It's that time!! Each week on the Betting Predators NFL Preview 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 5 fantasy rankings, which you can find here.
- Chris' Overall Prop Record: 28-16
- Sleepy J's Bonus Prop Record: 3-0
- Total Record: 31-16
- Will Fuller: Over 65.5 receiving yards (buy up to 68.5) - Cluster injuries to Jacksonville's already pamper-soft secondary make this one of my favorite player props of Week 5. We all know Fuller and Watson have a unique level of chemistry dating back multiple seasons now, and I stand by this statement on Sunday: the only way we lose this prop is if Will Fuller gets hurt. While we also know that Fuller's hamstring could act up any second of any game, we have the perfect setup here for Fuller to absolutely smash in his best matchup of 2020. Fuller posted lines of 8-112 on 10 targets in Week 1 and 6-108-1 on seven targets in Week 4. His only sub-60 yard game came in Week 3 against a stellar Pittsburgh Steelers defense, and he was still able to wrangle in 4-54-1 on five targets in that game, which one was also just week removed from him getting banged up against Baltimore in Week 2. The Houston Texans will be playing loose and free in this game without Bill O'Brien on the sideline, and I expect the highlight-reel bombs from Watson to Fuller to follow. We need just one or two Fuller-esque grabs to clear this surprisingly low total, and I would be surprised if the former Notre Dame star in Will Fuller V didn't erupt for 100+ yards and multiple scores in a game with the highest over/under (55) on the afternoon slate. Only Sunday night's showdown between Seattle and Minnesota has a higher over/under (56.5) in all of Week 5 compared to this contest.
- Darius Slayton: Over 55.5 receiving yards (buy up to 58.5) - We're 2-0 on our Slayton props this season, cashing our over ticket in Week 3 and our under ticket in Week 4 due to his shadow matchup against Jalen Ramsey and the Los Angeles Rams. Slayton benefits again here with cluster injuries to Daniel Jones' passing arsenal, with Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley both on IR. I don't need to sit here and tell you Slayton's Week 5 tilt against the Dallas Cowboys defense is an absolutely cake matchup, but apparently the books didn't get the message here. Slayon's total should be priced more towards 60+ yards in this one, and like Fuller above, he needs just one or two explosive plays to hit this over with ease. We get one of the young, premier deep threats in the NFL against one of the worst secondaries here with the Giants-Cowboys divisional showdown, and I believe Slayton could absolutely explode in this spot. He is one of my favorite DraftKings tournament options as well. Keep in mind that the Cowboys, even in a 20-17 loss to the Rams in Week 1, gave up 6-105 to Robert Woods and have since allowed lines of 7-109 to Calvin Ridley, 4-110 to DK Metcalf, 9-100 to Tyler Lockett and 5-81 to Odell Beckham Jr. I also have Slayton ranked in my top 25, accordingly, as a surefire WR2 for this Week 5 divisional tilt with the upside for a top 10 WR performance.
- Antonio Gibson: Over 22.5 receiving yards AND Over 2.5 receptions (buy up to 26.5 and 3) - Sleepy and I spoke extensively on this Rams-Washington matchup on our Week 5 player props podcast this weekend, and the shift from Dwayne Haskins to Kyle Allen gives me the utmost confidence in this play. In Allen's last start, Week 17 of 2019, he played against a similarly stout defensive line and checked down to his RB's like crazy. It was actually Allen's check down tendencies, in fact, that enabled Christian McCaffrey to post a fantasy football season for the record books. In that Week 17 game, McCaffrey and backup RB Reggie Bonnafon combined for 9-111 receiving on 12 (!) targets. Look a little deeper, and you'll see McCaffrey's target share under Allen was by far and away elite compared to the rest of the league. Enter Antonio Gibson, who despite his early third-round draft capital, was actually used more as a receiver in college at Memphis. The Washington coaching staff openly admitted to wanting to ease Gibson into a bigger role as 2020 progressed, and we've seen that come to fruition already in four weeks: Gibson's touch count has gone from 11, 14, 12 and 17 touches in Week 5, including a 4-82 receiving line on five targets with Haskins still under center. While I do believe J.D. McKissic will continue to steal snaps and touches away from Gibson, for the time being (see below), Gibson will get enough work from Allen's check down propensities to clear these low totals with ease. Add to the fact the Rams boast the second-biggest DL/OL advantage in Week 5, and it just makes me want to double dip here even more with Gibson.
