If you placed the listed bets after reading last week’s article, you would have enjoyed a nice little Sunday profit. Brett Ford (@FadeThatMan) went 3-2 (Craig Reynolds never had a posted total for rushing yards), including a +205 winner for a modest profit in Week 7. Rookie wide receivers Rashee Rice and Jaxon Smith-Njigba both got the job done, with JSN not only hitting the over on his receiving total but also finding the end zone for a score. It’s back to business this week as we try to mine all the best player props and continue building the bankroll!
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.
Kyle Pitts over 32.5 receiving yards (-115)
- It’s always risky to wager on Atlanta Falcons’ skill position players with head coach Arthur Smith regularly toying with the fantasy football and sports betting community. His baffling usage of Bijan Robinson a week ago was the latest case of Smith trying to prove that he doesn’t care about anything outside of winning football games. That would be admirable if it didn’t mean completely contradicting what expert analysts believe to be optimal usage for his stars’ skill sets in what appear to be moves specifically spiteful to the fantasy football community. Anyway, I’ll come down from my soapbox…
- Kyle Pitts has been rolled out as the Falcons’ biggest downfield threat. He leads all NFL tight ends with 461 air yards and ranks first among tight ends with at least five receptions with a 10.98 average depth of target (aDOT).
- The Tennessee Titans’ defense has continued to struggle against intermediate to deep passing routes, allowing chunk yardage on several deep throws so far this season. Now in sell mode, the Titans have traded away defensive leader Kevin Byard, leaving them short-handed in the secondary.
- Based on his usage and role, Pitts could reach this total in just one or two receptions. The third-year tight end has pulled in at least three receptions and topped this yardage total in four of his last five games, and should be able to reach this number against one of the league’s least effective pass defenses on Sunday.
Breece Hall over 67.5 rushing yards (-115)
- Breece Hall has earned the lion’s share of running back opportunities, seeing his usage percentage increase significantly over the past two weeks. In last weekend’s victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Hall toted the rock on 12 of 16 running back carries. The week prior against Denver, he handled 22 of the Jets’ 28 running back carries.
- The New York Giants were great against the run last week, holding the Washington Commanders to just 76 yards on the ground. However, entering Week 7 the Giants ranked 31st in the NFL against the rush, allowing 147.5 rushing yards per game.
- Hall has topped this total just twice on the season and averages just over 60.0 yards rushing per game but has shined in plus matchups. He averaged at least 8.0 yards per carry in games against the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Denver Broncos, all of whom rank in the bottom half of the league in rushing defense. He should be able to ball out against the Giants in the Battle of the Meadowlands on Sunday.
- So Dalvin Cook is making noise about not getting enough touches after signing in the offseason with the New York Jets. I’m not sure what he expected, but it’s pretty clear that Breece is the superior back in this running back room. I doubt that the Jets are going to come out and kowtow to Cook’s demands; the balance of touches should remain about the same this week.
- Let me reiterate: the Giants’ rushing defense is bad, and there’s really not much that Wink Martindale can do about it. He does, however, love to blitz the quarterback. Odds are that he will call on his defense to get after Zach Wilson with extra men coming on nearly every dropback. That bodes well for the Giants because Wilson is awful under pressure. To counter, the Jets should lean even more heavily on the run game.
Dallas Goedert over 40.5 receiving yards (-110)
- The only thing that scares me about this bet on Dallas Goedert is that it’s largely reliant on a coaching staff making adjustments to game planning based on previous performance, something a coaching staff doesn’t always do. Let’s hope that Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio are intelligent enough to adjust their scheme to combat how the Eagles beat them in the first meeting this season.
- In the Commanders’ Week 4 meeting with the Eagles, the Washington secondary allowed A. J. Brown to go for nine receptions, 175 yards and two house calls. The veteran wide receiver torched their secondary pretty much from the jump. Most of his damage was done against man-to-man coverage, which the Commanders have played at an above-average rate this season.
- In the event that defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio changes his defensive scheme to try and counter what the Eagles did last time out, it would likely result in a shift to more frequent use of zone coverage to force the Eagles to rely more on Jalen Hurts’ ability to read the defense as opposed to relying on Brown’s elite talent to beat his guy one-on-one.
- Dallas Goedert would likely be the biggest beneficiary of that shift from man to zone, and could easily hit this over early in the game, as he did last week when he posted two catches for 44 yards on the Eagles’ opening drive.
Nico Collins over 57.5 receiving yards (-115)
Nico Collins ALT LINE 100+ yds (+475)
- This feels like a potential smash spot for Nico Collins, who has shown he’s capable of looking like an alpha wide receiver. In six games this season, Collins has put up four big lines, including two absolute monster games with seven catches for 146 yards and a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2 and seven catches for 168 yards and two scores against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4.
- The Carolina Panthers’ secondary has suffered a myriad of injuries so far this season with budding stars Jeremy Chinn and Jaycee Horn both on injured reserve and starting safeties Xavier Woods and Vonn Bell looking like they might miss this week’s action due to lingering injuries. All-pro pass rusher Brian Burns was also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game after being limited at Thursday’s practice, and edge Yetur Gross-Matos was placed on IR last week, as well.
- So far this season, Carolina has ranked below league average in pass defense DVOA while the Houston Texans have ranked fifth in pass offense DVOA; rookie quarterback CJ Stroud looks like a bonafide star. Speaking of Stroud, do you remember who passed on him with the number one overall draft pick? There’s likely no other team that Stroud would love to show out against more than the Panthers, who chose Bryce Young ahead of him last spring.
- Nic Bodiford (@NicBodifordNFL) does an outstanding job of laying out Collins’ exceptional matchup this week, including a rundown of his “Splash Zone” targets this season, an area of the field that yields higher PPR value than others.
- Based on his performances so far this season in plus-matchups, the Panthers’ diminished depth chart in the secondary, and his penchant for big plays, Nico Collins should fly over this total. I like him to hit triple-digit receiving yards for the third time this season as well.
- NOTE: On Draftkings, you can find “Sunday Leaders” under weekly specials where Collins is listed at +6000 to have the most receiving yards of any receiver around the league on Sunday (14 games). I placed a tiny little wager on that as well.
Kirk Cousins over 250.5 passing yards (-115)
- Kirk Cousins showed out in primetime last week, finishing with 378 passing yards and two touchdowns as the Minnesota Vikings took down the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. At this point, Cousins has proven that he is nearly matchup-proof, and has cemented himself as a top-12 quarterback this season. Oh, and by the way, he’s in a contract year.
- Cousins should be able to continue his torrid pace against a hampered Green Bay Packers’ secondary on Sunday that could be without leader Jaire Alexander, who missed practice on Thursday after being a limited participant on Wednesday. Meanwhile, cornerback Eric Stokes and safety Darnell Savage are both on injured reserve.
- Cousins has hit this total or more in five of seven games so far this season, as the Vikings have taken to the air at the highest rate in the league through seven weeks (68.7 percent). The loss of Justin Jefferson to IR has not had an effect on the Vikings’ game plan or offensive play calling, as the team ranks third in the league in pass play percentage over the last three weeks.
Brandon Powell anytime TD (+360)
- Brandon Powell is certainly not what you picture as a red zone threat, standing at just 5’8″, but he does have a penchant for big plays and could potentially score from anywhere on the field.
- Powell was on the field for nearly 60 percent of the Vikings’ offensive snaps last week, a season-high for the sixth-year wide receiver. He ran 32 routes, just one fewer than Addison (although Addison did miss time with an injury mid-game).
- Priced near the backup tight ends, Powell will be on the field whenever the Vikings go to 11-personnel and should see close to 50% of the offensive snaps again this week. After a massive game from Jordan Addison last week, the Packers may be keying on the rookie, leaving ancillary pieces like Powell and KJ Osborn in single-coverage. With Osborn’s history of mediocre route running and questionable hands, I prefer Powell at longer odds.
So far this season, the picks given in this column have been average, going 25-25 through seven weeks. However, with a few long odds bets hitting, Brett’s picks have generated a profit of 10.61 units (meaning a bettor that placed $10 on every posted play would be up $106.10). It’s great to string together some winning weeks, but 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.
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)