NFL Week 9 Player Props: Picks for Waller, Watson, and More

Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders
Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders (photo credit: Imagn/USA TODAY Sports)

If you’re looking for NFL player prop picks, then you’ve come to the right place. In this week’s SharpSide NFL player props article, we’ll tackle Week 9, from which we have picks for Darren Waller, Deshaun Watson, Brandin Cooks, and James Conner.

Week 9 features some pretty strong matchups for those four players I’m going to recommend taking player props for. Usually, I like to throw an under bet or two in my articles, but you won’t find any this week. Waller, Watson, and Conner are all in great spots, and the pick for Cooks is a correlation play with Watson.

We begin in an AFC West showdown.

Darren Waller – Over 4.5 receptions

For the first player prop pick of Week 9, let’s dive into the conviction play of the week. It’s a player prop for Darren Waller.

Waller is the unquestioned No. 1 receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders. His 62 targets are almost double of anyone else on the team, with Hunter Renfroe’s 35 receptions the second most. The Las Vegas tight end averages 8.8 targets per game, catching an average of 6.4 of those opportunities. He also has just one game this season with fewer than five receptions and that was in Week 3 against Bill Belichick, who is smart enough to take away his opponent’s best offensive option.

Waller’s matchup is beautiful in Week 9, as the Los Angeles Chargers are 28th against tight ends in adjusted fantasy points against.

As always, I try to find a reason why I shouldn’t make a bet, but I had a hard time finding any of those reasons. I suppose we could look back at last season’s matchups against the Chargers, when Waller was kept under 5 catches in both meetings. But let’s face it, that stat just doesn’t matter because of a two-game sample. This is my conviction play of the week.

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

Deshaun Watson – Over 285.5 passing yards

Brandin Cooks – Over 4.5 receptions

Here’s a correlated combo play involving Deshaun Watson and Brandin Cooks of the Houston Texans.

I’ll begin at quarterback, where Watson was on fire leading into his team’s Week 8 bye. Watson has thrown for 300 yards in four straight games, including a 359-yard passing performance in Week 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who he’ll see again this week. He’s also gone over his passing yards prop in five straight games.

The Jaguars pass defense is a sieve, allowing three of the past four QBs facing them to hit the 300-yard passing mark.

Watson also has all of his offensive weapons at his disposal, as Cooks, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, David Johnson, and Jordan Akins will all be available to wreck the Jacksonville defense.

If there is a concern here, it’s the game script. There’s always the possibility that Houston takes a huge early lead and runs the ball with Johnson to run out the clock.

Jake Luton, the sixth-round draft pick out of Oregon State, is making his NFL debut for the Jaguars and there’s a decent chance that the Jacksonville offense stalls early and often. But the Texans have been awful this season and I don’t see them retreating from an aggressive game plan. The Jaguars also play at the fourth-highest pace of play, while Houston is ninth. I’m not concerned about the Texans offense taking their foot off the gas pedal.

The correlation play here is Cooks grabbing 5 or more receptions. Before the Week 8 bye, the Houston wide receiver was on fire. From Week 5-7, Cooks had the third-most targets in the NFL (30). He caught 24 of those balls. Cooks and Watson are rounding into a dangerous connection and I look for Watson to keep looking Cooks’ way.

Check out Watson’s player props page on SharpSide for player props odds comparison, past performance, and more. You can also check out Cooks’ player props page on SharpSide for player prop information specific to him.

James Conner – Over 79 rushing yards

The final player prop we’ll look at for Week 9 involves James Connor.

Connor is playing at an extremely high level as of late and his reward is to be able to punch the Dallas Cowboys, who have the 29th-ranked rush defense in DVOA, per FootballOutsiders.com.

Dallas allowed Kenyan Drake to rush for 164 yards in Week 6 and Antonio Gibson racked up 120 yards on the ground in Week 7 before Doug Pederson torpedoed Boston Scott last week. On the season, the Cowboys are allowing the most rushing yards per game at 170.9.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a 2-touchdown favorite on Sunday, which should mean a wonderful game script for Conner, who’s rushed for 82 or more yards in four of his last six games, including three 100-yard efforts.

This game could get so out of hand that Benny Snell might eat some carries late, but Conner will have enough opportunities to hit triple digits again. I think he blows past this number of 79 rushing yards

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

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