Here are my favorite player props for Week 17 of the 2022 NFL regular season.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
How is this close to a pick ‘em? In skewed matchups, interception bets are usually close to -130. The Saints are surprising 5.5-point road dogs (opened at +6.5). Jalen Hurts is out but the Eagles still need to win to wrap up the No. 1 seed. Gardner Minshew looked fine last week, and the elite Eagles’ defense needs to get back on track. The Eagles’ defense averages 1.1 INTs per game (most) and 1.6 INTs per home game (most). Andy Dalton threw his first pick in the last five games last week vs. the Browns. Dalton hasn’t changed. He has not returned to his early-career form. He hasn’t been picked off much over the last month, but his QB rating has not been good either. In a tough road matchup against a ball-hawking defense, where Dalton will be forced to pass often, an interception seems like a certainty.
Do you believe in miracles? Three months ago, Sam Darnold’s career looked like it was over. Steve Wilks didn’t look like he would ever have a head coaching career again. It’s Week 17 and the Panthers’ fate is in their own hands, or better yet — their legs. When the going gets tough, and ad libbing under duress is necessary, Darnold will run for his life. His career is on the line. He needs wins. He needs to move chains. He runs. In his four games in 2022, Darnold has a 19-yard and 30-yard rushing game. The Bucs have allowed 11 rushing yards or more to an opposing QB eight times this season.
The Super Freak came out of nowhere, but his emergence makes perfect sense. Giants WR Wan’Dale Robinson came out of nowhere, too. What’s the common thread? They’re slot receivers in an anemic offense led by QB Daniel Jones. The slot is Jones’ safety valve. He leans on the short inside routes. James has a touchdown in three of the last six games, and during that span, he has caught 30 of 37 targets for 302 yards. Keenan Allen caught 11 passes for 104 yards out of the slot against the Colts in Week 16. The week before that, K.J. Osbourn (slot WR) caught 10 of 16 for 157 yards and a touchdown. The Colts play a bend-but-don’t-break scheme and allow underneath routes. They rank 24th against short routes and 25th vs. short routes over the middle. This is where James camps. His 7.2 aDOT is the lowest among the starters and it’s right on par with Robinson’s aDOT (6.2 yards).
When will the Vikings’ luck run out? When will Aaron Rodgers quit? A month ago, the Packers’ season was over. They weren’t even on life support. It was the first week of December, and Green Bay had lost seven of their last eight games. Three games later and three wins later, they are alive and in the playoff hunt. Meanwhile, the Vikings and Kirk Cousins — both well known for their propensity to collapse — keep winning in miraculous fashion. If Cousins’ luck were ever to run out, it would be a January matchup against the cagey old vet in Green Bay. The Vikings get into back-and-forths every week, no matter who the opponent is. The Rodgers resurgence should continue. Green Bay has found some magic and Minnesota’s defense is very liberal in how they sprinkle fairy dust on opposing offenses. Any offense that faces the Vikings’ shaky defense looks above average. A 300-yard game from Aaron Rodgers and his steadily developing WR corps doesn’t seem out of the question in Week 17.
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