6 Best NFL Player Props For Week 1: Return Of King Derrick Henry

Written By Ian Hartitz on September 9, 2022
week 1 player props

Week 1 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 Week 1 player props, bets I have wagered on myself.

Click on the odds below to bet now or search for the best available odds across legal sportsbooks by using TheLines’ Prop Finder Tool.

Editor’s Note

Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown: Receptions OVER 5.5 receptions

Current best available odds: / ()

Yes, D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson were sidelined while the Sun God terrorized secondaries around the globe during the final six weeks of last season. Also yes, St. Brown literally hasn’t missed since Week 12, 2021:

  • Week 13: 10 receptions-86 yards-1 TD (12 targets, PPR WR6)
  • Week 14: 8-73-0 (12, WR26)
  • Week 15: 8-90-1 (11, WR6)
  • Week 16: 9-91-1 (11, WR6)
  • Week 17: 8-111-1 (11, WR2)
  • Week 18: 8-109-1 (10, WR9)

The Eagles secondary is awfully strong these days with Darius Slay and James Bradberry working on the outside and ex-Saints talent Chauncey Gardner-Johnson now playing safety. Still, Avonte Maddox once again projects as the primary defender on ARSB in the slot. Last season the Eagles were rather brutal against wide receivers targeted from the slot, posting porous ranks in explosive pass-play rate (23.2%, No. 30), yards per attempt (9.1, No. 26) and QB rating allowed (118.8, No. 30) alike.

St. Brown has smashed this over in six straight games, and I’m anticipating the streak being at seven by this time next week.

Find The Best Odds On NFL Week 1 Player Props: Search By Name

Packers RB Aaron Jones UNDER 4.5 receptions

Current best available odds: / ()

The Packers’ backfield committee is a bit of an unknown at the moment. On the one hand, they could feature Aaron Jones as the primary pass-down back while A.J. Dillon handles most of the early-down work. On the other, each could essentially rotate possessions and take turns being a true three-down back.

Jones is certainly the superior receiver to Dillon, but that didn’t lead to loads of extra pass-game opportunities last season. Overall, both Dillon and Jones actually had the same amount of games with at least 40 receiving yards (4).

More important is the reality that Jones failed to catch more than four passes in 10 of his 15 regular season games last season. Obviously, Jones will need to be relied on a bit more often with Davante Adams out of town; even then he averaged “just” 4.5 receptions in eight games without Adams. I’ll happily take the under here at plus odds.

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans to score a touchdown

Current best available odds:

The Buccaneers wide receiver room is a bit banged up at the moment between Chris Godwin (knee) and Russell Gage (hamstring), but obviously, the GOAT is still under center, and Mike Evans has largely done nothing other than ball the hell out with Godwin sidelined over the past two seasons:

  • 7 receptions-104 yards-1 TD
  • 7-122-1
  • 5-41-1
  • 5-55-1
  • 4-47-1
  • 6-89-2
  • 9-117-1
  • 8-119-1

The Buccaneers are implied to score a hefty 26.5 points (sixth-highest mark of the week); don’t be surprised if Brady continues to do everything he can to stretch his all-time touchdown total. Overall, the Buccaneers were one of just four offenses to throw the ball on at least 55% of their snaps inside the opponent’s five-yard line last season. I’m expecting at least one of those targets to find their way into Evans’ hands in the end zone come Sunday night.

Mitch Trubisky UNDER 20.5 completions

Current best available odds: / ()

Could Mitch Trubisky be on the 2017 Tom Savage trajectory? An anointed starter throughout the entire offseason who is benched for the team’s first-round pick after literally a half of football?

It certainly seems possible. Kenny Pickett was PFF’s 10th-highest graded passer during the season and didn’t have a single turnover-worthy play. While Trubisky had some good moments himself, the leash can’t be very long, and this completion mark is a total that he has surpassed in just 26 of 52 career starts.

Diontae Johnson (shoulder) is banged up and it’s expected to rain throughout Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. I’ll happily pound the unders on just about anybody involved in this Trubisky-led offense at the moment.

Joe Mixon UNDER 2.5 receptions

Current best available odds: / ()

Mixon was one of just four running backs with 300-plus touches last season; it’s tough to be too overly upset about his workload. Still, the Bengals’ featured back has displayed all sorts of receiving-friendly goodness throughout his career even dating back to his days at Oklahoma, making his lack of a pass-down role annoying, to say the least. Consider: Backup running backs Samaje Perine (31 targets) and Chris Evans (17) combined to produce the same amount of pass-game opportunities as Mixon (48) last season.

Perine was rested alongside Mixon throughout the preseason; he remains the favorite to see plenty of usage in pass-first situations (like the last snap of the Super Bowl, for example). Evans truly flashed in the passing game as a rookie; it’s possible he plays a larger weekly role in 2022.

Overall, Mixon caught two or fewer passes in nine of 16 regular season games in 2021; don’t be surprised if the Bengals lean on the run game as 6.5-home favorites in a matchup that is expected to feature porous weather.

Derrick Henry OVER 23.5 carries (+100 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

Current best available odds: / ()

Only the Steelers were worse than the Giants in terms of yards before contact allowed per carry last season. This seems like bad news against a healthy Derrick Henry, who managed to surpass this total in all but two of his six regular-season starts last season. It honestly wasn’t even close half the time with rush attempt totals of 35, 28, 33, 29, 29 and 28.

The Titans’ rather terrible-looking passing game on paper might not give them much of a choice but to keep feeding the big dog throughout 2022. No. 2 RB Dontrell Hilliard is only a real threat on passing downs, while fourth-round rookie Hassan Haskins was relegated to pure backup duties throughout the preseason. I’m betting on Henry getting right back to his usual monstrous workload against PFF’s 22nd-ranked defensive line entering 2022.

Best of luck betting NFL Week 1 player props.

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