Top NFL Receiving Props for Week 3: Looking at Two Tight Ends and Tyler Lockett To Stay Hot
Chargers TE Jared Cook Over 3.5 Receptions (+120) - DraftKings
Jared Cook is a fine player at this stage in his career. He still has enough juice to stretch the field a bit from the tight end position. This bet is not really about him, though. Instead, this is about the Kansas City Chiefs’ linebackers being an embarrassment to the sport.
Two weeks in, the Chiefs’ defense has allowed the second-highest target rate to tight ends in the NFL at 31%. Only Baltimore (35%) is allowing targets to go to tight ends at a higher rate. Though their success rate allowed is a bit better at just 23rd in the league, that’s a relatively high number given the volume at which those targets are happening.
Both David Njoku and Austin Hooper of the Browns caught three passes each against the Chiefs in Week 1, followed by Baltimore’s Mark Andrews catching five-of-five targets on Sunday night in Week 2. It makes sense that Cleveland’s targets were split in their two-tight end system, but Cook’s opportunity and production are more likely to fall in line with Andrews’, who is now clearly the top receiving option at tight end for the Ravens.
That’s the same case with Cook in Los Angeles. Cook has 13 targets and eight receptions this year, while the next-closest tight end on the team (Stephen Anderson) has just four targets and three receptions. Cook’s figures also do not include a touchdown pass he caught against Dallas that was called back for an illegal formation penalty — and a dumb penalty like that erasing his targets is probably not something that will happen every week.
Ravens TE Mark Andrews Over 49.5 Receiving Yards (-115) - DraftKings
Mark Andrews is one of the league’s handful of high-end receiving tight ends as is, but this week’s matchup is a dream come true. Similar to the Cook prop above, Andrews gets to face a defense that has been horrific at covering tight ends this season.
At first glance, Detroit’s target rate allowed to tight ends is only 22%, somewhere around league average. Those targets have been absolutely devastating, though, which is what happens when a defense is trotting out a washed-up Jamie Collins (who is now being shopped) and a lousy safety duo against George Kittle and Robert Tonyan.
The Lions rank dead-last in DVOA allowed against tight ends, and the difference between them and the 31st-ranked team is roughly the same difference between 31st and 26th. So again, those have been some tough matchups for them, but they have been bad in a way that is indisputable. While the Ravens offense functions differently than the 49ers and Packers, Andrews is still a core function of the passing game and should snag a chunk gain or two.
Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett Over 25.5 Yards Longest Reception (-115) - DraftKings
I made a joke last week about potentially posting a Tyler Lockett prop every week. The comment was tongue-in-cheek, but here I am, once again, with a Lockett prop. I am riding the Russell Wilson to Lockett deep ball connection until it burns me.
At least this time, however, the bet is more than just about the Seahawks’ deep passing game. Wilson and Lockett have been an incredible connection down the field for years now, and they look like they can get their shot against anyone, but this week’s match against the Vikings is particularly favorable to that end.
The Vikings have been a mediocre pass defense with glaring issues defending the deep ball in two weeks. They rank a middling 22nd in overall pass defense DVOA right now but are 29th in defensive DVOA on deep passes. But, of course, two games is a small sample, and deep passing, in general, is a small sample. So perhaps this is nothing but unlucky variance to start the season. If any offense is equipped to keep that “unlucky” streak going, though, it’s Seattle.
A minor concern is that the Vikings are finally coming back to play at home after two weeks on the road. Maybe that serves as a sort of reset for them. The Seahawks proved they could unleash the deep ball on the road against the Colts in the opener, though, and there is little reason to believe that can not also be the case this time in Minnesota.
Top NFL Receiving Props for Week 3 Picks
- Jared Cook Over 3.5 Receptions (+120) - DraftKings
- Mark Andrews Over 49.5 Receiving Yards (-115) - DraftKings
- Tyler Lockett,Over 25.5 Yards Longest Reception (-115) - DraftKings