Don’t limit your NFL bets to just sides and totals each Sunday. Covers Expert Sean Murphy opens the doors to the Prop Shop, giving you his favorite player prop picks for Week 9.
Most passing yards
Alex Smith (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Thaddeus Lewis (Buffalo Bills)
Alex Smith is coming off a pretty solid performance against a sneaky-good Browns defense last week, throwing for 225 yards and two scores while posting a 102.2 QB rating. I'm confident we'll see him build on that performance against a struggling Bills secondary that gives up just under seven yards per pass play here in Orchard Park.
Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis has thrown for over 200 yards in each of his first three games since taking over for an injured E.J. Manuel, but he'll face arguably his toughest defensive test to date on Sunday. The Chiefs have held the opposition to just 5.8 yards per pass attempt this season, but should be in a foul mood after allowing Browns journeyman QB Jason Campbell to throw for just shy of 300 yards last week.
Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans) vs. Kellen Clemens (St. Louis Rams)
Jake Locker struggled two weeks ago against San Francisco - his first game back after missing a pair of contests due to an injured hip. The combination of rust and facing a fierce 49ers defensive front proved too much for the third-year NFL quarterback.
He should bounce back this week, as the Titans come off of their bye, and go up against a Rams squad that could still be feeling the effects from Monday's slugfest against the division rival Seahawks.
Kellen Clemens is the man in charge of the Rams offense now that Sam Bradford is sidelined for the season. He turned in a gutsy effort against the Seahawks, but it was ultimately a fruitless one, as he completed only 15-of-31 passes for 158 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Things won't get much easier against one of the most physical defenses in the league on Sunday afternoon. Expect the Rams offense to remain conservative in this matchup.
Most rushing yards
LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Darren McFadden (Oakland Raiders)
Shady McCoy just hasn't looked like himself lately, running for just 103 yards combined over the last two weeks, with his longest run over that stretch going for just 10 yards. He continues to battle through an ankle injury - perhaps that's part of the reason he's lacked explosiveness. Note that McCoy has rushed for more than 73 yards in only three of eight games this season.
Raiders RB Darren McFadden has been an even bigger disappointment. Since gaining 129 yards on the ground back in Week 2, McFadden has topped 52 rushing yards only once in four games. That came last week, however, as McFadden picked up 73 yards, and more importantly, two touchdowns against the Steelers. That's something he can build on this week, and he faces a favorable matchup against an Eagles defense that hasn't seen many teams choose to run on them this season.
Most pass receptions
Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers)
Tony Gonzalez was obviously a big part of the Falcons plans this season after they talked him out of retirement in the offseason. He, along with the rest of the team, has been a major disappointment.
Gonzalez enters this game having hauled in just five catches in the last two games. He's topped out at four receptions in five of seven contests so far this season. I don't expect him to find much open field against an underrated Panthers defense this week.
Steve Smith isn't enjoying a banner year by any means, but he has been fairly consistent, catching at least five passes in four of seven games to date. He had 10 catches in two games against the Falcons last season, leading the team with 18 pass targets. I'll back Smith in this matchup between two savvy veterans on Sunday.