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.
Note: This article is being published a day early due to the holiday and there is information that will come in after it is published. There will be an update on Friday afternoon and the update will follow the original text in bold.
Tom Brady ($9,100) + Rob Gronkowski ($7,700) = $16,700
Facing No. 31 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 17 ranked pass defense allowing 229.3 yards per game
Game Total - 47.5
Implied Totals - Patriots at 32 points and Dolphins at 15.5 points
Game Line - New England Patriots - 16.5
The New England Patriots bring the Miami Dolphins into town on Sunday for an AFC East matchup in Week 12. The Patriots have the highest implied total of the week and should have no issues lighting up the scoreboard this week.
The Dolphins have struggled to defend the pass as they have surrendered a 7.5-yard average and only nine teams in the league allow a higher average. Also, the Dolphins have given up 18 scores through the air which is seventh worst in the NFL. The Dolphins have surrendered 32 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only ten teams in the NFL have given up more.
Lastly, the Dolphins have only registered 17 sacks in 2017 and only four teams in the NFL have generated more sacks. Brady is already highly skilled in moving with subtlety to create more time in the pocket, and he will have more this week because the Dolphins inability to get pressure on the quarterback.
Gronkowski is the primary option in the Patriots passing attack and while he was not targeted much last week in the Patriots rout of the Raiders, he should get back on track this week. Coming into last week’s game, he had been targeted 34 times in his past four games but he only saw three targets last week.
The Dolphins surrender 8.7 attempts per game to the tight end position and are the league’s No. 23 ranked DVOA pass defense versus tight ends. Gronkowski is in a prime position this week and he has a chance to have a big day.
Pivot: Wide receiver Brandin Cooks ($7,600) is a tremendous vertical threat and rostering him gives you a piece of this game, but you are relying on a few splash plays from Cooks to get to value. There is a touch of risk as the Dolphins might have to push the Patriots offense and the low implied total is an indicator that the Dolphins might struggle to do that. Cooks’ ownership might be on the low side due to the game script and that makes him intriguing.
Facing No. 29 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 29 ranked pass defense allowing 263.9 yards per game
Game total - 44.5
Implied Totals - Redskins at 26 points and Giants at 16.5 points
Game Line - Washington Redskins -7.5
The Washington Redskins bring the New York Giants into town for an NFC East showdown on Thanksgiving Day in Week 12. The Redskins come into the game following a heartbreaker of a loss last week to the New Orleans Saints.
The Giants have struggled to defend the pass as they have surrendered a 7.7-yard average and only four teams have allowed more in the NFL. The Giants have given up 20 scores through the air and only three teams in the NFL have surrendered more in 2017.
The Giants have given up 39 passing plays of 20+ yards and that is third worst in the NFL. They have surrendered nine passing play of 40 or more yards and they are fourth worst in the NFL giving up these big plays. Lastly, the Giants are not generating any pressure and are worst in the NFL generating only 14 sacks in 2017.
Cousins should have plenty of time in the pocket to allow routes to develop and he should be able to pick apart the Giants secondary in this matchup. The Redskins are forecast to score almost four touchdowns and it is not unrealistic to see Cousins lighting up the Giants in this game for multiple passing scores.
The Giants are the league’s No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense against second options in the passing game, and they are the No. 21 against slot receivers, and that sets up Crowder nicely. Also, the Redskins lost running back Chris Thompson for the season last week and the volume he saw should go directly to Crowder.
Crowder has been targeted 38 times over his last four games and he has caught 22 passes for 299 yards over that span. It is easy to see Crowder getting more volume with Thompson out, and at his price he can easily get to three-times value if he can get in the end zone. This stack can help the rest of your roster because of its cost, and it is one that can pay dividends in Week 12.
Facing No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 23 ranked pass defense allowing 246.3 yards per game
Game Total - 43
Implied Totals - Seahawks at 25 points and 49ers at 18 points
Game Line - Seattle Seahawks - 7
The Seattle Seahawks go on the road in Week 12 to face the San Francisco 49ers in an NFC South showdown on Sunday. The Seahawks come into Week 12 after a tough loss at home to the Falcons on Monday night.
The 49ers have surrendered a 7.6-yard average and only nine teams have allowed a higher average in the NFL. The 49ers have given up 18 scores through the air and only six teams in the NFL have surrendered more in 2017.
