The smell of football mixed with Sunday BBQ is near, and for us gamblers and fantasy enthusiast, it gives us a reason to jump into the upcoming football season searching for angles.
In my gambling career, I’ve learned the prop market holds a ton of value if navigated correctly. Understanding team changes, opportunity, and regression to the mean whether it be positive or negative, can guide you to some great bets!
Here are three season-long props that will put some money in your pocket.
Nick Foles Pass Yards – Under 3,825
One of the most significant offseason acquisitions came in Jacksonvilles signing of the former Super Bowl MVP. A change that had to be made, the new-look Jaguars hope that a distinct leader under center will bring them success.
How much of an increase in production can we expect from Jacksonville in the passing game? Last season with Blake Bortles under center for the majority of the season (13 games), the Jaguars ranked 19th in pass attempts (536) and 25th in yards (3,106). In 2015, Bortles best season where he threw for 35 touchdowns, he ended with 4,428 on 606 pass attempts.
The makeover this team experienced isn’t just on the player roster, and John DeFilippo enters as offensive coordinator. This should benefit Foles from the time they spent in Philadelphia on that magical run that won both of them a ring where DeFilippo was his position coach.
In DeFilippo’s previous position as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator, the team ranked 6th in Pass attempts but outside the top 10 in yards (13th) with 4,036. Many can argue that Nick Foles is a better passer than Kirk Cousins, but I believe the weapons in Minnesota were much greater than what Foles has at his disposal this season.
With the season-long total set at 3,825 yards, Foles would have to average 239 yards per game to surpass the number. That magical run we spoke of with DeFilippo in 2017, would leave you to believe the 323.7 yards per game he threw up that postseason is possible here. Let’s not forget how truly special that was, and the man had a 115.7 QB rate while averaging 9.2 yards per attempt. His numbers dropped significantly in 2018 seeing him average 4.9 YPA and 233.5 yards per game.
We talk about averages and outlier years, and I’ll use that theory here and bet the UNDER for Nick Foles passing yards. The lack of weapons that he is accustomed to, coupling with Leonard Fournette’s presence in the backfield leads me to punch this ticket.
Nick Chubb Rush Yards – Under 1,175
One of the hottest names coming into the upcoming season sits in the Browns backfield. Chubb was able to make the most of his opportunity last season and dominated the touches and running back share % of the offense. After Carlos Hyde’s departure to Jacksonville in week seven, the former Bulldog parlayed over 17 rush attempts into over 84.4 yards per game.
Now turned a fan favorite, in the gambling world that brings out value. The perception that he will continue where he left off, which he very well could, leads me to the under. With his total sitting at 1,175 yards, he would need 73.4 rush yards per game to reach the feat.
While I do think he can hit that game mark, I don’t know he’ll be able to do it consistently throughout the season with the new weapons in Cleveland. We understand what Odell Beckham will require to keep him happy and add that to the target monster in Jarvis Landry with a dangerous tight end in David Njoku, and the ball will be spread around significantly this season.
If that isn’t enough, does Kareem Hunt being added to the roster do anything for you? It should, as the 2017 rush leader will join the team after his eight-week suspension. Hunt was sixth in rush attempts in his milestone season; he’s a volume runner that acts as one of the league most dangerous dual threats out of the backfield. I don’t expect Chubb to sit on the bench or anything like that, but you better be sure that Hunt will get his opportunity and that will dip into Chubb’s overall numbers.
I’m going contrarian to the public perception, give me the UNDER.
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Deshaun Watson Pass Yards – Over 4,075.5
I’ve been on record saying Watson will be the top fantasy scoring Quarterback this season. While his running ability will boost his fantasy numbers, I’m more looking at the schedule and trying to predict the script in which the games will play out. What we do know is the Texans had the easiest strength of schedule last season and are now on the opposite side of that spectrum facing one of the toughest this upcoming season.
Working in his favor will be his splits and being in tough games leads me to believe the Texans will rely more on the star QB to make plays for them. Also, a healthy wide receiver group outside of DeAndre Hopkins would surely help him surpass the total, but I say that loosely. We have yet to see Will Fuller be reliable, and let’s hope Keke Coutee doesn’t start following suit.
In September, Watson started the season with 92 pass attempts accumulating 1,246 yards. October saw a dropoff with only 76 attempts, followed by only 52 in November, yes they did have a bye week but add 25 attempts, and he is still below 80. In December he tallied his highest amount with 125 in a five game sample averaging 25 attempts per game.
If you take a look at his body of work, Watson didn’t have more than 19 throws from September 30th to November 26th (six games). Something can be said about the injuries he sustained against the Cowboys, and maybe that was a factor in the play calling, but the Texans were able to stay undefeated in that time frame. Much had to do with the competition as well: Buffalo, Jacksonville, Miami, Denver, Washington, and Tennessee.
Looking at this season schedule where they face the NFC South, a big matchup with the Chiefs high powered offense and a late-season meeting with New England at home, 254.6 pass yards per game looks feasible.
Give me the OVER on Watson’s Pass yards.
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