Analyzing Vegas Odds: Week 11 (2019)
Analyzing Vegas odds to weigh competing DFS options is a crucial step in evaluating potential lineups. The logic behind it is simple. Contests with higher over/under totals are often fantasy goldmines. Contests with large spreads promise a pass-heavy attack for the underdog, and large favorites usually lead to high-volume afternoons for the backfield.
Seattle, Green Bay, Tennessee, and the Giants are on bye this week. We also lose Kansas City, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago, the Rams, and the Chargers to prime time. With 10 teams off the main slate, and the injury toll continuing to rise, finding a potential edge in DFS contests is critical. Since the contest with the highest total of the week (Chiefs vs. Chargers) is on Monday night, we will instead focus on two games with Sunday afternoon’s highest current totals.
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
|Date||Favorite||Spread||Underdog||Total||Away Moneyline||Home Moneyline|
In what will likely be the most exciting game of the week, Lamar Jackson squares off against Deshaun Watson. Jackson, in the midst of a historic season, is currently on pace to break Patrick Mahomes’ single-season QB fantasy point record. In a contest that could very well surpass the current 49.5-point consensus over/under, Jackson is the favorite to finish the week as the QB1. Unfortunately, his pricing reflects that across the board. Rostering him means you will have to find bargains elsewhere, but he promises a high probability of a stellar return on investment. The Texans’ defense is surrendering 295.1 passing yards and two touchdowns per game.
Watson has a much tougher matchup than Jackson, but he still looks like one of Week 11’s top options as an underdog in a high-total contest. The Ravens’ cornerback room is one of the most intimidating in the league. With the arrival of Marcus Peters and the return of Jimmy Smith, they are now an improved version of a tough defense allowing just 264.7 passing yards and one touchdown per game. Though the Ravens have given up the 10th-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, they have allowed 312.3 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to the QB1s they have faced this season. With the Texans likely to face a negative game script based on the current implied score, Watson is a good bet to surpass those numbers.
The running backs in this contest have lower floors than they normally would. Mark Ingram should get fed touches, but he faces a tough Texans defense allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position. They have surrendered just 70 rushing yards and 0.22 touchdowns per game. The odds for this contest suggest that Ingram should get the game-flow volume to break off some big runs, but the Texans have allowed just 4.1 yards per carry. However, they have been burned repeatedly through the air, where they are giving up 7.7 receptions for 63.7 receiving yards per contest. Ingram may have a low-efficiency outing on the ground, but he is projected to make up for it as a pass-catcher.
Carlos Hyde has some appeal facing a defense that has allowed 77 rushing yards and 0.89 touchdowns per game on 4.2 yards per carry. The Ravens appear to have problems with larger backs. They have allowed at least 80 rushing yards to three of the four big backs they have faced that have seen more than 10 carries.
We have some highly intriguing options at wide receiver. The Texans boast a duo worthy of weekly consideration in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, who is expected to return from a hamstring injury. Hopkins has been a relative disappointment in 2019 but is still the WR14 on the season. Even in a down year, he is on pace for 120 receptions, 1,182 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. Despite leaving multiple touchdowns on the field, Fuller totaled 25 targets and three touchdowns in his last two contests. With the Texans pegged to play from behind in a likely shootout, he could be in for a high-volume afternoon. Both Hopkins and Fuller merit consideration for this weekend’s contest based on their cost per projected points.
With a 22 percent target share, Marquise Brown looks very attractive against a Texans defense allowing 13.8 receptions, 189.8 yards, and 1.44 touchdowns per game to wide receivers. Brown appears to be a solid value across the board, especially when you take into account Houston’s struggles with speed receivers. Despite the Texans’ weak secondary, Brown is the only Ravens receiver worth considering in DFS.
