Prize Picks NFL Futures
With the start of the NFL season set to begin, it is time to put all the off-season homework to use with some profitable bets. While most sports bettors and DFS players like to have some action on most games, it is also a good idea to protect yourself from the unpredictability of individual game performances. One way to do this is by participating in the season-long prop pick market.
Traditional sports betting platforms such as Fanduel and Draftkings allow users to place props on season-long awards such as “Most Regular Season Passing Yards” or “Most Regular Season Receptions”. But, a quick glance at the odds such as Dak Prescott +500 and Josh Allen +850 tells you everything you need to know about your chances of being right.
Luckily, there is a new daily fantasy platform called Prizepicks allowing users to simply select if a player will go over or under a given statistic. For me, this has been a perfect way to put my research on player projections to use outside of the traditional fantasy football format. When making Prizepick selections, I don’t have to consider projected ownership or consider contest types, rather I just roll with my analysis and make a pick.
While a proper review of the ins and outs of this platform is certainly due, let’s get into the picks.
Receiving Yard Picks
Tyreke Hill – Under 1350.5 Receiving Yards
One of the major factors when evaluating player props is health. Even missing a few games is a recipe for a player to fall below their projected number. In his 5 year career, Hill’s lowest total games played was in 2019 where he appeared in 12.
While there is no questioning Hill’s talent and ability to go over this number, with Kansas City it all comes down to targets. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes targeted Travis Kelce in 25% of his dropbacks. Despite not being far behind at 23%, it is easy to see Andy Reid and Mahomes looking to get others more involved this season.
It is also important to consider that the Chiefs are bound to have wrapped up several games by the 3rd quarter and move toward a clock management game plan. Along this line, there is a good chance that Kansas City has locked their playoff position by week 17 and rests their starters. This would negate any benefit of an added game to the schedule. From a production standpoint, these factors are likely to work against Hill.
Even with the added game, I project Hill to fall below his line of 1350.5 receiving yards.
Terry McLaurin – Over 1180.5 Receiving Yards
In his first two seasons with Washington, McLaurin has been one of the few bright spots on offense. So far, he has averaged 1018.5 yards with what would be considered bad quarterback play.
The Washington Football Team wideout is the clear top option for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Throughout his career, Fitzpatrick has never been afraid to sling the ball which will be a welcome change for McLaurin and his fantasy owners.
In 2020, McLaurin was ranked 14th in target percentage with 24%. In 2021 I expect McLaurin to crack the top 5 as TE- Logan Thomas, WR’s- Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries are likely to steal many targets.
Another factor working in McLaurin’s favor is his team’s stout defensive unit. Washington offense projects to be one of the league leaders in possessions per game as opponents will have a tough time moving the ball.
Heading into his third season, I see Terry McLaurin benefiting from Ryan Fitzpatrick and taking an even bigger step forward. When looking at Vegas odds for the league leader in receiving odds, McLaurin currently ranks 11th with +2000 odds.
I like the wideout to blow past his current Prizepick line of 1180.5 and will even take some action on him to lead this league in 2021.
Receiving Touchdown Picks
Davante Adams – Over 10.5 Receiving Touchdowns
In pre-season projection chatter, no one has been associated with regression more than Davante Adams. In 2020, Adams scored an incredible 18 touchdowns. His previous high was 13 in 2018. Excluding his first two seasons with limited playing time, Adams has gone over 10 touchdowns in 3 out of his past 5 seasons.
Last year, Aaron Rodgers targeted Adams 37% inside the 20 and a whopping 44% within the 10-yard line. While there is an argument to be made that this number will drop, I don’t see it falling by much. If we look at the season in which he was healthy, Rodgers has consistently favored Adams in over 30% of his red-zone targets.
Even when factoring in regression, the 2021 Packers offense will still be one of the league’s best. And, the Rodgers-Adams connection will continue to lead the charge.
I like Adams to go over 10.5 touchdowns. While he is unlikely to put up a repeat performance, there is little to believe he will see a dramatic fall off.
Adam Thielen- Under 8.5 Receiving Touchdowns
This pick has less to do with Adam Thielen than it does with his teammate Justin Jefferson In 2020, despite being a rookie, Jefferson was targeted in 25% of Kirk Cousin’s dropbacks. This doesn’t tell the whole story as his target share steadily climbed throughout the season.
Another factor to consider when projecting Thielen’s touchdowns is the presence of Dalvin Cook. Cook is one of the league’s top backs and will be always be featured near the goal line.
Although he is coming off a career-high 14 touchdowns, Thielen has been knicked up in recent seasons. Even though this hasn’t cost him a ton of games missed, the threat of injury always goes up with age (31). Look for the veteran wideout to finish the season near his career average of touchdowns.
As we get back into the swing of the NFL betting/fantasy routines, this season I am adding Prizepick props to my checklist. The ability to take participate in big picture projections without the all-or-nothing nature of league leader props is invaluable. And, the beauty is a lot of the homework for these picks was done in preparation for fantasy drafts. Next, we will focus on quarterback totals to take advantage of.
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