Analyzing Vegas Odds: Week 15 (2019)
Analyzing Vegas odds to get an edge in DFS lineup setting is a critical tool that can put one at a competitive disadvantage if it is not something in players’ toolbelts. While the odds alone should not make lineup decisions for us, they should play a correlative factor in our decision-making process when it comes to weighing to competing lineup options. This is especially important for single entry DFS players, especially since most multiple entry players are always cognizant of Vegas’ odds for a particular contest, and of the ramifications of the projected potential game flow that affect fantasy production.
This week we will take a look at a pair of contests with two of the highest over/under totals of the week. The Texans versus the Titans has the highest total of the week but has a highly debatable -3 consensus point spread which suggests both teams should remain competitive, and should not have to abandon the run in favor of the pass. The Falcons versus the 49ers on the other hand still has one of the highest totals of the week but has a large enough spread to suggest that Atlanta may be abandoning their running game fairly early in this weekend’s contest. Let’s dig in.
|Date||Favorite||Spread||Underdog||Total||Away Moneyline||Home Moneyline|
|Sunday, 12/15||at Tennessee||-3||Houston||50||+128||-148|
Deshaun Watson remains one of the elite options on a week to week basis but looks like the potential top option of Week 15 due to Lamar Jackson playing on Thursday, and Patrick Mahomes to failing toss more than one touchdown pass in any of his last four contests. Watson has a much higher upside with Will Fuller in the lineup, so DFS owners may wish to take this decision down to Friday or Sunday when we receive official word on the health of the Texans number two receiver.
Ryan Tannehill has been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the league since taking over as the starter for Marcus Mariota. In fact, since Week 8, Tannehill is the QB2 in fantasy points per game. Tannehill showed fantasy flashes despite a lack of weapons in Miami, and now armed with an elite run game, and two wide receivers who rank as top-15 talents, Tannehill has finally become a trustworthy fantasy option. The matchup against the Texans corners is not ideal, but as we saw from Drew Lock last week, they are prone to giving up monster games to the position.
Will Fuller is always a strong DFS option whenever he is healthy enough to take the field. He remains more boom or bust than many would like but has enough upside to propel you to a finish in the money when he is clicking with Watson. Deandre Hopkins remains one of the elite options in all of fantasy and is the WR2 since Week 8 of this season. He deserves weekly consideration.
Sooner or later Corey Davis is going to start to receive less attention from opposing defenses. I am one of the biggest A.J. Brown boosters and fans out there, but teams have rightly considered Davis the Titans number one receiver and deployed their defense to account for that fact. With Brown exploding in recent weeks, some defenses are going to start rolling coverages Brown’s way. Davis in single coverage, against zone or man, is a prime explosion candidate. Davis is worth a long, hard look as a multiple entry play. A.J. Brown is sure to be a chalky play this week after his Week 14 explosion and deserves extended consideration as an option due to a price tag that has yet to rise commensurate with his elite-level talent. His 12.77 yards per target currently ranks number one all-time for rookie receivers.
Derrick Henry has continued to put up monster performances despite a lingering hamstring injury that forced them from the game for a couple of series in Week 14. Henry is a tremendous bet to cross 100 rushing yards on a weekly basis and should be able to do so once again against a Houston Texans defense allowing 4.41 yards per carry to the running back position. Henry is averaging 149.75 rushing yards over his last four contests and looks like a must-start against a Texans defense surrendering seven-plus receptions per game to opposing running backs.
Carlos Hyde has proved he still has some juice but may have a tough time this week against a Titans defense allowing just 3.97 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Hyde has found the end zone just once in his last seven contests. He is a candidate for a big run or two, but Duke Johnson has been more involved in recent weeks, in turn, mitigating his upside. Johnson is a candidate for another high volume week through the air due to facing a Texans defense allowing 6.54 running back receptions per game, good for the second-highest mark in the league. He deserves a multiple entry look.
