Best NFL player props for Denver Broncos vs Cleveland Browns: Johnson gets his turn
Week 7 kicks off with a clash of two struggling AFC teams. After hot starts to the season, both the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns come into this game on losing streaks. Each team will be looking to climb above .500 with a win. Before I give my player prop of the game, be sure to check out our expert’s picks for game sides and totals.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend this game is aesthetically pleasing on paper. Mounting injuries and weather concerns have made this game tough to analyze from a prop perspective. However, a game will be played, meaning there are bets to be made. And I’ve found some value on one of the replacement players’ lines.
D’Ernest Johnson (CLE) over 14.5 rush attempts (-115)
Line available at time of publishing.
Let’s establish the ‘who?’ first. Johnson is the next man up in the Browns’ running back room. With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt unavailable tonight, it’s Johnson who is expected to carry the load. The running back has been with the Browns for three seasons, and although his playing time has been sparse, he’s performed well when called upon. The USF product has a career per carry average of 5.0 on 40 attempts.
It’s well chronicled how injury depleted the Browns are on offense coming into tonight. In addition to missing Chubb and Hunt, they’ll be without quarterback Baker Mayfield, potentially Odell Beckham Jr. and three of their starting offensive lineman. Beyond that, the weather for this game projects to be wet and windy.
In a perfect world, the Browns offense is predicated on zone running schemes and play-action passing. The ground game is the staple of this offense, and Cleveland’s run play percentage of 50% ranks third highest in the NFL. With the injuries and weather conditions, I don’t expect the Browns to go pass heavy tonight. Cleveland is averaging 27 running back rushes per game this season (same as 2020).
Demetric Felton figures to mix in on passing situations, and the just-signed John Kelly could receive some spot carries as well. But Johnson should receive the lions’ share of the carries tonight, in what projects to be a ground and pound game. I have the back projected closer to 17 carries.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Denver Broncos vs Cleveland Browns