Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been writing a short fantasy football article for a new, welcome initiative on my newspaper’s website. One of my bullet points there is the shootout of the week. I take a look at Vegas betting lines in an attempt to locate a fantasy gold mine.
I took it a step further for you, Ninjas, in an attempt to project touchdowns and field goals for every team this week. I project my projections to be correct less than 50% of the time, but I’m writing them anyway.
Here are some news and notes based on the Vegas lines
Atlanta – 28 points, 4 TDs
Matt Ryan throws a pair of TD passes, one to Roddy White and a second to Tony Gonazlez. Steven Jackson gets a rushing TD and the Falcons defense scores a defensive TD.
Philadelphia – 28 points, 4 TDs
Nick Foles throws 2-3 TD passes. Definitely one to DeSean Jackson. Riley Cooper, Zach Ertz, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy have a 50/50 chances of catching the other 1-2 TDs. McCoy gets a rushing TD. If Foles throws only 2 TDs the Eagles defense gets a TD.
Dallas Cowboys – 28 points, 4 TDs
Like Atlanta and Philadelphia, the Cowoys have TDs to go around, so I think their defense could get in the end zone. Tony Romo accounts for 2-3 TDs. It is a poor matchup for Jason Witten, but Dez Bryant should get in the end zone at least once. Maybe Romo runs one in. DeMarco Murray has a strong matchup and should get in the end zone at least once.
Five Ks who look like 3-FG kickers this week
To get to the final totals for some of these games, as predicted by sportsbooks in Las Vegas, it’ll take some field goals. The following players’ teams have odd scores, meaning they could be in for huge days: Kai Forbath, Blair Walsh, Dan Carpenter, Jay Feely, Phil Dawson.
Other RBs with high TD probablility this week
Combining the 5-week fantasy points against matchups with these Vegas lines leads us to some interesting notes:
While the Giants have a poor matchup against Seattle, they are still projected to score twice. The one spot where they don’t have an abysmal matchup is at running back, where the Seahawks have given up a number of 100-yard games. That makes Andre Brown a sneaky good start against one of the top defenses in the league.
Other unmentioned RBs with good matchups and teams with a TD to give: Alfred Morris, Rashard Mendenhall, Ben Tate, Maurice Jones Drew/Jordan Todman, Matt Forte.
WRs with a high TD probablity this week
Mashing together fantasy points allowed rankings and Vegas betting lines, makes me think the following WRs could get in the end zone at least once this week: Torrey Smith, Brandon LaFell(or)Steve Smith, A.J. Green, Steve Johnson(or)Robert Woods, Anquan Boldin, Jordy Nelson, Rod Streater
TEs with a high TD probability
More 5-week fantasy points allowed and betting lines mashing: Charles Clay, Coby Fleener, Tony Gonzalez, Zach Ertz(or)Brent Celek, Martellus Bennett, Heath Miller
Other random notes
- Jacksonville is projected to score 3 TDs against Buffalo. It feels like one of those might be a defensive TD. At this point I’m projecting far too many defensive touchdowns for one week in fantasy, but against a rookie QB I’m not ruling it out.
- Green Bay is slated for two TDs and two FGs. Eddie Lacy has a juicy matchup but he’s a little banged up. If he can’t go, and Matt Flynn starts at QB, the Packers could struggle to find the end zone, giving Mason Crosby a third FG. He’s a great value in FanDuel this week at $5,100.
- New Orleans is slated to score 3 TDs. While the running game has good matchup against St. Louis, It’s hard to imagine a 26-20 Saints win that doesn’t include 3 Drew Brees TD passes. So, 3 TD passes for Brees this week, based on my highly scientific projections.
- Baltimore is projected to score 3 TDs as they try to keep pace with the Detroit Lions. So, what would that be? A Joe Flacco TD pass to Torrey Smith. It’s a bad matchup, but I have to give Ray Rice a TD run. Then there’s one more. A TD pass to Dennis Pitta? He doesn’t have a great matchup either. A pick-6? Maybe a second TD for Rice or catch for Smith? A long TD by Marlon Brown? A sneaky Flacco sneak? There’s some interesting upside value here for those of you in large tournaments at Draft Kings and FanDuel.
- Cleveland is also projected for 3 TDs. So, a Jason Campbell-to-Gordon TD strike is a lock. Campbell tosses another to Jordan Cameron. We’ve got a TD available. It could be a second to Gordon or maybe a Campbell run — quite the line for Campbell if this unlikely scenario comes to pass. It could also be a TD to Chris Ogbannaya who is getting quite a bit of love from the experts at Fantasy Pros this week. More low-priced upside plays possible in this one.
- Chicago is in line for 3 TDs. Jay Cutler‘s rust will determine a lot of the outcomes here. In a perfect world, Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery all get in the end zone once. However, it’ll be interesting to see how pass distribution changes with Cutler at the helm instead of Josh McCown. I could see Martellus Bennett stealing away one of those touchdowns, or Forte coming away with two of them. It’s also worth noting the Browns have given up the most fantasy points to opposing D/STs in the last five weeks, making the Bears a prime candidate for a defensive TD.
Well, I’ve rambled on far too long. Maybe if I have a little more time next week I can give a short rundown/preview on every team.
If you want to project your own stats, here are the teams I think will score at least 3 TDs based on the betting lines: Atlanta, Philadlephia, Dallas (4 TDs); Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Indianapolis, New England, Miami, Chicago, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Seattle, Kansas City, Carolina, Cincinnatti (3 TDs).
Here are the teams I think will need at least 2 FGs to meet the Vegas betting lines: Washington, Minnesota, Buffalo, San Francisco, Arizona (3 FGs); Green Bay, Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Houston, Tennessee, Carolina, Pittsburgh (2 FGs).
Good luck this week in every league and format you play in.