Each week I take a look at every NFL game in an attempt to identify players that can be stacked together to maximize value in GPP play at FanDuel. I examine the spreads and totals for each game as well as the implied totals for each team and blend that with the likeliest script that these games will follow. In doing so, I am attempting to find players that can pay dividends for your lineup, but I will also provide a pivot within the stack to another player and give reasons as to why a pivot might make sense. You can use this information as a guide, and you will have multiple options to help you to sort through the noise while you put lineups together that can offer a degree of security.
Facing No. 32 ranked DVOA defense - No. 28 ranked pass defense allowing 278 yards per game
Game Total - 49.5
Implied Totals - Saints at 26 points and Dolphins at 23.5 points
Game Line - New Orleans Saints - 3
The New Orleans Saints travel to London and will face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday morning. Vegas likes this game to be one of the higher-scoring games of the week with the 49.5-point total and points should come easy in this game.
The Dolphins pass defense has not played well to this point in the 2017 season, surrendering an average of 9.4 yards per attempt which ranks last in the NFL, tied with the New Orleans Saints. The Dolphins have been lit up by the Chargers and the Jets in the two games they have played in 2017. If there is a quarterback in the NFL that can exploit this soft pass defense, it is Brees.
Brees runs an offense that can make big plays, and he has started the season strong throwing six touchdowns in his first three games. He should have an easier time in London against this Dolphins secondary. The implied number here has the Saints getting near four touchdowns, and that will come through the passing attack.
Thomas is the clear first option in the passing game for the Saints as he has been targeted 26 times in his first three games, catching 17 of those targets and finally getting into the end zone last week versus the Panthers. Interestingly, the Dolphins rank No. 28 in DVOA ranking versus No. 1 receivers and that means that Thomas will have plenty of chances to produce at a high level on Sunday.
Facing No. 25 ranked DVOA defense - No. 30 ranked pass defense allowing 311 yards per game
Game Total - 49.5
Implied Totals - Dolphins at 23.5 points and Saints at 26 points
Game Line - Miami Dolphins + 3
The Dolphins travel to London for a Sunday morning matchup with the leaky New Orleans Saints secondary. The Saints presented great opportunity for opposing quarterbacks last year and that has carried over to this season.
The Saints were the No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense last year, allowing 273.8 yards per game. They ranked No. 31 in yards per attempt allowed with a 7.9 average. They were torched by the Vikings in Week 1 and the Patriots in Week 2.
The Saints allow 9.4 yards per attempt which is tied for last in the NFL. They have given up 311 yards per game, and only New England and Tampa Bay have allowed more.
Only three teams have surrendered more touchdown passes than the Saints. Also, the Saints have and 19 plays of 20+ yards. Only the Indianapolis Colts have given up more plays of 20+ yards. This plays into the strengths of Cutler as he will take shots down the field.
Parker is a legitimate vertical threat and he will challenge the Saints secondary deep down the field. Only six teams have allowed more 40+ yard plays than the Saints and this is where Parker can do damage. Parker has 19 targets in two games and 12 catches for 161 yards and a score. Parker and Cutler make for a high ceiling stack in Week 4 and one worth rostering.
Facing No. 14 ranked DVOA defense - No. 25 ranked pass defense allowing 266 yards per game
Game Total - 47
Implied Totals - Chargers at 24 points and Eagles at 23 points
Game Line - Los Angeles Chargers - 1
The Los Angeles Chargers are at home this week as they bring the Philadelphia Eagles into town. This game has one of the highest totals of the week and there should be plenty of scoring in this contest. The Eagles are allowing a lot of yards through the air and Rivers is the kind of quarterback that can spread it around and hurt teams all over the field.
The Eagles pace of play on offense pushes the opposition to keep up and that means more passing-game volume for Rivers. Only three teams in the NFL have allowed more attempts than the 115 the Eagles have given up, and Rivers will have plenty of chances in this game to produce at a high level.
