Week 2 Vegas Fantasy Preview
September 13, 2014 | Jeff Dumont
Well this was one heck of a week for the NFL. Sunday can’t come soon enough!
Last week was a success going 4-3. I’ll chalk up the Jacksonville +10.5 loss as variance, but then again that’s what I get for betting the Jaguars. Also, really Derek Anderson?
As always, these games are sorted from highest Vegas point total to the lowest.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts (-3) over/under 54
Finally, Monday Night Football gets the most interesting matchup of the week. It’s been a while. The Eagles somehow managed to win and cover (-10) in week 1 after being down 17-0 at the half. The Colts had a similar story, covering their +8 after being down 24-0 in Denver. This speaks volumes to their high powered offenses and shaky defenses. This should be a shootout that has a great chance to go over the total of 54 points as plenty of fantasy matchups will be decided in this thriller. Start your Eagles and Colts with confidence.
Start ‘em: Nick Foles, Andrew Luck, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Zach Ertz
Deep league/flex options: Ahmad Bradshaw (ppr+), Trent Richardson, Darren Sproles (ppr+), Ty Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Jordan Matthews, Dwayne Allen
My lean: Colts -3
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos (-12) over/under 52
No team has taken a further step back this year than the Chiefs have. Their offensive line was terrible last week and one of their starting guards was just lost for the year. Add that to Brandon Albert now protecting Ryan Tannehill’s blind side and Eric Fisher looking like a bust as his replacement and the Chiefs 2014 outlook is bleak at best. They also just lost 2 key defensive starters for the year with busted Achilles’ so the timing couldn’t be worse to go to Denver. Jamaal Charles will have to single-handedly win games for KC this year, just not this one. Look for Denver to get a quick lead and give Montee Ball all the carries he can handle to close out this divisional game. Denver’s defense is borderline elite, yet we’re still seeing totals well into the 50’s because of the Peyton Manning factor. I like Denver’s under again this week.
Start ‘em: Peyton Manning, Montee Ball, Jamaal Charles, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Julius Thomas
Deep league/flex options: Alex Smith, Dwayne Bowe, Travis Kelce
Personal play: Under 52
Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans (-3.5) over/under 49.5
After everybody expecting Dallas’ defense to be among the worst units in NFL history (it still might be), it was actually their offense that shot them in the foot. 21 of the 49ers 28 points came off Dallas turnovers. The -4 turnover differential was definitely the story for Dallas and they just have to take better care of the ball. I believe they will. These 2 teams are pretty evenly matched and Dallas is already in must-win mode, so I’m expecting them to bring everything they have, for what that’s worth. This could be the highest scoring game of the week and is a perfect situation for someone like Justin Hunter to break out. Fantasy points for everyone!
Start ‘em: Tony Romo, Jake Locker, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, Jason Witten, Delanie Walker
Deep league/flex options: Shonn Greene, Bishop Sankey, Terrance Williams, Nate Washington,
Personal play: Cowboys +3.5
New England Patriots (-6) @ Minnesota Vikings over/under 48
The big story here is obviously the indictment and deactivation of Adrian Peterson. Vegas acted quickly on this one as the spread opened Patriots -3 and within an hour of the Peterson news, the lines went down and popped back up at New England -6. Absolute bonkers that any running can move a Vegas line 3 full points (many quarterbacks can’t even do that), but that’s how good Peterson is, or at least how good the perception of Peterson is. One of my bets was gonna be Pats -3 before the AP news, but with this crazy line movement the value is now gone. Perhaps there will be a slightly higher chance of an under hitting here with the Patriots focusing on stopping Patterson and letting the underwhelming talent of Asiata try to beat them while offensively sitting on a lead and killing the clock.
Start ‘em: Tom Brady, Shane Vereen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Kyle Rudolph
Deep league/flex options: Stevan Ridley, Matt Asiata, Greg Jennings, Kenbrell Thompkins
My lean: under 48
Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers (-7) over/under 49
First meaningful game at the new Levi’s stadium and the home crowd will be pumped. If it wasn’t for this and the fact that Alshon Jeffery is questionable at best going into this matchup, I would love Chicago +7 here. The 49ers defense has some holes in it, allowing 118 yards at 5.4 yds/carry to DeMarco Murray last week. Chicago has the firepower to make a game out of it, possibly setting up another Sunday Night backdoor cover like with Indy last week. Buffalo gashed the Bears with 193 yards on the ground last week. Imagine what the 49ers can do.
