2015 NFL Season: Week 1 Player Props and DFS Value

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.


PlayerRushing YardsOddsmaker RankDraftKingsDK RankDifference
Drew Brees299.51$800043
Peyton Manning292.52$820031
Andrew Luck290.53$83002-1
Aaron Rodgers280.54$86001-3
Philip Rivers278.55$7100105
Matthew Stafford278.55$7000116
Tony Romo270.57$730092
Eli Manning267.58$74007-1
Ryan Tannehill266.59$74007-2
Carson Palmer262.510$6500144
Joe Flacco256.511$6700132
Jay Cutler255.512$6800120
Russell Wilson234.513$78005-8
Andy Dalton232.514$6100162
Derek Carr224.515$6100161
Cam Newton222.516$76006-10
Alex Smith218.517$620015-2
Ryan Fitzpatrick217.518$5500180

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

PlayerRushing YardsOddsmaker RankDraftKingsDK RankDifference
Marshawn Lynch85.51$730032
Eddie Lacy80.52$750020
Jeremy Hill78.53$710041
Jamaal Charles77.54$79001-3
Jonathan Stewart70.55$580061
Mark Ingram61.56$560071
Alfred Morris60.57$550081
Justin Forsett57.58$62005-3
Rashad Jennings52.59$510090
PlayerRush + Rec YardsOddsmaker RankDraftKingsDK RankDifference
Matt Forte104.51$780010
CJ Anderson93.52$700020
Andre Ellington88.53$640030
Lamar Miller83.54$550040

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

PlayerReceiving YardsRankDraft KingsDK RankDifference
Odell Beckham Jr102.51$920010
Calvin Johnson91.52$850042
Dez Bryant89.53$870030
Demaryius Thomas88.54$91002-2
AJ Green86.55$780083
Randall Cobb83.56$800060
Alshon Jeffrey77.57$83005-2
TY Hilton73.58$760091
Emmanuel Sanders70.59$79007-2
DeSean Jackson67.510$6800100
Steve Smith67.510$6400122
Golden Tate67.510$6300133
Andre Johnson64.513$6100141
Brandon Marshall61.514$660011-3
Larry Fitzgerald60.515$5500183
Greg Olsen*57.516$5300193
Jimmy Graham*55.517$5600170
Marques Colston53.518$600015-3
Malcom Floyd52.519$580016-3
Travis Kelce*52.520$4800200
Jason Witten*49.521$400022-1
Terrance Williams42.522$4000220
Kenny Britt40.523$480020-3
Jermaine Kearse36.524$3700240

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.

David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

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