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.
Game Total - 44
Implied Totals - Steelers at 27 points and Buccaneers at 17 points
Roethlisberger by a lot of accounts has had a down season this year. The one thing that people are not looking at closely enough is the schedule that Roethlisberger has had to face so far this season. Roethlisberger has faced four of the top seven pass defenses in the NFL and five of the top eleven pass defenses. The Steelers face one of the worst pass defenses in Indianapolis this week as the Colts cut long-time veteran Vontae Davis this past week. The Colts on the season are the second worst team against the pass this season allowing 279.7 yards per game.
While Roethlisberger is on the road this week which is typically not ideal, he is in a dome which he has performed extremely well in throughout his career. Roethlisberger indoors has a 66.4% completion percentage compared to 63.6% outdoors, and a 2.2 touchdown-to-interception ratio indoors compared to 1.8 touchdown-to-interception ratio outdoors. This is a prime spot for Antonio Brown to continue to show why he is the best wide receiver in football. While he is expensive, Brown is averaging 11.8 targets per game and while the touchdowns have not been there yet this season as he only has three, Brown has scored double-digit touchdowns in each of his last three seasons, and has had three or more two touchdown games per season. Brown has the upside for a two touchdown game this week against this Colts secondary.
Game Total – 43.5
Implied Totals - Lions at 28 points and Cleveland at 15.5 points
On the season, the Browns have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. However, what needs to be looked at is that over the first six weeks of the season when Jabrill Peppers was in the lineup at free safety, this Browns defense allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Peppers is expected to return from a toe injury The issue is that coach Hue Jackson has come out and said in a press conference this week that Peppers is not a natural free safety and that he needs to simply play better. This is a terrific spot for the Lions as they likely will not try to run the ball against the Browns run defense which is the best in the league allowing only 2.9 yards per carry this season.
Marvin Jones Jr has been on fire over his last three games as he has 331 yards and three touchdowns over those three games. The Browns secondary so far this season has talent with Jason McCourty and Brien Boddy-Calhoun, but the problem for the Browns is that they play zone defense about 65% of the time. The issue for the Browns is that their safety play has been atrocious this season as they have allowed 21 pass completions for 20 yards or more this season. Golden Tate should also be in consideration in this game as the Browns have struggled against slot players in T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown, and Adam Thielen, but Jones is the preferred target as Tate will likely be higher owned and Jones has a higher chance for a touchdown.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
Game Total - 46
Implied Totals - Rams at 29 points and Texans at 17 points
The Rams are the highest projected team this week as they go up against a Houston Texans defense that has struggled against the pass over the last few weeks and most of the season. Last week, this Texans team allowed Jacoby Brissett to throw for 308 yards and two touchdowns while the week prior, the Texans allowed Russell Wilson to throw for 452 yards and four touchdowns. So why is the team with the highest projected total a higher risk stack? The answer is that Jared Goff is priced as the sixth-highest priced quarterback this week which while Goff has had a good season, he has games where the team just turns to Todd Gurley to do most of the work while Goff is a game manager. We saw this last week where Goff only threw the ball just 22 times and while the team scored four touchdowns, it is difficult to consistently hit value if you are only going to throw 22 times in a game.
Cooper Kupp on the season has been a volatile player. He has the second most red-zone targets in the NFL this year, but amazingly those have not converted to a significant number of touchdowns as he only has three touchdowns on the season. His price this week is simply too low for the number of touchdown opportunities that he is getting as he is priced as the 35th wide receiver. The Texans have allowed 16 passing touchdowns this season which is the third highest in the NFL this season on a per game basis, so Kupp should have plenty of opportunity to score a touchdown this week.
Leonard Fournette ($8,700) + Jaguars Defense ($5,200) = $12,400
Leonard Fournette is coming off a suspension for violation of team rules. Fournette should be well-rested for this game as he has not played in almost a month as the team had a bye week and he missed the game prior to the bye due to an ankle injury. Fournette should be good to go and get back to getting a high volume of carries as the team looks to utilize one of their best players. Fournette has one of the highest floors each and every week due to the amount of touches that he gets per game. On the season, Fournette is averaging 21.7 carries per game and a touchdown per game. His 4.6 yards per carry is second only to Kareem Hunt for running backs who have over 100 carries on the season. Fournette is going up against the Chargers who are allowing 135 total rushing yards per game to opposing teams and 125 yards per game to opposing running backs which is the worst in the NFL. Expect a lot of volume for Fournette this week as he should be able to exploit this matchup.
The Jaguars defense has been the best defense in football this season. The Jaguars lead the league in sacks as they have 35 sacks this season and the next closest team has just 29 sacks. The Jaguars also have 16 turnovers in their eight games so far this season including leading the league with four touchdowns so far this year. The Chargers on the season have been good at preventing sacks, but they have not gone up against a pass rush that is on the level of the Jaguars this season.
Jordan Howard ($7,200) + Chicago Bears ($4,300) = $12,700
For Jordan Howard it is all about volume as over his last three games, Howard has 80 total carries and the biggest reason for that is that the Bears are not asking Mitchell Trubisky to do much as the quarterback of this team other than hand the ball off and let the defense keep them in these games. The Bears are going up against a Packers team that is struggling both offensively and defensively. Over their last three games, the Packers have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
FanDuel priced the Bears defense this week as if Aaron Rodgers was playing as the Packers as they are priced as the 19th overall defense this week. The Packers have struggled to move the ball since Aaron Rodgers has been out as Brett Hundley has struggled in his three games as a starter. Hundley has been sacked seven times in three games and the Bears are 10th in sacks on the season which should give the Bears ample opportunity to get to Hundley.