Underdog Fantasy NFL Props: Week 18

Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball in the game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Image Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Do you feel like a sharp football fan? Does winning money sound appealing to you? Of course! Thankfully, Underdog Fantasy offers sports fans many gaming options such as best ball fantasy drafts and pick ’em NFL props challenges. As for the initial question posed, I’m here to help sharpen your football acumen by utilizing several helpful resources such as BetPrep projections to topple the over/under and rivals picks.

It’s easy to get started. Here’s how it works:

  • Create an account on Underdog Fantasy.
  • Use the promo code PROPS to claim an extra $10 on your first deposit.
  • Go to the Pick’em Games.
  • Make two or more selections to receive a correlated payout of 3x, 6x, 10x, or 20x.
Use promo code PROPS for $10 free!

It’s pretty fun, and Underdog Fantasy is available in most states except for the following: Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana, Montana, Washington, Delaware, and Iowa.

Now, let’s take a look at my favorite Underdog Fantasy NFL props for the main slate of Week 18.

Jonathan Taylor OVER 118.5 Rushing Yards

Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts rushes for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Image Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

First, let’s look at this week’s payout booster pick for Underdog Fantasy. I’m taking the over for Taylor’s rushing yardage prop. The Indianapolis Colts have to win to assure a playoff berth after last week’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Fortunately, they face the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Football Outsiders, Jacksonville is 21st in rush defense Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). In addition, according to Pro-Football-Reference, the Jaguars have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards to running backs (1,589) at a whopping 99.31 yards per game. Obviously, the per-game rushing yardage total is amassed by all running backs that have faced Jacksonville this year, and Taylor’s an all-world talent.

The second-year back is second in rushing yards per game (108.4). Further, according to Pro Football Focus, among running backs with at least 75 rush attempts this year, Taylor is third in yards after contact per attempt (3.83 YCO/A), tied for first in missed tackles forced (60), and first in 10-plus yard rushes (48), with an NFL-high 83-yard rush this season. Finally, Taylor has rushed for more than 118.5 yards in two of his last four and three of his previous six games.

Editor’s Note: New to NFL props? Check out our complete NFL Props Betting Guide to get up to speed! 

Matthew Stafford OVER 282.5 Passing Yards

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams looks to pass against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at SoFi Stadium on November 07, 2021 in Inglewood, California.
Image Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams are another team playing with playoff implications. They will remain the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a win. However, if the Arizona Cardinals win, they’ll relinquish the NFC West crown with a loss. Since both teams play in the late window, they’ll both play to win the game, I say in my best Herm Edwards voice.

This week, the path of least resistance for the Rams is through the air. The San Francisco 49ers are second in rush defense DVOA. However, they are 18th in pass defense DVOA. Moreover, a few secondary members are on the Reserve/COVID-19, casting doubt on their availability or effectiveness if they are removed from the list in time for this week’s game.

Unfortunately, Stafford wasn’t sharp the first time the Rams played the 49ers. Regardless, he’s second in passing yards per game (290.5), eclipsing 282.5 passing yards in 10 of 16 games this year. So, I’ll roll the dice on him, pushing it to 11 of 17 games with more than 282.5 passing yards in 2021.

Odell Beckham Jr. OVER 44.5 Receiving Yards

Odell Beckham Jr. #3 of the Los Angeles Rams goes through his pre-game routine before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Image Credit: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Sure, Cooper Kupp is the top producer among pass-catchers in 2021 and the Rams’ passing attack alpha. Still, there’s room for production behind him if Stafford eclipses his passing yardage prop. So, who is the No. 2 option in the passing game?

Judging by last week’s numbers, it appears to be Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ, and Van Jefferson Jr. had seemingly been the 2A and 2B in the Rams’ passing game. However, according to Pro Football Focus, in Week 17, OBJ ran the most routes (36) for the Rams, ranking third in receptions (five) and tying for the second-most targets (seven). Sadly, he had only 39 receiving yards.

Nevertheless, his routes and targets forbode well for better games, including this week. The matchup is good for OBJ, too. The 49ers have allowed the 12th-most receiving yards (2,578) to wideouts this year.

Van Jefferson Jr. UNDER 40.5 Receiving Yards

Van Jefferson #12 of the Los Angeles Rams during warm up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Inglewood, California.
Image Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Jefferson and OBJ are like two ships passing in the night. While OBJ’s role expanded last week, Jefferson’s slipped. At first blush, you wouldn’t know any different based on Jefferson’s 63 receiving yards.

However, he ran only 18 routes. Comparatively, that tied rookie receiver Bennett Skowronek for the fifth-most routes on the Rams in Week 17. As a result, Jefferson looks like a rotational receiver whose margin for error is thin.

Typically, I wouldn’t take a quarterback’s passing yardage over and the receiving yardage under for one of his receivers. However, Kupp can do the bulk of the damage himself, and I like OBJ’s over. Finally, Bet Prep projects Jefferson for 39.61 receiving yards.

Kyler Murray OVER 290.5 Total Yards

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at State Farm Stadium on December 25, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona.
Image Credit: Chris Coduto/Getty Images

As I discussed above, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals have an incentive to play to win. Therefore, Murray has the floor for a big game in a dreamy matchup. First, according to Football Outsiders, the Seattle Seahawks play at the 10th-fastest situation neutral pace, and Arizona plays at the seventh-fastest situation neutral pace. So, the game should be an uptempo contest.

Second, the Seahawks are 27th in pass defense DVOA. But, of course, Murray’s ability to pile up yards doesn’t end with his arm. The fleet-footed quarterback has been in a rushing groove, rushing for 44 yards or more in four of his last five games. Finally, he’s gone over 290.5 total yards in three of his last four games and eight of 13 contests.