- JD McKissic: Over 15.5 receiving yards AND Over 2.5 receptions (buy up to 20.5 and 3) - Copy and paste my Gibson writeup above and apply it here. If you can find a combined player prop with Gibson and McKissic to go for 5+ receptions and 37.5+ receiving yards as a pair, even better. My bettable props options are quite limited living in Florida, however, but I still won't shy away from another double dip with McKissic, who throughout his career has specialized as a pass-catching back in the NFL. McKissic posted a 7-40 receiving line on eight targets in Week 4 and tallied 3-37 on four targets in Week 5. With Jalen Ramsey slated to shadow stud Washington wideout Terry McLaurin here, and with Allen's check down tendencies mentioned above, I wouldn't be surprised if we see Gibson and McKissic atop the target leaderboard for running backs in all of Week 5, especially for the Washington Football Team's offense. Aaron Donald's added pressure up front only serves to boost the value of this prop, which I believe is set about five yards too low here.
- Jared Goff: Under 262.5 passing yards (buy down to 262) - Our fifth player prop of this Rams-Washington contest centers around Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff, who is throwing at the lowest neutral-pace situation rate in his career. Sean McVay has opted to go ground-and-pound through four weeks, and because of that the Rams boast the league's highest neutral-pace rushing rate in the NFL. I don't expect much to change in Week 5 here with the Rams favored by -8.5 on the road and this game having the second-lowest under (46.5) overall. Both of these teams want to play slow, and with Kyle Allen likely looking to limit turnovers for Washington, this could be the first of the 1 p.m. games to end because of heavy rushing on both sides of the ball. Throw rookie Cam Akers into the mix for Los Angeles, who is slated to see his first extended action of 2020, and it's even more incentive for the Rams to run early and run often. Goff did exceed this passing total in Weeks 1-3, but that was against capable offenses - and some in comeback mode - against Dallas, Philadelphia and Buffalo. Our very own Uncle Dave gave this game's Under 45 as a best bet on our Betting Predators NFL Week 5 Preview Podcast, which gives me even more confidence in Goff to look more like his Week 4 self, where in a 17-9 slog of a victory over the Giants, he threw for 200 yards.
- Dalton Schultz: Over 34.5 receiving yards (buy up 36.5) - Each week I've been paying close attention to Dallas' receiving weapons and their receiving totals. In Weeks 2-4 it was Amari Cooper who was placed simply too low to the rest of the crew, and we cashed those tickets accordingly. This week the value resides with Dalton Schultz, who over the last three weeks has posted solid receiving lines of 4-72 (eight targets), 4-48 (six targets) and 9-88 (10 targets). While I don't expect Dallas to be playing from behind and in catch-up mode this week, like they did in Weeks 2-4, I still expect them to have a get-right spot here against a divisional foe at home. The Giants' defense hasn't faced many notable tight ends so far in 2020, but they did give up a combined 6-72 to backup tight ends Ross Dwelley and Jordan Reed in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers. Schultz maintains a near every-down role for Dallas, and with Tyrone Smith still absent, the Cowboys offensive remains subpar and will continue to force Dak into check downs to his short-area targets in Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz. Schultz is a top-10 ranked tight end in fantasy this week among the expert consensus rankings (ECR), and I wouldn't be shocked to see him double this total in a game that could be more back-and-forth than people think. I'd play this one to 36.5.
