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Jahnke: Best NFL wild-card round player prop bets

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off to running back Damien Harris (37) against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Wild-card weekend is here, and it's time to take advantage of some high-value player props.

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My picks went 0-3 last week. The Jacksonville Jaguars put together, by far, their best passing performance of the season, which led to the downfall of two of those three props. Jacksonville’s large lead forced the Indianapolis Colts to abandon the run in the fourth quarter, so Jonathan Taylor was limited to 15 carries, leaving him under 22.5. Laviska Shenault achieved his most receiving yards since September, which was partly due to the Jaguars playing so well. Tavon Austin practiced all week but was inactive, which gave Shenault more opportunities than usual. 

Finally, Zach Wilson predictably put up a quiet passing performance, recording just seven completions for 87 yards, but the New York Jets quarterback still managed a 40 yard touchdown pass to Keelan Cole, which was enough for Wilson to hit over 0.5 touchdowns. 

This article's record now stands at 26-22 on the season

Leverage PFF's player props tool to find the most valuable bets to make during the wild-card round.

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

RB Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Under 32.5 receiving yards (-112)

Fournette has spent the last few weeks on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, but he was hovering right around 32 yards in the weeks prior to his injury. He’s targeted often but typically doesn't average a lot of yards per reception, which means he likely needs six or more receptions to hit 32.5 receiving yards. Lombardi Lenny is practicing and expected to return this week, but anytime someone is returning from injury, it’s reasonable to expect their playing time to be limited — particularly at running back.

Fournette’s receiving production in his last four games
Week Routes Targets Receptions Yards
12 @ Indianapolis 29 8 7 31
13 @ Atlanta 39 8 7 48
14 vs. Buffalo 31 6 4 19
15 vs. New Orleans 24 7 7 33

Typically, if the Buccaneers wanted to limit Fournette’s snaps, they would play Ronald Jones more snaps on early downs; however, Jones is doubtful to play with an ankle injury. This leaves Tampa Bay with Le’Veon Bell and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who are more so receiving backs than rushing backs, and Giovani Bernard, who is also designated to return from injured reserve. The time to limit Fournette’s snaps will be in the passing game, which should help him finish under 32.5 receiving yards.

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