Start ‘em: Colin Kaepernick, Jay Cutler, Frank Gore, Matt Forte, Michael Crabtree, Brandon Marshall (questionable), Alshon Jeffery (questionable), Vernon Davis, Martellus Bennett
Deep league/flex options: Carlos Hyde, Anquan Boldin
My lean: Chicago +7
Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals (-6) over/under 49
Both these teams were involved in back-and-forth thrillers in week 1, with both coming out on top against divisional rivals. It’s generally good to fade any road team that’s coming off an emotional victory, so Cincy is my lean here but I’ll only bet them on teasers (to pick ‘em) this week. A.J. Green vs. Julio Jones will be great to watch and the total is getting bet up, so there’s a good chance for fantasy fireworks here.
Start ‘em: Matt Ryan, Giovani Bernard, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Roddy White
Deep league/flex options: Andy Dalton, Steven Jackson, Jeremy Hill, Harry Douglas, Jermaine Gresham, Levine Toilolo
My lean: Cincinnati -6
New Orleans Saints (-6.5) @ Cleveland Browns over/under 47.5
The Saints have a legitimate shot to win it all this year and Brian Hoyer has a legitimate shot at not starting another game after this one. I expect Hoyer to make a lot of mistakes in this matchup, and the Saints have the best safety tandem east of Seattle to take advantage of it. Jordan Cameron is looking doubtful to suit up, which leaves Cleveland’s offense to be run by a journeyman quarterback, 2 rookie running backs, and an undersized slot receiver. Brees and company are coming off a real tough loss and they need this game. This is the type of game that will get them back on track, especially if their defense shines as they should.
Start ‘em: Drew Brees, Terrance West, Pierre Thomas (PPR+), Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks, Jimmy Graham, Jordan Cameron (questionable/doubtful)
Deep league/flex options: Mark Ingram, Isaiah Crowell, Andrew Hawkins, Kenny Stills
Personal play: Saints -6.5
New York Jets @ Green Bay Packers (-8.5) over/under 46
The Jets gave up 2 touchdowns and a 94.7 QB rating at home to Derek Carr. Aaron Rodgers got shut down in Seattle and is looking for a big bounce back. I expect him to light up the scoreboard in the Packers home opener and for Geno to keep up the pace for a while against a soft Packers D. Teasing either side (GB to -2.5 or NY to +14.5) seems safe, and I’m leaning toward the over 46.
Start ‘em: Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Eric Decker
Deep league/flex options: Geno Smith, Chris Johnson, Christopher Ivory, James Starks, Jarrett Boykin
My lean: Over 46
Seattle Seahawks (-6) @ San Diego Chargers over/under 44
Seattle will have 9 days off to prepare for this matchup as they got a mini-bye while San Diego is operating on a short week after their Monday Night game. The Seahawks only outdoor road losses in the past 2 years have been at San Francisco and at Miami, so could warm weather be their kryptonite? Possibly, but I’m staying away from this game. The most popular bet will be to tease Seattle to pick’em and just hope Rivers doesn’t go off.
Start ‘em: Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Percy Harvin, Keenan Allen
Deep league/flex options: Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead (PPR), Malcom Floyd, Eddie Royal, Antonio Gates, Ladarius Green
Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers (-2.5) over/under 43.5
Is an injured Cam Newton a better option than Derek Anderson right now? We will find out on Sunday. He gets to deal with possibly the best front 4 in football, so a bit of trial by fire. I don’t think I’ve seen the Lions look any better in the Matt Stafford era than they did against the Giants. With the best coaching staff they’ve had in years to go along with a loaded offense and underrated defense, the Lions could easily end up winning the North. They have to win games like these first, though.
Start ‘em: Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Joique Bell, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson, Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen
Deep league/flex options: DeAngelo Williams, Jonathon Stewart, Golden Tate
Personal play: Lions +2.5
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington Redskins (-6) over/under 43.5
I usually don’t like backing a public underdog as the Jaguars are here at +6, but I believe it’s the right play. Washington has chemistry issues at every level, from the field to the owner’s box. Why is Jay Gruden trying to make RG3 a pocket passer? He will have to run more if they want to win games. Jacksonville is coming off the worst against-the-spead loss of the week, getting outscored 34-0 in the 2nd half at Philadelphia after being up 17-0 at the half as 10.5 point dogs. Brutal. But if Jacksonville won that game, the spread would be closer to Washington -3. They’ll have to rely on a trio of rookie receivers, which is concerning, but Gerhart should have better success this week in his workhorse role.
