alexander, Howard, and Gray. Positive regression is on the side of Gray and Howard.

Colburn had another great performance, turning in 2 TDs and 97 yards on 19 touches. He pulled in 3 of his 4 targets to amplify that stat line. No other RB on the roster saw any touches. This is Colburn’s backfield unless he comes down with an injury. The Stars need to continue their winning ways if they want to lock in a playoff spot. You can play Cookus and Colburn in the same DFS lineup.

The Maulers, as usual, looked bad in their Week 8 loss to the Generals. Ronald Rivers took over for a healthy Vad Lee, playing underwhelming football. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, given he signed with the team 10 days prior to this game. He only completed 18 of 38 passes, but did have 218 yards with a TD and an INT. He added 28 yards on the ground and a score on 6 carries. His skill set is enough to warrant the Maulers to stay in the game with his big arm and legs. Hardaway was the main target for Rivers as he saw 10 targets, but was only able to snag 3 of them for 64 yards. Hennie added a late TD on a great run after the catch play, finishing with 6 catches for 60 yards and a score. Bailey Gaither is all but an afterthought in this offense, finishing with no stats on a lone target. Tre Walker was probably in the dog house after fighting in Week 6 and being suspended for it in Week 7. Odds are, he is useless. I love the over in this game, so I’ll want a piece of this offense. I am interested in Hardaway and Hennie as receiving options for Rivers.

Trailing by 16 at halftime, the backfield only saw 12 total carries in this one as the Maulers played from behind for the majority of the game. Groshek ran the ball 8 times for 25 yards and London, who is nursing an injury, only saw 4 carries for 12 yards. Neither are viable for fantasy.

I love over 47.5 here. 

 

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