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Tip Drill: Vegas, baby. Vegas

Contrary to popular belief, Las Vegas doesn't have the answer key to everything in the sports world. The lines and stances that filter out of Sin City are a mix of analysis, information, and public perception. They're not perfect. But they are interesting, and they can offer fantasy utility as well.

Here's how I apply some handicapping into my fantasy playbook:

The scoring at some fantasy positions is directly correlated to winning teams, while it's less important at some other spots. Whenever possible you'd like your running back to be in a winning situation (leads to easier downhill yards in the fourth period, while losing teams often junk the running game); fantasy defenses get a boost from being ahead (tee-off time for the pass rush in the second half, and most defensive goodies come from QB pressure); and kickers normally get more bang for the buck if they're on a winner (more scoring to work with, plus teams trailing in the fourth quarter stop trying to kick field goals). When I do my weekly position ranks, the PK and DEF spots will be significantly influenced by which team I expect to win, and it's a factor I consider with the backs as well. Try to anticipate the flow of the game.

My seasonal ranks are also tied (in some areas) to how I expect the teams to fare, and with that in mind I think it's useful to have a win range for every club. Again, this is just part of the stew, not the entire recipe. As I'm sketching out my expected ranges, I will consider the over-under win totals posted on each team.

The weekly over-under numbers (the cool kids call them "totals") can be a good tie-breaker if you're torn between starting two players. Why settle for a flex player from a game projected to finish 17-14 if you can snag a similar player headed for an expected shootout?

Keep all of these ideas in perspective, they're a minor part of the process, but I truly believe there's something to be gained when we include a little handicapping into our mixture. Do you incorporate information from Vegas into your fantasy game plan? Discuss.

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