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. 32 ranked pass defense allowing 276.1 yards per game
Game Total - 48
Implied Totals - Falcons at 27 points and Buccaneers at 21 points
Game Line - Atlanta Falcons - 6
The Atlanta Falcons travel to Tampa Bay on Monday night to take on the Buccaneers in an NFC South matchup in Week 15. The Falcons have one of the highest implied total of the week (27) and will not have problems putting points on the board versus the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers have given up 48 passing plays of 20 or more yards in 2017 and only three teams in the league have given up more of these types of plays. The Buccaneers have given up 10 passing plays of 40 or more yards in 2017 and again, only three teams in the league have given up more. Tampa Bay has surrendered 20 scores through the air and only 12 teams across the league have allowed more passing touchdowns.
The Buccaneers do not generate pressure on the passer and have only sacked the quarterback 17 times in 2017, ranked last in the NFL. Because the Buccaneers struggle to pressure the passer, their secondary will be forced to cover the Falcons receiving options for too long, and I would expect Ryan to have a strong showing in this game.
Jones has been targeted 42 times in his past four games, catching 24 passes for 446 yards and two scores. Interestingly, in this same matchup three weeks ago, Jones went off for 12 catches, 253 yards and both of those scores. The Buccaneers defense is not set up to defend Jones and he should have a big day on Monday.
Pivot: Rostering wide receiver Mohamed Sanu ($6,000) gives you a piece of what should be a high scoring game and relieves some of the salary you would have to pay to roster Jones. Saving that salary allows you to dip into a different pool of players than those rostering Jones, and it gives you much-needed variance.
Facing No. 24 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 29 ranked pass defense allowing 253.9 yards per game
Game Total - 53
Implied Totals - Steelers at 25 points and Patriots at 28 points
Game Line - Pittsburgh Steelers + 3
The Pittsburgh Steelers bring the potent New England Patriots to Heinz Field on Sunday for a pivotal AFC matchup in Week 15. This game has the highest total of the week (53) and both teams should be able to put points on the board in this game.
The Patriots have struggled to defend the pass and are allowing an average of 7.3 yards per catch. Only nine teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Patriots have given up 40 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only 13 teams in the league have given up more this year.
They have also yielded seven passing plays of 40 or more yards and only 11 teams across the league have yielded more. Most importantly, the Patriots have allowed 22 scores through the air and only eight teams in the NFL have given up more.
Roethlisberger makes magic happen outside the structure of the offense when teams bring pressure but cannot finish, and he will have the opportunity to make plays like this against the Patriots. Extending plays with his feet make it very hard on defenders as they have to cover Brown for a longer period of time than usual, and that is a losing proposition for defenses in the NFL.
Brown has been targeted 59 times in his last four games and has caught a whopping 39 passes for 627 yards to go along with six scores. He will have plenty of chances to make plays in this game to keep his hot streak going.
Pivot: Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,700) returns from a one-week suspension and makes an interesting pivot from Brown. The Patriots will do everything they can to limit Brown and it will open up parts of the field for Smith-Schuster which gives him the opportunity to have a strong showing.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
Facing No. 27 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 19 ranked pass defense allowing 230.4 yards per game
Game Total - 47
Implied Totals - Saints at 31.5 points and Jets at 15.5 points
Game Line - New Orleans Saints - 16
The New Orleans Saints are at home on Sunday as they bring in the New York Jets in Week 15. The Saints are a huge favorite at home in this game and that is where the risk is in stacking Brees and Thomas in this game. The Saints might get up early and decide to abandon the passing attack which puts a ceiling on the stack.
The Jets allow an average of 7.1 yards per catch and there are only 12 teams in the NFL that allow a higher average. The Jets have given up 25 touchdowns via the pass and only three teams in the NFL have surrendered more in 2017. While they are adequate in limiting yards per catch, they are getting crushed by allowing touchdowns through the air.
The Jets have given up 48 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only three teams in the league have given up more this year. The Jets have generated 26 sacks in 2017 and only eight teams league-wide have fewer sacks this year. Brees should have plenty of time to pick apart this defense in this game.
Thomas is easily the Saints first option in their passing attack and the Jets are the league’s No. 30 DVOA ranked passing attack in 2017. Thomas has seen 42 targets over the past four games. He has caught 26 passes for 330 yards and two scores over that span.
