Week 8 Picks for Curtis Samuel & Allen Robinson

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In his first two games with Denver, Murray has seen 23 rush attempts (15 in Week 6, eight in Week 7) in contests that featured trailing game scripts. While the Broncos are 2.5-point underdogs this week, there is a path to a positive game script where they lean on the run even more, which would be ideal for this prop.

Mike Boone was placed on injured reserve, and while the Broncos added Marlon Mack, he’s unlikely to command many touches — if any — at least initially. That means Murray finds himself in a fairly even timeshare with the struggling Melvin Gordon.

Considering Gordon will likely dominate passing-down work, there is a decent chance we see Murray lead the team on the ground. I prefer attacking his attempts because if you take the over on his rushing yards (currently 35.5) and he fails to top eight carries, you need him to have a yards/att of over 4.40 in order to clear.

I would rather not go that route against a pretty good Jags defense. I’m projecting Murray closer to 10 rush attempts and would bet this up to -135.

Smith has caught 80.5% of his targets this season, but considering he has an aDot of 9.5, we expect him to catch closer to 66-68% of his targets.

He has caught 93% of his targets against zone coverage but only 62.5% against man coverage. The Steelers use man at the eighth highest rate, so this seems like a good spot to fade Smith as this matchup also sets up much better for AJ Brown.

I’m projecting Smith’s median closer to 48.5 yards and would bet this down to 52.5.

Samuel is a high-floor player who we can bank on seeing at least a handful of targets each game. However, with a dot of just 4.9, he would need around eight-plus targets in order to safely clear this number.

A matchup against the Colts could slow him down just enough to fall short. They have been running a high-tempo, pass-heavy, no-huddle offense lately. However, with Sam Ehlinger making his first start, I expect them to shy away from that and lean on Jonathan Taylor for a more methodical, run-heavy approach, which could lower the overall play volume for both teams.

The Colts are also terrible against No. 1 WRs, ranking 29th in DVOA against them, while also allowing the second lowest catch rate to slot WRs (55.6%).

This sets up as a better matchup for Terry McLaurin and I’m projecting Samuel closer to 43.5 receiving yards. I would bet this down to 47.5.

Robinson has struggled with his new team this season and has a tough matchup against a 49ers defense that ranks ninth in DVOA against the pass.

Van Jefferson is expected to make his debut and return to his full-time role. That will likely push Ben Skowronek out of three-wide sets, but it could also cut into Robinson’s playing time and target share as well.

I’m projecting Robinson’s median closer to 29.5 receiving yards and would bet this down to 33.5.

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