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. 11 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 22 ranked pass defense allowing 240.9 yards per game
Game Total - 48.5
Implied Totals - Patriots at 29 points and Bills at 20 points
Game Line - New England Patriots - 9
The New England Patriots travel to Buffalo on Sunday to take on the Bills in an AFC East matchup in Week 13. The Patriots have the highest implied total of the week (29) and should have no issues putting points on the board in this contest.
The Bills have done an admirable job of defending the pass this season but the Patriots offense is a monster and they are on this list due to their total and the very positive game script. Brady enters this game on fire having thrown for 10 touchdowns in the Patriots three games since the Week 9 bye.
One interesting note is that the Bills have only registered 17 sacks in 2017 and only one team (Tampa Bay) in the NFL has generated fewer sacks. Brady’s strength is sliding in the pocket to buy time and allow routes to develop and he will have more this week because the Bills inability to get pressure on the quarterback.
Gronkowski is easily the primary option in the Patriots passing attack and he enters this game after scoring twice against the Dolphins last week. The Bills surrender 7.8 attempts per game to the tight end position (only five teams allow more) and are the league’s No. 12 ranked DVOA pass defense versus tight ends. Gronkowski is in a prime position to see volume this week and he has a chance to have a big day.
Facing No. 27 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 13 ranked pass defense allowing 220.8 yards per game
Game total - 42.5
Implied Totals - Chargers at 28 points and Browns at 14 points
Game Line - Los Angeles Chargers - 14
The Los Angeles Chargers bring the Cleveland Browns into town for an AFC contest on Sunday in Week 13. The Chargers started the season slowly but have perked up of late and are playing well right coming into this game.
The Browns have struggled to defend the pass as they have surrendered a 7.4-yard average and only eleven teams have allowed more in the NFL. The Browns have given up 22 scores through the air and only the Denver Broncos have surrendered more in 2017. The Browns allow a quarterback rating of 103.0 and only two teams in the NFL allow a higher average.
The Brown are not giving up a ton of yardage and are solid defending on the outside, but they are susceptible against slot receivers where Allen wins. Allen enters this game on fire after scoring three touchdowns over the past two games.
The Browns are the league’s No. 2 ranked DVOA run defense and they have done a great job of shutting down the run. If the Chargers are going to get the four touchdowns they are forecast to get; it will certainly be spearheaded by the passing attack. Rivers and Allen look like they are on the same page right now and that should continue this week.
Allen has been targeted 34 times over his last three games coming off the bye. He has caught 27 passes for 379 yards and three scores over that span. There are a lot of ugly situations across the league from a stacking perspective in Week 13, but this stack is safe and one that can pay off for GPP play this week.
Pivot: Tight end Hunter Henry ($5,400) is in a great situation this week versus the league’s No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense versus tight ends. The Browns are ranked last in the NFL giving up 8.5 attempts per game to the tight end position, and that puts Henry in an excellent position for the potential to get to three-times value in this game.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
Facing No. 23 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 29 ranked pass defense allowing 258.2 yards per game
Game Total - 42
Implied Totals - Raiders at 25.5 points and Giants at 16.5 points
Game Line - Oakland Raiders - 9
The Oakland Raiders bring the struggling New York Giants into town for a Week 13 matchup of teams that are going in the wrong direction. The Raiders are without starting wide receiver Michael Crabtree (suspension) and likely will be without starter Amari Cooper as well as he is dealing with a concussion and has not practiced this week.
The Giants have struggled to defend the pass and are allowing an average of 7.7 yards per catch. Only five teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Giants have given up 22 touchdowns via the pass and only the Broncos have surrendered more in 2017.
Also, the Giants have given up 42 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only two teams in the league have given up more this year. They have also yielded nine passing plays of 40 or more yards and only four teams across the league have allowed more.
Only five teams in the NFL have generated fewer sacks than the 20 the Giants have generated and that will allow Carr some level of comfort in the pocket. Carr will need someone to step up and fill the void and Cook is a natural replacement because of his familiarity with Carr and the offense.
However, there is significant risk here as the Raiders are playing without their top two options in their passing attack and playing Cook is risky because it is unclear what the Raiders offense will look like without their stars. Obviously, Cook will see a big boost in volume but that does not guarantee that volume will result in catches, yards and scores. While there is much risk, the potential for an uptick in Cook’s production makes him worthy of consideration.
Carr and Cook have a chance to get to three-times value here due to volume alone, and while super risky, this stack is worth consideration for GPP play in Week 13.
Pivot: Wide receiver Seth Roberts ($4,900) is in a nice spot against a poor pass defense without its No. 1 cornerback as Giants defensive back Janoris Jenkins was placed on IR this week. Roberts steps into a big role with Cooper and Crabtree out and he should have plenty of opportunities to make plays against the Giants secondary. It will not take much for Roberts to get to three-times value at his price and he is an intriguing play in Week 13.
