We’re licking our wounds after the first losing week of the season. Last week’s bets went 3-4, bringing us to 16-10 on the year.
The wins: Derek Carr under 1.5 touchdown passes, Breece Hall over 38.5 rushing yards, and Christian Kirk over 59.5 receiving yards.
The losses: Kirk Cousins under 259.5 passing yards, Josh Allen over 284.5 passing yards, J.K. Dobbins under 38.5 rushing yards, and Amari Cooper over receiving 59.5 yards.
Let’s get to the selections for Week 5 …
- Last week: 3-4
- Season record: 16-10
All odds are courtesy of DraftKings as of early Thursday afternoon.
Cooper Rush UNDER 239.5 passing yards (-115)
This is a tall number for a backup quarterback. Rush has made three starts in place of the injured Dak Prescott and has averaged 224.3 passing yards, finishing short of 240 passing yards in all three games. The Rams’ passing defense hasn’t been especially good this season, giving up 249.3 passing yards per game. Still, it’s been one of the league’s better pass defenses in recent years, led by CB Jalen Ramsey and havoc-wreaking DT Aaron Donald. Rush is a quality backup, but I don’t like his chances of hitting this number.
Michael Carter UNDER 31.5 rushing yards (-115)
The Jets’ backfield belongs to Breece Hall now. Carter may be the nominal starter, but Hall out-snapped Carter 46-31 last week, and the snap disparity might become even starker in the coming weeks. Carter had nine carries for 15 yards last week, and that was against a mediocre Steelers run defense. This week he’ll be facing a tough Dolphins run defense. Miami has given up 229 rushing yards to opposing RBs this season, according to Pro Football Reference — tied for the second-lowest total in the league. Running backs are averaging just 3.2 yards per carry against the Dolphins.
James Conner OVER 42.5 rushing yards (-115)
Conner has only exceeded this total once this season, but Conner’s usage trends are favorable. He’s played 66% and 60% of the Cardinals’ offensive snaps over the last two weeks, with 13 carries in Week 3 and 15 carries in Week 4. The Eagles have faced only 66 rushing attempts by opposing RBs, tied for the lowest total in the league. That’s largely the result of Philadelphia being 4-0 and having played with a lead for most of the season. Maybe that happens again this week, but I’m optimistic the Cardinals can hang tough at home as a 5.5-point underdog. The Eagles yield 4.7 yards per carry to RBs, so it’s not as if their run defense has been airtight.
Breece Hall OVER 64.5 rushing + receiving yards (-115)
I’m on this for the same reason I’m on the under for Michael Carter’s rushing yardage: Hall is now the main man in the Jets’ backfield, even though Carter is technically still the starter. Hall had 92 yards from scrimmage against the Bengals in Week 3, and he had 78 combined yards last week against the Steelers while playing a season-high 66% snap share. Hall faces the Dolphins, who have been tough against the run but have allowed the ninth-most receiving yards to RBs. Hall already has 27 targets this season and saw six targets last week in QB Zach Wilson’s first start of the season. Hall has multiple paths to exceed this modest total.
Christian Kirk OVER 64.5 receiving yards (-115)
Kirk has cleared this number in three of four games and is averaging 81.8 receiving yards per game. He’s also averaging 9.0 targets a game, with at least six in every game this season. As my colleague Matthew Freedman noted in his Freedman’s Favorites article this week, Kirk has an attractive matchup against Texans slot corner Desmond King, who has allowed a 68.9% catch rate, 1.32 yards per coverage snap and 8.2 yards per target since joining the Texans last year (per PFF).
Terry McLaurin OVER 56.5 receiving yards (-115)
Although it seems like McLaurin’s season is off to a rough start, he’s cleared this number in three of four games. His target outlook is enhanced this season, with Commanders WR Jahan Dotson very likely to miss Week 5 with a hamstring injury. McLaurin faces a Titans defense that has given up the fourth-most receiving yards to opposing WRs. Tennessee is allowing 9.5 yards per target to wide receivers.
Noah Fant UNDER 21.5 receiving yards (-110)
Fant has played under 60% of the offensive snaps in every game this season, as Seattle has divided TE snaps among Fant, Will Dissly, and Colby Parkinson. He’s seen only 11 targets so far this year. Fant is averaging just 14 receiving yards per game, and he’s fallen short of this number in 3-of-4 games. He’ll be facing a New Orleans defense that has yielded 12 receptions and a league-low 86 receiving yards to opposing tight ends this year.
George Kittle UNDER 38.5 receiving yards (-115)
Kittle is a terrific pass catcher and one of the hardest players to tackle in football. However, the 49ers have basically turned him into a glorified offensive lineman. Over his last eight games (dating back to last season and including the playoffs), Kittle has hit this number only once. He’s averaged 4.4 targets, 2.6 catches, and 27.5 receiving yards during that stretch. Fade him this week in a road game vs. a Carolina defense that has given up 37 receiving yards per game to tight ends.
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