Utilizing Vegas: Predicting David Johnson’s 2019


Let’s use over/under yardage prop bets to help predict how a top running back’s season may unfold. The point is we want to leverage predictions by the best analysts in the world for our fantasy teams.

David Johnson Over/Under 1,000.5 Rushing Yards (Over -140/Under +100)

The under at even odds is what might stick out to you when first seeing this. Meaning, for every dollar you bet David Johnson (DJ) will NOT rush for over 1,000 yards; you win one dollar. However, it will take $140 dollars to win $100 dollars if we wanted to bet on DJ having 1,001 yards or more this year. The over has an implied probability of 58.3 percent chance it will happen (no other running back has this high of an implied probability). Humble Rumble had 258 attempts for 940 yards in 2018 which contradicts the 1,000-yard confidence of Vegas but I think there is a glaring hint here for PPR leagues… DJ is going to catch the ball in this air raid offense… often. Vegas didn’t put the line closer to his 2016 rushing total of 1,239 because they are backing Kliff Kingsbury’s passing mindset into this line. 

What does this boil down to? Barring an injury, you can bank on DJ rushing for at least 1,001 yards with ease and he is going to get some serious work in the passing game. Expect 125+ targets; which will boil down to 75 receptions for 675 yards (9 yards/catch is 2018 average– averaged 11 yards/catch in 2016). Unfortunately, the stacked fronts won’t get any easier for DJ until Kyler Murray proves he has viable threats in the air (see below per Player Profiler). 32 percent of DJ’s rushes last year had 8 or more in the box. Regardless, he is going to be one of those passing threats. 

The only part that scares me is DJ did not carry the ball much out of shotgun last year. He ran the ball 77% of the time with the quarterback under center (13th most in the league). Interestingly enough, he averaged 4 yards/carry in shotgun carry rate while 3.5 y/c in under center carry rate. Some are saying Kingsbury may be shot gun exclusive this year– this requires a high-success rate with play-action, a patient back and a great offensive line. The line is a bit of a question mark right now so stay on top of any veteran signings the Cards make.

Floor Projection: 1,000 Rushing Yards, 65 receptions, 580 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns. 283 total PPR points, good for RB6 numbers last year in PPR (just ahead of James Conner).

Reach for the Sky: 1,100 rushing yards, 80 receptions, 700 receiving yards (I really wanted to put 750) and 13 total touchdowns. 338 total PPR points, good for RB4 between Kamara and Elliott last year. 

TL;DR What are you trying to say? Be confident with taking DJ in the first round this year. You won’t regret it in Kingsbury’s air raid offense. Very Cool.

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