It's that time! NFL Week 3 kickoff is officially less than 24 hours around the corner, and we're ready to attack the soft player prop market once again. Each week on the Betting Predators podcast I will give out 2-3 of my favorite player props that I'm betting, but will often include other ones I'm either liking or leaning to at the time of recording. Things can often change throughout the week with injuries, lines moves, etc., which might make my position stronger or weaker on a specific bet. Having said that, I will do my best every weekend to highlight my strongest plays and track our record week by week.
Editor's note: 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 and props. 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 3 fantasy rankings, which you can find here.
- Chris' Overall Prop Record: 9-4
- Sleepy J's Bonus Prop Record: 1-0
- Total Record: 10-4
- (NEW) Robbie Anderson: Over 51.5 receiving yards (buy up to 53.5) - I personally bet this earlier in the week at 69.5 and there's obviously some sharp money that brought this down. However, I'm simply buying the usage of Anderson here for this extremely low total. Anderson's averages per game through two weeks this year - 7.5 catches, 9 targets, 111.5 receiving yards. Add to these numbers is the fact DJ Moore gets one of the tougher shadow matchups in this game, drawing Casey Hayward on the outside. There's a chance that Hayward might cover Anderson a bit here, too, but Moore is the more explosive downfield threat and has a higher aDOT (average depth of target), which means he's actually getting more deep looks than Anderson. The Carolina staff has found creative ways to use Anderson with short/intermediate routes and he will stand to benefit again in Week 3.
- (NEW) James Conner: Over 69.5 rushing yards (buy up to 71.5) - Conner looked back to 100% health in Week 2, when he ran roughshod over the Broncos defense to the tune of 106 yards on 16 carries. In Week 1 against the Giants, it was Snell who saw 19 carries for 113 yards. The Steelers have now run the ball 52 times in two games (26 carries per game) and their starting backs, whether Snell or Conner, have averaged more than six yards per carry combined. Enter the Houston Texans, who can't stop the run to save Bill O'Brien's life and gave up monster performances to the Chiefs (166 rushing yards) and Ravens (230 rushing yards). The only way we lose this prop is if Conner gets banged up, which definitely could happen. But even then, he might just need two to three quarters to clear this rushing yard total. Pittsburgh will ride Conner as the bell cow until his wheels come off.
- Devin Singletary: Over 13.5 carries (buy up to 14) - Zach Moss has been ruled out for Week 3, leaving the Bills backfield all to Singletary. Buffalo's backup RB's are Taiwan Jones and TJ Yeldon, so while I expect one of them could get a few carries here, it will be Singletary leading the way. In Weeks 1 and 2, Singletary and Moss combined for 18 carries a game combined. Singletary has continuity in this backfield and last season, even while ceding some snaps to Frank Gore, he finished the year with six straight games of at least 14 carries. He also totaled 15 and 17 carries, respectively, in Buffalo's final two losses of 2019 to New England and Baltimore, proving that even in games where his team trails, he's still getting the carries. Singletary will also be a chalky play in Draft Kings this week at $5,700. A solid cash game play for the price, but as always, Josh Allen caps the TD upside and ceiling.
- DeAndre Hopkins: Over 6.5 receptions (buy up to 7) - The NFL's most targeted player through two weeks gets his sweetest of cake matchups in Week 3, facing an atrocious Lions secondary that insists on playing man-to-man coverage at all costs despite the offseason departure of Darius Slay to Philadelphia. While Hopkins' average depth of target (aDOT) is on the low end, we are simply just following the targets and overall usage here. This game sports the highest O/U on the week (55) and Hopkins has had at least eight catches in both games this year, with 9 targets in Week 2 and 16 (!) targets in Week 1. Christian Kirk has been ruled out in this contest as well, only further concentrating the Murray's target volume to Hopkins. I'm surprised this number isn't higher, and I would buy it up to 7. He's also locked in as the WR1 overall in my weekly fantasy football rankings.
- DK Metcalf: Over 64.5 receiving yards (buy up to 67) - This is the first prop of the week that caught my eye, simply because of what DK has done so far to torment opposing secondaries in 2020. The Ole Miss product torched Stephon Gilmore for a 54-yard touchdown on Monday Night Football and has cleared this total in both games this season with ease, going for 95 yards in Week 1 and 92 in Week 2. Enter Dallas. The Cowboys have a subpar secondary, to say the least, one that was beat up badly Robert Woods (6-105) in Week 1 and Calvin Ridley (7-109-2) in Week 2. All it takes is one play for us to cash this prop, and I'll happily bet on that to happen when we're talking about the most efficient quarterback in the NFL on the other end of this equation. I'm very bullish on DK this week and have him ranked as the WR3 (!) overall. Let's not overthink this one.
- Darius Slayton: Over 47.5 receiving yards (buy up to 53.5) - This was the line I was waiting for all week, but the cockroaches (also known as the "sports books") waited until the weekend to put it out. I mentioned on our Week 3 DFS/Fantasy Dive Podcast that whatever the number was going to be on Slayton, it would be too low. We have two of the Giants' top five receiving weapons out for this game with Shepard and Barkley both on IR, and Tate is still easing himself back into the fold from his own injury. That leaves Daniel Jones with a concentrated passing attack of Slayton and Evan Engram, probably with a little Dion Lewis sprinkled in. Like with our DK play above, all it takes is one deep connection to hit this prop. I'll take my chances against San Francisco's JV defense starting in Week 3. We are getting double edge with a soft number despite massive injuries to both football teams in this game.
