April 20, 2019

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PyromaniacMo's Spreading the Lines Of Fantasy for Week 15 - Vegas Implied Point Totals

Spreading the Lines of Fantasy - Week 15 (2018)

Posted by PyromaniacMo on 12/13/18

by   The Archer


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This weekly piece is intended to shed light on two primary factors that can weigh heavily upon your fantasy football decision making. Basically, we want to use Vegas in a helpful, predictive way. The first advantage to be gained exposes teams that are likely to be amongst the highest scoring of the week. Obviously, the more touchdowns a team puts up, the more fantasy points those players will have. For this, we will look at implied team totals. Generally, any team with an opening implied team total over 24 is one to pay attention to: The higher the number, the greater their chance for scoring.

So, now that we have identified the hottest teams of the week, we want to prognosticate even further and decide which positions, on those teams, will get the most opportunity to score. Does Vegas tell us a high scoring team will likely be playing with a lead? In other words, are they heavy favorites? If this is the case, then such a positive game-script indicates more rushing attempts. Thus, we want RBs on those teams. If Vegas expects a high scoring team to be on the losing end of a shoot-out, in other words a team is predicted to play from behind, this tells us to expect more of a passing attack. So, we should see a ground attack for big favorites and a passing game for the big underdogs.

That’s it. In essence, we are looking for high implied team totals and an indication as to which positions will likely get the most opportunity to score those points. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we have two weeks left! Keep in mind, it is Week 15, guys are banged up. It is imperative you watch the inactive list with a close eye. Good luck!


Vegas spreads and implied point total chart for Week 15


Tied for the highest total score in Week 15, the Thursday night one could be a shootout. You absolutely want to check the inactives as there are key starters on both sides with serious question marks. For KC, Ware is Doubtful, Hilton Questionable, and of course, Watkins is out. Ekeler is already ruled out for the Chargers and Gordon is Questionable. According to Rick Henne, from the official Chargers website, Melvin Gordon’s status, “will come down to the wire just before kickoff”. Whether it is Gordon or Jackson, according to Football Outsiders, KC has allowed a league-high 5.39 adjusted line yards to opposing RBs. As for their QB, Rivers is perhaps the ideal cash QB. That is to say, Rivers has a great floor, he is dependable. Just three weeks ago he set two NFL records. He completed his first 25 passes and he finished with a 96.6% completion rate. In that game, he only had 1 incomplete pass. He has tossed at least 2 TDs in every single game except 1. The bummer is that single game came last week. Still, he is having perhaps one of his best years as a pro. Plus, KC has an atrocious secondary. Orlando Scandrick has allowed his WR to score 5 times this season. Statistically speaking, Tyrell Williams will see the most of Scandrick this week. As for KC, Mahomie and Kelce are no-brainers, as for that, pay attention to the health of the players. Damien Williams is your guy if indeed Ware is out. Vegas has both teams expected to score north of 25 points, one of only 2 games in Week 15 where both teams have such a high implied total. 


Houston is favored on the road by 6. Vegas suggests a ground game for the Texans. Lamar Miller should see some positive regression in the touchdown category. He has the 8th most attempts in the league but only 4 rushing TDs. Out of the 20 running backs that have toted the rock the most in 2018, only Frank Gore has fewer TDs than Miller.


Baltimore is home and 8 point favorite over the Bucs. Tampa Bay has allowed the 6th most PPR points to opposing RBs in the last 5 weeks. If indeed the Gus ‘Bus’ Edwards continues down the line, he should see an uptick. However, he gives you absolutely zero in the passing game. Last week, Edwards was outscored in fantasy by teammate Kenneth Dixon. Afterward, Coach Harbaugh came out and gushed over Dixon. He is likely to eat into Edward’s production even more. However, he could get game-scripted right out if indeed this unfolds the way Vegas expects. Tampa’s implied point total is sub 20. Baltimore is no joke and Vegas is predicting they shut down the Bucs. 


The Vikings are full TD favorites over the visiting Dolphins. Dalvin Cook has had 3 double digit fantasy performances in the last 3 games. He has seen a larger role in the passing game. He could be in line for 20-25 looks. 


The Falcons are 9 point home favorites over the Cardinals. This is a big-time positive game script for Atlanta. The Cardinals have surrendered the 3rd most PPR points to opposing RBs this season. They have allowed 18 total TDs to the position, 16 of which came on the ground. Ito Smith is listed as Questionable, which could mean a larger snap count for Coleman. Heck, on the other side of the ball, David Johnson is in play. Atlanta is notorious for allowing opposing backs to catch passes. In fact, no other NFL team has allowed more catches to the position for the past 4 seasons. But alas, this is the 2nd to last fantasy week. Guys are banged up all over the place, including the aforementioned DJ. He was unable to practice on Wednesday and is listed as Questionable as well. 


