Analyzing Vegas Odds: Week 7 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Analyzing Vegas’ odds is a helpful strategy all DFS players should look to take advantage of. It can help when weighing competing lineup options for any given week. A high over/under total can clue us into contests Vegas projects to have a high combined score. More opportunities for scoring can lead to increased opportunities for fantasy points.
Small point spreads show us which games Vegas projects to be competitive. Competitive contests suggest that the game script will not force either team to abandon the run or the pass. Large point spreads, on the other hand, suggest that the team with a large lead may look to run out the clock in the second half, or in some cases rest their starters as the game winds down. For the team that is behind it means that they may be forced to abandon the run in favor of being more aggressive through the air in an effort to put points on the board quicker.
High total contests can also alert us to potential chalky plays. While analyzing Vegas odds should not be the only tool you use to decide on roster options, it should, along with a host of other variables, play a correlative factor in your decision making.
This week we will take a look at the contests with some of the highest over/under totals on the slate. These two battles are sure to have some chalky plays, but need to be dissected nonetheless.
Despite sitting out last week with a bye, Russell Wilson still leads the NFL in touchdowns. He is third in the league with 300.4 passing yards per game and is the QB1 in fantasy points per game. No DFS lineup debate at quarterback can be complete without at least considering him for lineups. He has been chalky the last couple of times that he has appeared on the main slate, but that trend may be bucked this week with the Seahawks taking on a Cardinals defense surrendering the fifth fewest points to the quarterback position. If Wilson is contrarian, sign me up. He is still worth a look despite what on paper is a tough matchup as the Cardinals stats are completely skewed by facing ‘All-Pro talents’ like Dwayne Haskins (benched), Joe Flacco (retread backup), Andy Dalton (was benched for Ryan Finley last season), and Jimmy Garoppolo (struggles this season).
Kyler Murray has been sensational this season. Yes, we all knew he was due for a major leap, but who thought he would be the QB1 in total fantasy points through six weeks of the season. The QB3 in fantasy points per game, Murray has just 10 passing touchdowns in six contests, but is 13th in the league with 370 rushing yards, and is sixth with six rushing touchdowns (both are first among quarterbacks). To put his rushing yard total in context, he has rushed for more yards than Alvin Kamara, Jonathan Taylor, James Robinson, or James Conner. Against a Seahawks defense gifting the second most fantasy points to the quarterback position Murray is worth a long hard look despite the exorbitant price tags.
Chris Carson is the RB7 in fantasy points per game through six weeks of play. He has managed just 57.8 rushing yards per game with three total rushing touchdowns, but his increased involvement in the passing game has made him an attractive DFS option. His 4.2 receptions per game puts him sixth in the league among running backs. He is worth a stack or opponent stack look against a Cardinals defense allowing the 14th most fantasy points to the running back position.
Suddenly fourth in the league following a generous donation to his rushing yard total by the Dallas Cowboys, Kenyan Drake is the RB23 in fantasy points per game thanks to managing an average of just one reception per game. Despite a monster 164 rushing yard, two touchdown performance against the Cowboys, Drake is a fade against a Seahawks team surrendering the 10th fewest fantasy points to the running back position. He could get lost in gameflow as it could limit his rush attempts and potentially crater his fantasy floor. Multiple lineup setters will feel the need to chase or opposing stack, but bear in mind his floor before doing so.
D.K. Metcalf continues to prove all of his doubters wrong. Despite being somewhat limited in his route tree, he can run enough NFL routes well to keep defenses guessing, and paired with a head coach willing to scheme to his strengths, and a quarterback that helps produce a synergy no one else in the NFL could, he has become a superstar. The WR2 in fantasy points per game and the WR5 in total fantasy points, Metcalf is eighth in the league with 496 receiving yards and second with 99.2 receiving yards per game. He is third in the league with five receiving touchdowns, and first with an insane 22.5 yards per reception.
Tyler Lockett was the TE2 through three weeks of play, but two quiet games in a row have bumped him down to the WR13 in fantasy points per game. Lockett is 18th in the league with 30 receptions despite already having a bye, so he remains a stronger play on platforms that offer a full point per reception (Lockett is the WR11 in full PPR). Both Lockett and Metcalf should avoid a full dose of Patrick Peterson, and are still worth long hard looks against a Cardinals defense relinquishing the fewest fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position.
Remember when people said DeAndre Hopkins is going to regress in the Cardinals offense? Hopkins is the WR3 in total fantasy points, is the WR8 in fantasy points per game, leads the league with 601 receiving yards, is first with 47 receptions and is also first with 100.2 receiving yards per game. His salary is so high that fitting him in lineups requires significant sacrifice elsewhere, and on some weeks, it just has not been worth it. However, this week he will be extremely enticing due to facing a Seahawks defense surrendering the most fantasy points to the wide receiver position.
Most fantasy points to the wide receiver position you say? Then what about the other Cardinals receivers? Christian Kirk is the WR43 in total fantasy points but just exploded for two receiving touchdowns in Week 6. Kirk has averaged 82 receiving yards per game over his last two contests and has scored three touchdowns in his last three games.
