The NFL playoffs have arrived and with that, some opportunities in the futures market have as well. The player futures market for the playoffs is an interesting one to break down, and I’ve got three player futures I like as we head into Super Wild Card Weekend.
Derrick Henry most rushing yards in playoffs (+600)
The King has returned in Tennessee and with an extra week of rest, he should be ready to go for the Titans’ divisional round matchup. Henry will not have a chance to rack up any rushing yards during the wild card round and Tennessee isn’t an elite team—they may go one and done. However, I still think King Henry is worth a bet at these odds. Before his foot injury halfway through the season, Henry led the NFL with 117.1 yards per game. The next closest playoff running back is San Francisco’s, Elijah Mitchell, who averaged just 87.5 yards per game. The 49ers are underdogs vs Dallas this week so they may not even make it out of the first round. There are a few elite teams who have a good chance at making a deep postseason run: Green Bay, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, and Buffalo. Of those teams, none of them has a running back who averaged more than 60 yards per game. That is about half of what Derrick Henry averaged in his eight games this season. That means there is a good chance that Tennessee could only play two games and Henry could still lead the playoffs in rushing yards by a wide margin. We also shouldn’t count the Titans out when it comes to teams who can win a few playoff games. They have the #1 seed so they will be at home, with an extra week of rest, and play the lowest advancing seed from the wildcard round. Betting markets give them the second-highest odds to win the AFC. We know the blowup potential that King Henry has, he can rip off a huge run at any time and rack up 150 to 200 yards in any game. Considering Henry’s dominance, the lack of another dominant back in the playoffs, and the Titans potential to get to play at least two games, if not three, I’m betting on the Derrick Henry to be the playoff’s rushing yardage king.
Cooper Kupp most receiving yards in playoffs (+900) and Matthew Stafford most passing yards in playoffs (+1100)
We have a pair of LA Rams players here to lead their respective positions in yards. The main bet I want to focus on is Cooper Kupp, but if he’s going to lead the playoffs in yards, than Stafford is likely to rack up some passing yards along the way. Like Henry, Kupp has a vast lead in yards per game over the rest of the field. He averaged an otherworldly 114.5 receiving yards per game this season, which is 17.6 yards more than Davante Adams did, and 26.7 yards more than the next closest playoff receiver, Deebo Samuel. Adams has a first round bye, so Kupp will potentially have an extra game on Adams and like I mentioned with Elijah Mitchell, the 49ers are long shots to make a deep run. Meanwhile, the Rams are four point favorites in round one and have the third-highest odds to win the NFC. Kupp’s incredible production means that the Rams may only need to get to the conference championship game for this bet to hit. With that in mind, we also know Los Angeles can make a Super Bowl run. They have a great head coach, defense, and a productive passing offense that can pile up stats en route to a Super Bowl bid in their home stadium. I love Kupp at +900 and stacking a Stafford bet on top of this is a bet on the upside that this passing offense, and the Rams as a whole, has this postseason.
Tom Brady most passing yards in playoffs (+370) and Rob Gronkowski most receiving yards (+3500)
This Buccaneers duo is another stack I like, and one that acts as a great hedge against the Kupp/Stafford bet. Tampa Bay has the second-highest odds to win the NFC and the third-highest Super Bowl odds. The Bucs are capable of a deep run and if they do, that will be on the arm of Brady. Tampa Bay is guaranteed home field advantage until the conference championship game. They are also 8.5 point favorites in round one against an Eagles team that ranks 18th in EPA/dropback allowed. That’s a recipe for success for this Buccaneers duo and can propel them on a run to the conference championship game. Even if Tampa loses that conference championship game, it will likely be to Green Bay. In that case, the Packers would not surpass the Buccaneers in games played because the Packers have a first round bye. Brady has dominated the counting statistics at the quarterback position this year. He led the league in passing yards per game by a wide margin, 24.5 more than the next highest playoff quarterback, Joe Burrow. If you’re going to make this bet on Brady, adding a Gronk bet at +3500 is a sharp play. I had originally wrote this up with Mike Evans at +1200 but if you take a closer look, it’s actually been Gronk who has receivied more volume. Even with the loss of wide receivers Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, it has been Gronkowski, not Evans, who has become Brady’s go-to target. Since the Buccaneers’ bye week, Gronkowski has out-targeted Evans 67 to 51, and Gronk also has a slight edge in yards per game. That trend continued after Godwin and Brown left the lineup. Evans is priced in the +1200 range, which makes Gronkowski at +3500 an absolute steal. I also love the hedging aspect of this bet. Tampa Bay and Los Angeles are second and third in odds to win the NFC which makes it likely that one of them will play at least three or four games this postseason. If that happens, you can count on both of these duos racking up the stats and cashing out one or two of these high-paying bets.
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