Player props are becoming more and more popular for NFL fans, and Monkey Knife Fight takes that one step further. Their innovative format allows you to get creative selecting NFL player props, as we will examine the Week 1 slate of games and see which contests players should target for their NFL betting fix.
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NFL player props Week 1 | More or Less
With the NFL back, which Monkey Knife Fight contests should players target for Week 1 in the More or Less contest?
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
Kyler Murray, ARI – 266.5 passing yards
Ryan Tannehill, TEN – 258.5 passing yards
Have we forgotten what Murray did last season? Including Week 11 vs. Seattle (when Murray suffered a shoulder injury), he averaged 264.4 yards per game. He now enters the 2021 season with A.J. Green and Rondale Moore added to his team to go along with DeAndre Hopkins. The Titans were No. 28 in fantasy points allowed to QBs (21.2) and allowed 286.7 passing yards per game (29th). I am all-in on Murray this season, and it starts in Week 1.
Tannehill finished QB7 in fantasy last year while averaging 239 yards per game. All they did in the offseason was trade for arguably the best WR of his generation in Julio Jones to pair with A.J. Brown. The Cardinals did have a decent passing defense last season (246 yards per game). However, their weakness is at corner, having lost Patrick Peterson in the offseason to free agency.
I am taking both Murray and Tannehill to have more than their projected totals for a 3.6x prize on my buy-in.
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team
Terry McLaurin, WAS – 71.5 receiving yards
Keenan Allen, LAC – 64.5 receiving yards
With Curtis Samuel on the IR after tweaking his groin, who else is Ryan Fitzpatrick going to target on Sunday? McLaurin was already going to blow up this season, coming off a 2020 season where he averaged 74.5 yards with a combination of Kyle Allen, Alex Smith, Taylor Heinicke, and Dwayne Haskins under center. I will not be shocked if McLaurin goes over double-digit targets and 100+ yards in Week 1.
Once again, Keenan Allen is being disrespected. Allen is arguably a top-three route runner and has made a living putting CBs on skates. Allen was one of just six WRs to record over 100 receptions in 2020, averaging 70.8 yards per game. Washington is unquestionably one of the best defenses in the NFL, but I’ll take the shot on Allen’s skills and the further maturation of Justin Herbert.
I like both Allen and McLaurin to clear their Monkey Knife Fight projection. I’ll take the more for both on a 3.6x prize.
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers
DJ Moore, CAR – 59.5 receiving yards
Corey Davis, NYJ – 55.5 receiving yards
In three years, Moore compiled 208 receptions, 3,156 yards, and 10 total touchdowns. He is No. 5 in NFL history in receiving yards before the age of 24; he’s the only WR since 2019 with back-to-back 1,200-total-yard seasons. Last season, there were only three WRs with 93+ yards in eight or more games: Calvin Ridley, Stefon Diggs, and DJ freaking Moore. In Week 1, they take on a Jets defense that allowed 174.8 receiving yards to WRs (22nd in the NFL). I am all-in on Moore.
This is no longer the Adam Gase-led Jets. They have their QB of the future in Zach Wilson and brought in Corey Davis, who is coming off a career year. Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for Week 1, and Davis has a chance to see double-digit targets.
Once again, I am taking the more on Monkey Knife Fight in this Week 1 prop for a 3.6x prize on my buy-in.
NFL player props Week 1 | Rapid Fire
With the potential for larger prizes by pitting multiple positions against each other, which Rapid Fire contests could be worth looking at in Week 1 on Monkey Knife Fight?
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Trevor Lawrence, JAC vs. Tyrod Taylor, HOU (+38.5 passing yards)
Marvin Jones, JAC (+0.5 recs) vs. Laviska Shenault, JAC
James Robinson, JAC vs. Phillip Lindsay, HOU (+31.5 rushing yards)
In virtually every other week, I would be fading these teams. But we have to play the matchups. Houston is vying for the No. 1 overall pick and more closely resembles Bishop Sycamore than an NFL team. Both teams also ranked in the bottom five in virtually every statistical category last season.
For the QBs, the line is underselling Taylor. 38.5 passing yards is a lot. For as great as Lawrence could be, he is a rookie QB making his first start with a rookie head coach. I’ll take the 38.5 passing yards for Taylor.
If the preseason was any indicator of usage, Shenault could have a massive sophomore season. He was lined up all over the field and seemed to be Lawrence’s No. 1 option. I loved the signing of Jones for the Jags, but in volume, I’ll take the over-the-middle role and screens that Shenault should see.
This week, Robinson is a top-five fantasy play for me as he takes on a Texans defense that was last in rushing yards allowed per game to RBs at 145.7. They also no longer have J.J. Watt. As for Lindsay, we don’t even know who the starting RB will be. It’s likely to be a messy combination between him, David Johnson, and Mark Ingram. 31.5 yards is a lot, but Robinson should have a field day and make up for it.
To recap this Rapid Fire play in Week 1, I’m taking Taylor (+38.5), Shenault, and Robinson for a 6x prize on my buy-in.
