March 26, 2019

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PyromaniacMo's Spreading the Lines Of Fantasy for Week 9 - Vegas Implied Point Totals

Spreading the Lines of Fantasy - Week 9 (2018)

Posted by PyromaniacMo on 11/02/18

by   The Archer


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This weekly piece is intended to shed light on two primary factors that can weigh heavily upon your fantasy football decision making. Basically, we want to use Vegas in a helpful, predictive way. The first advantage to be gained exposes teams that are likely to be amongst the highest scoring of the week. Obviously, the more touchdowns a team puts up, the more fantasy points those players will have. For this, we will look at implied team totals. Generally, any team with an opening implied team total over 24 is one to pay attention to: The higher the number, the greater their chance for scoring.


So, now that we have identified the hottest teams of the week, we want to prognosticate even further and decide which positions, on those teams, will get the most opportunity to score. Does Vegas tell us a high scoring team will likely be playing with a lead? In other words, are they heavy favorites? If this is the case, then such a positive game-script indicates more rushing attempts. Thus, we want RBs on those teams. If Vegas expects a high scoring team to be on the losing end of a shoot-out, in other words a team is predicted to play from behind, this tells us to expect more of a passing attack. So, we should see a ground attack for big favorites and a passing game for the big underdogs.


That’s it. In essence, we are looking for high implied team totals and an indication as to which positions will likely get the most opportunity to score those points. 

Final note, I used to use opening lines. However, these would come out before the completion of the previous week’s games. Therefore, the line movement in the first days after opening would often change due to a team’s performance, injuries, etc. While a great deal of line movement later in the week primarily comes from betting trends. So, the lines reflected in the chart, come from Tuesday. This way, the spreads have been determined AFTER all of the previous week’s games and BEFORE the betting public influences line movement. There is no perfect answer here, but this way, I feel it captures the most accurate reflection of what Vegas has to offer without the clouding caused by the betting public and bookmakers adjusting the line in order to offset public money. In essence, the lines here ideally reflect what Vegas thinks without interference from betting trends. 


Week 9 Vegas Favorites


The Vikings carry a high implied team total of 27.75 and are 5 point home favorites over the visiting Lions. The Lions offense struggled to get going in Week 8, now they will be without Tate. This should indicate a ground attack for the Vikings who will likely play with a lead. The Lions rank 30th in defensive DVOA against the rush, according to Football Outsiders. Keep an eye on Dalvin Cook; he got in a full practice on Wednesday this week. If he feels 100%, he will be in a great spot, otherwise, Latavius Murray should get plenty of opportunity against a soft Detroit rush D that has allowed 4 RBs to go for triple-digit yardage this season. 


The Chiefs are in a smash spot. They are likely down Tyreek the Freak which should mean more opportunity for others. However, reports are the injury was not as bad as originally feared. Fantasy owners will want to monitor his status. This should be a great game for Hunt as they will have tons of positive game script against the Browns. KC has an implied team total of nearly 30 and favored by 8 points. Cleveland is a funnel D. They are good against the pass but rank 25th in rush DVOA. Cleveland is playing at the 3rd fastest clip, and KC ranks 9th fastest when winning by a TD or more. Hunt could simply rack up the carries in this one. I love him here. 


Jordan Howard got 23 looks to Cohen’s 8. Yes, Cohen busted off a long one, but expect similar usage this week as well. As long as Chicago is facing a positive game script, Howard is in contention for a starter in your fantasy lineup. Although Chicago has a lower implied team total, they carry a 10 point spread, the highest of the week. Buffalo has a tough run D on paper, but in the last two weeks, they have allowed 29.9 to Mack and 25.4 to James White. There have been 3 occasions where Howard has been given a minimum of 15 carries this season. In those three, he averages 15.3 PPR Fantasy Points per game. He could creep up to 20+ attempts for the second week in a row. 


The Panthers are just one of three teams with an implied team total of at least 30 points this week. They are home to Fitz-Magic and Tampa. If you are a believer in Magic, this game could easily go to a shootout. So, I like both sides in this one. According to Football Outsiders, the Tampa defense ranks 30th against an opposing WR2, 30th against opposing TEs, and you guessed it, 30th against opposing RBs out of the backfield. Not only that, they are allowing the most Fantasy Points on a per game basis to opposing gunslingers. On the other side, Mike Evans is Questionable and did not practice on Wednesday. Keep an eye on him, but the WR crew for the Bucs should have plenty of opportunities and they will need to put to the air to stay in this one. There is not much ground game to speak of for the Bucs. Barber is listed as Questionable and Jones is currently Doubtful. To me, that is just one more reason to get on this passing game, including Howard, the TE. 


The Rams are visiting the Saints and this game has an over/under of freakin’ 60 points. Need I say more?


Green Bay is visiting the Patriots. This game is pegged for the second highest scoring game of Week 9. You know Rodgers wants his chance to show what he can do when it counts after getting robbed of the opportunity in Week 8 by a bone-headed maneuver by now ex-teammate Ty Montgomery. This game could be one for the ages with 2 of the best QBs to ever play the game. You know Wild Bill always tries to take away the best weapon on the other side, which means they will try to contain Adams. However, Football Outsiders has them ranked 27th against opposing WR1s. Aaron Jones could get going, if only they gave him enough touches. We really do not have clarity on the other Green Bay WRs, but we do know they will need to pass to stay in this one. On the other side, the spread suggests another good game for White. The Packers rank 29th against opposing WR1s. Hogan indeed should have the best WR/CB matchup. Of course, Josh Gordon has been turning it up lately, and a big game is lurking.  


Elliot should see plenty of touches for Dallas as the Titans come to town. The Cowboys are favored by nearly a TD. Dallas is well rested, coming off a bye. Although Zeke is normally one of the most reliable backs in the league, he was bottled up in Week 7 against Washington. The Titans D is solid. They have only allowed one, 100-yard rusher in the last two years, and that, of course, was Gurley. So while Zeke should get plenty of chances, this is not a typical knock-out game for the Dallas RB. 



PyromaniacMo with a Founder's


By: PyromaniacMo


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