NFL Week 9 betting tips: Five props that pop

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Liz Loza offers her top five prop bets from a betting and fantasy perspective for NFL Week 9's slate of games.

8:25 PM ET Liz LozaESPN Fantasy managers and sports bettors (who followed my advice) were thriving with points and payouts in Week 9. All five of my props hit, which means the pressure is on in Week 9. I'm Sherlocking hard to uncover sneaky advantages with six teams on bye. Utilizing ESPN's metrics database and some assistance from stats ace Kyle Soppe , I'm here to help you win in fantasy and at the books. Minnesota Vikings (-3, 43.5) at Washington Commanders Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FedEx Field, Landover, Md. Pick: Taylor Heinicke OVER 230.4 passing yards (-119) Heinicke was my stream of the week going into last Sunday's slim win at Indy. The pride of ODU recorded over 22 fantasy points and closed out the week as fantasy's QB8 in that gutty effort. He's a 3-point underdog versus the Vikings this Sunday, which means his shoulder should stay warm and deliver fantasy football enthusiasts another top-14 effort . Since the start of 2021, Heinicke has averaged 7.7% more yards per pass when trailing than when leading. So he pushes. The worry, of course, is that his accuracy will wane under the pressure. Except Minnesota is not a high-pressure team, allowing a top-four completion percentage (68.9%). That sets up nicely for Heinicke, who averages 32.2% more yards per pass when not pressured than when under siege. It also means he's less likely to take off than to throw. That last part is great for the over on the above line -- and is also why he's not inside my top 10 fantasy QBs. Clearly, Vegas believes the game will be close. In instances in which the score has been within a field goal, Heinicke has taken to the air, passing for nearly 65% of Washington's total yards. It's interesting that such a mobile QB would so confidently trust his arm. While the Commanders' pass-blocking unit has been far from sterling, it grades out more efficiently than the Vikings' defensive front. In fact, the Commanders present the second-biggest edge (17) in pass blocking this week per LBM. Conversely, Washington does not set up as favorably against Minnesota's run defenders, scaling eighth lowest in run blocking. That's not great for Heinicke's (already mentioned) rushing floor or Brian Robinson Jr . But wheels up on this prop and Antonio Gibson (who is coming off of a seven-catch effort and is the ESPN consensus RB22 in full-point PPR ). The NBA season is here! Sign up for ESPN Fantasy Basketball today! Play for free Green Bay Packers (-3.5, 49.5) at Detroit Lions Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Ford Field, Detroit Pick: Amon-Ra St. Brown OVER 71.5 receiving yards (-117) Best of ESPN Fantasy Football Content Get your lineups set for your Week 9 fantasy football matchups with analysis for each of the games left to be played, last-minute pickup options, and our take on the biggest stories of the weekend. • The Playbook: Week 9 Mike Clay breaks down each game from all angles, with projections and advice for key players. • Fantasy Hot Seat Eric Karabell discusses players who are facing the most pressure to perform, including some tough start/sit decisions. • Last-minute pickups Matt Bowen offers names to consider if you need a bye-week fill-in or if you're streaming at a position. Also See: Week 9 rankings | Daily Notes Unhampered for the first time since Week 3, St. Brown returned to double-digit fantasy form last Sunday. The USC product converted seven of 10 looks for 69 yards while running a season-high 36 routes. Finally back to health, St. Brown is in a spot to shine as the Lions' brightest offensive star and a top-12 play for fans of the virtual game. St. Brown has been targeted on 32.5% of his routes this season, behind only Tyreek Hill and DeAndre Hopkins (and ahead of Cooper Kupp and Stefon Diggs ). He's averaging 8.3 looks per outing and has yet to dip below 10 targets in any healthy game this season. And that was before Detroit traded away T.J. Hockenson (and his six looks per game). Assuming St. Brown's volume holds steady (and it should as 3.5-point underdogs in game versus a division rival with a projected point total of 49.5) he figures to hit the over without issue. Receivers facing Green Bay who have recorded at least seven looks have also managed at least 73 yards. And in only three (of eight) games has an opposing team's No. 1 WR failed to reach the aforementioned seven-look benchmark when battling the Packers. St. Brown might not have an elite YPR (9.8), but his opportunity share (33.6% target share, WR3) is what makes him so reliable. Even in a