This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
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Last week: 0-3, -3.41 units
Season: 1-6, -5.66 units
Tyreek Hill over 6.5 receptions, +102 (FanDuel)
I gave out Tyreek over 5.5 receptions (-138) last week, and it was never a sweat as he logged 11 catches on 13 targets. What's notable here is that Hill's 13 targets weren't even a team-high, as Jaylen Waddle recorded an astounding 19 targets. Point being, Miami is throwing mostly to their wideouts despite the addition of Chase Edmonds, who has collected just seven targets over the two games combined. Back to Tyreek, he has now recorded 12 and 13 targets over his first two games with the Dolphins, with the bulk of them coming at short range (9.9 aDOT). This week he faces Buffalo in a game where the Dolphins are likely to be playing catch-up. Good chance he can get to seven receptions here at the small underdog price.
Jaylen Waddle over 63.5 receiving yards, -115 (DraftKings)
Similar situation here, though Waddle recorded just five targets in the season opener before breaking out with nineteen targets last week. I like pairing him with Tyreek Hill in this game, as it seems very likely at least one of them will cover in this expected game script (with both players covering more likely than neither covering). Waddle's reception total is listed at over 5.5, -128 (FanDuel), but similar to Tyreek Hill above, his yardage total checks in at under 11 yards per reception, and note that Waddle has recorded long plays of 42 and 59 yards in each of the first two weeks (perhaps due to Hill opening things up for him). You can make a similar case for Tyreek Hill's yardage prop (versus his receptions prop), but we're getting a significant break on the juice with Waddle's yardage (-115) compared to his receptions prop (-128), and at least so far he's been recording more long plays than Hill. In any case, both players figure to be very busy this weekend, and it doesn't hurt that Buffalo has some injuries in the secondary.
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Nyheim Hines over 3.5 receptions, +114 (FanDuel)
Hines has been a good bet each of the first two weeks, as it was expected he would be more involved in the passing game this year. That's held true so far, with Hines garnering six and then five targets over the first two weeks, covering all his props (both receptions and yardage) to this point. There was even a quote from Frank Reich after last week's game saying that they needed to get Hines more involved (similar to a comment he made during training camp, which has panned out thus far). With the Colts playing Kansas City in a game where they'll likely be forced to throw a fair bit, it seems likely Hines can get there once again, this time at a nice underdog price.
Jonathan Taylor over 85.5 rushing yards, -113 (FanDuel)
Quite a discount here following last week's disaster (where Taylor received only nine carries), but note that it wasn't due to ineffectiveness, as Taylor still recorded 6.0 yards per carry (compared to his 5.2 yards per carry in Week One, when he logged 31 carries for 161 yards). It seems a pretty safe bet that Taylor won't be under-utilized two weeks in a row, especially in the Colts' home opener. At 5+ yards per carry against a defense that isn't known for it's run stoppage, it probably won't take a lot of volume to get the cover here. Worth noting that Taylor has covered this number in four of his last five home games, with the lone miss being very close at 83 yards.
Travis Kelce over 71.5 receiving yards, -115 (DraftKings)
With the Kelce being the primary target in an offense where no one else is receiving a ton of targets, he seems likely to be very active in this game, particularly with the Colts defense currently ranked 28th vs. TE's (note that Evan Engram caught seven passes for Jacksonville last week, while newly-signed Texans TE OJ Howard caught a pair of TD passes in the opener). I also think Kelce's sub-par effort last week was a bit fluky, with the game on Thursday Night and the Chiefs losing the time of possession battle 34 to 26. Expecting a solid effort from the Chiefs' top pass-catcher.
Amon-Ra St. Brown over 6.5 receptions, -128 (FanDuel)
This number continues to rise, as I gave out Amon-Ra at 5.5 (+105) in the opener, then again at 6.5 (+125) last week. The good news is that he covered easily, logging a dozen targets in both games, with eight receptions in the opener followed by nine last week. As mentioned previously, St. Brown tends to work in short range, which enables him to soak up a lot of easy receptions, particularly with Jared Goff at QB, who tends to work in short range himself. He also may have been helped a little bit last week by the fact that D'Andre Swift was a little banged up, which probably hasn't gone away entirely (though Swift is reportedly feeling "much better" this week). Also note the Vikings rank 30th in pass defense at 275.0 yards per game, while St. Brown has now recorded 8+ receptions in eight consecutive games going back to last season. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Amon-Ra St. Brown anytime touchdown, +135 (DraftKings)
In addition to Amon-Ra's heavy volume in the receiving game, he's already scored three touchdowns this year, and he has now scored a touchdown in seven of his last eight games. Good value on what appears to be a likely occurrence, especially in this game with a 52.5 total.
D'Andre Swift over 72.5 rushing + receiving yards, -114 (FanDuel)
Swift has covered this number pretty easily in both games so far, recording a long rushing play of 50 yards in both starts (despite only getting five carries last week, as he was a little banged up but seemingly as explosive as ever). As mentioned above, he reportedly feels "much better" this week, and may even benefit from Amon-Ra St. Brown receiving a little extra attention after his huge start to the season. Have to like this number after Swift recorded 175 scrimmage yards in the opener, followed by 87 last week despite being less active than usual. As mentioned, this game could easily turn into a shootout, which wouldn't hurt either.
