5 Betting Trends to Help Set Your Week 6 Daily Fantasy Football Lineup
It's no secret that Vegas totals and spreads can be helpful when making fantasy football decisions -- especially in daily fantasy contests.
Unfortunately, as professional NFL handicapper Warren Sharp has pointed out, oddsmakers' primary goal is not to set the most accurate lines; its goal is to make money, and they do that by encouraging public action on a particular side. What does that mean?
Let's say a sportsbook opens the line on a game with Team X favored to beat Team Y by seven points. If 80% of the public money coming in is in favor of Team X against the spread but the book still does not adjust the line, that demonstrates that either there is sharp money on Team Y, or that they feel confident about Team Y against the spread. Either way, by examining how the oddsmakers are moving lines in comparison to where the public is betting, we can potentially gain an edge when making lineup decisions.
Los Angeles Chargers (-1.0) at Cleveland Browns (O/U 44.5)
Betting Trends: After playing in another overtime game, the Cleveland Browns will play host in this contest. The Los Angeles Chargers are coming off a big win of their own; a stomping of their division-rival Oakland Raiders at home. Nearly 70% of tickets against the spread are on Los Angeles, yet the line has moved a full point toward Cleveland to the current line of Browns +1.0. Stop me if you've heard this one before: sharps are on the Browns.
Jarvis Landry ranks top-five at the position in Scott Barrett's Actual Opportunity metric, and Chargers slot cornerback Desmond King has surrendered a 90% catch rate this year. David Njoku is top-seven at the tight end position in both targets and air yards, and he even led the team in targets last week.
Melvin Gordon has reached 100 scrimmage yards or scored a touchdown in 10 straight games, so he's always worth a look in cash, no matter the odds-based script. Meanwhile, Cleveland has allowed the most fantasy points this year to number-one wide receivers, which puts Keenan Allen in play despite a slow start to the season. Mike Williams leads the team in air yards and has three touchdown catches on the year.
Carolina Panthers (+1.0) at Washington Redskins (O/U 45.0)
Betting Trends: After a miracle kick allowed the Carolina Panthers to win last week, they will head to the nation's capital to face the Washington Redskins. Washington is coming off a disappointing no-show in Drew Brees' record-setting performance on Monday Night Football. Bettors are relatively split on this one, but the line has moved a solid two points, with the line sitting Carolina -1.0 at the open compared to the current line of Redskins -1.0. With the favorite being completely flipped, it's clear Washington is the preferred option for sharps, as 71% of the public is on the Panthers.
Takeaways: Jamison Crowder has drawn 20.3% of the team's targets the past 2 games, and with Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson banged up, Jordan Reed is also in play. Reed ran 28 routes last week, so we can feel confident about going to him despite just 2 targets in that game, especially with Carolina surrendering 9.3 yards per target to the tight end position.
Still, that doesn't mean you move away from the main players in this Carolina offense. You should have Cam Newton exposure in tournaments because of his rushing upside -- and should on a weekly basis, especially with the quarterback on pace for a career high in rushing attempts.
Christian McCaffrey is in a nice spot as his offensive line is creating the most yards before contact on carries in the league as he faces a team that has been carved up for 6.8 receptions to running backs on the year while ranking 30th in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per Play.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.0) at Atlanta Falcons (O/U 57.5)
Betting Trends: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a bye last week, and that gave them the time they needed to fully commit to former number-one overall pick Jameis Winston as their starting quarterback. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons are coming off a drubbing at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that isn't stopping the public from favoring them, as nearly 80% of tickets are on Atlanta. Despite this, the line has moved from Falcons -3.5 at the open to the current line of Atlanta -3.0. With reverse line movement in play, it appears the sharp money is on Tampa.
Takeaways: That inflated game total is no joke. These teams' past five meetings in Atlanta have averaged 55.2 combined points, and both teams rank bottom-three in fantasy points allowed to skill players as well as Adjusted Defensive NEP per play. As long as a player is expected to see snaps in this game, he is under consideration in GPPs. Still, the line movement favors Tampa Bay most of all. Winston is a great play, and so are all of his primary pass catchers: Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate, and if he plays O.J. Howard. After all, Atlanta has allowed the highest touchdown rate per drive this year. Heck, even Adam Humphries is a punt play option after leading the team in Week 4 targets with Winston under center.
