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Trust the Propcess: Week 9 NFL Player Props

Week 9 could be a bit tricky for those seeking player props to exploit. There are six teams on a bye and some muddy situations as a result of injuries and this week’s NFL trade deadline. But worry not, player prop seekers! I have several spots that I am looking to take advantage of. I even snuck in an under, which is not my usual course of action. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite Week 9 NFL player props. Let me know which ones you are on board with, and share some of yours as well!

Week 9 NFL Player Props

Deon Jackson OVER 21.5 Receiving Yards (-113, Barstool; -114, FanDuel)

I am going to start my Week 9 NFL player props with one that I think is a screaming value. Of course, that means it will probably fall miserably short. Sarcasm aside, I am all over Deon Jackson and his receiving props this week. Jackson should get all the work he can handle as the Colts’ lead back against the New England Patriots. Jonathan Taylor is out with an injury, and the newly acquired Zack Moss may not even be active on Sunday. Jackson has filled in quite admirably when called upon this year. In two spot starts, Jackson has had a total of 212 scrimmage yards. More importantly for our purposes, more than half of those yards came via the air. Jackson had a total of 14 catches for 108 over those two games.

The Colts recently tabbed Sam Ehlinger as their starting quarterback, and he will be making his second career start on Sunday. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a long history of success against inexperienced signal callers. With that in mind, it would behoove Indianapolis to give Ehlinger some easy throws. Targeting Jackson would seem like a logical step in this direction. Among running backs with at least 100 offensive snaps, Jackson’s 75.6 receiving grade ranks sixth-highest, per Pro Football Focus. The Patriots have not given up a ton of receptions to opposing backs (30, tied for the seventh-fewest). But when they do, it is usually a positive for the opposing offenses. New England has given up 10 yards per catch to running backs on the year. That is the second-highest number in the NFL.

It is also quite possible that Indianapolis will face a negative game script in this contest. New England is a six-point favorite, which is among the high marks this week. If Indianapolis falls behind, they will probably have to throw more than they would like. In a catchup or two-minute scenario, New England would likely drop back and let Ehlinger dink and dunk down the field. These are areas where Jackson should remain a threat in the passing game. I have yet to see any books post reception props for Jackson. If that number ends up being 2.5, I would like the over on that number as well. Either way, I expect Deon Jackson to exceed his receiving yards prop on Sunday.

Aaron Jones UNDER 4.5 Receptions (-150, Barstool)

The Detroit Lions do not exactly have a good defense. They rank last in the NFL in EPA (expected points added) per dropback and are 30th in the league in EPA per rush. Detroit is also in the bottom six in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. As much as I love Aaron Glenn, Duce Staley is easily winning their trash-talking war so far this year. If there is one area where Detroit has been halfway decent, however, it is in limiting receiving production out of the backfield. The Lions have allowed just 27 receptions to opposing backs, tied for the fourth lowest in the NFL. That may be simply because teams have not chosen to attack the Lions in that matter, but I do not see that changing much in this game.

Most books have Jones’ reception total at 3.5. At that number, I would probably stay away. Jones does have at least three receptions in seven of eight contests this year, making it a much more dicey proposition. But Jones has only cleared the 4.5 number one time in eight games this year. Therefore, I am willing to play the under here at that total. That number is just too high for me, especially when compared to the other Packers receiving options. For example, Robert Tonyan’s receptions number is 3.5, and his receiving yards total is right in line with Jones. Tonyan has five more receptions and 96 more receiving yards on the season than Jones. No matter how you slice it, I think Jones goes under his Week 9 player prop for total receptions.

Tua Tagovailoa OVER 260.5 Passing Yards (-111, Caesar’s)

At first glance, this may be a player prop worth fading or at least staying away from. The Chicago Bears have allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards this season, at just 188 yards per game. But I think there are reasons to be optimistic about Miami’s potential success through the air in this game. Chicago recently traded defensive end Robert Quinn and linebacker Roquan Smith. Though Quinn has had a subpar season, his presence needed to be accounted for upfront. Smith was the leader of Chicago’s defense, both literally and figuratively. Smith leads the NFL with 83 tackles and is the only player in the NFL with at least two interceptions and at least two sacks. His absence will leave a glaring hole in the Bears’ defense.

And the defense was not that great, to begin with. Yes, they have allowed only 188 passing yards per game. However, I believe those numbers are a bit deceiving. Chicago ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of yards per attempt allowed at 7.2. They also rank considerably worse in several metrics including EPA per dropback (22nd) and pressure generated (31st). The main reason that Chicago’s overall defensive numbers against the pass look good is that teams have simply decided to beat them by running the ball instead. Only Green Bay has faced fewer pass attempts per game than Chicago’s 27.5 mark. While it is certainly possible for Miami to run the ball against the Bears, I believe they will continue to showcase their advantages in the passing game. Enter Tua Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa ranks first in yards per attempt and EPA on the year. He has failed to clear this number in two of six games, and there were extenuating circumstances in both. One was the game he was knocked out in against Cincinnati. The other was the game against Buffalo where he only threw the ball 18 times. Miami had just 39 offensive snaps in that game. They average 63.9 snaps in their other seven games, so I am willing to throw that one out. With Chicago failing to generate much of a pass rush, Tagovailoa should have plenty of time to operate. And he should take of his matchups with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle against a largely untested secondary. I think as long as this game remains competitive, Tagovailoa should throw enough to surpass his yardage prop on Sunday.

Also make sure to check out our Week 9 Rankings for your traditional leagues: QB | RB | WR | TE | Flex Rankings

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