It’s that time of year to start looking at player prop bets for the upcoming 2022 NFL season.

In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at some Over and Under Future bets worth considering at each position group. 

Up first: which running backs are likely to go UNDER their rushing yards total?

Jonathan Taylor’s rushing yards prop: why you should bet the under

Current Rushing Yards Over/Under for Jonathan Taylor:

Jonathan Taylor is coming off a memorable season, and there’s no reason to doubt his ability to put up impressive numbers again. However, reaching the statistical markers he achieved in 2021 will be difficult to repeat. 

  • Expected drop in workload 
  • Yardage produced on long runs should drop off significantly 

#1 Reason to Bet the Under

Taylor finished the season with 332 carries, but such an extreme workload did not appear to be the Colts’ initial game plan. 

Through Week 8, Taylor averaged 15.1 carries per game (on pace for 257 for a full season). However, Week 8 was Marlon Mack’s final game 一 he had been ineffective, returning from his 2020 Achilles injury. 

From Week 9 through the end of the year, Taylor then averaged 23.4 carries per game, as Indy essentially operated without a backup running back.

When the score was within 10 points, Taylor accounted for 94% of the team’s handoffs to running backs in the second half of the season 一 a massive leap from 69% through Week 8.

It’s hard to imagine the game plan is for Taylor to accumulate 332 carries again. Phillip Lindsay was added to the backfield to help lighten his load, and we should see him strategically used to limit Taylor’s touches when possible. 

#2 Reason to Bet the Under

In 2021, Taylor had 14 carries of at least 20 yards, gaining a total of 550 yards on those attempts (30% of his total yardage). 

That yardage total on long runs is an extreme outlier, and virtually impossible to repeat. 

Dating back to 2000, Taylor was just the 19th player to have gained at least 500 total yards on long runs (20 or more yards). To underscore just how hard it is to replicate those numbers, consider these stats from the previous 18 ball carriers:

  • None of the 18 reached 500 yards on long runs the following year
  • Only 3 of the 18 reached 400 yards the next season
  • On average, their long-run yardage total decreased by 61% the following season
  • The smallest percentage decrease was 24% (LaDainian Thomlinson from 2006 to 2007)

Applying that 61% decrease to Taylor, we would expect his yardage total to drop by about 336 yards. Subtracting that from his 2021 yardage total leaves him with 1,475 yards 一 enough to hit the over, but only if he were able to replicate everything else from his impressive 2021 campaign. 

With less yardage piled up on long runs, and slightly fewer touches over the course of the season, it will be difficult for Taylor to hit the over on his rushing yards prop. 

» Bet the Jonathan Taylor Rushing Yards Under 

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Derrick Henry’s rushing yards prop: why you should bet the under

Current Rushing Yards Over/Under for Derrick Henry:

Based on his age and recent injury, it looks like a good bet to take the under on these rushing yards props for Derrick Henry

  • Expected to have a smaller workload
  • Inconsistent offensive line was not addressed in offseason

#1 Reason to Bet the Under

The 28-year-old Henry is returning from a broken foot and has logged 1,185 touches over the last four seasons. Despite his historic production in recent years, Tennessee knows it can’t continue to lean on Henry for such an extreme workload. 

The selection of Hassan Haskins in the fourth round 一 a ball carrier with a similar running style to Henry 一 was likely a sign Tennessee intends to lighten Henry’s workload in an effort to keep him fresh. 

#2 Reason to Bet the Under

Tennessee’s offensive line struggled last season and few changes were made, aside from the addition of third-round rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere

Tennessee running backs picked up three or more yards before contact at the third lowest rate in 2021. For Henry, his rate of gaining at least three yards before contact dropped from 25% in 2020 to 18% last season. 

Additionally, Henry gained just 0.95 yards before contact per attempt, ranked 43rd among running backs with at least 100 carries. 

Henry was still productive despite the poor offensive line play last season, but he’s now a year older and returning from an injury. As he ages, he’ll become more dependent on his offensive line to clear room, and this unit probably won’t help him much in 2022. 

» Bet the Derrick Henry Rushing Yards Under 

Saquon Barkley’s rushing yards prop: why you should bet the under

Current Rushing Yards Over/Under for Saquon Barkley:

When healthy, Saquon Barkley can be electric with the ball in his hands, but his track record indicates the under on his rushing total is a smart bet this season.

  • History of injuries 
  • Playing in Brian Daboll’s more pass-heavy offense
  • Barkley is an inefficient runner, even in favorable situations

#1 Reason to Bet the Under

Barkley has suited up for 28 of 49 games over the past three seasons. That history of injuries appears to be factored into the available numbers already, but it’s still one of the primary reasons the under is the only option when considering his prop bets. 

#2 Reason to Bet the Under

In his four seasons in Buffalo, Brian Daboll’s offense did not produce a 900-yard rusher and no one was given more than 200 carries. 

Assuming Barkley maintains his career average of 4.5 yards per attempt, he would need 201 carries to hit the over. If he repeated last year’s 3.7 yards per carry, he would need 244 carries. 

Daboll wants to throw the ball 一 and may have even more incentive to do so in New York than last year in Buffalo, while likely playing from behind at a higher rate. 

#3 Reason to Bet the Under

There’s no doubting Barkley’s big-play ability, but he’s also one of the most indecisive runners in the league. His tendency to hunt for the big play, rather than take what’s given, creates negative plays.

When running into a box with six or fewer defenders (typically a favorable situation), Barkley has been stuffed for zero or negative yards on 25.6% of his carries the past two seasons, the league’s highest rate, per TruMedia. 

Over that same time span, every other Giants running back has combined for a rate of just 10.9%. 

Knowing Daboll is already inclined to lean on the passing game more than most, he may grow tired of Barkley’s inefficient running style and further dial back the run game. 

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean Barkley won’t play a significant role in the offense 一 expect a career year in the pass game 一 but his run-game usage is likely to suffer.

» Bet the Saquon Barkley Rushing Yards Under 

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