Daily Fantasy Football: Over/Under Line Targets Week 3
Football is the least statistical sport in daily fantasy. Teams change drastically from year to year. Players emerge from nowhere to become superstars, and superstars fade inexplicably. And most difficult of all, we only have 16 games to use for our statistical signals each season. Over/Under Lines allow us to piggyback on the research that highly skilled sports bettors use to project player and team performance, and therefore is one of the best tools we have to make good fantasy picks. This week I will take four high projected teams and give you a player to target and a player to avoid.
New England Patriots: 30.25 Points, 14 Point Favorites
Target: Steven Ridley (6200 FD, 4700 DK)
The Oakland Raiders are in the bottom 3 in fantasy points allowed to RBs this season, and have the 4th worst run defense in the league according to Pro Football Focus. Ridley had a rocky 2013 season after fumbling the ball often and being benched accordingly, but this year he is firmly entrenched as the starter this year. I talked in another article about how big favorites are great teams to target RBs because of conservative play when teams have a big lead. You can’t get much bigger of a favorite than 14 points this week. Ridley should have another 25+ carry game and nab at least one TD. People like to avoid non-pass catchers on Draftkings because of the PPR scoring, but at 4700 I think the price is right.
Avoid: Shane Vereen (6300 FD, 5100 DK)
Vereen is a tough cookie to figure out. Last season in wins of 14 points or larger, Vereen averaged just 5 touches per game. In the rest of those games, he averaged approximately 15 touches per game. Vereen plays almost exclusively on passing downs, so you should only target Vereen in games where the Patriots are small favorites or underdogs.
New Orleans Saints: 29.5 Points, 10 Point Favorites
Target: Jimmy Graham (8400 FD, 8000 DK)
27 years old, 6’7″, 270 Pounds. Graham averaged a TD a game last year. With such a high point projection on a team that scores almost all their points through the air, it’s hard to imagine Graham having anything but a beastly game this week.
Avoid: No One
With Mark Ingram out this week, both RBs Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson are in play. WRs Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks both are still quite affordable on both Fanduel and Draftkings. I think all these guys are good value this week even though not all of them will have a good game.
Philadelphia Eagles: 28.25 Points, 6 Point Favorites
Target: Jeremy Maclin (6300 FD, 6400 DK)
As the number one receiver on the best offense in football, a salary in the 6000 range seems awfully small. Maclin has not been a great WR this year, but he’s been by far the best in the terrible bunch consisting of Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews. Maclin should continue his production this year while his price stays low as pricing algorithms will struggle to reconcile his absence last season.
Avoid: Darren Sproles (6000 FD, 5200 DK)
I’m not gonna say I hate Sproles this week, because I don’t. Sproles is an awesome player to watch. But he’s only played 1/3rd of the Eagles total snaps in two games, and he should be the focus of the Redskins defense next week after breaking off a huge performance last week. As a decent favorite, a player who plays mostly on passing downs is not gonna be a great target this week.
Detroit Lions: 27.25 Points, 2.5 Point Favorites
Target: Calvin Johnson (9000 FD, 8900 DK)
It’s rare you get such a small favorite with such a high point projection, but when you do its always a good idea to target a WR. Johnson is the best WR in the NFL so when the point projection is high, expect his fantasy points to be high.
Avoid: Reggie Bush (7300 FD, 5000 DK)
I couldn’t believe how high Bush’s salary was this week on Fanduel. Bush had a remarkable season last year with over 1000 rushing yards and 500 yards receiving. However, in two games this year, Bush has managed less than 100 yards combined. Bush has been on the field for less than 50% of the Lions plays this year, yielding playing time to the emerging Joique Bell. I wouldn’t think of playing him until his price comes way down.
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