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 and DraftKings. 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 attempt 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.
FanDuel: Roethlisberger ($7,600) + Brown ($8,900) = $16,500
DraftKings: Roethlisberger ($6,900) + Brown ($8,800) = $15,700
Game Total - 52.5
Implied Totals - Steelers at 29 points and Chiefs at 23.5 points
Game Line - Pittsburgh Steelers -5
The Pittsburgh Steelers bring Kansas City to town on Sunday to take on the Chiefs in an AFC matchup in Week 2. This game has the highest total of the week at 52 points, and it is clear three will be points to go around in this game. The Steelers have the highest implied total of the week (29), and they are at home which has been a positive for the Steelers offense with Roethlisberger at the helm.
The Chiefs are very vulnerable through the air and they were lit up in Week 1 by Los Angeles
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. They allowed 418 yards and three touchdowns to Rivers, but it could have been worse as several big drops by Chargers receivers left yards and points on the field. The Chiefs were the No. 23 ranked DVOA pass defense in 2017, and they stumbled out of the blocks this season.
The Chiefs gave up eight passing plays of 20 or more yards last week which was most in the NFL. The Steelers are going to attack the Chiefs down the field with Brown leading the attack, and he will benefit from the soft coverage he will face this week.
Brown saw 16 targets in Week 1, converting nine into catches. He totaled 93 yards and a score and is in store for a monster game if he sees that kind of target volume in Week 2. There is every expectation that the Chiefs offense will push the Steelers to keep them throwing the ball, and that does nothing but benefit Brown and Roethlisberger.
Pivot: Rostering wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,200 at FanDuel and $6,400 at DraftKings) gives you a piece of what Vegas is calling the highest scoring game if the week. Smith-Schuster led the Steelers in receiving yards in Week 1 and figures to be a large piece of the passing attack going forward. He draws a tough matchup in Week 2 against Chiefs slot cornerback Kendall Fuller, but the game total and volume can push Smith-Schuster over the top.
FanDuel: Brees ($8,800) + Thomas ($8,800) = $17,600
DraftKings: Brees ($7,200) + Thomas ($8,600) = $15,800
Game Total - 50
Implied Totals - Saints at 30 points and Browns at 20 points
Game Line - New Orleans Saints -10
The New Orleans Saints face the Cleveland Browns at home this week in what is likely to be a high scoring game. This game has the second highest total of the week (50), and both teams should be able to put points on the board in this game.
The Saints have the highest implied number in Week 2, and their aerial attack is one of the more potent across the entire NFL. Brees is still capable of executing at an extremely high level, and he will have little trouble throwing the football to move up and down the field on the Browns.
Thomas is the first option in the Saints potent passing attack, and he was targeted 17 times in Week 1. He caught 16 passes for 180 yards and a score, and while that was in a high scoring game in which the Saints were playing from behind, it demonstrates how much Brees wants to go his way. Interestingly, the Browns were the league’s No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense in 2017, and the Steelers hit them for 313 yards last week in poor weather.
If the Browns can push the Saints offense, then Thomas could be in store for an outstanding day in Week 2. The Saints surrendered 48 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, and this game sets up nicely for a potential shootout.
Pivot: Saints tight end Ben Watson ($5,100 at FanDuel and $3,400 at DraftKings) is a very interesting option in Week 2, going up against the No. 32 ranked DVOA defense versus tight ends. He is an inexpensive option, has an excellent path to get to GPP value, and is a viable option in a phenomenal passing game on a team expected to score four-plus touchdowns.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
FanDuel: Taylor ($6,600) + Landry ($6,700) = $13,300
DraftKings: Taylor ($5,900) + Landry ($6,300) = $12,200
Game Total - 50
Implied Totals - Browns at 20 points and Saints at 30 points
Game Line - New Orleans Saints -10
The Cleveland Browns are on the road versus the New Orleans Saints on Sunday for a Week 2 contest. As mentioned above, this game has the second highest total of the week (50) with both teams expected to put points on the board in this game.
