Prop bets for individual players are just like owning a season-long fantasy team.  If you draft well, you do well.  If your top picks struggle early on, your team will likely be behind the eight ball.  Much like that, a slow start to a season will doom any prop bet for an individual player.  So it is our job to try and fine the sure things.

As a reminder, all lines are taken from BetDSI, where they will match any deposit, as part of their Welcome Package, up to $2,500 each using the code: FANTOM. Get in the game and take advantage of that amazing offer!

Matt Ryan over 24.5 TD passes -165

Since 2010, Ryan’s touchdown totals have been 23, 29, 32, 26, 28, 21, 38 and 20.  5 of the 8 seasons he has eclipsed 24.5 touchdown passes.  Not bad.  A lot can be attributed to the massive drop in touchdown passes from the 38 he posted in his MVP season of 2016 versus the 20 in a disappointing 2017 campaign.  But it was not just the touchdowns that dropped massively, as Ryan threw for close to 900 less yards as well.  The Falcons looked to address their passing game dip in selecting Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley in the draft.  Given the success the Falcons displayed during 2016, it would not be surprising to see them open it up a bit more and with the playmakers they have both on the outside and out of the backfield, Ryan should approach 30 touchdown passes, not end up closer to 20.

Philip Rivers over 26.5 TD passes -190

The last time Philip Rivers threw less than 27 touchdowns was during the 2012 season.  This number seems low, however the prevailing thought must be that with the team potentially leading more games and in less shootouts, Rivers touchdown numbers will decrease.  While the offense will have to overcome the loss of Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates, the emergence of Mike Williams, consistency of Keenan Allen and continued productivity of Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams, will give Rivers plenty of weapons on offense.  Rivers, much like Ryan, should approach the 30-touchdown mark in 2018.

Russell Wilson over 25.5 TD passes -155

In two of the last three years, Wilson has thrown for 34 touchdowns.  8 more than the required 26 needed to win this bet.  If this was the Seahawks of four/five years ago, hitting 26 would concern me.  Stellar defense, dominant ground game and even Wilson rushing for over 800 yards and six touchdowns in one of his seasons.  Now, with their ground game in the hands of unknown Chris Carson and rookie Rashaad Penny, not to mention the Legion of Boom being dismantled, the Seahawks are going to have to win games via shootout.  While Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson have left, the addition of Jaron Brown and veteran Brandon Marshall, should provide stability for Wilson.  And given the lack of experience in the backfield, Pete Carroll will likely let Wilson run the show and direct the offense as he sees fit.  Wilson, who led the league with 34 passing touchdowns last year, may repeat that this season given the state of the Seahawks.

Joe Flacco under 19.5 TD passes +145

Over the last five seasons, Flacco has thrown for 19, 27, 14, 20 and 18 touchdowns.  3 of 5 seasons under the number here.  In each of those seasons, Flacco was the unquestioned starter, with no true heir apparent on the roster.  Now?  Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson is knocking on the door for playing time and with Flacco struggling over the last few years, it will surprise no one if he does not start all 16 games.  Given the uncertainty and lack of production, this is a solid bet.

Julio Jones under 1,399.5 receiving yards -104

In each of the last four seasons, Jones has exceeded 1,399.5 receiving yards. So why would we go under here?  Cause over the last four seasons, Jones has missed only 3 games.  In a league that features big-time receivers more than ever, that is sensational health and durability.  With the potential emergence of Calvin Ridley, Jones will also now have the best complement to him since the days of Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez.  Jones is a top receiver in the league and a true stud.  But law of averages says this goes under.

Adam Thielen over 1,099.5 receiving yards -115

This one is a head scratcher.  Thielen, who is coming off a 2016 that saw him approach 1,000 yards and a 2017 that saw him exceed 1,200, has a number set under 1,100.  With the addition of a better quarterback to the team, not to mention the departure of solid receiving back Jerick McKinnon and the fact defenses will need to key on up and coming back Dalvin Cook, Thielen will see more targets, more room to operate, and exceed this by 200 or so yards.

Rob Gronkowski over 1,059.5 receiving yards -115

Simply put, Gronk, unless he gets injured, will hit this number.  In 3 of the last 4 seasons, Gronk has surpassed 1,059.5 yards and in the one season he did not, he played in only 8 games, starting 6 of them.  With Julian Edelman suspended for the first four weeks of the season, injuries in the backfield to Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead and the walking mis-match that Gronk is, he is the go to guy in the offense.  Stay healthy Gronk and this is an easy hit.

Tyreek Hill over 1,000.5 receiving yards -115

Another head scratcher here. In 2017, Hill went over 1,100 yards.  That was with noodle-armed Alex Smith at quarterback, not a rifleman in Patrick Mahomes.  With Mahomes under center, Hill has a quarterback that can stretch the field and get him the ball deep, as evident in the Chiefs second preseason game at Atlanta where they connected on a long touchdown pass.  With Sammy Watkins added to the offense, Hill’s target number may decrease, however his yardage should continue to rise year after year.

David Johnson over 949.5 rushing yards -155

In his breakout season of 2016, Johnson rushed for over 1,200 yards.  Yes, he is coming off an injury that cost him the majority of last season, however this is one of the best backs in the entire league.  The thought here is that the Cardinals are mediocre at best, potentially turning to a rookie at quarterback (Josh Rosen) and with a defense that is in rebuilding mode.  If they are trailing, while Johnson may get his touches through the air, his ground numbers would go down.  But I would never bet against Johnson exceeding 1,000 yards over a full season. And all systems appear are a go for him to start the year in the Cardinals backfield.

Derrick Henry over 874.5 rushing yards -170

Last season, in a part-time role that saw him only receive 176 carries, Henry amassed 744 yards.  So now, with DeMarco Murray and his 659 yards from last year retired, the thought is that Henry will not gain more than 130 more yards?  Yes, ex-Patriot Dion Lewis was added to the backfield, but last time I checked, he was not a bruising back that the Titans like to feature.  Henry will eat up early down work and improve on his 4.2 yards per carry average now that he should be more in rhythm with consistent play.  A 1,000 yard, 10+ TD season would be a low water mark for me, as Henry is due for a breakout.

Todd Gurley under 1,349.5 rushing yards -110

This lofty number is 44.5 more yards than Gurley attained in his 2017 Offensive Player of the Year campaign.  Given Jared Goff’s development and the likelihood he will have more control of the offense, it seems unlikely that the Rams, who have now invested in Gurley long-term, will ride him that hard week in and week out.  Sure, Gurley will continue to put up solid numbers and be one of the best dual-threat backs in the league, but going over 1,300 yards in back to back seasons just does not appear to be in the cards.

Le’Veon Bell +2000 to win MVP

Running Backs do not often win league MVP honors.  Since 2000, only Marshall Faulk, Adrian Peterson, Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson have won the award.  Why I like Bell at +2000 is simple.  The Steelers, who will likely not re-sign him in the offseason, as he has refused to agree to terms on a long-term contract, will ride him into the ground this season.  Whether through the air or on the ground, Bell will get plenty of touches.  If the Steelers finish with another massive offensive season, Bell would likely have been a large part of that.  Considering Deshaun Watson, Cam Newton and Jimmy G all have higher odds than Bell, this shows me value, as he is tied for the 11th best (with Elliott and Gurley).

Royce Freeman +2000 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year

The names ranked with better odds than Freeman are obvious.  Barkley, Darnold, Allen, Rosen and Mayfield. But Freeman, who has looked electric during the preseason, has something else going for him.  A clear path to playing time and no sign of injury.  With Barkley banged up heading into the season, there is no clear diagnosis that he will be 100% entering Week 1.  Mayfield, Allen, Rosen and Darnold are all battling to win their starting jobs, which are not guaranteed.  And last time I checked the Browns, Bills, Cardinals and Jets offenses were not potent units.  For Freeman, who is playing in a ball-control offense in Denver, his only true competition for work is Devontae Booker who has looked pedestrian during the preseason.  Considering Freeman’s pedigree and success from his collegiate days at Oregon, I like him to become the full-time starter early on in the season and excel from there.  At +2000, this is a solid wager.

As a reminder, all lines are taken from BetDSI, where they will match any deposit, as part of their Welcome Package, up to $2,500 each using the code: FANTOM. Get in the game and take advantage of that amazing offer!

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