2016 Draft Kit

Offense vs. defense averages: NFL playoffs divisional round

It was a crazy one last week. I was all in on Dez Bryant — he got out everythinged by Cole Beasley again. Someone on Twitter started calling him Cole Beastley. I approve. … Until everyone starts using it in every instance.

That should take about three days.

I was also all in on Justin Forsett, who flopped pretty hard. He did have 6.8 yards per carry in the first half before a fumble and negative yards in the second half. Mohamded Sanu flopped too. But Sanu was targeted seven times.

I think they were both good calls that just didn’t pan out for all of the millions of reasons NFL games don’t play out like fantasy owners want them to.

However, despite all of those players who didn’t pan out for me last week, I made a really good profit at Draft Kings.

One of the keys when dealing with a short slate — and four NFL games qualifies as a really short slate, so AMPLIFY the next part of this sentence — is diverse lineup building.

I built at least one 25-cent lineup with every quarterback. I didn’t get every running back or wide receiver combination, but I did build a couple of my “best” running back pairs, a couple other pairs then a couple pairs of contrarian running backs.

But in a couple more pricy tournaments, I was all in on quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton, who scored well, and Dan Herron who lived up to his nickname “Boom,” catching 10 passes for 85 yards and adding 56 yards on the ground with a touchdown. I also owned more Golden Tate than Calvin Johnson because of the matchup/value combination.

I hope you used some boom-or-bust projections knowledge last week and turned a little profit. We continue on here  with our Las Vegas-adjusted projections.

As always, we start with the team offense vs. team defense averages modified by the Las Vegas factor. The Las Vegas factor is revealed by comparing a team’s season-long average score to the projected score based on Las Vegas odds. Think of it as a percentage. If a team has an LVf of 1, that means Las Vegas thinks they’ll perform at approximately 100% of their normal production.

A 2% or even 6% change isn’t drastic, but it’s enough to push a player from the top-13 into the top-10.

In some cases the number can come in much higher or lower. We have one of those this week. The Panthers come in with an LVf of 0.8, meaning Las Vegas thinks they’ll be 20% worse than average against the top-rated Seahawks defense in Seattle.

No other team even has -10%. The next worst team is Baltimore with 0.91 against the Patriots.

On the other side, we have three teams expected to be at least 13% better than average.

Denver gets the top spot this week. Las Vegas thinks they’ll score 30.5 points, making them 15% above average. New England gets the second-biggest bump with a LVf of 1.14 at home against the pass-prone Ravens. Green Bay gets a 1.13 against the Cowboys, but the Packers have the top offense in the NFL and are expected to score the second-most points this week, 29.5.

Projections and matchups will be posted beginning Friday.

If you’ve been thinking about signing up for Draft Kings and you want a chance to win $100,000 for just $5, check out my post from Wednesday. Sorry for shilling. But it is a really good deal.

Good luck this week. May variance be in your favor.

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