- David Montgomery: Over 53.5 rushing yards (buy up to 55.5) - I was originally going to list Allen Robinson Over 67.5 receiving yards here, but as much as I like that prop, I actually like Montgomery even more in this spot. Montgomery was questionable in Week 1 after it seemed he might miss the entire first month of the 2020 season, and he's now getting stronger and healthier with each game under his belt. The only concern with this prop is if Atlanta controls the game from end to end and the Bears are forced to abandon the run. But even in Week 1, a game the Bears trailed for nearly all four quarters, Montgomery still rushed for 64 yards on 13 carries. He's stayed in on 50% of the Bears passing downs too, and I'm confident in Trubisky to at least stay somewhat competitive against possibly the league's worst secondary in Atlanta. We saw Ezekiel Elliott rush 22 times for 89 yards in Week 2 when Dallas trailed to end to end. Montgomery is no Zeke, sure, but with such a low total and a Bears defense that can keep the offense within striking distance, I say he gets enough work to easily clear this number. I'd buy this prop all the way up to 58.5 or 59.5.
- Robert Woods: Under 57.5 receiving yards (buy down to 54.5) - This isn't me about down on Robert Woods, who is personally one of my top 10 favorite WR's in the league. This about my love and respect for THE best DB in the league, sir Tre'Davious White Sr. White will draw shadow coverage duties against Woods in Week 3, and that's enough for me to buy the under here. Goff already has the chemistry, multi-year connection and continuity with both Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee, who will give him easy opportunities to attack the Bills secondary with short area targets. Kupp finds himself on the opposite end of this prop here actually, as his slot matchup against Buffalo is one of the juiciest on the slate. Sean McVay is smart enough to understand his strengths and weaknesses in this matchup, and with no noise between him and Goff's headphones, he will make sure to relay the message clearly to his starting quarterback.
- Cooper Kupp: Over 4.5 receptions AND Over 55.5 receiving yards (buy up 5, 56) - See Woods above. Kupp gets a smash spot here against a Bills secondary hemorrhaging passes to the slot and middle of the field, which is where he thrives. I was low on Kupp entering 2020 after he spent the last six weeks of 2019 barely playing more than half of his team's snaps. The Rams signed Kupp to an extension shortly before the start of the season and he's been heavily involved out of the gates as McVay has reverted back to his pass-happy 11 personnel ways. Kupp leads the team in catches (9) and yards (121) through two games and will be the safety valve for Goff as he looks to avoid the White-Woods shadow matchup. I've moved Kupp into my top 15 overall WR's for the week.
- Ian Thomas: Under 2.5 receptions AND Under 20.5 receiving yards (buy down to 2, 20) - Another double dip, somewhat correlated prop here. Ian Thomas simply hasn't been used how I thought he would, and Teddy Bridgewater has shown a strong lean towards DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson in the passing game, as the WR duo has accounted for a near 50% target share in Carolina. Thomas has just 2 catches for 16 yards on the entire season. Although "entire season" is obviously as small a sample size as you can get, he wasn't even targeted in Week 2 and is now seeing less usage at the tight end position than teammate Chris Manhertz, who looks to be taking over the Panthers' starting TE job.
- Irv Smith Jr: Under 24.5 receiving yards (buy down to 21.5) - You could've bet this total down to 3.5 yards in Week 2 and won without a sweat. While I'm semi-joking here, the fact remains that Irv Smith has seen just five targets total in two weeks of football, combining for a paltry 2 catches and 14 yards. I'll happily take the under for an under-utilized tight end who is splitting a small amount of targets already with Kyle Rudolph. Smith was one of the many 2020 breakout tight end candidates entering the year, but as we know with the position, it sometimes takes guys 3-4 years to truly establish themselves. I believe in the talent of Smith, sure, but I also believe in the very low usage through two weeks. I'll buy the latter, as Smith might be asked to block more than catch on Sunday against Tennessee.
- CeeDee Lamb: Over 4.5 receptions (buy up to 5) - There's a reason why many draft pundits pegged Lamb as the best wide receiver in the 2020 class. The Oklahama product has impressed through his first two career games, as he currently stands second on the Cowboys in targets (15), catches (11) and yards (165). His exclusive slot usage is another reason to buy the hype, as opposing secondaries simply don't have the manpower to shadow both Cooper and Gallup on the outside, let alone Lamb in the slot. In Week 3, Lamb gets yet another extremely soft slot matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, who gave up 9-114 to Falcons slot man Russell Gage in Week 1 and 8-179 to Julian Edelman in Week 2. Dallas/Seattle projects as the second-highest scoring game on the slate and Dak will look to the rookie early and often for easy slants and short targets over the middle.
- Drew Sample: Over 3.5 receptions (buy up to 4) - If I still played Madden, then as a Bengals fan I would create a player called "D.J. Sampzomah." OK, well, my point here is that if you combine C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample through two weeks, you'd have an elite level tight end with 16 catches, 21 targets and 139 yards. Guess what? Uzomah is done for the year, and Sample stepped in Week 2 without missing a beat, seeing nine targets in less than a full game of action and turning that into seven catches for 45 yards. While the aDOT will be low, sure, we're betting on the targets to bring us to at least 4 catches in this one. Burrow's pass attempts will continue to be high as the Bengals defense struggles to stop anyone, and Sample will benefit as a safety valve for the rookie QB with negative game scripts galore. The Eagles defense has also given up big games to Logan Thomas and Tyler Higbee (three TD's in Week 2) this season. I absolutely love Sample's $3,500 DraftKings price tag and wouldn't be surprised if he leads the Bengals in catches against Philly.
- *Sleepy J's Bonus Best Bet Prop: Devin Singletary - Over 81.5 receiving + rushing yards