Covers Expert Sean Murphy isn’t satisfied with just betting spreads and totals. He’s opening the door to the NFL Prop Shop, giving you his best player prop picks for Week 12.
Most passing yards
Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) vs. Ryan Tannehill (Miami Dolphins)
Cam Newton threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns in Monday's win over the Patriots, needing to complete just shy of 68 percent of his passes to do so. I can't help but feel that's as much as we can expect from him in terms of the passing game in this conservative offense.
Ryan Tannehill has a little more responsibility lately as the Dolphins’ ground game remains stuck in neutral. Tannehill has thrown for over 200 yards in three straight and eight of 10 games overall this season. The Panthers’ pass defense has been stout, but I expect that Tannehill will be given more than enough opportunity in terms of play-calling to outgun Newton.
Josh McCown (Chicago Bears) vs. Kellen Clemens (St. Louis Rams)
The Bears eked out an overtime win over the Ravens last Sunday and while Josh McCown didn't make too many mistakes, he was only asked to be a game manager in poor weather conditions. This week, the conditions will be much more favorable under the dome in St. Louis, but I'm not sure McCown will fare much better in terms of passing yardage. I expect McCown to be under pressure much of the day, as the Rams defense, particularly up front, remains an underrated unit.
Believe it or not, the big play has returned to the Rams offense in the absence of injured QB Sam Bradford. Kellen Clemens has filled in admirably, throwing for 457 yards over the last two games combined. The Bears defense may be opportunistic, but it's not dominant by any means. Clemens won't have a monster day, but he'll do enough through the air to cash this prop.
Most rushing yards
Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers)
Adrian Peterson continues to play hurt and with a weak supporting cast around him, he's finding no relief from opposing defenses. Over the last two games, Peterson has gained only 140 yards on 41 carries. While the Packers defense has been inconsistent, I expect them to rise to the occasion off three straight losses.
Like Peterson, Eddie Lacy is also coming off a poor performance last Sunday. Given how well he's performed at home this season, I'm counting on a strong bounce-back performance here. The Packers will certainly lean on Lacy with Aaron Rodgers expected to miss at least one more game. While the Vikings have been tough against the run, you have to question whether they've lost their will following another blowout loss and playing on the road for the second straight week.
Most pass receptions
T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)
The Colts defense has suffered steady regression in recent weeks and I'm not convinced that an extended week of preparation will have served as the cure for what ails them.
Larry Fitzgerald may be mired in another down year by his standards, but that doesn't mean he won't continue to play a prominent role in the Cardinals offense moving forward. He had nine pass targets last Sunday and I really like the way he matches up against the Colts down-trodden secondary.
After back-to-back monster performances, T.Y. Hilton came back to Earth in last week's game against the Titans, hauling in only five catches. That's been the norm this season. He's made five catches or less in seven of 10 games. Against a strong Cardinals secondary, I don't envision him finding much open field.