2015 NFL Season: Week 1 Player Props and DFS Value

The NFL season may have kicked off last night in New England, but most bettors and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) participants are looking forward to Sunday’s slate of games. Although we’ve already released our NFL Best Bets and discussed Week 1 line moves on our blog, we wanted to look at potential value from a player perspective.

On Thursday, Sportsbook.com posted over/under player props for this weekend’s games. We should note that this is not the most trustworthy offshore sportsbook as there have been a number of reports about delayed payouts, but the numbers still give us an indication of oddsmaker expectations for the Week 1 games.

The tables below display the over/under for passing yards, rushing yards and receiving yards along with their rank among listed players. Then, similar to our strategy with season long fantasy leagues, we compared these figures with dollar values at Draft Kings. This allowed us to determine which players were potentially being undervalued.

It’s important to point out that this is obviously a flawed metric as it does not account for the probability each player has of getting into the end zone. That said, even fantasy sports experts like ESPN’s Matthew Berry will admit that touchdown production can often times be fluke-ish. Tall players will definitely receive more targets in the red zone, but total yardage is an excellent indicator of fantasy value.

Quarterbacks

Player Rushing Yards Oddsmaker Rank DraftKings DK Rank Difference
Drew Brees 299.5 1 $8000 4 3
Peyton Manning 292.5 2 $8200 3 1
Andrew Luck 290.5 3 $8300 2 -1
Aaron Rodgers 280.5 4 $8600 1 -3
Philip Rivers 278.5 5 $7100 10 5
Matthew Stafford 278.5 5 $7000 11 6
Tony Romo 270.5 7 $7300 9 2
Eli Manning 267.5 8 $7400 7 -1
Ryan Tannehill 266.5 9 $7400 7 -2
Carson Palmer 262.5 10 $6500 14 4
Joe Flacco 256.5 11 $6700 13 2
Jay Cutler 255.5 12 $6800 12 0
Russell Wilson 234.5 13 $7800 5 -8
Andy Dalton 232.5 14 $6100 16 2
Derek Carr 224.5 15 $6100 16 1
Cam Newton 222.5 16 $7600 6 -10
Alex Smith 218.5 17 $6200 15 -2
Ryan Fitzpatrick 217.5 18 $5500 18 0

Based on our research, Drew Brees should be the top-ranked fantasy quarterback. His over/under of 299.5 passing yards is 7 yards higher than Peyton Manning and, although Arizona has one of the league’s top defenses, the current game total of 48.5 at Pinnacle is actually higher than the Ravens/Broncos total (48). Brees is the 4th most expensive quarterback at Draft Kings ($8000) but could offer DFS players value.

Another potential sleeper is Detroit’s Matthew Stafford. His over/under of 278.5 ranks fifth among quarterbacks, yet Draft Kings lists him as the 11th most expensive quarterback at $7100. That six-spot gap makes Stafford the best Week 1 value.

As we noted in our fantasy sleepers and busts column, the ranks for Russell Wilson and Cam Newton are both negatively skewed due to additional value that they provide in the run game. There’s no over/under for Wilson, but oddsmakers are expecting 37.5 rushing yards from Newton.

Other Values: Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco

Players to Avoid: Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Tannehill, Alex Smith

Running Backs

Player Rushing Yards Oddsmaker Rank DraftKings DK Rank Difference
Marshawn Lynch 85.5 1 $7300 3 2
Eddie Lacy 80.5 2 $7500 2 0
Jeremy Hill 78.5 3 $7100 4 1
Jamaal Charles 77.5 4 $7900 1 -3
Jonathan Stewart 70.5 5 $5800 6 1
Mark Ingram 61.5 6 $5600 7 1
Alfred Morris 60.5 7 $5500 8 1
Justin Forsett 57.5 8 $6200 5 -3
Rashad Jennings 52.5 9 $5100 9 0

Player Rush + Rec Yards Oddsmaker Rank DraftKings DK Rank Difference
Matt Forte 104.5 1 $7800 1 0
CJ Anderson 93.5 2 $7000 2 0
Andre Ellington 88.5 3 $6400 3 0
Lamar Miller 83.5 4 $5500 4 0

The prop betting for running backs has been broken into two different categories, rushing yards and rushing plus receiving yards. Since we have consensus rankings for rushing plus receiving yards, we’re going to focus purely on rushing yards.

Oddsmakers have set the over/under for Marshawn Lynch rushing yards at 85.5 — the highest total among listed Week 1 players. Despite this fact, Lynch is just the third most expensive back at Draft Kings, trailing Jamaal Charles and Eddie Lacy. Considering their obvious blunder at the end of Super Bowl 49, fans can expect Lynch to receive every goal line carry.

Other Values: Jeremy Hill, Jonathan Stewart

Players to Avoid: Jamaal Charles, Justin Forsett

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Player Receiving Yards Rank Draft Kings DK Rank Difference
Odell Beckham Jr 102.5 1 $9200 1 0
Calvin Johnson 91.5 2 $8500 4 2
Dez Bryant 89.5 3 $8700 3 0
Demaryius Thomas 88.5 4 $9100 2 -2
AJ Green 86.5 5 $7800 8 3
Randall Cobb 83.5 6 $8000 6 0
Alshon Jeffrey 77.5 7 $8300 5 -2
TY Hilton 73.5 8 $7600 9 1
Emmanuel Sanders 70.5 9 $7900 7 -2
DeSean Jackson 67.5 10 $6800 10 0
Steve Smith 67.5 10 $6400 12 2
Golden Tate 67.5 10 $6300 13 3
Andre Johnson 64.5 13 $6100 14 1
Brandon Marshall 61.5 14 $6600 11 -3
Larry Fitzgerald 60.5 15 $5500 18 3
Greg Olsen* 57.5 16 $5300 19 3
Jimmy Graham* 55.5 17 $5600 17 0
Marques Colston 53.5 18 $6000 15 -3
Malcom Floyd 52.5 19 $5800 16 -3
Travis Kelce* 52.5 20 $4800 20 0
Jason Witten* 49.5 21 $4000 22 -1
Terrance Williams 42.5 22 $4000 22 0
Kenny Britt 40.5 23 $4800 20 -3
Jermaine Kearse 36.5 24 $3700 24 0

The last player prop we examined was receiving yards, and we chose to include the four listed tight ends in the conversation. Odell Beckham Jr. is the consensus number one receiver this week with an over/under of 102.5 receiving yards and a Draft Kings price of $9200. So which players are offering value?

Oddsmakers have set the over/under for AJ Green at 86.5 receiving yards, which ranks fifth. At Draft Kings, Green is priced at just $7800 which makes him the 8th most expensive receiver. This three-spot discrepancy indicates that Green could be a nice value on Sunday.

Other Values: Golden Tate, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Olsen*

Players to Avoid: Kenny Britt, Marques Colston, Malcom Floyd

We stress that total yards are only one factor to consider, and having odds for each player to score a touchdown would provide a more accurate indicator of true value. For anybody interested in Daily Fantasy (DFS) make sure to check out Fantasy Labs for access to Pro Models, Lineup Optimizer and other unique data for your Week 1 lineup.

Have any questions for the staff at Sports Insights? Utilize our live chat to speak with a customer service representative or e-mail us at help@sportsinsights.com.

David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.

The following two tabs change content below.

David Solar

David Solar has been the Content Manager at Sports Insights for over four years. He specializes in sports betting analytics and has created several popular data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

No Comments Permalink

Say something

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with a grey bar.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>