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: Winston ($7,400) + Evans ($8,000) = $15,400
DraftKings: Winston ($5,800) + Evans ($8,100) = $13,900
Facing the No. 28 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 23 ranked pass defense allowing 277.2 yards per game
Game Total - 57.5
Implied Totals - Buccaneers at 27 points and Falcons at 30.5 points
Game Line - Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Atlanta on Sunday to take on the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC South matchup in Week 6. This game has the second-highest total of the week at 57.5 points, and with both defenses struggling to stop the opposition, it is not tough to see a scenario where both teams are scoring. The game script should force the opposing offense to keep the foot on the pedal, and that means more scoring.
The Buccaneers have one of the higher implied totals of the week (27), and offensively, they are off to a strong start to the 2018 season. However, the Buccaneers defense is performing very poorly, and they are forcing their quarterback to throw the ball at a very high rate.
Winston was suspended to start the season, and he did not start their fourth game with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick playing well. However, Fitzpatrick struggled versus the Bears in Week 4 and Winston relieved Fitzpatrick, throwing 20 times, completing 16 attempts and throwing for a score to go with two interceptions. Winston is starting in this matchup, and he will be forced to throw the ball plenty in this matchup.
Teams have hit the Falcons for a completion percentage of 69.8 percent, and only four teams have allowed a higher percentage in 2018. Also, the Falcons have surrendered 12 passing scores in 2018 which is third-worst in the NFL. Also, only three teams in the NFL have generated fewer sacks than the eight the Falcons have generated, so Winston will have time to get comfortable and into a rhythm in this contest.
Evans has been heavily involved in the Buccaneers passing attack having been targeted 39 times through four games. He has converted 29 of those targets into catches for 426 yards and three scores, and he should drive the Buccaneers passing attack on Sunday.
As mentioned above, the Falcons are going to score points, and that means the Buccaneers offense will be forced to throw the ball on Sunday, and there is a very good chance that Evans is one of the main beneficiaries of the game script. Evans could be one of the highest targeted players in the entire NFL in Week 6 and is an excellent play this week.
Pivot: Tight end Cameron Brate ($4,500 at FanDuel and $3,700 at DraftKings) is historically one of Winston’s favorite weapons. He was targeted 77 times last year and caught 48 passes for 591 yards and six scores. Brate is in a fantastic spot here filling in for starting tight end O.J. Howard (out with a knee injury) and he should be able to produce at an excellent rate as the No. 1 tight end in this passing attack.
UPDATE: Tight End O.J. Howard injured his knee in Week 4 and was scheduled to miss several weeks, but he progressed well through the team's bye week. He was limited in practice in the middle of the week but practiced in full on Friday and is questionable to play tomorrow. If he plays he may be limited but it will likely put a cap on Brate's ceiling. Brate is still a solid play as he is a favorite of Winston, but the Howard news is something to consider when building a lineup.
FanDuel: Ryan ($8,300) + Jones ($8,500) = $16,800
DraftKings: Ryan ($6,800) + Jones ($7,900) = $14,700
Facing the No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 32 ranked pass defense allowing 358 yards per game
Game Total - 57.5
Implied Totals - Falcons at 30.5 points and Buccaneers at 27 points
Game Line - Atlanta Falcons -3.5
The Atlanta Falcons are at home versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6, and this game is expected to be a shootout with the second highest total of the week. The implied number has the Falcons scoring more than four touchdowns, and Ryan should be able to exploit a very vulnerable Buccaneers secondary in this contest.
Ryan has thrown for 11 scores and two interceptions to go along with 1601 yards in his first five games in 2018. He has also scored two rushing touchdowns and is performing at a high level for the Falcons to this point in 2018.
Opposing quarterbacks have hit the Buccaneers for a 9.4-yard average which is the worst average allowed in the NFL. Teams are gashing the Buccaneers all over the field, and they are struggling to defend the pass in the short and intermediate areas of the field.
The Buccaneers have allowed 13 passing scores this season, and that ranks tied for last in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. Consider that the Buccaneers have given up 3.25 passing touchdowns per game, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are second-worst in the league, allowing 2.6 touchdowns per game.
The Buccaneers have given up 20 passing plays of 20-plus yards. They allow an average of five of these types of plays per game, and only two teams across the NFL allow more on a per-game basis. Lastly, the Buccaneers have only generated eight sacks in 2018 which is fourth-worst in the NFL.
Jones is one of the game’s elite wide receivers, but he has yet to score in 2018 even though he has been targeted 55 times through five games. He has caught 34 passes and totaled 564 yards to date, and it is just a matter of time before the touchdowns catch up.
Everything lines up for the Falcons passing game in this matchup as the Buccaneers are dreadful versus the pass and the game script is very favorable for each team’s passing attack. This is one of the best games to target for GPP play in Week 6.
