3 NFL Player Prop Bets for Monday Night Football: Week 3, Rams at Bengals
Player props can be useful in a variety of ways -- from taking advantage of them straight up to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy football on FanDuel. Here, we're going to focus on the former.
Please note that betting lines and numberFire's game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published. Also, the weather may be an issue in some locations.
Puka Nacua Any Time Touchdown (+170)
Puka Nacua is one of the best storylines to start the NFL season, and I'm in on the hype.
Nacua is legitimately setting NFL records in the first two games of the season but has yet to find the end zone. That will change tonight when the Los Angeles Rams visit the Cincinnati Bengals, where the home team is favored by just 3.0 points in a game with a total of 45.5 points.
Nacua's numbers are flat-out hysterical this season -- a 39.3% target share and 35.4% air yards share while playing on 81.4% of the snaps and running a route on 86.2% of dropbacks. This has led to a total of 35 targets, 25 receptions, and 266 receiving yards in just two games. But no touchdowns.
That's right, despite being the most targeted receiver in the Rams' offense -- by over 20 percentage points -- Nacua hasn't scored a touchdown. His 16.7% red zone target share is rather modest compared to his overall 39.3% target share, but it's a sample of just two games.
The Rams have a 21.0-point implied team total tonight, and if they are expected to score a few times, it puts Nacua in a spot to find the end zone for the first time this year.
Kyren Williams Over 21.5 Receiving Yards (-113)
With Akers out of the picture, there shouldn't be any question about who is the clear lead-back for the Rams, and that means we want some Williams player props.
Williams comes in with a 13.5% target share, which is the third-highest on the team and is a great starting point for involvement in the offense. Since Akers didn't play for the Rams in Week 2, we got an indication of what the Rams plan to do with their backfield going forward.
The plan: get the ball to Williams early and often.
Last week, Williams played on 96.2% of the snaps, ran a route on 76.8% of dropbacks, and had a 19.2% target share. Ronnie Rivers was the only other LA running back to see the field, and his numbers were at 3.8%, 3.6%, and 1.9% respectively.
Yes, it's a one-game sample size, but oh, boy, does this look like consistent production for Williams every week.
This should only benefit Williams and his receiving props since the Rams look to be set on passing the ball at a high rate. They come in with a 60.26% pass-play percentage, which is the 12th-highest in the league.
Williams is the clear lead back for the Rams, and if they continue to pass the ball like this, he will be in a great spot to cash this over tonight.
Drew Sample Under 12.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
Who is Drew Sample and why do we want under 12.5 receiving yards tonight? Both are legitimate questions.
To start, Sample is the backup tight end for the Bengals and comes with zero stats this season. Not a single reception, not a single yard, not even a single target. He's played on just 31 offensive snaps over the first two weeks and has yet to factor into the offense.
This is due to Irv Smith Jr. being the starting tight end, but even Smith hasn't seen big numbers with just 9 targets, 5 receptions, and 27 receiving yards through the first two games. Smith is listed as doubtful for tonight's game, which puts Sample in a spot to see more playing time.
However, even if Sample were to see more playing time, it's not as if Joe Burrow often looks to his tight end in the passing game, as is shown by Smith's modest numbers to start the season.
The Rams come into this game having allowed only 55 receiving yards to opposing tight ends through two weeks, one of the better marks in the league.
With three star receivers and Joe Mixon out of the backfield, Sample is not in a spot to pile up the yards tonight.
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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.