Week 7 is upon us and there are plenty of player props we are looking to take advantage of this week. This slate has some lower implied totals than we are accustomed to seeing. Still, there are players who I believe will do enough to provide value given the prices of certain props. As always, some of these lines tend to move fast and furious as we get closer to kickoff. So pay attention and strike while the iron is hot. Also, try to price shop where applicable. Here are some of the player props I am targeting this week.
Week 7 NFL Player Props
Josh Jacobs OVER 17.5 Receiving Yards (-110, Bet365)
This is the first player prop I want to attack this week. I was a bit surprised to see that this number is so low considering how Josh Jacobs has excelled as a receiver recently. I expected this to come in around the low-20s. When the Raiders officially ruled Darren Waller out of Sunday’s game against Houston, I expected this number to climb. As of this writing, it has not. While Jacobs has balled out on the ground lately, he has acquitted himself quite nicely in the passing game as well. Jacobs has at least 31 receiving yards in three straight games. He has also caught exactly five passes in each of those contests. Derek Carr has not hesitated to throw the ball to his running back, and I expect that trend to continue against the Texans and Lovie Smith’s defense.
The Texans have allowed at least 43 receiving yards to primary backs in consecutive weeks. I believe that Jacobs has a good chance of reaching that threshold. But for our purposes, he doesn’t even need to get halfway there for us to win. Houston’s Cover-2 defensive scheme is designed to allow short completions. Per The33rdteam.com, Josh Jacobs has been on the field for 25 snaps against Cover-2 looks so far this season. He has run 18 routes on those 25 snaps and has been targeted seven times. Jacobs has caught all seven balls thrown his way under these conditions, totaling 47 yards. Given Jacobs’ success both against Houston’s primary defense and in recent games, playing his receptions total (which currently sits at 2.5) should be a solid play as well. I prefer the yardage primarily because of the price.
His receptions prop is anywhere from -130 to -150 at present, and I expect that to rise even more between now and kickoff. Meanwhile, the yardage line has largely remained stagnant, which is good news for us. Jacobs has had at least one 12-yard reception in all five games the Raiders have played this season. If that occurs again on Sunday, we are almost all the way home already on one play. There are several factors and they all seem to point toward Jacobs recording at least 18 receiving yards in this matchup.
Hayden Hurst OVER 3.5 Receptions (+105, MGM)
I am picking up what Colin McTamany was putting down in this week’s Bold Prediction piece. The Atlanta Falcons have given up a ton of production to the tight end position this season. And it is mostly by design as opposed to a major deficiency on their part. Atlanta plays more Cover-2 than any team in the NFL. They make defenses dink and dunk down the field rather than concede a big play through the air. Opposing teams often target tight ends against Atlanta as a result. Over the last five weeks, the Falcons have allowed five different tight ends to catch at least four passes. For the record, they have allowed six different tight ends to exceed Hurst’s 30.5-yardage prop. But his aDOT (average depth of target) is so low (3.97 yards) that I think his receptions prop is the safer play.
The Cincinnati Bengals are a team that tends to take what the defense gives them. That trait should allow Hayden Hurst to have a solid game against his former team on Sunday. They have faced defenses whose primary scheme is Cover 2 on two other occasions this year. In each of those games, Hurst had five receptions. Overall, Hurst has had three games with at least five receptions this season. He has fallen short in his other three contests, but he has had three receptions twice. It is not like he is a feast-or-famine type of player. He should be involved in the game plan this week, and I like the price all things considered. Even if Hurst does not do exactly what Colin suggests, he should be able to surpass his receptions number this week.
Gerald Everett Longest Reception OVER 16.5 Yards (-110, DraftKings)
It’s the week of tight ends exacting revenge on their former teams! Everett has fallen short of this line in three of his last four games. And, truth be told, he hasn’t even had a 10-yard reception in either of his last two outings. But this matchup is just too good for me to ignore. The Seattle Seahawks have allowed the most receiving yards to opposing tight ends in the NFL. In fact, they have allowed 20 percent more yards to the position than any other team. I would not fault anyone who goes the total yards route with Everett based on those numbers. However, I do think that Everett is more likely to make one big play than several shorter receptions in this matchup.
Part of my reasoning for this is the expected return of star wide receiver Keenan Allen. The team has not officially cleared him, so keep an eye on the latest news as we get closer to kickoff. If Allen cannot play or is limited, I very well may double dip and take Everett’s total receiving yards. That number currently sits at 36.5 on most books, but I would expect it to exceed 40 yards if Allen cannot go. Either way, his longest reception is one of my favorite Week 7 NFL player props. Seattle has allowed 11 different receptions of at least 17 yards to opposing tight ends this year. The list of players who have surpassed this number against Seattle includes such luminaries as Andrew Beck (twice), Ross Dwelley, and Adam Trautman.
Pro Football Focus has given Everett a receiving grade of 69.5 on the season. The only two tight ends with higher grades that the Seahawks have faced are T.J. Hockenson and Kyle Pitts. Each of those players had three receptions of at least 17 yards in their matchups against Seattle. There is plenty of blame to go around for Seattle’s woes defending the tight end position. Of the five Seahawks safeties and linebackers who have at least 80 coverage snaps, only Quandre Diggs has a coverage grade higher than 50.9. Linebacker Cody Barton has allowed an 89 percent catch rate and 1.56 yards per route covered. No matter how you slice it, it should add up to Everett making at least one big play in this game.