NFL Week 1 Player Props Picks: 7 Expert Predictions for Joe Mixon, Travis Kelce, Cordarrelle Patterson, More
Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Mixon (left) and Travis Kelce.
- The NFL season is back, and that means Sean Koerner's props are too.
- The Oddsmaker has identified seven picks for Sunday afternoon's games.
- Check out his favorite player props below.
NFL Week 1 Player Props
Under 9.5 Rush Attempts (-105)
Patterson began his career with nine straight seasons with fewer than 70 rush attempts until he broke out for 153 last season. I expect Patterson to remain the lead back for the Falcons in 2022, but they’ll likely have Damien Williams and Tyler Allgeier eat into his early-down role, keeping the veteran focused on passing downs.
This number seems a bit too high, especially considering Patterson only cleared this number 38% of the time in what will go down as the best season of his career. Digging a bit deeper, he only cleared this number 22% of the time in games where the Falcons lost. Considering Atlanta is a 5.5-point underdog and will be facing a Saints defense that ranked first in DVOA against the run last season, all signs point to Patterson staying under this number.
I’m projecting him closer to 8.5 and would bet this down to -140.
Under 38.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
The Patriots offense could be a bit sluggish out of the gate as they are letting Joe Judge and Matt Patricia experiment with a new offensive scheme following Josh McDaniels’ departure.
One of the things they have been implementing in the new scheme is more outside zone run plays. The offensive line will likely need a few games to make it work. Last season, on outside zone runs, Damien Harris was the better Patriots RB back, averaging 5.2 yards per attempt on 22 carries while Stevenson struggled at 2.9 on 10 attempts.
I also expect Stevenson to play a more prominent role on passing downs, with Harris continuing to handle more of the early down work.
Finally, the extreme heat (90 degrees at kickoff) means we should downgrade all running backs in this game, as running back efficiency drops off considerably in that type of heat.
The best book for this one is DraftKings.
Under 3.5 Receptions (-110)
Entering his sixth season, Njoku finally gets his chance to be the Browns’ lead TE. I think he’s due for a big season, but I think his receptions prop is a bit high for Week 1.
The Browns will likely lean on their run game and defense against the Panthers this week. Plus, there is a chance we could see some rain in this game, which would lead Cleveland to be even more conservative with Jacoby Brissett under center.
Njoku is an athletic freak who could easily clear his receiving yard prop (35.5) with just a couple catches, so I would much rather target his receptions prop.
I’m projecting him closer to three receptions and about a 62% chance he stays under 3.5. I would bet this down to -135. The best book for this one is BetMGM.
Over 16.5 Rush Attempts (-125)
The Bengals will likely have a fairly conservative game plan for Week 1, considering Joe Burrow missed a few weeks of practice after having an appendectomy and allegedly losing 20 pounds. Plus, the Steelers offense will likely struggle out of the gate as they will be starting Mitch Trubisky behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league.
There’s also a good chance we see rain in this game, meaning the Bengals could lean on Mixon even more.
I like taking the over on his rush attempts, considering he cleared this in 10 of 16 games last season but only cleared his yardage prop (70.5) five times.
I’m projecting him closer to 18.5 rush attempts and would bet this up to -150. The best book for this one is also BetMGM.
Under 42.5 Receiving Yards (-113)
One of the reasons I felt Jared Goff was a sneaky pick in 2QB leagues was due to the additions of D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams. Both receivers will give the Lions offense a vertical element that was lacking last season. Chark will be Goff’s main deep threat until Jameson Williams is able to make his debut.
However, that means Chark is going to have a wide range of outcomes each week. I’m afraid he’s more likely to have closer to a floor game against a very good Eagles secondary, especially considering he will likely draw Darius Slay coverage for most of the game.
I’m projecting his median closer to 35.5 yards and would bet this down to 40.5. The best book for this is FanDuel.
Over 11.5 Rush Attempts (-125)
Pierce was one of the stars of the preseason, and the Texans were so impressed that they not only named Pierce the Week 1 starter but also released Marlon Mack. Rex Burkhead and Dare Ogunbowale will be the only backups, and both backs profile more as third-down backs.
I expect Pierce to get a bulk of the carries for the Texans in Week 1. I also expect them to keep the game close enough for Pierce to clear this number. Pierce might not be able to clear his yardage prop (48.5) due to Houston’s below-average offensive line, so I rather invest his attempt prop here.
I’m projecting him closer to 13.5 carries and would bet this up to -155. The best book for this one is BetMGM.
Under 6.5 Receptions (+100)
Kelce’s target share should grow this season following the Tyreek Hill trade, but I’m not sure they will need him to go off this week in order to put away the Cardinals, who have been decimated with injuries heading into Week 1.
The Cardinals are also a tougher matchup for Kelce since they ranked second in DVOA against TEs last season. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Kelce is the unquestioned No. 1 TE in fantasy this week, and he will absolutely see plenty of targets here, but I’m projecting him closer to 6 receptions and about a 60% chance to stay under this number.
I would bet this down to -120. The best book for this one is also BetMGM.