TNF: Prop Betting Lines and DFS Implications

By Jen Ryan
Jen Ryan Tonight’s NFC South clash between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons has a lot of DFS potential baked into it. This is the only game of Week 14 that has cracked the 50 point total, opening at 54.5 and closing at 51.5. Las Vegas implications and point totals are a common theme in daily fantasy football. We can take that a step further by looking at player prop lines and analyzing what DFS implications come with those props lines.
Below is a table of tonight’s available player props.

For those who may not be well-versed sports gambling, the +/- can be confusing. Essentially, a negative number next to an odd indicates a favorite, or what the bookmaker expects. A plus number next to an odd number indicates the underdog, or what the bookmaker feels is the less likely outcome. Those positive ones are a gamble (see what I did there?), hence the positive payout. Payouts can best be explained as a -110 odd means you would need to risk $110 to win $100, whereas on a +110 odd, that $100 risk would yield $110.

Let’s take a look at the players on the table above, their prop lines, and what that means for tonight’s game.

Drew Brees - $6700, Matt Ryan - $6,400

Both quarterbacks are expected to come in under that 300-yard DraftKings bonus, which is discouraging considering the point total in this game. The Saints have made the shift from pass-happy offense to run-dominant enough to support two top tier fantasy running backs. Both quarterbacks have eclipsed 300 yards just three times this season. It is no wonder Brees’ passing yards line is 275.5 and Ryan’s is 272.5. They are also both expected to throw under three touchdowns. I suspect Vegas is being tight with the lines here and both of these quarterbacks will be playing in perfect dome conditions to put up huge numbers. I like them both as options at quarterback if you are playing this slate, Ryan slightly more, who has six quarterbacks priced ahead of him this weekend.

Devonta Freeman - $5,800

Freeman is even money to score (thanks for those vulters, Tevin!) and has a low rush yard total of 63.5. Remember, these are rush yards not total yards. DraftKings, however, awards points for all yards so if you want to fade the chalk tonight and go in the other direction, Freeman certainly costs lest. Personally, I’m fading him.

Alvin Kamara - $8,400

Speaking of the chalk, you are looking at it with this massive price tag. As of this publication, there weren’t even Mark Ingram props available. He is now expected to play in this game. Kamara is a bet to score tonight, as evident by his -155 odds. The book knows the whole world will be on him and didn’t even bother providing props for him outside of scoring. He is largely considered the chalk this week which means you will either want to roster him to keep pace with the field or completely fade him in case he busts, which he probably won’t do.

Julio Jones - $8,500

Jones doesn’t require much analysis from me. He is a receiver you’ve had to pay up for in order to roster for years at this point. He has the highest receiving yard line of the game, and as a betting woman I’m looking at his 101 yard payout and hammering the over there. He is a favorite to score and have at least 6 receptions. If you think he could score twice in this high-scoring affair, the +450 payout is nice. It will take over 25 points for Jones to hit value tonight, which he is more than capable of achieving.

Michael Thomas - $7,100

Low-budget Jones is on the other side of the ball and boasts similar upside in this contest. If you reference the table above, he isn’t projected to have the same game Julio is, except in the touchdown department where it really counts. My interpretation of what the books are telling me here is that thomas is good for 20 DK points between his receptions, yards, and touchdowns. I’ll fade Jones and roster Thomas at the discount.

Mohamed Sanu - $5,700

Sanu is in consideration as a GPP play, as a receiver who can sniff out the end zone in any game. His lines are relatively low tonight so I would certainly avoid him as a cash option. He is a tick above our final receiver of the night.

Ted Ginn, Jr. - $5,400

We all know the deal with Ginn. He is a touchdown-or-bust player. Much like Sanu, you can throw him in a GPP, but this doesn’t feel like a “Ginn game” and at his price there are other touchdown dependent receivers you can roster. I’m fading completely.

Austin Hooper - $3,400

Another player I’m passing on. He does not appear, according to the books at least, to be a good bet to rack up a few catches or yards, and is the biggest underdog to score on the slate.

Looking at prop lines can give you a sense of what is expected of a player. You should analyze those lines along with your other daily fantasy research to see where you can exploit them. If you see someone who you think has low expectations, like Michael Thomas’ yards, then you might want to take advantage of that. On the flip side of that, you can get a sense of a high-priced player like Julio Jones who you may want to fade based off his numbers. The prop lines are just another piece to the daily fantasy puzzle to incorporate into your lineup construction. As always, make sure you are using our stats and tools pages to dig deeper and use our optimizer to customize your lineups. Good luck!