Welcome to the first of my biweekly player prop articles with picks for the Thursday night game and any props posted early that I think bettors should jump on before it gets moved. With a high-powered matchup set for the opener for the 2022 NFL season with the Buffalo Bills visiting the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams, I fully expect a high-scoring, high-yardage game. As I will do with all of my player prop articles, I will post the plays in descending order, with my favorite prop listed last.
DFS Thursday Night Single Plays
Matthew Stafford OVER 24.0 Pass Completions
My thought process for this line is based chiefly on the high total for this game. I am not scared by the reports about Stafford’s throwing arm, and his limitations in the preseason. In four games last season with a total over 52.0 (Thursday’s game is currently at 52.5), Stafford averaged 27.3 completions per game and had more than 24 in each game. I expect a pass-heavy approach for the Rams as they have to keep pace with the Bills’ offense. However, I would not play this line if it moves higher.
Gabe Davis OVER 4.0 Receptions
With Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley gone, Davis is set to be the WR2 in Buffalo. Last season, he had only seven games, including the playoffs, where he ran a route on more than 50% of dropbacks. In those games, he averaged 4 receptions on 7.14 targets per game. I think this is the floor for him with his increased role in the offense. Expect him to easily surpass those averages from last season. I would bet this line over up to 4.5, but I like the safety of a possible push as 4.0 and will play it much more aggressively at 4.0 than I will at 4.5.
Josh Allen OVER 6.5 Rush Attempts
This is by far my favorite play for this game. The Rams had an average blitz rate per dropback of just more than 27% last season. In games where teams have blitzed more than 27% in the previous two seasons, Allen has averaged 6.95 rushes per game. When you reduce it to games where the total was also over 50, he went over six out of six times with an average of 7.17 rushes per game. I will be playing this confidently up to 7.0 but will avoid it if it hits 7.5 or higher.
DFS Thursday Night Correlated Plays
With only one game to give analysis for, I will also be providing a few more in-depth plays that individually did not make my list of plays for the night but are correlated and become advantageous when bet together
Josh Allen OVER 2.5 Total TDs and Tyler Bass OVER 2.5 PAT made
You can’t get much more correlated than scoring touchdowns and scoring PATs. In the last two seasons, Allen has scored more than 2.5 touchdowns 21 times. Tyler Bass has had more than 2.5 PATs in 19 of those 21 games. Put another way, if Allen scores three or more touchdowns, Bass most likely gets three or more PATs. Adding Bass to the Allen line increases the payout without significantly increasing the risk. That’s precisely what we are looking for in these correlated plays.
Matthew Stafford OVER 265.5 Pass Yards, Allen Robinson OVER 57.5 Receiving Yards, Cam Akers OVER 2.0 Receptions, and Devin Singletary OVER 11.5 Rush Attempts
Here is the big one for Thursday night. While I don’t endorse any of these plays alone, they all correlate together based on the Bills going up early, and the Rams having to chase the lead constantly. In the seven games the Rams were trailing going into the 4th quarter last season, Stafford had more than 265.5 passing yards in six of them. If Stafford has a big game, I expect Robinson to surpass his 57.5 receiving yards prop easily.
I switched to receptions for Akers because the Rams’ running backs do not have a great history of high yardage totals in games they were trailing. However, they do have an excellent history of getting receptions. Ram’s running backs averaged 4.3 receptions per game in those same seven games last season.
The only massive issue is it wasn’t just one running back getting those receptions. Darrell Henderson, Sony Michel and Akers split those duties. However, only in one game did the starting running back not get at least 2 receptions. I like those chances to at least push, so I am confident in including Akers. Finally, for the Bills’ player included in this correlated play, I like Singletary to get a lot of rushing attempts as the Bills try to maintain their lead.