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. In some cases, 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. 22 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 12 ranked pass defense allowing 210.4 yards per game
Game Total - 55
Implied Totals - Patriots at 29 points and Falcons at 26 points
Game Line - New England Patriots - 3.5
The New England Patriots bring the Atlanta Falcons into town on Sunday night for a Super Bowl rematch in Week 7. This is the highest scoring game of the week and while 55 is a big number, it is tough to see this game not hitting that number for a combination of reasons.
The Falcons have done an admirable job of defending the pass this season, but the Patriots are going to score points in this game because the game script is funneling passing game volume to the Patriots passing attack. Water will always find its level, and while the Patriots might start slowly like they did the last time these teams played, they will get there in the end.
The Falcons offense faces the league’s worst pass defense and they are going to force the Patriots to throw the ball to keep pace in this game. We have seen this before, and while the outcome might be up in the air, the ability for both of these teams to light up the scoreboard is not.
Brady will attack the Falcons using the short passing game as a means to keep the defense off balance, and then he will take vertical shots up the seam to Gronkowski and down the field to receiver Brandin Cooks.
Gronkowski has a significant size advantage over the Falcons linebackers and secondary members that will cover him, and he does a great job of using his big body to shield defenders to make plays. This makes him an excellent red zone weapon and a very intriguing option in this game.
Gronkowski missed the Week 5 game against the Buccaneers but rebounded in a big way in Week 6 with 6 catches for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has been targeted 40 times in five games and he will continue to see a heavy workload against Atlanta this week.
Facing No. 24 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 26 ranked pass defense allowing 250 yards per game
Game Total - 47.5
Implied Totals - Rams at 25.5 points and Cardinals at 22 points
Game Line - Los Angeles Rams - 3.5
The Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals will play in London in Week 7. The Rams and Goff have a very nice matchup and should be able to put up points, and from a points-per-dollar standpoint, this stack is incredibly intriguing as it opens the door to load up the rest of your roster.
The Rams are forecast to score close to four touchdowns and while the Rams have done a great job running the ball to this point, they are facing a solid Cardinals run defense that will be stacking the box to stop running back Todd Gurley. The Cardinals are the league’s No. 4 ranked DVOA run defense.
The Cardinals allow 7.3 yards per attempt and only nine teams in the NFL allow a higher average. Only the Brown and Patriots have allowed more passing touchdowns than the 13 the Cardinals have surrendered. Only three teams have allowed more 40+ yard plays than the five the Cardinals have surrendered.
Woods has emerged as a primary option in the Rams passing attack as he has seen a steady dose of targets over the past four weeks. He has seen 28 targets over that span and has caught 18 passes for 261 yards. At his price, Louis needs this level of production and he must get into the end zone to get to value, and I like his chances to do that in this game. Also, he will likely see Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel as opposed to Patrick Peterson, and Bethel has a propensity to give up big plays.
This game has the look of one that funnels passing-game volume to the Rams which makes Goff and Woods an intriguing option to stack for GPP play in Week 7.
Facing No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 32 ranked pass defense allowing 324.8 yards per game
Game Total - 55
Implied Totals - Falcons at 26 points and Patriots at 29 points
Game Line - Atlanta Falcons + 3.5
The Atlanta Falcons go into Gillette Stadium on Sunday night for a Super Bowl rematch of potent offenses and teams struggling on defense. This game has the highest total of the week at 55 points and as mentioned above, it is tough to see this game not getting there.
The Patriots enter this game stumbling against the pass as they are surrendering 8.6 yards per catch which ranks last in the NFL. The Patriots are also getting gashed by touchdowns. They have allowed 14 touchdowns through the air and no team in the NFL has given up more scores to date.
The Patriots have allowed 28 passing plays if 20 or more yards and only the Colts have surrendered more in 2017. The Patriots have allowed 6 passing plays that have gone for 40+ yards and only the Chiefs have surrendered more this season.
This matchup is incredibly juicy on paper and there is almost no way to see the Falcons going off here. Ryan and Jones have struggled to get on the same page this year, but this is a matchup that can get them going and healthy again. However, there is a touch of risk in playing Jones as the Patriots have done a solid job of limiting the opposition’s first option in the passing game.
Players like Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans, Saints receiver Mike Thomas and Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins were all limited by this porous Patriots secondary. However, when considering the entire package, Ryan and Jones bring a gigantic ceiling and are an intriguing stack worth consideration for GPP play in Week 7.
Pivot: Falcons tight end Austin Hooper ($5,000) has seen an uptick in target share with secondary option Mohammed Sanu out with a hamstring injury. Sanu is still limited and is up in the air for this game. Hooper has seen 16 targets in the almost two games that Sanu has missed and would be in line for a big day versus the Patriots if Sanu were to miss this game. Hooper is an intriguing option regardless, but his ceiling is likely capped if Sanu plays.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
Facing No. 25 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 19 ranked pass defense allowing 231.2 yards per game
Game Total - 46.5
Implied Totals - Browns at 20.5 points and Titans at 26 points
Game Line - Cleveland Browns + 5.5
This is as risky a play as there is and it is not for the faint of heart. The Browns bring the Titans into town for an AFC matchup in Week 7, and there is a lot of uncertainty at the quarterback position with the Browns. Kizer was benched last week for Kevin Hogan, and Hogan played poorly and was quickly demoted with Kizer being named starter for this week’s game.
The Titans have surrendered 13 passing touchdowns in 2017 and only the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots have allowed more in 2017. Dealing with pressure is a big factor in Kizer’s poor play, and the Titans simply aren’t getting to the quarterback in 2017. They have registered only nine sacks which is third worst in the NFL.
