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NFL Player Props market preview

With so much data and so much competition for betting on the NFL, there is far more than just the team trophies to bet on. Player markets offer plenty of opportunity to find a juicy bit of value. Over to Ian Steven, @deevo82, for his analysis of the player markets.


Defensive Rookie of the Year
If you study the previous winners of this award – two things stick out. 1) It is either a defensive lineman or a linebacker than wins the award. 2) Each player who has won the award going back into the 90s has had a very long and productive career – they are basically a stud and not a one game, one season wonder. You can’t say the same with the offensive award. Some names that jump out are Charles Woodson, Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Patrick Willis, Brian Cushing, Ndamukong Suh, Von Miller and Luke Keuchly.

Two of the favourites are Stephone Anthony and Eric Kendricks, both inside linebackers. Both players are scheduled to start for their teams but I don’t see anything blue chip about them.

Landon Collins was the top safety taken out of Alabama but it is rare for a secondary player to get the award.

Dante Fowler looked like he could have been a contender were it not for the bad knee injury he suffered in mini-camp so it leaves just one option in my mind.

Leonard Williams was the best football player coming out of the draft from USC. Picked by the Jets, who already had Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson, it seemed like an odd choice before Richardson got himself suspended. Williams played like a veteran in pre-season, swatting aside offensive lineman like they were toddlers making him my favourite to take the award.

3 pts on Leonard Williams to win Defensive Rookie of the Year at 8.00 with Ladbrokes/Coral.


Offensive Rookie of the Year
It is tougher to project the offensive standouts in their rookie season than it is on defense. Amari Cooper is the favourite for the award but his production depends very much on the play of his quarterback, and indirectly on the play of his offensive line to protect Derek Carr.

Running backs have a good chance of having a productive rookie season with Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah, Tevin Coleman and Todd Gurley all capable of achieving 1,000 yards rushing.

The one consistent factor is that in the NFL, the QB is king. The last time that two franchise QBs were picked one and two was in 2013 when RG3 won the award despite Andrew Luck having arguably a better season. The same situation should play out. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston should both play well for their franchises. Mariota has a worse supporting cast but is flashier than Winston with his great scrambling ability. Winston on the other hand has a greater chance of victories under his belt. But who said you can only bet on one of them?

0.5pt Jameis Winston to win Offensive Rookie of the year @ 9.00 with Ladbrokes.
0.5pt Marcus Mariota to win Offensive Rookie of the year @ 11.00 with Ladbrokes/Coral/Will Hill.


Most Passing Yards
Let’s be logical about this. Every yard counts as the fact that both Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger both had 4,952 yards last season illustrates. There are a couple of teams who I think will seal their divisions early and potentially rest players near the end of the season so we can exclude Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford.

Roethlisberger has two good running backs in DeAngelo Williams and Le’Veon Bell so his numbers will drop from last year. Aaron Rodgers has lost Jordy Nelson to a season ending knee injury whilst San Diego have upgraded their running game but are without Antonio Gates for four games.

The Saints do not have a great running game and will be pushed hard for most of the season. The Saints also play in a dome so don’t have the inconsistency caused by bad weather. They also have a poor defense so some games could turn into shoot outs.

Detroit are in almost the same boat. They do have the best wideout in the league in Megaton and will be vying for a wildcard spot.

1 e/w point on Matt Stafford with most regular season passing yards @ 15.00 with Ladbrokes/Betfred.
1 e/w point on Drew Brees with most regular season passing yards @ 9.5 with Paddy Power.


Most Regular Season Rushing Yards
We can apply logic with this selection as well. Last season’s leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, also had the most amount of carries in the league. That won’t happen this year as he will be spelled by Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles.

Marshawn Lynch will definitely be in the top five for yards and could be worth an e/w punt but he is 29 and getting close to the time runners fall off the cliff. (Not literally)

LeSean McCoy will struggle in Buffalo as he will be expected to be a tough runner when he is a dancer whilst LeVeon Bell is suspended initially and will have to split carries with DeAngelo Williams.

Adrian Peterson is the favourite for the rushing crown and I can’t see anyone beating him unless he picks up an injury. Peterson is the featured back, has a young quarterback and plays for Norv Turner, a coordinator who had Emmitt Smith and Ladainian Tomlinson and loves to pound the rock. (possibly literally)

An outsider who I like a lot is Jamaal Charles. KC will lean on him heavily, especially in December and he has he breakaway speed to boost his numbers.

3 pts on Adrian Peterson gaining the most regular season rushing yards @ 6.00 with Will Hill/Bet365.
1 pt e/w on Jamaal Charles gaining the most regular season rushing yards @ 11.00 with Paddy Power.


Regular Season MVP
Not sure I need to waffle too much for this one. It will be Andrew Luck. He’ll throw for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. He’ll stick his shoulder down and rumble over a defender on national TV. He’ll lead the Colts deep into the playoffs – they will probably have a first round bye. It just will be him.

One outsider who does intrigue me however is Sam Bradford. The Eagles will run more plays than anyone else in the league which should give him more opportunity to shine. Remember that Nick Foles posted a 119.0 passer rating and is the guy Chip Kelly traded to St Louis to get Bradford. The only players to get a higher rating were Peyton Manning in 2004 and Aaron Rodgers in 2011 – and you guessed it – they both won the MVP award in those years.

1 pt on Andrew Luck to win MVP @ 6.00 with bet 365.
0.5 pts on Sam Bradford to win NFL MVP @67.00 with Bet365.


Comeback Player
The previous picks were just appetisers, this is the main course. If I was Jimmy the Greek – these would be my locks.

There is nothing that America loves more than a feel good story – other than eating lots of calories and spelling the word “whisky” incorrectly.

It is for this purpose the Comeback Player of the Year award was created, to honour those who came back from adversity to excel once again. In my mind there are three locks for this award and no one else will win it.

The favourite is Eric Berry who contracted Hodgkin's Lymphoma in November 2014. He battled against the cancer and returned to the field for the Chiefs in the pre-season. This story will be told again and again. There won’t be a dry eye in the house when he picks this award up.
Sam Bradford suffered two torn ACLs and was then traded to Philly. The quarterback will get his redemption under Chip Kelly, posting phenomenal stats, and remember America loves a quarterback.

Linebacker Navarro Bowman suffered one of the most horrendous moments when his body went one way and his leg went the other. It was caught one camera. People recoiled in horror whilst Australians told him to get up as “it was just a scratch”. He tore both his ACL and MCL. Bowman has been lighting it up in pre-season and will be the visible leader of the 49ers in 2015.

The other favourite is Adrian Peterson. He sat out 2014 as he whipped a child with a stick. Yes, that is right; he beat up a child, and is in line to get an award for it. I think “FFS” is the abbreviation the kids use nowadays. Trust me; he is not getting that award.

2 pts Eric Berry to win Comeback Player @ 4.00 with Ladbrokes/Paddy Power/888.
1 pt Sam Bradford to win Comeback Player @ 6.5 with Paddy Power.
1 pt Navarro Bowman to win Comeback Player @ 17.00 with Paddy Power/ 888/Ladbrokes.

Take a look at the previous posts log to read Ian's tips in all the NFL divisional previews.


  1. Results:
    Most Passing Yards - Drew Brees
    Comeback Player of the Year - Eric Berry
    Most Rushing Yards - Adrian Peterson
    Defensive Rookie - Marcus Peters
    Offensive Rookie - Todd Gurley


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