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NFL Week 14 Main Slate Player Props: Quintez Cephus is Ready to Breakout (Sunday, Dec. 13)

NFL Week 14 Main Slate Player Props: Quintez Cephus is Ready to Breakout (Sunday, Dec. 13) article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Quintez Cephus.

NFL player prop bets can offer some of the best betting value on the board in any given week. They typically feature smaller limits and take less action than traditional game bets, so the market can often be less efficient than NFL sides and totals.

This is where the FantasyLabs Player Prop tool comes in handy.

We leverage prop bets from across the industry against our player projections from Sean Koerner, the No. 1 in-season fantasy football ranker in three of the past five seasons. Each prop bet then receives a Bet Quality grade between 1 and 10, with 10 representing the largest betting edge.

Let’s break down six prop bets providing value for Sunday’s NFL Week 14 main slate:

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Jacksonville Jaguars WR Collin Johnson

The Pick: Over 2.5 receptions (+122)

FantasyLabs Grade: 10 out of 10

Johnson has emerged as an important part of the Jaguars’ passing attack recently. He was a fifth-round draft pick for the Jaguars and has a massive 6-foot-6, 222-pound frame, and he’s played on at least 55% of the offensive snaps in each of the past two weeks. More importantly, he’s seen at least six targets in both contests, making him a preferred target for QB Mike Glennon.

The Jaguars should also be able to find some offensive success in this contest. The Titans’ defense has struggled all year, and things only figure to get worse with Jadaveon Clowney out for the rest of the season. Tennessee gave up 41 points last week to the Cleveland Browns, who are far from an offensive juggernaut.

Glennon is not a QB that you want to build your franchise around, but he is capable of making throws when given time in the pocket. That shouldn’t be an issue vs. the Titans, who rank just 31st in adjusted sack rate this season. I like the idea of backing Johnson to catch at least three passes at better than even money.

Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel

The Pick: Over 4.5 receptions (-148)

FantasyLabs Grade: 9 out of 10

On the surface, this line seems pretty reasonable for Samuel. He’s caught at least five passes in five of his past seven games, and he’s coming off a season-high 10 targets two games ago against the Lions. His role in the Panthers’ offense has definitely grown after a slow start to the season.

That said, what really makes this prop appealing is that D.J. Moore is not expected to suit up. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, and ESPN’s David Newton is reporting that it is unlikely he will be activated before game time. Moore has commanded 89 targets this season — roughly 7.5 per game — including at least nine targets in each of his past two. It’s reasonable to expect at least a couple of those looks to find their way to Samuel this week vs. the Broncos.

Denver is not an ideal matchup, but Samuel should benefit from the injury to Bryce Callahan. Samuel plays almost exclusively in the slot, which sets up a matchup vs. Duke Dawson Jr., who owns a Pro Football Focus grade of just 39.5 this season. That gives Samuel a substantial edge.

Kansas City Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The Pick: Over 39.5 rushing yards

FantasyLabs Grade: 10 out of 10

Edwards-Helaire was able to suit up last week despite dealing with an illness, but the Chiefs decided not to actually utilize him. He didn’t play a single snap but is expected to return to his normal workload this week vs. the Dolphins. CEH is the lead back in a committee situation, but he’s still seen at least 11 carries in each of his past two games, not counting last week.

The Chiefs might also need to lean a little heavier than usual on their rushing attack against the Dolphins. Miami has blossomed into one of the best pass defenses in the league, but it remains vulnerable against the run. Overall, the Dolphins rank sixth in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA but just 24th in rush defense DVOA.

This seems like the perfect time to buy low on a talented player. If Edwards-Helaire gets double-digit rushing attempts, he should have no problems hitting the over on such a reasonable number.

Detroit Lions WR Quintez Cephus

The Picks: Over 1.5 receptions (-125) & Over 18.5 receiving yards (-105)

FantasyLabs Grades: 10 out of 10

Cephus may not be a household name, but he is clearly going to play an important role for the Lions down the stretch.

He was a fifth-round draft pick out of Wisconsin, and the Lions are going to give him every chance to prove that he belongs at the NFL level. They released veteran Marvin Hall, and it’s possible that Kenny Golladay won’t suit up again this season. Cephus played on 46% of the Lions’ offensive snaps last week vs. the Bears, and I would expect that number to increase moving forward.

Despite the modest snap count, Cephus was pretty involved in the Lions’ offense last week. He finished with four targets, and he managed to convert those into two catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. The Bears have also been solid defensively this season, and his current matchup vs. the Packers is much more favorable. They have an elite cover corner in Jaire Alexander, but he should spend the majority of his time on Marvin Jones Jr.

Washington Football Team RB J.D. McKissic

The Pick: Under 35.5 rushing yards

FantasyLabs Grade: 10 out of 10

McKissic stands out as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the injury to Antonio Gibson, who was starting to establish himself as a clear bell-cow back in Washington and was even stealing some receiving work from McKissic. But without him for most of last week’s game against the Steelers, McKissic played on 74% of Washington’s offensive snaps.

That said, Gibson’s absence had very little effect on McKissic as a rusher. He finished with just five carries, which was well behind Peyton Barber’s mark of 14. McKissic could only muster eight yards on those carries, and he’s averaged just 4.2 yards per carry this season. He will definitely see plenty of work this week vs. the 49ers, but most of it will likely come as a receiver. He’s seen at least 10 targets in three of his past five games, so his rushing prop feels inflated.

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