NFL Sports Betting Toolkit
These NFL articles are a brand new part of Daily Fantasy Cafe and will always be helpful for any DFS player. Each week, I will break down all of Sunday's action and tell you what Vegas and Offshore Oddsmakers are indicating with their betting lines. I will add my own takes on games, and collectively how all of this relates to fantasy performance for players. While Vegas is not a tool you can build your lineups around, it can never be overlooked. Opening lines, line movement, public money, etc. can all paint a picture worth well over 1000 words as it relates to your DFS team. Each week, I'll provide you players from each game worth targeting and even fading to assist you in your roster construction for FanDuel and DraftKings with a Vegas spin on it. I will provide the price of the DFS player along with the % of bankroll the player takes up.
Tampa Bay @ Atlanta -3 O/U 47.5
Lines like this will be the most common lines throughout the year. A home team favored by a field goal with a median total. It's worth noting that last year these teams played two close games with the Bucs hedging out both as victories with almost identical scores. There has been little to no line movement from the open, but I do feel ATL is getting too much credit here with this line. Regardless, expect, Tampa to run and ATL to throw. Both of these defenses are average statistically, but ATL ranked in the bottom 10 against RBs in 2015 and TB ranked in the bottom 10 against WRs in 2015. It's tough to trust Doug Martin as he sees barely any 3rd down work and cheap RBs are all over the place, but Julio is the guy to target from this game. He will be 100% healthy for the game and had very respectable lines last year vs. ATL. Pricing is soft at multiple positions so you can certainly afford Julio along with a few other studs as well.
Julio Jones - FD Price $9,000 - 15.0% - DK Price $9,400 - 18.8%
Minnesota -2 @ Tennessee O/U 41.5
Minnesota still being a road favorite with no Bridgewater tells you what Vegas thinks of him. This line has moved one point towards the Titans and the under has dropped a point as well. This movement occurred once the Bridgewater news broke and makes sense, but the Vikings being a road favorite with either Hill or Bradford is a bit absurd. These are two decent defenses and you can certainly assume most will be avoiding this game in DFS. I cannot target anyone on Minnesota, as the expectation is that the Titans will force whoever starts for the Vikes to beat them through the air and load the box. As for for the Titans though, Tajae Sharpe is becoming a trending play among many touts due to his crazy low price and huge preseason surge. I like to go against the grain when I could, but Sharpe has been looked very solid and figures to see plenty of looks this Sunday. He may be the best value WR on the board.
Tajae Sharpe - FD Price $4,800 - 8.0% - DK Price $3,000 - 6.0%
Cleveland @ Philadelphia -4 O/U 41
I want to make this clear, that I am more often than not a chalk bettor, but this is the third game here where the favorite is getting too much love from Vegas. Philly is starting a rookie QB. I get it that it's against the Browns, and Philly is home, but this line should be a field goal at the most in Philly's direction. Cleveland last year was a team that people loved to played RBs against due to yards allowed, but they actually only allowed 7 TDs all season from RBs. The lack of TDs is scary considering Ryan Matthews is not a prototypical bruising type of back, but he is quite shifty. Philly should win a close low scoring game here, and expect Philly to lean on Matthews. Not much to love about his price, but he could turn out to be quite the contrarian studs due to how soft the Browns are up front between the 20s.
Ryan Matthews - FD Price $6,100 - 10.2% - DK Price $5,700 - 11.4%.
Cincinnati -2.5 @ NY Jets O/U 41.5
This game is expected to be another one of the lower scoring games on the slate. The Bengals are certainly seeing some heavy action from betters has the line as moved about 2 points towards them since open. The Jets are projected one of the lowest totals on the slate, so tough to target players there. On Cinci's side of things, AJ Green always sticks out, but Revis is still a top 3 NFL corner, and you won't make a living targeting him when picking WRs. Tough to target any RBs vs the stingy Jets front seven, and the WRs aside from Green can't give anyone a comfortable feeling. Who I would target on the Bengals would be Tyler Kroft. He hasn't played any preseason games, but filled in nicely last year for Tyler Eifert. The Bengals are thin in the receiving core, and I expect Dalton to look Kroft's way quite a bit. At almost minimum price, he cannot be overlooked despite how good the Jets typically are against TEs. His DK price is crazy low.
