Written By: Austin Lee – – – Twitter: @AustinLee365FF
It’s been a long 7 months, but football is back and the 365 team is fired up to be back in full swing to start off our first full season!
With the return of football means the return of fantasy football and my personal favorite form of it – DFS! I’d like to start a weekly series where we cover the week’s slate of games along with Vegas odds and other information to help you prepare for a hopefully successful DFS season.
Game Slate and Lines – courtesy of CBS Sports.
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7.5) (Over/Under 51.5)
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans (-3) (Over/Under 52)
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-5) (Over/Under 44.5)
Los Angeles Chargers (-1) at Washington Football Team (Over/Under 44.5)
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5) (Over/Under 48)
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) at Indianapolis Colts (Over/Under 48.5)
Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (Over/Under 48)
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Houston Texans (Over/Under 44.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-6.5) (Over/Under 48.5)
San Francisco 49ers (-7.5) at Detroit Lions (Over/Under 45.5)
Denver Broncos (-2.5) at New York Giants (Over/Under 42.5)
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (-6) (Over/Under 53)
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-2.5) (Over/Under 44)
Green Bay Packers (-4) at New Orleans Saints (Over/Under 50)
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) (Over/Under 44.5)
Baltimore Ravens (-4.5) at Las Vegas Raiders (Over/Under 51)
Disclaimer: The content regarding Vegas odds and DFS is not financial advice. By playing DFS and betting on games, you assume all financial risk. If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, help is available at 1-800-522-4700.
All DFS players are drawn to those 50+ point Over/Under games, so let’s start by addressing those 4 Sunday games and referencing the chart from my previous DFS articles:
The games with an over/under set at 50+ only hit the over 34.8% of the time. That’s relevant for DFS players because the majority of the field are drawn to those games and heavily feature players from those games in their lineups. That is not me advising to fade the players in those matchups, rather just understand that those players are going to be very popular plays in GPP.
Implied Team Totals In Parenthesis:
Dallas (22) and Tampa Bay (30) – This one has all the makings to hit the over. Both offenses feature top tier quarterbacks and wide receivers that we have seen put up elite fantasy production. The concerns on the Dallas side are obviously their horrendous defense and the absence of Zach Martin on the offensive line. Tom Brady and company will have no problem moving the football and putting up points and that favors the Cowboys fantasy options as well since they will be forced to play catch up. If you’re playing the TNF Showdown DFS on DraftKings, one thing to remember (especially if you’re new to it) is the captain slot is 1.5X the salary and 1.5X the points. In high-scoring games, it’s advantageous to plug in the passer or pass-catcher to the captain slot.
Arizona (24.5) and Tennessee (27.5) – This is a game that projects to be highly popular this week. 52-point over/under and both secondary’s are atrocious. The most popular builds will obviously see a stack of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. On the opposite side of the ball, Tannehill and Brown or Julio will be heavily played as well. The key to this game in GPP, if you decide to play it, is finding out how to be contrarian. In order to do that, you have to target secondary pass-catchers such as Rondale Moore, Christian Kirk or Josh Reynolds. Remember, the winning Milly Makers from 2020 averaged 241 points for an average of 26.8 points per position. We have never seen Josh Reynolds put up those kinds of numbers, so I would not advise to go that route unless Julio or Brown are sidelined. Knowing the field is going to heavily target the WRs in this matchup, I’m totally okay going contrarian and stacking QB/RB, considering the positive correlation of .41 at the RB1 position.
Cleveland (24) and Kansas City (30.5) – The Browns and Chiefs feature the highest over/under in week 1 (53) and is sure to be heavily targeted. I’m hesitant outside of Travis Kelce for GPP play. The Chiefs are so heavily targeted that it makes the most sense to play them in Cash. I have some reluctance that this one can hit the over as both defenses will be improved from 2020 and the Browns project to have one of the better defenses in the league with two of the best running backs as well. Common knowledge says the Browns game plan will be to run the ball, control the clock and keep the high-powered Chiefs offense on the sideline. However, there is the chance that this turns into a shootout if the Chiefs are able to get rolling early which is going to flip the game script for the Browns. I bring this up as a contrarian point to gain leverage. Stacking Baker Mayfield with Jarvis Landry or Odell (gross) is a way to do just that. It’s also worth noting Jarvis Landry racked up 62 targets over his final 7 games in 2020. Will that type of volume carry over to 2021?
Green Bay (27.25) and New Orleans (22.75) – I have zero intentions of playing anyone from this game in GPP. If you’re playing cash, Rodgers and Adams is a great stack. Alvin Kamara is worth the cash games play as well. For GPP, all those players and Marquez Calloway project to be heavily rostered. There’s a clear path to the under on this line as well.
Games To Attack
One thing to remember about DraftKings is they provide 3-point bonuses for passers with 300+ yards, rushing and receiving bonuses of 100+ yards. Take a look at the graph below (h/t to Kyle Borgognoni) to see how the bonuses were dispersed throughout 2020.
If you don’t pay up for a quarterback with rushing ability, it’s incredibly important to find and target the quarterbacks that have a path to hit 300+ passing yards and their receivers to stack with them in hopes for the receiving bonus as well.
Philadelphia (22.5) and Atlanta (25.5) – games in this over/under range hit the over nearly 58% of the time and this game features two bad defenses and two offenses with weapons. Jalen Hurts is my QB4 on the week. He offers the rushing upside and stacking him with his new weapon, DeVonta Smith is highly intriguing and I love the idea of running it back with Ridley or Russell Gage.
New York (19.75) and Carolina (25.25) – The over/under sits at a putrid 44.5, so the field will be staying away. There’s obvious risk here, but Sam Darnold has looked really good this offseason and had a 119.1 QBR in his last preseason outing. The revenge game narrative is there and he’s surrounded by a myriad of weapons. On the Jets side, there are weapons across the board at the receiver position. It’s simply going to come down to can rookie Zach Wilson move the ball and push the pace enough to hit the over and it won’t take much to do that.