Three Season-Long Prop Bets to Consider for 2022 (Fantasy Football)
Season-long props are easily my favorite aspect of every NFL season. It’s a very winnable market, and the books don’t have an influence on lines after the first week begins. For those of you that sports bet, it’s an excellent addition to fantasy football and weekly betting or DFS. The common mistake made by most of my friends who are self-proclaimed amateur bettors is the idea that overs are a more “fun” or profitable bet. The reality of the modern NFL is one in which most things don’t work out the way we expect them to, especially from an individual player or team perspective. There are more disappointments than surprises and more injuries than we can even count.
Matthew Betz recently came out with How to Win Betting Player Props if you want more strategy on the topic.
Despite two of the three bets below being overs (I’m a hypocrite, I know) – I always like to remind people that a vast majority of the sharp or high-stakes money goes to the under. Roughly 70% of my own bets are on the under for prop lines this year, and they were wildly profitable in 2021. Good luck, friends!
Mac Jones OVER 23.5 Passing Touchdowns
The Patriots’ offense was one of the most run-heavy schemes in the league in 2021. They ranked 7th in rush percentage and 9th in rush attempts per game. Despite really solid quarterback play from Mac Jones in his rookie year, they did everything they could to limit his passing attempts and avoid any rookie speed bumps while he acclimated to the speed of the NFL. Their tendency to run the ball in big situations was the most evident in the red zone. New England had the second most rushing attempts in the red zone, trailing only Jonathan Taylor and the Colts. Damien Harris found paydirt a ridiculous 15 times, and Mac Jones wasn’t asked to do a lot once they approached scoring position.
Even though everything leaned towards the running game, Jones was still able to sling 22 touchdowns in his first season as a pro, in a complex New England system. The Patriots are all but certain to rely on him more heavily in 2022, and their ridiculous rushing success is going to be difficult to repeat. Jones’ 4.2% touchdown rate landed him in the middle of the pack, and he was actually three touchdowns below his expectation per NumberFire. Everything points to an easy over here including all three of the Footballers’ projections in the Ultimate Draft Kit. Even if you don’t trust me, we can trust Andy, Mike, and Jason to bring us home to victory on this season-long prop.
Projection: 27 Touchdowns in 2022
Dallas Cowboys UNDER 10.5 Wins
Betting on the Cowboys to underperform has been a very profitable business for people, and this year is another year to go back to the well. The NFC East is wide open and the Cowboys are one of the favorites on paper, but beneath the surface, there are a lot more questions than answers. Despite plenty of star power on the offensive side of the ball, there are a lot of pieces missing in 2022. Amari Cooper was their leading receiver and an attention-demanding WR1 from a scheme perspective, and Cedrick Wilson was a veteran presence that opened up a lot of lanes for Cooper and Lamb to operate. Wilson is in Miami now, leaving the passing game stripped down to CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, and either Noah Brown or rookie Jalen Tolbert. The Cowboy front office seems hell-bent on utilizing Ezekiel Elliott whether he’s effective or not, and Tony Pollard can only do so much on limited touches.
Despite all of the skill position concerns, the straw that stirs the drink, the offensive line – is in a brutal position as well. Tyron Smith was placed on IR last week and his presence has been crucial to Dallas’ ability to function over the past few seasons. His injury alone dropped the entire front unit from 6th to 20th in Brandon Thorne’s offensive line rankings at Establish the Run. Smith will return later in the year, but there is enough smoke here to be worried about fire. An improved defensive unit should help the Cowboys remain in contention, but the combination of all these moving pieces and the Eagles and Commanders making improvements should result in another middle-of-the-road finish for Big D.
Projection: 8-9 Overall Record
Justin Fields OVER 3.5 Rushing TDs
Simply put – if Fields starts all 17 games this year then he’s all but guaranteed to eclipse this number. His strengths lie in his playmaking ability, size, and instincts when things break down so rushing touchdowns are a byproduct of what he does as a quarterback on every play. The red zone usage by Chicago is going to look a lot different under their new regime, and Fields is one of their best weapons near the goal line. In 12 games last year he scored on the ground twice, but the lack of creativity shown by the coaching staff and Fields’ limited movement in the offense was the primary reason that Matt Nagy was let go. Their staff did everything possible to keep Fields upright but lost sight of what made him so excited while doing so. The uptick in designed runs for Fields is a near guarantee, and I would be shocked if he doesn’t eclipse this number through sheer improvisation inside the red zone. Fields and Lamar Jackson were the only quarterbacks with 400+ rushing yards and fewer than four rushing touchdowns, but both of them only played in 12 of their 17 games. Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen all easily surpassed this number; although their total attempts were more significant. If Fields can reach the 90+ rush attempt range in 2022, this number should be an easy target to hit.
Projection: 6 Rushing Touchdowns