The TQE player prop train kept rolling in Week 8 with another winning record.
It would have been the second-straight perfect week except for the Vegas-wrecking debacle that was the Rams-Packers game. We had bet the over on Aaron Rodgers at 300 passing yards. He was at 286 passing yards with a little over two minutes remaining and set to get the ball back. I was excited because I knew all he had to do was get the ball, fire off two completions, and we would win the prop. That obviously didn’t happen as Ty Montgomery decided, “imma do me” and took the ball out of the end zone despite teammates and coaches telling him to kneel it. Regardless of that ridiculously egocentric decision, the tilt got worse.
The Rams got the ball back and looked like they could score! This would give the ball back to the Packers with a minute left and give Rodgers a great chance to nail his prop! As we all know, instead of scoring Gurley stopped running and got tackled in bounds, single-handedly ruining the over, spread, prop bets, fantasy games, etc all at the same time. Somehow, my heart had been shattered twice within the span of five minutes. For those who tail my props and were watching that sequence of events unfold, I feel your pain.
Anyways, we are still crushing it and asking the prop gods for another perfect week was probably getting greedy anyways. Onto Week 9…
Cooper Kupp OVER 5.5 Receptions: This is probably my favorite prop of the week as Kupp is in a blow-up spot. Let’s get the injury concerns out of the way first. Head coach Sean McVay said that Kupp could have played last week. He has now practiced all week and was removed from the Week 9 injury report on Friday.
This sets up as an ideal game environment for Kupp to thrive against the Saints pass-funnel defense (29th pass DVOA vs second in run DVOA) with the highest opening Vegas total ever recorded (60). While McVay may not be as analytically focused, he is certainly sharp enough to know that attacking the Saints through the air is the optimal way to go. This means that Goff will likely pass at a slightly higher rate, giving Kupp a better chance to be targeted more frequently.
Individually, Kupp figures to line up against burnable slot-corner P.J. Williams, who has allowed a 132.9 passer rating, including 22 of 30 (73 percent) targets to be caught by opposing wideouts. With Goff potentially attempting the most passes this season and Kupp drawing the best matchup, this is a prime eruption spot. I expect him to see 10-12 targets and record 8-9 catches. Depending on your outlook of the game, taking Jared Goff over 24.5 completions is another prop I’m interested in.
Ben Roethlisberger UNDER 305 passing yards and James Conner UNDER 85 rushing yards: Everyone knows about Ben Roethlisberger’s home/road splits, but what isn’t talked about enough is when they are at their worst. 1 pm road games are generally when Ben has struggled the most and the offense tends to sputter. This matchup against the Ravens fits that category and may be exacerbated even more in this one.
Ben’s career passing yard totals at Baltimore are as follows: 216 (2017), 264 (2016), 220 (2015), 217 (2014), 257 (2013), 280 (2011), 253 (2010), 246 (2009), 214 (2006), 176 (2004).
He has never exceeded 300 passing yards at Baltimore in his CAREER. It won’t get any easier this time around as Baltimore ranks No. 1 in rushing and passing success rate allowed. They have allowed just one 300-yard passer this season and it took overtime to accomplish it. The Steelers also may be without OT Marcus Gilbert, one of their better pass-blocking tackles.
As far as Conner goes, he is coming off three-straight 100-yard games against Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Atlanta. His only other outing crossing 80 yards came against the Browns in Week 1. Recency bias is playing a huge role in this line as it really should be set around 60 yards against the Ravens stout run defense. The last time Conner played Baltimore he received only nine carries that went for 19 yards as the Steelers laid an egg in a 26-14 loss. As I already mentioned, the Ravens rank No. 1 in rushing success rate allowed and have allowed over 4.0 yards per carry to opposing teams just twice this season. Take both props with confidence.
Aaron Rodgers OVER 300 passing yards: Yep. You are reading this right. A week after getting screwed over by this exact same prop, I’m going back to it. This is actually an even better spot than last week for Rodgers.
The Packers figure to be in a negative game script for most of the contest as 5.5-point road underdogs with a 57-point total. They’ve passed at the second-highest rate in the league (68 percent) and the fifth highest when tied or losing (71 percent). Rodgers should be throwing the ball a lot, and may actually end up being more efficient this time around. The Patriots have played against one top-10 team in pass offense efficiency and allowed 352 passing yards. They have allowed over 300 passing yards this season to the likes of Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky, and Andrew Luck.
With Rodgers playing from behind for most of the game against an average defense, he should be able to easily surpass 300 yards.
Cam Newton OVER 250 passing yards: This Is pretty much a dream spot for Newton. He’s at home against one of the worst secondary’s in the league in a game that figures to be high-scoring.
The Bucs have allowed 250-yard passers in six of seven games this season, the only outlier coming against the lowly Hue Jackson/Todd Haley-led Browns. They rank 30th in passing success rate allowed and 28th in explosive pass percentage allowed. Looking at our heat map you see that the Bucs have allowed the most yards within 15 yards to the left, matching up perfectly where Cam Newton has thrown for the most yards himself.
He has been coming on as of late as a passer, throwing for over 250 yards in two of three matchups despite all three teams ranking within the top-12 in pass defense efficiency. With a prime matchup against a team that figures to keep the pressure on, I expect Cam to approach 300 passing yards in this one.
Week 8: 2-1
Connor Allen utilizes analytics and his knowledge of Football to leverage sportsbooks, fantasy leagues, and DFS. He is a Chicago native and you can find more of his work over at http://Rotoworld.com or on twitter @ConnorAllenNFL.