Welcome to the 2023 NFL season! It’s been a long time since we’ve had real meaningful football to gamble on, but hopefully you’ve been building up a bankroll throughout the summer. Throughout the course of draft season, fantasy managers have been compiling research, gathering data and forming opinions of all the players and teams across the NFL. In most states, managers now also have an opportunity to put that research to work, not only in fantasy drafts but in player prop markets as well!
Throughout the season, a few members of the QB List team will provide expert analysis and insights into the latest trends and developments in the world of NFL player props. Our goal is to help you make educated bets that will increase your chances of beating the books and winning big!
To begin the year, I’ve dug into several different prop markets and found a handful of player props that I like. Read along all season as we attempt to take the fantasy knowledge gathered by all of our contributors here at QB List and turn it into actionable sports bets.
Here are a few of my favorite season-long player props:
Sam Howell Over 3200.5 Passing Yards (-110)
- Ranked 24th in Drew DeLuca’s 2023 Quarterback Draft Rankings, Howell has seen his ADP rise after posting a combined 122.0 QBR in his first two preseason games combined.
- In 17 games under center for the Washington Commanders in 2022, Taylor Heinecke and Carson Wentz combined for over 3600 passing yards.
- As offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy has never had a starting quarterback with less than 4,000 passing yards, granted up until this season it was Patrick Mahomes.
- Under Bieniemy, Mahomes’ lowest season average for passing yards per game was 284.4 yards. I get it: we’re not going to place Sam Howell on the same pedestal as the best quarterback of the current generation. But at least there’s an indication that Bieniemy can develop quarterbacks and breed success at the position.
- A total of 32 quarterbacks averaged at least 200.0 yards per game in 2022, while 12 quarterbacks played in at least 16 games last season. Do the math, Howell needs to hit both of those numbers. A total of 32 quarterbacks averaged over 200.0 passing yards per game in 2022, including both Commanders’ quarterbacks — Wentz and Heinecke.
- The yards per game number shouldn’t be in question. Howell needs to stay healthy to hit this prop. With an upgraded offensive line, adding draft picks Ricky Stromberg and Braeden Daniels as well as adding veteran Andrew Wylie, the Commanders have done a lot to improve a unit that was not great a year ago. Hopefully it’s enough to keep Howell upright and on the field.
Dak Prescott under 4000.5 Passing Yards (-125)
- Only nine quarterbacks reached 4,000 yards passing in 2022 and Prescott was not one of them, but he would have been one of them if he sustained his average passing yards per game (238.3) through 17 games played.
- New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has typically leaned toward the run in his play calling, meaning the Cowboys will likely pass at a lesser volume than they did in recent seasons under Kellen Moore. From 2018 to 2020, when Schottenheimer was the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson averaged 31.27 pass attempts per game, significantly fewer pass attempts per game than Dak has averaged since 2019 (36.90).
- Prescott lost two of his favorite targets as wide receiver Noah Brown and tight end Dalton Schultz each left for long-term contracts with the Houston Texans. Schultz and Brown ranked as the second and third-leading receivers, respectively, on the Cowboys’ roster a season ago. Dallas went out and replaced Brown with Brandin Cooks, and are looking to Jake Ferguson to fill Schultz’s role. It may take Dak a while to develop chemistry with his new pass-catchers.
- The advanced stats are trending in the wrong direction for Dak, who has seen his yards per attempt dip in each season since 2020. His completion percentage dropped in 2022 as well, falling from 68.8% to 66.2%.
- The Cowboys are likely to be a winning team, meaning that they’ll likely be playing with the lead which — along with their new offensive philosophy — will reduce their passing volume.
Lamar Jackson over 725.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
- Lamar Jackson reached this total last season in just 12 games, rushing for 764 yards.
- Todd Monken has taken over for Greg Roman as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator, meaning the Ravens will likely run less. However, it should also mean that the ball is in Lamar’s hands more often.
- Jackson has reached this mark in each of his last four years, including each of the last two seasons in which he only played 12 games. If he plays 17 games, he will likely smash this mark.