Brees and Thomas have an excellent matchup in Week 15, but this stack carries significant risk because of the game script. However, it is worth consideration for GPP play in Week 15.
Facing No. 20 ranked DVOA pass defense - No. 24 ranked pass defense allowing 240.3 yards per game
Game Total - 47
Implied Totals - Panthers at 25 points and Packers at 22 points
Game Line - Carolina Panthers - 3
The Carolina Panthers bring the Green Bay Packers into town for a Week 15 NFC matchup. The Packers get a significant boost with the return of star quarterback Aaron Rodgers this week, and if they can push the pace in this game it will keep the Panthers offense full throttle and scoring points.
The Packers have struggled to defend the pass and are allowing an average of 7.8 yards per catch. Only four teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Packers have given up 22 touchdowns via the pass and only seven teams have surrendered more in 2017. The Packers have given up 44 passing plays of 20 or more yards and only eight teams in the league have given up more this year.
Newton has been very up and down this season and that makes him a very risky in GPP play in Week 15. However, this is an excellent matchup and one that Newton can exploit. The Packers defense is vulnerable and Newton gets hot, he will be well worth his price. Newton is also going to rack up yardage with his feet and that boosts his value.
Funchess is clearly the first option in the Panthers passing attack and the Packers are the league’s No. 31 ranked DVOA pass defense versus No. 1 options. Funchess has been targeted 33 times over the past four weeks. He has caught 19 passes for 319 yards and four scores over that span.
Note that both Newton and Funchess are on the injury report as questionable with shoulder injuries. Make sure to monitor their status as the week goes on, and make sure that each gets in a full practice as the week goes on.
Newton and Funchess are super risky but due to big-play potential and price, this stack is worth consideration for GPP play in Week 15.
Mark Ingram II ($8,300) + New Orleans Saints ($4,600) = $12,900
The New Orleans Saints are at home versus the New York Jets on Sunday for a Week 15 matchup. The Saints are a 16-point home favorite, and they have been playing extremely well on offense in 2017.
The Jets lost starting quarterback Josh McCown to a broken hand last week and it appears as if Bryce Petty will be under center this week for the Jets. The Saints are playing well on defense as well, and they will have plenty of opportunities to be very productive in this contest.
The Dolphins are the league’s No. 13 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. They are ranked No. 21 in yards allowed per game (116.9). The game script calls for the Saints to be up early in this game, and they could heavily rely on their running game to chew up the clock and finish the game.
Ingram is an all-purpose back and he has been remarkably efficient in 2017 splitting time with rookie running back Alvin Kamara. He sees work as a runner and as a receiver and will have the opportunity to have a big day on Sunday.
The game script looks outstanding for Ingram as the Saints should be up and pounding the ball while killing time in the second half of this game. Both sides of this stack have a chance to be extremely productive and it is an intriguing option for GPP play in Week 15.
Jay Ajayi ($6,100) + Philadelphia Eagles ($4,700) = $10,800
The Philadelphia Eagles go on the road to take on the New York Giants in Week 15. The Eagles are a 7.5-point road favorite facing an underperforming Giants team and they should rely on their ground game after losing star quarterback Carson Wentz to an ACL injury last week. Nick Foles starts at quarterback for the Eagles and it would be wise to give him some help this week.
The Giants are the league’s No. 25 ranked DVOA run defense in 2017. They are ranked No. 31 in yards allowed per game (130), and they have yielded 4.3 yards per carry. Only five teams in the NFL allow a higher average, and Ajayi should have plenty of chances in this game if the Eagles look to establish the running attack.
The Eagles defense looks to be in an excellent spot here versus the floundering Giants offense. The Eagles are the league’s No. 5 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 4 ranked DVOA run defense, and that means the Giants are going struggle to score points in this matchup. Vegas has the Giants implied total at 16 points and the outlook for the Giants offense looks grim.
The Eagles have registered 35 sacks and only seven teams in the NFL have generated more in 2017. The Eagles have totaled 16 interceptions and which is third most in the NFL. The Eagles will be able to get production out of their defense in this game, whether it is from the pass rush or through their secondary.
The game script looks excellent for Ajayi and the Eagles defense and this is a very intriguing stack for GPP play in Week 15.