Welcome back for another Props special. This time around, we are putting out some picks from the much larger pool of season props. Recently, DraftKings released a considerable number of player props for the 2021-2022 season. With training camps set to begin over the next week and a half, now is the time to get in early on some of the early lines, before the camp reports creep out and move the lines.
Last month, we put out a trio of picks for the season. Since that time, Jonathan Taylor’s line has gone up 25 yards (we had the over), Derrick Henry’s total dropped by 45 (we had the under), and Christian McCaffrey’s total went up by 175 yards. We made a case for both the over and under for McCaffrey, but the play was an obvious Over, as long as you felt confident he could stay healthy.
This time through, we’re going for one news-based pick and a trio of running back overs. Typically, I eye the more pessimistic plays as hype builds just before the season. However, betting overs before training camp on young players is the savvy move at this point in time. We’ll get to more unders as the season grows closer.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Under 23 Passing TDs
Look, I’m a big Fitzmagic fan but I have a bad feeling about this whole situation in Washington. Fitzpatrick turns 39 this November and every stop recently has appeared to be more of a band-aid situation, rather than a stable option. When the Washington Football Team lost in the Wildcard, the immediate thought was that the offense is clearly the problem. However, following the Buccaneers resounding title victory over the Chiefs, many of us are looking back and asking ourselves, “was it really Taylor Heinecke’s fault?” If you watch the tape of that game, you’ll see Heinecke actually had more success than many of the QBs the Bucs faced on that run to the title. Had it not been for several key drops, the WFT might have pulled out the win.
Regardless, Fitzpatrick penned a one-year deal for 10 million. He was brought-in to be a competent quarterback who could quickly assimilate into a new offense and increase offensive output. The problem is, reports out of DC are that Taylor Heinecke has taken some big strides in improving. JP Finlay (NBC Sports) reported that Heinecke has actually looked better than Fitzpatrick to this point in minicamp.
Even if the WFT decides to go with Fitzy to start the year, it’s likely he will have one of those Fitztragic games where he throws four picks in a half. That’s going to lead to a QB controversy. The question you have to ask yourself here is, “will Fitzpatrick be the starter all year?” If you believe the answer is yes, this should be an easy Over bet. If you think there’s truth to the belief that Heinecke could replace him at some point, taking the Under should be an easy win.
Damien Harris Over 845.5 Rushing Yards -110
Damien Harris didn’t get much run in his rookie year and didn’t see any action (thanks to injury) until Week 4 last year. Once he did see action, Harris showed why the Patriots invested an early round pick on the talented Alabama back. Despite being vultured near the goal line repeatedly by Cam Newton, Harris looked to be the best running back on the squad. This season, the reports out of minicamp are that Harris is going to be the featured back. In nine games last season, Harris rushed for 691 yards at 5.04 YPC. With 17 games scheduled scheduled this season, Harris should be on a solid pace to beat this low line.
Javonte Williams Over 800.5 Rushing Yards -110
When the Broncos drafted Javonte Williams early in the second round of the 2021 draft. He wasn’t the most talented back in the class, but he’s fallen into the best situation for a rookie. As of now, Williams is battling Melvin Gordon for the lead role in Denver. Look, Melvin was great in his prime, but Javonte has fresh legs and exponentially more juice at this point. It’s not to say Melvin will be left out of a role, but it should mean Javonte and his supreme tackle-breaking ability will get the bulk of the work between the tackles. With many close to the team saying Javonte will be the man this season, 800 yards (48 yards per game) seems pretty easy.
James Robinson Over 670.5 Rushing Yards -110
Unlike the last two picks, courtesy of insiders, this one is based more on applying simple football rationale. James Robinson had no draft capital last season. He was an undrafted rookie, thrust into the starting role to replace the recently departed Leonard Fournette. The good news was, Robinson smashed a load of records for undrafted rookie backs, rushing for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns. Robinson was phenomenal last season and demonstrated he could exploit defenses in a variety of ways, even with an inferior offensive line. The problem is that the Jaguars spent a mid-first round pick on Travis Etienne. Etienne impressed the nation with his performances for the Clemson Tigers. The catch is, Etienne is not good between the tackles. By that, I mean he really is bad when he isn’t on the edge or in the open field. Now, having a guy drafted to a team who is already set at the position is usually something to be concerned about. In this case, it isn’t based on Etienne’s limitations and Robinson’s performance as a rookie. All he needs to do is average 40 yards per game and this bet is as good as gold. From the reports we’re hearing thus far, Robinson is expected to maintain a role as the first and second down back, and that’s good news for the Over.