The house always wins. Regular gamblers, moviegoers, and most people can recognize what this phrase means. When it comes to gambling, over the long run, the casino/house will always win out. They have been doing it long enough to know all the tricks and all the ways to separate you from your money. What if we could work together with the house? Could we use sportsbooks’ years of knowledge and data into game lines? What if we could harness this power to help win our dynasty fantasy football league? This concept, my friend, is winning WITH Vegas.
If you are a returning reader, you can skip down to the games and players we picked this week. If you are new to the series, please check out the explanation in the following two paragraphs. All lines are courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook and are accurate as of October 13th. Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) are via FantasyPros.
The premise of this series is to look at weekly over/under and implied team totals to find fringe starters in our deeper fantasy football leagues. If these terms confuse you, don’t worry; here is your crash course on the sportsbook betting terminology we will use. Every NFL game has three basic things to bet on: spread, Moneyline, and totals. The spread is the margin of victory or defeat for each team. A team favored by -7 will win by a touchdown or more. The reverse would be a team as +7 underdogs will lose by a touchdown or less. Moneyline is just the straight-up winner, and over/under is the projected combined total of both teams’ scores.
We will be concerned with over/under and spreads in this series to determine implied team totals. The implied team total would be the final projected score based on Vegas lines. To figure this out, we must determine the final score Vegas is projecting. Let us set up a scenario where a game has an over/under of 42. In this game, the favorite should win by 8 points. We must use math to come up with a final score that will meet both of these criteria. In this example, a 25 – 17 final will match both projections. By going through every game in a week, we can quickly see which teams Vegas has scored big, and that will give us a clue as to what players have the best touchdown upside.
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)
Implied Team Totals: Chargers (21) Chiefs (27)
Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs, ECR: WR39
Dynasty managers who drafted Rashee Rice in the second round over the summer are slowly seeing their investment pay off. Kansas City has been searching for their new number-one receiver since Tyreek Hill was traded to the Dolphins. Rice currently leads the team in yards per route run, an extremely sticky statistic for judging receiver talent (via PFF). This is even over Tavis Kelce. Unfortunately, the production hasn’t followed suit, as Rice only has 245 yards on the season and currently sits at WR49 in full PPR. We are waiting for the breakout game to occur, and this weekend against the Broncos might be the perfect chance.
Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs, ECR: WR51
The thing preventing the Rashee Rice breakout is none other than Kadarius Toney. Toney has had an up-and-down career ever since being drafted by the Giants. He seems constantly on the edge of a top-ten week but is also a pulled hamstring or an ejection away from falling flat on his face. He has back-to-back weeks with five targets but is also three weeks removed from having negative one receiving yards against the lowly Bears. You could do worse as a FLEX play, as Toney has WR1 overall on the week upside. Just don’t be surprised if he drops a donut instead.
Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos (+1.5)
Implied Team Totals: Packers (24) Broncos (22)
AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers, ECR: RB32
The Denver Broncos are giving up 32.2 fantasy points per game to the running back position. To put that into context, no team since 2007 has allowed even 30 points per game to the running back position. This Broncos team is on pace to be historically juicy for fantasy running backs. If this remains true, you can comfortably start every running back against Denver. It also helps for Dillon that Aaron Jones is less than 100%.
Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers, ECR: WR38
Romeo Doubs began the season on a tear with 29 targets through the first three games. He has cooled off with only eight targets over the last two. This is the week he gets back on track and shows us why he is the target leader in the Jordan Love offense. The Broncos have been gashed weekly and are giving up a league-high 200 points in only six games. Confidently start Doubs in one of your WR slots.
Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
Implied Team Totals: Dolphins (25) Eagles (27)
Jeff Wilson Jr, Miami Dolphins, ECR: RB43
So, we had a bit of a miss with Jeff Wilson Jr. last week with him being a gameday scratch. Hopefully, everyone pivoted and started Salved Ahmed last week, who finished as RB19. Wilson is looking healthy and practicing this week, so we are diving right back in. The Miami run game has been on a tear this season, which continues this week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
We are about halfway through the regular fantasy football season! Start/sit decisions are more important than ever. By leveraging the power of Vegas, we can gain a slight edge over our opponents. As the season wears on and we have more data to work with, these decisions become more manageable. Start your studs and get those Monday-night players into your flex! Check back weekly as we review the numbers to ensure we are Winning With Vegas!
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I hope you enjoyed this week’s Winning With Vegas. For more content like this, follow me on Twitter @DanT_NFL. DMs are always open for questions, comments, or craft beer recommendations!