Darren Fells remains a touchdown or bust option at tight end. He is a multi-entry dart throw due to said upside, but his eight total touchdowns have come in five of his 13 contests this season. Jordan Akins saw a season-high nine targets in Week 14, but the target explosion can be attributed to game script and the absence of Will Fuller. The Titans’ Jonnu Smith is too difficult to trust in DFS. He is worth a multiple entry look for those looking to cover all possible bases, but should not be in consideration by those who set a single-digit number of lineups.
|Date||Favorite||Spread||Underdog||Total||Away Moneyline||Home Moneyline|
|Sunday, 12/15||at San Francisco||-10.5||Atlanta||47.5||+390||-530|
Matt Ryan is a fade for Week 15. He just got Austin Hooper back last week, but will now be without Calvin Ridley for the rest of the regular season. Ryan is the QB26 since Week 6. Jimmy Garoppolo looks like one of the elite options of Week 15, but is priced like a potential bargain at both DraftKings and Yahoo. The 49ers are likely not going to need him to throw four touchdowns against Atlanta, but it is important to be aware that Week 14 was the third time in six games that Jimmy G has tossed for touchdowns. Garoppolo is the QB5 in total fantasy points over that timeframe. The Falcons have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position this season.
Raheem Mostert is going to continue to operate as the lead back for the San Francisco 49ers. As seen in the tweet below, Kyle Shanahan has unequivocally stated that Mostert has forced his coach’s hand as far as usage is concerned. Mostert is the only running back in this entire contest worth DFS consideration. The projected game script suggests that Mostert could receive a workhorse number of carries in Week 15. The -10.5 consensus point spread could lead to extended clock-killing mode in the fourth quarter, a facet of the game plan that Mostert will likely be the primary back deployed in.
Which is why Kyle Shanahan said this on Monday: “Raheem’s earned it over these last few weeks… We keep trying to balance it out and stuff, but what Raheem has done these last few weeks and has continued to do, we need to give him more opportunities. He’s given us no choice."
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) December 10, 2019
Tevin Coleman has been held under 40 rushing yards in his last six contests. He has 12 total rushing yards over his last two games combined. Matt Breida remains a homerun threat, but should be glued to ‘DFS benches’ with Raheem Mostert being so hot and eating the bulk of the running back touches. Devonta Freeman scored his first touchdown since 2017 last week but is one of the fades of the week against San Francisco. The 49ers are actually susceptible on the ground, but the Vegas projected game flow knocks him out of consideration.
With Calvin Ridley out for the season, Julio Jones should be in for a monster target share and workload for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, Matt Ryan does not get down like that. While he will feed Julio enough to keep him relevant as WR1 option, he is perfectly comfortable spreading the ball around, even if that means Russell Gage or Austin Hooper lead the Falcons in targets in each of the Falcons final three contests of the season. Julio could have a blow-up week, but expectations relative to his upside should be tempered. Gage looks like a very strong option for Week 15 DFS contests. He is going to be chalky due to the timing of salaries being posted versus when the world learned Ridley will be out for the season, but as his back to back contests with nine or more targets in Week 12 and 13 showed us, Gage can be heavily leaned upon when the Falcons are dealing with depth issues in the passing game.
Emmanuel Sanders had himself a monster outing in Week 14 that consisted of seven receptions, 157 receiving yards, and two touchdowns, with one of those touchdowns being a 35-yard passing touchdown to Raheem Mostert. Sanders is worth strong consideration against an Atlanta Falcons secondary that has looked like one of the worst in the league at times this season. Deebo Samuel has 76 receiving yards or a score in each of his last five contests and is worth an extended look against a burnable Falcons defense allowing the 12th most fantasy points to the wide receiver position.
Austin Hooper once again looks like a top-three option at tight end in the wake of Calvin Ridley being lost for the season. He hauled in just two of his six Week 14 targets, and saw his four-game touchdown streak ended by Luke Keuchly and company, but should be able to find his way to paydirt against a 49ers backend that will be without Richard Sherman, and possibly K’Wuan Williams this week. The 49ers also lost starting linebacker Kwon Alexander earlier this season. George Kittle remains a weekly top three DFS option. Kittle bounced back from an underwhelming start to the season prior to the 49ers bye has 86 yards and/or a score in four of his last five, and six of his last eight contests. Both tight ends should be strongly considered for Week 15.