Three NFL player props I’m playing in Week 3

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Scoring is down in the NFL this season and we’ve seen some adjustments in the Week 3 totals. 

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Only three totals are north of 50, with a lot of low- to mid-40s on the board. Some of the low numbers have to do with the matchups, but we also entered Week 3 with an average of just 42.8 points scored per game.

Given that we still have good weather across most of the country, that is a remarkably low number. Teams didn’t take the preseason seriously and that has led to some sloppy, inefficient football. Keep that in mind as you’re looking at the weekly prop offerings.

Here are three props to consider for Week 3 (all lines from DraftKings):

Tyler Higbee Anytime TD (%plussign% 175)

The Cardinals are really fortunate to be 1-1. The defense has been the main concern, as the unit has allowed 6.4 yards per play and has had a lot of trouble covering tight ends. Travis Kelce and Darren Waller are two tough draws early in the season, but the Cardinals lead the league in most receptions, yards and touchdowns allowed to tight ends.

Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp have had success together, but Stafford has not been able to develop a rapport with Allen Robinson or any of the Rams’ other receivers. The Rams are averaging just 2.7 yards per carry on the ground, so the passing game should remain the focal point of the offense. Higbee is second on the team in targets with 20, and only he and Kupp have more than nine through two games.

Cardinals opponents have already made 10 trips to the red zone, so Higbee and the Rams should have chances this week.

Cordarrelle Patterson Over 40.5 Rushing Yards (-120)

Patterson didn’t get as much work in the running game last week because the Falcons were trailing by 25 in the third quarter. This week’s game shouldn’t get away from them, and I actually like the Falcons to beat the Seahawks outright (I took them at %plussign% 2 earlier in the week). When Atlanta was protecting a lead in Week 1, Patterson had 22 carries and played 49 offensive snaps against the Saints.

Last week, he only played 36 snaps, but I anticipate we’ll see him much more often this week. Even with limited touches against the Rams, he still got to 41 rushing yards. It appears that Arthur Smith wants to rely on the ground attack with Patterson and Marcus Mariota as much as possible, as those two have collectively averaged just shy of five yards per carry.

With limited depth behind Patterson, he should be the focal point and the feature back against a Seahawks defense that has allowed 4.5 yards per carry through two games.

Baker Mayfield Under 208.5 Passing Yards (-115)

Not including Robby Anderson’s 75-yard catch-and-run on a blown coverage in Week 1, Mayfield has 305 passing yards on 29 completions this season. We can’t just cross things out and pretend they don’t exist, but that play has skewed Mayfield’s numbers through two games. He’s also had numerous balls batted down at the line of scrimmage and has taken six sacks, while throwing only 61.5% of his passes “on target” per Pro-Football-Reference.com.

The task at hand doesn’t get much easier this week against a Saints defense that has held the opposition to a 56.7% completion percentage, including a game against Tom Brady and the Bucs. Brady was just 18-of-34 passing for 190 yards in that game. Mayfield does have some weapons, but he hasn’t been able to find them consistently and has just 3.0 completed air yards per pass attempt.

Not all of this is Mayfield’s fault — there’s been some bad coaching by Matt Rhule and Ben McAdoo — but it doesn’t look like he’ll be set up for success this week either.