Marquise Brown in Week 11 😍
✅HOU giving up 3rd most points to WR
🏈Lamar Jackson absolutely balling
✈️Speed WRs against HOU:
-Ted Ginn: 7/101
-Tyrell Williams 3/91/1
-Calvin Ridley 5/88/1
-Tyreek Hill 5/80/2
-TY Hilton 6/74/1 pic.twitter.com/qSnobZQYTn
— Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT) November 13, 2019
Both the Ravens and the Texans have been solid against tight ends this season. The Texans have surrendered just 4.2 receptions for 40.7 yards and 0.22 touchdowns per game to the position. The Ravens have allowed 3.8 receptions, 43.4 receiving yards, and 0.22 touchdowns per contest.
Despite this, both Mark Andrews and Darren Fells are worth a look. Andrews has been a TE1 worthy of weekly DFS consideration due to his 25 percent target share. Fresh off a two-touchdown performance, he is a strong bet to find the end zone in a high-scoring contest.
Fells has had his share of strong fantasy outings with more touchdowns (six) than Hopkins. He has recorded 69 yards or a touchdown in five of his nine contests this season. More of a multi-entry play, Fells is worth consideration for those inclined to chase the total on a low-cost tight end.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Date||Favorite||Spread||Underdog||Total||Away Moneyline||Home Moneyline|
|Sunday, 11/17||New Orleans||-5.5||Tampa Bay||50||-235||+188|
A Tampa Bay Buccaneers contest promises two things: the potential for a high-scoring affair and plenty of fantasy goodness through the air. Their defense has relinquished the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks on the strength — or in this case, weakness — of 311.8 passing yards and 2.44 touchdowns allowed per game. Drew Brees is in a prime bounce-back spot after somehow getting stymied by the Atlanta Falcons in Week 10.
The QB9 in fantasy points per game, Jameis Winston appears to be a solid salary-based value due to facing one of the league’s tougher defenses. A boom-or-bust option in the truest sense, he has thrown 12 of his league-leading 14 interceptions in four of his nine contests. He has still finished as a top-15 fantasy QB in six of his nine outings.
Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray both have low floors against a defense allowing just 3.3 yards per carry on the season. Kamara should see volume through the air to rescue his fantasy day, but he remains a high-risk, high-reward option. He had 62 yards rushing and six receptions for 42 yards in Week 5’s 31-24 win over Tampa Bay.
On track for the lead back role in Tampa, Ronald Jones may have fumbled his opportunity away in Week 10. He nevertheless showed plus hands against the Cardinals (eight catches for 77 yards) and could sneak his way into value through the air against a Saints defense allowing just 3.75 yards per carry on the season. The Saints have surrendered 5.6 receptions per game to running backs.
The WR5 in fantasy points per game, Chris Godwin went off for seven receptions, 125 receiving yards, and two touchdowns when these two teams last met. He’s a good bet for production if Marshon Lattimore is active for Week 11. The WR2 on the season, Mike Evans was bageled on three targets against the Saints earlier this season. However, with Lattimore pulling his hamstring last Sunday, the Saints’ star corner is questionable at best for their rematch and would likely be playing with a partially compromised hamstring even if he does suit up.
Through four seasons, Michael Thomas has been one of the most productive wide receivers in NFL history. He exploded for 11 receptions, 182 receiving yards, and two touchdowns against the Buccaneers in Week 5 and will look to match or exceed that outburst this Sunday. Thomas has at least 89 receiving yards or a touchdown in each of his nine contests this season. With 114.1 yards per game, he has already cleared 1,000 in 2019.
Michael Thomas becomes one of only four players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.
Mike Evans (2014-17), A.J. Green (2011-14) and Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001). pic.twitter.com/zVmjSf2bcb
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) November 11, 2019
Thomas is sure to be a chalky Week 11 play, but he is worth plugging in and worrying about differentiation elsewhere.
Jared Cook will look to build upon Week 10’s strong nine-target, six-reception, 64-yard outing against a Tampa Bay defense relinquishing a robust 6.4 receptions for 77.2 yards and 0.67 touchdowns per game. Cook, who recorded four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay in Week 5, is worth a long look if you are looking for an upside play who remains a relative value. The Buccaneers have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
O.J. Howard scored his first touchdown on the year in Week 10. He also saw a season-high seven targets. With that said, he is hard to trust when Cameron Brate is healthy and playing more than the 18 percent of the snaps he saw in Week 10.