This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
NFL Picks: NFL Week 5 Player Props To Target
Last week: 10-8, +1.36 units
Season: 22-32, -13.46 units
Green Bay Packers -1.5 to Minnesota Vikings -1.5 (-120 at DraftKings)
Good spot for a two-team, six-point teaser, as both the Packers and Vikings appear to be solid favorites over the Giants and Bears, while the teaser allows us to move past the key numbers of -7, -6, and -3 on both sides of the bet. If you wanted to add a third team (for instance, to have action going into this week's Monday Night Football game), dropping the Chiefs from -7 down to -1 also appears to be a good option. Just for informational purposes, adding a third team to a six-point teaser (at DraftKings) increases the payout from -120 on a two-teamer up to +160 on a three-teamer.
Aaron Jones over 59.5 rushing yards, -113 (FanDuel)
The Packers top back is averaging 6.8 yards per carry this year after breaking off several long gainers, and has recorded 15, 12, and 16 carries over the past three weeks. He only had five carries in the opener at Minnesota, but that was a game where the Packers found themselves in a big hole early, something that's very unlikely to happen here. Also note the Giants run defense ranks 28th in the league, so they haven't had much success slowing down oppsing runners. While A.J. Dillon is listed slightly lower (despite receiving slightly more carries this far), Jones has clearly been more effective on a per-carry basis, and seems likely to cover this number in his allotted 15 or so carries. That seems especially true when the Giants have already allowed long runs of 49 yards to Christian McCaffrey, 46 yards to Tony Pollard, and 27 yards to Ezekiel Elliot. Aaron Jones himself has broken long runs of 29, 36, and 20 yards this year (A.J. Dillon's longest run so far has been 14 yards).
Romeo Doubs over 48.5 receiving yards, -113 (FanDuel)
I've been banging the drum on Romeo Doubs for a couple of weeks now, as he appears to be solidifying his new role as Aaron Rodgers' preferred target. Doubs has been extremely effective, catching 13 of his 18 targets over the past two weeks, with one of his misses being what would've been a long touchdown pass into the end zone, where Doubs came down with the ball but couldn't maintain possession after going to the ground. Part of what was notable there is that it show Rodgers was looking for him late in the game in crunch time, which is definitely what you're looking for with any newly-added receiver. While there probably won't be as much need for the Packers to pass in this game (once they build a lead), this number is still pretty low for someone who figures to be as involved in the passing game as Doubs should be, and he figures to be heavily involved throughout the early portion of the game (if not late as well).
Romeo Doubs over 4.5 receptions, +110 (DraftKings)
Adding this reception play also (just like last week, where we went 2-for-2 with Doubs), as he's averaging less than ten yards per reception so far this year, partly because he's been used effectively with short screen passes (which definitely wouldn't hurt our cause on this play). So he may need five receptions in order to reach his yardage total anyway, and of course we're getting a much better deal on the juice with this play.
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Romeo Doubs anytime touchdown, +210 (FanDuel)
Doubs has scored each of the past two weeks, which are really the only weeks he had a fair shot at the end zone as he was used very sparingly in Weeks 1 and 2. Also remember that he just missed on another TD, while of course the Packers former WR1 Davante Adams was a huge threat to score every week. Even this year's ostensive WR1 Allen Lazard has scored a couple of TD's this year, while already missing a game. This price seems clear value on the Packers emerging star WR to find the end zone again. I would guess we won't be seeing these prices on him very much longer.
Daniel Bellinger over 2.5 receptions, +124 (FanDuel)
I picked Daniel Bellinger over 17.5 yards last week, and it was an easy winner, as he caught all three of his targets (for 23 yards) very early in the game before the Giants stopped throwing to him. I would expect he'll see more work this week as the Giants figure to be playing from behind this time, and the Giants are very shorthanded at WR with Sterling Shepard on IR, and with Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, and Wan'Dale Robinson all ruled out for this game. With Bellinger's yardage props up over 20 yards this week, and with Bellinger averaging less than ten yards per receptions, he'll probably need three catches in this one, so let's take over 2.5 at +124 (compared to his over 20.5 yards, -128 at the same location).
Dalvin Cook over 78.5 rushing yards, -113 (FanDuel)
The other half of our six-point teaser (where both our teams hold a significant rushing edge), the Bears have allowed a league-worst 183.3 yards per game (over ten yards higher than the next-worst team, the Houston Texans). You may remember me mentioning recently that Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell had stated (after the loss to the Eagles, where Cook received only six carries) that they wanted to get Dalvin Cook more involved in the offense, and that has held true, with Cook receiving 17 and then 20 carries over the last two weeks. That kind of volume would set him up for a big game vs. Chicago, who are allowing 5.1 yards per carry this year. And certainly Cook figures as a big part of the Vikings' game plan this week, given the Bears obvious trouble in stopping the run. Cook is just a few yards away from having already covered this number in three of four games so far (finishing with 76 yards last week on just 3.8 yards per carry, which he should improve upon here), so I think he rates as a clear favorite to get to 80 yards in this spot, as long as he can finish the game healthy. Great home spot for the longtime Vikings star.
