Packers vs Vikings Week 1 Props: Unstoppable Jefferson Picks up Where He Left Off

On one side of the Green Bay-Minnesota rivalry is the back-to-back MVP with a shoddy cast of pass catchers, and on the other is the best WR in the NFL. Both get the spotlight in our best player prop picks for the Packers vs. Vikings.

Alistair Corp - Publishing Editor at
Alistair Corp • Publishing Editor
Sep 8, 2022 • 18:17 ET • 4 min read
Justin Jefferson Minnesota Vikings NFL
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The two teams expected to fight for the NFC North crown in 2022 will begin their seasons against one another, as Green Bay makes the short trip to Minnesota in Week 1. 

The Packers and back-to-back MVP Aaron Rodgers are looking to defend their divisional crown but with major turnover around the quarterback, while Minnesota looks to give Justin Jefferson a situation worthy of his all-time talent. 

Rodgers' pass catchers and Minnesota's third-year phenom share the spotlight in our NFL player prop picks for the Packers vs. Vikings

Packers vs Vikings prop picks

Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Packers vs Vikings Week 1 props

With former Rams OC Kevin O’Connell now in the big chair in Minnesota, there’s a school of thought that Justin Jefferson could go absolutely nuclear in 2022, much like Cooper Kupp did last year. If you subscribe to that theory — and I do — then it would be silly to not take the Over on a yardage total set as low as 82.5, as it may not get lower all year.

Jefferson is already an absolutely devastating technician within a route, and paired with the way this scheme, brought over from the Rams, manufactures separation with crossers, tight splits, and delayed releases, he could become (even more) unguardable.

This is a player who, in 33 career games, has averaged 5.9 catches and 91.3 yards per contest and now finds himself in the best situation of his young career. O’Connell and the Vikings’ offensive coaching staff are going to make things easy across the board, and football’s already easy for Jefferson.

Jefferson topped 80 yards on nine occasions last season (and finished with 79 and 80 yards in a pair of other games). Had Minnesota maintained the status quo after ‘21, Jefferson would be pegged for an All-Pro third season and I’d be comfortable taking the Over on his yards total here.

Now, the league’s most talented wideout gets an environment deserving of his ability, and he’ll deliver immediately. 

Justin Jefferson Prop: Over 82.5 receiving yards (-115)

Gone is All-Pro receiver Davante Adams and with him, goes an absolutely absurd red-zone target share. Adams’ trade to Vegas vacated 27 red-zone targets (third in the NFL) and 10 scores from inside the 20 (second-most) from Green Bay’s offense a year ago. 

With Rodgers starting life after Adams, and the Packers staring down the barrel of “Sammy Watkins, WR1” on Sunday with Allen Lazard injured, a returning player will have to provide a reliable option to get the ball in the paint. Luckily for Rodgers, tight end Robert Tonyan excels at just that.

In Tonyan’s breakout 2020 season, he emerged as a high-level red-zone option for Rodgers — who trusted the big-bodied tight end in a similar manner to his trust in Adams. Tonyan garnered 11 red-zone targets, second to Adams on the team, and converted those 11 targets into seven touchdowns inside the 20 (of 11 total).

That reliance inside the 20 will have to return this year, with the Packers operating with such a shallow collection of pass catchers.

While Tonyan shouldn’t be expected to play a full workload in his return from a torn ACL, he’ll be featured when Green Bay gets red-zone opportunities — and as proven, Rodgers will look for him. 

Robert Tonyan Prop: Anytime touchdown (+305 at Caesars)

Sticking with the theme of Rodgers’ depleted pass-catching corps and the reliance he’ll have to have on established pieces, Aaron Jones has become a bit forgotten, hidden from the public behind AJ Dillon’s tremendous calves. He will not be forgotten in the passing game on Sunday.

Even prior to Dillon’s emergence as a reliable back with a rare combination of athleticism and size, Jones was worked into the offense in creative ways — now, that will be heightened with an increase in two-back sets, whether that’s with a split backfield or Jones flexed out wide.

Since Jones became a starter in Green Bay in 2019, he ranks sixth in targets (196), fourth in receiving yards (1,220), second in receiving touchdowns (11), and sixth in catches (148) among running backs. He has spent the early portion of his career proving to be a versatile pass-catcher who can create after the catch. 

Now, Green Bay enters Sunday with 284 targets, 189 catches, and 2,496 yards vacated from last year’s team, between Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s exits and Lazard’s injury. With Dillon providing the Packers with a more than serviceable option in the backfield, Jones can and should be relied upon as a receiver more than ever.

A year after finishing second on the Packers in targets and catches, count on Jones to top his receptions total for a depleted Green Bay offense.

Aaron Jones Prop: Over 4.5 catches (-145)

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