NFL Wild Card DFS: What the Oddsmakers are Saying
“Life has no time outs.” – Teddy Bridgewater
Oddsmakers play an important part in DFS strategy. They don’t just set lines; they paint a picture as to what they believe will happen. After all, this is a game of numbers and there is no one who knows the numbers better than the oddsmakers who create these lines. For example, if a total is under 35, and it very rarely is, then you should not be expecting a lot of offense. However, every time the Saints play, there is a high total and there is no surprise that DFS players have great statistics playing for, or against, the Saints, as opposed to other teams like the Rams. There’s definitely a correlation between Vegas lines and DFS fantasy points. Today, we look at what the oddsmakers think will happen during this weekend’s Wild Card games which could certainly help your DFS strategy this week. Enjoy!
Highest scoring game: Steelers vs. Bengals
Oddsmakers believe that the Wild Card matchup between the Steelers and Bengals will be the highest scoring game of the week. The last time these two teams played, the game finished with a combined 55 points. How does this affect your DFS strategy? The Steelers have struggled defensively all season, allowing 272 passing yards per game, which is the most of any team playing in the Wild Card games. Make sure to draft players from both of these teams because there is plenty of scoring expected in this matchup, particularly from the Steelers who average 288 passing yards per game, also the most of any Wild Card team. You should also be aware that the oddsmakers believe both the Seahawks and Steelers will score the most points this week (24.5). It’s something to keep in mind when drafting players.
Lowest scoring team: Minnesota Vikings
If you’re going to select players from the Minnesota Vikings, you may want to proceed with caution, as oddsmakers believe that the Vikings will only score 16.5 points this week, the lowest of any team featured during Wild Card Weekend. This comes as no surprise as they’re playing a tough Seattle defense which has only allowed 14 passing touchdowns – lowest in the league this season – and 81.5 rushing yards, also the lowest average in the league. The Vikings passing offense has scored just 14 touchdowns via the air season, the lowest of any Wild Card team. Their players may disappoint this week in a tough matchup against the Seahawks.
Most Passing Yards: Ben Roethlisberger
Oddsmakers believe that Ben Roethlisberger will have the most passing yards of any quarterback playing on Wild Card Weekend. This comes as no surprise as the Steelers have a prolific passing offense that averages 288 passing yards per game. However, you may want to proceed with caution on this one. While Ben is expected to get plenty of passing yards, the Cincinnati Bengals have allowed just 18 passing touchdowns all season, the second lowest in the league. Ben’s workload will be increased due to the injury to DeAngelo Williams, so it’s entirely plausible that he has the most passing yards this week, but he may struggle to find the end zone.
Least Amount of Passing Yards: Teddy Bridgewater
You may want to proceed with caution selecting Bridgewater during Wild Card Weekend, as oddsmakers believe he will have the lowest passing yardage total of any quarterback playing this week. The matchup does not favor Bridgewater, as the Seahawks have the best passing defense in the league, allowing just 210 passing yards per game this season. Another interesting fact to note: this game will be played in extremely cold conditions, which will make both Bridgewater and Wilson’s lives a nightmare.
Most Rushing Yards: Adrian Peterson
This one comes as a bit of a surprise, but the oddsmakers believe that Adrian Peterson will have the most rushing yards of any running back this week. Personally, I feel as though Eddie Lacy will have the most rushing yards as he’s matched up against a Redskins team that allowed an average of 122.6 rushing yards per game this season, the most of any Wild Card team. While the Vikings are expected to run the ball plenty against the Seahawks, the Seahawks have a great rushing defense, allowing just 81.5 rushing yards per game this season. The last time Peterson faced the Seahawks, he had eight carries for 18 yards and they did an excellent job in smothering the Vikings’ rushing game. I’d proceed with caution on this one.
Least Amount of Rushing Yards: Alfred Blue, Alfred Morris, Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware
There’s a four way tie for least amount of rushing yards this season, with four running backs not expected to do much. However, while the matchup does not favor any running backs from the Chiefs or Texans, Alfred Morris may turn a few heads. He’s matched up against the Green Bay Packers, a team that allowed an average of 119.1 rushing yards per game, the second most of these Wild Card teams. Morris is also coming off a big game against the Dallas Cowboys last week where he had 19 carries for 100 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Morris may be a big sleeper in a very narrow field.
Most Receiving Yards: Antonio Brown
Oddsmakers believe Antonio Brown will have the most receiving yards this week and while there are other elite wide receivers playing, I tend to agree with the oddsmakers. Brown has been unstoppable this season. Brown has the most receiving yards of any player playing during Wild Card Weekend – and the entire playoff field for that matter – and he has also been targeted an astounding 46 times during the last three games. He is a must have for your DFS teams this week.
Least amount of Receiving Yards for All WR1s: Randall Cobb
Oddsmakers and I agree that you should fade Randall Cobb during Wild Card Weekend. His numbers have been ugly compared to other top wide receivers, as he has not recorded a touchdown in six games and has averaged 30.6 receiving yards per game in his last three games. There are a lot of better players that are capable of producing great statistics this week like James Jones and Pierre Garçon.