DFS Roundtable: Rams vs Saints Shootout

The DFS team discusses the Rams vs Saints game for lineup construction this week

The 'grab your popcorn' game in Week 9 is the Rams at Saints on the main slate with a short line and opening line near 60 points. Drew Brees is notably coming off a 120-yard game and his volume has been low over the past four games including three of sub-220 yards.

What is your favorite stack from this game and what is your strategy including the high-level running backs?

Dan Hindery: You can’t go too wrong rostering Gurley, but it feels like a week to fade him. New Orleans has been great against opposing backs and his price tag (especially on FanDuel) makes roster building much more difficult if you try to squeeze him in.

Alvin Kamara is priced much more attractively. At just $7,300 on DraftKings with full PPR and considering his heavy involvement as a pass catcher, he makes a fantastic play.

Phil Alexander: Provided the news stays positive on Cooper Kupp's return from a sprained knee, he is the ideal stacking partner to pair with Jared Goff. The Saints shored up their right cornerback position by trading for Eli Apple, but P.J. Williams has been a disaster as the team's nickel corner. Williams has Pro Football Focus' eight-worst coverage grade among cornerbacks with at least 200 snaps and has given up five touchdowns -- second-most in the league. Prior to getting hurt, Kupp racked up 19 receptions and four touchdowns in his previous three games. Hopefully, he'll go slightly overlooked due to his recent two-game absence.

My favorite running back in this game from a value standpoint is Mark Ingram II, who has multi-touchdown upside at just $5,000 on DraftKings. Since Alvin Kamara joined the Saints in 2017, Ingram has averaged 21.3 PPR points and 1.1 touchdowns per game in nine home games vs. 13.2 PPR points and 0.4 touchdowns in 10 games on the road. If Sean Payton is smart (he is), he'll try to keep the Rams offense off the field as much as possible, which favors an increased workload for Ingram in a matchup against the 25th-ranked rush defense (DVOA).

As far as Gurley goes, fading him has ended up the wrong play every week this season, in all formats. Why should this week be any different? DraftKings refuses to budge his price (it's actually down $300 from Week 8), despite four consecutive games with more than 30 fantasy points. New Orleans can stop the run, as Dan alluded to, but the game environment should more than compensate. Gurley has a spot reserved on at least 20% of my tournament lineups, at least until it becomes cost prohibitive.

James Brimacombe: I think you stack both quarterbacks with both running backs. I think you can take your pick in going with Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara and Jared Goff and Todd Gurley. This gives you a differential stack than most going with either Brees/Thomas or Goff/Woods/Cooks. They will still be popular stacks but not nearly to the effect as the QB/WR ones. This could benefit you in both cash and GPP games as it has almost a built-in floor for fantasy points. Either way, this is a game that is a must to target in cash games and if you aren’t fading in GPPs you most likely have to think outside of the box to what combo of players will have lower ownership.

Justin Howe: Without question, the Rams present the best stacking opportunities here. They’re favored, suggesting a better offensive outlook in general, and they’re far more predictable. Even with Cooper Kupp likely back in the fold, there is so much splash-play potential against the Saints’ so-so defense that all of the principal figures look like strong plays. Todd Gurley faces a stingy run defense, but is utterly matchup-proof, of course. His exposure should dip a bit with a few top running backs back on the main slate, and he makes all the sense in the world. Through the air, there’s a bit of a jumble with so many options and middling volume in play (just 31.6 attempts a game for Jared Goff). But these Vegas totals are too striking to be ignored. Stacking Goff with Kupp, who should step right back into his typical role, makes the most sense.

In GPP contests, though, it’s a different story. When we’re forced to care about leveraging player exposure, looking for low-rostered stacks, we need to look at New Orleans. Drew Brees’ exposure rate should creep back upward in this projected shootout, but he makes for a fine addition to Alvin Kamara. Quarterback-running back stacks are underrated, and that pairing would lock down most of the Saints’ scrimmage yards and touchdown outlook.

BJ VanderWoude: I like the Jared Goff/Robert Woods and Drew Brees/Alvin Kamara stacks the best, although there are so many options in this game, and it really is more about preference than anything else. Stacking Brees and Kamara gives you some room for error, if Kamara scores on the ground, or if Brees has a vintage day where he throws for 300+ yards and three touchdowns. Jared Goff has proven to be a reliable fantasy quarterback, and Robert Woods has ascended into the #1 receiver spot for the Rams. He has seven straight games of at least five catches and 70+ yards, and he has a very high ceiling for a player surrounded with as much talent as the Rams have.

I agree that Mark Ingram II is most likely the best PP$ play in this game, but it is so close between him, Kamara and Gurley, that I could understand featuring any of them in your lineup. If you are looking to form a game stack, then Ingram really is the way to go because otherwise, you are investing too much money in Gurley/Kamara to then spread out among other players.