NFL Best Bets and Player Props for Week 9: Herbert Continues to Thrive Despite Monty's Return

Despite David Montgomery's return to the Chicago Bears' backfield, Khalil Herbert continues to impress and has a measly 37.5-yard rushing total for Week 9. Back the Over before the markets begin to adjust.

Nov 6, 2022 • 08:32 ET • 4 min read
Khalil Herbert Chicago Bears NFL
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Week 9 is here and I’m fading a recently traded player who has to learn a tough offense and betting on the better back in the heaviest run offense in football.

Here are my best free NFL player props for Week 9.

Latest NFL prop picks

  • Hockenson Under 35.5 receiving yards (-110)
  • Herbert Over 37.5 rushing yards (-130)

Check out full analysis of picks below, or click here to view the full betting card.

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NFL prop picks for Sunday

Hock docked 

T.J. Hockenson was traded to the Vikings this week and should see some snaps out of the gates with Irv Smith out long-term. But, with Adam Thielen back to full health, the Vikings using three-WR sets at such a high rate, and a game script that favors the run game, I’m not very high on Hockenson getting a full slate of snaps with less than a week of learning a difficult playbook.

It’s a very quick turnaround for Hockenson to absorb Kevin O’Connell’s offense, which Adam Thielen called “the toughest offense I’ve had to learn.”

On top of the lack of time to absorb the offense after getting to practice on Wednesday, Hockenson benefitted greatly from a Detroit offense that trailed often and had very few options in the passing game. Now, he comes in as the No.3 offensive option at best.

This is still an elite, first-round TE that head coach O’Connell said he will want to feature when he is “up to speed”, but that does take time.

The Vikes also have a comfortable lead in the division and don’t need to force anything with Hockenson with a deep run projected. Hockenson’s receiving yard total sits at 35.5 yards, seven yards longer than Smith’s average closing total of 28.75 yards on the season.

Tight end Johnny Mundt has been playing over 50% of the snaps in back-to-back games, with half of those snaps coming on passing downs, and could easily be a stop-gap this week before Hockenson’s role expands with more time with his new club.

T.J. Hockenson Prop: Under 35.5 receiving yards (-110)

The better back

Khalil Herbert has deservedly been getting more work on the ground since David Montgomery’s return to action in Week 5. Monty has averaged a healthy 14.25 carries per game over the last four games but running at just 3.54 yards per carry while Herbert has rushed for 44 more yards on 18 fewer carries (6.31 yards per carry).

Last week, Herbert outrushed Montgomery for a third straight week with a 99-yard performance on a team-high 16 carries. This week vs. the Dolphins, Herbert’s rushing total is 14 yards shorter than Monty’s, at 37.5, and is a big Over play for me.

Even with both backs splitting carries and another negative game script, Chicago is still the heaviest run team in football and is committed to the rush like no other team in football. Herbert has handled back-to-back double-digit carries and would need just 3.17 yards per carry to hit the Over with 12 carries — well short of his 6.31 ypc mark over the last three weeks and Miami’s 4.3 on the season. At that average, Herbert would need just nine carries to hit the Over.

Following their Week 7 game vs. the Patriots, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said they would continue to get Herbert more involved in the offense and even though he played just 28% of the snaps last week, he got a touch on 72% of the snaps he played. 

Khalil Herbert Prop: Over 37.5 rushing yards (-130)

NFL prop picks for Saturday

Say no to Joe

I gave Joe Mixon one more chance last week vs. the Browns and their dead-last rush defense in EPA/carry. Mixon rewarded me with eight carries for 24 yards. He's been held to 3.4 yards per carry or worse in six of his eight games and has topped 61 yards rushing just once in his last seven contests. 

Last week was a perfect matchup and he still couldn’t do anything. His offensive line can’t pass protect (neither can Mixon) but it also can't run block, with four of five starters grading poorly and outside the Top 50% at run blocking at their respective positions, per Pro Football Focus.

Mixon sits fourth in the league in rushing attempts but has just one carry of 20-plus yards, which is laughable considering how dangerous the passing attack is. Now, with a less-lethal passing game, gaining yards looked even tougher for Mixon in Week 8 and Zac Taylor tried to get him involved in the passing game (nine targets) more because of it.

Now the Bengals face the Panthers, who rank fourth in EPA/rush and are giving up just 4.2 yards per carry, which is a Top-7 mark. 

Taylor has some adjustments to make with the offense, but it won’t be more volume for Mixon, who’s had plenty of opportunities so far but is gaining just 3.3 yards per carry. Look for him to keep his passing-game presence but the yards won’t be on the ground Sunday. 

Last week, vs. the No. 32-ranked rush defense, his rushing total was 66.5 yards — the same as this week vs. the No.4 rushing defense in EPA/rush.

Mixon has also struggled in pass protection and is ceding snaps to Samaje Perine, who is elite in pass pro. The Panthers blitz a lot (30%) and if Taylor puts Mixon in for just running plays, the Bengals will be tipping their hand, which isn’t going to help the RB.

