Best NFL player prop for TNF San Francisco 49ers vs Tennessee Titans: Deebo Samuel, good at football
Even though last week’s marathon ended less than 48 hours ago, we’re on to Week 16. Kicking us off are the 49ers and Titans in a Thursday night matchup of two playoff hopeful teams. With both conferences’ postseason races as tight as ever, this game is crucial for each team to keep their standing. Before I get to my favorite bet of the game, be sure to check out our full game picks and analysis and our same game parlay.
When the stakes are high, teams typically like to utilize their best players as much as possible. I expect tonight to be no different, and I’m looking squarely at the 49ers’ most versatile playmaker for my best player prop.
Deebo Samuel (SF) over 42.5 receiving yards (-115)
Line available at DraftKings at time of publishing.
Samuel is having the type of breakthrough season the 49ers dreamed of when they drafted him with the 36th pick in the 2019 draft. The third-year offensive weapon has racked up over 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games this season.
Now, I’ve been careful to not refer to Samuel as a ‘receiver’ until this point. His usage over the last few weeks has been all the rage, as the 49ers have increased Samuel’s role out of the backfield. Deebo has 33 carries over his last 5 games, which has curbed his receiving yards a bit. In that same span, the South Carolina product has only eclipsed this receiving line twice.
That being said, there are signs pointing to Deebo getting the ball through the air tonight.
The Titans have successfully stifled the run game all season, allowing the second-fewest rushing yards to running backs, as well as the second-fewest rushing yards overall. Meanwhile, teams have been attacking Tennessee successfully through the air. Not only are teams throwing at the second-highest rate against the Titans, but receivers have accrued the second-most receiving yards against them.
The Titans do rate highly against tight-ends, rating 8th in DVOA versus the position (per Football Outsiders). So, even though George Kittle is in the midst of a highly productive few weeks, it’s Samuel who has the advantageous individual matchup.
Given the Titans’ defensive strengths, I expect to see Samuel back to more of a traditional receiver role tonight. And when he’s in a pass-catching role, he’s been elite. Deebo’s 2.82 yards per route run ties him for 2nd in the NFL. And besides a three-game stretch where he was used more as a running back, he’s eclipsed this line in every game.
At a whopping 11.1 receiving yards per target, it shouldn’t take much for Deebo to soar past this line. And at 6 projected targets, in a plus matchup, I see him getting plenty of opportunity. I have the newly minted Pro Bowl receiver projected north of 60 receiving yards tonight.
Check out our full game analysis of San Francisco 49ers vs Tennessee Titans
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