Our Model’s Favorite Week 5 NFL Player Props
It took four games to get a coach fired in the NFL, and two of our picks this week come from the Houston Texans’ first game in the post-Bill O’Brien era. You’ll also find another familiar name, who I may pencil in for every week for the rest of the season.
Patrick Mahomes’ passing yards total on FanDuel is a robust 307.50 this week, while SportsGrid’s model has him projected for a mere 255.43.
In Mahomes’ last 10 regular-season games, he has eclipsed that FanDuel total twice. He’s done so once this season, back in Week 3, when he torched the Ravens for 385 yards.
With rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire being fed the pigskin early and often this season, Kansas City hasn’t relied on its big-play passing game as much to put points on the board this season. Mahomes threw for 236 yards last Monday against New England, attempting 29 passes while the Chiefs ran 17 times with its backs (Mahomes had eight carries).
Kansas City should be able to dispatch the Raiders and not have to use too much of Mahomes’ arm to do so. In four career starts against the Raiders, he has gone over that 307.50 number just once. He’s the best quarterback in football, but his numbers this week might not make him look like it.
The Pick: Mahomes Under 307.50 Passing Yards.
Bill O’Brien trading for David Johnson may be a big reason he is no longer the general manager and head coach of the Houston Texans. In the first game without O’Brien, getting Johnson going will be important but not the key for the team moving forward.
Johnson’s rushing yards total is 72.50 this week against the Jaguars, while SportsGrid projects him for 57.92. Johnson went over that total in Week 1 but has fallen short over the Texans’ last three games.
Jacksonville does allow the seventh-most rushing yards per game, but Johnson isn’t the priority this week for Houston. The franchise will go as Deshaun Watson goes, regardless of who the head coach is. Getting him going is priority No. 1. Johnson will likely get double-digit rushing attempts, but he will not be fed enough to reach his total.
The Jaguars did allow Joe Mixon to run for 151 yards last week, but Johnson is no longer at that level. Bet the under here.
The Pick: Johnson Under 72.50 Rushing Yards.
Another week, another time to bet the over on D.K. Metcalf’s receiving yards total.
This week, Metcalf’s total is 70.50 on FanDuel, while he is projected for 84.98 by SportsGrid’s model. This is the fourth week I’ve done this, and this is the fourth time Metcalf will be on this list.
It’s pretty simple. The guy throwing him the ball is the league’s leading MVP candidate. He is a big-play machine in his second season. Metcalf is always hitting the over.
Here are his receiving totals in his first four games of 2020: 95, 92, 110, and 106. The Vikings’ secondary is inexperienced. (That’s a polite way of saying they’re giving up the fourth-most passing yards per game in the NFL).
Don’t overthink it. Bet the over.
The Pick: Metcalf Over 70.50 Receiving Yards.
As mentioned above, the priority for the Texans is to get Watson going. They will go as he goes. That means in the post-O’Brien era, getting him a big game will be priority No. 1.
Will Fuller’s FanDuel total is 66.50, but he’s projected for 80.33 by SportsGrid’s model. Jacksonville allows the 24th most passing yards per game this season, which gives Watson a chance to blow up.
Which Texans receiver would you bet on exploding with Watson? It’s probably Fuller. Brandin Cooks will be more involved moving forward than his zero-catch outing in Week 4, but as long as Fuller’s on the field (nothing to indicate he won’t be against the Jaguars), he is Watson’s preferred target. He’s eclipsed 100 yards twice this season, including last week against the Vikings.
Houston will look to unleash Watson, especially down the field, against the Jaguars. Big plays have been missing from the Texans’ offense. They have the right opponent and receiver to make them, finally, happen.
The Pick: Fuller Over 66.50 Receiving Yards.