We have already seen plenty of news around the NFL that is changing so much, and with training camps about to kick off, we are only going to get more news. Now is the ideal time to get in on some player future bets ahead of the 2021 campaign.
Let’s look at a few lines that stand out. (Lines from DraftKings Sportsbook)
JuJu Smith-Schuster OVER 80.5 receptions (-120)
I understand many people aren’t too excited about Smith-Schuster, mainly because he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype since Antonio Brown left the Steelers. However, he still hauled in 97 balls a season ago. And while the yardage is very, very underwhelming, for the purposes of this line, who cares? He was essentially used like a tight end last year, averaging just 6.49 yards per target, the eighth-lowest mark among all receivers with at least 50 targets. There have been reports of him playing outside more, which would lead to deeper routes. However, I don’t see it happening at a massive rate, which means he’d remain in the slot around 70-80% of the time. If that is the case, he’ll see plenty of looks from Ben Roethlisberger, who averaged just 2.17 seconds to throw last year, easily the fastest mark in the league. In a pass-happy Steelers offense, JuJu should again see around 130 targets. And because his targets are highly convertible, the catches should again be over the 80-mark.
Daniel Jones UNDER 24 passing touchdowns (-115)
This one is really close, as we could easily see a breakout season from Jones in 2021. The Giants added Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, and getting Saquon Barkley back will help the entire offense, giving Jones more red-zone trips than he had last year.
However, this team wants to run the football as even without Barkley for essentially all of last season, New York still posted the 10th-highest rushing rate in neutral game scripts. And from Week 6 on last year, they called run at a top-five overall rate. With Jason Garrett still calling the plays, I don’t expect this team to suddenly transform to a pass-happy offense, especially with the offensive line still struggling to pass protect. I think Jones gets very close to this number but finishes just under it.