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Week 1 NFL Player Prop Bets to Target

Fantasy football owners who study, plan and prepare for months leading up to their annual drafts and spend hours dickering with their starting lineups should really consider diversifying that knowledge by targeting weekly NFL prop bets.

The same analysis that owners pour into fantasy football decision-making can be applied when picking a player prop. Both owners and bettors are looking to attack the matchup edge. When picking a fantasy running back, we ask how good is the opposing rush defense? When deciding between two wide receivers, we wonder, how good is the defensive back covering my guy? All of this game prep can be used to find the edge in weekly NFL prop bets, too.

Here are my favorite Week 1 player prop bets from BetOnline:

Week 1 NFL Prop Bets to Target

Julio Jones OVER 90 Receiving Yards (-118)

It may have taken two months for Jones to score his first touchdown of the 2018 season, but during that drought, he still managed to average 116 receiving yards per game. He caught 10 receptions for 169 yards in the 2018 season opener against the Eagles.

Pro Football Focus has Jones listed as their most favorable WR/CB matchup over Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings secondary. With Dirk Koetter running Atlanta’s offense, look for Matt Ryan to air it out and give Jones all the chances in the world to eclipse 100 yards in Week 1.

Geronimo Allison OVER 45.5 Receiving Yards (EVEN)

Before an injury ended his 2018 season after only five games, Allison was on the verge of a breakout campaign. Through the first four games of 2018, Allison averaged 72.3 receiving yards per game. The fast start included a five-catch performance for 69 yards with a touchdown against the Bears in the 2018 season opener.

With both Allison and Aaron Rodgers (relatively) healthy heading into a tough matchup against the Bears on Thursday night, I think 46 receiving yards is achievable. With Davante Adams garnering so much attention, Allison might not completely slip through the cracks of the secondary, but you just need 46 yards of slip-ups.

Head-to-Head Most Passing Yards

Ben Roethlisberger +104
Tom Brady -156

In what has become an annual regular-season meeting, the Steelers beat the Patriots 17-10 at Heinz Field last December. However, as we know, the rosters of both teams have experienced significant overhauls during the offseason and even last week when New England lost its starting center.

For Brady, he’ll be without Rob Gronkowski and center David Andrews, who is out for the season after doctors found a blood clot in his lung. For Roethlisberger, no more Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown.

While Brady’s 279 pass yards did trump Roethlisberger’s 235 in their last meeting, I believe there is value to be had with Big Ben in the plus-money here. In the previous meeting, Pittsburgh’s rookie running back Jaylen Samuels rushed 19 times for 142 yards. This is unlikely to occur again and with Roethlisberger coming off a season where he passed 600-plus times and will flirt with 600 attempts again, I like the road QB to win this prop.

Chris Carson OVER 76 Rushing Yards (-115)

The Bengals ranked 29th against the rush last season and, if anything, their defense became weaker in the offseason. Carson averaged 82.2 rush yards per game last season and 111.8 RYPG the last four games of the regular season.

Carson OVER 76 rush yards is my play.

Head-to-Head Most Pass Completions

Lamar Jackson -104
Ryan Fitzpatrick -137

Jackson averaged 13.1 completions per game last season. ESPN’s projecting 16.3 completions per game this season. Now, I know the receiving corps around Jackson is somewhat improved, but Fitzpatrick is not going to be afraid to sling the rock around the yard against an elite Ravens defense. Plus, with temperatures expected to hit 90 degrees in Miami on Sunday, Baltimore’s secondary could get a little sloppy in the second half where the Fitzmagic begins and the prop hits.

Give me the Harvard man.