5 Betting Trends to Help Set Your Week 3 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.
Indianapolis Colts (+6.5) at Philadelphia Eagles (O/U 47.5)
Betting Trends: He's back. 2017 MVP candidate Carson Wentz will be making his long-awaited return from injury in this one as the Philadelphia Eagles play host to the visiting Indianapolis Colts, in a matchup of two quarterbacks who failed to finish (or in Andrew Luck's case even start) last season due to injury. Even with over 70% of tickets against the spread on the defending champions, the line hasn't budged from Eagles -6.5, indicating sharp action is on the Colts.
Takeaways: There are likely a few reasons for the sharp action on Indianapolis. For starters, while Wentz is back, he isn't likely to be back to 100% in his debut game. While I'm no doctor, you can trust the opinion of one on this matter.
Great to see!
Hope #CarsonWentz returns to field soon but don't expect RPO and the 2017 version next week. https://t.co/XUj04KBYo8 https://t.co/jiDeKwNKQp
— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) September 16, 2018
That's not Philly's only health-related concern. Running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are not expected to play, Alshon Jeffery won't be back yet, Mike Wallace is on injured reserve, and stud left tackle Jason Peters is already banged up. That explains the sharp action on Indianapolis, but it shouldn't stop you from playing Zach Ertz, who leads tight ends in targets through 2 weeks.
And with his fellow running backs banged up, Corey Clement could be the only free square at the position, which makes him a lock for all DFS formats even if the sharp action is on Indy. It helps that the Colts have allowed the most running back receptions in football through two weeks.
If Indianapolis scores points, as the sharp action would seem to suggest, T.Y. Hilton could be the biggest beneficiary. The Eagles have allowed 3 top-12 wide receiver weeks through just 2 games this year. Jack Doyle is also a volume play, as he has 15 targets to Eric Ebron's 9; the sharp action on the Colts benefits him as well.
Unfortunately for those trying to play a member of the Colts backfield, it was a true three-way committee, with Marlon Mack playing 18 snaps and the rookies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins getting 24 apiece. They are GPP dart throws at best in a tough matchup.
Denver Broncos (+5.5) at Baltimore Ravens (O/U 43.5)
Betting Trends: After flopping on Thursday Night football, the Baltimore Ravens play host to the undefeated Denver Broncos in this matchup. The public is split on this one, yet the line has moved a full point from Ravens -4.5 at the open to the current line of Ravens -5.5, indicating that sharp action is on Baltimore.
Takeaways: As tempting as it may be to pencil in Phillip Lindsay into your DFS lineups, this Ravens sharp action should push you away. If that doesn't do the trick, the snap count should, as Lindsay lead the team in Week 2, but played just 28 as Devontae Booker and Royce Freeman combined for 38. That was with negative game script too with Denver trailing the Oakland Raiders most of the game before coming back to win.
Despite looking bad last Thursday, Joe Flacco has finished as a top-13 quarterback in consecutive weeks to open the season, and the Broncos rank bottom-3 in completion rate and yards per attempt allowed through 2 games. John Brown has 268 Air Yards and runs primarily on the boundary, where he will avoid standout slot corner Chris Harris.
Green Bay Packers (-3.0) at Washington Redskins (O/U 45.5)
Betting Trends: Aaron Rodgers and company have made some heroic efforts of late to stay in games even while injured, but the Green Bay Packers will be forced to leave the confines of Lambeau Field for the first time this season as they travel to our nation's capital to take on the Washington Redskins. Predictably, over 70% of the public likes Green Bay in this matchup, but the line has held stead at Packers -3.0, indicating that sharps or the house like the Redskins to cover.
Takeaways: If the sharps right and the Redskins keep this one close, Adrian Peterson could make for an intriguing GPP play at low ownership. As we expected heading into the season, he's been very gamescript dependent, with 28 of his 42 touches coming with Washington tied or leading.
For the Packers, the backfield is a mess with Aaron Jones returning from suspension. It's probably "wait and see" with this running back corps for now. You know Davante Adams is in play every week as long as Rodgers is in there, but you may not know that Geronimo Allison is averaging 7 targets per game and is always in consideration in GPPs thanks to the quarterback he plays with.
You may also not know that only Travis Kelce has more Air Yards at the tight end position this year than Jimmy Graham, who provides some nice touchdown upside catching passes from Rodgers. If the Packers have to continue throwing all game as Vegas seems to indicate, Allison and Graham could both have nice days and provide leverage off Adams.
Los Angeles Chargers (+7.0) at Los Angeles Rams (O/U 48.0)
Betting Trends: 70% of bets against the spread are taking the Los Angeles Rams in the battle for Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Chargers. Despite this, the line has not budged from the Rams as touchdown and an extra point favorites, indicating that either sharps are on the Los Angeles team with no fans (the Chargers) or Vegas is willing to take a stance on this game that the Chargers can cover.
Takeaways: Despite the lack of line movement in spite of a public stand on the Rams, it's hard to trust Philip Rivers against this nasty defense that have allowed the fewest passing fantasy points per attempt in the league. Rivers isn't exactly known for his scrambling ability either last time I checked. 31.8% of targets against the Rams have gone to running backs, highest in the league, which combined with the lack of line movement bodes extremely well for Melvin Gordon and makes Austin Ekeler an intriguing punt play.
The Chargers, meanwhile, are allowing 15.2 yards per completion, the second-most in the league. Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods are all in play as the Rams rarely take any of them off the field. If the game stays competitive as the lack of line movement seems to indicate, at least two of them should have very productive days.
Dallas Cowboys (+1.5) at Seattle Seahawks (O/U 41.5)
Betting Trends: After a big win over the division-rival New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, the Dallas Cowboys will have to deal with the 12th man as they travel to the Pacific Northwest to face the Seattle Seahawks. That crowd noise may be a factor in the notable line movement in this game, as the Cowboys have gone from 1-point favorites at the open to 1.5-point road underdogs, even though the public is split on this one.
Takeaways: Despite the sharp action being on Seattle, this one may be one to just avoid for DFS purposes in general, as the Cowboy's ball-control style of play and lack of offensive weapons have forced 8 of their past 10 games to go under 40 points. The Seahawks haven't exactly looked like a bastion of offense so far this year either, as it appears miserable offensive line play and a dearth of weapons may have finally gotten to Russell Wilson.
Ezekiel Elliott remains however an intriguing DFS play at likely low ownership based on pure volume. Zeke has accounted for the highest team touch share in the league through two weeks, and 5 targets last week means he's not necessarily out of ways to score fantasy points if the Cowboys fall behind as the line movement would indicate.
Despite the line movement, it's hard to go all in on Seattle, as Dallas is actually allowing just 4.3 yards per play so far this year, 2nd best in football. No player has been sacked more this season than Wilson. One intriguing dart throw, however, is Will Dissly. The Cowboys have allowed a perfect 13 of 13 tight end targets to be caught for 109 yards and a touchdown through 2 weeks. Of course, Wilson himself may be a contrarian quarterback to mix exposure to in lineups based on home-road splits and the line movement.
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.