While most recreational bettors gravitate towards your everyday lines and spreads, player props and futures remain an intriguing way to have an invested incentive each and every Sunday. And unlike spreads and totals, props aren’t nearly as sharp or staked, allowing for a higher win rate if attacked properly. They also make the game downright exciting and entertaining. Below are a few of my favorites for the 2019 regular season, all of which were pulled from FanDuel Sportsbook. Reminder to shop for lines if applicable in order to stay +EV and give yourself the best edge possible.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Miles Sanders: 13/1
Any bet outside of Kyler Murray (+175) for ORoY is obviously a longshot, but the No. 53 overall pick from Penn State landed in a plum destination on the shoulders of an intuitive offense that avoided third-and-long situations by passing at the sixth-highest rate in neutral game scripts for an average 7.6 yards per attempt last year. Previously led by now-Jets practice squad RB Josh Adams’ backfield-high 120/511/3 rushing in ‘18, Sanders’ only roadblock to three-down opportunity is 24-year-old plodder Jordan Howard, the latter who’s playing on the final year of his deal. Philadelphia’s favorable schedule to open the season (Redskins, at Falcons, Lions, in Lambeau, Jets) could potentially lend Sanders an edge in voting as a second-half hammer if Murray and the Cardinals struggle sans Patrick Peterson their first six games.
Defensive Player of the Year
Khalil Mack 4.2/1
Mack didn’t miss a beat jumping from the shipwrecked Raiders and swimming over to the NFC North, collecting five sacks and a league-high four forced fumbles through Chicago’s first six games before getting halted mid-season with a lingering right ankle injury. He still finished the year with the fourth-most hurries (48) at his position but was obviously hampered down the stretch and simply blended-in in the Bears’ lone postseason showing. Presumably back at full health, Mack’s transition from Vic Fangio’s play-calling to Chuck Pagano’s doesn’t include too many changes, allowing the 28-year-old EDGE rusher to react without thinking in the new coordinator’s attack-first defensive scheme.
Super Bowl 54 Champion
Philadelphia Eagles: 14/1
Flush with talent throughout the 53-man roster, the Eagles have a number of ‘outs’ to fall back on whether they make it through the year with a clean bill of health or not — something they were unable to accomplish with the second-most adjusted games lost due to injury last season. With corners Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, and Rasul Douglas all available out the gates, it’s safe to forecast Philly’s No. 15 pass defense DVOA in ’18 only improving, especially since the team’s projected to square off against the league’s third-easiest slate of pass offenses this year. Facing the third-softest schedule on offense with Carson Wentz back at the helm, DeSean Jackson, Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Miles Sanders, and Dallas Goedert should all benefit from Lane Johnson (knee), PFF’s No. 11 tackle among 127 qualifiers last year, and Brandon Brooks (Achilles’), No. 9 among 128, clicking on all cylinders at 100 percent to open the season. Any Super Bowl bet on the Eagles can be mirrored with a similar wager on their Season Win Total (O10, -105).
NFL Regular Season MVP
Carson Wentz: 13/1
For all the reasons listed above, Wentz makes for an easy candidate to be dubbed Most Valuable at season’s end. With only two tight ends left on the roster following final cuts, Philadelphia won’t be shy in keeping both Ertz and Goedert on the field for a league-high rate of 12 personnel in which Wentz flourished for 8.0 yards per attempt and an 11:2 TD:INT ratio in his 11 starts last year. D-Jax’s vertical presence, even in his age-32 season, is lightyears ahead of Nelson Agholor’s 10.2 average depth of target from the slot.
Lamar Jackson: 65/1
A Heisman-like campaign need be, at the very least, possible if betting any longshot MVP-darts, and Jackson is arguably the only signal-caller in the league capable of notching a ludicrous 4,000/1,000 season. His seven rookie starts that resulted in 1,200 yards and a 58.2 percent completion rate through the air have been ridiculed (and rightfully so), but said performance was his absolute rock bottom and encapsulated by practices with the second-string offense before being thrust into a mid-season playoff run. The organization did its part this offseason, adding first-round burner Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, 99th-percentile SPARQ specimen Miles Boykin, and explosive change-of-pace RB Justice Hill all within the first 113 picks of this year’s draft. OC Greg Roman’s familiar play-design will allow Jackson to attack what Warren Sharp forecasts as the league’s ninth-softest schedule, including the second-easiest slate of opposing rush d’s.
Team With Worst Regular Season Record
Washington Redskins: 7/1
As mentioned in our 2019 NFL Win Totals column, the train wreck that is Washington’s offense cannot be understated. Since I have only so many original thoughts, allow me to repeat the most important antecedent from the Redskins portion: Case Keenum’s completion rate plummeted to a nightmarish 16.7 percent when under pressure last season. That’s certainly not an issue if he avoids duress, but the franchise remains dead set on starting 36-year-old Raiders castoff Donald Penn and perennial bust Ereck Flowers on the left side of their o-line. Even if/when No. 15 overall pick Dwayne Haskins takes over mid-season, I’d be comfortable betting this number on lesser odds.
Most Regular Season Passing Yards
Jameis Winston: 11/1
Shuffling back and forth from under center to bench last year, Winston still miraculously mustered 2,992 yards, including five 300-yard performances, in 11 games played. Now the focal point of Bruce Arians’ high-flying offense, the contract-year 25-year-old is as good a bet as any to lead the league in passing yards given he’ll be in an offense to do so with sixth-year pro Mike Evans, explosive slot freak Chris Godwin, a healthy O.J. Howard, and either reclamation veteran Breshad Perriman or SPARQ standout Justin Watson on the field at all times. Reminder Arians’ 2017 Cardinals played with four wideouts on the field 42 percent of the time in a season where league-average was merely seven percent, and finished top-five in offensive plays per game. This one can easily be parlayed with Winston’s odds to finish with the most regular season interceptions thrown (8.5/1), too.