Vegas vs Fantasy Week 11 2017

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal It was not until I began playing DFS that I started using Vegas lines as part of my research and a determining factor when setting up my lineups. These lines can provide so much information each week. It gives you an idea of the potential game flow we could expect. High totals and close spreads, usually indicates a potential shootout. Whereas, a low total with a low spread is a game that is not expected to have a lot of fantasy goodness aside from the defenses. These lines are set by math wizards and some of the best handicappers in the world. They spend countless hours studying patterns, teams, and situations. For those who are not familiar, spreads are the amount of points a team is expected to win or lose by. The point total is the amount of points both teams combined are projected to score.

My goal each week is to look through the lines and point out which offenses you should be targeting and which defenses are in good situations. Let’s dive right into it.

The chart below shows the two games this week with the highest point totals. I included where it opened and the current live line. This can give you an idea of where the public is putting their money on. Generally if the total opens at one number and it begins to rise, the public is betting the over and vice versa.
Game Open Total Live Total Movement
Raiders vs. Patriots 50 54.5 4.5
Saints vs. Redskins 49.5 51 1.5

To no surprise, the Patriots and Raiders game has the highest over/under of this week, moving up 4.5 points from where it opened and we may see it move a tad more because 76 percent of the bets are still on the over. New England is favored by 7.5 points and they are also receiving 85 percent of the bets against the spread. Both of these defenses have been below average this season, which is likely why both teams have healthy implied totals of over 23 points. The Patriots are very generous to quarterbacks and receivers, allowing the second most fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers and the third most fantasy points per game to receivers, so targeting Derek Carr and his wide outs might be a good idea. Even more so when this offense is expected to be trailing, which would force them to pass. As far as the Patriots are concerned, Tom Brady is one of the top plays at quarterback as he is every week and his pass catchers are all firmly in play as well. That said, the Raiders do struggle against the run and the potential game script could call for a big game out of one of the Patriots backs, but picking the right one has been difficult during the Bill Belichick era. Rex Burkhead is receiving a lot of buzz this week, but Dion Lewis and James White should not be ignored either.

The Saints and Redskins matchup is one of two games with an over/under of 50 points. It initially opened at a 49.5 over/under, but has creeped up over 50 now and the majority (83 percent) of the bets are still on the over. The Saints have the second highest implied team total of the week and are 7.5 point favorites in this contest. They are receiving 67 percent of the bets against the spread, however, both teams in this matchup are projected for over 21 points. The Redskins have been a middle of the road defense this season, but one position they have really struggled against is tight end. They are giving up the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, allowing a touchdown in three of their last four games and five of their last seven. The issue at hand is that there are no reliable tight ends for the Saints. That said, this is still an offense that should roll this week, so all of the usual suspects are firmly in play. From the Redskins side, Kirk Cousins, Chris Thompson, Jamison Crowder, and Vernon Davis would be the players I’d consider because the potential game script will likely call for this offense to pass.

The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.
Game Open O/U Live O/U Move
Browns vs. Jaguars 38 37 -1

There are a handful of low total games this week, but none as low as the Jaguars and Browns game. This comes to no surprise really, as the Jaguars one of the better defenses is facing an abysmal Browns team. The Jaguars should be able to win this game with ease, but considering that it’s the Jaguars, anything can happen. There is no player on the Browns side that I have any interest in. However, on the Jaguars side, I do have some interest. Marqise Lee has been very consistent and has become a high-volume receiver. He draws a nice matchup here against a Browns defense that has been generous to pass catchers. Blake Bortles also makes for an enticing streaming play as he has attempted at least 38 passes in each of his last two games and faces a vulnerable Browns defense. The other guy I would not mind rolling the dice on is Marcedes Lewis if you are in desperate need of a tight end. The Browns are giving up the third most fantasy points per game to tight ends and have allowed the second most touchdowns to the position. His targets have been trending in the right direction in the last two games, as he has been peppered with 11 targets during that stretch. Leonard Fournette is also in play as the Jags should be leading in this game and could lean on the ground game to run the clock out. That said, the Browns have been better against the run than they get credit for. Keep in mind that although this contest has a low total, the Jags still have an implied team total of 22.25 points. Lastly, make sure to start the Jaguars defense.

The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.
Teams Spread
Chiefs -10.5
Giants 10.5

The Chiefs are 10.5 point favorites on the road against the Giants. They opened up as 13.5 point favorites, but dipped down three points. That said, 74 percent of the bets are on the Chiefs against the spread, meaning that the majority of people are expecting them to cover. The Giants defense is a big mess, so taking the top Chiefs offensive players makes total sense. Alex Smith, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt should all be in your lineups this week. Considering the potential way this game plays out, Hunt could receive a ton of carries and that should bode well for him. The Giants are giving up over 100 rushing yards per game and have surrendered five rushing touchdowns this season. With that said, the player with the best matchup on this offense is Travis Kelce. He faces off against the Giants who have allowed at least one touchdown in every single game to tight ends this season. This is a matchup he should be completely dominant in. From the Giants side, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram are both in play because they should see plenty of targets as their team chases points and they are both high-volume pass catchers as it is. The Chiefs defense is interesting, but they have been much better at home than on the road.

Vegas lines are very helpful and prop bets can be as well. You can see yardage totals, projected touchdowns, and all sorts of different lines that can help you project what a player is expected to do. Best of luck to all this week.

If you have any questions, you can always find me on Twitter: @Armando_Marsal