3 Betting Trends to Help Set Your Week 8 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.
Washington Redskins (+1.0) at New York Giants (O/U 42.5)
Betting Trends: After a narrow victory over the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins seized control of the NFC East as they head to the Meadowlands to take on another divisional rival in the slumping New York Giants. Over 80% of tickets against the spread are on the 1st-place Redskins, yet the line has moved 2 full points from Washington -1.0 to New York -1.0, indicating major sharp action on the Giants.
Takeaways: The line movement paints a rosy picture for Saquon Barkley's rushing outlook. That would just be the cherry on top for his fantasy prospects, as he leads the position in receptions and receiving yards.
The Redskins have allowed 4 straight top-12 performances to the quarterback position. While you're probably pushing your luck betting on Eli Manning to keep that streak alive, that does bode well for his pass-catchers.
In a matchup pitting Odell Beckham against Josh Norman, bet on Odell. Washington has allowed the 5th-most points per game to opposing lead wideouts. Fellow New York wideout Sterling Shepard is on pace for 1162 yards this season, and is tied for the team lead with Odell with 12 red-zone targets.
While the line movement goes against Adrian Peterson, his matchup is upgraded by the midweek trade of Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions. The Giants have already allowed 9 rushing touchdowns on the year. as they rank 20th in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per Play. Jordan Reed is Josh Hersmeyer's number 1 buy -ow at the tight end position based on Air Yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4.0) at Cincinnati Bengals (O/U 54.5)
Betting Trends: Following an overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will continue their tour of the AFC North as they travel to Ohio to face the Cincinnati Bengals, who are coming off a drubbing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. 60% of public bettors are on the home team, yet the line has moved from the open of Cincinnati -4.5 to the current line of Bengals -4.0. This shows that sharps are on Tampa.
Takeaways: There's a reason this game has such a high total. Both these teams are bottom-3 in yards from scrimmage allowed per game to skill players.
The Bengals have allowed a top-12 wide receiver performance to a lead wideout in their last 3 non-Miami Dolphins games, which bodes well for Mike Evans. The Buccanneers are somehow even worse defensively to lead wideouts, however, as they rank dead-last in points per game allowed to the opposing team's top wideout. A.J. Green is, of course, Cincinnati's best wide receiver, as he has drawn season-highs in targets in 3 straight games since Tyler Eifert's injury.
Slot receivers have erupted against Tampa, and Tyler Boyd deserves serious DFS consideration as a result. Despite the line movement against him, don't be afraid to go to Joe Mixon in DFS considering his usage and matchup against a Tampa defense missing key pieces up front in Gerald McCoy, Vinny Curry, and Kwon Alexander. Mixon ran a season-high 31 routes last week, and Giovani Bernard is still expected to be out.
The Buccaneers have allowed a league-high 202.17 passing yards per game to the slot.
Targets and snap% from the slot:
Tyler Boyd: 45 - 70.5%
A.J. Green: 28 - 29.9%
C.J. Uzomah: 8 - 45.6%
Four of Green's five touchdowns have come from the slot this year.
— Justin Bailey (@justinbailey32) October 23, 2018
If you're desperate for a punt play, C.J. Uzomah has a premium matchup against a Tampa defense that has allowed a top-12 performance at the tight end position in every game this season. Uzomah played a season-high 97% of snaps last week.
Meanwhile, Andy Dalton himself is in play as he will throw to all of these weapons against a Buccaneers defense that is last in points per game surrendered and Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per Play.
The line movement, however, still ultimately favors Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers. Winston should have a clean pocket against a Cincinnati defense that ranks bottom-5 in sack rate. The Bengals leads the league in receptions allowed, which bodes well for Winston and his pass-catchers. Winston has also been a bit of a sneaky runner in recent weeks.
Most rush yards among all QBs last two weeks:
1. Mitch Trubisky (128)
2. Dak Prescott (115)
3. Cam Newton (92)
4. Jameis Winston (84)
5. Marcus Mariota (63) https://t.co/2gaHNJi68Z
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 25, 2018
O.J. Howard is also in a good spot, especially with the line movement in Tampa's favor. Cincinnati is bottom-5 in receptions and yardage allowed to the tight end position, and Howard set career-highs in snaps, routes, and targets last week.
Baltimore Ravens (-2.0) at Carolina Panthers (O/U 44.0)
Betting Trends: After Justin Tucker shocked us all by missing an extra point that would have tied the game last week, the Baltimore Ravens head south to Charlotte where they will face the Carolina Panthers, who are coming off a comeback win over the defending world champion Philadelphia Eagles. The favorite has actually flipped in this one, as even with bettors split, the line has moved from Baltimore +1.0 at the open to the current line of Ravens -2.0. This demonstrates that either sharp money or the books are on Baltimore.
Takeaways: That aggressive line move may be largely due to how tough of a matchup this is for the Carolina offense. Cam Newton has just a 41.5 passer rating when pressured this season, and the Ravens have generated hurries at the second highest rate in the league. A deep splash play also seems unlikely, as Newton's 34.2% completion rate on deep passes is the lowest rate in the league.
Still, Newton's rushing upside and general success this year keep him in GPP consideration every week, although the matchup should probably remove him from your cash lineups.
#Panthers QB Cam Newton on pace for career bests in:
Completion Rate (65.6%)
Fewest Sacks Taken (27)
Rushing Attempts (139, tie)
Also 2nd most Pass TDs of career (29)
Also 2nd fewest INTs of career (11)
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) October 24, 2018
Christian McCaffrey has a bad matchup as well, as the Ravens 90.0 yards from scrimmage allowed to opposing backfields is second-lowest in football. 27.7% of receptions allowed by Baltimore have gone to tight ends (3rd highest in the league) so this is a good spot for a now-healthy Greg Olsen.
John Brown leads the NFL in Air Yards and his team in red zone targets and is thus in play in all formats. Alex Collins has out-touched Javorius Allen 33-10 in the past 2 games, and Carolina has allowed a 4.62 YPC this year. Collins is the biggest beneficiary of the line movement in Baltimore's favor.
Joe Flacco is an interesting play in GPPs. He ranks 3rd in the NFL in pass attempts per game, and the line movement bodes well for the Ravens ability to score points in this contest. Carolina ranks 25th in quarterback hit rate and have allowed multiple touchdown passes in 5 straight.
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.