(Photo credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports)
Four teams are off this week, but there is plenty of opportunity on the board in the player prop market.
It's also a time of year to be a cautious shopper.
Even with a good handicap, the margins can be razor-thin this time of the year. For example, who could've foreseen the Colts' backup running back, Zack Moss, carrying the ball just once despite not being on the injury report?
If you're like me and expected Moss to eat into some of Jonathan Taylor's carries, it wasn't a predictable surprise.
Such are the risks with this racket. But we're looking to avoid a similar pitfall with our player props for Week 11.
--Panthers QB Bryce Young over 34.5 pass attempts (-105 at DraftKings)
After opening as a nine-point home underdog against the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers are now catching 10.5 points heading into Sunday. One thing we've seen with this Cowboys team is that they can be a bit of a bully.
Dallas is 4-1 straight up and against the spread when laying six or more points as a favorite this season. Their average margin of victory in those four wins is 27.5 points.
Things could turn ugly in a hurry for a Panthers team with the fewest wins (1-8) in the league. But we see the Panthers are willing to let Young take his lumps while learning on the job in his rookie campaign.
Young started eight of the nine games thus far while missing one due to injury and popped up on the injury report Thursday but is planning to play. Panthers backup quarterback Andy Dalton has yet to throw a pass in a game where Young was the starter.
In all four games that Young started where the Panthers lost by double digits, he finished with 38 or more pass attempts.
Should the Panthers trail big in this game, the organization seems content to keep Young on the field to further his development, particularly if facing the backups on an opposing team's roster.
--Cowboys RB Tony Pollard under 16.5 rush attempts (-125 at BetMGM)
Despite being known to have a prolific rushing attack in recent memory, the Cowboys are running the ball less this season than last year.
According to TeamRankings, the Cowboys have a 43.5 percent run rate compared to 47.3 percent in the previous campaign. Interestingly, since the Cowboys already have four blowout wins, one would think they'd maintain their run rate or even exceed it.
However, the numbers clearly show that hasn't been the case. It's worth noting that Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy took over play-calling duties in the offseason after firing Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator.
Last season, the Cowboys finished 18th in explosive plays of 20 or more yards. This season, they're currently fourth using the same metric.
Based on those findings, the Cowboys are looking to push the ball down the field more than ever. And if they can build a big cushion in these games, there's less need to give Pollard a heavy workload.
Backup running back Rico Dowdle has proven just as capable, considering that he's averaging 4.5 yards per carry compared to 3.9 for Pollard. And while I don't see Pollard losing his role as the lead back, I project he'll once again settle for fewer carries on Sunday.
--Packers QB Jordan Love over 19.5 completions (-115 at BetMGM)
The Chargers (4-5) are trying to get back to .500 when they visit the Green Bay Packers. Los Angeles is laying three points on the road after opening as a 2.5-point favorite.
Despite having five losses, the Chargers have faced the third toughest schedule in the league. Only one of their defeats came against a team below .500 in a 27-24 overtime setback.
While the Chargers boast a sixth-ranked offense in expected points added (EPA), their defense ranks 29th in EPA. Big plays in the passing game have been too easy to come by for most opponents.
Opposing quarterbacks can have success against this Chargers unit, as it ranks 31st in completions (26.4) allowed per game.
Love completes more passes at home (60.5 percent) than on the road (56.9 percent). He's completed at least 20 passes in four straight games while also exceeding this number in each of his starts at Lambeau Field.
With clear skies, temperatures in the mid-40s and 5-6 mph winds, the football weather should be a boost to Love going over his completion prop.
--Field Level Media