It’s a great time of year. Summer is coming to an end, and fall is on the horizon. It’s getting cooler every day, the leaves are changing, and most importantly, the NFL is BACK! That means so, too, are my weekly accompanying NFL Player Prop articles. If you followed along last year, you would know that I withdrew more money than I deposited. I’m just throwing that out there. I was also perfect on wild card weekend props and the divisional round props too.
It’s the same format this year. The article will highlight five player prop bets I will be parlaying weekly. However, this year the prop bets will be found on Underdog Fantasy, but feel free to follow along wherever you like to make your player prop bets. As always, you don’t have to play. But if you do, You can follow along with me, fade me (at your own risk), or just come join me to discuss these props. So, without further ado, we have five HIGHER props to kick off the NFL season. So let’s get into it.
Week 1 NFL Player Props
Jameis Winston: 1.5 Passing TDs
Take the Over here (or, as Underdog calls it, the HIGHER). Winston played in six full games last year before his injury. He had more than 1.5 passing touchdowns in three of those six weeks. Sure, 50% isn’t the best; HOWEVER, he had 13 total touchdowns in those six games, over 2.1 per game average, and threw five of them in Week 1.
The 2021 Saints wide receiver room was nothing to write home about either. There was no Jarvis Landry, coveted first-round rookie Chris Olave, or Michael Thomas. Jameis will have at least two of them suiting up in Week 1 this year. Thomas is questionable as of the writing of this article. This offense looked great in the preseason too.
In Winston’s only reps against the Chargers, they marched down the field and scored easily. To put the cherry on top: Week 1 for the Saints is against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons gave up 27 points per game last year, 31 total passing touchdowns, and were 26th against the pass. Give me the HIGHER.
Michael Carter: 12.5 Receiving Yards
SMASH the HIGHER prop here. Michael Carter finished last season with 325 receiving yards in 14 games, which was over 23 yards receiving per game. Carter had 13 or more receiving yards in the majority of his first nine games. Yes, I acknowledge that in the final four games of the season, after he returned from injury, he didn’t hit the over in any of those games. Yes, Breece Hall is also in the backfield now too. However, 12.5 receiving yards is such a low bar for an individual that had 55 targets last season.
Plus, 31 of those targets came when Zach Wilson was out. In those nearly four full games, Carter was on a 17-game pace of 132 targets. The backups liked to target Carter. This included Joe Flacco, who will start for an injured Zach Wilson this weekend. Don’t worry about Breece Hall yet. I am confident we will see a lot of Michael Carter this weekend. It should be enough to achieve the over on 12.5 receiving yards.
Travis Etienne: 22.5 Receiving Yards
I would also take the HIGHER here. Travis Etienne is a bit of an NFL enigma as he has yet to take the field in a regular season game. However, when he takes the field on Sunday, it is with his longtime college quarterback, Trevor Lawrence. Etienne had 85 receptions and over 1000 yards in his last two years, a Clemson with Lawrence throwing him the ball. In Etienne’s absence last year, Lawrence still targeted the RB position over 130 times, almost eight times per game. While James Robinson should be active, given that it’s his first game back from torn Achilles, he might be limited in snap count and attempts. I fully expect Etienne to have at least 5-6 targets on Sunday, and that should be plenty to hit the over here.
If you like prop bets, we have some season-long props available for the 2022 season.
Darnell Mooney: 59.5 Receiving Yards
Take the HIGHER here as well. Sense a trend? Fantasy football is more fun when the overs hit, and there is plenty of offense to go around. Last year, Mooney had 140 targets and averaged 62.1 yards per game. We will take that average on Sunday. I do recognize, though, that in the eight full games Fields started (and finished), Mooney only averaged 58.6 yards per game. He would have hit the over on this prop only three times. So, it’s a slightly uphill battle. But with an entire offseason to work with Justin Fields, no more Matt Nagy, and an abysmal rest of the WR room, Mooney should get peppered with enough targets to hit the over on Sunday, even if it’s in garbage time.
Michael Pittman Jr.: 69.5 Receiving Yards
Finally, one last HIGHER to round things out. Michael Pittman managed 129 targets and 63.6 receiving yards a game, while Carson Wentz was his quarterback. Pittman would have hit the over seven times last year. This was despite how conservative this passing offense was in 2021. The Colts were in the bottom seven in the league in pass attempts and passing yards. Did I also mention Carson Wentz?
The Colts recognized they had a problem and went out and traded for Matt Ryan. Ryan has his issues too, but the former league MVP knows how to use an alpha receiver like Michael Pittman Jr. Calvin Ridley averaged over 90 yards a game in his last full season in 2020. Is Pittman Jr. a Calvin Ridley? Maybe, maybe not. He doesn’t have to be, though. Hitting 70 yards receiving should still be perfectly attainable for Pittman Jr. against last year’s 31st-ranked passing defense. Take the over!
I like these five props. While I’m not going to advise anyone to take the same five-prop player parlay that I am, if you like these bets, too, you can find these lines on Underdog Fantasy. Good luck!
So much time is spent on offensive players, but we cover defense too. Check out You Down with IDP, every Thursday at 7 PM EST.