Best Week 17 NFL Prop Bets: Believe in David Johnson’s Receiving

Best Week 17 NFL Prop Bets: Believe in David Johnson’s Receiving article feature image
Credit:

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31).

  • There are three player props offering betting value on Sunday's main slate for Week 17.
  • This piece will focus on RB David Johnson, Bills WR Robert Foster and Raiders QB Derek Carr.

The final week of the regular season poses a unique challenge for prop bettors — matters of motivation and player usage will be fluid from one minute to the next, making projections a tricky task.

For that reason, there are considerably fewer lines being offered by sports books this week. So while there are still a few great Week 17 prop bets to attack, it’s not a week for betting volume.

Between our main slate picks and a Sunday Night sweep, we went 4-1 in Week 16, missing out on a perfect week only when Demaryius Thomas went down.

It’s been a phenomenal regular season run for both the Fantasy Labs Props Tool and our Bet the Prop article picks.

Cardinals RB David Johnson

Over 20.5 Receiving Yards (-115 @ 5 Dimes)

In their 15 games, the Seahawks have allowed 20 or more receiving yards to 17 different running backs. That includes the likes of LeGarrette Blount, Jordan Howard, and Kyle Juszczyk. Johnson himself doubled this line when these teams met in Week 4.

A weakness in general, the Seahawks have been particularly vulnerable to receiving running backs of late.

  • Since Week 10, they’ve given up 87.6 receiving yards per game to opposing backs.
  • On the season, they rank second last in that category with 60 per game.

The Seahawks’ slow pace and dominant possession numbers are concerns here. However, the Cardinals are 12-point road underdogs, setting up a spot where Johnson’s absolute floor is five targets.

With Sean Koerner projecting 27 yards on 3.5 receptions, this is one of the best bets in the props tool. I’d play the number to 24.5, and I’m likely playing the over on 2.5 receptions (-135) as well. 

Bills WR Robert Foster

Over 46.5 Receiving Yards (-130 @ 5 Dimes)

This line opened at -115 before quickly moving to -130, and I expect it will continue to move.

A recent timeline of Bob Foster-related developments:

  • He ranked 11th in receiving yards and 10th in Air Yards for the month leading up to last week’s game.
  • Finished seventh among among all wide receivers in Air Yards in that game with 148.
  • Beat his receiving prop line of 44.5 by 17% (56 yards vs NE).
  • Sees his receiving prop line bumped by just two yards the following week.

Something doesn’t add up.

It’s rare to see that type of volume paired with such a low line. Since Week 10 – a sizable sample by NFL standards – Foster is averaging 82.7 yards per game. Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins is averaging 88.5 in that time. Saints receiver Michael Thomas is averaging 70.1.

His 25.4 average depth of target is by far the best mark in the league (among all wide receivers with at least 10 targets). Think about that for a moment — every time Foster is targeted, it is, on average, for more than a quarter of the football field. And he’s averaging more than six targets per game in his last three.

I could go on — by almost any measure, Foster’s underlying and raw numbers have been elite of late. Oh, and Dolphins top corner Xavien Howard is out for this game, too.

If I’m setting this line, it would be 54.5, and I would still play the over. At this 46.5 number, I’m happy to pay up to -130 in juice. 

Raiders QB Derek Carr

Over 34.5 Pass Attempts (-125 @ 5 Dimes)

Derek Carr has eclipsed this number in five of seven career games against the Chiefs, and in the two games he didn’t, he hit 33 and 34 completions.

Though he’s never been particularly effective against Kansas City’s defense — only once surpassing 300 yards — he does put the ball up an average of 41 times in those matchups.

Carr is brutal on the road, and I expect fully expect him to have a bad time in Arrowhead, but as a double-digit underdog, he’s going to be throwing.

While a solid value, there’s not lot of room for error at this number — I’d still be fine with 35.5 attempts or a price of -130, but no more.