Underdog Fantasy NFL Picks: MNF Week 5 (Ravens-Colts)

Jonathan Taylor and several Indianapolis Colts teammates celebrate during a 2021 regular-season NFL game
Image Credit: Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 comes to a close with a Monday Night Football showdown between a pair of 2020 AFC playoff squads off to vastly different starts to 2021. This awards us one more chance to make some dough correctly selecting Underdog Fantasy picks. First, however, if you’re new to Underdog Fantasy, have no fear.

It’s easy to get started. Here’s how it works:

  • Create an account on Underdog Fantasy.
  • Use the promo code PROPS to claim an extra $10 on your first deposit.
  • Go to the Pick’em Games.
  • Make two or more selections to receive a correlated payout of 3x, 6x, 10x, or 20x.

Use promo code PROPS to claim $10 FREE.

It’s pretty fun, and Underdog Fantasy is available in most states except for the following: Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana, Montana, Washington, Delaware, and Iowa.

Now, let’s take a look at my favorite Underdog Fantasy NFL picks for Monday Night Football of Week 5.

Sammy Watkins OVER 42.5 Receiving Yards

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The Ravens might have Rashod Bateman for his rookie debut tonight. But, unfortunately, that muddies the water for receiving usage. Still, I’m all over Sammy Watkins’ receiving over for 42.5 receiving yards.

According to Pro-Football-Reference, the veteran wideout ranks third on the team in receptions (16), second in receiving yards per game (64.3), and first in targets (29). In addition, according to Pro Football Focus, he leads the team in routes (129).

In other words, Watkins appears locked into a prominent role. Further, he’s been a model of consistency so far this year. To that point, Watkins has three games with seven targets, and one with eight has caught precisely four passes in each game and has 44 receiving yards or more every game.

Finally, the matchup looks good. Football Outsiders ranks the Colts 26th in pass defense Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. Also, Pro Football Focus grades them 27th in coverage. As a result, Bet Prep projects Watkins for 47.57 receiving yards. Thus, my expectations are in alignment with Bet Prep, and I’m selecting the over.

Jonathan Tayor OVER 13.5 Receiving Yards

Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

At first blush, this might seem like a bad pick. Since hauling in six of seven targets for 60 receiving yards in Week 1, Jonathan Taylor hasn’t cleared 11 receiving yards in a game. Still, there are positives, and this selection is a matchup-driven pick.

Among Tayor’s positives, he hauled in all three of his targets last week, and he’s snared 11 of 12 targets in 2021. In other words, he’s reliably catching the targets distributed in his direction.

Additionally, the betting info and a matchup mismatch provide me optimism for increased usage for Taylor tonight. First, the Colts are 7.0-point underdogs, so they’ll likely be forced to throw the ball to catch up or keep up. Second, they’ll probably have trouble with slower developing deep routes.

The reason for my skepticism is Indy’s offensive line issues coupled with Baltimore’s ability to generate pressure. Pro Football Focus grades the Colts dead last in pass blocking, and Pro-Football-Reference ranks the Ravens first in quarterback pressure percentage (30.6%).

After accounting for everything, Bet Prep projects Taylor for 16.84 receiving yards. So, let’s go ahead and hop on the over for Taylor’s receiving yardage pick.

Mo Alie-Cox OVER 17.5 Receiving Yards

Image Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Mo Alie-Cox is another theoretical matchup fit. Pass-catching contemporaries Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell have a deep average depth of target mark at 11.4 yards and 14.1 yards, respectively, per Pro Football Focus. Comparatively, Alie-Cox is targeted at a shallower depth of only 9.4 yards downfield.

Since I’m skeptical of Indy’s offensive line providing the requisite protection to Carson Wentz for him to air out deep ball, his big-bodied tight end makes for an attractive mid-range target. Additionally, according to Pro-Football-Reference, the Ravens have yielded the fifth-most receiving yards (347) to tight ends, despite playing only four games compared to five games for every other team other than the Colts. However, I need to add some context, and the Ravens have faced a challenging run of tight ends to open 2021, facing Darren Waller, Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson, and Noah Fant. Nevertheless, they didn’t lock those talented tight ends down.

Finally, I’m encouraged by Alie-Cox’s recent usage. He’s run 16 routes in back-to-back games, setting new season-highs last week with five targets, three receptions, and 42 receiving yards. The week before, he hauled in both of his targets for 14 yards.

Wrapping things up, Bet Prep projects him for 21.44 receiving yards. I also think he clears 20 receiving yards tonight, so his over is an appealing pick.