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. 28 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 32 ranked pass defense allowing 310.3 yards per game
Game Total - 48.5
Implied Totals - Chargers at 20.5 points and Patriots at 28 points
Game Line - Los Angeles Chargers + 7.5
The Los Angeles Chargers travel to New England on Sunday to take on the Patriots in an AFC matchup in Week 8. This game has one of the highest scoring totals of the week and it is tough to see this game not living up to its offensive potential.
The Patriots have struggled to defend the pass as they have surrendered an 8.4-yard average which is second worst in the NFL. Only the Indianapolis Colts allow a higher average. Also, the Patriots have given up 15 scores through the air and they rank last in the NFL here.
The Patriots have given up 29 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only the Colts and Chiefs have allowed more than the Patriots. Also, only three teams in the NFL have allowed more 40+ yard passing plays than the six plays the Patriots have surrendered.
The Chargers will be forced to stay aggressive on offense because the Patriots are going to score points (28 point implied total) and that puts the Chargers into a situation where they are throwing the ball and working against the weakness of the Patriots defense. The Patriots are susceptible through the air and the Chargers are going to exploit that if they are going to stay in this game.
Allen is a bit of a target hog in the Chargers passing attack throughout the 2017 season. He has been targeted 67 times in the season’s first seven weeks, and he has been targeted 39 times over the past four games. While the touchdowns have not been there, the opportunity via volume has been and it will be there in this juicy matchup in Week 8.
Pivot: Hunter Henry ($5,500) has emerged as a weapon for the Chargers offense and has taken a step over the past month, emerging as a quality option in this passing attack. He should be leaned on in the red zone and considering his price and volume; he offers an excellent points-per-dollar outlook.
Facing No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 18 ranked pass defense allowing 221 yards per game
Game Total - 37.5
Implied Totals - Vikings at 23.5 points and Browns at 14 points
Game Line - Minnesota Vikings - 9.5
The Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns play in London in Week 8. The Vikings and Keenum 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 up options because of the price of the stack.
The Vikings are forecast to score close to three-plus touchdowns, and the Browns have done a great job defending the run in 2017. The Browns are the league’s No. 2 ranked DVOA run defense, and the onus will be on the Vikings passing attack to get the job done here.
The Browns allow 7.6 yards per attempt and only six teams in the NFL allow a higher average. Only the Patriots and Jets have allowed more passing touchdowns than the 14 the Browns have surrendered.
Thielen has emerged as a primary option in the Vikings passing attack with receiver Stefon Diggs out. He has seen 25 targets over the past two games and has caught 14 passes for 137 yards over that span. Based on sheer volume, Thielen is worth rostering if Diggs is out because he is going to see an enormous share or targets, and big volume versus the Browns pass defense is a funnel for production.
This game has the look of one that funnels passing-game volume to the Thielen which makes Keenum and Thielen an intriguing option to stack for GPP play in Week 8. Note that Keenum is questionable as of this writing with a chest injury and you want to see him get in a full practice before feeling comfortable rostering him.
Pivot: Stefon Diggs ($7,000) is listed as questionable and as of this writing he was limited in practice on Wednesday. If Diggs plays, he is a great option in this matchup as he will take some of Thielen’s volume away and he can get into the end zone against the Brown secondary. Check his status going forward before rostering him and make sure he gets in a full practice before playing him.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
Facing No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 30 ranked pass defense allowing 294.8 yards per game
Game Total - 44.5
Implied Totals - Panthers at 21 points and Buccaneers at 23 points
Game Line - Carolina Panthers + 2
The Carolina Panthers travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers in an NFC South matchup in Week 8. From a Panthers perspective, this matchup is glorious as the Buccaneers are horrendous versus the pass but the Panthers implied total has me scratching my head, and that makes me wonder if it is too good to be true, and there is where your risk is in this matchup.
The Buccaneers have surrendered 11 passing touchdowns in 2017 and only nine teams in the NFL have allowed more in 2017. Also, the Buccaneers do not look like they will bring much pressure as they simply aren’t getting to the quarterback in 2017. They have only registered seven sacks which is far and away the worst in the NFL in 2017.
The Buccaneers have given up 20 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only 11 teams in the NFL have allowed more. The Buccaneers have given up six passing plays of 40+ yards and only six teams have allowed more big plays. Also, the Buccaneers surrender an average of 8.2 yards per catch and only the Patriots and Colts allow a higher average.
