Vegas vs Fantasy Week 3 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
Redskins vs. Raiders 53 55 2
Lions vs. Falcons 48.5 51 2.5

The Redskins and Raiders is expected to be high scoring and close as Oakland is only favored by three points. Both of the offenses have to be considered strong plays as they both have team totals of more than 25 points. The Raiders are tied with the Patriots for the highest implied team total at 29 points. They have displayed their ability to both pass and run the ball efficiently through the first two games, but considering the potential game flow in this contest, I do anticipate they will rely more on Derek Carr’s arm. He has been very good thus far this season and so have his two top receivers, who should both be considered must plays this week. As far as the Redskins offense is concerned, Kirk Cousins has struggled to start the season, but still should be considered, as well as Terrell Pryor and Jordan Reed, both of which should be deployed in season long leagues and can be considered in DFS. Jamison Crowder is also an intriguing play in PPR formats. Both of these offenses offer plenty of fantasy goodness, but the quarterbacks and their pass catchers are the way to target this game if you ask me.

While the game above has the highest over/under of the week, this Lions and Falcons matchup is the one I am most keen on. The Falcons have allowed 553 passing yards and three touchdowns to quarterbacks this season. Last year, they gave up the second most fantasy points per game to the position. They also struggled against pass catching backs, giving up 109 receptions for 870 yards and six receiving touchdowns to the positions, while allowing a 77 percent catch rate in 2016 and are already amongst the league’s worst this season. This makes me like Matthew Stafford and Theo Riddick quite a bit. Especially considering the potential game script in this contest, where Riddick could see plenty of targets this week. The Falcons have also struggled against receivers, so do not shy away from Golden Tate and Marvin Jones this week. As far as the Falcons offense is concerned, their core – Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman – are all in play and are must starts in season-long leagues. Mohamed Sanu is also enticing considering this game is expected to shootout. Both of these offenses are used to indoor games and they both can score points at a rapid pace. This is certainly a game you want exposure to. The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.

Game Open O/U Live O/U Move
Ravens vs. Jaguars 40.5 39.5 -1

The Ravens once again are involved in what Vegas is projecting to be the lowest scoring game of the week. The Jaguars offense is not good and can struggled immensely, but the same can be said about the Ravens. Both teams are dealing with injuries to key players which has hurt their production offensively. Then you have two defenses that play well, hurting any upside that players from either offense may offer. For the most part, I am interested in the defense in this contest. However, I do not mind the starting running backs from either team due to the expected volume, but I would be tempering my expectations as the matchup is far from appealing.

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

Teams Spread
Patriots -14
Texans 14

This game is expected to be completely lopsided and I totally agree. New England’s offense clicked on all cylinders last week. Granted, they played against the Saints who have arguably the worst defense in the league, but the Patriots offense can make any defense look silly on any given Sunday. They have a 29 point implied team total this week, tied for most with the Raiders. I do not have an issue with any player from this Patriots team, but my favorite is clearly Tom Brady as he is the safest option of the offense. The Patriots defense has looked below average this season, but this is a matchup that I have confidence in for them and would not have a problem playing them either. They could force the Texans offense to become one dimensional and force a rookie quarterback to throw often, creating more turnover upside. On the Texans side, I do like DeAndre Hopkins quite a bit because of the volume and the fact that this offense should be chasing points, creating even more target opportunity. Lamar Miller is also interesting because he does catch passes out of the backfield, but I do not feel as confident in him as I do in Hopkins.

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