Dreaming of Streaming: Advice from Vegas
October 11, 2013 | C.D. Carter
My beard matted and dirty, my clothes torn and wreaking of booze, my poster board read: “The end (of the Broncos defense) is nigh!”
Denver’s over-unders have terrified me for weeks now, and while they escaped largely unscathed over the season’s first month — thanks to fortuitous turnovers and special teams touchdowns — they got their comeuppance against the Cowboys last week. Denver’s defense was started in far too many leagues; we should always be wary of defensive plays in games sporting the week’s highest over-unders.
Vegas knows, guys and gals. They just know.
The season’s lowest over-under projections have so far proven solid targets for defensive streamers, with a few exceptions. Last week’s eight highest scoring fantasy defenses came from contests with the six lowest over-unders — a pretty good sign for those looking to Vegas for advice in the lead-up to Sunday.
Let’s jump into Week 6’s over-unders and take a lesson or three from Vegas.
|Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs||40.5|
|Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Bucs||46|
|Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens||48|
|Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns||44|
|Carolina Panther at Minnesota Vikings||44|
|Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets||41|
|Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills||42|
|St. Louis Rams at Houston Texans||42.5|
|Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos||53.5|
|New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots||50.5|
|Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks||40.5|
|Washington at Dallas Cowboys||53.5|
|Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers||50|
- This week’s Denver over-under shouldn’t freeze our degenerate hearts with fear. It’s tied for the week’s highest projected total, but the Broncos are the clear-cut No. 1 defensive play against an offense hemmoraging 16 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. Jacksonville has committed nine turnovers over the past three weeks. Jacksonville could very well score in the 20s in this one, but expected turnovers and perhaps the always-flukey defensive or special teams score makes Denver an elite option.
- The low Raiders-Chiefs over-under should at least partly quell fears that Terrelle Pryor poses a serious threat to the Chiefs’ defensive dominance. We can’t rely on Kansas City’s defensive and special teams scores — they have four through five weeks — but turnovers are at least somewhat predictable, and the Chiefs have collected 13 of those little puppies. Kansas City is allowing 14 points per game at home this season.
- Stay away from the Washington-Dallas throw down. I don’t see either defense as a top-20 option this week, despite Washington’s early-season offensive struggles. The Cowboys’ secondary cures all ills.
- The Jets-Steelers over-under is certainly welcoming, though a Thursday injury to shutdown New York cornerback Antonio Cromartie could make a big difference in how I rank Gang Green against the Ben and company. Probably the Jets are still a top-12 option at home against a team that has committed 11 turnovers — second most in the AFC — this year. Vegas says this game will be the lowest scoring of any Week 6 contest, so perhaps we should listen.