In this weekly NFL player props preview, we’ll highlight some bets you should consider for the upcoming week.
Player props typically aren’t posted until closer to game day. This early preview will look at some particularly favorable or unfavorable matchups that could become actionable.
This doesn’t mean we should automatically bet on these props, but these are some of the first players to check when lines are posted.
Hopefully, oddsmakers haven’t identified the same trends as us, and we can find favorable value on these player props.
Consider the over on Jaylen Warren’s receiving yards prop
This is an awfully low number for a team’s third-leading receiver, so take the over on Jaylen Warren’s receiving yards on Thursday night.
Jaylen Warren’s receiving yards prop, current line:
The over on this prop is 5-2 on the year, and there’s no reason to believe Jayen Warren’s usage in the passing game will slow down anytime soon.
Since Week 3, Warren has been on the field for at least 53% of the Pittsburgh Steelers pass plays in every game, per TruMedia.
Warren’s explosive ability is a key reason to like this prop, as he’s had two receptions of at least 20 yards this year, and four of at least 15 yards 一 so it usually doesn’t take much volume to hit this over.
In this particular matchup, Warren should benefit from the Tennessee Titans’ low blitz rate 一 they rank 25th at 21% per TruMedia.
Like most running backs, Warren sees a higher target share on non-blitzes (17%) than against the blitz (2%).
Consider the over on Josh Downs’ receptions prop
We’re on a three-game win streak with this prop, so let’s take the over on Josh Downs’ receptions.
Josh Downs’ receptions prop, current line:
No one in the Indianapolis Colts offense has benefited from Gardner Minshew taking over at quarterback more than Josh Downs. Here’s a look at his target share from Minshew compared to Anthony Richardson:
- Minshew: 23%
- Richardson: 16%
One of the reasons for the shift is Minshew’s tendency to get rid of the ball quickly since he lacks Richardson’s scrambling ability.
On throws released in 2.5 seconds or less, Downs sees a 23% target share (regardless of his quarterback), compared to 17% on longer-developing plays, per TruMedia.
This prop was inexplicably available at 3.5 receptions last week despite Downs hauling in five or more receptions in his three previous games 一 he easily hit the over with seven catches on nine targets.
As long as the line stays at 4.5 or lower, we should stick with Downs 一 though my confidence is slightly lower than last week given the possibility of an ugly, low-scoring game against the Carolina Panthers.
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Consider the over on Jaren Hall’s rushing yards prop
In the first start of his NFL career, take the over on Jaren Hall’s rushing yards prop against the Atlanta Falcons.
Jaren Hall’s rushing yards prop, current line:
With Kirk Cousins done for the year with an Achilles injury, the Vikings turn to rookie Jaren Hall. This will require a significant change in the offense, as Hall is a better athlete than Cousins but lacks the arm to challenge defenses downfield at the rate Cousins has in the past.
Given Hall’s strengths and weaknesses, an obvious adjustment would be to get him on the move and potentially even use him on some designed runs.
Last year at BYU, Hall averaged 6.2 rush attempts per game for 32.9 yards excluding sacks, per Sports Info Solutions.
Hall also averaged 2.7 passes per game on designed rollouts, so he’s comfortable on the move 一 which makes sense as it helps compensate for his modest height (he’s listed at 6-foot).
It’s tough to guess where this line will be placed in Hall’s starting debut, but we might use Bryce Young as a reference as they have similar physical and athletic traits. Young’s rushing yards prop was lined at 12.5 yards in his debut.
Consider the over on T.J. Hockenson’s receptions prop
We haven’t played this prop in a few weeks, but let’s go back to an early-season favorite and take the over on T.J. Hockenson’s receptions prop.
T.J. Hockenson’s receptions prop, current line:
The Atlanta Falcons defense is a good matchup for T.J. Hockenson, and the quarterback change from Cousins to Hall may not hurt as much as some expect.
According to TruMedia, the Falcons use two-high coverages at the league’s third-highest rate outside the red zone (56%). This scheme benefits Hockenson as it creates openings in the middle of the field.
Outside the red zone, Hockenson has seen a team-high 25% target share against two-high coverages, and 30% over the last three weeks without Justin Jefferson.
We don’t know for certain how the Vikings offense will change with Hall at quarterback, but he did target Hockenson on two of his four attempts last week.
Hall’s arm is not as strong as Cousins’, so it stands to reason that he’ll challenge defenses downfield less frequently, which potentially means more opportunities for Hockenson.
Consider the over on Amari Cooper’s longest reception prop
Against a friendly Arizona Cardinals defense, take the over on Amari Cooper’s longest reception prop.
Amari Cooper’s longest reception prop, current line:
The Cardinals have allowed an average of 2.9 completions of 20 or more yards per game this season with at least one in every game. So longest reception props are always an option against them, especially for a team’s primary deep threat, like Amari Cooper.
According to TruMedia, Cooper has been the targeted receiver on 14 of the Browns’ 29 pass attempts of 20 or more yards, and he hauled in two of those deep-ball targets last week against the Seahawks.
Even if P.J. Walker starts again, we should trust Cooper on this prop based on Arizona’s incompetent defense.
The Cardinals are allowing a disgraceful 65% completion rate on throws 15 or more yards downfield. So even Walker should be able to make a few plays against this defense.
Consider the under on Tyson Bagent’s longest completion prop
With Justin Fields expected to miss another week, take the under on Tyson Bagent’s longest completion prop.
Tyson Bagent’s longest completion prop, current line:
The Bears have rolled out a conservative game plan for Tyson Bagent to ease him into the NFL. Only 10% of Bagent’s throws have traveled at least 15 yards downfield, the league’s lowest rate among quarterbacks with two or more starts (league average: 20%), per TruMedia.
Expect this conservative approach to continue against the New Orleans Saints, who have one of the league’s top pass defenses this year.
According to TruMedia, opponents have completed 27.5% of their passes at 15 or more yards downfield against the Saints, the league’s second-lowest rate. Additionally, New Orleans has a 10% interception rate on those throws.
Bagent has just one completion of 25 yards or more through his first 2.5 games, so we should feel good about the under against a tough Saints defense.