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NFL Week 17 Main Slate Player Props: Believe in Derrick Henry vs. Texans (Sunday, Jan. 3)

NFL Week 17 Main Slate Player Props: Believe in Derrick Henry vs. Texans (Sunday, Jan. 3) article feature image

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Derrick Henry.

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 five prop bets providing value for Sunday’s NFL Week 16 main slate:

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews

The Pick: Over 3.5 receptions (-154)

FantasyLabs Grade: 10 out of 10

The Ravens need a win this week to lock up a spot in the playoffs, but that shouldn’t be a problem against the lowly Bengals. Baltimore is currently favored by 14, so it’s expected to take care of business pretty easily.

The Ravens’ offense in particular should have no problems moving the rock in this matchup. Lamar Jackson has re-energized the unit after returning to the lineup in Week 13 vs. the Cowboys. Baltimore has won four straight, and the offense has gained at least 385 yards in all four games. The Ravens eclipsed that mark just once in their first 11 games, all the way back in Week 2 vs. the Texans.

Jackson has also made a much more conscientious effort to get the ball to Andrews recently. The tight end is averaging 7.4 targets and 5.6 receptions over his past five games, so this number seems way too low in a great spot vs. the Bengals, who rank 27th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA.

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

The Pick: Under 55.5 receiving yards (-117)

FantasyLabs Grade: 9 out of 10

The fantasy community absolutely loves Shenault, and he has the opportunity to see a few additional targets this week with D.J. Chark and Collin Johnson ruled out. That leaves the Jaguars with Shenault, Keelan Cole and Chris Conley at wide receiver.

That’s obviously a positive for Shenault, but there’s no guarantee it leads to much production vs. the Colts. Indianapolis has been one of the best defensive teams in football this season, and they rank No. 7 in pass defense DVOA.

Shenault garnered seven targets in a similar matchup last week vs. the Bears, but he finished with just 48 receiving yards.

The Jags have already secured the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, but they are still clearly tanking to finish the season. Mike Glennon will earn the start at quarterback over Gardner Minshew, even though he’s been worse in every metric that matters.

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San Francisco 49ers WR Richie James

The Pick: Over 35.5 receiving yards

FantasyLabs Grade: 9 out of 10

James is in a potential smash spot this week against the Seahawks. Deebo Samuel remains out of the lineup for the 49ers, and Brandon Aiyuk will also miss the game. The last time both players were out of the lineup, James finished with 13 targets, nine receptions and 184 yards.

San Francisco probably won’t need to lean on him as heavily this week as they did back in Week 9 — George Kittle was inactive for that game — but James still stands out as their top wide receiver. The Seahawks have improved on defense recently, but this number is too low given how the 49ers have utilized their top wide receiver this season.

Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods

The Pick: Over 4.5 receptions (-141)

FantasyLabs Grade: 8 out of 10

There is some uncertainty with the Rams’ offense heading into their Week 17 matchup vs. the Cardinals.

Jared Goff is out after undergoing thumb surgery, which means John Wolford will start at quarterback. Wolford has never thrown a pass in an NFL contest before, so this will be trial by fire in a must-win contest. Wolford was undrafted out of Wake Forest, so expectations are low for him heading into this game.

One thing that is certain: Woods should be his favorite target. Cooper Kupp has been ruled out for this contest after testing positive for COVID-19, which leaves Woods alone atop the Rams’ depth chart at wide receiver.

This line would probably be closer to 6.0 or even 6.5 if Goff were playing, so we’re getting a bit of value with the unknown quarterback. Wolford might be an absolute disaster, but I still think he can complete five passes to Woods.

McVay is known for his creativity, so I’m expecting Woods to see at least a couple of short passes on screens or other designed plays.

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry

The Pick: Over 118.5 rushing yards (-112)

FantasyLabs Grade: No grade

I’m going rogue on this one. The Player Prop tool actually prefers the under on Henry’s rushing yards — they have it graded as an eight out of 10 — but I think he will dominate against the Texans.

For starters, the Texans have been awful against the run all season. They rank 30th in rush defense DVOA and surrendered a ridiculous 169 rushing yards to the Bengals just last week. The Bengals have been one of the worst rushing teams in football since losing Joe Mixon to an injury, and they averaged just 80.6 rushing yards per game over their previous five contests.

Henry destroyed the Texans in their first matchup this season, rushing for 212 yards in an overtime victory.

Henry and the Titans’ coaching staff also have plenty to play for this week. Not only do they need a win to guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs, but Henry also has an outside shot at rushing for 2,000 yards on the season. He needs 223 yards to join that exclusive club — only seven players in NFL history have done it — so expect the Titans to feed Henry in this matchup.

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