Underdog Fantasy NFL Props: Wild Card Sunday

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams
Image Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

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.
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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 Sunday’s Wild Card contests.

Rob Gronkowski OVER 57.5 Receiving Yards

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Inglewood, California.
Image Credit: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Rob Gronkowski flashed prime Gronk in 2020. However, he kicked it up a notch, another year removed from his 2019 retirement. Excluding his injury-abbreviated Week 8, Gronk surpassed 57.5 receiving yards in seven of 11 games. Moreover, he blew up down the stretch, easing the burden of the losses of Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. He was targeted 20 times in the final two games of the regular season, reaching 115 yards and 137 yards.

Gronk also represented himself well from an efficiency perspective. According to Pro-Football-Reference, he was 24th out of 152 qualified pass-catchers in yards per target (9.0 Y/Tgt). Additionally, according to Pro Football Focus, out of 72 players targeted at least 50 times this year, Gronk was 17th in yards per route run (2.09 Y/RR).

Beyond Gronk’s excellence, the case for taking his over is aided by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pass-happy offense and a mouthwatering matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. According to Sharp Football Stats, when the offensive scoring margin was between trailing by six points and leading by six points, the Bucs passed at the highest rate (66%). They also didn’t take the air out of the ball when leading, passing at the highest rate (61%) when leading by three points or more.

Finally, the Eagles are dreadful defending tight ends. According to Pro-Football-Reference, they allowed the sixth-most receiving yards (1,035) to tight ends in 2021. I love Gronk’s over, and Bet Prep agrees, projecting him for 61.42 receiving yards.

Deebo Samuel OVER 92.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards

San Francisco wide receiver #19 Deebo Samuel tries to find running room in a 2021 road game.
Image Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel has been a weapon as a runner and receiver for the San Francisco 49ers this year. In 16 games, he averaged 87.8 receiving yards and 22.8 rushing yards per game, good for 110.6 scrimmage yards per game. The do-it-all superstar might get a tempo boost against the Dallas Cowboys in a good matchup, too.

According to Football Outsiders, the Cowboys play at the fastest situation neutral pace. Meanwhile, according to Football Outsiders, the Cowboys were 16th in rush defense Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). They also bled yardage to receivers. Dallas coughed up the seventh-most receiving yards (2,870) to wideouts.

Thus, whether Samuel is used as a running back or receiver, he shouldn’t meet much resistance from the Cowboys. After eclipsing 92.5 scrimmage yards in nine of 16 games in the regular season, I expect him to jump-start the postseason by doing so. Bet Prep is in alignment, projecting him for 100.23 scrimmage yards.

Ezekiel Elliott UNDER 55.5 Rushing Yards

Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball during a game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 44-20.
Image Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Father Time is undefeated, and he’s taking a toll on workhorse Ezekiel Elliott. Sure, he averaged 58.9 rushing yards per game this year, but that was a career-low. In addition, he demonstrably slowed down after a modest resurgence to pre-2020 form from Week 2 through Week 5.

Zeke rushed for more than 55.5 yards only one time in his last 11 games. Yikes. Further, the one time he went over, rushing for 87 yards in the season finale, was against the Philadelphia Eagles in a game they were treating like a preseason contest since it was meaningless to their playoff seeding. As a result, I’m taking Elliott’s Week 18 showing with more than just a grain of salt.

Even if I wasn’t convinced Zeke is approaching washed-up status, the matchup with the 49ers is brutal. San Francisco is second in rush defense DVOA. They also ceded the seventh-fewest rushing yards (1,303) to running backs this year at a stingy 3.57 yards per rush attempt. As a result, I don’t expect Zeke to make much headway against the 49ers, and Bet Prep agrees, projecting 50.85 rushing yards for him.