Outside of his seven reception Week 2, Larry Fitzgerald has been almost invisible this season. He is still getting open now that he is facing number two corners more often, but it is apparent that Hopkins is the apple of Kyler Murray’s eyes. Fitz is the WR90 in total fantasy points. Andy Isabella has flashed this season but is the WR79 in total fantasy points. Both Isabella and Fitz are worth upside multi lineup stabs due to the juicy matchup.
Greg Olsen has had his moments this season but is the TE32 in fantasy points per game and the TE28 in total fantasy points. He continues to cede snaps to Will Dissly and has a tough matchup against a Texans defense surprisingly surrendering the eighth fewest fantasy points to the tight end position. Both tight ends are better left on the fade pile.
Dan Arnold is the TE50 in total fantasy points and is facing a Seahawks defense allowing the fourth fewest fantasy points to the tight end position. Hard pass.
Fifth in the league with 13 touchdowns, Aaron Rodgers is the QB10 in fantasy points per game. He is 13th in the league with 274.8 receiving yards per game despite missing top receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard for much of the season. He is an interesting play this week despite the high salary, as he will be looking to bounce back from an embarrassing effort against Tampa Bay. Houston may just be the team to get right with as they have surrendered the 13th most fantasy points to the quarterback position. Fitting him in your roster will take some sacrifices elsewhere, but if this contest is as high scoring as the Vegas total suggests, you may very well want Rodgers in your lineup.
Tied with Rodgers with 13 passing touchdowns, Deshaun Watson is the QB9 in fantasy points per game. He has played one more game than Rodgers but has averaged 297.7 passing yards per game. His rushing yards per game are at a four year low, but he has still chipped in a fantasy value buoying 102 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground. He has been inconsistent this season, but with the Murderers Row portion of the Texans schedule over after the first four weeks of the season, he has looked much better in the last two (albeit with a new head coach). His strong play over the last two weeks makes him worth consideration despite facing a Packers team surrendering just the 21st most fantasy points to the quarterback position. Watson is the QB2 since Bill O’Brien was fired.
Aaron Jones has been unbelievable once again this season. A.J. Dillon has been zero threat, Jamaal Williams is a ‘JAG’ who is good in pass pro, and as such Jones has cruised to being the RB5 in fantasy points per game. There is not much to be said about Jones that you do not already know. 550 yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns through five games makes Jones one of the most attractive options on the slate before we even begin to consider the opponent. When we add that the Texans have surrendered the most fantasy points per game to the running back position, we have the making of the chalk play of the slate. Despite this, he is going to be hard to fade. Fit him in and figure out the rest later.
David Johnson is a hard fade this week. He has shown flashes of the David Johnson that became a household fantasy name but has been too inconsistent to trust this week. He is the RB27 in fantasy points per game and will be facing off against a Packers defense surprisingly leaking the second most fantasy points to the running back position. Due to the negative potential gamescript, he should only be a consideration for those who have predetermined to roster the running back opposing their stack.
Davante Adams finally made his return in Week 6, but a relatively quiet performance bumped him down to the WR5 in fantasy points per game. He is 12th in the league with 84.3 receiving yards per game and could have a massive game in store against a Texans defense relinquishing the eighth most fantasy points to the wide receiver position.
The Packers cupboard is bare behind Adams, and big slot Marquez Valdes-Scantling. MVS failed to step up when Adams was out and is the WR67 in total fantasy points. He is worth a dart throw due to matchup, but his boom or bust nature should be taken into consideration.
Will Fuller has been excellent this season. He has performed admirably without Deandre Hopkins to draw number one corners and double teams and is the WR17 in fantasy points per game, and the WR9 in total fantasy points. Fuller is 13th in the league with 455 receiving yards, and 20th with 75.8 receiving yards per game.
With Watson stepping up his play under Romeo Crennel Fuller is worth a long hard look despite being slated to be matched up against impressive corner Jaire Alexander. Jaire has been excellent this season and has held opponents to a 45.9 percent catch rate. However, Fuller only needs a few receptions to explode, and deeper analysis at SIS reveals that Jaire actually has a career-high 81.3 percent deserved catch rate. He is worth a hard look this weekend despite the tough on-paper matchup.
Brandin Cooks is the WR27 in total fantasy points while Randall Cobb is the WR39. They are worth looks due to the high total contest and the fact that Watson has stepped up his play as of late. The Packers have allowed just the 22nd most fantasy points to the wide receiver position, but all three receivers are worth looks due to their recent play. Cooks is the WR2, Fuller is the WR7, and Cobb is the WR37 since Romeo Crennel took over.
Robert Tonyan is the TE4 in fantasy points per game thanks to a monster Week 4 that saw him rack up 98 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He has five touchdowns in five games but followed up on his breakout performance with a meager three receptions for 25 receiving yards. He is going to be worth a look against a Texans defense allowing the 13th most fantasy points to the tight end position, but his ceiling will need to be weighed against his floor.
Darren Fells is the TE21 in fantasy points per game but has been outplayed by Jordan Akins (TE22 ppg) when both were healthy and sharing snaps. They are worth low salary looks, but will be facing a Packers defense relinquishing the 20th most points to the tight end position.
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