NFL player prop of the day: Big expectations for Matthew Stafford with the Rams

·3 min read

The biggest move of the offseason happened when the Los Angeles Rams traded for Matthew Stafford

There has never been more excitement for Stafford. It seemed everyone placed the Rams as a Super Bowl contender and Stafford as an MVP favorite. Stafford has never been either in his 13 NFL seasons, but many believe simply escaping the Detroit Lions will change his trajectory. 

It's no surprise that Stafford's lines at BetMGM for the season reflect that optimism. 

Matthew Stafford in a much better situation

Stafford's totals at BetMGM for this season are 4,600.5 yards and 29.5 passing touchdowns. Stafford is capable of reaching those marks. But it has been a while. 

With the caveat that Stafford was with the Lions, not the Rams, the last time Stafford reached 4,600 yards in a season was 2013. He has reached 30 touchdowns twice, in 2011 and 2015. A 17-game season helps, and the switch to the Rams should help, but those are still some big numbers to reach. 

The Rams like to run the ball under Sean McVay. They have finished among the top nine NFL teams in rushing attempts in three of McVay's four seasons as head coach. Not having Cam Akers (and replacing Jared Goff with Stafford) could change McVay's play-calling tendencies, but he has established himself as a coach that will run it a lot. That can hold down Stafford's volume. 

If you like the over, there are reasons for it. Losing Akers should provide more opportunities for Stafford to throw it. He has good pass catchers, including receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp and tight end Tyler Higbee, and running back Darrell Henderson Jr. is a threat out of the backfield too. McVay is excited for Stafford and he clearly had soured on Goff. He might pass more for that reason. It's not like Stafford doesn't have the talent to put up a huge season. Maybe being in a much better situation unlocks a level we haven't seen for many years. 

It still wouldn't be bad to see it first. There can often be a transition period when switching teams, and even a bit of a slow start would make it hard for Stafford to reach 4,600 yards or 30 touchdowns. If the Rams are as good as people think, they could have a lot of handoff-heavy game scripts. And Stafford hasn't been at those high levels in a while. 

If Stafford has one of the best seasons of his career now that he is gone from Detroit, nobody would be too surprised. But it might be wise to take the unders on both props and make him prove it. 

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford runs on the field during an NFL football training camp practice in Irvine, Calif., Saturday, July 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford runs on the field during training camp in Irvine, California, on Saturday, July 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

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