- Additional weapons in the receiving corps will make for more passing opportunities but it should also open the field up for potential scramble yardage.
Derrick Henry over 1100.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
- This one is all about health and durability. There’s no reason to think that King Henry can’t hit this benchmark if he plays in at least 15 games (which he has done in every season except for 2021).
- Henry has averaged 100.0 rushing yards per game since the beginning of 2018 — five-straight seasons of 100.0 rushing yards per game. If he holds true to his track record, he should only need 11 games to reach this milestone.
- The Titans may turn to Will Levis by midseason, leaning more heavily on Henry and the run game to propel the offense.
- With rookie Tyjae Spears and Hassan Haskins as the only other running backs on the depth chart, there isn’t much threat to Henry’s bellcow status.
- The Titans’ entire offensive gameplan since Mike Vrabel took over as head coach has revolved entirely around Derrick Henry‘s ability to run the football effectively. Even with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins to the passing game, there are no signs of the focus of this Titans offense changing in 2023.
Mike Williams over 800.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
- Justin Herbert’s average depth of target (aDOT) ranked 26th (6.4 yards) among quarterbacks with at least 12 games played. Dak Prescott ranked 9th (8.21 yards). Kellen Clemens is the new Chargers’ OC and the team will target players deeper down the field. Williams fits this profile the best.
- Under Clemens, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb went for over 900 receiving yards in each of his three seasons. Based on projections, Mike Williams should play a similar role to Lamb in Clemens’ offense as a large, imposing target with massive catch radius out of the slot.
- Lamb averaged 7.9 targets per game over that period with Clemens behind the play sheet, which could indicate that Williams will see a modest uptick from his 6.9 targets per game over that same timespan.
- Williams has hit the 800-yard threshold in three of the last four seasons, including 2022 when he played just 13 games. He’s averaged 70.4 receiving yards per game in his last two seasons combined. At that average, Williams would need just 12 games to surpass the 800-yard mark.
- Williams has been labeled as an injury risk after playing in just 13 games a year ago, and seems to always find himself on the injury report. Contrary to popular belief, Williams has only missed five games in his last five seasons. Despite the perpetual red “Q” next to his name, Williams has been on the field consistently throughout his career.
Jahan Dotson over 750.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
- In his second year, Dotson is looking to build off of a strong rookie campaign in which he topped 500 receiving yards and led the Commanders with seven receiving touchdowns.
- Dotson faced significant adversity in his rookie season, working with two different quarterbacks that both were at or below league average in completion percentage and yard per attempt. Over the course of the 2022 season, Dotson had four games with 15 receiving yards or fewer… and STILL managed to top 500 yards on the year.
- Over the Commanders’ final four games, Dotson showcased his development with 7.0 targets per game, 4.2 receptions per game and 68.8 receiving yards per game, nearly identical to Terry McLaurin over that stretch. There’s potential for Dotson to equal — or even eclipse — McLaurin’s production this season.
2022, Weeks 13-18
|Targets per game||6.8||7.0|
|Receptions per game||4.6||4.2|
|Receiving Yards per game||70.2||68.8|
- Speaking of McLaurin, he suffered a turf toe injury in the Commanders’ preseason week two contest. His status is uncertain for the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals, but it is quite possible that he misses. Turf toe injuries can sometimes linger as well, with significant potential for re-aggravation as the season goes on.
- After McLaurin exited the preseason week two game, Dotson was targeted on five-consecutive passes. Without McLaurin on the field, Dotson is the undisputed alpha receiver in the Commanders’ offense and has the talent to post WR1 numbers.
Darren Waller over 4.5 Receiving Touchdowns (+105)
- Examining the roster construction of the 2022 Kansas City Chiefs and 2022 Baltimore Ravens will help to explain my bullishness on Waller in his first season with the New York Giants. Both the Ravens and Chiefs had below-average receiving corps with no defined alpha wide receiver on either roster. Travis Kelce and (to a lesser extent) Mark Andrews were each able to thrive in those environments and dominated red zone targets.
