Vegas vs Fantasy Week 2 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 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
Saints vs. Patriots 54 55.5 1.5
Falcons vs. Packers 53.5 54 0.5

The Saints and Patriots face off in New Orleans in a matchup that is expected to be high-scoring. Both teams have an implied total over more than 24 points, with the Patriots having the highest team total of the week at 30.75 points. New England is definitely the more intriguing of the two teams due to how bad this Saints defense is. They came into the season with a secondary ranked 31st and a front seven ranked 29th by Pro Football Focus. Sam Bradford had his way with this defense in Week 1, as he threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns. If he was able to do that, the sky is the limit for Brady. All of the playmakers for New England are viable options this week. For the Saints, they are also in play, but this is not as favorable of a matchup as it appears. The Patriots defense did struggle in Week 1, but they are better than what they showed. That being said, the Saints should still score some points in this one and Drew Brees and company are very much in play.

The Falcons and Packers is a game I am very interested in, as there should be plenty of fantasy goodness in this one. Both teams have implied totals of over 25 points and the spread is just three points at this time, which means that it should be high-scoring and a close one. The last two games that these teams have played have finished 37-43 Packers and 33-32 Falcons. Matt Ryan combined for 663 passing yards and seven touchdowns in those contest, while Aaron Rodgers combined for 573 passing yards and seven touchdowns. There is really not much more to say about these teams aside from both of these offenses provide strong plays in DFS and in your season-long leagues play your starters from this game.

Game Open O/U Live O/U Move
Ravens vs. Browns 41 39 -2

Neither of these two teams offer much upside from an offense perspective, hence the low total. That being said, if you want to target this game for any reason, the Ravens have a respectable 23.5 implied team total. The running backs for Baltimore are intriguing as the Browns surrendered 142.7 rushing yards per game last season. Terrance West played in 41 percent of the snaps for Baltimore in Week 1, while Javorius Allen played in 50 percent of the snaps. West got 19 carries and one target, while Allen got 21 carries and one target. Joe Flacco is in a favorable matchup as well, but he attempted just 17 passes in the season opener and this game script could end up being very similar to the last as the Ravens are eight point favorites (another reason why I like these backs a lot). The Ravens defense looked really good in Week 1 and are in a much better situation, so in season-long leagues make sure to get them in and in DFS if you can afford them, they make for a strong play. I do not have much interest in this Browns team this week.

The last think I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.

Teams Spread
Raiders -13

Here it is, the first double-digit spread this season and to no surprise it comes against the Jets who are arguably the worst team in football. The Jets are not a team I have much interest in, but it is worth noting that they are expected to be chasing points in this one and both Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson received seven targets each in Week 1. The Raiders offense is one I have interest in, specifically Derek Carr and Amari Cooper who connected for a touchdown in the season opener. Carr threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, while Cooper caught 5-of-13 targets for 62 yards and one touchdown. Cooper also received four red zone targets, which accounted for 67 percent of the Raiders red zone targets. Oakland passed in roughly 54 percent of their plays, so just because they got Marshawn Lynch does not mean that they will switch things up and become a run first team. Last season, they ran passing plays 59 percent of the time. This is a duo that should be in for a big game and Michael Crabtree is also in a favorable spot.

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