The game script sees Newton and the Panthers passing attack getting a lot of work in this contest and Newton should be able to pick apart the Buccaneers secondary because of the limited pressure the Buccaneers will put on him. The implied numbers are low here, but it is not hard to see these teams going over in this game.
The Buccaneers offense has been much better and they will push the Panthers and keep them throwing here. Being completely honest, picking between Benjamin and Funchess is a bit of a dart throw and the reality is that either will do.
Note that Funchess is on the injury report as questionable with a hamstring injury and you will want to monitor his status throughout the rest of the week. Also, while he is expected to play, Newton is questionable with a shoulder injury and with all injured players; you want to make sure they are good to go before rostering them on Sunday.
Facing No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 31 ranked pass defense allowing 300.7 yards per game
Game Total - 41.5
Implied Totals - Bengals at 26 points and Colts at 15.5 points
Game Line - Cincinnati Bengals - 10
The Cincinnati Bengals bring the Indianapolis Colts into town for an AFC matchup on Sunday in Week 8. This is an excellent matchup for the Bengals passing game as they should have no problems shredding the Colts secondary, but the risk here is that the Bengals may not need to use that passing attack for a full 60 minutes. Can the Colts offense push the Bengals to throw the ball and push enough volume to Dalton and company?
The Colts surrender an 8.9-yard average which ranks dead last in the NFL. The Colts have allowed 10 passing touchdowns to date and only 12 teams in the NFL have given up more. The Colts have given up 40 passing plays of 20 or more yards which ranks last in the NFL and a full 10 plays more than the next worst team in the league.
The Colts have allowed eight passing plays of 40+ yards and only the Chiefs have surrendered more of these plays than the Colts. Also, only six teams in the NFL have generated fewer sacks than the 13 the Colts have registered.
Thinking about Dalton sitting in the pocket undisturbed while targeting Green deep into a secondary that is bleeding big plays is something that makes me think Green an auto-start in this one. The risk about volume is somewhat mitigated because of the implied total that calls for almost four touchdowns from the Bengals. Green is going to make a big play or two down the field.
Green had a down week last week in a bad matchup, but he came into the Week 6 bye on fire. He was targeted 51 times in five games before the bye with 33 targets coming in Weeks 3-5. Over that three-week span he caught 22 passes for 363 yards and 3 scores. Look for Green to get back on track in Week 8 against a porous Colts secondary.
Mark Ingram II ($7,200) + New Orleans Saints ($4,800) = $12,000
The New Orleans Saints bring the Chicago Bears into town on Sunday for an NFC matchup. The Saints are a nine-point home favorite in a game they should easily win, and they face a struggling Bears offense with a rookie quarterback at the helm. The Bears are the league’s No. 16 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017.
They are also ranked No. 11 overall in yards allowed per game (104.9) and are right in the middle of the pack (No. 16), allowing an average of 4.0 yards per carry. The Bears have allowed five rushing touchdowns and only eight teams in the NFL have allowed more.
This matchup screams heavy volume for Ingram. Vegas is calling for the Saints to score around four touchdowns with an implied total of 28 points, and being such a heavy favorite, we can assume we will see some of that come from the running game.
The struggling Bears offense is only forecast to score 19 points and the Saints are quietly playing excellent defensively. They are the league’s No. 6 ranked DVOA pass defense and the game script has the Bears throwing into the strength of the defense.
The potential is there for both sides of this stack to produce and they warrant consideration for GPP play in Week 8.
LeGarrette Blount ($6,100) + Philadelphia Eagles ($5,400) = $11,500
The Philadelphia Eagles bring the San Francisco 49ers into town on Sunday for a Week 8 matchup. The Eagles are one of the bigger favorites of the week as a 13-point home favorite. The 49ers are the league’s No. 25 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017.
They are also ranked fourth-worst in yards allowed per game (134.6). The 49ers have allowed eight rushing touchdowns in 2017, and only the In Indianapolis Colts have allowed more to this point in the 2017 season.
The 49ers offense is only forecast to score 18 points and they are going to struggle to move the ball in this game. The Eagles should have no problems handling the 49ers passing attack with rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard running the offense for the 49ers.
The Eagles defense can pressure opposing quarterbacks and they have 18 sacks in 2017 and only eight teams have more this season. They also force turnovers and have seven interceptions in 2017 and only seven teams in the NFL have more.
The game script looks good for Blount as the Eagles should be up and pounding the ball while killing time in the second half of this game. Both sides of this stack can be productive and it is an intriguing option for GPP play in Week 8.