It's not completely out of left field that New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston could win the NFL's passing yardage title in 2022 -- he accomplished the feat in 2019 while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- but it's quite surprising that Winston has taken more action on that prop at Caesars Sportsbook than any other player thus far. He's still a +4000 longer shot.
Winston hasn't been a full-time starter since he threw for a career-high 5,109 yards in 2019, his final season with the Bucs. The former first overall pick and Heisman Award winner backed up Drew Brees in New Orleans in 2020 and was set to be the full-time starter last season, but made it just seven games before suffering a season-ending injury. Winston had thrown for 1,170 yards, which only averages out to 167.1 per game – he was hurt fairly early in that seventh game.
The Saints had a weak group of receivers last year, in part due to former NFL Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas missing the season with an injury. He is being called "doubtful" to participate next week at mandatory minicamp, according to Coach Dennis Allen. The Saints are hopeful that Thomas is 100 percent for training camp.
The team added former Browns wideout Jarvis Landry in free agency and traded up to No. 11 in this year's draft to select Ohio State wideout Chris Olave. Alvin Kamara remains one of the best pass-catching backs in the NFL, so there's plenty of weapons around Winston. The Saints finished last in the NFL in passing yards in 2021 (187.4 per game) largely because of injuries. The top three wideouts from 2021 -- Tre'Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harty – now project as the fourth, fifth and sixth receivers.
Winston leads all quarterbacks in money wagered on the prop at Caesars to lead the NFL in passing yards at 27 percent as well as tickets sold at 18 percent. If one subtracted Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr, Winston has received more handle at Caesars than every other quarterback combined. A Virginia bettor has $2,000 on Winston at +5000 for potential winnings of $100,000. A Nevada bettor laid down $1,000 back when Winston was +8000 for potential winnings of $80,000.
"We'll see how Jameis comes back off injury," said Adam Pullen, Assistant Director of Trading at Caesars Sportsbook. "[Michael] Thomas should be back and they signed Jarvis Landry. There are clearly bettors who feel he's primed for a bounce off the injury. People want to search for value, that's the whole name of the game—getting in before everyone else sees results. They're clearly guessing that things will open up with the upgrades at receiver, making it possible for Winston to have a really solid year."
New Orleans opens in Atlanta on Sept. 11 and the SportsLine Projection Model forecasts Winston for 213 yards passing.
Brady is the +700 favorite to repeat as passing yardage champion after throwing for 5,316 last year. One Iowa bettor placed $5,000 on Brady +800 for potential winnings of $40,000, the largest wager taken on this pro thus far at Caesars Sportsbook. Brady is followed by Patrick Mahomes (+850), Herbert (+900) and Matthew Stafford (+900).
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