Using Player Prop Bets
Utilizing the information that Vegas gives out via the lines and props is one of the most important aspects of becoming a great daily fantasy player. The lines and props both convey different pieces of information about what Vegas thinks is going to happen on a given weekend. It is very important to pay attention to everything that Vegas makes public and to understand what the movement in lines or props mean. In this section we are going to focus on understanding how to evaluate player props for the NFL and how to utilize the movement of the props to your advantage.
Defining Player Prop Bets and Lines
In football there normally are a ton of player props for every position player on offense. Most props are over under totals for specific players so I am going to refer to an over under as “O/U” going forward to save your sanity. Here are the main props that you can find that offer value for daily fantasy. For QB the normal props are O/U number of completions, O/U yards passing, O/U Passing TD’s, O/U Total TD’s, and O/U (Total TD’s + INTs).
For RB the props normally consist of O/U Rushing yards, O/U Receptions, O/U Rushing TD’s, and if they will score or not. WR and TE normally have the same type of props which consist of O/U receptions and if the player will score or not. These props basically reveal what Vegas thinks a specific player will do and you can utilize this information to make your projections.
Specific Player Prop Bet Examples
I want to look at some examples of how you can utilize specific props and turn that information into projections. First lets look at at the props from Calvin_Johnson during week 2 of the 2013 NFL regular season. He was facing Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals who is one of the elite CB’s in the league. In this situation a lot of people were wondering if it was smart to fade Megatron given his tough matchup.
Two specific props from Vegas convinced me he was still a great play and someone to target even against a tough CB. The first prop that made me bullish on Calvin was his O/u total on receptions being set at 7.5. Not only was this his O/U reception prop but he was also -115 to go over. What this means is that you have wager $115 to profit $100 if he goes over 7.5 catches which shows that Vegas thinks he is likely to go over this number. In addition, in this same game Calvin was also -170 to score a touchdown. To win $100 in this prop you would have to wager 170 just to win $100 which shows they Vegas thinks it is way more likely that Calvin will score than not score a TD.
On a PPR site we can utilize this information to show that Calvin is likely to catch 8 balls (8 points) and score at least 1 TD. When I see that someone is this likely to score I generally project their TD’s at 1.5 (9 points). Assume Calvin will get 100 yards receiving and we now have a projection of 27 points which would be enough production to pay off his price tag. Vegas is very smart and accurate with these props because this is how they stay in business. Once you start to utilize this information from Vegas you can give yourself a significant edge.