I am not holding my breath for a Green Bay come back, neither is Vegas. The Bears are home and 6 point favorites. We saw Jordan Howard last week. He is a guy that I have brought up more and more in recent weeks. It seems like it is that time of the year for the big bruising backs. Certainly, Cohen is the more talented of the duo if we see a lackluster Packers team, Chicago could get up and look to take the air out of the ball to keep it away from Rodgers as much as possible. Jo-Ho could be one of those fantasy playoff guys you will smile upon now after cursing his lack of fantasy go all season long. After all, he has racked up double-digit carries all year. He has put up 172 rushing yards in the last 2 weeks, but certainly not as productive in PPR leagues. He has not had more than 1 reception since Week 3. Still, the game script should follow what Vegas has laid out. Jo-Ho could put up another big week over the ground alone in Week 15.


The Steelers are home-dogs against New England. Just like last week, I have my money on the Patriots opponent against the spread. Heck, I should have not even taken the points versus the Dolphins. I believe I will be inclined to take the 1.5 points Vegas is laying in Week 15. As for fantasy, this game is likely to be a shootout. Vegas is expecting both teams to score over 25 points. The only other game where that is true is the Chargers/Chiefs. While the spread does not tell us much for fantasy, the over/under does. Vegas expects big things from both sides. James Conner is Questionable and did not practice on Wednesday. Watch the practice reports. The Steelers are not like the Pats, we generally can trust their coaching staff when discussing injuries. If Conner gets in a full practice by week’s end, look for him to play, if he fails to log even a limited practice, fire up Jaylen Samuels. Ridley was only in on 8 snaps last week. The man carried the ball 5 times for a total of 4 yards. However, as is the fantasy curse, wouldn’t you know it, he gets a TD. Still, of the two, Samuels is the man to fire up and certainly the one to carry in dynasty. 


The Rams are 1 point home favorites over Philly, who has a horror show for a secondary. LA also carries the highest implied total of the week at 32.25. The Eagles have 4 secondary players on IR, another on the PUP, and their only other 2 RCBs on roster both carry a Questionable designation. Cooks has the best WR/CB matchup as he will face Rasul Douglas. There are only 6 other starting CBs in Week 15 allowing more fantasy points per route run. The only reservation would be if the Rams get up fast and furious, Philly will not be able to hang. Wentz is Questionable. If there is no counter-passing attack, the Rams could rely on their backs to control this game. If indeed it is a blowout, they might even look to rest their studs, like Gurley. Now, there are plenty of probable outcomes. However, with the lopsided Vegas numbers, that one has a high degree of probability. Be warned. I do think the Rams get right back to it. Last week does not scare me, but if they are sailing along, against a Wentz-less Eagles squad, why wouldn’t they opt to get Gurley some additional rest? Ian Rapoport was reporting that Wentz is not likely to play, however, no official decision has been made by the team. 


The Saints are road favorites against Carolina. They have an implied team total of 29. As 6 point visiting favorites, and with an off-target Cam, the ground game could hold a great deal of value for the Saints. Certainly, Kamara is a guy you toss in no matter what. That said, this could be a nice Ingram game. Since returning in Week 5, Ingram only has 2 games without double-digit carries. He has 4 total TDs and 2 triple-digit rushing days in his last 5 games. Last week, Cam did not look right. His 61.9% accuracy was his 2nd lowest all season. In fantasy, the QB spot relies on performance, accuracy, and efficiency more than usage. Look, last week was the first week he did not have a double TD day since Week 1. Clearly, last week his nagging shoulder injury was an issue. So far, he is off the injury report. If he stays that way and his shoulder does not flare up in practice, I am climbing back up on that reliable horse. He has a solid floor with his rushing contribution. The Saints are tied for allowing opposing QBs 4 rushing scores, a league high. They have allowed the 4th most total fantasy points to opposing gun-slingers as well. Curtis Samuel will face P.J. Williams. In Week 15, PFF only has 1 other slot CB graded below Williams, who, by the way, has given up 6 TDs this season. D.J. Moore squares off against Eli Apple, whom teams have been picking on since his New Orleans arrival. Funchess should draw Lattimore. Finally, if there is anything we have learned this season when in doubt, play Mr. McCaffrey, fantasy’s best RB the last 5 weeks. 






PyromaniacMo with a Founder's


By: PyromaniacMo


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