- James Robinson: Over 22.5 receiving yards (buy up 23.5) - The Texans not only sport one of the league's worst run defenses, but they also cede plenty of work to RB's in the passing game. This is where I want to attack Robinson's prop numbers in this game, especially with Houston favored by -5.5 and with Jacksonville projected to be playing from behind for most of this game. The Texans allowed the Ravens' RB carousel to register 4-36 on five targets in Week 2 and gave up 5-47 on seven targets in Week 3 to Pittsburgh's Conner/McFarland, both teams that tend to not involve their running backs in the passing game. While Robinson could cede a decent amount of receiving work to Chris Thompson on any given week, he has still been heavily involved on all three downs, especially in Week 4, when he ran a season-high 55% of routes and also played a season-high 50% of the Jaguars' two-minute offense. Robinson has also garnered at least four targets in three straight weeks, posting receiving lines of 6-83 and 4-32 in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively. The UDA out of Illinois State has looked mighty explosive through the first month of the season and gets another great matchup here in Week 5, and with the Texans favored by nearly a TD, I'll look to play the receiving total instead of the juiced up rushing total (73.5) in this game, especially considering it could take just one catch or wheel route grab to clear this, just like he did in Week 1 with one catch for 28 yards.
- Laviska Shenault: Over 3.5 receptions (buy up to 4) - The uber-talented rookie from Colorado now has five catches on six targets in back-to-back games for Jacksonville, and he gets a juicy matchup against the Houston Texans' secondary in this Week 5 divisional showdown. The only thing that concerns me here is that Shenault was slightly banged up in Week 4 with a hamstring injury, but he's remained off the injury report as Sunday approaches and doesn't carry an injury designation heading into this game. As per Sharp Football Analysis, Houston has five top-30 scoring wideouts in fantasy this season and are also a lowly 27th in catch rate allowed to wide receivers (70.6%). With the Jaguars coming into this game as +5.5 road dogs, I expect Minshew to lean on his talented rookie wideout in the short to intermediate areas of the field on Sunday and with the underrated Bradley Roby likely shadowing DJ Chark in this one, Shenault could feast as the secondary option for Jacksonville.
- Devonta Freeman: Over 19.5 receiving yards (buy up to 21.5) - Devonta Freeman became somewhat of a "workhorse lite" in Week 4, where he emerged as the Giants' go-to option on both early downs and passing downs. Freeman ran a route on 47% of Daniel Jones dropbacks compared to notable pass-catching specialist Dion Lewis, who saw his routes run dip to 36%. While I don't expect Freeman to completely dominate touches here, he still did see four targets in Week 4 and caught all four of them for 4-35, tied for second on the team in receiving yards. Freeman's best asset in the receiving game dating back to his Atlanta Falcons days as well, in a game the Giants are projected to play from behind, as well as limited options for Jones, I could see Freeman clear this total in the first half alone. The Cowboys, on the other hand, haven't allowed much to running backs in the passing game this season, but that's to be expected due to them playing from behind in every matchup this season. They did allow three catches for 31 yards to Malcolm Brown in Week 1, however, whose receiving chops pale in comparison to those of Freeman. Don't hesitate to play this number close to 25 if you're getting good enough juice. I believe that Freeman's role only gets bigger from here.
- Jamison Crowder: Over 61.5 receiving yards (buy up to 64.5) - I know, I know. Do we really want to tie up our player prop money to Joe Flacco's arm? Well in this case, actually yes. Another check-down machine, Flacco will be looking early and often to his security blanket options in this game in Crowder and Le'Veon Bell, who is returning after a month-long stint on IR. While I don't see any receiving yard prop numbers on Bell at the moment, and nor do I trust his usage with Adam Gase still serving as Miami's head coach, I do see a deflated number with Crowder at just 61.5 and would gladly play this up to 64.5 or even close to 70 with positive juice. Two weeks is the smallest of sample sizes to work with, sure, but Crowder went for 7-115-1 (13 targets) in Week 1 and 7-104 (10 targets) in Week 4 despite entering the latter as a game-time decision. Crowder is the only viable weapon Gase and Flacco have here in Week 5, and while Arizona's secondary doesn't scare me a bit, Patrick Peterson will most likely look to slow down Jeff Smith on the outside, who also flashed in Week 4 with 7-81 on nine targets. Give me Crowder in this one, a stud slot receiver on a piss-poor offense that will likely be playing from behind with a check-down happy quarterback in Flacco. Don't overthink this one.
