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. 31 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 30 ranked pass defense allowing 274.7 yards per game
Game Total - 50
Implied Totals - Saints at 28.5 points and Buccaneers at 21.5 points
Game Line - New Orleans Saints - 7
The New Orleans Saints bring Tampa Bay into town on Sunday to take on the Buccaneers in an NFC South matchup in Week 9. This game has the highest scoring total of the week and it is a matchup that has shootout potential.
The Buccaneers have struggled to defend the pass as they have surrendered a 7.7-yard average which is sixth worst in the NFL. Also, the Buccaneers have given up 12 scores through the air and only 10 teams in the NFL have allowed more.
Also, only eight teams in the NFL have allowed more 40+ yard passing plays than the five plays the Buccaneers have surrendered. Lastly, the Buccaneers are the league’s No. 27 DVOA pass defense against first options in the passing game, and that is exactly what Thomas is for the Saints.
The Saints are going to score points (28.5 point implied total) and that puts the offense in a situation where they are throwing the ball, and generally speaking, Brees at home is a very good fantasy option. Also, the Buccaneers are forecast to score three-plus touchdowns which might push the Saints to keep the foot on the gas pedal.
Thomas is a bit of a target hog in the Saints passing attack throughout the 2017 season. He has been targeted 62 times in the Saints first seven games, and he has been targeted 36 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 9.
Facing No. 16 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 13 ranked pass defense allowing 217.4 yards per game
Game Total - 45
Implied Totals - Seahawks at 26 points and Redskins at 19 points
Game Line - Seattle Seahawks - 7.5
The Seattle Seahawks are at home against the Washington Redskins in Week 9, and quarterback Russell Wilson enters this game on fire, throwing for seven touchdowns and 786 yards over the past two games. The Seahawks are forecast to score close to four touchdowns, and the running game has been absent in Seattle in 2017, so the passing attack will account for the scoring in this game.
The Redskins have been relatively strong against the pass, but if there is s deficiency, it is against opposing tight ends. They are the league’s No. 27 DVOA pass defense versus tight ends. They have been lit up by tight ends on a consistent basis in 2017, struggling all year to limit production to the position.
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz has beat up on them twice, going for 8 catches and 93 yards in Week 1 and 5 catches for 89 yards and a score in Week 7. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce hit them for 7 catches and 111 yards and a score in Week 4 while Raiders tight end Jared Cook went for 4 catches, 43 yards and a score in Week 3.
Graham is hot coming into this game as well. He has scored in each of his past three games and has four touchdowns over that three-game span. While he has not seen significant volume, he has been very efficient and that should continue this week. The Redskins pass defense is solid on the outside and that will funnel targets to Graham in Week 9.
Note that Graham is questionable as of this writing with an ankle injury and you want to see him get in a full practice before feeling comfortable rostering him. Make sure to check his status as the week goes on, and as always, we want to see him get in a full practice before feeling comfortable about playing him.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
Facing No. 14 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 22 ranked pass defense allowing 238 yards per game
Game Total - 50
Implied Totals - Colts at 18.5 points and Texans at 31.5 points
Game Line - Indianapolis Colts + 13
The Indianapolis Colts travel to Houston to take on the Texans in an AFC South matchup in Week 9. The Texans have surrendered 14 passing touchdowns in 2017 and only three teams in the NFL have allowed more in 2017. The Texans allow a 7.8-yard average and only four teams in the NFL allow a higher average.
The Texans have given up 23 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only 11 teams in the NFL have allowed more. The Buccaneers have given up eight passing plays of 40+ yards and only two teams have allowed more big plays
Also, the Texans are missing key pieces on defense and will struggle to bring pressure with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus out for the year. Also, consider the Texans are a huge favorite and that forces Brissett to throw the ball often throughout the game. We are going to see lots of passing from the Colts playing catch up in this game.
The game script sees Brissett and the Colts passing attack getting a lot of work in this contest, especially as the game wears on. Brissett might have the opportunity to take shots down the field with the Texans limited up front, and that means opportunity for big plays down the field to vertical threat T.Y. Hilton.
The Texans offense has been lights out and they will push the Colts and keep them throwing here. There is significant risk with the Colts offense, but the matchup screams volume, and while super risky, the volume alone is worth a shot (think about the cost savings and what that does to open up your roster).
