I made the following player prop bets already this week using betonline.ag's player prop builder tool. Unfortunately, with this offshore book, they are known to not offer unders on various players. This being the case, you'll notice a lot of my props below are on overs. These over props, however, strongly correlate with my Week 2 fantasy analysis and matchup research, which you can find here. Each week on the Betting Predators podcast I give out 2-3 of my favorite player props that I'm betting, but will often include others. Things change throughout the week with injuries, lines moves, etc., so I will do my best every weekend to highlight my strongest prop plays below and track our overall record week by week.
UPDATE: As mentioned on Twitter, I will do my best to update this article each week with added plays as the week progresses. Again, I must stress that this is a recap of player prop picks that I gave out on the Betting Predators NFL Weekly Preview Podcast, which drops on Wednesday. I advise that you listen to that pod early in the week and shop for the best lines possible. However, these newly added props are lines that I was able to wager on as late as Saturday, Sept.19th. There are three new ones to mention here below:
- (NEW) Russell Gage: Over 44.5 receiving yards (buy up to 49.5) - Don't look now, but Gage has quietly emerged as one of the "big three" in Atlanta's passing game. The Falcons' slot receiver tallied nearly the same amount of snaps and routes run as Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in Week 1, and his Week 2 matchup against Dallas has negative game script and shootout written all over it. Gage exploded for 9-114 on 12 targets in Week 1 against a similar defense in Seattle. We need less than half of that to cash this bet, and the continued learning curve for Hayden Hurst only helps matters.
- (NEW) Amari Cooper: Over 71.5 receiving yards (buy up to 74.5) - Amari Cooper appears to be fully healthy, something we couldn't say for most of 2019 when he would seemingly post fantasy duds every other week against tough shadow coverage matchups. Cooper, however, garnered a team-high in targets in Week 1 despite going up against a solid Rams secondary. He gets arguable the NFL's worst secondary in Week 2, and the fact his yardage prop totals are less than 10 yards different than those of Gallup and Lamb tells me Cooper is not getting the respect he deserves by the books. I personally like Gallup and Lamb more as young NFL WR prospects, but Cooper is in his prime, healthy and fully motivated to smash. I expect a healthy target share against Atlanta and suspect his longest catch goes for much longer than it did in Week 1 (14 yards), when he posted 10 catches for 81 yards on 14 targets.
- (NEW) Frank Gore: Under 38.5 rushing yards (buy down to 36.5) - Sure, Frank Gore was named Week 2's starter by Adam Gase, but that still doesn't bode well for the 37-year old Gore, who faces a brutal matchup against San Francisco in a game the Jets are implied to be trailing early and often (+6.5 dogs). Although the 49er's secondary is banged up, the front four remains solid, having limited Kenyan Drake to 60 rushing yards on 16 carries in Week 1. Gore will likely split carries with a hodgepodge of Jets RB's in Josh Adams, Kalen Ballage and rookie La'Mical Perine, and if the Jets fall behind early, which I believe they will, he will cede passing game work to the younger tailbacks. Gore tallied just six carries for 24 yards in Week 1 in a game the Jets lost by only 10 points to the Buffalo Bills.
- Parris Campbell: Over 45.5 receiving yards (buy up to 49.5) - Campbell flashed in Week 1 as the preferred passing game target for Rivers, who attempted 46 passes against the lowly Jaguars and projects for similar passing numbers against a soft Vikings secondary in Week 2. Campbell recorded a team-high in receiving yards (71) and tied for the team lead with 6 catches and 9 targets despite playing in the first game of his delayed rookie season (missed all of last year due to injury). I expect Campbell to EAT in the slot against Minnesota and have him ranked as a top 20 WR option.
- Chris Herndon: Over 3.5 receptions (buy up to 4) - Jamison Crowder has officially been ruled out for Week 2 with a hamstring injury, so you might've missed on this number if you haven't bet it already. Herndon garnered 7 targets (6 catches) in Week 1 against the Bills, one of the toughest matchups for tight ends in the league. He literally will be all Darnold has against an injury-riddled 49er's secondary. Herndon could easily exceed 10 targets in a game the Jets will likely be throwing often.
