Opening Line Odds: 2023 NFL Rookie Props


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Opening Line Odds: 2023 NFL Rookie Props

A few player prop bets have trickled out at various sportsbooks since free agency started the new league year, and some rookie season-long props have been released since the NFL Draft concluded. It’s time to dive into these numbers to see if there’s any value on these initial lines. I recently broke down this year’s rookie class for fantasy purposes (RBs, WRs, QBs and TEs) and the initial 2023 Rookie of the Year odds.

Wagering your hard-earned money in May and waiting for bets to be settled in eight to nine months isn’t the easiest pill to swallow. Nevertheless, if we’re able to get the best of the lines before the markets fully mature in the future it will make the wait until the end of the season worth it in the long run. Make sure to shop around for the best lines and odds if you have access to multiple sportsbooks. You’re likely to see more volatility between books on NFL Futures in the off-season than you’ll see on game lines and player props during the season. Let’s see if we can find some value in these rookie player props.

Note: Rookie player props are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of May 11 unless otherwise indicated.

Running Backs

Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons

  • Rushing yards: 1100.5 (-110/-120); 64.7 rushing YPG

  • Rushing TDs: 8.5 (-120/-110); .5 TDs per game

  • Fantasy Points Projection: 1315 rushing yards, 10 rushing TDs

The Falcons spent top-10 draft capital to select Bijan to be their new workhorse back in an offense that ran the rock at the second-highest rate (55.3%) last season. Atlanta lost just two carries from their backfield last season but they didn’t exactly have a lot invested in the group. Last year’s fifth-round pick Tyler Allgeier led the backfield with 210/1035 rushing (4.9 YPC), and 32-year-old return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson will still be in the mix. Based on his draft capital, Arthur Smith has designs of using Bijan as the team’s bell-cow back from Week 1 in an offense that ranked second in rushing attempts per game (32.9).

Saquon Barkley (#2, 2018) Leonard Fournette (#4, 2017), Ezekiel Elliott (#4, 2016), and Todd Gurley (#10, 2015) were the other four backs drafted inside the top 10 over the last decade. Fournette was the only RB in that group who failed to reach 1101+ rushing yards despite totaling a career-high 268 carries in 13 games as a rookie — he averaged only 3.9 YPC. Atlanta’s rag-tag groups of backs actually led the NFL in RB rushing yards with 2209, and each of their backs who saw 75+ carries (Allgeier, Patterson, and Caleb Huntley) each averaged 4.8 YPC or better. The Falcons' running game could take a small step back with a running threat like Marcus Mariota out of the picture and if their O-line play declines. Even then, Robinson would need 245 carries at 4.5 YPC to go over 1100.5 rushing yards. Robinson could miss four games and still go over his total based on our projections, which makes this a wager to strongly consider.

Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions

  • Rushing yards (Caesars): 580.5 (-115/-115); 34.1 rushing YPG
  • Fantasy Points Projection: 885 rushing yards

The Lions surprised the league by selecting Gibbs with the #12 overall pick, but they clearly coveted Gibbs at the top of the draft based on GM Brad Holmesenthusiastic reaction to landing the versatile Bama back. Gibbs arrived in a backfield that had the most carries (403) become available, with Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift jettisoned this off-season. David Montgomery will handle the majority of those carries in Williams’ old role, but Gibbs should see his fair share of attempts as a change-of-pace option. Swift reached 520+ rushing yards in each of his three seasons in Detroit despite missing 3+ games in each of those campaigns.

Swift fell out of favor with the Lions last season and managed just 99 carries, but he averaged 5.5 YPC for 542 rushing yards behind one of the league’s best offensive lines. Gibbs will take over Swift’s snaps against lighter boxes behind Detroit’s elite offensive line when the Lions spread opposing defenses out. I believe a 4.5 YPC average is attainable for Gibbs as a rookie, which means he’d need 130 carries to get over his player prop of 580.5 rushing yards. He’d have to average 7.6 attempts per game in a backfield that averaged 25.1 RB attempts per game last season. I’m betting Gibbs to go over his rushing yardage total because of his elite draft capital for a running back and his ideal landing spot behind a top-flight offensive line in one of the NFL’s best offenses.


Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

  • Passing yards: 3750.5 (+100/-130); 220.6 passing YPG
  • Passing TDs: 22.5 (-110/-120); 1.3 TDs per game
  • Fantasy Points Projection: 3655 passing yards, 22 passing TDs

The Panthers traded up to the top overall pick to make Young their quarterback of the future after patching together the position in the first five years of David Tepper’s ownership. Young had a stellar three-year career at Alabama, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 2021, and he has an immediate path to the Week 1 starting gig. Young’s passing yards prop opened at 3850.5 right after the draft, but it has been bet down since then with the odds still juiced toward the under. He alleviated some worries about his slight frame by checking in at 5’10”, 204 pounds at the combine, but he still has durability concerns as he moves to the next level. He missed three games last year for an AC joint injury in his throwing shoulder, and his small stature is enough of a reason to look under his passing total.

I also have plenty of concerns with his receiving corps that’s headlined by Adam Thielen, who is 33 years old, and D.J. Chark, who has missed 19 games over the last two seasons. I’m intrigued by the 39th overall pick Jonathan Mingo, but he had minimal production in four seasons at Ole Miss. Young is polished enough to have immediate success as a rookie, but I can’t consider betting the overs on his passing props with his near-league-worst receiving corps and his durability concerns. Carolina’s defense should also keep them competitive most weeks so he could have limited garbage-time opportunities. We missed our opportunity to bet under Young’s total for the time being.

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

  • Passing yards: 3675.5 (-115/-115); 216.2 passing YPG
  • Passing TDs: 22.5 (+120/-150); 1.3 TDs per game
  • Fantasy Points Projection: 3825 passing yards, 20 passing TDs

Stroud went from being the odds-on favorite to be the top overall pick after the Panthers traded up in early March to supposedly being in a free fall right before the draft. In the end, he landed exactly where most expected him to at the second overall pick to the Texans. Stroud finished as a Heisman Trophy finalist in each of his seasons as a starter at Ohio State, and he impressed with his repeatable accuracy at the combine. He projects to open 2023 as the starter over Case Keenum and Davis Mills barring a rough showing in August. Stroud’s passing yards prop opened at 3750.5 right after the draft but it has been bet down since then.

It’s a bit of a concern that OC Bobby Slowik will be calling plays for the first time with a rookie quarterback, and he comes from San Francisco’s run-heavy system. Stroud also has one of the NFL’s weaker receiving corps coming into his rookie campaign, with no player currently being drafted inside the top 100 picks in Underdog drafts. With that said, the group has some room for growth in 2023, with intriguing younger receivers in Nico Collins, John Metchie, and Tank Dell. The underrated Dalton Schultz will provide a security blanket for Stroud in the middle of the field. Houston’s roster is starting to turn a corner after picking at the top of the draft each of the last three years, but Stroud should still get a handful of opportunities to rack up garbage-time production. I’m leaning toward Stroud going over his passing yards and under his passing TDs props, but I don’t see myself getting to the window on either bet.

Brolley’s Best Bets

Jahmyr Gibbs (Det) over 580.5 rushing yards (-115, Caesars). Risk 1.15 units to win one unit. Bet up to over 625 rushing yards.

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 64.3% clip last season and he owned the last undefeated team out of 3000 entries in Scott Fish Bowl 12.