Individual player props demand a similar thought process to fantasy football.
Who’s likely to regress? Is there a scheme-friendly sleeper no one’s talking about? Who was unlucky last season and could be in for a turnaround?
Like clockwork, you grab your cart and shop prices. And there are five-star locks to be had, my friends. Plenty of them.
Here are theScore’s top 25 individual player prop picks for the 2018 NFL season (odds courtesy: Bovada):
Top quarterback plays
Drew Brees OVER 4,500 passing yards (-120)
The Saints saw a huge decrease in pass-play percentage (63 percent to 56 percent) from 2016 to ’17. But Mark Ingram will be absent for the first four games and Brees has two more weapons in Cameron Meredith and Tre’Quan Smith in the passing game to help him improve on his 2017 number of 4,334.
Marcus Mariota UNDER 13.5 interceptions (-110)
Mariota posted 15 interceptions in 2017 but only attempted 14 “turnover-worthy” throws, according to Pro Football Focus. How unlucky is that?
Jimmy Garoppolo UNDER 12.5 interceptions (-110)
Garoppolo doesn’t make many risky throws. In fact, he was one of the most conservative last season.
Andrew Luck OVER 27.5 touchdown passes (+110)
There’s good value here if Luck can withstand a full season after missing all of 2017. The Colts figure to play from behind on offense with a weak defense, so he’ll get his chances in both meaningful and meaningless situations.
Andy Dalton OVER 24 Passing Touchdowns (-115)
The Bengals’ offense as a whole still has a ton of playmakers, with A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Joe Mixon, and Tyler Boyd in the passing game. How they aren’t at least fun offensively is mind-boggling.
Mitchell Trubisky OVER 19 passing touchdowns (-130)
There are all kinds of weapons on the field in an innovative new Bears offense under head coach Matt Nagy.
Top running back plays
Alex Collins OVER 950 rushing yards (-120)
The Ravens have made it clear Collins is the guy going forward. It’s tough to picture him not hitting this number after he posted 972 yards a season ago when Buck Allen was also in the mix.
Ezekiel Elliott OVER 1,450 rushing yards (-125)
It’s been a run-first offense ever since Elliott came in and provided game-changing ability behind that top-tier offensive line. The passing game is lagging, and with a full season on the horizon, Elliott will see touches aplenty.
Christian McCaffrey OVER 1,350 rushing/receiving yards (-115)
The Stanford Swiss Army knife will likely see even more touches on the ground this season. After racking up nearly 1,100 yards as a rookie, McCaffrey just needs a couple hundred more this time around.
Top wide receiver/tight end plays
Delanie Walker UNDER 800 receiving yards (-140)
If new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur brought his L.A. tactics to Tennessee, expect a lot more three-receiver sets. He could still implement both Walker and fellow tight end Jonnu Smith in the same formation, but there are more mouths to feed in a healthy Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, Rishard Matthews, Smith, and Dion Lewis.
O.J. Howard UNDER 4 receiving touchdowns (-105)
Howard got the short end of the stick here, with Cameron Brate getting more red-zone looks in Tampa. Unless he can break loose down the field for scores, his opportunities will become more limited as the field shrinks.
Marquise Goodwin OVER 900 receiving yards (-120)
Goodwin saw eight or more targets three times in the first 11 weeks in 2017. He saw eight or more targets three times in just five games with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. The wide receiver also caught more than half of his passes in those last five weeks. This should be a go-to connection.
Chris Hogan OVER 850 receiving yards (-120)
Tom Brady’s go-to guy for 2018. That offense will flourish no matter how the pieces are rearranged, but it just so happens Hogan will be the No. 1 receiver, especially with Julian Edelman sidelined during the first four games.
Kenny Stills OVER 4.5 receiving touchdowns (-115)
Back in 2016 when he was healthy, Ryan Tannehill was the second-best quarterback in the league on deep balls that traveled 20 or more yards, posting a 61 percent clip. Should the Fins take more shots this season, that’s right up Stills’ alley (16.1 yards per catch).
Keelan Cole OVER 750 receiving yards (-140)
There’s a huge opportunity for Cole to pick up a big chunk of yards in 2018 with Marqise Lee sidelined. The Jags sophomore was targeted 83 times last season and should see an uptick in that number.
Ryan Grant OVER 525 receiving yards (-120)
Grant figures to play a significant role in a Colts offense that features T.Y. Hilton and … no one else at wide receiver, really. Frank Reich’s offensive scheme will feature a ton of no-huddle, and the Colts regularly playing from behind should result in a ton of throwing.
Jarvis Landry UNDER 950 receiving yards (-110)
Too many plates at the dinner table. Unless Landry catches another 100 balls in 2018, he’s not surpassing 950 yards.
John Ross OVER 3.5 receiving touchdowns (-115)
Ross is one of my breakout candidates for 2018 after the Bengals receiver missed virtually his entire rookie season due to injury.
Charles Clay UNDER 550 receiving yards (-115)
You have to wonder how much of Clay’s production was due to Tyrod Taylor. Will he have the same usage with the Bills’ Nate Peterman or Josh Allen? I’ll say no.
Sammy Watkins UNDER 5.5 receiving touchdowns (-115)
The Chiefs’ Watkins had an otherworldly touchdown rate in 2017 and is due to hit regression at some point.
Larry Fitzgerald OVER 94.5 receptions (-115)
He’s the ageless wonder we continue to count out, only to look more and more foolish by the end of each season.
Golden Tate UNDER 1,000 receiving yards (-135)
With Marvin Jones Jr. capable of getting 1,000 himself, Kenny Golladay likely headed for a bigger role, and a bunch of backs who could see targets, I’ll call for a 2015 type of season (90 catches, 813 yards) for Tate after he topped 1,000 the previous two.
Top defensive plays
Jalen Ramsey UNDER 2.5 interceptions (+135)
There’s a high level of variance in interceptions year to year, but given how infrequently teams are going to throw his way, there’s already perhaps a cap on his opportunities. Also, it’s hard to pass up that price.
Myles Garrett OVER 9 sacks (-130)
Garrett looks primed to take the league by storm in his sophomore season. Preseason doesn’t hold much weight, but he looked like a man possessed.
Carl Lawson UNDER 8 Sacks (-115)
After playing 477 snaps as a rookie and recording 8.5 sacks, why can’t Lawson improve in Year 2? The Bengals want to limit his exposure and only play him in certain packages. Well then.
Alex Kolodziej is theScore’s betting writer. He’s a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from “Rounders” and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)