Welcome to this week’s edition of Trust the Propcess, As usual, I will discuss some of my favorite Week 6 player props and my rationale for taking them. But before I do, I wanted to touch on one that I did not list here. Sportsbooks have pulled rushing props for Rhamondre Stevenson over the last couple of days. This is most likely because Damien Harris got in a limited practice after reports surfaced that he would miss multiple games. The uncertainty surrounding this situation makes it difficult for books to assign yardage totals to either player. If Harris does play, I will probably just steer clear of this backfield altogether. However, if Harris misses Sunday’s game, give me all the Stevenson props.
Stevenson ran for 161 yards last week against the Detroit Lions. Per Pro Football Focus, the Lions are 31st in success rate versus the run. The only team worse is New England’s Week 6 opponent, the Cleveland Browns. I do not know exactly what number sportsbooks would have to list Stevenson’s yardage props for me to fade them, but I ranked Stevenson as my RB4 in this week’s Flex rankings, so you know I am expecting big things out of the second year back.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to some of the player props I have already taken this week. There are plenty of interesting spots this week due to matchups and injuries. Make sure you tail responsibly and pay attention to the latest injury and roster information before locking anything in.
Week 6 NFL Player Props
Tom Brady OVER 278.5 Passing Yards (-125, Wynn)
The total on Tom Brady’s passing yardage prop has jumped all over the place in recent days. I have seen it as low as 278.5 here and I have seen it as high as 295.5. If you wanted to take an alt total (alternate total for a better payout) on Brady’s passing yards, this would seem like the ideal week to do so. 105 cornerbacks qualify for Pro Football Focus’ grading system based on the percentage of snaps they play. Here are the four Pittsburgh corners who qualify and their rank among those 105 cornerbacks. I am listing them in order based on coverage snaps, from most to fewest.
Cam Sutton: 26th
Ahkello Witherspoon: 85th
Levi Wallace: 74th
Arthur Maulet: 73rd
That group would already have a tough time as it is. But Pittsburgh has already ruled out Sutton, Witherspoon, and Wallace for Sunday’s meeting with Tampa Bay. That leaves Maulet as the only Steelers’ cornerback who has more than 18 coverage snaps this season. And he hasn’t exactly been stout in coverage. This ragtag crew is now going up against Tom Brady. You may have heard of him. He has had a modicum of success in his brief NFL career. Arguably worse for Pittsburgh is that safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will also miss this game. Fitzpatrick’s 72.1 PFF grade (18th among 84 qualified safeties) will be largely replaced by Tre Norwood’s 36.5 grade (83rd). Josh Allen threw for 424 yards on just 31 attempts against Pittsburgh last week, and that was with Sutton, Wallace, and Fitzpatrick playing for parts of the game. Brady is going to pick this beleaguered secondary apart.
I am taking Brady’s yards here, but there are other viable options as well. It is very feasible that Tampa Bay just goes pass-heavy throughout this game, like their approach from last week. They called 52 passes compared to 20 designed runs in a game they never trailed against Atlanta. If you want to take the overs on Brady’s attempts and/or completions, I wouldn’t blame you. Those totals are generally around 39 attempts and 26 completions depending on the sportsbook. I just worry that a couple of big plays may skew his totals, as happened to Allen last week. In that vein, I don’t mind the over on Brady’s longest attempt either. It currently sits around 37 yards on most books. I think my taking his passing yards is the safest route to a win. However, a little creativity could be handsomely rewarded based on this expected mismatch.
Eno Benjamin OVER 61.5 Rushing Yards (-110, Bet365)
Taking this as one of my top Week 6 player props requires a little bit of faith on a couple of fronts. Eno Benjamin has never had as many as 40 rushing yards in a single game over his two NFL seasons. That is because he has primarily been utilized as a backup behind Chase Edmonds and James Conner. Even Darrel Williams has gotten more run than Benjamin at times this season. But Benjamin is the proverbial last man standing in Arizona’s backfield this week. Arizona has ruled both Conner and Williams out for this week. Edmonds is of course busy these days allegedly playing for the Miami Dolphins. That means that Benjamin should be in line to set new career-high watermarks in carries and (hopefully) rushing yards. The timing could not be better for Benjamin as he and the Cardinals face the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle’s run defense has been atrocious in recent weeks. After a respectable showing in the season opener against Denver, the Seahawks have repeatedly been thrashed on the ground. In Week 2, the tandem of Jeff Wilson and Deebo Samuel combined for 137 yards on 22 carries. The following week converted wideout Cordarrelle Patterson ran for 141 yards on 17 rushes. Next came backup running back Jamaal Williams, who torched Seattle for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Finally was their game a week ago against the New Orleans Saints. Seattle allowed both Alvin Kamara and hybrid player Taysom Hill to rush for over 100 yards apiece. You would be hard-pressed to find a better matchup for a running back than the one Benjamin has in front of him this week.