- Logan Thomas: Over 2.5 receptions (buy up to 4) - Much of the same logic for Herndon also applies to Thomas here. The converted former QB garnered buzz during the offseason and has the athletic upside to be 2020's Darren Waller in terms of a breakout fantasy tight end. The proof is in the useage from Week 1. Thomas saw a team-high 8 targets from Haskins and hauled in 4 for 37 yards and a score. Thomas also gets a better matchup in Week 2 against Arizona, a team that was routinely roasted by tight ends in 2019 and one that will be focused more on stopping Terry McLaurin on Sunday.
- Malcolm Brown - Over 9.5 carries (buy up to 10) - I'm fully aware the Eagles boast a much tougher defensive front this Sunday for Brown and the Rams than the Cowboys did last weekend. But this isn't about yards or efficiency. We're simply betting that Brown, who clearly took over lead back duties in Week 1, will get just over half the carries he did in Week 1, when he saw 18 carries for 79 yards and two scores. Even in a 50/50 split with Akers he would've received 16 carries. Peyton Barber saw 17 carries in Week 1 against the Eagles and I expect this to be a close, neutral-paced type of game, giving Brown plenty of opportunities to get 10 or more rushing attempts in a near split with the rookie Akers.
- Diontae Johnson - Over 4.5 receptions (buy up to 5) + Over 51.5 receiving yards (buy up to 54.5) - I'm doubling down on Diontae this week, who saw a team-high 10 targets from Big Ben in Week 1 despite an absolutely brutal first half performance plagued by poor routes and bad drops. We are chasing volume here with our bets and our fantasy plays, however, and the fact Johnson saw nearly double the amount of targets as Juju (6) or any other Steelers player shows that his rookie breakout season wasn't a fluke. There's a reason Big Ben was looking his way early and often last weekend. Johnson had 6 catches for 57 yards last week, and I think he's in line for a monster outing in Week 2.
- Ronald Jones - Over 54.5 Rushing Yards (buy up to 64.5) - The news of Chris Godwin's doubtful status only strengthens this play, in addition to the fact the Panthers boast the NFL's worst run defense by a massive margin. "RoJo" had 66 rushing yards against a tough Saints defense in a game the Buccaneers were trailing and lost. Add to that a likely positive game script, plus a cake matchup, and I see Jones absolutely smashing this total and a candidate to rush for 100+.
- Marquez Valdez-Scantling - Over 40.5 Receiving Yards (buy up to 44.5) - Fondly known as "MVS," the University of South Florida product (S/O to my alma mater USF Bulls!) hauled in a 45-yard score in Week 1, but also tallied four catches for 96 yards. He saw two more targets than his 2B counterpart, Allen Lazard, and has all the freedom in the world to operate with plus matchups due to the attention and respect Davante Adams will receive week in and week out. MVS - and the Packers offense, for that matter - gets another smash spot in Week 2 against a Lions offense that plays strictly man-to-man coverage and was roasted by Trubisky, Robinson and Miller last weekend. We're not asking for much here, and even one long reception alone from Rodgers to MVS can help us clear this very low total.
- Christian McCaffrey - Under 73 rushing yards (buy down to 69.5) - In case you haven't noticed, the Tampa Bay run defense is LEGIT. The Bucs held Kamara to a measly 16 yards on 12 carries in Week 1 and last year, in two meetings against the Panthers, held McCaffrey to a combined 68 yards on 38 carries, good for less than two yards per tote. That is in two games combined, people. Add in a likely negative game script for the Panthers and I doubt McCaffrey even clears 50 in this one, although he will get his typical RB1 numbers through the air with his receptions and receiving yards.
- Rob Gronkowski - Under 40 receiving yards (buy down to 36.5) - Same game, different under. I said this on our pre-season fantasy pods and will say it again here: Gronk is one of the best blocking tight ends of all time. But OJ Howard is the best receiving tight end for Tampa Bay in 2020, as evident by his four catches on six targets in Week 1. Gronk, on the other hand, saw just three targets and turned that into 2 catches for 11 yards. Gronk is the type of tight end who might score two touchdowns on two catches this week, but I believe more often than not the yardage totals/targets won't be there.
- *Sleepy J's Bonus Best Bet Prop: Dak Prescott - Over 15.5 rushing yards