That certainly doesn't mean you fade this Atlanta offense, however, especially after last time we saw them they allowed Mitchell Trubisky to toss six touchdowns. The Buccaneers are last in yards per attempt to start the year, so Matt Ryan is an excellent play in all formats. In six career home games against Tampa, Julio Jones has averaged 135.5 yards and 1 touchdown per game.
Calvin Ridley has been somewhat touchdown dependent (just one game with more than six targets), but this is a great time to use him as even after the line movement Vegas still expects Atlanta to hit paydirt plenty. Austin Hooper is coming off a game in which he received a career-high 12 targets.
Should Devonta Freeman miss this game, Tevin Coleman is a great play, but if the former suits up, it's hard to trust any member of this backfield except in large-field tournaments after the committee usage last week.
Shout out to @JosinaAnderson here - terrific reporting. Split was almost exactly 40/40/20 (Actual: 42/40/18) https://t.co/0qnesk11jO
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) October 8, 2018
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) at Oakland Raiders (O/U 48.5)
Betting Trends: Coming off a tough loss to their division-rival Los Angeles Rams, the Seattle Seahawks will cross the Atlantic where the Oakland Raiders will "host" them in London. Bettors are relatively split on this one, yet the spread has moved from Seahawks -3.0 to Seattle -2.5. This may seem like a relatively small move, but because of the nature of scoring in football (field goals and touchdowns), a three-point spread is a key number. Moving through that despite no public stance indicates that either sharps or Vegas likes Oakland.
Takeaways: You may not have noticed it last week, as Todd Gurley plunged in for three scores on the ground and Jared Goff lost two of his best receivers to injury in-game, but the Seahawks defense is notoriously poor without Earl Thomas on the field. This is especially good news for team target leaders Jared Cook (imagine saying that sentence two months ago) and Amari Cooper.
Seahawks yards per pass attempt allowed with and without Earl Thomas
(per @TheQuantEdge )
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 3, 2018
The Oakland Raiders are last in the NFL in yards per attempt and yards per completion allowed over their past three games. They are also bottom-five in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play. Russell Wilson ranks fifth in passing points per attempt but 30th in attempts. That indicates he has been efficient but suffered from low volume. If the sharps are right and Seattle has to throw more than usual then perhaps Wilson could have a monster day through the air, even as a hamstring injury could impair his rushing production.
Still, don't ignore Seattle's running game even as the line movement is against them. Chris Carson has seen at least 24 touches in the past 2 games he's been healthy, and Oakland is 29th in rushing points allowed to the backfield.
Buffalo Bills (+10.0) at Houston Texans (O/U 41.0)
Betting Trends: After a thrilling overtime win on Sunday Night football over their state rivals the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Texans will play host to the Buffalo Bills, who are coming off their own big win, with theirs being over the Tennessee Titans. The public seems to be a fan of Josh Allen, because we have a rare situation in which over 70% of bets are on the underdog. Despite this, Houston has become an even bigger favorite as the week has passed, as the Texans opened at -9.5 but have since moved to the current line of Houston -10.0.
Takeaways: DeAndre Hopkins has 10 or more targets in every game this season. Even after last week's dud, Will Fuller has tremendous results with Deshaun Watson in the lineup. Speaking of, Watson and his 30-plus rushing yards in 4 straight games is also in play for all formats.
Meanwhile, volume makes a third option in this passing offense, Keke Coutee, an option in all formats.
Target distribution for the Texans the last two weeks pic.twitter.com/wom57Lscb7
— Anthony Amico (@amicsta) October 11, 2018
Especially with the line movement, the only options on the Buffalo side of the ledger are Josh Allen (purely for rushing potential) and LeSean McCoy, who set a season-high last week with 26 touches but has otherwise been a disappointment all year. As a result, exposure should be limited to tournaments to this Bills offense.
Akash Bhatia is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Akash Bhatia also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tenswimrun1. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.