Here are five player props that standout to me on this weekend’s slate of Week 1 games. All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
CASE KEENUM: 244.5 PASSING YARDS
This isn’t a big number, but I have zero faith in this Washington offense, particularly in the season-opener at Philadelphia. I have Keenum ranked dead last in terms of QB plays on the Week 1 main slate on DK, with the only potential upside being that he’ll have opportunities to sling it if game-script holds (the Eagles are currently 10-point favorites).
Washington’s offensive line is decimated, and with Trent Williams confirmed out for this week, is probably one of the weakest units in football. Keenum should be running for his life in this one, which means he’ll need trustworthy targets. Per usual, Jordan Reed’s already banged up and listed as questionable with a concussion. Washington has the worst WR group in the NFL, and I don’t even think it’s close — Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn and Terry McLaurin top the depth chart.
Editor’s Note: Reed is not expected to be available to play Sunday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
MILES SANDERS: 31.5 RUSHING YARDS
This one plays off a similar game-script to Keenum having a poor game. The Eagles are loaded on both sides of the ball, and I think that should mean taking a commanding lead over Washington early in this one. Philly’s going with the RB-by-committee approach this season, but if its out to a big lead, why not see what the rookie can do?
Washington ranked slightly below average in rushing yards per game allowed in 2018, and Sanders should come into this one with some fresh legs. He averaged 4.3 YPC in the preseason, but carried just eight times for 34 yards — but that number would hit the over on this bet, and shows you how little work he needs to hit it. Sanders posted a monster 220-1,274-9 line on the ground last year at Penn State (5.8 YPC). He’s likely the Eagles’ most talented RB.
KERRYON JOHNSON: 57.5 RUSHING YARDS
Prior to his rookie season ending in mid-November, Johnson was a huge force in Detroit’s running game. He averaged 64.1 rushing yards per game in 10 games, but more impressive was his 5.4 YPC. This matchup in Arizona sets up perfectly for a big game out of Johnson.
Kerryon should play a larger role for the Lions this year, as the featured RB right out of the gates. Detroit’s a slight road favorite in this one, so game-script could set up for some extra carries for Johnson down the stretch. The Cardinals’ new offensive game plan should only speed this one up, leaving more touches for Johnson. And who allowed the most rushing yards per game in 2018? None other than the Cardinals, at 155 per game.
DEDE WESTBROOK: 52.5 RECEIVING YARDS
Westbrook was as solid as he could be last season given Jacksonville’s QB situation, bringing in 66-of-101 targets for 717 yards — 44.8 yards per game. Now locked in as the WR1 in an offense with Nick Foles, we should be able to project a sizable spike in production.
Foles was locked in on Westbrook during limited preseason reps, with four of his six completions going to Dede for 29 yards and a touchdown. The spot against Kansas City at home should set up well for the duo to continue their early success. The Jaguars are 3.5-point underdogs in a game projected for more than 50 points. The Chiefs ranked 31st in passing yards per game allowed last season.
TYLER LOCKETT: 82.5 RECEIVING YARDS
I really love Lockett’s upside as Seattle’s WR1 this season, and the Week 1 matchup against the Bengals puts him in a good spot. Having said that, this total is just too high, and puts Lockett in the neighborhood of the NFL’s elite WR — at least in terms of Week 1 yardage.
Lockett’s reception total is set at 4.5, and the over is at plus-money — which means you have to lay extra juice on the under. Lockett averaged 60.3 receiving yards per game in 2018, and only topped 82 yards in three games, despite playing in all 16. If Lockett’s projected for four catches, he’s really going to have to break one to get over this yardage total. He certainly could against the Bengals, but the Seahawks are 9.5-point favorites here. The damage should be done early, and Seattle should rely on running the ball as the game progresses.
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