Everybody hopped aboard the De’Von Achane bandwagon in Week 5 and rode it to the window for easy cash. Unfortunately for bettors everywhere, the Achance Van broke down last week, resulting in an IR trip for the rookie running back. It looks like we’ll have to go elsewhere to find profit in Week 6. Thankfully, Brett Ford (@FadeThatMan) and Tyler Gentile (@808Paperboi) keep grinding to bring readers their best bets for the coming week of football! Through expert analysis and diligent research, Brett and Tyler have compiled a list of the best places to leverage player performance for profit this week.
Please note: Listed lines and odds are subject to change from sportsbook to sportsbook, and may have moved since the article was written and posted.
Ryan Tannehill over 0.5 INT (-120)
- Through five games this season, Ryan Tannehill has posted his lowest completion percentage since 2015 when he played for the Dolphins. He has also thrown five picks through five games, including one in each of his last two outings.
- The Ravens’ pass defense ranks fourth in the NFL in DVOA while allowing the fewest passing yards per pass so far this year. They’ve allowed just 175.0 passing yards per game through five contests.
- The Baltimore Ravens’ defense has generated four interceptions through five games so far, with safety Geno Stone picking off a pair of passes to lead the way. Baltimore is favored in the game and will likely continue its stellar work of stopping the run and forcing the Titans to move the ball through the air. Baltimore ranks sixth in rush defense DVOA and has allowed just 91.4 rushing yards per game.
- Tannehill has been uninspiring so far. Frankly, one of the biggest risks to this over is him getting benched in favor of rookie Will Levis. I’m not sure if the Tennessee Titans will resort to that, but Tannehill’s performance to date has been rather atrocious.
Darnell Mooney over 31.5 receiving yards (-115)
- This bet isn’t so much about Mooney as it is about his quarterback. Justin Fields has shown significant improvement over his past two outings. Granted, both of them were against weak passing defenses, but his accuracy has been much better and his overall passing instincts seem to have improved as well.
- Fields only completed passes to one wide receiver last week: D. J. Moore, who went ballistic. Cole Kmet caught a handful of passes while Mooney was targeted four times for no catches. Positive regression is coming.
- Mooney topped this total in nine of his last 12 games, including two out of four games this season. Mooney has been inconsistent so far this season, but has garnered the second-most deep targets on the team, trailing only Moore. Mooney could reach this yardage mark with just one completion, and it’s not like the Vikings’ defense has shown much resistance to the deep pass.
- Minnesota cornerbacks Byron Murphy and Josh Metellus have both performed poorly so far this season. With the Vikings’ secondary most likely focused on shutting down Moore, Mooney should be the next best thing (at least at receiver) for Fields to target.
Kenneth Walker III over 66.5 rushing yards (-110)
- The Bengals defense has been bad against the run. It’s basically that simple. Cincinnati ranks 30th in the NFL in both rush defense DVOA as well as yards per carry allowed to opponents. Last week, the Arizona Cardinals piled on to the rushing performances racking up against the Bengals, running for 142 yards and 6.5 yards per carry.
- Walker has led a Seahawks attack that has committed to the run game. The Seattle offense ranks in the bottom third of the league in pass attempts per game, aiming to take control of the game script by dominating the clock and taking the air out of the ball, an approach that would make a ton of sense as they take on the explosive (on paper) Bengals offense.
- In two of the three games this season that the Seahawks weren’t blown out (excluding the Week 1 loss to the Rams), Walker has rushed for more than 75 yards in two of them. In his career, Walker has recorded 10 games with 16 or more carries and reached at least 75 yards in eight of them. The combination of run-heavy game plan, Cincinnati’s weak rush defense, and Walker’s projected volume (and production) make him a top candidate to hit this over.
Kyle Pitts over 33.5 receiving yards (-110)
- I feel kind of gross putting my hard-earned money on anything linked to the throwing performance of Desmond Ridder, but here we are. Pitts has garnered a 20.8 percent target share through five games and topped 33.5 yards in three of five games, including last time out when he posted 87 yards on a season-high 11 targets.
- Entering Week 5, Pitts had the NFL’s lowest catchable target rate with Ridder delivering the ball, but he seemed to pull them in just fine last week. As bettors (and football fans in general), we hope the positive regression is here to stay. With an 11.7 ADOT and 32.1 percent air yards share, Pitts is the Falcons’ top intermediate to deep pass target. He might need only two receptions to reach this low total.
- The Commanders have been bad against downfield passes so far this season, allowing pass catchers to have success with the long ball. Deep threats D. J. Moore, A. J. Brown, and Marvin Mims each torched their secondary for big days. So far this season, Pitts has been used by the Falcons in a similar role despite his roster label as a tight end.
- The Commanders’ strength on defense so far this season has been their run defense but they’ve been extremely exploitable through the air. Whether or not the Falcons’ offense wants to, it may be forced to generate offense with the passing game for a second straight week. We’ve seen recent glimpses of Ridder’s capabilities through the air, but with Pitts’ large target share, we may only need a few opportunities.
