While we don’t yet have NFL Odds to wager on the league’s leading passer, rusher or receiver, sportsbooks have released some individual season-long props on certain star players. Here is a look at three passers I’ve highlighted as value plays this offseason.
Andrew Luck O/U 4250.5 passing yards
Andrew Luck was limited to only seven games last season thanks to two separate injuries. However, he was on pace for 4300 yards through seven games, and Bet365 has placed his prop betting odds right around there for 2016. However, as long as he and T.Y. Hilton stay healthy, this is going to be a busy passing attack in 2016. Their defense is still not going to shut many teams down, and I’m am convinced their running game is going to be one level up from invisible.
That equals a lot of Andrew Luck throwing the ball downfield. If this is the season that Phillip Dorsett lives up to his draft slow, and if Donte Moncrief can build off of his solid sophomore campaign, this is going to be a nice passing game. The Colts’ Robert Turbin was also just cited for marijuana possession, and with Frank Gore in decline, there might not be a back capable of running steadily and consistently on first and second down. He might throw a lot of picks doing it, but after signing that new contract, Luck is going to throw the ball a lot this season.
Phillip Rivers O/U 4425.5 passing yards
Speaking of needing to throw the ball more, Phillip Rivers still has no run game, his defense is better but still not great, and he is going to be playing from behind a lot this season. His best running back catches more passes than he gets in rushing attempts in Danny Woodhead, and Melvin Gordon can catch passes as well, but averages just 3.5 yards per carry in his rookie season.
San Diego’s defense ranked 28th in DVOA last season, but that may not be the case this season. Eric Weddle is gone, but in steps Casey Hayward and Dwight Lowery into the secondary. They also beefed up their defensive line through the draft, but in the end they play in a division with tough defenses. Either way, Rivers has proven he can fling the ball on pretty much any defense. If Keenan Allen is healthy all year, and newly signed Travis Benjamin can do some of the things he did in Cleveland, this offense is going to hum. Stevie Johnson is still a solid possession receiver along with the two speedy outside guys, so Rivers is still going 4500 yards this season.
Matt Ryan 4435.5 passing yards
Matt Ryan helped Julio Jones lead the league in receiving yards last season as the Falcons improved to 8-8 on the year. Ryan went for nearly 4600 yards last year, and about 40 percent of those yards went to Jones, he makes a good NFL pick. However, DeVonta Freeman went for over 1000 yards last year, Tevin Coleman has shown promise as well, so if the defense holds up, the Falcons might not throw the ball as much this season.
Granted, Ryan has missed all of two games his entire career, and he has played in all 16 games in the last six seasons. However, Ryan’s total is pretty high for an offense without a number two receiver and a good running game. Ryan also had his lowest quarterback rating since his second year in the league last year, and if the 31 year-old is in decline, and defenses double cover Jones all game, it’s going to be hard for Ryan to get back to 4500 yards. They may start to run the ball more and throw less on first and second down.
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