The 2022 NFL season is nearly upon us! If that doesn’t get you excited, we may need to sit down and have a talk. Alternatively, if you are excited and you’re a degenerate like me, you came to the right place. I want to highlight a handful of matchups and players to target in week 1 for season long fantasy, sports betting, DFS, etc.
In week 1, we currently have 4 games with an over/under of at least 50 points. Points scored by NFL teams translate into yards, receptions, touchdowns, fantasy points, etc. We like points….unless we’re taking unders which we’ll talk about in a subsequent article.
BUF @ LAR
The first matchup features the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams. The over/under is set at 51.5 at the time of writing this. In 2021, the Bills and Rams both beat their overs at least 50% of the time. For context, the NFL had 14 teams beating their overs just 41% of the time. Hitting that 50% milestone places both teams inside the top-10. These teams getting close to and exceeding that over/under feels like a relatively safe bet which provides us with options across all positions on both rosters.
TopProp Play: Josh Allen > Matthew Stafford, Gabe Davis > Allen Robinson
KC @ ARI
The second matchup has the Kansas City Chiefs traveling to the Arizona Cardinals. This over/under is set at 53. The highest of the week. Like the Bills and Rams, the Chiefs were consistently beating their overs last season. They did so at the second highest rate in the NFL at 60%. The Cardinals were below the 50% mark, beating their overs 44% of the time. Another point to consider in this matchup is the defense for both teams. In 2021, the Chiefs ranked 28th in EPA per run play and 20th in team pressure rate. The Cardinals let Chandler Jones walk and did little to address concerns for a secondary that ranked outside of the top-20 last season. All of this provides me with copious amounts of comfort in taking the over which should translate to yards, receptions, touchdowns, etc.
TopProp Play: Kyler Murray > Patrick Mahomes, James Conner > Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Marquise Brown > JuJu Smith-Schuster
LV @ LAC
Next up is the Las Vegas Raiders traveling to SoFi to take on the Los Angeles Chargers. These teams currently have an over/under set at 51.5. I’m bullish on this matchup because the Chargers finished 2021 third in the NFL with a 58.8% success rate at beating their over. The Raiders were in similar territory as the Cardinals finishing with a 44% success rate. The Chargers also had the highest +/- in the NFL last season at +5.5, which meant they were beating their over by a considerable amount. For these reasons, I’m confidently picking players to produce on both teams in this matchup.
TopProp Play: Justin Herbert > Derek Carr, DaVante Adams > Keenan Allen, Mike Williams > Hunter Renfrow
TB @ DAL
The final matchup is between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys. The last time these two teams opened the season was….just last year! 60 points were scored. I understand that some players have been swapped out on both teams, but in 2021 the Bucs beat their over 52.6% of the time which was good for 8th in the NFL. The Cowboys were 16th with a success rate of 44% in beating the over and 10th in terms of +/- (points scored above/below the over). Last season the Cowboys and Buccaneers accounted for 7 of the 20 highest offensive outputs across the NFL with Dallas putting up 50 points twice. I feel good about grabbing a ton of exposure in this game. The only hesitancy is in the run game for Dallas. In 2021, the Bucs ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed at 91.6/game. Reasons why that trend will continue in 2022 include; Vita Vea, Akiem Hicks, William Gholston, Devin White, Lavonte David, and Shaq Barrett.
TopProp Play: Leonard Fournette > Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb > Mike Evans
Again, we’re targeting these games because of their implied point totals coupled with the fact that the teams in the highlighted matchups beat their overs in 2021 at an above average rate. If you’re looking for overs to bet or high floor/ceiling daily fantasy options, these matchups and players are a good place to start.