Facing No. 10 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 6 ranked pass defense allowing 205.1 yards per game
Game Total - 48
Implied Totals - Saints at 26 points and Panthers at 22 points
Game Line - New Orleans Saints - 4
The New Orleans are at home to face the Carolina Panthers for an NFC South matchup on Sunday in Week 13. This is a solid matchup for the Saints as the game total is high here and there is a decent chance this game goes over.
The Panthers have done a good job of defending the pass as they have surrendered a 6.9-yard average and only eleven teams in the NFL are better than the Panthers in this category. The Panthers have also done a very nice job of not getting beat via the big play and overall, they have done an excellent job of limiting passing offenses.
However, the Panthers have given up 17 scores through the air and thirteen teams in the NFL have surrendered more in 2017. Interestingly, the Panthers only allow 32.3 passing attempts per game and only four teams across the league allow fewer attempts. The Panthers pass defense has seen very little volume but that could change in this contest. That is the hope, but it is also where the risk lies in this stack.
The Panthers are the league’s No. 24 ranked DVOA pass defense against first options in the passing game. That puts Thomas in a good spot as he is the clear first option in the Saints passing attack and he will have chances to produce in this matchup.
Thomas has been targeted 40 times over his last four games and he has caught 28 passes for 325 yards over that span. Understand that rostering Thomas means he needs to get in the end zone and that is something he has not done in seven weeks. The lack of scoring adds a layer of risk to this stack, but the matchup and potential for a shootout is there in this game. If Thomas can score in this game he has a real shot to get to value.
Todd Gurley ($8,800) + Los Angeles Rams ($5,000) = $13,800
The Los Angeles Rams go on the road to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday for a Week 13 NFC South matchup. The Rams are a seven-point road favorite, and they have been playing very well on offense in 2017. The Cardinals are without starting quarterback Carson Palmer as veteran Blaine Gabbert is starting for them, and they are not the same type of team with Gabbert at the helm.
The Packers are the league’s No. 4 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. They are ranked No. 10 in yards allowed per game (100.4). The Cardinals have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns in 2017 and only two teams in the NFL have allowed more.
Gurley is the Rams primary option in the running game and he will have plenty of touches in this contest. Gurley has had an excellent amount of volume for DFS players in 2017 and that means his floor is high on a week to week basis. He is involved in both the running and passing game, and he is a very intriguing option for DFS play this week.
The game script calls for the Rams defense to be in a very good spot here as they will have great opportunity to make plays against the veteran quarterback. The Rams will generate pressure from their defensive line and that means sacks and potential for turnovers due to that pressure.
The game script looks outstanding for Gurley as the Rams 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 13.
Leonard Fournette ($8,700) + Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,600) = $14,300
The Jacksonville Jaguars bring the Indianapolis Colts into town on Sunday for an AFC South matchup in Week 13. The Falcons are a 9.5-point home favorite facing a struggling Colts team and they should have a relatively easy time of things in this contest. The Jaguars defense is smothering and it is tough to see a path to success for the Colts offense.
The Jaguars are the league’s No. 13 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. They are ranked No. 13 in yards allowed per game (109.5), but they have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns in 2017 and only two teams in the NFL have surrendered more.
Fournette is the Jaguars primary option in the running game and there is no doubt about the workload he will see in this game. Fournette will get plenty of touches and that bolsters his floor. The game script calls for the Jaguars to be up in this game and running the ball to move the chains and kill time off the clock which is a boost for Fournette’s production.
The Jaguars defense looks to be in a very good spot here as they will have great opportunity to make plays against the Colts and their leaky offensive line. The Jaguars will generate pressure from their defensive line and they will force quarterback Jacoby Brissett to throw the ball into bad spots. There is potential for a bunch of sacks and turnovers for the Jaguars in this contest. Brissett was sacked eight times last week against Tennessee, and there will be plenty of chances for the Jaguars defense this week.
The game script looks excellent for Fournette and the Jaguars defense and this is a very intriguing stack for GPP play in Week 13.
Rex Burkhead ($5,900) + New England Patriots ($4,600) = $10,500
The New England Patriots go on the road to face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday for a Week 13 AFC East matchup. The Patriots are a nine-point road favorite and should be in a good situation to score points early and often in this game.
The Bills are the league’s No. 27 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. Only eleven teams in the NFL surrender more rushing yards per game (114) than the Bills, and they are No. 13 in the league allowing an average of 4.1 yards per carry. The Bills have allowed 16 touchdowns and are the worst in the NFL allowing rushing scores.
This matchup has the potential to get a larger than normal amount of volume for Burkhead due to the big spread, and he will also be involved in the passing game. This game has the highest total of the week at 48.5 points, and Vegas is calling for the Patriots to score four-plus touchdowns with an implied total of 29 points. The Patriots will score points and because they are such a heavy favorite, the path for Burkhead 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 13. The Patriots are much better on defense coming into this game than they were in the early stages of the season. 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 13.