The Saints gave up 48 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, and they looked very vulnerable all over the field. They also score at a pace that will push the opposition to keep throwing the ball, and that means great things for the Browns passing game in this contest. That spells out the risk and the potential reward in playing this stack.
Taylor will be throwing the ball plenty in this game trying to catch up, but he will also boost his value by extending plays with his feet and generating points running with the football. Taylor ran for 77 yards and a score last week versus the Steelers, and that kind of production from running can make him extremely valuable.
Landry is the Browns first option in their passing attack and he is in line for plenty of work in Week 2. That means plenty of volume and an opportunity to be very valuable for GPP play because of his price. He saw 15 targets last week in soggy Cleveland, catching seven passes for 106 yards. If Landry can add a score to that stat line, he can be one of the anchors for any GPP lineup.
FanDuel: Stafford ($7,700) + Golladay ($5,700) = $13,400
DraftKings: Stafford ($6,100) + Golladay ($4,800) = $10,900
Game Total - 47.5
Implied Totals - Lions at 21 points and 49ers at 26.5 points
Game Line - Detroit Lions +5.5
The Detroit Lions travel to San Francisco on Sunday to face the 49ers in a Week 2 NFC matchup. The Lions laid as big an egg as they could in opening the season with a 48-17 loss to the New York Jets on Monday night, and the offense looked out of sorts all night.
The hope here is that the ugly Lions loss pushes DFS players away from the Lions because they are in an excellent spot in this game. Smart DFS players should take advantage of the reduced price on these players as they can pay dividends equal to players that cost significantly more salary.
As bad as the loss was, there are takeaways from the game that make them an underrated play. Consider that there were multiple drops from the receivers on Monday, perhaps a touchdown or two. The Lions receiving group had a rough night as each of them had trouble catching the ball, leaving multiple big plays on the field.
The Lions are a 5.5-point underdog on the road, and the passing game is in a favorable situation against the porous 49ers secondary. The 49ers were the No. 28 ranked DVOA pass defense in 2017, and they looked relatively porous against the Vikings in Week 1. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins hit the 49ers for two scores and 227 yards in a game that was relatively uncontested.
The Lions are going to spread the ball around to all of their receivers, but Golladay can be rostered at a significantly reduced price from receivers Marvin Jones Jr and Golden Tate, and spending that salary elsewhere is a smart move. Golladay has a fairly easy road to get to GPP value at his price, and he was targeted 12 times last week, catching seven passes for 114 yards. If Golladay can add a score to the mix, he can become a very valuable player on a roster because of the salary you can spend at another spot.
The risk involved here is the low implied number for the Lions. However, there are multiple factors pushing me to think differently about this stack. The Lions cannot run the ball, and if they are going to get into the end zone, it likely comes via the pass.
Also, the game total is at 47.5, but it is easy to see this game going over and contending to be one of the higher scoring games of the weekend as both defenses are not likely to hold the other team down. I think this game goes over the total, and I am targeting multiple options in this contest. It costs less to roster certain players in this game, and they can be just as productive as the bigger names while offering a reduction in salary. Rostering Stafford and Golladay may lead to the chalk elsewhere, and that is where things went well for DFS players in Week 1.
Pivot: Lions receivers Marvin Jones Jr ($6,800 at FanDuel and $6,200 at DraftKings) and Golden Tate ($7,100 at FanDuel and $6,500 at DraftKings) are both excellent options this week. Jones had chances to score on vertical shots in Week 1 but could not come down with the ball, and Tate should see plenty of volume matched up against 49ers slot cornerback K’Waun Williams.
FanDuel: Garoppolo ($7,300) + Kittle ($5,600) = $12,900
DraftKings: Garoppolo ($6,000) + Kittle ($3,800) = $9,800
Game Total - 47.5
Implied Totals - 49ers at 26.5 points and Lions at 21 points
Game Line - San Francisco 49ers -5.5
The San Francisco 49ers bring the Detroit Lions into town for an NFC showdown in Week 2. Both teams underperformed in the opening week of the season, and each enters this game 0-1. Both defenses are vulnerable, and the game total is already the third highest of the week. This game features the offensive side of the ball for both teams.
