Week 11 in the NFL kicked off with Derrick Henry and the Titans running all over the Packers in Lambeau, effectively ending any playoff hopes for Aaron Rodgers and company. Now we’re on to the weekend slate, which features an opportunity for a breakout performance on Sunday Night Football.
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For added interest in the Week 11 slate, here are 13 prop bets that The Professor’s model likes in Week 11, as well as his plan for when the Sunday Night Football props between the Chiefs and Chargers go live.
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers
The stars are aligned for Kadarius Toney to stake his claim as a Top-10 NFL skill player on Sunday Night Football. “The Joka” got buried in New York – a situation Toney’s new teammate, Travis Kelce was unable to explain on his podcast – but as Kelce put it, the Chiefs appear to have gotten an absurdly talented player for close to nothing, and according to Kelce, he’s been a great fit in their building.
Toney’s role grew significantly in his second game as a Chief, and with the injuries to Mecole Hardman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling all dealing with injuries, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Toney go for 250+ total yards and 3+ TDs on Sunday Night. For whatever questions there were about Toney’s role and situation in New York, nobody has ever questioned the hyper-twitched-up athlete’s talent, and NFL fans could get the full experience of Patrick Mahomes adding a weapon who moves like a taller, leaner Tyreek Hill.
Due to the injuries to Kansas City’s receivers on one side and Chargers receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams on the other, the player props for this game aren’t up yet, but The Professor plans to target Toney as a TD Scorer and 2+ TD Scorer if the TD Scorer price is shorter than -125, to play his over receiving yards if the total is less than 65, and to play his over rushing yards if the total is less than 23.
Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
Justin Fields, Over 1.5 Pass TDs, +200 (Model Projection: 1.7), Anytime TD Scorer, +100 (Model Projection: 0.6)
Darnell Mooney, Over 43.5 Receiving Yds, -115 (Model Projection: 52.7)
Cole Kmet, Over 28.5 Receiving Yds, -120 (Model Projection: 38.9)
Justin Fields hasn’t thrown for huge volume during his recent tear, and the Cole Kmet touchdown hot streak seemingly has to end at some point, but these receiving totals for Kmet and Darnell Mooney are fairly modest given (1) Fields has limited options aside from them and (2) the Justin Fields experience is not slowing down anytime soon.
Fields’ rushing yards over/under is up to 71.5 on DraftKings (with an overpriced at -125), so while The Professor would take the over if forced to pick, the value has probably dried up there. There is still value on Fields to get in the endzone; like Kmet’s receiving touchdown binge, Fields’ rushing touchdown streak will get stopped at some point, but The Professor thinks that will be the Jets and their dynamic defense in a week rather than a talent-deficient Atlanta group this week. Look for Fields to torch the Falcons through the air and on the ground in a return to his home city.
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos
Josh Jacobs, Under 77.5 Rush Yds, -110 (Model Projection: 63.4)
Latavius Murray, Under 39.5 Rush Yds, -110 (Model Projection: 27.8)
Melvin Gordon III, Under 37.5 Rush Yds, -110 (Model Projection: 28.9)
It seems like taking the under on rush yards against the Las Vegas defense is one that could come back to bite me, but given that the Broncos traded for Chase Edmonds at the trade deadline, it would make sense to get him more incorporated in the offense. Granted, Edmonds is unlikely to fare much better than Latavius Murray or Melvin Gordon in this dreadful Denver offense, but the front office and coaching staff acquired him for some reason. If Edmonds cuts into Murray and Gordon’s timeshare, it’s tough to see any of these backs having a big day, even against this defense.
On the other side, Denver’s defense continues to produce outstanding results and should be able to handle the Las Vegas offensive line and Josh Jacobs after bottling up the Titans and Derrick Henry last week. This game was high-scoring the first time around, but with the total at 41, oddsmakers are not expecting a repeat.
Washington Commanders at Houston Texans
Brandin Cooks, Under 54.5 Rec Yds, -115 (Model Projection 42.8)
Terry McLaurin, Over 59.5 Rec Yds, -125 (Model Projection: 72.0)
Brandin Cooks remained fantasy-relevant in a dreadful 2021 Texans attack by drawing a ridiculous, sometimes 50%-plus, target share.
Those days are long in the past; Cooks has not drawn a significant target share since the first two weeks of the 2022 NFL season, and after sitting out a game and being stripped of his captaincy near the trade deadline, Cooks is no longer seeing as many opportunities.
Terry McLaurin is in the opposite situation; after working in more of a committee while Carson Wentz was at quarterback, McLaurin is back in his role as the top dog now that Taylor Heinicke is slinging the rock. Look for Cooks to go under and McLaurin to go over their respective receiving totals.
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints
Andy Dalton, Over 0.5 Interceptions, -160 (Model Projection: 0.8)
Matthew Stafford, Over 0.5 Interceptions, -155 (Model Projection: 0.9)
The New Orleans Saints traded safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, the NFL’s interception leader, to the Eagles for half a pizza, and with the way things are going, New Orleans might also hand the Eagles a King’s Ransom with a top-3 pick in a highly-anticipated class. This game is critical to that seeding, as the Saints and Rams both have three wins (and no first-round draft pick).
Given the relative advantage of the defenses over the offenses (particularly along the respective lines), it seems fair for poor offensive play to continue on both sides. Look for quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Matthew Stafford to add more interceptions in a season full of them.
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins, Over 1.5 Pass TDs, -120 (Model Projection: 1.9)
CeeDee Lamb, Over 75.5 Pass Yds, -115 (Model Projection: 78.2)
Dallas lost to Green Bay in last week’s trip to the NFC North, and while CeeDee Lamb left several plays on the field and contributed to a red-zone interception, he also asserted himself as the Cowboys’ true number one. Most expected that to happen early in the season, but quarterback Dak Prescott’s injury derailed that; nevertheless, Lamb is lining up at running back in shotgun formations and catching TD passes, a la Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, and Deebo Samuel, in addition to attacking every level of the field as a receiver.
Look for Kirk Cousins and his talented group of playmakers to answer Prescott and Lamb blow for blow; given the strengths and weaknesses of the Dallas defense, Dalvin Cook might rack up more yards than usual, but Cousins still has a great chance to get in the endzone twice.
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.