Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7: Vegas Vs. Fantasy

Using Vegas' odds, lines and spreads, Fantasy Football Expert Armando Marsal gets a feel for how this week's matchups will pan out. It's not a perfect science; however, it illustrates trends generated by some of the world's best handicappers.

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The chart below shows the three games this week with the highest point totals. I included where it opened and the current live line. This can give you an idea of where the public is putting their money. Generally if the total opens at one number and it begins to rise, the public is betting the over and vice versa.

Game

Open Total

Live Total

Movement

Falcons vs. Chargers

50.5

53

+2.5

Chiefs vs. Saints

49.5

50

+0.5

Jaguars vs. Raiders

50

48.5

-1.5

The Falcons host the Chargers in what Vegas is projecting to be the highest scoring game of the week. The Chargers have an implied point total of 23.25, and the Falcons have an implied point total of 29.75. That Falcons implied point total is the highest of the slate, so you want exposure to this offense. The Chargers have struggled against the run and the pass, so everyone on the Falcons offense is in play here. They are six-point favorites, which could cause Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to see some extra work here. As far as the Chargers, they have a reasonable implied total as they are expected to score more than three touchdowns and will likely be chasing points, which is why I am hesitant about starting Melvin Gordon in this contest. The Chargers are on the road, and a 6.5 point dog, and this is a big red flag for running backs in this situation. The matchup is not that great either as the Falcons do not allow a ton of yardage on the ground. The exposure you want from the Chargers is with Philip Rivers, the receivers, and tight ends. The best way to attack the Falcons defense is with a tight end as they are giving up 73 receiving yards per game and have yielded five touchdowns to tight ends this season. Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates could both be busy this weekend.

The Saints and Chiefs game has the second highest projected total of the slate. The total line is moving in the right direction as it has shifted upward half of a point from where it opened. The Chiefs have an implied point total of 28.25, which is the second highest of the slate, and the Saints have an implied point total of 21.75. Clearly, you want to have your shares of this Kansas City offense. The Chiefs are 6.5-point favorites and are at home, so the running backs are intriguing here, especially considering how good of a matchup this is. The Saints are giving up 109.4 rushing yards per game and have surrendered ten rushing touchdowns. In the Chiefs last game, Spencer Ware played in 62 percent of the offensive snaps, compared to the 23 percent that Jamaal Charles played in. Ware rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Assuming he gets a similar workload versus the Saints, he could be in for another big game. It is worth monitoring news regarding how much they will use Charles this week as this could determine whether Ware will receive the bulk of the work or not. The Saints also struggle versus the pass, so Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin, and Travis Kelce make fine plays. As far as New Orleans offense, they typically play much better at home, but this does not mean that they are not in play. Since they are expected to be trailing in the contest, the way to go about your exposure is through the air. Mark Ingram has played well in recent games, but he is an underdog on the road which usually does not bode well for running backs.

The Jaguars and Raiders could be a game with plenty of fantasy goodness. The projected opened at 50 points but has gone down to 48. 5 points since. That said, the spread for this game is 1.5 which indicates a close game. Both teams are projected to score more than three touchdowns as the Raiders have an implied point total of 23.5 points and the Jaguars have an implied point total of 25 points. Neither defense is quite imposing so between that and Vegas, this appears to me as a potential shootout in the making. The only piece of this game that I will likely stay away from is the Raiders run game because they are on the road and minor dogs, as well as, unpredictable with the current rotation in the backfield. Aside from that, taking players from both of these offenses makes a lot of sense.

The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.

Game

Open O/U

Live O/U

Move

Eagles vs. Vikings

40

40

0

Two good defenses playing each other typically spells for low scoring games, and that is exactly what expected in this game as Vegas has it projected with the lowest point total. The Eagles have yet allowed a passing touchdown in Philly and have given up just one rushing touchdown. Needless to say, they have been stingy at home. No quarterback has thrown over 263 passing yards in a single game against them. The Vikings too have been stout defensively this season. They force turnovers and score touchdowns off these turnovers. Not to mention, they have yet allowed any running back to top 78 rushing yards and any quarterback to eclipse 271 passing yards. This should be a defensive battle with very little fantasy goodness from either offense. There is one narrative, however, as Sam Bradford returns to Philly to take on his former team which could add some appeal to him for those who jump on board with narratives. With that said, neither team is projected to score more than 21.25 points, which means that it is unlikely we see a ton of scoring. Any of the defenses in this contest make fine plays this week.

The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.

Game

Spread

Cleveland Browns

+10

Cincinnati Bengals

-10

After being the biggest underdogs last weeks, the Bengals are the biggest favorites this week. The entire offense is in play here against an atrocious Browns defense. However, unlike last week, this sets up to be more of a Jeremy Hill week than a Gio Bernard week. Since the Bengals are likely going to have a big lead in this contest, they will be more inclined to use their bruiser rather than their pass catching back. On the Browns offense, you have to be interested in Terrell Pryor in this contest. The Browns will possibly be chasing points, and he is averaging 9.8 targets per game and leads the team in all receiving categories. The matchup itself is not all that great, but the volume will be there for Pryor this week, making him a solid option. Aside from that, it is difficult to feel comfortable rostering any other player on the Browns offense. The Bengals defense can be a streaming option this week.

Vegas lines are very helpful, and prop bets can be as well. You can see yardage totals, projected touchdowns, and all sorts of different lines that can help you project what a player is expected to do. Best of luck to all this week.


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