This article will highlight ten prop bets on quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends for NFL Week 8 that appear favorable based on the output of the Professor’s predictive model. The numbers and prices available are from DraftKings.
Derrick Henry, RB, TEN: 103.5 Rushing Yards
Jonathan Taylor, RB, IND: 67.5 Rushing Yards
A.J. Brown, WR, TEN: TD Scorer
The AFC South is set for a showdown and with both offenses humming, this Titans-Colts matchup should be a higher scoring affair than their first matchup. Titans running back Derrick Henry has run for at least 103 yards in his last four games against the Colts and should be well-rested after a light workload against Kansas City last week, while receiver A.J. Brown has worked himself back into peak form and should continue to put up numbers this week.
Indianapolis will rely on running back Jonathan Taylor to keep pace with Henry in this one; Taylor has scored in his last four games, so he’s also an option as a TD scorer, but he’s gone over 100 yards in three of the past four games as the Indianapolis offense has gotten on track. Taylor posted 64 yards on 10 carries in the first matchup, but he should see more volume in this game and reach the 68-yard mark.
The model has Henry at a mean projection of 111.6 rushing yards; I’ll put one unit on the over at -115.
The model has Taylor at a mean projection of 78.7 rushing yards; I’ll put one unit on the over at -115.
The model has Brown at a mean projection of 0.5 receiving touchdowns; I’ll put one unit on Samuel as a TD scorer at +150.
James Robinson, RB, JAX: 69.5 Rushing Yards
Marvin Jones Jr., WR, JAX: TD Scorer
The Jacksonville offense has been playing well for several weeks; during that period, running back James Robinson and wide receiver Marvin Jones have been their top skill position players. Robinson is running like a top-ten NFL back, and while Seattle did a good job of shutting down the New Orleans run game last week, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence should be able to push the defense back by stressing them down the field, which could create advantageous opportunities for Robinson on the ground.
The Professor has the Jaguars winning this game as a road underdog, which means I expect them to put up points; Lawrence and Jones changed the narrative in their win over Miami with a deep touchdown pass before the half and Lawrence should continue to look to his most reliable target regularly. Jones has three touchdowns in six games so far this season and I like him to build on that against Seattle’s lackluster cornerback group.
The model has Robinson at a mean projection of 75.9 rushing yards; I’ll put one unit on the over at -115.
The model has Jones at a mean projection of 0.7 receiving touchdowns; I’ll put one unit on Jones as a TD scorer at +210.
Josh Allen, QB, BUF: 2.5 Passing TDs
Bills quarterback Josh Allen hadn’t quite found his stroke in Buffalo’s Week Two matchup with Miami when he posted two touchdown passes in a blowout win over the Dolphins, but he has thrown for at least three touchdowns in three of the four games since and will likely need to do more against a Dolphins team that should put up more than zero points if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa plays the full game in the rematch. Tight end Dawson Knox won’t be available for Buffalo, but Allen has been in a rhythm with receiver Emmanuel Sanders and Stefon Diggs has been on the verge of a big-time performance; I like the Bills offense to come out hot against Miami.
The model has Allen at a mean projection of 2.4 passing touchdowns; I’ll put one unit on the over at +120.
Deebo Samuel, WR, SF: TD Scorer
The 49ers had a sloppy performance in a downpour on Sunday Night Football, but given that the weather had a similar impact on the Colts, it might be an overreaction to assume that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers offense are done. Chicago’s offense has regularly set the opponent offense up on short fields; with tight end George Kittle out and fellow receiver Brandon Aiyuk in a funk, Deebo Samuel is the lead player in this 49ers offense and should have a chance to capitalize if San Francisco gets some short fields. Samuel has four touchdowns in six games; it’s also a plus that on top of his receiving touchdown projection, he has an outside chance to score as a rusher.
The model has Samuel at a mean projection of 0.6 receiving touchdowns; I’ll put one unit on Samuel as a TD scorer at +175.
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, CIN: TD Scorer
It was evident that Ja’Marr Chase was the best rookie receiver in the NFL through the first few weeks of the season, but his performance against cornerback Marlon Humphrey last week put him in the discussion as the NFL’s best receiver, period. The Bengals are flying high off last week’s blowout win of the Ravens; quarterback Joe Burrow and Chase will likely put on a show early in their encore performance against a down-and-out Jets team.
The model has Chase at a mean projection of 0.9 receiving touchdowns; I’ll put one unit on Chase as a TD scorer at +110.
Kyle Pitts, TE, ATL: 61.5 Receiving Yards
The Falcons took longer than the Bengals to get their rookie phenom involved, but tight end Kyle Pitts has exploded onto the scene in his past two games with 119 and 163 receiving yards. Carolina’s defense could get linebacker Shaq Thompson and safety Juston Burris back this week, but Pitts is too talented to shut down. Ryan’s rapport with Pitts should continue to build and Pitts could quickly become the top fantasy option at his position.
The model has Pitts at a mean projection of 70 receiving yards; I’ll put one unit on the over at -115.
Justin Herbert, QB, LAC: Most Passing Yards on Sunday
New England’s 45-0 beat down of the Chargers last season seems to have factored into this spread shifting steadily toward New England throughout the week, but whether this Chargers team should be compared with last year’s group is a matter for debate. Los Angeles produced one of the worst special teams performances in NFL history in that 45-0 loss; given the improvements they’ve made under new head coach Brandon Staley this year, it seems unreasonable to expect that Los Angeles will once again be consistently unable to get the right number of players on the field.
Instead, I anticipate that quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense will bounce back from a down game against Baltimore and get their revenge against the Patriots. Receiver Mike Williams’ knee should be healthier after their bye week, which will give Herbert will his full complement of weapons against a Patriots secondary that has suffered injuries at cornerback in recent weeks.
The model has Herbert with the highest passing yards projection among eligible quarterbacks, but he has the seventh-longest odds on DraftKings; I’ll put one unit on Herbert to lead the Sunday field in passing yards at +1300.
This article examined several prop bets for the upcoming week of NFL Action. To get access to more of The Professor’s content, check out BeerLife Sports.
Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.
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