Justin Jefferson over 98.5 receiving yards, -113 (FanDuel)
It was tough sledding for Jefferson last week vs. the Eagles, as Philadelphia controlled the ball for 12 minutes in the first quarter en route to a 36-24 advantage at the end of the game. Jefferson still logged a dozen targets, but finished the game with only 6 catches for 48 yards. That seems unlikely to happen here, with the Lions ranking 28th in pass defense at 273.5 yards per game. I did hear a quote from Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell saying that he wanted to get Dalvin Cook more involved this week, but obviously that wouldn't be to the detriment of their best player Jefferson, and as noted previously, Rams WR Cooper Kupp was consistently passing the century mark in O'Connell's offense last year, as did Jefferson in Week One with his huge 9-184-2 line. Good chance of this game evolving into a shootout (perhaps even with the Vikings playing catch-up), and although this is Jefferson's highest total of the season so far, I think it's warranted in this matchup. Expecting a solid performance.
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Jalen Hurts over 50.5 rushing yards, -113 (FanDuel)
The ascendant Hurts has gone over this total in both games so far, going 17-90-1 in the opener, followed by 11-57-2 last week. Note that he logged double-digit carries in both games (at 5.3 yards per carry), which would put him over here as well. Unless his volume dips, he seems likely to make it 3-for-3. There's even a chance he could cover this total on slightly lesser volume (Hurts had a long run of 26 yards last week, and also had a 22-yard carry vs. Washington last year). Definitely lean over, based on what we've seen so far this year.
Davante Adams over 82.5 receiving yards, -113 (FanDuel)
Nice spot for Davante Adams here, as Stefon Diggs destroyed Tennessee last week for a 12-148-3 line last week, and Sterling Shepard went for 71 yards on just two catches in the opener (helped by a 65-yarder, similar to Diggs' 46-yarder last week). Also note the Raiders are short at WR this week with Hunter Renfrow out, which could lead to some extra targets for Adams (who recorded a huge 17 targets in the opener, prior to his dud last week). Raiders RB Josh Jacobs appears set to miss this game also, which should help even further. Expect to see a lot of Adams here in a plum matchup.
Tee Higgins over 65.5 receiving yards, -113 (FanDuel)
As was generally the case last year, Higgins offers a nice discount from his more highly-regarded teammate Ja'Marr Chase, with Higgins' total listed some ten yards lower despite roughly equal targets. Higgins hung up a quick 2-27-0 line before leaving with a concussion in Week One, but returned last week to lead the Bengals in receiving with a 6-71-1 line (on ten targets). Following that effort, Higgins has now covered this modest number in ten of his last fifteen games, despite the early exit in Week One. Now facing the Jets (whom Higgins outpaced Chase against last year), he seems a good bet to cover this number once again.
Cooper Kupp over 98.5 receiving yards, -113 (FanDuel)
Kupp has covered this number in both games this year, now having gone over the century mark in thirteen of his last eighteen games. He now faces Arizona, who ranks 31st in pass defense at 302 yards per game. Pretty much an auto-play until Kupp slows down, and right now he's the overall WR2 behind Stefon Diggs.
Courtland Sutton over 57.5 receiving yards, -115 (DraftKings)
With Jerry Jeudy expected to be limited (assuming he plays), Sutton should see a lot of work in this game. This is a very short number for Sutton (due to the 49ers having the top-ranked pass defense), but it's hard to see him missing this total just on sheer volume alone. Week One was a bit fluky, as no Broncos WR caught a single pass until well into the second quarter, but Sutton still covered his receiving total there on just four catches thanks to some long gainers (something Sutton does well, averaging 17.6 yards per catch this year). Things seemed more normal last week (though it followed the Jeudy injury), as Sutton logged a nice 7-122-0 line on eleven targets. The Broncos also have a solid short-range passing game with Javonte Williams, which could help to open up some deep shots to Sutton on occasion. It's a tough matchup this week, but a very modest number for one of the game's top receivers, especially with Jeudy seemingly limited.
Javonte Williams over 73.5 rushing + receiving yards, -114 (FanDuel)
Javonte Williams really increased his snap share last week, clearly working as the RB1 while continuing to dominate the RB targets (though he dropped from 12 targets in the opener down to 4 last week). Williams has covered this combo number in both games so far, and as long as he holds serve in the timeshare department (over Melvin Gordon), that should continue to happen as Javonte establishes himself as one of the league's best RB's in 2022.
Brandon Aiyuk over 48.5 receiving yards, -114 (FanDuel)
As mentioned last week, Aiyuk often led the 49ers in receiving yards following Deebo Samuel's shift into more of a hybrid role, and that's just what happened, with Aiyuk going 5-63-0 on eight targets (compared to Deebo's 5-44-0 on six targets). Also note Aiyuk's penchant for long plays, as he has now recorded a long gainer of 25+ yards in six of his last seven games. One play like that would get him halfway home here, and he's also helped by Garoppolo taking over at QB following Trey Lance's injury last week. Good play, not just this week but probably moving foward also (note that Deebo is still listed ten yards higher than Aiyuk, despite a lesser receiving role).
Brandon Aiyuk longest reception over 21.5 yards, -110 (DraftKings)
Just following up on the Aiyuk long gainer, which seems almost automatic these days following his run of 25+ yard gainer in six of his last seven. Note that he even covered this number in the monsoon game in Chicago. I thought about including this one last week, but didn't want to essentially double up on the Aiyuk plays. Seems silly to pass it though, based on his consistency.
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