- Sammy Watkins: Over 3.5 receptions (buy up to 4) - Another guy Sleepy and I discussed on our player prop podcast this week: Watkins has just two less targets than Tyreek Hill in 2020 and is operating as the Chiefs' de-facto underneath weapon both of the slot and in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field. Watkins went for 7-114-1 on 10 targets against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game last year, and since then he has posted at least four catches in five consecutive games. I'm throwing out Week 2, where he left early due to injury. In his three (healthy) games this season he has posted lines of 7-82 (nine targets), 7-62 (eight targets) and 4-43( seven targets). Mahomes continued to look Watkins' way in Week 4 against the Patriots, and that was in a game where New England was happy to kill clock and lose by a respectable margin without Cam Newton under center. The Raiders defense isn't very good, sure, but they will be focused on containing Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce through the air in this one, leaving Watkins free to roam underneath, and giving Patrick Mahomes plenty of easy completions over the middle while he picks apart the Las Vegas secondary with the occasional deep shot to Hill.
- Baker Mayfield: Under 240.5 passing yards (buy down to 235.5) - The Colts and Browns project for the slowest-paced game in Week 5 here, with possibly the two run-happiest offenses in the NFL who will seemingly do anything to take the ball out of their quarterback's hands. Mayfield hasn't even cleared 219 yards in a game this year, and with the Browns at home and facing another run-first squad in the Colts, I just don't see Cleveland needing to push the pace here. Indianapolis is at the very least the second-best defense that Cleveland has faced this year as well, outside of a Week 1 tilt with the Ravens where Mayfield threw for just 189 yards on 39 attempts. Nick Chubb or not, the Browns and head coach Kevin Stefanski want to establish the run every single week, and they will do their best to make that happen in Week 5 behind Kareem Hunt, D'Ernest Johnson and Dontrell Hilliard. The Colts gave up just 173 passing yards to Gardner Minshew in Week 1, followed by 113 to Kirk Cousins, 168 to Sam Darnold and 249 to Nick Foles, who racked up most of that garbage time in a 19-11 loss in a game where the Bears abandoned the run game with David Montgomery struggling. Mayfield will be hard-pressed to eclipse 200 yards in this Week 5 slow-paced slog.
- Joshua Kelley: Under 54.5 rushing yards (buy down to 53.5) - Kelley's fumbling issue could rear its ugly head again here in Week 5 on Monday Night Football, but even with no turnovers in this one, the UCLA standout will be in a tough spot to get much going on the ground. The Saints are fifth-best in the NFL in allowing just 3.57 yards per carry to opposing running backs, and Kelley will also be sharing the backfield with Justin Jackson. Although Jackson saw limited work returning from injury in Week 4, he was PFF's highest-graded rusher in 2019 and has impressed when given the opportunity over the years. In a game where the Saints are touchdown-plus favorites and at home against a rookie quarterback, I find few scenarios where the Chargers control the game and play from ahead, therefore limiting Kelley's ceiling as a fantasy asset and with his rushing yards prop. Kelly gained just 64 yards on 23 carries against the Chiefs in Week 2 against Kansas City, but since then he's posted underwhelming rushing lines of 8-43 in Week 3 against Carolina and 9-7 in Week 4 against Tampa Bay. I equate this Week 5 tilt with the Saints as more on par with the Bucs matchup, and because of that, I think Kelley might wind up with more receiving yards than rushing yards in this one.
- DK Metcalf: Over 73.5 receiving yards (buy up to 75.5) - The weekly over prop tradition of DK Metcalf continues into Week 5. I simply don't understand what the books are doing with DK's numbers week to week, as he's gone over 92 yards in all four games this year has posted 100+ in back-to-back games against the Dolphins and the Cowboys. Things don't get much tougher for DK in Week 5 either, with a primetime Sunday Night Football spot against a Minnesota Vikings defense that has no clear shadow corner on its roster. Metcalf hasn't eclipsed more than four catches in a single game this season, I get it, but he simply doesn't need to. The Vikings are far removed from the days where their secondary was something to fear, and in 2020 they rank a paltry 30th in the NFL in allowing 19 catches of 20+ yards, with the only teams being worse the Seattle Seahawks themselves and the Atlanta Falcons. Fire up DK with confidence yet again, and cash.
- *Sleepy J's Bonus Best Bet Prop: Carson Wentz - Over 14.5 rushing yards