Allen is seeing plenty of volume as he has been targeted 28 times so far, catching 19 passes for 196 yards and a score. He will be leaned on in this game as the Chargers will use their short passing attack to move the ball up and down the field.
The Eagles are missing several key pieces on defense with cornerback Ronald Darby, safety Corey Graham and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox all not practicing at his point in the week. These are significant losses and Rivers should have an easier time on Sunday with these players out. Rivers and Allen are an intriguing stack and one worth consideration for GPP play in Week 4.
Facing No. 30 ranked DVOA defense - No. 14 ranked pass defense allowing 214.7 yards per game
Game Total - 44.5
Implied Totals - Cardinals at 26 points and 49ers at 19 points
Game Line - Arizona Cardinals - 7
The Cardinals are at home this week, and they bring the San Francisco 49ers to town in Week 4. The 49ers were the No. 28 DVOA ranked pass defense in 2016 and not much has changed through three weeks in 2017.
The 49ers have surrendered six passing scores and only three teams league-wide have allowed more. The 49ers allow a touchdown percentage (relative to attempts) of 6.5 percent and only the New England Patriots and Houston Texans allow a higher percentage.
Helping matters in that regard is that the Cardinals are forecast to score near four touchdowns, and without a real running threat, these points will come from the passing game. Palmer should be in line for an excellent day versus the 49ers.
Fitzgerald has demolished the 49ers in their recent matchups. In Week 5 of the 2016 season, he went for 6 catches, 81 yards and 2 scores. In Week 10, Fitzgerald was targeted 18 times, catching 12 balls for 132 yards. In Week 3 of the 2015 season, he hit the 49ers for 9 catches, 134 yards and 2 scores. In Week 10 of that year, he caught 10 passes for 66 yards.
The 49ers have issues defending slot receivers and Fitzgerald is one of the best in the business. They are the No. 30 ranked DVOA defense against slot receivers in 2017 and that means big things for Fitzgerald.
Pivot: Wide receiver Jaron Brown ($4,500) has emerged with receiver John Brown out the last two games with a quadriceps issue, and he has been targeted 17 times over those two games. Brown gets you a piece of a passing offense that is forecast to put up points at a very low price. It is not going to take much for Brown to get to GPP value and he is a super intriguing play as long as John Brown remains out for Week 4.
Facing No. 28 ranked DVOA defense - No. 23 ranked pass defense allowing 252 yards per game
Game Total - 46.5
Implied Totals - Broncos at 24.5 points and Raiders at 22 points
Game Line - Denver Broncos - 2
The Denver Broncos are at home this week as they bring the Oakland Raiders into town for a pivotal AFC West matchup. Siemian started the season hot throwing six touchdowns through the first two games, but he faced a tough Buffalo pass defense in Week 3 and recency bias might hold his ownership level down this week.
The Raiders were the No. 25 ranked DVOA pass defense in the NFL last year, and not much has changed to this point in 2017. The Raiders have allowed 8.3 yards per attempt which is fifth-worst in the NFL.
Only three teams have allowed more 20+ yard plays than the 11 the Raiders have allowed in 2017. Only six teams have allowed more 40+ yard plays than the two the Raiders have allowed through three games.
The Raiders are struggling to defend the pass, but their offense is potent and from a game-script perspective, the Raiders offense can push the pace and keep the Broncos throwing the ball. This should allow Siemian to have a higher ceiling in Week 4.
Thomas has been targeted 25 times in 2017 and has registered 17 catches for 236 yards and he his volume has him as the second option in the Broncos passing attack. However, Thomas and Sanders are 1A and 1B in the passing game in Denver. Sanders has been targeted 28 times in three games with 15 coming in Week 3 versus Buffalo.
