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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Jennifer Piacenti

Fantasy Draft Strategy: 3 NFL Player Props That Offer Valuable Insight

We are just one week away from the first game of the 2023 NFL season, and Las Vegas has released a large menu of player props for us to choose from. For those who have fantasy drafts this weekend, those props can be used as valuable research. Generally, when we look at player props we are looking for ways in which we think we have an edge and try to bet that side. However, for this exercise we instead are looking to compare what Vegas is expecting with how we have valued our players in fantasy drafts.

Here are three interesting things to consider for your fantasy draft if you believe Vegas has a good idea what will happen.

Hint: They usually do.

Today we are looking at NFC props, so check back tomorrow for more on the AFC.

Here goes...

Las Vegas doesn’t necessarily think Mike Evans will record his 10th straight 1,000-yard season, but they at least think he’ll come close.

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

1. Mike Evans has been in the NFL for nine years, and for nine years he has logged more than 1,000 receiving yards. Fantasy managers are skittish however with Baker Mayfield now under center. That’s certainly understandable, but Vegas still has Evans’s receiving yard prop at 950.5. If they’re right, you can get incredible value taking the veteran receiver in the sixth round. Here is a list of receivers with lower receiving props who are going ahead of Evans : Drake LondonDeebo SamuelDJ Moore, Christian Watson and Keenan Allen. I’ve taken Evans in a few drafts as he continues to fall.

2. Jahmyr Gibbs figures to be a big part of the Lions offense after they traded up to draft him in the first round. However, fantasy managers may be interested in how Las Vegas sees his usage. Though Gibbs is being taken in the second and third rounds of drafts, his rushing yard prop is set at a mere 625.5 yards. That’s lower than Dameon Pierce, Rachaad White, James Cook and Isiah Pacheco -- all of whom are going well after Gibbs. Of course, Gibbs is expected to be active in the passing game, but unless you’re in a PPR league, you may want to pivot to his teammate, David Montgomery, who’s rushing yard prop is set at 750.5 and who is going in the sixth round. Montgomery’s rushing TD prop is set at 6.5, while there is no current market for Gibbs.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

Gregory Bull/AP

3. If you trust the lines in Las Vegas, don’t be afraid to wait and draft Kirk Cousins. Cousins is coming off the board outside of the Top 12, yet his passing yards prop (4300.5) is the fourth-highest among quarterbacks this year and his passing TD prop (28.5) is tied with Aaron Rodgers for the fourth-highest as well. Especially in leagues with six-point passing touchdowns, Cousins could be your guy. As a side note: Justin Jefferson’s yards are set at 1400.5, but there are still plenty of yards to go around in Minnesota. T.J. Hockenson could be the number two target and should be drafted as such, but don’t forget about rookie Jordan Addison, too. He is currently going in the seventh round. 

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