6 Best NFL Player Props For Week 3: Vikings Bounce-Back Vs. Lions?

Written By Ian Hartitz on September 23, 2022 - Last Updated on September 25, 2022
Week 3 player props

Week 3 player props are here; it’s truly a great day to be great. Each week during the NFL season, I will be taking my fantasy football research, as lead fantasy analyst at Pro Football Focus, and applying it to NFL player prop betting markets.

What follows are my top-six player props among Week 3 odds, bets I have wagered on myself. Use TheLines Prop Finder Tool to find the best odds on every prop in the NFL market each week, and click on any of the odds below to bet now.

Josh Jacobs OVER 76.5 rushing and receiving yards (-115 at DK)

Best available odds: O/U / ()

Jacobs has stood out as one of the league’s most-efficient runners during the first two weeks of the season. Maybe not in terms of his 4.3 yards per carry (No. 15 among 38 qualified running backs), but his numbers in missed tackles forced (0.41, No. 3) and yards after contact per carry (3.9, No. 8) are truly elite. PFF’s fifth highest-graded rusher, it’s been a joy watching Jacobs with the ball in his hands through 120 minutes of action.

It’s too bad that Jacobs doesn’t quite have an elite route participation rate (41% in Week 2), but that number is actually superior to guys like Kareem Hunt (38%) and Tony Pollard (38%). Ultimately, Jacobs is the primary ball-carrier in an offense that has thus far underwhelmed, but still has the sort of firepower to turn things around in a major way.

This week’s matchup against the Titans could be the start of just that. Saquon Barkley sure didn’t have much of a problem terrorizing the group on his way to an overall RB1 finish in Week 1, while the Bills didn’t really bother even trying to run, but did average a solid enough 4.2 yards per carry when they did. Don’t underestimate Jacobs’ chances of racking up all sorts of yardage during Sunday’s potential sneaky shootout in Nashville.

Kirk Cousins OVER 2.5 passing touchdowns (+165 at PointsBet)

Best Available Odds: O/U / ()

Adam Thielen to score a touchdown (+160 at Ceasars)

Best Available Odds:

The Lions have surrendered big performances to both Jalen Hurts (QB4) and Carson Wentz (QB4) to start the season. That should bolster Vikings Week 3 player props. Kirk Cousins posted a middling 277-2-0 passing line in Week 1 before struggling to get the ball to anyone other than Eagles CB Darius Slay during the Vikings’ Monday night loss to the Eagles.

Cousins’ struggles against the Packers’ league-best pass-rush in pressure rate as well as the Eagles’ formidable front-seven shouldn’t be particularly surprising. Only Jameis Winston (-3.95) averaged fewer yards per attempt when pressured vs. when kept clean than Cousins (-3.43) in 2021.

The Lions (31.6%, 14th) shouldn’t be confused as a bad pass rush, but it’d still be surprising to see Cousins go much longer without a big performance. The leaderboard in terms of total games with 300-plus passing yards and three touchdowns since 2020 is as follows:

  • Tom Brady (12 games with 300+ pass yards and 3+ pass touchdowns)
  • Josh Allen (10)
  • Patrick Mahomes (9)
  • Justin Herbert (8)
  • Cousins (8)

As bad as this Vikings passing “attack” looked at times in Week 2, don’t be surprised if Justin Jefferson *and* Thielen have their way with a banged-up Lions secondary that was without No. 1 CB Amani Oruwariye (back) last week. Only Davante Adams (31), Mike Evans (28) and Tyreek Hill (26) have more receiving touchdowns than Thielen (24) since 2020. The last time Thielen went three straight non-injury-induced regular-season games without a score? 2018.

Chase Edmonds UNDER 58.5 rushing and receiving yards (-118 at Unibet)

Best Available Odds: O/U / ()

Raheem Mostert UNDER 51.5 rushing and receiving yards (-115 at DK)

Best Available Odds: O/U / ()

The Dolphins went with radically different backfield utilization in Week 2 compared to Week 1:

  • Week 1: Edmonds 12-25-0 rushing, 4-40-0 receiving, 63% snaps; Mostert 5-16-0 rushing, 1-16-0 receiving, 42% snaps
  • Week 2: Edmonds 5-33-0 rushing, 1-8-0 receiving, 51% snaps; Mostert 11-51-0 rushing, 3-28-0 receiving, 55% snaps

It’s hardly a guarantee this sticks moving forward, but either way, Mostert is a far more competitive part of this two-back committee than many have given him credit for.

However, the answer to which back will truly put forward big-time production might just be: No. The Dolphins rank fifth in pass-play rate (69.8%) in non-garbage time situations this season, yet are just tied for 18th in overall targets. Only wide receivers from the Buccaneers (73% target share) and 49ers (72%) have seen more of the overall pass-game volume than the Dolphins (72%); this is an offense that wants to pass the football, and not to its running backs.

Through two weeks the Bills are a top-three defense in rushing yards, receptions and receiving yards allowed to opposing running backs. This could be due to their unparalleled ability to get after the quarterback without sending additional rushers: Buffalo ranks second in pressure rate (42%) despite blitzing on a league-low five percent of their opponent’s plays.

Volume could be tough for both running backs to come by in a pass-first offense set to feed its receivers over either back involved in this split committee, while efficiency is also hardly guaranteed against the Bills’ league-best defense in EPA allowed per play. I’ll gladly take the under with both parties involved.

Matthew Stafford OVER 272.5 passing yards (-115 at DK)

Best Available Odds: O/U / ()

Stafford followed up a disappointing three-INT Week 1 performance against the Bills with 272 yards and three scores against the Falcons. The elbow injury doesn’t seem to be limiting the ex-Lions quarterback’s ability to make some truly wild throws. Through two weeks the reigning Super Bowl champion is on pace to throw 36 touchdowns and 43 interceptions. Are you not entertained?

Up next is a Cardinals defense that has struggled to open the season:

  • Yards per attempted allowed: 7.85 (No. 26)
  • Explosive pass-play rate allowed: 20.7% (No. 32)
  • Pass touchdown rate allowed: 9% (No. 31)
  • QB rating allowed: 130 (No. 31)

Only Lions-Vikings (52.5) and Bills-Dolphins (52) have higher game totals than Rams-Cardinals (50.5); Stafford and company are set up for a shootout against a defense that has allowed the most points in football through two weeks of action. Giddyup.

Best of luck betting Week 3 player props.

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