With that in mind, it must be asked whether head coach Kliff Kingsbury trusts Benjamin enough to give him a considerably larger workload than he has had as an NFL running back. We know the NFL is a “next man up” league, but will Kingsbury truly utilize Benjamin as a featured back? One encouraging tidbit of information comes to us from Scott Barrett of Fantasy Points:
Is Eno Benjamin a safer bet than Christian McCaffrey for 20-plus touches this week?
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) October 15, 2022
While I think some of that is noise, the Week 7 game in 2019 bears some resemblance to this one. At that point in his career, Chase Edmonds was basically where Benjamin is now in terms of work rate. You could easily argue that Benjamin is more involved in Kingsbury’s offense now than Edmonds was then. Before that 2019 game, Edmonds had 84 career carries in 22 games and had never earned more than eight carries in a single contest. Benjamin has 64 carrier rushes in 14 games as a Cardinal. His current high for carries in a game is nine. To me, there is enough symmetry there (and a lack of options behind Benjamin) to take this prop. I cannot promise that Benjamin will get 27 carries as Edmonds did in that game, but he will not need nearly that many to exceed his yardage prop against this defense.
Taysom Hill Anytime Touchdown (+295, DraftKings)
As a fantasy football enthusiast, few players have irked me in recent memory more than Taysom Hill has. He has vultured many a touchdown over the years from some of our favorite New Orleans Saints. Some of them have come with him as a quarterback, either as a spot starter or gadget player. He has also scored a total of 28 touchdowns as a runner or receiver in his career. Hill ran for three touchdowns and threw for another last week in the Saints’ wild victory over the Seattle Seahawks. While a passing touchdown does not qualify as an anytime TD to cash tickets on player props, I think Hill’s versatility will once again be on display on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. That makes this a very interesting play for me given the odds.
Every other sportsbook I looked at had this line at +200 or less. As a refresher, a +200 line means that if you wagered $100, you would profit $200 if you are correct. So to see this line at +295 when nobody else has it higher than +200 is a massive edge. This is the reason why I always stress price shopping when seeking out player props. The New Orleans Saints have already ruled out top wideouts Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry. Rookie wide receiver Chris Olave has yet to officially clear the league’s concussion protocol. This reduces the number of players New Orleans is willing to trust with the ball. While Alvin Kamara was the focal point of last week’s gameplan with 29 touches, Hill got nine carries as well. I would not be surprised to see Hill approach double-digit touches once again in this game.
Considering the potential return on investment given Hill’s expected role, I am intrigued by this prop. Having said that, I would exercise caution with the amount I risk given the longer odds. I am not putting a full unit on this prop myself, so take that for what it’s worth. To return a full unit of profit, I would have to risk roughly 0.34 units. That feels like a reasonable number. I would be fine risking anywhere from 0.25 – 0.50 units on this play. It is always best to risk too little than too much. After all, we are only in Week 6. There is plenty of season left to be played and plenty of profit yet to be made.
As an aside, I also like the idea of taking the over on Alvin Kamara’s reception line. That number currently sits at 3.5. The issue (as it were) is the exact opposite of that with the Hill prop. Kamara’s line continues to get hammered and with good reason. The lowest I have seen is -146 at FanDuel, which is quite pricey. That means you would have to risk nearly 1.5 units to return one unit. If you do not mind spending that extra juice, I think this is an excellent play. Last week, Kamara had six catches for 91 yards on just 25 total team passes. That tied Olave for the team lead. I would expect a similar target share this week. And given the possibility that Olave is unavailable, that could mean even more work out of the backfield for Kamara.