NFL Week 8 Player Props: Picks for Kirk Cousins, A.J. Brown, and More

Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings (photo credit: Imagn/USA TODAY Sports)

Welcome to SharpSide’s NFL player props article for Week 8.

For the first time this season, the weather will be a major factor, as four games are slated for winds of 20 mph or greater. Winds at that level greatly suppress passing and receiving yards. We can often gain an edge betting unders in these games.

Let’s start in Green Bay, where the wind is expected to consistently blow at 24 mph with gusts pushing 40.

Kirk Cousins – Under 258.5 passing yards

For the first player prop pick of Week 8, let’s dive into my conviction play of the week.

This bet is about two things for me. First, Kirk Cousins has hit the 259-yard mark in just three of his six starts, including a 259-yard performance in Week 1, indoors, against the Green Bay Packers.

Second, the wind at Lambeau Field is expected to constantly be in the mid-20 mph range, which severely quells passing output. Over the past 20 years, totals in games with 20-plus mph winds have gone under 60% of the time.

In numerous studies, passing and receiving yards in 25 mph wind can stifle a quarterback’s production. Data points to a 17% or more decrease in quarterback fantasy points. The decline overwhelmingly comes in the form of fewer passing yards.

Cousins is a mediocre talent facing high winds. There’s a chance that Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and Dalvin Cook (if he goes) can do enough damage after the catch to push the number, but that’s a reach. This is my conviction play of the week.

Check out Cousins’ player props page on SharpSide for player props odds comparison, past performance, and more.

A.J. Brown – Over 65.5 receiving yards

The line on this second player prop does not make sense. Let’s take a look.

A.J. Brown is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL. He’s averaging 6 catches on 8 targets for 97 yards in his three games since returning from injury. He’s also a YAC-daddy (a player who racks up many yards after the catch). For reference, Robby Anderson leads the NFL in total YAC, and his season average is 38 yards per game. In parts of four contests, Brown is averaging 37 yards after the catch.

The matchup is gorgeous, too. The Cincinnati Bengals defense is 29th out of 32 teams in team pass rush rate. Ryan Tannehill should have plenty of time to throw to his team’s most explosive target. The Bengals also allowed 100-yard receiving games to Marcus Johnson and Rashard Higgins over the past two weeks.

The risk here is that the Tennessee Titans get a big lead and ride Derrick Henry, but that’s not a major concern. Brown can get past this number on one or two catches, his quarterback, Tannehill, is one of the most efficient QBs in the league and he loves looking Brown’s way. Over is the call here.

Check out Brown’s player props page on SharpSide for player props odds comparison, past performance, and more.

A.J. Green – Over 50.5 receiving yards

Next up is a player prop for another wide receiver named “A.J.” This time it’s for A.J. Green.

Green is like the Undertaker rising from the dead. This is a wrestling analogy, but I think you get the point. The Bengals veteran wide receiver wasn’t on the same page as Joe Burrow to start the season but over the past two games, he’s seen 24 targets, made 15 catches, and racked up 96 and 82 yards, respectively.

Cincinnati is also a 7-point underdog, which could lead to more of a passing game script from Burrow. And speaking of Green’s quarterback, he throws more than any other QB in the NFL, averaging 41.9 attempts per game.

Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins will see their share of targets, but Green will as well, and 50.5 receiving yards is too low of a number to ignore.

Check out Green’s player props page on SharpSide for player props odds comparison, past performance, and more.

George Kittle – Over 67.5 receiving yards

Lastly, we’re taking a look at a George Kittle player prop for our final pick of Week 8.

In my own projections, I have Kittle hitting 89 yards. On the season, he’s averaging 9 targets, 6 targets, and 87 receiving yards per game.

Maybe the sportsbooks are looking at the Seattle Seahawks numbers against tight ends this season. They’re yielding just 47 yards per game to the position. Look closer and you’ll see that they’ve faced the veritable forces of Dan Arnold, Irv Smith, Ryan Izzo, and a pair of above-average players in Hayden Hurst and Mike Gesicki. None of these players are in the same stratosphere as Kittle.

The San Francisco 49ers are going to have to throw to keep up with Russell Wilson, and with Deebo Samuel out, the only competition for targets that Kittle will have is rookie Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, and whichever running back is Kyle Shanahan’s flavor of the day. I’ll take some Kittle this week.

Check out Kittle’s player props page on SharpSide for player props odds comparison, past performance, and more.

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