The Raiders are the No. 22 ranked DVOA pass defense against No. 1 receivers and the No. 24 ranked DVOA defense against No. 2 receivers. Both Thomas and Sanders should be able to make plays on Sunday.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
Facing No. 15 ranked DVOA defense - No. 18 ranked pass defense allowing 227.7 yards per game
Game Total - 46
Implied Totals - Rams at 19 points and Cowboys at 27 points
Game Line - Dallas Cowboys - 7.5
The Los Angeles Rams travel to Dallas for an NFC matchup against the Cowboys in Week 4. The Cowboys have surrendered six passing touchdowns in 2017 and only Tennessee, Denver and New England have allowed more.
It is amazing to look at Goff through three games while thinking back to what he looked like last year. This is a testament to head coach Sean McVay and his ability to put Goff into a comfortable situation, and the truth is that coaching matters. Goff has looked better each week and is hitting deep shots regularly.
Goff is averaging 10.1 yards per attempt which is second-best in the NFL, and he will test the Cowboys vertically in this game. Goff has thrown 17 passes that have gone for 20 or more yards, and only Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer have completed more. He is getting very good protection, only being sacked three times through three games.
The game script sees Goff and the Rams behind and playing catch-up in this contest with Dallas favored by more than a touchdown. Goff should throw more in this game than he has had to in his first three games in 2017, and that means the potential for more production.
However, as of this writing, Watkins is listed as questionable with a concussion. Monitor his status and make sure he practices in full before rostering him. Goff and Watkins offer nice value from a points-per-dollar outlook, and while there is a risk, there is also enough upside to warrant consideration.
Leonard Fournette ($7,700) + Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,100) = $12,300
The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Metlife Stadium to take on the New York Jets in an AFC matchup on Sunday afternoon. The Jaguars are a four-point road favorite in a game they should win as their defense should handle the Jets offense easily. The Jets are not playing well and their offense is missing critical pieces, and the Jacksonville defense should have many opportunities in this game.
The Jets had a potent run defense going back to last season and finished the season as the No. 1 DVOA run defense. However, they have fallen off and are the league’s No. 25 DVOA run defense in 2017. Running back Leonard Fournette is in a great situation here facing a poor run defense with the Jets allowing 4.8 yards per carry which is third-worst in the NFL.
Fournette has been very productive for the Jaguars with 65 total touches and 265 total yards through three weeks in 2017. He has also scored a touchdown in each of his first three games. This stack can pay dividends as it is dangerous on both sides of the stack.
Chris Carson ($6,600) + Seattle Seahawks ($5,400) = $12,000
The Seattle Seahawks bring the Indianapolis Colts to town in Week 4. The Seahawks are a 13-point home favorite in a game that should not be close, and there should be multiple opportunities for the aggressive Seahawks defense to pressure the Colts into making mistakes in this contest. I would expect a few turnovers and points coming from sacks as well.
The Colts are the No. 11 ranked DVOA run defense, but the script here is so favorable for the Seattle running game that I think Carson can overcome the strengths of the Colts defense to produce at a strong level in this game. While his ceiling is likely capped because of a poor offensive line and the potential for quarterback Russell Wilson to vulture a running score, he should produce at a level that makes this stack worthy.
Carson has emerged to be the lead back (at this point) and is carrying a full workload for the Seahawks, and in a game where they are favored by almost two touchdowns, he should be in line for plenty of chance to produce. This stack can pay dividends as it is dangerous on both sides.
Kareem Hunt ($8,900) + Kansas City Chiefs ($4,800) = $13,700
The Kansas City Chiefs bring the Washington Redskins to Arrowhead Stadium on Monday Night. The Chiefs are a 6.5-point home favorite, and if three weeks of history tells us anything, it is telling us the Chiefs will score points while smothering the Redskins offense.
The Redskins are tough to run on, but Hunt gets involved in a variety of ways and can hit the Redskins defense as a weapon out of the backfield and that makes him very dangerous. Hunt has been unstoppable through three weeks and it should continue versus the Redskins.
The Chiefs defense has done a tremendous job of limiting Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, and they should give Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins fits in this game. The Chiefs are second in the NFL in sacks generated and only the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions have more interceptions to this point in the season. Look for a few turnovers for the Chiefs in this contest.