Hilton has had a down year but the Texans were just gashed by the Seahawks and they have played in high scoring games all year. Brissett and Hilton have a strong chance to get to three-times value here due to volume alone, and whole risky, this stack is worth consideration for GPP play in Week 9.
Facing No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 21 ranked pass defense allowing 236.5 yards per game
Game Total - 44
Implied Totals - Dolphins at 20 points and Raiders at 24 points
Game Line - Miami Dolphins + 3.5
The Miami Dolphins bring the Oakland Raiders into town for an AFC matchup on Sunday night in Week 9. This is an excellent matchup for the Dolphins passing game as they should have no problems shredding the Raiders secondary, but the risk here is the low total and that puts a cap on the amount of production we can expect coming from this game.
The Raiders surrender an 8.0-yard average which ranks third worst in the NFL. The Raiders have given up 26 passing plays of 20 or more yards which is ranked sixth worst in the NFL. The Raiders have also allowed six passing plays of 40+ yards and only four teams have surrendered more of these plays than the Raiders. Also, only three teams in the NFL have generated fewer sacks than the 12 the Raiders have registered.
Cutler comes back to a struggling offense but this is a fantastic spot for the Dolphins to get back on track. Both defenses struggle to defend the pass and we should see big plays in this game. The Raiders offense can keep the Dolphins throwing the ball down the field, and if there is a weapon in the Dolphins passing attack that can hurt defenses down the field, it is Parker.
Parker had started the season on a strong note before hurting his ankle in Week 5. He was targeted 27 times in the Dolphins first three games, catching 18 passes for 230 yards and a score. He returns at full strength this week to a Dolphins team that just traded star running back Jay Ajayi, so the passing attack will have to do the lifting here.
The Raiders are the No. 30 DVOA pass defense against first options in the passing game, and Parker will have plenty of chances to make plays in this game. Rostering Cutler and Parker offers a giant savings while still presenting the chance to get to three-times value for GPP play in Week 9.
Mark Ingram II ($7,900) + New Orleans Saints ($4,500) = $12,400
The New Orleans Saints bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into town on Sunday for a pivotal NFC South matchup. The Saints are a seven-point home favorite in a game they should easily win, and they face a Buccaneers offense with a banged up quarterback at the helm.
The Buccaneers are the league’s No. 20 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. They are also ranked No. 17 overall in yards allowed per game (111.7) and are near the middle of the pack (No. 13), allowing an average of 3.9 yards per carry. Only three teams have allowed more rushing touchdowns than the seven the Buccaneers have allowed in 2017.
This matchup is one that could funnel touches to Ingram, and since running back Adrian Peterson was traded, he has been playing extremely well. In three games since that trade, Ingram has had 80 total touches for 359 yards and four scores.
Vegas is calling for the Saints to score four-plus touchdowns with an implied total of 28.5 points, and being such a heavy favorite, we can assume they will be up at home chewing out the clock via the running game.
The Buccaneers offense is potent with excellent weapons, but quarterback Jameis Winston is questionable with a shoulder injury, and they are only forecast to score 21.5 points. The Saints are playing excellent defensively because of their ability to shut down the pass.
They are the league’s No. 4 ranked DVOA pass defense and the game script has the Buccaneers throwing into the strength of the defense. Teams have been able to run the ball on the Saints, but the Saints offense should be able to score at a pace that gets the Buccaneers away from running the ball.
The potential is there for both sides of this stack to produce and they warrant consideration for GPP play in Week 9.
Lamar Miller ($7,500) + Houston Texans ($5,200) = $12,700
The Houston Texans bring the Indianapolis Colts into town on Sunday for an AFC South matchup in Week 9. The Texans are the biggest favorite of the week as a 13-point home favorite, and they should handle the Colts in this contest to easily come away with a win.
The Colts are the league’s No. 19 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. They are also ranked No. 19 in yards allowed per game (116.4). The Colts have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns in 2017 which ranks last in the NFL.
The Colts offense is only forecast to score 18.5 points and while they are capable of moving the ball, they will likely struggle to finish drives in the end zone and will not be able to keep pace with the high-octane Texans offense.
While shorthanded on defense, the Texans should still have no problems handling the Colts offense passing attack with quarterback Jacoby Brissett at the helm and they will have a few shots at turning over the ball. Because they are forcing teams to throw so much, the Texans defense has had plenty of opportunity to force turnovers. They have eight interceptions in 2017 and only eight teams in the NFL have more.
The game script looks good for Miller as the Texans 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 9.