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NFL Week 9 Main Slate Player Props: Bets on Darren Waller, DeVante Parker, More

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Darren Waller.

  • From Melvin Gordon to DeVante Parker, there are plenty of player props offering value during Sunday's main slate.
  • Matt LaMarca uses the FantasyLabs player prop tool to find five of the best ones to bet during Week 9.

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 9 main slate:

Denver Broncos RB Melvin Gordon

The Pick: Over 1.5 receptions (-156)

FantasyLabs Grade: 10 out of 10

This line seems crazy low for Gordon even after factoring in the -156 odds. That translates to an implied probability of just over 60% that Gordon will catch at least two passes, which is really underselling his ability in the receiving game. He’s seen at least three targets in every game this season — including a season-high seven last week vs. the Chargers — and he’s responded with at least two catches in each of them.

Gordon should also benefit from his matchup against the Falcons. They rank just 29th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA, and they’re just 15th in pass defense DVOA against the running back position in particular. The Falcons have been much stronger in terms of run defense this season, so this looks like a spot where the Broncos will have to pass the ball more than usual.

The one big caveat is that Phillip Lindsay is back in the Broncos’ rotation at this point, and he and Gordon split the running back snaps basically down the middle. Still, Lindsay was active last week and that didn’t have any effect on Gordon as a pass catcher.

Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift

The Pick: Over 2.5 receptions (-113)

FantasyLabs Grade: 10 out of 10

Swift is another RB who I want to target in the passing game. That’s where he’s made his biggest impact during his rookie season, logging at least three catches in six of his first seven games. He’s also seen at least four targets in six of seven games to begin the year.

Swift also continues to become more ingrained in the Lions’ offense. Adrian Peterson remains the starter at the RB position, but Swift played significantly more offensive snaps last week. Peterson was on the field for just 20% of the offense’s plays, while Swift was on the field for 62%.

There was some concern that Matthew Stafford would be unavailable for this contest, but he was officially removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday afternoon. He’s been confirmed as the Lions’ starter vs. the Vikings, so target Swift with confidence.

Baltimore Ravens RB Gus Edwards

The Pick: Over 38.5 rushing yards (-110)

FantasyLabs Grade: 10 out of 10

The Gus Bus is officially rolling at this point. Mark Ingram will miss his second consecutive contest, which opens the door for Edwards and J.K. Dobbins to assume most of the RB touches.

Dobbins has gotten most of the attention and is coming off his first 100-yard game in his last outing, but this remains a committee situation. Dobbins outsnapped Edwards 54 to 26 last week, but Edwards actually saw 16 carries compared to just 15 for Dobbins. Edwards was able to cruise over 38.5 yards with that many carries and ultimately finished with 87 rushing yards.

The Ravens have a tough matchup this week vs. the Colts, but this line is simply too low to pass up. Edwards and Dobbins have similar rushing projections in our NFL Models, but Dobbins’ prop is nearly 20 yards higher.

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker

The Pick: Under 60.0 receiving yards (-114)

FantasyLabs Grade: 9 out of 10

Parker entered the year as the clear No. 1 WR for the Dolphins, but his role might be changing. Preston Williams led the team with 90% of the snaps at the WR position last week, and Parker played on just 59% of the snaps. He was dealing with an injury before that contest, but it still casts some uncertainty around his involvement moving forward.

More importantly, the Dolphins’ passing attack in general could be less efficient with Tua Tagovailoa under center. Tua struggled in his first start, racking up just 93 passing yards on 22 attempts. There will undoubtedly be better days for Tua moving forward, but he looks like a clear downgrade at the QB position compared to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Dolphins are also in a subpar spot this week vs. the Cardinals, who rank 11th in pass defense DVOA. That makes Parker an appealing fade candidate.

Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller

The Pick: Over 4.5 receptions (-105)

FantasyLabs Grade: 10 out of 10

I don’t get this line at all. Waller has been a target monster for the Raiders this season, logging at least six targets in six of his first seven games. Unsurprisingly, he’s responded with at least five catches in all of them.

The Raiders WRs are getting healthier, but it seems unlikely that they should siphon too much production away from Waller. If Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are going to earn more targets moving forward, guys like Nelson Agholor, Zay Jones and Hunter Renfrow seem much more likely to suffer.

Waller is also in a potential smash spot this week vs. the Chargers. They have struggled on defense this year, and they rank just 29th in DVOA vs. the TE position in particular.

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