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Analyzing Vegas Odds: Week 2 (2019)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Sep 11, 2019

When setting DFS lineups and deciding between options you have ranked or projected similarly, it can be helpful to take a look at the over/under totals as well as the point spreads that Vegas posts. The total can help you identify matchups that have higher probabilities to become high-scoring affairs. More points equal more opportunity for fantasy production. Point spreads can help clue us into which matchups are projected to be closely contested versus the ones that are pegged to be potential blowouts. 

Take this week’s matchup between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. The point spread in this contest currently sits at an insane 18.5 points. This line is helpful as it lets us know that the Dolphins may be forced to abandon the run in favor of the pass. Playing from behind may limit the opportunities that Kalen Ballage and Kenyan Drake get to carry the ball. This week we will take a look at two different contests with high totals and analyze the potential implications for the fantasy players involved. 

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Date Favorite Spread Underdog Total Away Moneyline Home Moneyline
Sunday, September 15th, 2019 at Los Angeles Rams -2.5 New Orleans 53 +114 -136

The game with the highest total of the week, the Saints versus the Rams, is sure to be an exciting affair which could result in an offensive explosion from both teams. The Saints are riding high after a walk-off field goal and will look to exact some revenge on the team that controversially prevented them from reaching the Super Bowl in 2018. The total in this contest has dropped from 54 while the point spread has moved from -3 to -2.5.

Despite the high total, Jared Goff is someone to avoid. He is priced based on the matchup but proved against Carolina that he does not need to have a big night under center for the Rams to remain competitive. The Rams scored 30 points against Carolina in Week 1, and Goff threw for only 186 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Drew Brees had an excellent Week 1 that saw him throw for 370 yards and two touchdowns. Brees should have another finish as a QB1 for an offense that had 43 pass attempts in Week 1. 

At wide receiver, the Rams’ trio of Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are all worth considering in DFS. New Orleans is one of the defenses to target, and this week is no different. With that said, it is likely that former Saint Brandin Cooks has Marshon Lattimore glued to him all night, so you should fade him in daily contests at his price point. Robert Woods saw 33 percent of the targets in Week 1 and should be well over the 25 percent mark in Week 2. Cooper Kupp hauled in seven of his 10 Week 1 targets and should have a bigger day in the yardage department against P.J. Williams

New Orleans’ Michael Thomas is looking like a strong play after D.J. Moore caught seven balls for 76 yards against the Rams in Week 1. Fresh off a 10 reception, 123-yard performance on Monday Night Football, there should be no fear of a letdown season now that the Saints have more weapons for Drew Brees to spread the ball to. Ted Ginn played the number two receiver role in Week 1 in both snaps and targets (49 and seven respectively). While he played just seven more snaps than Tre’Quan Smith, he saw more than triple the targets (seven to two). Smith is nothing more than a multiple lineup dart throw. 

At running back, Alvin Kamara is always worth considering. However, from a roster construction standpoint, his salary cost needs to be weighed against other potential options. Kamara could be in for another big day as the Rams allowed 6.73 yards per carry, two rushing touchdowns and 10 receptions to Christian McCaffrey in Week 1. Latavius Murray should see some work in Week 2, but based on what we saw on Monday Night Football, he does not look to have assumed a Mark Ingram type of workload. Todd Gurley appears to have lost too much red-zone work to trust in this week’s matchup. With that said, he ran 29 pass routes in Week 1 and should see his reception total rise in this contest. He is a value at Yahoo DFS. Malcolm Brown is worth a multiple lineup dart throw as he is coming off a 53 yard, two-touchdown performance and is facing a team that allowed 7.826 yards per carry to Houston on Monday Night Football. Brown saw 11 carries on his 21 Week 1 snaps. 

The only tight end to consider in this week’s matchup is Jared Cook. He was a disappointment in Week 1. He hauled in two of just three targets as Drew Brees opted to lean on Ted Ginn down the stretch. Better days are ahead for Cook, and it may just start with one of his old teams in the Los Angeles Rams.  


Date Favorite Spread Underdog Total Away Moneyline Home Moneyline
Sunday, September 15th, 2019 Kansas City -7.5 at Oakland 52.5 -334 +269

The game with the second-highest total is also a matchup to target in DFS contests. The total and line suggest that the Chiefs may go a little run-heavy in the second half, which could limit the reception upside of Tyreek Hill injury-related dart throws like Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson. The line for this contest has dropped from -8.5 to -7.5. The total has dropped from 53.5 to 52.5.

The list of fantasy players to trust in this matchup is a much smaller list than one might expect. On the Chiefs, we have Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce, who look like excellent plays in a high total matchup. Watkins had the game of lifetime against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he could see a target share in the 32 percent range once again against Oakland. Travis Kelce hauled in just three of his eight targets in Week 1 but still mustered 88 yards thanks to 41 yards after the catch. Both players are priced high and likely to be highly owned. 

Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller also look like strong Week 2 plays. Tyrell Williams is going to continue to have big games until opposing defensive coordinators start treating him like a number one receiver in coverage. If Williams continues to see 27 percent of Derek Carr’s targets, he is going to become a weekly DFS option due to his big-play ability. Waller saw a team-high 31 percent target share and looks like a high floor option against Kansas City. His 6.9 yards average depth of target is nothing to get excited about, but he looks like a TE1 the rest of the way. Both players salaries came out before they played on Monday night. As a result, both players are great values who are likely to have high ownership percentages. 

At running back, Josh Jacobs may be the safest DFS play. He became just the first rookie since LaDanian Tomlinson to record 100 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in his NFL debut. He should be leaned on heavily in both the running and passing games in Week 2. The Chiefs running backs are a little harder to predict. Damien Williams operated as the lead back (13 carries to 11) in Week 1, and he saw six of the team’s seven running back targets. However, McCoy was much more impressive and should see his role grow weekly. Both backs have high upsides with Tyreek Hill out, but they need to be judged on their salaries from a roster construction standpoint. Both backs could crack the 15 touch barrier in Week 2.

At quarterback, Patrick Mahomes is always an option to consider. His salary rank reflects his upside and floor so he may be too expensive to fit into an optimal lineup. In a game with such a big spread, the Chiefs will likely find themselves nursing a lead. This scenario increases the possibility that Mahomes may sit back and let the running game take over. Despite what looks like a plus-plus matchup with a high total, Derek Carr is someone to avoid. 

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his profile and follow him @FantasyContext.

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