Vegas vs Fantasy Week 6 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
Saints vs. Lions 50.5 50 -0.5
Jets vs. Patriots 47.5 47.5 0

The Saints and Lions to no surprise have the highest implied game total of the slate. It has moved half of a point to the south, but that is nothing to be concerned about. Both teams have healthy implied totals, as they are both projected to score at least 23 points. I do want to point out Drew Brees’ stats in games coming out of a bye week. Since 2008 he has averaged 364.4 passing yards per game and has thrown 29 touchdowns in games after the bye. He has only thrown fewer than 300 yards once during that stretch and has tossed four or more touchdowns in six of the nine games. When you take that into consideration and the potential game script for this matchup, he should be considered one of the top plays, if not the top play of the week at his position. In fact, the entire Saints offense is in play, including Alvin Kamara who should see decent volume in the passing game out of the backfield. In addition, Willie Snead has not played this season, but steps into a great spot for his first contest. Much like the
Saints, the Lions offense is one you want to have exposure to. This unit is a four-point dog, so they could be chasing, making all of their pass catchers intriguing fantasy options. The top play on this offense is Golden Tate. He draws a favorable matchup against Kenny Vaccaro who he has a 51 percent advantage rating against, per Pro Football Focus. Theo Reddick has been quiet in recent weeks, but this is the type of matchup that bodes well for what he does best. Matthew Stafford is expected to play, so if you have him in your leagues, deploy him, as he should be slinging it and has a good matchup. To conclude, this is a great game stack.

The Patriots and Jets game has the second highest total of the slate, but unlike the game above, this matchup is not one that I have as much interest in game stacking. The Patriots are 9.5 point favorites in this one and the Jets are projected to score just 19 points, one of the lowest implied team totals this week. The New England offense should roll in this matchup and all of the usual suspects are firmly in play. In a game script like this one, you would like to play a running back for the Patriots, but as we know from playing fantasy football for many years now, with Bill Belichick you just never know what running back will get the touches. If I had to pick one this week, it would be James White due to his involvement in the passing game, increasing his floor. On the Jets side, you can consider the pass catchers and maybe even the quarterback as they will be chasing points. Technically this is a good matchup if you consider how bad the Patriots defense has been this season, but I really do not think they are bad as they have played and this is a Jets offense that lacks weapons, so something has to give. I would not mind taking a shot on Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, or Austin Seferian-Jenkins if you need help at these positions, but these are not players that I am going out of my way to plug in. This is a division game and I do expect the Patriots to dominate, but I would not be surprised to see this game hit the under come Sunday afternoon.

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. Bears 39.5 39.5 0

This is one of those games where I do not see myself having a ton of exposure to for the exception of both defenses and maybe some Javorius Allen in DFS, as I do have some interest here. Allen should see a bigger role this weekend in the run game due to Terrance West’s absence and he should also remain very involved in the pass catching duties out of the backfield. In addition, he is also called upon in the red zone the most of any back on this offense. We saw the Vikings able to move the ball efficiently with their running backs against this Bears unit last week and with injuries to their linebackers, this can be a spot to exploit for the Ravens offense with some passes to Allen in the middle of the field. The Ravens defense is very appealing because they face off against a rookie quarterback making his first career start on the road. This defensive unit finds ways to score fantasy points by forcing turnovers and getting sacks, both of which are very doable this weekend. The Ravens are 6.5 point favorites, so should be playing with a lead and forcing a young QB to throw the ball. The Bears are also an intriguing streaming defense this week due to the lack of upside on this Ravens offense. However, it is not a defense that I feel will be completely dominant.

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

Teams Spread
Falcons -13
Dolphins 13

Something that must be pointed out here is that this spread has jumped from 10.5 points to 13 points, which is a pretty big move in the spread. The Dolphins have been absolutely atrocious this season on both sides of the ball, more so on offense as they cannot seem to get anything going. They head to Atlanta to take on a Falcons team that is coming off of a bye week. The Falcons offense is averaging the third most yards (388.3) and the eighth most points (26) per game. They should be able to pick this Miami defense apart. The usual suspects, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Matt Ryan are firmly in play. However, there are also a couple of players who can be productive this weekend from this offense, such as Tevin Coleman and Taylor Gabriel. Both of these, make for intriguing tournament plays in DFS and also serve as solid bye week fillers in season-long leagues, considering both the matchup and game script. The Dolphins should be chasing points in this one, so their receivers should be extra busy this weekend and their run game will likely be missing in action once again. The Falcons are surrendering over 25 fantast points per game to opposing receivers for what it’s worth. With Devante Parker doubtful for this weekend, Jarvis Landry should receive even more than his usual share of targets and Kenny Stills offers some appeal for those in need of a wide receiver this week.

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