TJ Hockenson over 5.5 receptions (+110)
- For the first time since joining the Vikings, Hockenson will take the field without wide receiver Justin Jefferson suiting up. Hockenson hasn’t played without an alpha receiver on his flank since he was with the Lions. Amon-Ra St. Brown missed Detroit’s game against the Seahawks on Oct. 2, 2022. In that contest, Hockenson posted eight catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
- Even with Jefferson on the field so far this season, Hockenson has been one of Kirk Cousins‘ favorite targets, averaging six catches on nearly eight targets per game. He has topped 5.5 receptions three times in five contests this season and nine of his 16 games since being traded to the Vikings midway through last season.
- The Bears’ defense has struggled in the passing game overall, ranking 31st in the NFL in pass defense DVOA and 28th in yards per pass allowed. Chicago has given up several big games to tight ends, including last week when Logan Thomas went for nine catches, 77 yards, and a score. Travis Kelce and Cade Otton also posted at least six receptions each against the Bears earlier this year.
- With Jefferson out, the Vikings will have a whopping 26.6 percent target share up for grabs. Hockenson, who has already garnered a 19.6 percent target share so far this season, should see an uptick in targets, receptions, and production.
Logan Thomas anytime TD (+265)
- Logan Thomas is the top pass-catcher in Washington. I said what I said. Since returning to action in Week 2, Thomas leads the Commanders with 6.25 targets per game, narrowly leading Terry McLaurin (6.17). In the red zone, Thomas has four targets and two touchdowns so far this season. Meanwhile, McLaurin has zero and zero, respectively.
- The Falcons defense plays primarily man-to-man, leading the NFL in man defense percentage over the first five weeks. Thomas presents a matchup problem for the Atlanta linebacking corps as well as safeties Jessie Bates III and Richie Grant. In five games this season, Atlanta has allowed three tight end touchdowns (Hayden Hurst, Sam LaPorta, Dalton Schultz) and allowed another big game to Evan Engram as well.
- Thomas also has rushing touchdown equity. A former college quarterback at Virginia Tech, Thomas has rushed the ball twice (officially once, with one resulting in a defensive penalty) in short yardage situations. He could be called upon for a sneak or direct snap rush at the goal line if the situation presents itself.
- Valued closer to the backup running backs than to the premier pass-catchers, Thomas is being undervalued and overlooked by sportsbooks in this spot. Currently listed at higher odds to find the end zone than players like Cade Otton, Michael Gallup, and Salvon Ahmed, I’ll take my chances with Thomas.
Zay Flowers over 55.5 receiving yards -125
- Zay Flowers is Lamar’s favorite wide receiver to target and leads the teams with 25. Next behind him is Nelson Agholor with 11. Tight end Mark Andrews does have 20 with one fewer game played.
- Teams might not be able to establish the run against the Titans, but they can definitely attack them through the air: Tennessee is 27th in dropback EPA 28th in opponent completion percentage, and 26th in yards allowed to wide receivers.
- Last week it was Joshua Downs who finished with a 6-97 line while Michael Pittman went 5-52. The week prior we saw Ja’Marr Chase finish with 73 yards on 7 grabs. In Week 3, Amari Cooper had 7 receptions for 116 yards. Keenan Allen (8-111) and Mike Williams (8-83) both had amazing days against them in Week 2, as did Rashid Shaheed (5-89) and Chris Olave (8-112) in Week 1.
- The Ravens’ first-round selection in this year’s draft has exceeded this 55.5 yard mark in four of five games, averaging 63 yards per game.
Josh Downs over 42.5 receiving yards (-125)
- Gardner Minshew is starting for Indy this week; he has peppered Downs when the two have shared a field together.
- In Week 2, Downs was 3-32 with four targets when Minshew entered the game in the 2nd quarter.
- In Week 3 with the ‘stache starting, Downs led the team with 12 targets and finished 8-57 against a much tougher Baltimore Ravens defense.
- Last week against Tennessee, Minchew entered the game towards the end of the 2nd quarter. Downs was actually 3-57 before Anthony Richardson departed, then caught three passes for 40 yards from Minshew before the game’s end.
- Slightly behind Michael Pittman (23) in targets with 21, Downs is the clear number two option in the Colts passing attack.
Calvin Ridley over 59.5 receiving yards (-115)
- Calvin Ridley is going to go nuclear against this Colts pathetic secondary. Just about every top receiver does, and Ridley himself did back in Week 1, finishing with 101 yards on 8 receptions.
- Other top wide-outs have fared well against them: Flowers (8-48) barely missed this mark, but Nico Collins (7-146), Puka Nacua (9-163), and DeAndre Hopkins (8-140) blew it out of the water.
- Aside from the game against Atlanta, Ridley has seen 7+ targets in his four other contests this season and should continue to see a heavy target share in this offense.
- He’s coming off a season-high 122 yards on 8 catches and should be able to build on his chemistry with Trevor Lawrence in this contest.
