Week 9 NFL Prop Bets & Picks: Austin Ekeler, Russell Wilson, More

Week 9 NFL Prop Bets & Picks: Austin Ekeler, Russell Wilson, More article feature image

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Austin Ekeler.

NFL player prop bets offer tremendous value every week. They receive less action and money than the traditional bets, so savvy bettors can gain an edge by reacting to news quicker than the books.

The betting lines for prop bets are often less efficient than NFL sides and totals, opening up attractive opportunities.

One of the best resources to help determine which prop bets to wager on is our FantasyLabs Player Props tool.

We leverage the listed prop bets against our player projections from Sean Koerner, the No. 1 in-season fantasy football ranker in three of the past four seasons.

Each prop bet receives a Bet Quality grade between 1 and 10, with 10 being the biggest edge.

  • Packers at Chargers: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • Browns at Broncos: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • Buccaneers at Seahawks: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • Bears at Eagles: 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Lions at Raiders: 4:05 p.m. ET

Week 9 NFL Prop Bets & Picks

Here are four props with a Bet Quality of 10 for Sunday’s main slate, with one 8-rated selection. This season, props with a grade of 10 or higher are 139-88-3 (60.5% win rate), while 8-rated props are 305-228 (57%).

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler

  • The Opponent: Packers (4:25 p.m. ET)
  • The Pick: Over 16.5 Rushing Yards (-112)
  • Bet Quality: 10/10

Austin Ekeler’s rushing yards have dramatically tailed off the last four weeks, where he’s only averaged a microscopic 7.8 yards per game. However, the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt this week signals an opportunity for increased volume.

That is certainly good news for struggling lead back Melvin Gordon, but also for Ekeler. The diminutive satellite back leads all running backs in receiving yards (507), and gutted out a 3.8 yards per carry average behind a brutal Chargers’ offensive line.

Now with the return of top left tackle Russell Okung, Ekeler should find daylight and hit the over on a watered-down rushing total.

The Packers can be attacked via the ground, as illustrated by their 22nd ranked run defense DVOA.  Excluding the run-anemic Lions, Green Bay has allowed an average of 5.2 yards per carry to opposing teams over the past five weeks.

Just using Ekeler’s four carries per game average since Gordon’s return, that projects to over 20 rushing yards against the Packers run funnel defense.

Our projection of 23.9 rushing yards is more than 40% over the implied total.

I would bet this 10-rated prop down to -125. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Broncos TE Noah Fant

  • The Opponent: Browns (1:00 p.m. ET)
  • The Pick: Over 26.5 Receiving Yards (+120)
  • Bet Quality: 10/10

With third-year quarterback Brandon Allen making his first career start, look for an increased opportunity for his safety valve, tight end Noah Fant.

Fant has seen a steady increase in snap share, routes, and targets for four consecutive weeks. Last week, Fant recorded a season-high in targets (eight) and receptions (five), while finishing as the TE15 for the third time this season. The Browns have allowed four receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends despite only playing seven games so far this season.

With Emmanuel Sanders now in San Francisco, and Allen behind center in his first NFL start, this home game sets up as a strong opportunity for Fant’s most productive game of the season. Fant has reached this total four times this season while working in a more limited capacity with more competition for targets.

We project Fant at 31.3 receiving yards, which is 26% above his implied total.

This is one of my favorite 10-rated props on the Sunday slate. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

  • The Opponent: Buccaneers (4:05 p.m. ET)
  • The Pick: Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-200)
  • Bet Quality: 10/10

Teams facing the Buccaneers pass funnel defense have a built-in advantage to hit passing props. Last week, we hit with Jonnu Smith receiving yards prop in this exact spot. This week we switch to Russell Wilson as the opposing quarterback.

On the season, Tampa Bay has allowed 14 passing touchdowns in just seven games. Wilson is leading the NFL with 17 passing touchdowns in just eight games.

In short, we have a quarterback averaging over two passing touchdowns per game against a defense allowing exactly two per game.

The Buccaneers have allowed an average of just 55.7 rushing yards per game, making for the biggest challenge to Seattle’s preferred rushing attack. While offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will try to feed workhorse running back Chris Carson, there will be too many opportunities to attack Tampa Bay through the air.

We project Wilson at 2.1 passing touchdowns, a full 20% over his implied total of 1.8.

I would bet this 10-rated prop down to -220. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Bears RB Tarik Cohen

  • The Opponent: Eagles (1 p.m. ET)
  • The Pick: Over 2.5 Receptions (-182)
  • Bet Quality: 10/10

The rationale for this prop follows the same process as Wilson’s. The Eagles run defense is one of the NFL’s best, allowing only 66.7 rushing yards per game. However, they have been vulnerable to the pass, particularly against opposing running backs.

Philadelphia has allowed the sixth-most receptions to running backs on the seventh-most targets. With teams struggling to generate yards on the ground against the Eagles, they have turned to short area passes to generate quick yards. Running backs like Ezekiel Elliott, Aaron Jones, and Devin Singletary have all seen four or more receptions against the Eagles.

Chicago will always try to limit turnover-prone quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with safe throws in the short to intermediate area of the field, and Cohen should be a big part of this week’s offensive game plan.

Cohen ranks fourth among all running backs in targets and has five games with five or more targets this season.

Cohen projects for 3.4 receptions which are 20% over the implied total of 2.9

I would bet this prop up to -190. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson

  • The Opponent: Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET)
  • The Pick: Under 36.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
  • Bet Quality: 8/10

The Lions’ rookie tight end is a popular Week 9 fantasy play, but our model projects lower than expected receiving production.

The Raiders have played very well during a difficult stretch of consecutive road games — Oakland hasn’t played at home since Sept. 15 — and will certainly welcome this home game against Detroit.

While the Oakland pass defense ranks fourth-worst among all teams, the Lions’ myriad of receiving options forces us to temper expectations with Hockenson.

Wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola have accounted for 58% (141 of 243) of Detroit’s receptions, with speedy Marvin Hall becoming a better weapon over the past four games. Last week, with just a 40.4% snap share, running back Ty Johnson even garnered four targets.

Hockenson has failed to crest this receiving total number in six consecutive games, with his Week 1 overall TE2 fantasy performance (131 receiving yards, one touchdown) seemingly an anomaly.

In a game with the second-highest Week 8 over/under (50.5 points), there certainly should be production for the Lions passing game. But it will likely be distributed over several targets, making it hard for Hockenson to reach a receiving barrier he’s failed to achieve since Week 1.

We project Hockenson for 32.5 receiving yards, which is 14% less than his implied total. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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