3 Best NFL Season-Long Player Picks Heading Into 2024

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium.
Image Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The summer is underway, and it’s not too early to get action on NFL player picks. The Underdog NFL season pick ‘em lobby is overflowing with options. 

There’s no shortage of choices, but narrowing the focus is the best way to cash winners. Furthermore, Conner Allen of 4for4 Football had an excellent thread analyzing picks over the previous three seasons, and unders have won at an eye-catching rate.

Not coincidentally, two of my favorite Underdog pick ‘em choices are “lower” selections. Still, one “higher” pick was alluring.

3 Best NFL Season-Long Player Picks Heading Into 2024

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Jets QB Aaron Rodgers: 3,800.5 Passing Yards – Lower

Aaron Rodgers’s 2023 season was cut short after only a few plays. He is returning this year from a torn Achilles and is on the wrong side of 40. According to Pro-Football-Reference, Rodgers’s 217.4 passing yards per game in 2022 were the fewest in 15 seasons as a starting NFL quarterback. As a result, he passed for only 3,695 yards in 17 games in 2022.

The Packers played slowly when his current offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, was his offensive coordinator in Green Bay in 2021. According to RotoViz’s pace app, the Packers took the longest to snap the ball (31.8 seconds/play) in neutral game scripts. Rodgers had 257.2 passing yards per game and 4,115 in 16 contests, but a slow pace would put significant pressure on him to be efficient to exceed his prop. 

NFL season long player props - Aaron Rodgers underdog fantasy

Rodgers also doesn’t have prime Davante Adams on the receiving end of his passes. Garrett Wilson is a fantastic young wide receiver but hasn’t performed at a level commensurate with Adams in Rodgers’s back-to-back MVP seasons in 2020 and 2021. His ancillary pass-catching weapons are largely unimpressive, too. Furthermore, Gang Green’s elite defense likely won’t need Rodgers to sling the ball all over the yard to win games if they play up to their standards from the previous two years.

Thus, a consensus from CBS and ESPN projects Rodgers to have 3,760.7 passing yards this season. The line is also 50 yards higher than the consensus. Rodgers must defy Father Time to have over 3800.5 passing yards even if he stays healthy for all 17 games, and if he misses even one contest, he’ll have a difficult time besting that number.

Ravens RB Derrick Henry: 999.5 Rushing Yards – Higher

Derrick Henry has played his entire career with the Titans to this point. He signed with the Ravens in the offseason and will be in the same backfield as dynamic dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP. Jackson’s ability to gash teams as a runner or beat them over the top if they loaded the box could create some massive rushing lanes for King Henry.

Baltimore’s offensive tendencies are also favorable for Henry’s rushing outlook. According to the nfelo app, the Ravens had the 11th-highest Pass Rate Over Expected (-0.05 PROE) last season. Yet, as the number in the parenthesis indicates, they had a negative PROE.

NFL season-long player props - Derrick Henry

In addition, according to RotoViz’s pace app, Baltimore was tied for the fifth-highest situation-neutral rush rate (47%) in 2023.

Henry has rushed for over 1,000 yards in five of his previous six seasons. Impressively, he had 937 rushing yards in only eight games in the outlier season in 2021. Henry doesn’t need a vintage campaign to clear his rushing prop. Finally, FantasyPros projects King Henry to rush for 1,182.0 yards this season.

Texans WR Stefon Diggs: 974.5 Receiving Yards – Lower

Stefon Diggs was an alpha wideout in Buffalo’s pass-catching corps filled with ancillary weapons the previous four years. Diggs was dominant as the top dog, amassing 1,535 receiving yards, 1,225, 1,429, and 1,183 during that period.

Nevertheless, the club moved on, trading him to the Texans. Diggs will have the best target competition since playing with Adam Thielen on the Vikings. Nico Collins and Tank Dell are electrifying wide receivers, and Dalton Schultz is a competent pass-catching tight end. 

The playcalling could also hurt Diggs’s receiving outlook. Last season, the Texans were 19th in Pass Rate Over Expected (-2.6% PROE). Diggs also had his lowest per-game receiving yardage output (69.9) last season since his 2018 campaign. More alarmingly, Diggs’s production cratered down the stretch.

NFL season long player props - Stefon Diggs 2024

This will be his age-30 season, and Father Time isn’t kind to older wide receivers. Diggs’s route-running chops could allow him to age gracefully, but last year’s lousy finish could also be a warning of a significant decline in his play. Moreover, only the Dolphins, Buccaneers, and 49ers had multiple players with over 1,000 receiving yards last year. In 2022, the Dolphins, Eagles, Buccaneers, Seahawks, and Bengals had teammates with over 1,000 receiving yards. No team had three players with over 1,000 receiving yards in the previous two years. 

Collins and Dell have a chemistry advantage with C.J. Stroud out of the gate. Diggs’s younger teammates could render the elder statesman in the room as the No. 3 option, and even if Dell isn’t as explosive at the beginning of the season after suffering a season-ending broken leg last year, Collins is almost certainly better than Diggs at this point in their respective careers. And, again, Schultz will soak up some looks.

Finally, the line at Underdog Fantasy is a slight value for the under compared to the 950.0 consensus line and the 900.5 line at Caesars Sportsbook and BetRivers.