The 49ers have given up 30 passing plays of 20+ yards and only 13 teams have given up more in 2017. They have surrendered nine passing play of 40 or more yards and only four teams in the league have surrendered more to this point in 2017. The 49ers struggle to generate consistent pressure and have registered 20 sacks so far in 2017 which is eleventh worst in the NFL.
The Seahawks are not running the ball with any effectiveness at all, and if the Seahawks are going to get near their 25 point implied total, they will get there on the arm and legs of Wilson. Wilson has thrown 10 touchdown passes in his past four games, and he has generated 212 rushing yards and a score over that span.
Baldwin is the Seahawks first option in their passing attack and he is in a great position this week. The 49ers do a very nice job of limiting tight ends, but they struggle against outside and slot receivers. Baldwin has been targeted 35 times in his past four games and he has caught 20 passes for 297 yards and two scores in that time.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
Facing No. 20 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 7 ranked pass defense allowing 200.8 yards per game
Game Total - 49
Implied Totals - Buccaneers at 19.5 points and Falcons at 29.5 points
Game Line - Tampa Bay Buccaneers + 10
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in an NFC South matchup in Week 12. While the Falcons have been solid versus the pass, the addition of Fitzpatrick and Evans here is all about the game script and funneling volume to the Buccaneers passing game. However, there is significant risk here as the Buccaneers have a low implied total and face a tough defense.
The Texans allow a 6.4-yard average and only two teams in the NFL are better than the Falcons. The Falcons have only given up 24 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only three teams in the NFL are better. Also, the Falcons have only given up 13 touchdowns in 2017 and that is 12th best in the NFL.
Evans is easily the first option in the Buccaneers first option in their passing attack having been targeted 36 times over their past four games. Over that span, he has caught 18 passes for 262 yards and a score. The lure in playing Evans is that he will see a substantial increase in volume due to the game script and the spread in this game.
Fitzpatrick comes into this game after a nice performance last week versus the Dolphins as he threw for 275 yards and two scores. He will have to deal with more pressure this week than he faced last week, but there is a better than likely chance the Buccaneers will be forced to throw the ball plenty as this game wears on which means excellent chances for production in this contest.
Fitzpatrick and Evans have a chance to get to three-times value here due to volume alone, and while risky, this stack is worth consideration for GPP play in Week 12.
Facing No. 24 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 21 ranked pass defense allowing 241.2 yards per game
Game Total - 44
Implied Totals - Colts at 20 points and Titans at 24 points
Game Line - Indianapolis Colts + 3.5
The Indianapolis Colts are at home to face the Tennessee Titans for an AFC South matchup on Sunday in Week 12. This is an excellent matchup for the Colts passing game as they have significant advantages over the Titans defense in multiple areas.
The Titans have done a good job of defending the pass as they have surrendered a 6.5-yard average and only two teams in the NFL are better than the Titans in this category. The Titans have also done a very nice job of not getting beat via the big play and overall, they have done an excellent job of preventing vertical, splash plays.
However, the Titans have given up 21 scores through the air and only two teams in the NFL have surrendered more in 2017. What is clear is that teams are racking up big volume against the Titans as opposing offenses have attempted 38.5 passes on them per game and only the Eagles pass defense has defended more attempts.
Teams are throwing the ball and moving the chains and scoring touchdowns, but they are not hitting the Titans vertically with the big play. The Titans are also not generating much pressure and they have only registered 17 sacks in 2017. Only four teams in the NFL have totaled fewer sacks and that means Brissett will have time to pick apart this secondary.
The Titans are the league’s No. 28 ranked DVOA pass defense against second options in the passing game. That sets up well for Moncrief, but playing him comes with multiple levels of risk. First, he has not been all that involved in the offense in 2017, but he did score a 60-yard touchdown last week. He has been remarkably inconsistent and that makes rostering him a complete dart throw.
Moncrief has been targeted only seven times over his last four games and he has caught four passes for 97 yards and a score over that span. It is understandable to shy away from rostering him because of his lack of usage in the offense, but there are a few things to consider. The Titans get beat where Moncrief works and at his price, he can easily get to three-times value if he can get in the end zone.
Understand that there is risk associated with this stack due to the low total that is forecast for the Colts and the low total for the game overall. However, the Colts are not running the ball well and if they are going to score points, they will likely come from the passing game. Is there a chance that the Titans offense pushes the pace of this game and can they score enough to force the Colts to keep throwing?
There is plenty of risk here, but the ability to load up the rest of your roster makes this stack worthy of consideration for tournament play in Week 12.
