Analyzing Vegas Odds: Week 7 (2019)
Analyzing Vegas’ posted odds, lines, and totals can give DFS players insights into what the sharps and analytical computer models project for particular contests. Utilizing these to make lineup decisions can help give players an edge as these are variables that need to be understood correctly in order to be fully exploited. An example of this is targeting Buffalo Bills running backs in a contest they are favored by 17 points in. The large point spread suggests Vegas projects that the Bills will be nursing a large lead. This can lead to extra volume for Frank Gore and Devin Singletary (if he can get cleared for Week 7).
DFS players are also required to understand that Vegas wants the public betting the over and the favorite. This means that many total and point spreads are ever so slightly inflated as the sportsbooks look to insulate themselves. Take the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons contest that we will discuss below. The total for that contest opened at 53, this means that Vegas likely has this total somewhere in the 50-52 range, but have set the total to beat the public. Knowing the true implied score of a contest can help DFS players in deciding between two competing lineup options.
|Date||Favorite||Spread||Underdog||Total||Away Moneyline||Home Moneyline|
|Sunday, October 20, 2019||Los Angeles Rams||-3||at Atlanta Falcons||54.5||-160||+135|
The contest with the highest total of Week 7 is sure to be one the majority of DFS players take a look at. Both of these teams have a number of wide receivers and running back options to choose from, so making the right choice based on the information currently available is paramount. The Falcons have been a defense to target in DFS all season, but when a team has three legit options at wideout and three running backs to consider things get trickier. The Falcons offense has similarly been one rife with fantasy upside, but projecting which of their players outside of Austin Hooper will have a strong week often comes down to correlative factors such as opponent personnel and game script.
At quarterback, Matt Ryan looked like a strong play until Tuesday afternoon. The Los Angeles Rams’ addition of Jalen Ramsey lowers Ryan’s Week 7 floor significantly. Ryan is fresh off his best fantasy outing of the season but appears to be in prime letdown position this week. The risk is worth the reward at DraftKings, but he was priced based on an injured Aqib Talib, and a struggling Marcus Peters. Jared Goff has a wonderful matchup against the Atlanta Falcons secondary but has proven over the last couple of weeks that his floor is lower than anyone truly realized. Todd Gurley’s running game dominance opened up the entire offense for the Rams. Without him at, or near the top of his game, the Rams offense is simply not the threat it once was with Goff under center. Goff is worth a look at DraftKings based on his salary, but his disastrous newfound floor suggests you may be better off looking elsewhere.
At running back we have an interesting situation. Devonta Freeman has struggled for the majority of the season and is squaring off against a Rams team that has limited opponents to just 3.77 yards per carry on the season. However, the Rams have allowed over 130 yards from scrimmage per game to the position. Freeman has some solid volume-based upside if the Falcons can keep the game competitive. He appears to be a solid value at Yahoo. Todd Gurley missed Week 6 but could be a solid volume-based play at Yahoo if he can suit up. Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson rotated snaps in Week 6, with the former logging 68 percent of the snaps to the latter’s 32 percent. While Brown looked solid, but unspectacular with an 11-40-0 rushing line, Henderson looked like a back who deserves double-digit touches per week and a chance to unseat Brown. Both backs are priced as bargains and could be chalky plays in a contest with the highest total on the main slate. Henderson could end up being the play of the week if Todd Gurley is unable to suit up.
Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks, and Robert Woods are all highly intriguing plays for Week 6. Kupp is the best bet for strong fantasy production but is priced accordingly. Kupp could still prove to be a solid play at FanDuel, and a strong play at Yahoo based on salary rank. Woods and Cooks also deserve strong consideration based on their salary ranks. They have tremendous upside and could prove to be exceptional values if Jared Goff can bounce back.
