NFL Betting: Passing Yards Totals for Quarterbacks

If you follow enough football people on Twitter, your timeline was likely filled with shaky phone recordings of preseason NFL plays. That's a telltale sign that the regular season is just around the corner.

This is also a perfect time to get in on some NFL futures bets at FanDuel's Sportsbook. Today, I wanted to examine the totals for passing yards for each quarterback in the NFL. I compared those totals with numberFire's season projections in an attempt to find some betting values.

The Findings

QB Name FanDuel Sportsbook
numberFire Projected
Passing Yards
Kyler Murray 3400.5 3861.53 461.03
Marcus Mariota 3060.5 3410.54 350.04
Baker Mayfield 4255.5 4603.63 348.13
Carson Wentz 4050.5 4371.25 320.75
Sam Darnold 3500.5 3790.72 290.22
Jared Goff 4220.5 4484.66 264.16
Cam Newton 3605.5 3857.79 252.29
Lamar Jackson 2850.5 3097.02 246.52
Andrew Luck 4375.5 4601.00 225.5
Ben Roethlisberger 4325.5 4547.67 222.17
Mitch Trubisky 3600.5 3805.73 205.23
Jameis Winston 4300.5 4490.71 190.21
Kirk Cousins 4165.5 4355.42 189.92
Josh Allen 3100.5 3288.58 188.08
Aaron Rodgers 4285.5 4473.51 188.01
Drew Brees 4250.5 4437.05 186.55
Phillip Rivers 4300.5 4469.95 169.45
Tom Brady 4170.5 4331.98 161.48
Deshaun Watson 3950.5 4102.58 152.08
Dak Prescott 3850.5 3998.12 147.62
Derek Carr 3950.5 4094.35 143.85
Matt Ryan 4505.5 4626.72 121.22
Patrick Mahomes 4610.5 4672.86 62.36
Andy Dalton 3665.5 3710.06 44.56
Matthew Stafford 4065.5 4096.77 31.27
Russell Wilson 3610.5 3488.42 -122.08
Nick Foles 3770.5 3474.37 -296.13
Joe Flacco 3245.5 2404.94 -840.56

Our projections are bullish on most quarterbacks. Of the 28 quarterbacks with odds, numberFire projects 25 of them to exceed their passing totals. Betting the over on every quarterback listed here would be a -EV move and is not recommended. But let's take a look at who we like based on these projections.

Kyler Murray OVER 3400.5 Passing Yards (-110)

There are plenty of unknowns when it comes to the upcoming Arizona Cardinals season. Kliff Kingsbury is entering his first year as an NFL head coach. Also entering his first season in the NFL is Kyler Murray.

Earlier this week, JJ Zachariason highlighted 10 players that you should target in fantasy football drafts. One of those players is *spoiler alert* Christian Kirk. In his reasoning for liking Kirk, he highlights Kingsbury's tendency to pass often via an air raid offense. During his six seasons at Texas Tech, Kingsbury ranked in the top ten of pass to rush ratio every single season.

Also, over the past ten seasons, seven quarterbacks have exceeded 3,400 passing yards in their rookie seasons. In those ten seasons, only eleven quarterbacks have started all 16 games. Andy Dalton missed the 3,400 yards mark by two yards. 3,400 passing yards looks very attainable for Murray, who is projected to start the entire season.

Joe Flacco UNDER 3245.5 Passing Yards (-110)

Joe Flacco has averaged 234.6 passing yards per game over his career. If you extrapolate that over 16 games, you'd get 3,753 passing yards, which easily exceeds the betting total. So why do we like the under?

After spending eleven seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Flacco will now be suiting up with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have struggled to find consistent quarterback play ever since Peyton Manning retired. Flacco is in line to start the season at quarterback but numberFire projects Drew Lock to make an appearance and likely take over as the starter during the season.

numberFire projects Flacco to pass for just 2,405 yards. They also project Lock to throw for 1,427 yards.

Flacco failed to reach 3,200 passing yards in 2017 even though he started all 16 games. Last year, he lost his job to Lamar Jackson. The odds of Flacco having a career renaissance with the Broncos seems highly unlikely, especially when his best receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, is slowly returning from an Achilles injury.

Baker Mayfield OVER 4255.5 Passing Yards (-110)

I usually avoid the teams that the public loves. Everybody thinks the Cleveland Browns are going to have an offensive powerhouse this season, and rightfully so. numberFire projects Baker Mayfield to easily surpass his betting total with a forecast of 4603.63 passing yards.

Last season, Tyrod Taylor was benched in favor of Mayfield. It didn't take long for Mayfield to find his groove and he went on to average 266.1 passing yards per game. If you extrapolate that out for 16 games, you get 4,257.6 passing yards for the season, which is just a shade over his betting total. Keep in mind that he spent a chunk of the season being coached by Hue Jackson and Todd Haley.

Freddie Kitchens is now the head coach of the Browns and Mayfield excelled under him last season. They also added Odell Beckham via trade giving the Browns several elite weapons in the passing game.

This seems like the perfect time to bet on Mayfield as this number will likely rise as we get closer to Week One.

Russell Wilson UNDER 3610.5 Passing Yards (-110)

Russell Wilson is an awesome quarterback. He will give the Seattle Seahawks a good chance to win any game. That much is obvious.

However, like last season, this current Seahawks offense is likely to be a rushing offense under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Running instead of passing is Schottenheimer's modus operandi. Last season, Seattle ranked last in passing attempts. Here is how Brian Schottenheimer's offenses have ranked over his career.

YearPassing Attempts RankPassing Yards Rank

His offenses have always ranked in the bottom half of the league for passing attempts and yards. With an average pass attempts rank of 22.4 and passing yards rank of 22.7, it's tough to be optimistic about Wilson's chances to exceed 3,610 passing yards.

Last year, he threw for 3,448 yards on only 427 attempts, his lowest amount of attempts since 2013. numberFire projects Wilson to throw for 3,488 yards this season.