As written above, I expect this game to go over the 47.5-point total and that means it will challenge to be one of the higher scoring games of the week. The players in this game are more valuable than their cost, and there is an advantage to rostering the right players. The Lions cannot cover the tight end (No. 26 ranked DVOA versus the tight end in 2017), and Kittle should be able to exploit the Lions in a big way.
Garoppolo should be able to eat up the Lions defense as they struggle to generate pressure, and he will have time to get into a rhythm and rolling in this game. The 49ers lost running back Jerick McKinnon in the preseason, and the focus of their offense will be on Garoppolo and the passing attack.
Kittle is a super athletic tight end, and it will be difficult for the Lions to keep him contained. He was targeted nine times last week and caught five passes for 90 yards. I expect him to score in this game as he will be featured against a very vulnerable defense, and his cost savings makes him extremely valuable.
This stack is somewhat risky because it relies on the Lions offense to push the 49ers passing game to keep throwing the ball. While there is a chance that happens, I think it is much more likely the game goes over the total and Kittle represents outstanding value at his price.
Garoppolo and Kittle have the potential to go off in this game, and the salary saved from rostering them can be used to get to the chalkier type plays that paid off in a big way last week.
Pivot: 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis ($4,500 at FanDuel and $4,000 at DraftKings) is very much in play if Marquise Goodwin is limited or unable to play Sunday. If Goodwin misses the game, Pettis becomes a very contrarian type of play at a dramatically reduced cost, and he will not need significant volume to get to value. He draws Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson, and Lawson is vulnerable to the big play. Monitor Goodwin’s status throughout the weekend and roster Pettis if Goodwin is unable to go.
Todd Gurley + Rams Defense
FanDuel: Gurley ($8,900) Rams ($4,800) = $13,700
DraftKings: Gurley ($9,200) Rams ($3,700) = $12,900
Game Total - 45
Implied Totals - Rams at 29 points and Cardinals at 16 points
Game Line - Los Angeles Rams -13
The Los Angeles Rams are at home versus the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Week 2 AFC West matchup. The Rams are a 13-point home favorite, and they should have little trouble on either side of the ball in this matchup.
The Rams have weapons at all levels of their defense and will be able to pressure the passer when the Cardinals try to throw the ball. The expectation should be for plenty of scoring chances from this defense via sacks and pressures, and turnovers that could end up in scores.
The game script looks outstanding for Gurley as he faces a Cardinals defense that allowed 182 yards on the ground last week (last in the NFL) to the Washington Redskins. Gurley should have an easy time running the ball while also catching passes to amplify his value, and he will be one of the best options at the running back position in Week 2.
The Rams are a heavy favorite and should be up and pounding the ball while killing time in the second half of this game. Both sides of this stack should be very productive, and it is an excellent option in Week 2.
Melvin Gordon III + Los Angeles Chargers Defense
FanDuel: Gordon ($8,200) Chargers ($4,400) = $12,600
DraftKings: Gordon ($7,400) Chargers ($3,600) = $11,000
Game Total - 43
Implied Totals - Chargers at 25 points and Bills at 18 points
Game Line - Los Angeles Chargers -7.5
The Los Angeles Chargers travel to the east coast to take on the Buffalo Bills in a Week 2 AFC matchup. The Chargers are a 7.5-point road favorite, and the implied number has them nearing four scores, and it is easy to see a path for Gordon to be super productive in this contest.
The Bills gave up three rushing touchdowns to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, and while the Bills did a solid job from a yardage standpoint, it is hard to ignore that we should see a very similar game script from last week’s game, and that means plenty of points for the Chargers rushing attack.
The Bills are starting rookie quarterback Josh Allen, and that gives the Chargers defense plenty of opportunities to make plays and put up fantasy points. The Bills have a very low implied number at 18 points, and it is tough to see them scoring enough to hang in this game.
The game script has the Chargers up in this game, and it is possible that we will see Allen try to force the ball down the field while down and trying to catch up. We could see multiple turnovers, and there is potential for a big play or two from the Chargers defense.
There is a favorable outlook for both sides of this stack, and it is a very intriguing option for GPP play in Week 2.