Fantasy Football Lessons 5/5: Over/Under And Predicting ‘Game Flow’
Check Vegas totals before game. Higher over/under and point spreads give clues on who to start in a pinch.
I have saved my favourite lesson until last. Some might say that this final lesson and the one I listed first (Time of possession) are interchangeable, but I’ve listed them separately as there is a little more to this one. There are so many things that can affect the game flow of a context, and in turn, game flow can have a huge effect on the fantasy output. Too many to list here, but I will focus on the ones that I’m looking for more and more as the years go on.
The strength of the QBs. It felt as if there were more backup QBs starting this year than ever. The dreaded virus had a major hand to play this year, but also just poor QB in general. There is good reason why the Vegas lines are so affected by who the QB will be in a matchup.
Tendencies of the teams in neutral game script and pace of play. This is the biggest link to ToP and usually tells me if a team will get up early and control the clock. Again, highly effective offenses with a good running game usually rule the ToP (and you usually want offensive players in your fantasy teams from that team). Pace of play is worth digging into deeper this offseason. Typically, you want players either on fast-paced teams or playing them.
The weather during the game. You want to be consistently checking this the nearer you get to kick offs and the nearer you get to December. Poor weather will play a factor in the total points scored and the over/under for both teams. It got to the point of my wife asking me “Where is Green Bay and why are you checking the weather there?”. This is where you want to be.
Defensive injuries. This is something I probably didn’t focus on as much in previous years. Maybe because of covid, I have been taking a lot more notice if a lockdown corner or a key middle line-backer will be missing a game (Jaire Alexander or Darius Leonard). If the injuries or COVID strike late in the week, the team will have even less time to prepare for the week creating all sorts of opportunities for your fantasy team.
Looking at the Vegas odds should and will factor all of the above so maybe the lesson here should be as simple as keeping an eye on the Vegas lines. Bottom line - I did a much better job this year predicting who would be playing from behind in a game and it helped with fantasy scoring.