We’re into Week 3 of the NFL season now, and we can start coming to some conclusions about teams’ relative strengths and weaknesses. Matchups to target and avoid are becoming more evident, which makes it much easier to make predictions for fantasy football and prop bets. There are several prop bets which I am tempted to wager on this week, but these are the handful that stands out the most to me in Week 3.
Week 3 NFL Searchable Player Props
Quarterback Player Props
Over 32.5 passing attempts
This prop is quite simply mispriced. Derek Carr had 56 passing attempts in Week 1 and 37 in Week 2, good for 46.5 per week so far. Sure, the Raiders are projected to beat the Tua Tagovailoa-less Dolphins by a decent margin. However, with Josh Jacobs likely out again this week, the Raiders will struggle to run the ball and throw quite a bit. Las Vegas will have a high passing volume even in neutral and positive game scripts, and Carr should get to 33 attempts well before this game truly gets out of hand. The Dolphins shouldn’t be overlooked as a team capable of making things interesting for the Raiders this week.
Over 25.5 rushing yards
The Giants have emphasized Daniel Jones’s rushing ability in the offense so far this season, as he has totaled 122 rushing yards through two games. The Falcons allowed Jalen Hurts to run for 62 yards on just seven carries in Week 1 and have one of the weakest front sevens in the NFL. With Jones’s rushing a focal point of the offense and the Falcons allowing 4.9 YPC so far this year, the sixth-most in the NFL, this is an obtainable line for Jones.
Running Back Player Props
D’Andre Swift & T.J. Hockenson
Over 32.5 receiving yards (Swift) and over 57.5 receiving yards (Hockenson)
Before the season, everyone wanted to know who the Lions’ top receiver would be. Tyrell Williams? Amon-Ra St. Brown? Quintez Cephus? Well, so far, Swift and Hockenson have made that question look silly. Williams has hit Injured Reserve while rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown has yet to put his stamp on the offense with just 5 catches for 41 yards through two games. Quintez Cephus had 4 catches for 63 yards last week and has scored in both games so far, but this offense revolves around Swift and Hockenson. Swift has averaged 53 receiving yards per game and Hockenson has averaged 81.5 receiving yards per game so the sportsbooks have yet to adjust to how the Lions’ offense operates adequately. In what should be a negative game script as the Lions try to come back in this game, there will be plenty of passing volume for both of these players to surpass their respective lines here.
Over 55.5 rushing yards
The Ravens lost J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards before the start of the season, but Ty’Son Williams has performed admirably well in relief of those players with 22 carries for 142 yards so far this season. Detroit has a poor run defense, and Baltimore should be playing with a lead in this game, so all of the pieces are there for a heavy dose of Williams this week. Outside of Latavius Murray, I’m not sold on any of the other backs on this roster being significant parts of the offense moving forward. The only thing that can keep Williams from getting to this line would be an early fumble, as he has already fumbled twice this season and needs to take better care of the ball.
Under 63.5 rushing yards
I’m fading all Colts players this week regardless of whether or not Carson Wentz can play. A hobbled Wentz may not be much better than Brett Hundley or Jacob Eason. Indianapolis’s vaunted offensive line has been disappointing this year, partially due to several injuries, and it has limited Taylor to just 107 rushing yards through two games. He has yet to break 60 rushing yards this year, and I don’t believe it will happen this week, although the Titans are a beatable defense. Tennessee will likely stack the box to prevent the Colts from generating offense through their run game like they will need to with their limited quarterback play.
Under 72.5 rushing + receiving yards
It’s unfortunate that Urban Meyer is so resistant to running the football as James Robinson had over 1,000 rushing yards last season and would be a huge help to rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence if utilized properly. Alas, Robinson has just 16 carries through two games and just 118 total yards from scrimmage this season. It’s hard to imagine that changing this week against a defense that shut down Derrick Henry in Week 1 and has one of the best collections of front-seven talent in the NFL. Robinson is a talented player but he’s not being utilized properly and this is a tough matchup to get over 73 yards from scrimmage.
