CeeDee Lamb's 2020 Player Props Are Worth Betting
It was a surprise when the Dallas Cowboys were able to land Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. At FanDuel Sportsbook, Lamb was the pre-draft favorite to be the first receiver selected, and not many mocks had him lasting until pick 17.
Speaking of FanDuel Sportsbook, they have Lamb's over/unders set at 749.5 for yards (-112 on both) and 4.5 for touchdowns (-152 on the over, +120 on the under).
Let's take a look at how to approach the rookie's props.
As a true freshman in 2017, Lamb posted 807 yards and 7 scores on 17.5 yards per reception. That was just the beginning.
Lamb totaled 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore and 1,347 yards and 15 scores as a senior -- the latter came on a whopping 21.4 yards per catch.
The 21-year-old finished his collegiate career with a 19.0 yards per reception average. Here's how that compared to some of college football's all-time greatest wideouts.
|Player||Yards Per Reception|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||16.4|
That's some elite company...to say the least. Lamb didn't just accumulate this average through a bunch of vertical routes -- his 11.0 yards after the catch in his final year at Oklahoma led the 2019 draft class.
Lamb was quite efficient, as well, finishing first in this year's draft class in yards per target (15.1).
In short, this guy can ball.
Role and Targets
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott attempted a career-high 596 passes in 2019, resulting in the league's second-most passing yards, at 4,902. Despite that, the Cowboys ranked just 21st with a pass-to-run ratio of 1.38.
Enter Mike McCarthy. The drafting of Lamb and hiring of the former Green Bay Packers head coach indicates that the team that was bottom-12 in pass-to-run ratio in each of their final six seasons under Jason Garrett could be headed for a change in philosophy.
McCarthy's Packers averaged a whopping 1.80 passes for every run in his final three seasons in Green Bay and never dipped below 1.30 in his 13-year tenure. For comparison, Garrett's Cowboys averaged 1.19 passes per run since 2014.
Increased passing volume is certainly not a negative for Lamb, nor is the fact that Dallas has the second-most vacated targets in the league from 2019. The Cowboys didn't add any other weapons in the offseason, which means a good chunk of those available looks could go Lamb's way.
Lamb's ability to see soft spots in the defense, break tackles, and get away in space are all elite, so look for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to find ways to get him the ball in space.
numberFire's models project Lamb to post 778.9 receiving yards and 4.9 scores on 94.0 targets in his rookie season.
22 rookies have reached at least 750 receiving yards and 5 scores since 2011, and 17 of them were either first- or second-round picks.
If he stays healthy, I don't see a scenario in which Lamb doesn't equal or surpass Randall Cobb's 14 percent target share from 2019. That should result in anywhere from 80 to more than triple-digit targets for the rookie.
Given that kind of volume, the over on yardage (-112) is an easy bet for me. However, I also view the under on 4.5 touchdowns (+120) as a great value.
In fact, in running back Eddie Lacy's first two seasons in Green Bay, their pass-to-run ratio in the red zone was 1.24 -- indicating that McCarthy's not afraid to pound the rock inside the 20 when he's got the back to do it with. Now, he'll have Ezekiel Elliott at his disposal.
Touchdowns are quite volatile and difficult to predict, but I like the +120 value on the under.