I’ve written a few articles trying to predict player performance in fantasy football using Vegas lines, but in reality, the entire game flow should be examined at a higher level. On top of that, I’d rather look at all of the games than just picking a few. So, starting with my Week 4 fantasy predictions, we’re going to look at all of the games on the slate and try to use Vegas lines to help make our fantasy decisions. If we look at the games in order from highest scoring to lowest, maybe we can predict the game flow and translate that to useable fantasy advice. Let’s see how it goes!
Week 4 Fantasy Predictions: Can Vegas lines help predict game flow?
High Scoring Games (>53.5 over/under)
- ATL vs GB (-7), O/U 56.5
- CLE vs DAL (-4.5), O/U 56
- MIN vs HOU (-4.5), O/U 54.5
- NO vs DET (+4), O/U 54
A higher over/under generally means more points. More points generally mean better fantasy days for those players, especially when the spreads are so close. The highest O/U for the week is on Monday night with the Atlanta Falcons vs Green Bay Packers matchup. If Davante Adams and Julio Jones both suit up for this one, expect them both to do well for fantasy in a shootout.
After that, we have the Cleveland Browns vs Dallas Cowboys matchup. We’ve already seen this year that the Cowboys can put points on the scoreboard, but will the Browns be able to keep up? Dallas is favored by 4.5, but I do think the top players for both teams should do well. Fire up Baker Mayfield and hold your breath that he performs well.
Rounding out the higher scoring games, we have the Minnesota Vikings vs Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints vs Detroit Lions. All four QBs are fantasy veterans, but all four have question marks around them this week as well. The Lions are the only team with RB questions, and probably the only team I’m really avoiding out of this group. Matthew Stafford hasn’t been stellar, and his top guy in Kenny Golladay is coming off an injury and could be slow in adjusting.
Medium Scoring Games (48-54 over/under)
- SEA vs MIA (+6.5), O/U 53.5
- NE vs KC (-7), O/U 53
- BUF vs LV (+3), O/U 52.5
- ARI vs CAR (+3), O/U 51
- JAX vs CIN (-3), O/U 49
These medium matchups are a little trickier, and fantasy output can be a little harder to anticipate because of the unknown game scripts. The Seattle Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson have been cooking as of late, but if the Seahawks get a lead early, they could lean on injured RB Chris Carson and backup RB Carlos Hyde down the stretch, both of whom should be in for great weeks along with Russ and the receivers. Starting your Seahawks is the easiest Week 4 fantasy prediction of this group, hands down.
The Kansas City Chiefs are favored by a full touchdown over the New England Patriots, but you’re not benching any of them anyway. The Buffalo Bills and Las Vegas Raiders game has a similar over/under to the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers games and both have the same spread of three points. This means both are in for a close battle, meaning you start their stud players, QB Josh Allen, QB Kyler Murray, RB Josh Jacobs, RB Kenyan Drake, WR D.J. Moore, and others with confidence this week.
The Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals game is a tricky one this week. With a lower over/under of 49 and a three-point spread, this one could be a battle. Both teams are coming off of less than stellar performances in Week 3, and both will be looking for blood. The running backs for both teams, James Robinson and Joe Mixon, should be leaned on early and often, and both QBs could be in for high scores if it goes as planned as well.
Low Scoring Games (<48 over/under)
- NYG vs LAR (-12.5), O/U 48
- PHI vs SF (-7), O/U 46
- BAL vs WAS (+13), O/U 45.5
- LAC vs TB (-7), O/U 43
- IND vs CHI (+2.5), O/U 43
- DEN vs NYJ (-1), O/U 41
These lower over/under games are generally defensive games or mismatches of opponents. Two games on this list fall into the mismatch category. The Los Angeles Rams are favored by 12.5 over the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens are favored by 13 over the Washington Football Team. It’s not hard to envision both favorites walking all over their opponents this week. This makes the decisions easy here – start your Rams and Ravens, bench your Giants and Football Team players if you can.
Two of the matchups have a seven-point spread meaning Vegas expects a clear winner, but it could be close. The Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers are both expected to win, which could mean good things for their running games for garbage time production.
You’re starting Miles Sanders and Austin Ekeler anyway, but this could be used to bump them up a little. If you have better options it might be smart to avoid your Tampa Bay Buccaneers or San Francisco 49ers though. Their games spreads are largely based on their injuries this week anyway, making those players risky for fantasy as it is.
Finally, the two lowest over/under games with the tightest spreads of the week belong to the Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears game and the Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets game on Thursday night. Vegas is essentially telling us that these games are not going to be fun to watch. This also means that they could be huge traps for fantasy production.
You might not have better options, but if you can leave these guys on your bench you might end up happier come Tuesday morning. Stranger things have happened, but play it safe when you can.
Week 4 fantasy predictions using Vegas lines – Recap
Obviously, you’re in charge of how to manage your own fantasy football team, but hopefully, these Week 4 fantasy predictions using Vegas lines can help you break a tie or decide who lands in your flex spot. There’s no way to truly predict the future, but the guys in the desert have a long history in being more accurate than not, so use this information wisely and you should be on your way to victory. Good luck!
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Andrew Hall is a writer for PFN covering the NFL and Fantasy Football. You can follow him on Twitter: @AndrewHallFF.