Joe Mixon Prop: Under 66.5 rushing yards (-104)

Big benefactor

The Chargers are coming out of their bye week and are still not healthy at receiver. Keenan Allen’s hamstring reportedly got worse over the bye and Mike Williams is out while Joshua Palmer and Donald Parham are coming off concussions. 

All this is indicating another big week for tight end Gerald Everett, who had 16 targets in the two games prior to the bye, which was second most on the team behind Austin Ekeler. Everett doesn’t have any receiving markets open due to the receiver issues, but he has closed at below 40 yards receiving in three straight games.

I’d be hitting his Over yards with confidence on anything up to 45.5 yards this week as his role will be huge vs. the Falcons in an indoor environment against a defense that gives up the most targets to opposing TEs at 9.4 per game. Only three teams are allowing more receiving yards to TEs than the Falcons.

Everett is currently +210 to score a TD Sunday, with some books as short as +175. He led the Chargers with three red-zone targets in Week 7 and played just 56% of the snaps. With the injuries to Allen and Williams, Everett could see an expanded role. He's running a route on 69% of the team’s passing plays over the past two games. 

The Falcons have one of the worst pass defenses in football (30th in EPA/dropback and 29th in success rate vs. the pass) and Everett could have a big day with an increased role in the passing game. The Falcons will want to take away Ekeler, and Everett will be the biggest beneficiary.  

I’ll be patiently waiting for his receiving yards.

Gerald Everett Prop: Anytime TD (+210)

NFL prop picks for Friday

ATM

Travis Etienne had the backfield to himself last week with James Robinson moving on, and the Jacksonville running back finished with 162 total yards from scrimmage vs. a very good Denver defense. Now the spiraling Jaguars take on the Raiders, who allow an average of 145 total yards to opposing running backs — which includes 61.2 receiving yards, the second-highest mark in football.

Christian Kirk and Zay Jones saw just 10 total targets last week as Etienne’s 27 touches accounted for 41% of the Jaguars’ plays in Week 8. He will have another big workload Sunday as a slight underdog and checks all the boxes: matchup, opportunity, production, and script.

I’m hitting the Over on his total yards of 104.5, as his role in the passing game could be big as Alvin Kamara's, who went 6/92/2 receiving last week vs. the Raiders. Opposing RBs are averaging 7.4 catches per game on 9.4 targets vs. Vegas on the season.

Etienne was one of the fastest players in Week 8, ranking fifth in top speed, and has just as many 20-yard carries as Saquon Barkley despite 71 fewer rushes. The Jacksonville RB is busting a 10-yard carry every 6.6 carries, which is an elite rate.

Travis Etienne PropOver 104.5 total yards (-115)

Last man standing

T.J. Hockenson was taking 18% of the Lions’ targets and 17% of the team’s total air yards. Now those numbers are going somewhere else in Week 9 vs. the Packers after his trade to the Vikings.

Amon-Ra St. Brown will likely see a bump in target share but the receiver has a tough matchup vs. the Packers’ secondary and that could include plenty of coverage vs. Jaire Alexander.

Even in a game that projects for more Detroit passing (281.1 passing yards per home game this season), St. Brown has some risk but possible starting tight end James Mitchell to score a touchdown at +800 is as sexy as it gets.

Mitchell and Brock Wright are the only TEs on the Detroit roster, and Wright missed practice Wednesday with a concussion he suffered late last Sunday vs. the Dolphins. If Wright can’t clear protocol, Mitchell could have an even bigger role with the game script (3.5-point dogs) and environment (indoors) in his favor.

The Packers are allowing a 70% completion rate to opposing TEs and Buffalo's Dawson Knox had a TD last week in the Packers’ loss. Hopefully, Mitchell has some receiving markets open late in the week, as I’ll be looking to hit an Over on anything below 20 yards, but with some books at +500 for a TD, I’m taking Mitchell anytime TD at +800 (Caesars) as this number could shorten up substantially if Wright can’t practice.

Mitchell caught his first target of the season last week for 14 yards. The 6-foot-4 rookie has seen just a handful of snaps over the last four games but The Athletic's Colton Pouncey believes the Lions will get a look at the rookie going forward and head coach Dan Campbell also thinks the rookie is ready for an expanded role.

This is a low-probability play and I’m risking winning just two units, but it’s not often we can get a possible starting TE to score in a game that has plenty of things in his favor including opportunity and script.

James Mitchell PropAnytime TD (+800 at Caesars)

Season to date: 78-56, +20.83 units (Risking 1 unit per play)

    • Hockenson Under 35.5 receiving yards (-110 at DraftKings)
    • Herbert Over 37.5 rushing yards (-130 at BetMGM)

- - 

  • Mixon Under 66.5 rushing yards (-104 at Caesars)
  • Everett anytime TD (+210 at DraftKings)

     - - 

  • Etienne Over 104.5 total yards (-115 at bet365)
  • Mitchell anytime TD (+800 at Caesars)

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