NFL Props for Week 17: Tyler Higbee, More Anytime Touchdown Picks
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Higbee.
Njoku is 10th in the NFL (and second amongst tight ends) in red-zone targets with 18. That’s more than Amari Cooper despite missing three games.
In three games since returning from injury, he’s played 95% of snaps and scored in Week 14 against Cincinnati.
The Commanders have been decent defending against the slot, but they’ve still allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends this season. George Kittle just had a field day against them, going off for eight catches, 120 yards and two scores last week.
Part of the reason we’re getting decent odds on Njoku is the fact that Deshaun Watson has looked terrible since taking over for Jacoby Brissett. Still, it’s a better matchup for Njoku compared to the last two weeks (Baltimore, New Orleans) and the weather should also be nicer in Maryland.
Njoku should present a mismatch in the red zone for Washington and I like him to possibly score his fourth touchdown of the season.
ATD +500 (FanDuel)
Johnson, a go-to option for the Saints in the red zone, is second amongst all tight ends with seven touchdowns on the season. He also leads the team with 11 red-zone targets (more than Alvin Kamara).
Of Johnson’s scores, only three have been from inside the 10, which shows he’s not just a threat close to the end zone.
Johnson’s opposition, the Eagles, have been struggling with coverage on the inside. Avonte Maddox and C.J. Gardner-Johnson are both out, and Josiah Scott has been below average covering the slot so the Saints would be wise to attack the middle of the field.
Given that I’ve seen Johnson’s TD odds lower than +300 at multiple books, I can’t pass this up.
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ATD +300 (bet365)
Baker Mayfield’s arrival in Los Angeles has been a boon for Higbee, who’s scored three touchdowns in the last two games with the Oklahoma product under center. Last week, Higbee scored twice against a well above average Broncos defense.
This plays to something I wrote about last season regarding Mayfield’s tendencies – 10 of his 17 passing touchdowns in 2021 were to tight ends. Not only that, 36% of Mayfield’s career passing touchdowns have gone to that position.
In 2022, he’s thrown for 10 touchdowns – four have gone to tight ends, three to Higbee and one to Tommy Tremble.
The Chargers could be vulnerable over the middle of the field with Derwin James sidelined.
It’s worth noting the Battle of Los Angeles is essentially a home game for the Rams, which doesn’t hurt.
Oh, and it's Higbee's birthday.