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Fade Five: Fournette leads the way in OVERs frenzy

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Each week through the Super Bowl, FTN’s resident blabbermouth and player props purveyor, Brad Evans, will attempt to not bleed his pockets dry outlining his favorite picks on the NFL slate. Fade or follow? That, of course, is entirely up to you. And, as always, use the FTN Prop Shop tool to unearth the best lines. 

Prop 1: Leonard Fournette 0.5 touchdowns 

OVER (+120). Shedding his prior ineptitude, whether as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars or in his inaugural campaign with the Bucs, “Playoff Lenny” has exuded a rough, tumble and productive attitude in the postseason. Against the Fighting Footballs, Saints and Packers, he ran with improved conviction (2.96 YAC per attempt) and was highly active as a pass catcher (17 targets, 14 receptions, 102 receiving yards). With nine red-zone touches over that span and three TDs, he’s a strong candidate to cross the chalk yet again. Kansas City’s primary vulnerability is defending the run. Including the playoffs, the Chiefs have given up over 4.4 yards per carry to RBs. Whether via ground or air, Fournette is a threat to penetrate the end zone. At plus odds, he’s a sound wager of logging a celebratory spike no matter game flow. 

Prop 2: Tom Brady 291.5 pass yards 

OVER. With the contest played in Brady’s backyard, mercury-topping Tampa, no wetsuit is necessary, unlike what the QB sported under his jersey in the NFC Championship at Green Bay. In this first matchup in Week 12, a 41-attempt game for the future HOFer, the signal caller unleashed a torrent of chunk gains en route to a 345-yard effort. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown (who is expected to return to the lineup), keeping defenses on their heels is a Brady specialty. His incorporation of Cameron Brate and, sporadically, Rob Gronkowski into the mix only bolsters his odds of cracking 300 yards. KC will attempt to dial up the heat on the sloth-footed QB like it did against Josh Allen in the AFC title game (41.4% under pressure percentage). Tampa’s O-line must stonewall repeated blitzes. If not, and it could snowball quickly for the GOAT. Still, there are a ton of outs here. Execute at a high level with proper protection, win. Get buried under an avalanche of points and are forced to throw, win. It’s for those reasons the over is quite attractive. 

Prop 3: Patrick Mahomes 2.5 pass touchdowns 

OVER. We will gloss over the fact Mahomes, like an 8-year-old child, disgustingly drenches a finely cut New York strip in communist sauce. When you’re a football deity with godlike skills, trophies in the case and a 1995 birthdate, I suppose, you can consume whatever condiment you like. On the big stage, Mahomes is sure to carve up Tampa’s suspect secondary. Recall in Week 12 against the Bucs, he erupted, completing 37-of-49 attempts for 462 yards and three TDs. Seven times in 17 games, he tossed at least three TDs. The Bucs’ stout front seven should turn Mahomes loose early and often. Abandoning the run is likely part of Andy Reid’s game plan. On the year, Yes, Tampa has surrendered a respectable 6.9 pass yards per attempt, 270.2 pass yards per game and 1.8 pass TDs per contest. Only six gunslingers topped the proposed number. Still, KC’s passing Zeus, will not be deterred.

Prop 4: Tyreek Hill 86.5 receiving yards 

OVER. Hill moves with the speed and suddenness of a Reddit Wall Street mob jumping on shorted stocks. There isn’t a defensive back in the league who can hang with his fast-spinning cartoon-like wheels. It’s no surprise why he notched 10.3 yards per target, 14.9 yards per catch and an appreciable 5.53 YAC per reception over the season’s entirety. He’s known as a gamebreaker, but he’s also equipped with a voluminous route tree. Dusting Carlton Davis repeatedly in Week 12, he amassed a gargantuan 13 catches for 269 yards and three touchdowns, one of the greatest single-game performances by a WR in NFL history. Yes, he’ll be the focal point for Todd Bowles to subdue, but his unrivaled separation skills make the task almost impossible. Davis, who’s yielded 1.49 yards per snap to his assignments, may need assistance from a horde of fast-moving zombies to prevent Hill from eclipsing the over.

Prop 5: Travis Kelce 7.5 receptions

OVER. There simply aren’t enough poison-tipped darts in existence to slow the league’s most uncontainable tight end. Maybe he has an undisclosed case of leprosy, but the man persistently finds inventive ways to get open. His stellar performance against the Bills was exemplary of what he’s accomplished all season. His mammoth target shares, No. 2 yards per route run rank among TEs (2.58) and reliable hands should again push him over. Tampa’s deficiencies defending tight ends are well documented. Whether examining DVOA or other advanced analytics, they surrender abundant yards to plus-sized weapons. In his first tilt against Tampa, he made the Bucs walk the plank, catching all eight targeted passes for 82 yards. He is the only TE to cross the proposed threshold, but he’s also a nuclear weapon packed with an unusual amount of plutonium. Targeted 10-plus times in nine of his last team games, Kelce eclipsing 7.5 receptions is one of the surest bets on the board. Load up. 

Column record: 13-7

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