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts
Russell Wilson, SEA vs. Carson Wentz, IND (+3.5 fantasy points)
DK Metcalf, SEA vs. Tyler Lockett, SEA (+1.5 fantasy points)
While I do expect to see Wentz play well in Indianapolis, he doesn’t match the upside of Wilson. Not only does Wilson have better targets, but he’s also far more mobile (especially considering Wentz missed the preseason due to foot surgery). T.Y. Hilton is on IR, and the Seahawks’ pass defense vastly improved towards the end of 2020.
Although Monkey Knife Fight uses full PPR for their scoring, Metcalf should see a similar volume compared to Lockett. However, he possesses far more upside and explosive playmaking ability.
There is also the boom-or-bust nature of Lockett. Although he was the WR9 in fantasy scoring last year, this does not paint the complete picture. In 16 games, Lockett was a WR2 or better just six times and outside the top 48 seven times. Of his fantasy production, 144.7 points (54.5%) and 9 of his 10 touchdowns came in four games. During the second half of the season, Lockett was the WR47 or worse in six straight games.
For this Week 1 Rapid Fire contest on Monkey Knife Fight, I’m taking Wilson and Metcalf in their respective matchups for a 3x prize on my buy-in.
Touchdown Dance contest
If you want a simple contest to enter when you redeem your Monkey Knife Fight promo code PFN, this is the one for you. If you can identify three players who can combine for 2 or more touchdowns, you have a chance to win money. You will not find a much simpler process for NFL player prop picks in Week 1.
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers
If Christian McCaffrey is playing in a game, I will always find a way to get him in a Touchdown Dance prop contest. The only question is who to add with him, although I think you likely know where I am leaning.
Since we have to pick players from both teams, I am selecting Davis from the Jets and pairing McCaffrey with Moore from the Panthers.
In Touchdown Dance contests on Monkey Knife Fight, you can choose your own goal with scaling prizes. For single-game contests, the options are 1.5 TDs (2x prize), 2.5 TDs (4x prize), and 3.5 TDs (6x prize). It all depends on how confident you are. I typically shoot for the middle, setting my goal at 2.5 TDs for a 4x prize on my buy-in.
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
Goodness, there is a spoil of riches to choose from in this matchup. Derrick Henry is locked in, coming off back-to-back rushing titles and 17 touchdowns in 2020. As for the other two picks, you cannot go wrong choosing DeAndre Hopkins and pairing him with either A.J. Brown or Julio Jones.
All Hopkins did last year was record 115 receptions on 160 targets for 1,407 yards with 6 touchdowns. He saw a 29.4% target share and accounted for 43% of the WR targets and 33.6% of the team’s intended air yards (1,373).
As for Brown, who is my third choice, he is fifth all-time in receiving TDs by a WR in their first two seasons (19) since the merger in 1970.
Once again, I’m setting the goal at 2.5 TDs with a prize of 4x my buy-in in this Week 1 Monkey Knife Fight contest.
Early Slate Touchdown Dance
This feels like cheating. You can choose a combination of three players from all of the 1:00 PM ET games. I could go in a multitude of ways, but I’m keeping it simple and targeting Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, and Dalvin Cook. I feel like this doesn’t need much analysis.
With multi-game contests, the goals and prizes change due to the increased player pool. It starts at 2.5 TDs (1.5x prize), and rises to 3.5 TDs (3x prize), and tops out at 4.5 TDs (5x prize). I have zero hesitation going for either the 3x or 5x prize in this Early Slate Touchdown Dance for Week 1.
NFL player props Week 1 | Late slate
While most of the action will be on the early slate, here are a few afternoon contests to watch for Week 1.
More or Less
Tyreek Hill, KC – 87.5 receiving yards
Odell Beckham Jr., CLE – 55.5 receiving yards
Hill is likely the WR1 on the week for fantasy — we know he is a threat for 100+ receiving yards every time he steps on the field. So long as Patrick Mahomes is under center, it’s hard to set the number high enough to where I would fade him.
As for Beckham Jr., he’s not even guaranteed to play. He is coming off a torn ACL and saw no action in the preseason. Head coach Kevin Stefanski has declined to say what will happen with Beckham. Sure, he absolutely could blow past this total, but given his health and being the first game back since Week 7 of 2020, I am fading Beckham Jr.
I am going more for Hill and less for Beckham Jr. for a 3.6x prize.
I have two games I am targeting. The first one is the Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints. For this, it’s the usual suspects: Alvin Kamara from the Saints and Davante Adams and Aaron Jones from the Packers. I could also see swapping Jones for Packers TE Robert Tonyan — the Saints’ rushing defense was best in the NFL last season and allowed the second-fewest total TDs (11).
For the second contest, head back to the Chiefs-Browns game and grab Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce from the Chiefs and Nick Chubb from the Browns. I’m setting my goal at 2.5 TDs; I feel Hill and Kelce could clear that on their own.
Also, a cheat code would be to do an Afternoon Slate Touchdown Dance and choose a combination of Hill, Kelce, Adams, and Kamara. It really doesn’t matter who you choose.