NFL Week 3 Player Props: Expert Picks for Cam Akers, Zay Jones, Jeff Wilson
John McCoy/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Akers.
- Sean Koerner has found his favorite props for Week 3.
- Check out The Oddsmaker's picks and breakdowns below.
Over 21.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
The Bears have abandoned the passing game through the first two weeks of the season, ranking second in early-down rush rate when in a neutral game script.
Therefore, we could see them run the ball 30 or more times this week as 3-point favorites against the Texans. The Bears have only averaged 48.5 plays per game, so there is a chance we see them run 10-15 more plays than their season average against the Texans, giving their offensive players some sneaky upside.
I think the player who should take advantage of all of the above is Herbert. He’s still operating as David Montgomery’s clear backup, but he doesn’t have anyone else to worry about stealing his touches. Therefore, I think he’s a safe bet for 6-7 rush attempts here, which should be enough against a Texans defense to clear this number.
I’m projecting him closer to 28.5 yards.
BetMGM is the only book anywhere close to 21.5, as of 11 p.m. ET on Saturday night.
Over 7.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Mostert operated as the lead back for the Dolphins in Week 2, rushing 11 times to Chase Edmonds’ five. One of the more surprising developments was Mostert matching Edmonds’ routes run rate at 47%.
Mostert typically isn’t used much in the passing game, but with the Dolphins throwing at a very high rate on early downs, we could see his routes run rate stay in the 40% range again this week. It’s also a good matchup against a Bills defense that plays a ton of zone.
All four of Mostert’s receptions this year have come against zone coverage. With the Bills’ secondary dealing with a ton of injuries, they will likely be trying to prevent big plays down field to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and concede check downs to Mostert and Edmonds, where they should plenty of room to run.
You always have to be careful with a RB receiving prop in the 7.5 range. If Mostert were only to have one catch, there would be around a 58% chance he stays under this number.
However, I’m projecting him for 1.9 receptions, so I think it’s more likely he hauls in two-plus. That’s why I believe a fair number for this prop would be closer to 11.5. Every yard in a market like this is massive, so I would only bet this at 7.5.
Editor’s note: This line has moved to 9.5, as of Saturday night.
Over 47.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Thielen is off to a quiet start in 2022, posting receiving lines of 3/36/0 and 4/52/0. However, this week sets up as a sneaky spot for him to have a fairly big game.
He typically thrives against man coverage. Last season, Thielen averaged 1.25 yards per route run (Y/RR) against zone, but averaged 2.37 yards per route run against man. The Lions have used man coverage at the fourth highest rate this year, and Thielen shouldn’t have any issues with their cornerbacks.
Thielen has only seen a target on 12.2% of his routes run, but I expect that to regress closer toward 16.5% going forward. Therefore, I’m projecting his median closer to 53.5 yards and see this as a good buy-low opportunity on the veteran. I would only bet this up to 48.5.
Editor’s note: This line has moved to 49.5 as of Saturday night.
Under 38.5 Receiving Yards (-130)
Davis has sailed over this number in each of the first two games, going for 6/77/0 and 2/83/1. It’s worth noting that if it weren’t for a wide-open 66-yard TD catch in last week’s historic comeback win over the Browns, Davis would have finished with a 1/17/0 line.
He’s a player who I’m betting on regressing in a few areas this week. First, the Jets have averaged 73 plays per game (second most) and it resulted in games in which Joe Flacco had 59 and 44 pass attempts.
They have been right around league average in terms of early down pass rate when the game is close. I think we can expect this passing offense to come back down to Earth a bit — as seen by Flacco’s passing yards prop at 240.5. There are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense with Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, Tyler Conklin, and Breece Hall/Michael Carter.
The Bengals have used man coverage at the highest rate through two weeks, which also gives Davis a slight downgrade in my model considering he tends to struggle against man. In 2021, he had a 2.28 Y/RR against zone compared to just 1.00 Y/RR against man.
I’m projecting him closer to 33.5 yards here and would bet down to 37.5. As of Saturday night, you can still get 38.5 at BetMGM and DraftKings.
Under 60.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Scary Terry has never really had much competition for targets in his career, but that has changed with both Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson stepping up this year. McLaurin is still going to be Washington’s main deep threat, meaning he carries a high weekly ceiling. At the same time, however, that makes his median output a tad lower.
This week’s matchup against Darius Slay and James Bradberry of the Eagles is a difficult one and I’m projecting his median closer to 52.5 yards. I would bet this down to 57.5. You can still get 58.5 at BetMGM and DraftKings.
Under 1.5 Receptions (+140)
Watkins is a very volatile player, as seen by his 0/0/0 and 2/69/1 receiving lines in the first two games. The addition of A.J. Brown has made it difficult for Watkins to command many targets — his 3.9% targets per route run rate is one of the lowest in the league.
He’s seen an aDot of 33.0 on two targets this year, and considering he profiles as a receiver who will get the occasional deep target, his catch rate of 100% is surely due for significant regression. I’m showing value on both Watkins going under 1.5 receptions and 22.5 receiving yards. But since he is a volatile deep threat, it’s probably smart to avoid his yardage prop and go with his receptions.
I’m projecting this being closer to a 50/50 coin flip, so I love the value we are getting with the +140 price tag. I would bet this down to +125.
Under 1.5 Receptions (+105)
There are multiple things going against Akers in this market:
1) While he reclaimed his early down role in Week 2, Darrell Henderson was still in on every third down or obvious passing situation.
2) Matthew Stafford tends to not target his RBs, especially on early downs (when Akers is in the game). He has only targeted a RB 9.5% of the time on early downs, compared to the league average of 16%.
3) The Cardinals play man at the fifth highest rate. Akers tends to see even less usage in the passing game against man coverage (as do most RBs).
The market seems to be overreacting to his 2/18/0 outburst last week, but that statline required multiple things to go in Akers’ favor just to get two receptions.
I’m betting against that happening again and give him about a 63% chance to stay under 1.5 receptions. I would bet this down to -130.
Over 14.5 Rush Attempts (+100)
Wilson could be in for a massive workload after rookie Tyrion Davis-Price suffered an ankle injury that will knock him out for the next several games.
The 49ers’ RB depth chart is pretty thin behind Wilson. It’s just rookie Jordan Mason, who has zero carries this season, and recently acquired Marlon Mack, who was cut before the season by the Texans.
We already have a five-game sample size of Wilson with Elijah Mitchell out of the lineup, and his rush counts were 19, 13, 21, 14 and 18. He’s had a median on 18 rush attempts a game without Mitchell in the lineup, and I’m projecting him closer to 16.5 for Sunday Night Football against the Broncos.
I’d bet this prop up to -135, with the best line at BetMGM.
Over 33.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Zay Jones is a sneaky player to buy low on this week after a disappointing 3/23/0 receiving line against the Colts, who the Jaguars didn’t need to throw much against en route to a 24-0 win.
While the Jaguars may not be forced to throw if Justin Herbert is unable to play, there should be more volume to go around this week. Jones has seen solid underlying usage, averaging 86% routes run and a 19.7% target per route run rate.
This week’s matchup against the Chargers got a bit easier with J.C. Jackson downgraded to doubtful.
I think Jones is also a way to invest in Trevor Lawrence, who was considered a generation talent at QB and could be in the middle of a true breakout season.
I’m projecting Jones closer to 39.5 receiving yards and would bet this up to 35.5. The best line, as of Saturday afternoon, is at DraftKings.