It is finally here: the first NFL Sunday of the regular season. After a great start to our Week 1 player props Thursday night, let’s continue that momentum to Sunday! As always, the props are in order in which I like them with the last being my favorite.
Ezekiel Elliott UNDER 12.5 Rush Attempts
The process for this play is pretty simple. In five games the Cowboys lost last season, Zeke averaged 9.6 rushes per game. His usage in the run game in the Cowboys offense is extremely game script dependent. With the Cowboys going against a strong Buccaneers team, I expect the Cowboys to have a negative game script for most of the game. I would bet this down to 12.0 rushes but wouldn’t bet it any lower.
Cole Kmet OVER 4.0 Receptions
This line is a lot higher than I wanted it to be, but I think Kmet is going to be a focal point of the Bears’ offense. In the two preseason games he played this season, he was highly utilized. He finished with 6 targets and 5 receptions on only 18 routes run. I don’t think he will see a target for every three dropbacks, but I think 7 or 8 targets should easily be attainable for him. He should at least hit 4 receptions and push on that usage. There is also a good chance he gets more than 4 and goes over. I would not play this at 4.5 if the line moves.
Rodrigo Blankenship OVER 1.5 Field Goals Made
This is a pretty clear-cut stats-based play. During the last two seasons, Blankenship has gone over 1.5 field goals made in 10 of the 15 games in which the Colts were the favorites. When you include every game he’s played, he’s over in 14-for-21. As Matt Ryan gets acclimated to this offense, I expect the Colts to move the ball well but not finish drives. That’s a perfect combination for field goal attempts. I wouldn’t play it if it moved to 2.0, though; I do not think the push risk is worth it.
Elijah Moore OVER 52.5 Receiving Yards
I have been on this line ever since Joe Flacco took over as the Jets starting quarterback. I believe he is better for the passing game than Zach Wilson. In his only game with Flacco last year, Moore had 8 receptions and 141 yards on 11 targets. That might be a tiny sample size, but it helps convince me this is a great play. Separate from this individual prop, I am expecting a fantastic Year 2 from Moore. Therefore, I think this might be one of his lowest yardage props for the entire season.
James Conner OVER 26.5 Receiving Yards
Once Conner took over the backfield after the injury to Chase Edmonds early in Week 9 last season, the Cardinals used him heavily in the passing game. Excluding Week 15 when he suffered an injury, Conner averaged 51.7 receiving yards per game and was over 26.5 receiving yards in 5/6 of his games. This should be a very high-scoring game with two of the top offenses in the NFL playing. Because of that, I would confidently play this up to the low-to-mid 30s if the line moves.
Najee Harris OVER 3.0 Receptions
Who can forget Najee Harris’s 14-reception game last season against the Bengals in Week 3? I don’t think Harris will get anywhere close to 14 again, but with the Steelers being almost a full touchdown underdog, I believe they are going to have to play catch-up with the Bengals’ high-powered offense.
In the 13 games last season the Steelers were either trailing or tied going into the 4th quarter, Harris averaged 4.6 receptions and was only under 3 receptions in two of his 13 games. In that same sample of games, he averaged 1.9 receptions in the 4th quarter alone. Don’t sweat this play until it’s over. You might have to wait for the 4th quarter for it to cash, but this is a great play. I would play it significantly lighter at 3.5 receptions if the line moves and wouldn’t play it if it goes up to 4.0.