We’re nearing the midpoint of the NFL season, and some emerging trends with player personnel are creating opportunities in the player props market.
The NFL is a league of adjustments. Coaches are always tinkering. And bye weeks create additional time to look at film, grade player performances and see what is working and what isn’t.
Sometimes usage changes involve well-known players. Other times, young guys and recent draftees get an extended look. It’s all about keeping up with what’s happening to find some betting equity.
Lines are from DraftKings as of Thursday night, but always shop around for the best numbers.
Derrick Henry (TEN) Over 11.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
The Titans have never really used Henry as a pass-catcher, but times are changing as they are looking for additional touches for their best player. Henry is averaging 22.3 rushing attempts per game, his lowest average since 2019. However, he has 17 targets in just six games after getting 20 in 18 games last season. His highest number of targets was 31 in 2020 and he’s on pace for 48 this season.
Henry cleared this prop total in Weeks 3, 4 and 5, but he only wound up with 10 yards on three catches last week. Ryan Tannehill’s mobility is in question due to a sprained ankle and that should give Henry more chances at catching balls out of the backfield. Last week, Henry carried the ball 30 times in 44 snaps. Maybe the Titans run it down the Texans’ throats, but this seems like a good roll of the dice given the trend line for Henry. He had a combined one target and zero receptions the first two weeks, so the Titans have recently isolated his value as a receiving option.
Dak Prescott (DAL) Under 236.5 Passing Yards (-115)
Prescott was eased back into the Cowboys offense last week against the Lions with an economical 207-yard performance. He was 19-of-25 passing as the Cowboys relied a little more on running the rock with a big lead against Detroit. A similar setup seems likely this week as the Cowboys are nearly double-digit favorites against the Bears.
Of course, it isn’t all about bringing Prescott back slowly. The Cowboys are 25th in pass attempts and 27th in passing yards. They’re 20th in net yards per pass attempt. Outside of CeeDee Lamb, there aren’t a whole lot of receiving options. Noah Brown is having a nice season, but the Cowboys can’t just air it out. The concern here is that Tony Pollard will likely be more of an every-down back if Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t play, and that could add some cheap yards to Prescott’s total. But it sure seems like the Cowboys can win with running and defense again this week.
Riley Patterson (JAX) Over 1.5 Field Goals (+ 105)
The Jaguars are at “home” in the friendly confines of Wembley Stadium to take on the Broncos. The Broncos have the best red-zone defense in the NFL, as opponents have only scored four touchdowns in 16 trips. Pair that with a Jaguars offense that has only cashed in 14 of its 27 red-zone efforts and we’ve got the makings of a good day for Patterson.
He’s 10-for-11 on the season and five of his field goals have been from 29 yards or less, which is another good indicator of Jacksonville’s struggles in the scoring areas. The trade of James Robinson means more touches for Travis Etienne, which should increase the efficiency of the Jaguars offense, leading to another scoring opportunity or two. Patterson has the chance to be busy across the pond and getting plus money here seems like a worthwhile gamble.