BJ VanderWoude: Currently, there are six games on the board with a projected total of fewer than 45 points (Chargers @ Giants, Bills @ Bengals, Jets @ Browns, Jaguars @ Steelers, 49ers @ Colts, Panthers @ Lions). Pick one of these games that you think has the potential to go over the 50 point mark, and explain which players benefit from a shootout.
Justin Bonnema: I’m intrigued by the Panthers at Lions. If Cam Newton can build off of his Week 4 performance, I can see this contest pushing the over. But I’m hesitant to bless the Panthers’ offense as one we should trust. Instead, give me the Giants hosting the Chargers. Neither team has put a lot of points on the board this season, but they both rank top-six in the league in passing yards (Giants sixth most; Chargers fifth most). Neither secondary is exactly vulnerable, but with the weapons each offense brings to the table, I expect a decent total.
Phil Alexander: Justin probably gave the best two answers here with Chargers at Giants followed by Panthers at Lions. But I'm not ruling out a shootout between two teams with terrible defenses. If you were to combine Indianapolis' opponent points per game average with San Francisco's you'd get 57.5 points. We've seen both Brian Hoyer and Jacoby Brissett have huge fantasy days when the competition was lousy, as recently as Week 3. Brissett had 27.76 DraftKings points at home against the Browns, while Hoyer went for 30.18 against the Rams. If both defenses play down to their talent level, Pierre Garcon (Vontae Davis is still getting his sea legs), Marquise Goodwin (if he clears the concussion protocol), and T.Y Hilton are all viable GPP wide receivers. You can add Donte Moncrief's name to the list as Brissett's primary chain-mover if Jack Doyle can't make it back from a concussion. And while Indianapolis' run defense has been a strength, they haven't faced a running back with Carlos Hyde's pedigree since Todd Gurley (96 total yards and a touchdown) in Week 1.
James Brimacombe: I agree with Justin on the Chargers versus Giants game as the over/under is set at 44.5 in this game and both teams are 0-4 and both teams are desperate at this point. Both of these teams have viable passing attacks with the Chargers with Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, and Hunter Henry and the Giants with Eli Manning, Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, and Evan Engram. Narrowing it down the players I like best in this game would be the tight end position from the Chargers as the Giants have been the worst team in NFL through 4 games against defending the position allowing 18.9 FanDuel points alone to that position. With both Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry as options, I would push all my chips in on Henry in this spot. The Giants defense has allowed 5 touchdowns to tight ends so far with Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Zach Ertz, Eric Ebron, and Jason Witten all finding the end zone. Another player I like in this game is Melvin Gordon who I feel is in a good rebound spot after only putting up 22 rushing yards on 10 carries last week. I want to counter the Henry and Gordon play with Eli Manning on the Giants side of this game as he is coming off back to back multi-touchdown games where he attempted 47 and 49 passes. The Giants have no running game right now so all of their offense is flowing through Manning at the moment and although it may not always look pretty for Manning, it is hard to argue with the volume.
Dan Hindery: The first thing I look for when picking games with the chance to go over is the pace of play and trying to figure out which teams are going to play fast and throw the ball a lot (which leads to more stoppages in play). The game that looks most likely to turn into a fast-paced, pass-heavy shootout is the Chargers @ Giants. Both teams rank in the top-10 in terms of how fast they play on offense (Giants 5th fastest and Chargers 10th fastest). Over the last three weeks, Philip Rivers has at least 38 pass attempts in each game. Over the past two weeks, Eli Manning has thrown at least 47 times in each game. Neither team can run the ball. The Chargers are averaging 70.7 rushing yards per game and the Giants are averaging just 48.7 yards.
To move the ball at all, these two teams are going to have to use a quick-strike passing attack and throw the ball a bunch. Both quarterbacks are talented and not afraid to take chances with the ball. Each team has enough talented pass catchers (Odell Beckham, Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, Antonio Gates, Travis Benjamin, etc.) that some big plays are likely.
John Mamula: I agree with the group consensus that the Chargers@Giants game is most likely to go over the 50-point threshold. Both teams are desperate for a win as there is no coming back from a 0-5 record. These coaches and coordinators are playing for their jobs as someone will have to be the scapegoat for a lost season.
4ers@Colts is another game that I expect to go over 50 total points. The Colts are ranked the second-worst defense in the NFL (behind only the Patriots) allowing 396.2 total yards per game. The Seahawks ran roughshod over this defense on Sunday Night Football with 477 total yards. Expect a breakout performance from Carlos Hyde, who will have over 100 total yards and at least one touchdown this week. The Colts are the fourth-worst defense against the pass allowing 283.5 passing yards/per game. This sets up for a solid day for Pierre Garcon, particularly in PPR leagues. On the other side of the ball, T.Y. Hilton is a threat anytime that he is playing at home. Two weeks ago he finished with seven receptions for 153 yards and one touchdown. Sandwiched between that game was two difficult matchups with Richard Sherman last week and Patrick Peterson in Week 2.
Chris Feery: Of the six games mentioned, I’ll also be targeting the game between the Chargers and Giants. As the guys have mentioned, these 0-4 clubs are desperate, and that can easily lead to all of the stops being pulled out. It’s pretty tough to remember due to how poor they have looked thus far, but there were actually whispers that the Giants could be Super Bowl contenders. Fast forward to today, and it’s unclear how Bob McAdoo can possibly hang onto his job if the spiral continues. For the Chargers, some improvement was expected, but the franchise as a whole seems to be suffering from a nasty snakebite.