Starts and Sits: Week 6
Vegas spends millions of dollars getting experts to set betting lines to be as accurate as possible. This series uses Vegas opening betting lines to identify the teams with high point projections to help identify sleepers and busts. Obviously don’t sit your Odell Beckham Jr. for Terrance Williams just because the Vegas projection for the Cowboys is higher than the projection for the Giants, instead, use it as a tiebreaker. The obvious must-starts like Antonio Brown and the obvious irrelevant players with 0.1% ownership won’t be mentioned. The lines are color-coded, green for high scoring, red for low scoring.
Line of the Week:
Detroit Lions +4 @ New Orleans Saints. 51.0 Over/Under
The highest line of the week as the New Orleans Saints are projected to defeat the Detroit Lions in a shootout. So fire up your players from both teams and don’t start the D/STs.
For Detroit, Golden Tate disappointed the previous two games but those were against the Vikings and the Panthers. Marvin Jones is Detroit’s vertical guy and he had 13 targets the past two weeks, the Saints are ranked 31st in vertical yards per attempt, making both WRs good starts. Eric Ebron got into a timeshare with Darren Fells, killing each other’s fantasy appeal, don’t start them. If Stafford is limited from the leg injury sustained last week, this could be a huge day for Ameer Abdullah, Detroit’s best rusher with pass-catching ability. For much of last season, Detroit tried to burn as much clock as possible on offense to keep their defense rested. Against a good Saints offense at home, it’s not crazy to think they would go back to that gameplan, making their lead rusher Abdullah a good start.
For New Orleans, Adrian Peterson is gone, opening up more time for Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. The Lions are better against the run than the pass so expect Kamara to have a better week but Ingram is a dual threat so both should be startable RB2’s. You’re starting Michael Thomas and Drew Brees, don’t overthink it. Willie Snead is finally back and he’s immediately a good play, Brees loves him and this is a good matchup.
Pretty good matchup first game back
Good Lines of Exploit
Cleveland Browns +12 @ Houston Texans. 44.0 Over/Under
The Texans are projected to be one of the highest scoring teams this week. With injuries to J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, this game is going to be closer than the line suggests and Houston will have to rely on its offense more. Start your studs in DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, and Lamar Miller. Will Fuller has been amazing since returning but only got 3 targets last week. Still, with a bad Cleveland defense and a Texans team most likely in scoring position a lot, don’t bench him. Ryan Griffin has had 2 poor outings but 9 targets over that span and Cleveland’s given up huge games to Tight Ends in 4 of 5 games this year, he’s a sleeper start.
New England Patriots -9.5 @ New York Jets. 47.0 Over/Under
But this is a divisional matchup between two 3-2 teams! Yeah… it’s the Patriots and the Jets so the Patriots are going to feast. Patriots defense actually looked serviceable against Tampa Bay and they had 10 days to prepare for this game, making Patriots D/ST is a sneaky start. Start all three of their wide receivers. The RBs are where things get interesting. Mike Gillislee has disappointed but still gets the bulk of the carries, this positive game-script makes this matchup too juicy to not start him. Dion Lewis has seen his attempts go up but they are still not at a place where you should comfortably start him. James White is good in PPR but unless if he scores, it is going to be hard for him to have a good result in standard.
Miami Dolphins +9.5 @ Atlanta Falcons. 47.5 Over/Under
The Falcons have the highest projected score this week, which translates to start your Falcons. They are coming off the bye with Mohamed Sanu yet to practice since injuring his hamstring week 4. If Sanu’s out Taylor Gabriel gets a huge boost, he is a boom or bust player but Atlanta is putting up points this week. Austin Hooper is a sleeper start having picked up 7 targets the last time out and Miami is horrible against the Tight End. The positive game-script also bodes well for Tevin Coleman, start him, he’s the 13th ranked RB in terms of average in standard.
San Francisco 49ers +9 @ Washington Football Team. 46.5 Over/Under
Washington is also coming off a buy with a huge projected win. Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder have both disappointed owners (with Pryor getting saved by one 44-yard touchdown week 4). Perhaps a bye followed by a horrible 49ers defense is what they need to turn their seasons around. I might be crazy but there’s too many points for them to not do well! Josh Doctson has the potential to break out this week, especially if Washington eventually either benches Crowder or slides him back to the slot to allow Doctson more snaps. This bye could be when they pull the trigger on that. Ryan Grant has actually been Washington’s most consistent fantasy WR, but with 9 targets and a total of 58 yards in his last 3 games, he should not be a startable option. Fat Rob Kelley is probably out, opening the door for Semaje Perine. Coming off the bye against the 28th ranked defense against RB’s in a game where Washington should be up the whole game? Perine is a good sleeper start. Chris Thompson has been Washington’s best pass-catcher but he might not be needed this game.
Bad Lines of Avoid
Chicago Bears +7 @ Baltimore Ravens. 41.5 Over/Under
No respect for Mitchell Trubisky! Start your Ravens D/ST as the Bears are only projected to score 17.25 points this week. The Ravens are much better defending the pass than the run so expect Jordan Howard to produce and potentially score; the Ravens gave up 4 touchdowns to RB’s in the past 3 weeks! Tarik Cohen had his worst week with Trubisky playing, he might get more work with the Bears projected to be down but he’s too risky to start with a line this bad. Don’t bother with any Bears receivers, not even Zach Miller as despite Baltimore seemingly being bad against TE’s, that’s mostly due to the crazy Marcedes Lewis 3 touchdown game in London.
New York Giants +9.5 @ Denver Broncos. 40.5 Over/Under
Wow, the Giants are only projected to score 15.5 points this week, which is to be expected as they lost their top 3 receivers last week. Sterling Shepard might play but he was most recently seen in a walking boot, so bench him this week against this defense. Without those pass-catchers, one would expect the Giants to turn to their running game, unfortunately, their offensive line is still atrocious and Denver has been the best team against RB’s this year. Don’t bother with Orleans Darkwa or Wayne Gallman, but do pay attention to their usage to see who eventually wins the job. Tight End Evan Engram might be the only good option for Eli Manning but the Denver defense has to know that, which limits his production. Oh, and Denver is coming off their bye… now that I think about it, 15.5 might be generous, this could legitimately be a shutout. Don’t start any Giants player, and play your Broncos D/ST.