Tyler Kroft - FD Price $4,900 - 8.2% - DK Price $2,700 - 5.4%
Oakland @ New Orleans -1 O/U 51
There are quite a few games on this slate that scream fantasy potential and this is certainly on of them. Two offenses that can light it up with below average defenses. This line has seen little movement towards the Saints and the over, but nothing crazy. Last year, the Saints were fantasy gold to target against at all positions. This year should be no different. Always keep in mind though, that NFL Fantasy info is by far the easiest to come by. Many people will target this game in one way or another, but in spots like this it's great to be contrarian. Murray will get hype from Oakland as he should, but I'm not hearing near as much as I should be about Brandin Cooks. He is the best 7K+ WR on FD and performs far better at home. This is a nice spot to go contrarian here as Cooks Price and inconsistency will scare people away, He has 3 straight 100 yard games with a TD at home, and I like that streak to continue in this one.
Brandin Cooks - FD Price $7,600 - 12.7% - DK Price $7,700 - 15.4%
San Diego @ Kansas City -7 O/U 44
The Chiefs are the second biggest favorite on the slate and sport one of the higher team totals as well. Line movement since open has showed some push towards the Chargers, but this line is still 7 and I don't expect it to cross over. The chargers were awful vs. the run last year, and Jamal Charles looks to be ruled out for KC. Charcandrick West is still a bit banged up, so it looks like Spencer Ware will carry the load. His price is so cheap on both sites, that it would almost be foolish to avoid him, if in fact both Charles and West are out. Ware will be the RB chalk if this is the case, but sometimes it's wiser to go with the pack in some situations and go contrarian elsewhere.
Spencer Ware - FD Price $5,400 - 9% - DK Price $4,400 - 8.8%
Buffalo @ Baltimore -3 O/U 44.5
The Ravens open the season at home against the Bills and this is certainly a fair line. This line has had almost no movement since the origin as somewhat even money is being bet on both teams here. It's always tough to target players vs. Rex Ryan, and add in the fact that the Ravens depth chart is a mess makes it nearly impossible to target anyone on the Ravens. Buffalo is not in a good spot either here, but if I'm targeting a player here, it will be the Ravens Defense. People often find themselves paying up for defenses weekly, and suffering at other positions because of it. There is obviously Seattle's defense which will be the chalk, but you can get a serious pay cut playing Baltimore and the team total difference isn't all that much.
Baltimore Defense - FD Price $4,300 - 7.2% - DK Price $2,700 - 5.4%
Chicago @ Houston -6 O/U 44
Houston is one of the bigger favorites on the slate, but the line did not open at this. It has moved 1.5-2 points from open and this could be due to the Bears potential for missing their top 3 CBs on defense. The Bears defense has been reconstructed to solidify the front seven, but they seemed to have forgot about the guys behind them. This could mean a field day for Hopkins. I'm sure they will shadow him with a few different guys, but this shouldn't matter all that much. I'm fine with Miller as well for Houston, but Hopkins will have plenty of opportunities to light it up in this one.
DeAndre Hopkins - FD Price $8,400 - 14.0% - DK Price $8,800 - 17.6%
Green Bay -5.5 @ Jacksonville O/U 48
This figures to be another one of the popular games to target this week. Since line open, the spread has moved in favor of Green Bay one point and the total moved up the same point as well. Green Bay is clearly seeing heavy money, and deservedly so, as this line is a bit cheap. Jacksonville was one of the worst teams against the pass last year, and Green Bay is.not shy throwing the ball. Jordy Nelson is said to be on no restrictions, but he has played the same numbers of snaps as me this preseason, and as you know I'm not in the NFL. It is tough to believe this with regards to Nelson, but Cobb is certainly a fine play. Nelson will attract attention and this will open up spots for Cobb in the slot. I like his price on both sites, as he has the chance to pile up catches over the middle of the field. Allen Robinson on the other side is tough to trust as GB was 6th against the pass last year, and the Jaguars are projected one of the lower team totals for the day.
Randall Cobb - FD Price $7,200 - 12.0% - DK Price $7,600 - 15.2%
Miami @ Seattle -10.5 O/U 44
Seattle will be a near double digit favorite at home against most NFL teams. Roads teams playing in Seattle the last few years, have struggled mightily as a whole. There are times when the Seahawks get ruffled though, but it's hard to imagine it's this spot. Vegas knows this, and has set Miami as the lowest projected total of the week. You cannot ever target players against Seattle, let alone on the road, but this shouldn't be news to people. On Seattle's side of things, the Seattle defense will be the highest owned defense of the week on both sites, but a misconception many people make is to lock in a defense before other players in their lineups and this should never be the case. This week, there are various defenses you can play, and while Seattle could go off, I will not have near the amount of exposure as others. I much prefer to pay for cheaper defenses, and pay up at other positions. With that said, if you're getting away from Dak, Russell Wilson is a solid contrarian play. Wilson has shown, he can fill up a stat sheet, and this team has no fear of running up a score with the lead. With the questions at RB at least for this week, Wilson is a fine option for his price on both sites.