- The New York Giants’ depth chart consists of Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson. None of them inspire fantasy managers as an alpha wide receiver, priming Darren Waller for a breakout campaign.
- Waller has struggled in the red zone in each of the past two seasons, with just five touchdowns over 20 games played in 2021 and 2022 combined. However, in 2020 Waller caught a career-high nine touchdowns, displaying his lofty ceiling.
- Giants head coach Brian Daboll has shown off shiny new pass-catchers before. Remember Stefon Diggs’ first year in Buffalo? Diggs finished the season with a career-high 1,535 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on a 29.0% target share. With the Giants going out and getting Waller in a trade this spring, one can see the parallels between the former top-five tight end and Diggs. If Waller can command an increased target share as a focal point of the Giants’ offense this season, he should be able to reach the five-touchdown mark easily.
- Waller has not been on the field consistently in the past two seasons, and it’s clearly factored into this prop. However, he’s coming into this season with a clean bill of health and has drawn rave reviews from Giants camp.
Odell Beckham over 40.5 Receptions (-130)
- The most established wide receiver of this corps, OBJ appears to be fully healthy after recovering from an ACL tear in the 2021 Super Bowl. Beckham wasn’t efficient in 2021, but he was effective — especially during his time with the Los Angeles Rams. In 12 games with the Rams, Beckham managed 48 receptions, including 21 catches in four playoff games … well, three and a half.
- Beckham may never reach the caliber of player that fans remember him to be earlier in his career, but he should still manage to find a solid share of the Ravens’ passing offense. The Ravens signed Lamar Jackson to a long-term extension and will look to let him win games for them, meaning that the passing volume should increase. The addition of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator should also tip the Baltimore scale toward the pass game as well. If DeMarcus Robinson could pull in 40 receptions with Greg Roman as the offensive coordinator in 2022, Beckham ought to make it happen this season.
- Without looking at Beckham’s statistical history, most fans would say that his time in Cleveland went relatively poorly, aside from his 2019 campaign. Well, even when OBJ was bad, he wasn’t THAT bad. Since 2020, Beckham has played in 25 games and pulled in 88 receptions for 3.5 receptions per game. Even if Beckham maintains that relatively modest pace, he would reach the 40-catch threshold in just 12 games played. However, after signing a $15 million contract with Baltimore, the Ravens will likely look to involve him heavily in the offense.
- The Ravens’ top pass catcher and franchise tight end Mark Andrews has missed a handful of practices this preseason with an undisclosed injury concern. Though head coach John Harbaugh has dismissed concerns, it’s not a great sign. If Andrews misses time, it opens up a ton of opportunity within the Ravens’ offense.
Dawson Knox under 39.5 Receptions (-110)
- Knox has been a reliable tight end in the explosive Buffalo Bills offense for much of his career, like a trusty pickup that always starts up no matter how many miles are on it. Unfortunately for Knox, there’s a shiny new model in the driveway for Josh Allen to take for a joy ride — Dalton Kincaid.
- If Kincaid is not the top pass-catching tight end in Buffalo prior to week one, he will be shortly thereafter. During the preseason, Kincaid ran a route on 71% of plays in which he was on the field, lining up either in the slot or split out wide on 53% of snaps in the preseason.
- With Knox as the primary pass-catching tight end a season ago, Knox caught 48 passes on 65 targets. Assuming that workload is significantly reduced with the presence of Kincaid, Knox would be hard pressed to reach 40 receptions.
- The emergence of running back James Cook as a potential pass-catching threat could take away from the amount of targets that Buffalo tight ends receive this season. Cook is more of a receiving threat out of the backfield than previous starting running back Devin Singletary and should command a larger target share, cutting into Knox’s ceiling.
As you dig into your pockets and book your favorite player props from those listed above, remember that sports betting is a fun way to add excitement to the game. Sports bets should never be used as a way to solve financial problems or escape debt of any sort, and funds used for gambling should always be expendable. Be sure to set limits and never chase your losses. Enjoy the thrill of financially backing your favorite players, but keep it fun.
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Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Frank Jansky / Icon Sportswire