Before the NFL season began, we made several season-long prop picks for our Countdown to Kickoff series. It’s hard to not overreact good or bad after the first week of the season, but to start out, things don’t look good or bad right now.
Let’s start with the good, and that has to start with Aaron Rodgers. If he can carve out the Seahawks’ defense for 311 yards on 28-for-42 passing, it might be absolutely joyful to watch him against some other teams. We need less than 4000 yards over 15 games to win this prop this season, and at an average of just 266 per game, I continue to like our chances after the first week.
Another bit of good news for our prop bets after the first week is Adrian Peterson. His usage in New Orleans’ Week 1 game was abysmal, and as I stated in the write-up for this pick, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are both better fits for the system, and better runners at this stage of their careers. My only concern is that Peterson gets traded to the Cardinals or Giants, good teams that they fit better with, which could put this in jeopardy. However, unless that happens soon, it’s safe to say this bet is still looking good for our NFL picks.
Drew Brees to lead NFL in passing yards (Current: 291 yards)
The Saints had a bad performance in Week 1, but Drew Brees was still able to throw for 291 yards behind a bad offensive line. He is going to continue to have to throw a lot too, because the Saints’ defense looked great, and they couldn’t run up the middle at all. Alex Smith and Sam Bradford will regress some as the weeks go on, and while the two sophomore quarterbacks ahead of Brees concern me, there is no one in the NFL right now other than Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan that can match Brees in yardage every week. Those two are only 20 and 30 yards ahead of him right now, so I’m not concerned.
Even with a Week 1 loss, I am also still feeling fine about the Titans getting to 9 wins this season. The Raiders are a very good team, and losing to them at home is nothing to be really concerned about. The Titans are going to mop the floor with the Jaguars this week, lose to the Seahawks in Week 3, and then go on a four-game winning streak before their bye, getting three of those four wins on the road against the Texans, Dolphins, and Browns. Have no fear on this one unless they lose in Week 2.
DeAndre Hopkins OVER 1100 receiving yards (Current: 55 yards)
Finally we get to ones I’m starting to feel a little nervous about after the first week. However, if Deshaun Watson is truly the starter over the rest of the season, I feel a little better. Plus, even though Hopkins only came away with 7 catches and 55 yards, he scored a touchdown and he was targeted 16 times. If he can keep getting 12-15 targets per game, he is going to make up for a subpar Week 1 with some 150 and 200-yard receiving games. I’m concerned, but not panicking yet.
DeVonta Freeman is the one guy I’m less than confident with after the first week. He rushed for only 12 times and 37 yards against the Bears, but the Chicago front seven is pretty nasty. Plus, Tevin Coleman looked even worse running the ball, so I’ll chalk it up to playing a better than expected defense. Week 2 against the Packers won’t be much easier, but I think we see Freeman get more touches at least.