We’re counting down the days to kickoff, and there’s still plenty of value to be found on season-long NFL player props at your favorite sportsbooks.
We’re big fans of unders around these parts, mostly because we’re big fans of making money. Sometimes expectations for players, or entire teams, get overblown as the offseason hype machine gets rolling and that opens up some value for us. One such team this year is the Miami Dolphins.
With Tua Tagovailoa entering his second year, and the additions of Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle, things are looking up for the Miami offense. But the new additions may not be good news for everyone.
With more competition for targets, Mike Gesicki will need everything to go right to hit the over on his season-long prop.
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Season Long NFL Player Props
Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki
Under 685.5 Receiving Yards (-115 @ DraftKings)
Quick, behind Devante Parker and Gesicki, who had the most targets on the 2020 Dolphins?
That would be the diminutive Jakeem Grant, with a paltry 54. Every single Dolphins pass catcher missed games last year. Preston Williams and Isaiah Ford played just 18 games combined between the two of them, and even top-dog Parker missed two games.
There were games last year where Miami was scraping the bottom of the barrel for receiving threats, and Gesicki was the beneficiary, lining up in the slot or out wide as a receiver far more than he played in-line.
Even when healthy, Grant, Ford, and Williams aren’t the types of players who would start for most teams and demand targets from their quarterback.
Plenty of Fish in the Sea
Enter Fuller and Waddle. Fuller was finally blossoming into a star in Houston after DeAndre Hopkins’ departure, and Waddle was selected 6th-overall in the draft, suggesting he’ll be an immediate starter. Both players come with health concerns (and a one-game suspension in Fuller’s case), but both are also far more talented than the players they’re pushing down the depth chart.
Waddle in particular could be a threat to some of Gesicki’s easy targets. No tight end ran more routes from the slot over the past two season than Gesicki, and that’s where Waddle primarily played in college.
But even if Gesicki maintains his target totals from last season, there’s still plenty of paths to the under. We need look back no further than 2019 where he actually had five more targets but 133 fewer yards.
His yards per target jumped from 6.4 to 8.3 from 2019 to 2020. Some development should be expected for a young TE, but Gesicki may regress a bit, especially with Tua under center.
And that’s all it would take, a bit. Gesicki went over this number by a mere 17 yards last year despite many things breaking in his favor. Even with the 17th regular season game this year, many players’ season-long prop lines are solidly below their prior year performance, but Gesicki’s line almost exactly matches his performance from 2020.
Path to Victory
As with most season-long NFL player props, there are far more paths to the under here than the over.
Short of staying healthy for all 17 games, It’s hard to craft a narrative where Gesicki gains significant targets this year considering the increased competition.
Could his efficiency actually improve? It’s possible, but the Dolphins are reportedly not engaged in any contract talks as he enters the final year of his rookie deal, so it’s not clear if even his own team believes they’d be buying low after last year.
TEs are one of the most-injured skill positions, just behind running backs and Miami added strong target competition. The margins here for Gesicki to go over are razor thin.
Even with an additional game this season, I’m betting that we’ve already seen Gesicki’s ceiling on this Miami team, and that he’ll come up short in 2021.