Pivot: Wide Receiver T.Y. Hilton ($7,500) and tight end Jack Doyle ($5,700) are both intriguing but in different ways. Hilton is a vertical weapon capable of scoring quickly but he will need volume to generate production in this matchup. He has been inconsistent with Brissett under center and he caught one pass against the Titans in Week 6.
Doyle makes a bit more sense in this game as he has seen 35 targets over the past four games, and he wins where the Titans struggle. Going back to the Week 6 contest versus Tennessee, Doyle was targeted 11 times, catching seven passes for 50 yards and a score. Doyle is super intriguing in this matchup.
Kareem Hunt ($7,700) + Kansas City Chiefs ($5,000) = $12,700
The Kansas City Chiefs bring the struggling Buffalo Bills to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday for a Week 12 AFC matchup. This contest comes at a good time for the Chiefs as they have run cold lately, but they are a 10-point home favorite in a game they should easily win, and they face a Bills team that has struggled to defend the run over the past few games.
The Giants are the league’s No. 31 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. Only eight teams in the NFL surrender more rushing yards per game (120) than the Bills, and they are No. 20 in the league allowing an average of 4.2 yards per carry. The Bills have allowed 16 touchdowns and are by far the worst in the NFL allowing rushing scores.
This matchup is going to funnel touches to Hunt due to the big spread, and he will also be involved in the passing game. Vegas is calling for the Chiefs to score four touchdowns with an implied total of 28 points. The Chiefs should get it going on offense this week, and because they are such a heavy favorite, the path for Hunt to amass garbage-time points is pretty easy to see.
The Bills are struggling on offense and that should continue if they get behind and are forced to throw the ball to play catch up in Week 12. From a game-script perspective, this is a good matchup and there is potential for both sides of this stack to produce and they warrant heavy consideration for GPP play in Week 12.
Le'Veon Bell ($9,400) + Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,800) = $14,600
The Pittsburgh Steelers bring the Green Bay Packers into town on Sunday for a Week 12 matchup. The Steelers are a 14-point home favorite, and they should handle the Packers in this contest to easily come away with a win. The Packers are without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and their offense is nowhere near the same with Brett Hundley at the helm.
The Packers are the league’s No. 23 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. They are ranked No. 11 in yards allowed per game (105.7). The Packers have allowed nine rushing touchdowns in 2017 and only five teams in the NFL have allowed more. The Packers have struggled to stay in games and teams have run the ball on them late in games as they run out time on the clock.
Bell is the Steelers primary option in the running game and he will have plenty of touches in this contest. Bell has had a giant workload in 2017 and there is a huge floor for him in this game because of his involvement in both the run and passing game, and he is a super intriguing option for DFS play this week.
The Packers offense has struggled with Hundley at the quarterback position and the offense has disappeared. The game script calls for the Steelers defense to be in a very good spot here as they will have great opportunity to make plays against the young quarterback. The Steelers will bring pressure and generate sacks and there will be potential for turnovers due to that pressure.
The game script looks outstanding for Bell as the Steelers should be up and pounding the ball while killing time in the second half of this game. Both sides of this stack should be extremely productive and it is an intriguing option for GPP play in Week 12.
Tevin Coleman ($6,200) + Atlanta Falcons ($4,600) = $10,800
The Atlanta Falcons bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into town on Sunday for an NFC South matchup in Week 12. The Falcons are a 10-point home favorite facing a struggling Buccaneers team and they should have a relatively easy time of things in this contest.
The Buccaneers are the league’s No. 20 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. They are ranked No. 13 in yards allowed per game (107.2), but they have allowed eight rushing touchdowns in 2017 and only nine teams in the NFL have surrendered more. Also, the Buccaneers have yielded nine running plays of 20 or more yards and only five teams in the league have allowed more.
Starting running back Devonta Freeman missed the Week 11 matchup on Monday night versus the Seahawks with a concussion and his status is still unclear for this week. The inclusion of Coleman here is admittedly due to the concept that Freeman will miss this weeks game and that gives Coleman a high floor with a ceiling that is very intriguing for GPP play in Week 12.
The Falcons should be up in this game and that puts Buccaneers backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in a position to have to throw the ball. The Falcons are extremely fast on defense and they can bring pressure from the edges with the likes of Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley and others. With Fitzpatrick forced to throw, the Falcons defense will have many chances to be productive while generating sacks and turnovers.
The game script looks excellent for Coleman and the Falcons defense and this is a very intriguing stack for GPP play in Week 12.