NFL Week 14 player props: Who to buy and sell on a big Sunday slate
Predictably, we returned to earth last week after Week 12's 10-0 explosion. We were headed for a 5-5 split until Rachaad White padded the stats by breaking through the line on third-and-1. He could've slid down to end the game but instead grabbed just enough yards to go over his total after getting held to fewer than 3 yards per carry against the Panthers.
D'Onta Foreman: 50-plus rushing yards (+290 for 0.6 units)
Khalil Herbert: 50-plus rushing yards (+575 for 0.4 units)
Let's start with an unusual gambit - splitting a unit across Bears running backs to have a big game.
Foreman and Herbert are rarely healthy in the same game, but both are expected to be this week. Who gets more looks? It's uncertain, but the Lions are missing their best run-stopper, Alim McNeill. One of the two should have a decent day for a plus-money payout, and maybe both get to 50 yards at 4-1 odds.
Chris Olave: Over 68.5 receiving yards
To be honest, I was hoping Jameis Winston would get the start for the Saints, and maybe Olave was too. Winston's more willing to look downfield, as evidenced by a 30-yard pass to Olave on his first snap in relief of Derek Carr last week. While Carr's getting the start, Olave has been hot lately, recording games of 94, 114, and 119 receiving yards. He had 86 on the road against the Panthers in Week 2 and won't miss a beat should New Orleans have to switch hands midgame.
Joe Mixon: Under 63.5 rushing yards
Unless you boycotted Monday Night Football thinking that the Bengals-Jaguars clash wasn't worth your time, you probably saw someone jump off the screen: Chase Brown. The rookie out of Illinois looked like he was shot out of a cannon. Nine carries on 11 snaps aren't enough for him in the future.
Mixon will always have a role - short-yardage, in pass protection, etc. - but the Bengals are facing the Colts, who get their top run defender back with Grover Stewart returning from a performance-enhancing drugs suspension. More confidence in Jake Browning to throw may mean that Mixon might not get the requisite carries to go over this total - even with decent efficiency.
Puka Nacua: Over 59.5 rushing + receiving yards
I don't know if Nacua is going over against the Ravens, but this is only 3 yards higher than his receiving yardage number. He had two long carries last week when the Rams brought back their patented jet sweep to slow the Browns' defensive aggressiveness. Nacua may not get a carry, but for a 3-yard increase, he could go over the number without needing one in a game the Rams are supposed to be trailing.
Desmond Ridder: Over 13.5 rushing yards
Before the Jets took away Ridder's legs last week, he'd gone over this rushing total in four of five games, including six carries for 38 yards in Tampa Bay earlier in the season. The Buccaneers have done well to keep quarterbacks like Will Levis, Bryce Young, and C.J. Stroud in the pocket, but against teams willing to design runs for a mobile quarterback (Ridder, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts), they've given up yardage.
Justin Jefferson: Over 66.5 receiving yards
I don't need to remind you how great Jefferson is. If you're worried about Joshua Dobbs' ability to get him the ball enough to go over a total way lower than Jefferson's used to, I should remind you how good Kevin O'Connell is at coordinating the offense. I'd also like to point to how bad the Raiders' pass defense is when facing quality pass offenses - they allowed 8.3 yards per pass against the Chiefs and 8.1 versus the Dolphins. The Vikings were in the same tier when Jefferson was available.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba: Longest reception over 19.5 yards
Geno Smith targeted Smith-Njigba a season-high 11 times in their last game, and were it not for a debatable overturned touchdown, JSN would've had a reception of 20-plus yards in five straight games. With the 49ers' secondary somewhat thin, the Seahawks will try to make use of their rookie's excellent ball skills.
Khalil Shakir: Over 32.5 receiving yards
Through the season's first seven games, Shakir was on the field for less than 50% of the Bills' offensive snaps. In their last five, he's played more than half the time, recording an 80% snap share in Philadelphia.
Usage has come with it, as Shakir has 35 or more receiving yards in five of his last six games, in conjunction with Buffalo going to more three-receiver sets. Against the Chiefs, whose secondary is potentially thinned without Bryan Cook, look for Allen to exploit holes in K.C.'s slot defense.
Justin Herbert: Under 256.5 passing yards
We've been focusing on one thing for each of the Broncos and Chargers this season. Now that Patrick Surtain is off the injury report, we can continue to bet on Denver's improved pass defense. Meanwhile, another week of fading the Chargers' offense is in the offing. Unless they get massive chunks of yardage on dump offs to Austin Ekeler, there's just not much for Herbert to work with against defenses that can limit Keenan Allen with a high-end corner.
Dak Prescott: Longest pass completion under 38.5 yards
In the last two seasons, Prescott's had long pass completions in eight of 26 games. Two of those have come against the Eagles. T.Y. Hilton caught a bomb last season, and Jake Ferguson got loose for his career-long catch earlier this season, both somewhat outlier-type plays.
With a high total for the game and Prescott the MVP favorite, there's an assumption the Cowboys strike from a long distance, but that's not really what they do. Philadelphia should be planning to keep everything in front of it, having been burned twice before.
Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.