The Browns have really struggled to get their running game out of the mud and this week they face a solid rush defense. The Titans allow 3.8 yards per carry (only nine teams are better here) and they have only allowed three rushing scores (only six teams have allowed more). The numbers are not pointing to a good day for an already stumbling ground game.
The game script sees Kizer and the Browns playing from behind at home in this contest with the Titans favored by 5.5 points. It is not out of the realm to see Kizer throw the ball 40+ times in this game, and with that volume comes the potential for production.
Louis has seen his target share rise and he is now the first option in the Browns passing attack. He has seen 30 targets over the past four weeks and while he has not been efficient with those targets, this is realistically a dart throw that opens up your salary to spend up everywhere else.
The risk here is that Kizer has struggled to lead the Browns as their quarterback, and he is by no means a lock to finish this game if he plays poorly. Also, the Browns are not scoring points and their implied total is only 20.5 points. However, when looking at the matchup and game script, the points-per-dollar cost is ridiculously low and allows the rest of your roster to look outstanding.
Facing No. 11 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 28 ranked pass defense allowing 268.4 yards per game
Game Total - 47
Implied Totals - Packers at 21 points and Saints at 26 points
Game Line - Green Bay Packers + 5.5
The Green Bay Packers bring the New Orleans Saints into town for an NFC matchup on Sunday in Week 7. The Packers were hit with a brutal injury last week with stud quarterback Aaron Rodgers going down with a broken collarbone. The next man up is Brett Hundley, and he is capable of making plays in this offense.
The Saints surrender a 7.9-yard average and only four teams in the NFL allow a higher average. They also allow significant yardage to opposing quarterbacks as evidenced by the No. 28 overall pass defense ranking. The Saints have allowed nine passing touchdowns to date and only 11 teams in the NFL have given up more. The Saints have given up 26 passing plays of 20 or more yards, and only two teams in the NFL have allowed more.
The game script sees Hundley and the Packers playing catch-up in this contest with New Orleans favored by 5.5 points. Hundley is going to have to make plays for the Packers and he will also add yardage with his feet to boost his value.
Nelson and Adams are both intriguing, upside plays but their value has clearly taken a significant hit. Both were targeted 10 times in last week’s game with Rodgers injured, and both are going to be involved in the passing attack going forward.
The risk here is that Hundley and company have not played much together but the reality is that Hundley is a super risky dart throw at a cheap price in a good situation. Also, there is more risk as the Saints are playing much better on defense recently than they are credited for, and that puts a cap on the Packers offense.
This is a super risky stack, but when looking at the matchup and game script, an argument can be made that pairing Hundley with one of these receivers makes sense given the potential increase in passing game volume. This is another stack that is intriguing from a points-per-dollar outlook and if Hundley can get the Packers into the end zone a few times, it will be one that could pay dividends in Week 7.
Jay Ajayi ($7,400) + Miami Dolphins ($4,300) = $11,700
The Miami Dolphins bring the New York Jets into town on Sunday for an AFC East showdown. The Dolphins are a 3.5-point home favorite in a game they should win, but they will need the running attack to carry the offense of that is going to happen. The Jets are the league’s No. 25 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017.
They are also ranked fifth-worst in yards allowed per game (138.8) and only seven teams in the NFL allow a higher average (4.6) than the Jets allow. The Jets have allowed five rushing touchdowns and only the Steelers, Rams and Colts have allowed more.
This matchup screams heavy volume for Ajayi. Vegas is calling for the Dolphins to score around three touchdowns with an implied total of 21 points, and most of that will come from the rushing attack.
The struggling Jets offense is only forecast to score 17.5 points and they are missing a key piece in running back Bilal Powell, and they are limited to begin with because of their personnel. It is easy to see the Jets struggling to move the ball on the road and that gives opportunity to the Dolphins defense to make plays and produce points.
The potential is there for both sides of this stack to produce and they warrant consideration for GPP play in Week 7.
Jerick McKinnon ($7,000) + Minnesota Vikings ($4,700) = $11,700
The Minnesota Vikings bring the Baltimore Ravens into town on Sunday for a Week 7 matchup. The Vikings are one of the bigger favorites of the week as a 5.5-point home favorite. The Ravens are the league’s No. 16 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017.
They are also ranked third-worst in yards allowed per game (141.3) and only nine teams in the NFL allow a higher average (4.3) than the Ravens allow. The Ravens have allowed four rushing touchdowns in 2017, and only 11 teams in the NFL have allowed more to this point.
The Ravens offense is only forecast to score 17 points and they are going to struggle to move the ball in this game. All of the Ravens starting wide receivers are listed as questionable. Jeremy Maclin has a shoulder injury, Mike Wallace has a back injury and Breshad Perriman is dealing with a concussion.
The Vikings defense can play games with opposing quarterbacks via the pressure looks they bring, and if the Ravens are without key starters it gives the Vikings a significant advantage. It isn’t a stretch to see the Vikings defense putting in one of the better defensive performances in Week 7.
This matchup looks good in multiple ways for McKinnon. He looks to have a strong matchup in the runnnig game, and the game script is favorbale there as well. Also, he is involved heavily in the passing game.
Starting running back Dalvin Cook was injured in Week 3 agains the Lions. McKinnon took the starting role in Week 4 and has scored two touchdowns while rushing for 164 yards on 31 carries since that time. He’s also caught 11 passes in two games, registering 81 yards and a score. That’s a total of 245 yards and three scores in two weeks as the starter for the Vikings.
This is my preferred RB/D stack of the week and it will be in a majority of my lineups.