Russell Wilson - FD Price $8,500 - 14.2% - DK Price $7,900 - 15.8%
NY Giants -1 @ Dallas O/U 46
This spread saw quite a jump when the Romo news broke. This line has moved 5 points in the Giants favor, and this proves how highly Vegas thinks of Romo, despite all of his haters. This game has many potential targets from different angles. Something of note in four career games vs. Dallas, Odell Beckham Jr. has surpassed 45 yards only once. Odell is one of the most explosive players in the league, but it appears Dallas does a good job shadowing him. Dak Prescott on the Cowboys side, will be one of the chalkiest players on the entire slate. If you are in cash there isn't much reason to fade him, but there are various options at QB to warrant it. Tough to pay up for Dez without knowing how well him and Dak will jive, but having the Dak exposure protects you from Dez guys. I personally wouldn't combine Dak with Bryant because there are other WRs in better spots in my opinion. Ezekiel Elliot is not getting near enough love this week, and Dallas does figure to lean heavy on him. You'll want GPP exposure to Elliot, but again do not combine him with Dak or Bryant.
Dak Prescott - FD Price $5,000 - 8.3% - DK Price $5,000 - 10.0%
Detroit @ Indianapolis -3.5 O/U 50.5
This game is one of the top three projected totals that features two poor defenses. The Colts opened as a 6 point favorite, but this was quickly bet down to 3.5. Clearly the Colts were getting to much love, and I still think they still are. This line should be 3 at the highest in favor of the Colts, and I feel you are still getting a free 1/2 point with the Lions. Andrew Luck is in play, but I'd prefer Russel Wilson over him. The Colts WR core is tough to trust due to how bad the offensive line is and Frank Gore is such a blah running back. Detroit figuring to be forced to air it out, has some nice options in the passing game. Golden Tate isn't getting near the amount of attention as he should from other touts due to his price tag and other players in that range, but he is a fine option. Marvin Jones though is the play here though, and figures to get much love from the public in DFS this week. His price is solid on both sites, and allows you to spend up elsewhere.
Marvin Jones - FD Price $5,500 - 9.2% - DK Price $4,600 - 9.2%
New England @ Arizona -6 O/U 47
Tom Brady may have the most influence on a line in the game today. This line moved an entire 7 points when he was suspended. The Cardinals have one of the highest team totals of the day, which is quite surprising to be honest. New England doesn't have a bad defense, but clearly Vegas expects Arizona to play well here. Picking the right WR for Arizona here is risky due to how well they spread the wealth offensively, but David Johnson is certainly in play here. I'd prefer to pay for Gurley in this spot over him, but for Sunday only slates, having David Johnson in your lineup would be wise. He is their workhorse back and is an elite pass catcher at the RB position. The match-up may not be ideal, but Vegas expect AZ to score, and David Johnson is your safest bet on that offense. Cost savings elsewhere, will certainly free up enough room to play him as well.
David Johnson - FD Price $8,800 - 14.7% - DK Price $7,500 - 15.0%
Pittsburgh -3 @ Washington O/U 50.5
This line has stayed the same from the open and to be honest, this is a fair line. Monday night home underdogs is a popular bet, as people tend to think teams in this position cover more than teams who play on Sunday, but this is merely perception, not reality. This would not be an ideal game to bet, but there are plenty of fantasy options. I'll start by saying Antonio Brown is off my lists. I will not be targeting Josh Norman, until he gives me a reason too. Last year he was a top 3 CB, and there is no reason to pay up fro Brown this week in my opinion. Other Steelers WRs are tough to trust, but playing DeAngelo Williams is certainly an option for Pitt as he will be the workhorse until Bell comes back. The guy to target in this game though is Jordan Reed. Reed's numbers with Cousins are incredible, and this game will be a shootout. Expect Reed to get his per usual end zone looks and haunt the middle of the field throughout. This is another spot where soft pricing elsewhere make a player like Reed easy to run out.
Jordan Reed - FD Price $7,400 - 12.3% - DK Price $6,600 - 13.2%
Los Angeles -2.5 @ San Francisco O/U 43.5
The last game on the slate figures to be a slow paced one. The total has moved down a few points since open and the Rams are up to a 2.5 point favorite after open as a 1 point favorite. Without a doubt, the most intriguing part of this game is Todd Gurley. The Rams plan to feature him as the focal point of their offense and the 49ers lack of defense, sets up Gurley as the top fledged running play of the weekend. You can certainly afford to play him and you should be. He should get between 22-26 touches and they are building this offense around him to get him in space. There will be weeks where Gurley is tough to fit in and has a poor match-up, so don't let this slip by.