David Njoku over 3.5 receptions, -120 (FanDuel)
Njoku has long been highly-regarded among TE prospects, but had never been able to put much together until just recently. That seems to have changed this year, as Njoku has developed a great rapport with new Browns QB Jacoby Brissett, now having been targeted 17 times over the last two weeks while coming away with 162 yards and a touchdown. With Njoko and Amari Cooper representing the bulk of the Browns passing game right now, and with Njoko's recent usage/success, he seems a good bet to pass this number once again.
Rhamondre Stevenson rushing + receiving yards over 71.5, -114 (FanDuel)
The Lions' run defense ranks 30th in the league, and note that Stevenson's rushing usage has increased with every game so far this year (8, 9, 12, and then most recently 14 carries). The Patriots figure to be very active on the ground in this game, not only due to Detroit's lack of success vs. the run, but also because they'll be starting newcomer Bailey Zappe at quarterback. That may also help Stevenson on the passing game, as he'll be one of the safety valves that Zappe might use when he's looking to get rid of the ball. Note that Stevenson has caught four passes (on five targets) each of the last two games, so he hasn't been lacking for volume in that department lately either (while his counterpart Damien Harris isn't as involved in the passing game). Seems a plum spot for what should be Rhamondre's best game of the year so far.
Travis Etienne over 34.5 rushing yards, -115 (DraftKings)
Etienne has been trailing his Jaguars counterpart in the rushing game by a wide margin up to this point, but it might be significant that Etienne pulled even with Robinson in carries last week (8, which represents a big regression for Robinson) right before the Jaguars take on the Texans, who rank second-worst in run defense at 172.0 yards per game. Etienne has already covered this number in 2-of-4 games this year on very limited volume, and may be in for a spike this week, as the Jaguars will obviously be looking to capitalize on the Texan's soft spot. Even just ten carries would likely send Etienne over this total, and he may not need that many.
A.J. Brown over 72.5 receiving yards, -114 (FanDuel)
A.J. Brown has enjoyed a strong season so far, covering this number in 3-of-4 games (and only a few yards away from being 4-for-4, with the lone miss being 69 yards). That said, his receiving props haven't budged, in fact this total is even smaller than last week's, despite the rain in last week's game and the fact that Arizona's pass defense ranks just 23rd in the league at 255.8 yards per game. I see no reason to stop playing this one until something changes, especially in the midst of QB Jalen Hurts breakout season (the Eagles rank 6th in passing offense this year).
Cooper Kupp over 8.5 receptions, +105 (DraftKings)
The Rams offense has fallen way off this year, but one thing that has remained constant is that Cooper Kupp continues to get peppered with targets, recording 15, 14, and 19 in three of his four games this year (the lone missing being a very fluky six targets vs. Arizona in a game where the Rams held a big lead). Kupp recorded double-digit receptions in those three games, and looks set to do so once again, as right now he seems to be the only offense the Rams can come up with. No other WR in this offense is getting any run at all, with TE Tyler Higbee easily being the second-most targeted Rams receiver last week. Good play at plus money.
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Cincinnati Bengals +3.5, -110 at Baltimore Ravens (DraftKings)
The Bengals seem to have gotten their act together recently, as QB Joe Burrow has only been sacked three times over the last two games (compared to 13 times over the first two games). Their high-powered passing attack matches up very well vs. Baltimore, who ranks dead-last in passing defense this year at 315.3 yards per game (the only team over 300 yards, and 36 yards per game more than the 30th-ranked Lions). While the Ravens have been very competitive this year, I don't see how they deserve to be favored by more than a field goal vs. an offense that figures to have quite a bit of success against them.
Lamar Jackson over 57.5 rushing yards, -114 (FanDuel)
Speaking of competitive games, I mentioned last week that Ravens QB Lamar Jackson seems to be putting up his larger rushing total in shootout-type games, and this could easily be another one. Jackson has already run for 316 yards over the four games this year, with the bulk of that coming in the last three games, where Jackson is averaging double-digit carries. Given his 8.5 yards per carry average, anything approaching double-digit carries figures to put Jackson in a good position to go over this total.
Tee Higgins over 66.5 receiving yards, -114 (FanDuel)
Higgins continues to be listed lower than his counterpart Ja'Marr Chase (though he's starting to catch up, now only four yards lower as opposed to ten), while he draws just as many targets as Chase, and is clearly capable of posting long-gainers in his own right. The beauty of this pairing is that it makes it hard for the defense to overcompensate vs. either player, and each is talented enough that they pose significant problems vs. single coverage (while the QB is no slouch either). Facing the Ravens 32nd-ranked pass defense that recently got obliterated by Miami's Hill/Waddle pairing, and with Higgins seeing heavy usage over the past few weeks, he looks primed for another big effort here.
Ja'Marr Chase anytime touchdown, +125 (DraftKings)
Tee Higgins anytime touchdown, +155 (DraftKings)
As mentioned before, I think the Chase/Higgins TD combo makes for a nice play, and especially so vs. the Ravens pass defense, who have allowed eight receiving TD's over the first four games. If either Chase or Higgins scores, you've already locked in a profit, whereas if both score, you're up almost three units. Worth noting, the Bengals put up 41 points on the Ravens last year, with Burrow throwing for three touchdowns.
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