Wide Receiver Player Props
Anytime TD scorer
It’s been an excellent start to the season for Keenan Allen with two 100+ yard games, but he has yet to reach the end zone despite five red-zone targets. That has resulted in his anytime TD scorer prop being reduced to the point that it’s a clear value. You can get it at +150 or more at just about every book when it should be somewhere around even odds. Allen may not be the prototypical red-zone receiver, but he’s competent in that part of the field, as evidenced by his eight touchdowns in 14 games last season. I’m betting on Allen finding the end-zone in what should be a high-scoring divisional game against the Chiefs.
Under 2.5 receptions
To start this season, Slayton has been surprisingly involved in the passing game as he has six catches through two games. However, that has been without Evan Engram, who we expect to return this week. Kenny Golladay and Saquon Barkley are further removed from their injuries and getting healthier by the day, while Sterling Shepard has dominated the target share so far this season. The Falcons provide an easy matchup, but the Giants will likely be playing with a lead for much of the game. There are just too many mouths to feed in the offense with a smaller passing volume for Slayton to come down with three catches.
Over 5.5 receptions
Last week’s game did a lot to boost my confidence in Terry McLaurin moving forward as Taylor Heinecke seemed to recognize that McLaurin is the team’s best offensive weapon, and he should be getting the ball early and often. Heinecke targeted him 14 times in the game despite a tough matchup against James Bradberry. McLaurin’s matchup doesn’t get any easier this week against the Bills’ TreDavious White. Still, if you buy into the Bills being big home favorites in this game, you should be projecting McLaurin to be heavily involved in the passing game. Even in a tougher matchup, the projected volume will allow McLaurin to have a big game.
Over 5.5 receptions
Diontae Johnson has been ruled out for the game this week which completely changes the dynamic of the Pittsburgh offense. Johnson leads the Steelers with 22 targets, while Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool have 15 and 14 targets. JuJu should be much more involved this week in the short and intermediate areas that Johnson typically dominates in. Without an overwhelming amount of depth at wide receiver, it’s hard to imagine how Smith-Schuster doesn’t get to 10 targets in this game. The Bengals’ secondary is pretty beatable, so this is an excellent spot for him.
Over 35.5 receiving yards
The Raiders have had a hot start to the season, and Bryan Edwards has been an underrated part of it with seven catches for 121 yards through two games. His performance in Week 2 wasn’t as eye-popping as it was in Week 1, but a couple of penalties negated what would have been a massive game for the second-year wide receiver. He still finished with 40 yards, passing this line. The Dolphins have decent pass coverage talent in the secondary, but Edwards is a skilled player capable of breaking off long plays with Derek Carr’s potent deep ball. Thirty-six yards is a low mark that he can easily surpass with only a few targets in this game.
Defensive Player Props
Anytime TD scorer
Alright, this is the kind of prop bet I have to preface by saying I’m not predicting this to happen. Defenses rarely score more than a few touchdowns in any given season, and I certainly am not clairvoyant and seeing the future here. However, Bill Belichick’s defense is back to playing like one of the best in the NFL, and they have the joy of playing Jameis Winston, one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in the league, this week. His Week 1 performance was a mirage, and he was exposed by a good Panthers’ defense last week. I’m putting a flier on this bet to see if one of the Patriots’ many talented defensive backs can run back a pick-six.
Mike Williams: over 66.5 receiving yards
Damien Harris: under 71.5 rushing + receiving yards
Derrick Henry: over 101.5 rushing yards
Leonard Fournette: under 3.5 receptions
Travis Kelce: over 7.5 receptions
Antonio Gibson: under 83.5 rushing + receiving yards
Saquon Barkley: over 87.5 rushing + receiving yards
Corey Davis: over 3.5 receptions