Start ‘em: Alfred Morris, Toby Gerhart, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson
Deep league/flex options: Robert Griffin III, Chad Henne, Roy Helu, Marqise Lee, Marcedes Lewis, Niles Paul
Personal play: Jaguars +6
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills (-1) over/under 43
This is an interesting matchup between the 2 teams with the biggest upsets in week 1. The question here is which one is legit? Most shops here in Vegas opened Miami -1 and now has settled at Buffalo -1. The steam was likely due to people teasing the home team to +7 or higher, which is a great idea in a matchup like this. I believe that Chicago lost the game more than Buffalo won it last week, while Miami straight outplayed an excellent Patriots team. I’m buying into Bill Lazor’s affect on Miami’s offense, particularly their run game, after watching them dismantle New England’s talented defense with 191 rushing yards at 5 yards per clip.
Buffalo’s win at Chicago was mainly due to their +2 turnover differential, as they were outgained in total offense by 67 yards despite 2 big plays of 47 and 38 yards—Chicago’s biggest play was a Forte 14 yard run.
Start ‘em: C.J. Spiller, Knowshon Moreno, Mike Wallace
Deep league/flex options: Ryan Tannehill, Fred Jackson, Lamar Miller, Brian Hartline, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Charles Clay
Personal play: Miami +1
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) @ New York Giants over/under 42.5
This line opened Giants -2.5 and has steamed a full 5 points to Cardinals -2.5. The Giants’ terrible showing at Detroit is the reason there. The total also dropped 2 points because the new-look Giant offense looks to have serious chemistry problems. Rashad Jennings did have some success an every down back for the G-Men in week 1 and I expect them to get him the ball as much as possible. This is also a classic bad spot for a west coast team traveling east (on a short week) playing an early game. I will be teasing NY to +8.5 and also betting them to win this game straight up at +125
Start ‘em: Carson Palmer, Rashad Jennings, Andre Ellington, Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald, Victor Cruz
Deep league/flex options: Rueben Randle, John Brown, Larry Donnell
Personal play: Giants moneyline +125
Houston Texans (-3) @ Oakland Raiders over/under 40
Houston’s defense was dominant against Washington last week and now they get an offense that’s even more dysfunctional in Oakland. However, Oakland did cover at the Jets even though they had only 25 yards rushing on 15 carries. I expect the interesting combination of Darren McFadden and Latavius Murray to have much more success vs. the Texans, and Derek Carr looks like he was an absolute steal at number 36 overall in this year’s draft. It looks like there will be quite a few upsets this week and this could easily be one of them but I’ll take the +3 to be safe.
Start ‘em: Arian Foster, Andre Johnson
Deep league/flex options: Darren McFadden, DeAndre Hopkins, Rod Streater
Personal Play: Oakland +3
St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6) over/under 37.5
Tampa Bay, for the 2nd straight week, is involved in the game with the lowest projected point total. When this line came out on Sunday night, Tampa was only a 3.5 point favorite and the line quickly jumped to the Bucs -5, and now has settled in at 6. The line movement definitely had to do with Shaun Hill’s injury, as he looks doubtful to suit up this week. Austin Davis is next in line but don’t be surprised if we see Case Keenum play in this game. The Rams QB situation is a disaster and it’s best to avoid the rest of the offense in fantasy. If you drafted Zac Stacy, you’re most likely starting him. He has an outside shot at returning RB2 value this week due only to volume. This is quickly looking like a lost season for St. Louis as they prepare for the Marcus Mariota/Jamis Winston sweepstakes.
Start ‘em: Doug Martin, Zac Stacy, Vincent Jackson,
Deep league/flex options: Benny Cunningham, Bobby Rainey, Brian Quick, Mike Evans
My personal plays: Broncos/Chiefs under 52, Cowboys +3.5, Saints -6.5, Lions +2.5, Jaguars +6, Dolphins +1, Giants moneyline +125, Oakland +3
Year to date: 4-3 (57%)
All lines courtesy http://www.vegasinsider.com/nfl/scoreboard/
Any questions? Feel free to comment at the bottom of the page or Tweet me @jeffd119
Good luck this week!