Julio Jones has just a 21 percent target share on the season and could see that number plummet this week if Jalen Ramsey is able to suit up for Week 7. The smart money is on Ramsey’s ‘back injury’ miraculously healing in time for the Rams battle against the Falcons. Both Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley are strong high risk/high reward plays this weekend. Projected game flow and personnel suggests both should have success with Ramsey shadowing Julio, but there is no way to ascertain which of the two receivers will see a higher volume. One of these two receivers could end up fifth on the team in targets, while the other could lead the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Sanu is a value at Yahoo and DraftKings. Ridley is a value at FanDuel.
At tight end, Gerald Everett flashed his immense upside in Week 5 but showed in Week 6 that nothing has changed in terms of his weekly role. He is still the backup tight end and was out-snapped by Tyler Higbee 57 to 53 percent against the Arizona Cardinals. Austin Hooper has continued his dominance for the Atlanta Falcons. The number one fantasy tight end, Hooper leads all tight ends in receptions through six weeks of play. Hooper continues to lead the Atlanta Falcons in both receptions and receiving yards this season.
|Date||Favorite||Spread||Underdog||Total||Away Moneyline||Home Moneyline|
|Sunday, October 20, 2019||San Francisco 49ers||+10||at Washington||43||-440||+330|
While this contest opened with one of the lowest over/under totals of the week, it opened with one of the largest point spreads. This game may be an ugly one for the majority of Washington’s skill players, but the players involved in the contest to target based on the projected game script are very appealing.
At quarterback, both Case Keenum and Jimmy Garoppolo are safe to ignore. Both play on run-first teams and are good bets to throw for less than 300 yards with just one passing touchdown. Keenum is the QB21 on the season, Jimmy G is the QB22 in average fantasy points. These two quarterbacks appear to be smart fades with such a low implied score.
While Terry McLaurin is a solid value across the board, he could have a difficult time contending with Richard Sherman. The 49ers corner has allowed just 5.5 yards per target on the season. However, it takes just one play away from Sherman for the speedster to rack up fantasy points. He is facing a defense allowing 14 receptions, 157.5 receiving yards, and a whopping 1.67 touchdowns to the wide receiver position. He is the only Washington receiver worth considering outside of multiple entry plays.
The 49ers wide receivers have likewise been too inconsistent to trust in a contest with such a low total. The strength of the 49ers is their defense and running game. Through five contests, no 49ers wideout has more than 15 receptions (three per contest). Look elsewhere for DFS options this weekend unless you are looking for multiple entry darts. Dante Pettis has continued to see his role expand and is trending as the top 49ers dart play.
Adrian Peterson had his best game of the season in Week 6, but unfortunately, the contest was not much of a barometer as he was facing the college-level Miami Dolphins. Washington has re-committed to the run, but even if AP gets 15 plus carries, they may very likely be low-efficiency totes with a low success rate. He will need to break a couple of big runs early to avoid game script mitigating his upside. Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida should both be strongly considered this weekend. They do of course cannibalize each other’s upsides but have proven that they can both contribute DFS starter-worthy performances in the same contest. In a game where the 49ers are 10 point favorites against a team that is truly bad, both could do so once again. Coleman is the lead back and should see more carries, but Breida may see more overall touches. Regardless, both should see their touch count end up in the mid-teens unless Jeff Wilson is also made active. Both of the explosive 49ers’ backs deserve long, hard looks. Tevin Coleman is a tremendous value at DraftKings and FanDuel. Breida could also prove to be a value at FanDuel.
At tight end, Vernon Davis is worth considering if he is able to clear concussion protocol. Facing your former team is always a narrative-based play to at least consider. If he cannot go, however, Jeremy Sprinkle is safe to ignore. He has disappointed in back-to-back weeks and is not much an option even in single-game DFS contests. The San Francisco 49ers, of course, boast one of the top fantasy tight ends in George Kittle. He is worthy of weekly consideration. Kittle has functioned as the 49ers’ top receiver this season. His 31 targets are more than double the volume any wide receiver on the team has seen (Deebo Samuel leads the wideouts with 15 targets). Deciding whether or not to start Kittle often comes down to the options you have highlighted at other positions. Kittle is averaging 6.2 receptions and 71.2 receiving yards per contest.