- Seeing that they have allowed a receiver to hit the century mark in yards in four of the five games, I’m also going to make this a ladder play: I’m adding .25u on 100+ yards at +425, .15u on 110+ yards at +600, and .1u on 120+ yards at +825. Y’know what, let’s also put .1u on him to lead all receivers in yards this Sunday at 40/1.
Kenneth Walker over 66.5 rushing yards (-115)
- Kenneth Walker is the bell cow of this offense and has handled 64 of 90 carries (71 percent).
- The Bengals are among the league’s worst at stopping the run. They are 28th in rush EPA, and 30th in both run-stop win rate and opponent YPC (5.3)
- Aside from Kyren Williams (10-38) and the Rams, four of the five teams to play Cincinnati have gone over this mark easily.
- James Connor and Emari Demarcado combined for a 16-91 line, Derrick Henry was 22-122 the week prior, Williams happened, then the Ravens’ duo of Gus Edwards and Justice Hill went for 21-103. Oh, almost forgot: in Week 1, Nick Chubb finished with 106 yards on 18 carries.
- Over the last two weeks against run-funnel defenses, Walker has gone over this 66.5 yard mark with relative ease: he went 18-97 against the Carolina Panthers, and gained 79 yards on 17 carries when facing the New York Giants two weeks ago.
- Per Next Gen Stats, among 42 running backs with at least 30 carries this year, Walker is 10th in rush yards over expected per attempt.
- The weather forecast in Cincinnati is calling for heavy winds, which would impact the passing game. That could lead to the Hawks leaning on the run game even more.
Raheem Mostert over 67.5 rushing yards (-115)
- With Achane going on IR and Jeff Wilson, Jr. still making his way back from injury (it’s still unclear if he’ll be activated), it should be the Raheem Mostert show for the Miami Dolphins’ running game on Sunday.
- The 31-year-old Mostert has been excellent on the ground this season, even with Achane taking over the backfield recently. He is 5th in RYOE/ATT among 42 qualified running backs.
- He has 65+ rushing yards in three of his five games this season and should pop off in this matchup with Miami as -13.5 favorites.
- Carolina is dead last in rush EPA, 28th in YPC allowed, and a running back has exceeded this number in four of five games against them.
- Tyler Allgeier went 15-75 in Week 1, and Bijan Robinson added 56 yards on just 10 carries. The New Orleans Saints’ duo of Tony Jones, Jr. and Jamaal Williams failed miserably the following week. Walker went 18-97 in Week 3, Alexander Mattison had 95 yards on 18 carries in Week 4, and David Montgomery exploded for a 19-109 line last week.
- Prior to Achane joining the rotation, Mostert was playing 73 percent of snaps in Weeks 1 and 2. I’d expect similar usage come Sunday with Wilson uncertain to suit up and Salvon Ahmed as the likely backup.
- As -13.5 favorites, there’s a strong probability that the Dolphins will be dominating in this contest, leading to a more ground-heavy/clock-sucking approach toward the back half of the game.
Cooper Kupp over 86.5 receiving yards (-105)
- Matthew Stafford’s go-to guy returned last week and didn’t miss a beat: Cooper Kupp finished with 8 catches on a team-high 12 targets, which resulted in 112 yards.
- Excluding the game in which Stafford suffered his season-ending injury, Kupp has exceeded this number in 21-of-25 regular season games with Stafford under center. There’s no reason to think that trend will change in this matchup.
- The Arizona Cardinals are 29th in dropback EPA per play and 26th in opponent passing yards per game. Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen the alpha receivers of the 49ers and Bengals go berserk against them. Brandon Aiyuk finished with 6 grabs and 148 yards, while Ja’Marr Chase had 15 receptions for 192 yards and three touchdowns.
Tony Pollard over 66.5 rushing yards (-115)
- The Cowboys love to run the ball as much as anyone and have done so at the 4th highest rate on the season. The game script of last week’s bloodbath didn’t permit them to do so, but that’s creating a discounted price on Tony Pollard’s rushing line.
- He has failed to go over this mark in back-to-back weeks, but did so in the three previous contests, and should be able to once again on Monday Night Football in a soft matchup.
- The Los Angeles Chargers don’t have an imposing rushing defense and are 21st in run-stop win rate, 16th in rush EPA, and t-17th in YPC allowed.
- If Alexander Mattison can go for 93 yards on 20 carries on this defense, I’m certain Pollard can gain at least 67 yards on the ground.
- This Dallas offensive line is elite and should pave the way for Pollard to get plenty of holes to pounce through.
- PFF rates this O-line/D-line matchup as the 3rd most advantageous for running the ball this week.
As bettors, we must remember to maintain discipline throughout the course of the season. There are 18 weeks of football in the regular season alone, not to mention the playoffs. There’s no need to wager the entire bankroll in one week. However, as you accumulate winnings, don’t be afraid to incrementally increase unit size. Create a plan and stick to it. There’s no reason to go crazy on just one football Sunday.
Do you or a loved one have a problem with gambling? Call 1-800-426-2537 for confidential help and support.
(Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire)