All season, the staff at QB List are going to be picking out some of their favorite player prop bets for each game of the NFL season. Check in each week before games start to see our picks and (hopefully) see some solid advice! We’ll be keeping score as the season goes to check the accuracy of our bets.
Adam’s Betting Record: 10-11
Welcome to Week 3! I’m on a bit of a losing streak, which means that this week is about to be an incredibly big win, right? I guess I’m getting a little too ambitious with some of these bets, but — not to sound too cliche — I’m going to keep believing in the process and trust that the results will come.
Anyways, a fresh week of football games means a fresh batch of player props. So, let’s get to it!
Daniel Jones OVER 26.5 Rushing Yards (DK, -110)
On Fanduel: Daniel Jones OVER 26.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
Last week, Jones was the rusher for the Giants. He racked up 95 rushing yards on 9 attempts, dwarfing the yardage of RB Saquon Barkley (57 yards). Granted, one of Jones’ rushes was for 46 yards, which makes that YPC slightly inflated, but still impressive nonetheless. I think that rushing prowess is going to continue this week against the Falcons. The Falcons just allowed Jalen Hurts to rush for 62 yards against them on 7 attempts and I am sure that Tom Brady would have rushed for plenty if he had felt like it (1 attempt for 6 yards is still 6 YPC!). I think Jones is a little more rushing-oriented than Brady this season, as Jones has rushed for 27 and 95 yards in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. And, Jones has had to run against two of the best defenses in football, facing Denver in Week 1 and Washington in Week 2. So, it seems like there are brighter days ahead for Jones’ legs.
Last year, he had 5 games in which he ran for over 28 yards, so this rushing thing is not just some new thing for Jones. You might remember one of Jones’ great rushes from last year:
— JayOnSC (@JayOnSC) October 23, 2020
I thought I was watching Lamar Jackson for a second there because of how great that run looked. Then, he morphed back into Daniel jones when he tripped.
This week, Jones should be able to turn in a better performance against a much more forgiving defense than Denver or Washington. Not only have the Falcons failed to stop Jalen Hurts on the ground, but the Falcons have also failed to stop opposing defenses overall, allowing a disgusting 80 points across 2 games this season. I think Jones is going to outrush Saquon for the third straight week and should be able to rip off a big run or two to reach 28 rushing yards.
Also consider: Daniel Jones OVER 290.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards (DK, -115)
Justin Herbert OVER 296.5 Passing Yards (DK, -115)
Fanduel: Justin Herbert OVER 291.5 Passing Yards (-114)
Herbert should be able to pass the three-century mark in passing yards because the Chargers will need to score a ton of points to keep up with the Chiefs, which means more opportunities for Herbert to put up yardage. The Chiefs’ defense is not going to provide much resistance to Herbert and the Chargers, meaning Herbert should pick up yardage with ease.
Usually, my equation for shootout games (and mountains of fantasy points) is:
Good offense + Mediocre defense = Shootout.
Let’s substitute for our variables:
((Mahomes/Kelce/Hill/Andy Reid and Eric Bienemy) + (Herbert/Keenan Allen/Mike Williams/Ekeler/Not Anthony Lynn)) + Bottom-10 defenses for both sides = 54.5 Total
So, this one should be a ton of fun. Oddsmakers seem to agree, although this game total is projected to be the third-highest on the slate. That’s not an indictment of the Chiefs or Chargers, but more so because we have two other shootouts coming in Los Angeles (Bucs/Rams) and Minnesota (Seahawks/Vikings).
High-scoring games are like the proverbial rising tide, lifting all relevant players’ boats to inflated fantasy scores. So, I’m expecting big things out of the players listed above. That includes Herbert, who had to face a tough Washington Football Team in Week 1 and still threw for 337 yards. In Week 2, against a far weaker Dallas defense, Herbert threw for 338 yards. This week, Herbert gets a defense that just allowed 36 points to Lamar Jackson and Co., a defense that is projected to be among the worst in the league by DVOA (via FootballOutsiders).
That Chiefs’ defense is paired with an unstoppable Chiefs’ offense (except when they play Todd Bowles?). So, it may not matter that their defense is comprised of traffic cones because the offense can cover up most of their mistakes. That means teams that hope to beat the Chiefs need to focus on scoring all the points and not on trying to stop Mahomes, because trying to stop him is basically an exercise in futility. This is good news for Herbert and Co., who I think have the weapons and the talent to keep pace with the Chiefs. They will need to score as much as they can if they hope to beat Kansas City, which means this game has “shootout” written all over it.
Herbert for 400+ passing yards. You heard it here first.
Also consider: Justin Herbert OVER 1.5 Passing TDs (DK, -190)
Ty’Son Williams OVER 58.5 Rushing Yards (DK, FD, -114)
Welcome to the Ty’Son Williams show. It’s a good time for those of us who jumped on board early and trusted him against the Chiefs. This week, Williams gets another promising matchup, this time against the Detroit Lions. I think Williams is going to surpass this 58.5-yard mark because the Lions have a suspect defense and Baltimore will likely need to hand the ball off a lot to run down the clock.
The Lions sport one of the worst defenses in the NFL, ranking 32nd (out of 32!) in pass DVOA and 29th in rush DVOA, according to FootballOutsiders. It’s not going to get much better, as FO has projected the Lions to have the 31st-ranked defense by DVOA by the end of the season. PFF isn’t convinced, either, ranking the Lions as one of the worst run defenses in football this year. And, in ESPN’s Run Stop Win Rate, the Lions rank 25th. The Lions were just shredded by Aaron Jones for 4 TDs and 67 yards:
Aaron Jones gets the Packers on the board! 🧀
— ESPN (@espn) September 21, 2021
The point is, the Lions’ run defense is quite bad, meaning Williams should feast this week when given the opportunities!
And, I think he’s going to be given plenty of opportunities. The Lions will not be able to keep pace with this Ravens offense, especially if they can’t stop the run. The Ravens should be able to take the lead and continue to score by gashing the Lions on the ground. That game script seems favorable to Ty’Son Williams, who I assume will get the ball when the Ravens try to ‘run down’ the clock in the second half.
Now, there is the worry that Williams will continue to lose carries to guys like Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell, and Devonta Freeman. Last week, Williams had 13 carries to Murray’s 9 and Freeman’s 2. I suppose there’s nothing to suggest that Williams won’t continue to lose carries to Murray, but Williams looks like the more explosive/exciting back in this group and has the YPC to support it (5.9 against the Chiefs to Murray’s 4.0). If Williams continues to run well, even with the relatively small number of touches, he will have enough carries to do some real damage to NFL defenses. Ty’Son should be able to do some of that damage to this weak Lions defense, rushing for at least 59 yards.
Also consider: Ty’Son Williams OVER 72.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards (DK, -115)
James Robinson OVER 21.5 Reception Yards (DK, -120)
On Fanduel: James Robinson OVER 21.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
James Robinson will surpass 22.5 reception yards this week because the Jags are going to have to play from far behind, meaning Trevor Lawrence will have to throw the ball more (which means more opportunities for receiving yards, assuming he targets Robinson). I assume that Robinson, if he’s still playing, is going to pick up a bunch of yardage in garbage time, but that still counts for the purpose of the bet!
Robinson hasn’t seen a lot of opportunity this season, totaling just 16 rushing attempts across the Jags’ first two games. He’s had 9 targets across those two games, too, so it’s not as though he hasn’t been involved in the Jags’ gameplan at all. It’s just simply that the Jags have been BAD. Robinson leads the team in rushing yardage with 72 rushing yards in two games. The Jaguars are down really bad.
With that being said, Trevor Lawrence is still learning how to be an NFL quarterback with a very mediocre offense to support him. There are a couple of weapons (Marvin Jones, D.J. Chark, Robinson), but the lack of solid weapons have made Lawrence’s life quite hard. So, I think Urban Meyer and Co. are going to try to lean on Robinson and Hyde to start picking up some of the slack and taking some of the pressure off of Lawrence to produce. He’s already thrown 84 passes (42 per game) across the two games and yet his passer rating is a disgusting 57.1. The only players with a worse rating are Ryan Fitzpatrick (6 passes this season) and Zach Wilson (fellow rookie). So, maybe having Lawrence throw 40 more times a game and completing just 50% of those passes is probably not going to help his development too much. As such, I think makes sense for the Jaguars to design more plays that incorporate Robinson and Hyde into the game. I think this is the week Meyer starts implementing some of those plays, helping Robinson pick up some receiving yards and some more yardage on the ground. What’s there to lose by dumping the ball off to Robinson a few more times?
Also consider: Carlos Hyde OVER 7.5 Receiving Yards (DK, -110)
Jameis Winston OVER 0.5 Interceptions (DK, -215)
This prop is not available on Fanduel.
I’m not sure what Jameis Winston is going to be like against the Patriots, fantasy-wise. We know it’s going to be an up-and-down ride with Winston under center. The high of his performance against the Packers (14/20, 148 yards, 5 passing TDs, 0 INTs), followed immediately after by the low of his performance against the Panthers (11/22, 111 yards, 0 passing TDs, 2 INTs) is especially jarring. We always try to find patterns in football (even when there aren’t any) but I’m at a loss as to how you could find a pattern in his two games. I’m not an expert on Winston-ology, so if you’ve got any ideas for predicting future Jameis Winston performances, please hit me up.
What I am sure of is that Jameis’ true talent lies somewhere in the middle of these two performances. He probably won’t be as bad as he was against the Panthers and he won’t be quite as efficient as he was against the Packers. Unfortunately, he runs into a solid defense this week in the New England Patriots. On the defensive side of the ball, when the Pats are healthy, they are quite good. While standout CB Stephon Gilmore isn’t healthy at the moment, the rest of the defense has done just fine in his stead, stifling two ‘elite’ offenses in the Dolphins and the Jets to a total of 23 points. Plus, the Pats have this guy named Bill Belichick who seems to be pretty smart about NFL defenses.
Combine a solid defense (4 INTs last week !!) with a QB who is a little careless with the ball, and you’ve got a recipe for an INT here or there. I think the Patriots will ultimately try to take RB Alvin Kamara out of the equation as much as possible and force Winston to throw the ball, which should lead to an INT or two.
Also consider: Jameis Winston OVER 215.5 Passing Yards (DK, -115)
DK Metcalf OVER 75.5 Reception Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: DK Metcalf OVER 74.5 Reception Yards (-114)
DK is bound for a huge game. He just has to have that big fantasy game that he’s known for eventually. So, why can’t he do it against the Vikings? The matchup doesn’t even matter, because DK is basically unguardable.
Tyler Lockett has been taking basically all of the targets and all of the yardage this season and we know from previous seasons with this set of personnel that Lockett’s performance is simply not sustainable. I love Lockett as much as anyone, but I think the offense works quite well when Lockett and Metcalf are working in tandem to punish defenses downfield. I think Russell Wilson is going to find Metcalf and he’s going to find him early and often against the Vikings to pick up points and yardage.
Video of every DK Metcalf target through two games. The good news is that DK is still heavily targeted. The bad news is that he hasn't pulled in any deep balls yet. Hopefully that will change as defenses start keying in on Tyler Lockett more pic.twitter.com/aOBwqW53DF
— Parker (@ParkerLewes) September 22, 2021
Yes, Russ and the offense are operating under a new offensive coordinator and the offense has been cooking so far, even without Metcalf playing at his best. But, I find it hard to believe that Lockett is going to continue to swallow up this many targets and this much yardage when Metcalf is also a matchup nightmare for any defense. I think this is the week — even if there’s no real matchup data to support it — that fantasy managers are rewarded with a signature Metcalf fantasy explosion.
Also consider: DK Metcalf Longest Reception OVER 25.5 Yards (-110).
Aaron Rodgers UNDER 274.5 Passing Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Aaron Rodgers OVER 276.5 Passing Yards (-114)
I think A-Rod is going to throw for less than 277 passing yards against the 49ers because the game will be a slower, lower-scoring game, meaning Rodgers is going to have fewer opportunities to throw the ball downfield and pick up chunks of yardage.
Rodgers has struggled this season, turning in an absolute stinker against the Saints and then returning to some semblance of his 2020 MVP season against the Lions. I think this bet partially reflects oddsmakers being nervous about Rodgers’ regression from his MVP season in the early going, which is a fair assessment thus far. But, I think my choice has to do more with the 49ers’ style of play and their defense.
The 49ers are a run-heavy team, even if they keep losing running backs to injury. This week may become the Trey Sermon show if he’s ready to play and Elijah Mitchell isn’t feeling healthy enough to play. But, I’m not willing to bet against Kyle Shanahan and his run defense. The 49ers seem to pluck these RBs out of nowhere and their offensive system turns them into superstar runners. All of this is to say that the 49ers tend to run down the clock on their offensive drives, which leaves less time for the other team to really get into a rhythm or rack up fantasy points. In fact, the 49ers have ranked among the top 5 teams in average Time of Possession for each of the last 2 full seasons. 2021 is more of the same, as the 49ers have held onto the ball for some very long drives. I think Rodgers’ numbers are going to hurt as a result of the 49ers’ lack of speed.
I also think the 49ers, who have a projected top 5 defense (according to FootballOutsiders), will be able to put good pressure on Rodgers. The defense won’t fully stop him, but they will force a couple of extra incompletions out of him and force Rodgers to make some mistakes. The 49ers should be close to full health defensively and can gameplan adequately for the Packers as a result.
Now, this could all look very silly if the Packers blow the 49ers out or the game turns into a high-scoring affair. Rodgers should have no problem throwing for 300+ yards on any given day (except in Week 1, against the Saints?). Remember, he threw for 300+ yards regularly last season. He’s still an elite QB and you don’t usually bet against those. I’m going to do it anyways and say that Rodgers will finish with under 274 yards.
Also consider: Aaron Rodgers UNDER 35.5 yards for Longest Completion (DK, -110)
Good luck out there! Win some money!