If fretting wagering on NFL spreads and totals (historically the sharpest lines available at any book), props can be an intriguing and outright fun way to have an invested incentive in a player’s performance each and every week. This ongoing series will be a weekly feature outlining my favorite player props for TNF and MNF, including the three detailed below. All props and odds have been sourced accordingly and tracked for accountability at the bottom of every write-up.
David Johnson OVER 50.5 Rushing Yards (-115) — PointsBet
This number quickly increased from 44.5 Thursday morning but is still a soft mark. Texans attacked the Chiefs with a distinct gameplan last year, totaling 41 clock-killing carries in their Week 6 win over Kansas City only to double down in the Divisional thriller with 17 first-half runs. (Houston could only afford four second-half rushes in that infamous loss due to game script.) Perhaps this reasoning is too narrative-driven, but I do believe coach/GM/President Bill O’Brien will make it a point to heavily involve Johnson after he was drowned with mass criticism for initially shipping DeAndre Hopkins in the exchange with Arizona.
Darrel Williams to Score First TD (+1800) — DraftKings Sportsbook
Kansas City made it a point to add Clyde Edwards-Helaire at the end of the first round but we should expect him and Williams to “split most of the Chiefs’ rushing attempts” on opening night. Williams is no stranger to having an impactful role off the bench, handling 10 carries in red zone territory and, in particular, five inside the five-yard line last year. The current ambiguity of this backfield makes this long shot a live one.
Darren Fells UNDER 23.5 Receiving Yards (-110) — DraftKings Sportsbook
34-year-old Fells ran nine more routes than third-year TE Jordan Akins on the year (416 to 407) but it was the latter who out-targeted (55 to 48) and out-gained (418 to 341) the veteran run-blocker through the air. Hopkins’ absence leaves behind a team-high nine end zone targets, which could conceivably trickle down to Fells — after all, he did tie Hopkins for the team lead in receiving scores (7) last season. But that doesn’t guarantee Fells exceeds 23 receiving yards, which is a feat he failed to accomplish in 11-of-18 contests last year. This prop also correlates with the idea Houston pounds the rock since Fells finished eighth among the league’s tight ends in run-blocking snaps (326).
This Week: 0-0, 0 Units
Season: 0-0, 0 Units