Zay Jones vs Cincinnati Bengals: NFL Player Prop (Wild Card Weekend)
We lost Diontae Johnson’s receiving yards prop last weekend. He saw 10 targets, but only posted 7 receptions for 51 yards because of Ben Roethlisberger’s inability to get the ball down the field. I’ll be shifting from a receiving yards prop to a receptions prop for Wild Card Weekend. In this article, you’ll find my favorite bet involving Zay Jones vs the Cincinnati Bengals for Saturday.
The Las Vegas Raiders will travel to Paul Brown Stadium for a matchup against Cincinnati in the first playoff game of the season. The Bengals rested the majority of their starters in Week 18, while the Raiders played in one of the weirdest games of the season. Ultimately, they beat the Los Angeles Chargers in overtime. Cincinnati’s currently a -5 point favorite in a game set at 48.5 points.
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Jones’ seen mixed results through 17 games this season. He’s recorded 47 receptions for 546 yards and 1 touchdown on 70 targets. He’s posted a 67.1% catch rate and 11.6 yards per reception in 2021.
Jones saw two or fewer receptions through each of his first seven games this season. Over that span, he recorded 6 receptions for 115 yards and 1 touchdown on 7 targets. Jones saw a slight increase over his next three games, recording 3 receptions for 62 yards on 9 targets.
It wasn’t until Week 12 that Jones’ role changed drastically. Over his last seven games, he’s averaging 5.4 receptions for 52.7 yards on 7.7 targets per game. He recorded 5+ receptions in six of those seven games. Jones’ also seen 8+ targets in each of his last four games.
His snaps somewhat correlate with his uptick in production, although it’s clear his role has grown in the offense as well. Jones played fewer than 30% of the snaps in every game until Week 9. He played 95%, 85%, and 72% of the snaps during that three-week span where his role started to grow but wasn’t nearly at what it is now.
Jones only played 69% of the snaps in Week 12 against the Dallas Cowboys, but that was the start of his breakout. Since then, he’s played 75% or more of the snaps in every game this week.
Jones gets a plus matchup against Cincinnati this weekend. They’re allowing 248.4 passing yards per game and 7.1 adjusted yards per attempt. They’ve also given up 26 passing touchdowns with a 4.2% passing touchdown rate this season. Most importantly, the Bengals have allowed the third-most completions (420) in the NFL in 2021.
The Bengals have struggled quite a bit against tight ends throughout the 2021 season, but wide receivers have found plenty of success against them as well. Players including Jarvis Landry, Tyreek Hill, Marquise Brown, and even James Proche have posted 5+ receptions against them.
Jones is playing a new role in the offense, and he’s locked into major snaps. His receptions line doesn’t match that new role, as he’s consistently found 5+ receptions on 8+ targets in recent games. He gets high-percentage opportunities, and Las Vegas should be throwing throughout this game, as it has the potential to turn into a shootout.
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