seemingly tough matchup he's worth an extra wager. Las Vegas Raiders (-2, 48) at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla. Pick: Christian Kirk OVER 52.5 receiving yards (-119) Fantasy managers have been on a journey with Kirk this year. Despite the bust games, however, he's currently fantasy's WR16 overall. While he's coming off a down effort (which was anticipated due to the matchup versus Denver), the former Cardinal is due for a course correction in Week 9. Editor's Picks Week 9 betting odds, picks, tips: Evaluating trade impact, Bills-Jets and more 20h ESPN Betting and Fantasy Analysts Week 9 betting notes: Underwhelming history for overwhelming favorites 2d Mackenzie Kraemer 1 Related Kirk has not just lived in the slot (220 slot snaps, WR6) but has thrived on the inside, posting 357 slot yards (WR3) so far in 2022. The Raiders have been generous to opponents in that specified area of the field, allowing the second-most completions (78.9%) to passes thrown to the slot. Additionally, with Nate Hobbs (hand) on IR, Trevor Lawrence is likely to pepper the inside. He also figures to be efficient in those attempts, as Kirk hasn't dropped a pass in seven of eight games this season. Kirk has cleared the above line in all but three games this season. The Raiders, on the other hand, have allowed at least 55 receiving yards to an opposing player 12 times this year. Kirk deserves top-20 consideration and should be ranked in the same tier as Michael Pittman Jr. and JuJu Smith-Schuster . Buffalo Bills (-11.5, 46) at New York Jets Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. Pick: Devin Singletary OVER 50.5 rushing yards (-119) The lead rusher in the No. 4 offense (per DVOA) will forever remain fantasy relevant. Singletary is averaging only 11.1 fantasy points per week, but his consistency (and his QB) makes him hard to sit. In a week rife with byes and in a plus matchup, he deserves some extra top-20 -like attention. Pigskin Pick 'Em FREE to play. Create up to 5 entries; 60 prizes worth $88,500! Make Your Picks The Bills acquired Nyheim Hines and dealt Zack Moss last Tuesday. Hines' addition will certainly take away from Singletary's pass-catching opportunities, but the former Colt's presence is unlikely to immediately affect Singletary's rushing attempts (particularly with Moss out of the building). His totes figure to stay well into the double digits as the Bills are 11.5-point favorites and facing the Jets' bottom-five-ranked run defense. In fact, per LBM, Buffalo's ground game presents the third-highest edge (17), and the Bills' No. 14 run-blocking unit protects against the Jets' No. 31 run-defending group. It appears as though New York struggles against backs who run to the right, allowing nearly two more yards per carry (5.17 YPC) to the position than when RBs rush left (3.31 YPC). As it turns out, Singletary crushes when running to the right, recording 6.62 yards per carry when heading in that direction. I think Singletary will post upward of 13 rushing attempts, but nine rushes to the right is all he needs to clear the above line. Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-2, 49) Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. Pick: Kenneth Walker III OVER 73.5 rushing yards (-119) On Wednesday's Fantasy Focus Pod , a listener in the chat asked me who I'd prefer ROS, Walker or Jonathan Taylor . I'm still tilting . Given the recent news about Taylor's ankle injury, the answer is Walker. The rookie has been a revelation for fantasy managers and the Seahawks. Walker has managed at least 19 touches in every game since taking over for Rashaad Penny in Week 6. Additionally, more than 22% of his carries (14) have occurred in the red zone, contributing to his four TDs over the past three weeks. He's coming off a 51-yard rushing effort but should rebound against a Cardinals squad that allowed him 97 rushing yards in his debut as Seattle's lead back. Arizona has been stellar versus the pass but has struggled when defending the run, particularly over the past four weeks. The Cardinals' run-defending group has allowed 24% more yards per carry before contact to RBs since mid-October than it did during all of September and the early part of last month. That is exactly the kind of a vulnerability that gets Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to pop another stick of gum. Seattle has ranked sixth in percentage of yards gained on the ground since Walker has been in control of the backfield. Given a spread of just two points, that trend doesn't figure to change. Walker has game script, matchup and volume all working in his favor. He's as good of a play as Dalvin Cook or Rhamondre Stevenson this week. Follow Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF