By: Jason Sarney
The NFL, and a full slate up games, returns on Sunday! Following a terrific opener on Thursday, if that was any indication, tomorrow should be packed with action! Speaking of action, when heading on over to BetUS.com, the Props Plays are where the quick and easy money is to be made.
The plays that I am going to be focusing on this season will mainly be what I like to call “one-hit-wonder” plays. These are simply plays that only need to happen in one play. Now mind you, it could take all game for it to happen, but it only does take one play, and you don't have to sit there counting receptions or counting yards or waiting for multiple occurrences to happen.
This brings in the “longest reception play.”
Simply put, all you need to happen to win this bet, is for your receiver or tight end to make one catch over the total that the lines said for what his longest reception would be. Some of the top-end players in the league such as, Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams, have gaudy longest reception lines of 26.5 and 25.5, respectively. Calvin Ridley’s over/under total is 27.5 for his longest catch play, and this includes yardage after the catch, so guys with YAC help here.
Sure, it's easy to find the top few players and ride with them, but anything over 25 yards for a lonest play is tough to root for and wait for. What I wanted to do, was come up with a number within numbers, to gauge the best chances of weekly success for individual pass-catchers in the “longest reception” category. Before going into the non-specific and experimental proprietary formula, let’s call it something flashy. We are looking for a number to see the chances of a “hit,” so let’s call it “Hit Score.”
The point of arriving at this Hit Score is taking the weekly over/under line of their longest play. You start there and then you subtract the player's 2020 yards per catch average, since we have no 2021 data yet. After that, I basically put a few other statistics into a blender metaphorically and hit puree. Stats like “yards per target” and even their amount of first downs were calculated.
After the stat mix, there came a percentage, and listed from top to bottom the pass-catchers with what I believe, will be the likeliest and best chances to “hit” their overs. Remember those 24.5-27.5-yard plays in Diggs, Adams and Ridley? Pass on this prop with them, it’s too heavy a total.
Let’s find those sub-20-yard plays at WR and TE, and some names may surprise…and surprise equals SMASH on the Longest Reception plays for Week 1:
The TOP Player in my experiment is a top-end wide-out who could challenge for league-leading yardage. Keenan Allen. Now, Allen had a career-low in yards per catch last season with 9.9. His career average is 11.9, and he has hit 13.7 and 12.3 as little as three and four seasons ago. His 61 1st downs last season indicate he is both a chain mover, clearly, as well as a trusted target of now-sophomore Justin Herbert.
19.5 yards for a top-tier receiver, 8 yards easier than Ridley, makes him the LONGEST RECEPTION WR PLAY of the WEEK with a Hit Score of 45.27% to go along with that attainable 19.5 O/U.
The other 9, that’s right NINE receivers I would smash the over with in this stat Week 1 are the following: including both their O/U marks, as well as their “Hit Score” percentage. (There are WRs with high scores, such as DeAndre Hopkins at 36.44% yet his O/U is a tad rich at 25.5.)
We want the “low-hanging fruit,” in this stat. Nothing over 20.5, and we start with a Steeler.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (20.5 O/U with a HIT SCORE of 49.85%- the overall highest HS% of the Week.) With Big Ben back, and Diontae Johnson coming into his own, and Najee Harris keeping defenses honest, Smith-Schuster is in for a bounce-back year, in yet another contract year. Tough Week 1 match-up at Buffalo, but he could break a 20+ yarder.
Tyler Boyd – With Joe Burrow back, and weapons like Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase adding to the defense's attention, Boyd is sitting with a 19.5 O/U for his long catch, and he is a low-key fantasy gem. Last year was a regression year, but Boyd has a 20-yard play in him against the Vikings on Sunday. Especially if the Bengals go down in the 4th by a few scores, that could be the time he “hits” if not sooner.
Robby Anderson is a solid receiver, and now, he gets a reunion with fellow ex-Jet Sam Darnold. They both play New York at home tomorrow, and this is a double-dosh of revenge. A dish best served quickly. I would put a rather confident wager on the fact that Carolina should bomb a pass to Anderson from Darnold right off the bat to set the tone, and crush Jet Nation from the jump.
Anderson, who averaged 11.5 yards per catch last season, is getting an O/U set at 19.5. This is a player who had 49 first downs in 2020 and a long of 75 yards. Last season's average per reception was vastly different than his potential and what he produced as a Jet. Back with Darnold, in 2018 and 2019, Anderson average 15.0 yards per catch.
This is as close to a “gimme” as you will ever get with the intangibles and the set up with a home match-up, a QB reunion, and a low O/U number.
(CO- Play of the Week) – Robby Anderson – and he’ll score a TD too. +200 to score a TD
5 More Week 1 O/U Longest Reception Plays for WRs:
-Laviska Shenault, Jr. –O/U 19.5 with Hit Score% of 19.89%
-DeVante Parker –O/U 19.5 with Hit Score% of 16.41%
-Brandon Aiyuk –O/U 19.5 with a Hit Score% of 15.46%
-DJ Chark- O/U 19.5 with a Hit Score% of 11.64%
-Emmanuel Sanders- O/U 18.5 with a Hit Score% of 11.2%
To put this into perspective, and for fun, here are the TOP 10 HIT SCORE% leaders for Week 1, regardless of O/U mark:
Tight Ends with easy to reach O/U based on highest HS%:
Logan Thomas: (O/U of 18.5 with a HS% of 31.56%)
T.J. Hockenson: (O/U of 17.5 with a HS% of 19.96%)
Austin Hooper: (O/U of 16.5 with a HS% of 19.45%)
Eric Ebron: (O/U of 15.5 with a HS% of 17.45%)
Noah Fant: (O/U of 17.5 with a HS% of 16.34%)
Top 30 Week 1 Hit Score% Plays (Green indicates 20.5 or lower O/U)
Back Sunday Morning for the rest of the Week 1 Slate
More Prop Plays of the Week!!!
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