Pivot: Wide receiver Calvin Ridley ($6,700 at FanDuel and $6,300 at DraftKings) is a very interesting option in Week 6, but you will be chasing touchdowns if you are playing him. If the Buccaneers try and take away Jones, it will be to Ridley’s benefit. Tight end Austin Hooper ($5,600 at FanDuel and $3,500 at DraftKings) is an incredible value in what looks like a very high scoring game. If you are looking to punt the tight end position, then Hooper should be one of the best options in that scenario.
FanDuel: Wilson ($7,600) + Lockett ($6,600) = $14,200
DraftKings: Wilson ($5,700) + Lockett ($5,100) = $10,800
Facing the No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 23 ranked pass defense allowing 277.2 yards per game
Game Total - 48
Implied Totals - Seahawks at 25.5 points and Raiders at 22.5 points
Game Line - Seattle Seahawks -3
The Seattle Seahawks travel to Oakland to face the Raiders on Sunday for a Week 6 matchup. Wilson has not been leaned on heavily to start the season, but he is playing efficient football in 2018. He has not had to throw much this year, but he gets a very vulnerable Raiders secondary in Week 6. If the Raiders can push Wilson to open up the offense and throw the ball, then Wilson could put up excellent numbers this week.
The Raiders pass defense is reeling having surrendered an 8.9-yard average. Only three teams across the league have yielded a higher average through five weeks. They have given up 23 passing plays of 20+ yards and only two teams in the NFL have allowed more.
Also, the Raiders have only generated six sacks through five games, and that is the fewest number of sacks in the NFL. Wilson should have time to get comfortable and pick apart a very porous secondary on Sunday.
Lockett has been just as efficient as Wilson as he has scored a touchdown in four of the five games he has played. He has been targeted 28 times, catching 20 passes for 347 yards. Lockett is dependent on the game script just like Wilson is, but he is capable of getting into the end zone at a high rate, and that makes him worthy in Week 6.
The risk you are taking is that this game will be a run-first contest from the Seahawks perspective and that would cap Wilson’s production. Wilson has thrown 10 touchdowns this year, but he has not had to open up the offense and put the team on his back. The stack is intriguing as it can pay huge dividends, but there is risk associated with it.
FanDuel: Rodgers ($8,500) + Adams ($8,400) = $16,900
DraftKings: Rodgers ($6,600) + Adams ($8,000) = $14,600
Facing the No. 23 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 15 ranked pass defense allowing 253.8 yards per game
Game Total - 46.5
Implied Totals - Packers at 28 points and 49ers at 18.5 points
Game Line - Green Bay Packers -9.5
The Green Bay Packers bring the San Francisco 49ers to Lambeau Field for a Monday night NFC matchup in Week 6. Rodgers is capable of getting the Packers into the end zone with limited weapons as he showed last week, and things might be looking up with the potential return of a few weapons.
The Packers have the fourth-highest implied number in Week 6 as they are forecast to score four touchdowns. The Packers struggle to run the ball, and if they are going to get to their implied number (28), it will be because of Rodgers throwing the ball.
Rodgers is one of the game’s elite quarterbacks, and he continues to amaze with his ability to put points on the board. With the 49ers defense struggling, it is easy to see Rodgers producing at a very high level in Week 6.
The 49ers pass defense is doing a very good job in one facet of the game, allowing a 6.9-yard average. Only five teams across the league allow a lesser average, but they are allowing teams to score touchdowns at a very high rate. The 49ers have given up 12 scores through the air, and only two teams have allowed more.
Adams has emerged as the clear first-option in the Packers passing game, and he is a very dangerous weapon as defenses struggle to keep him contained. He has been targeted 55 times this season, catching 37 passes for 425 yards and four scores.
Adams has a very favorable matchup as he gets 49ers cornerback Jimmy Ward in Week 6, and he should be able to exploit him in a very big way. Look for Adams to continue his excellent play while being a significant factor against the 49ers in Week 6.
Pivot: Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,500 at FanDuel and $4,600 at DraftKings) and tight end Jimmy Graham ($6,400 at FanDuel and $4,700 at DraftKings) are both very intriguing options in this game. Both should see red zone looks and are solid plays in a very potent offense.
Also, it appears that wide receivers Randall Cobb ($6,100 at FanDuel and $5,100 at DraftKings) and Geronimo Allison ($5,700 at FanDuel and $5,300 at DraftKings) are closer to a return to game action, and both are solid options if they can get on the field on Sunday. Cobb remains an injury risk with his hamstring, and he is an ultra-risky play, but one that could pay off if he sees the field. Monitor the status of the injured players in this game and make sure they are cleared to play in Week 6.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
FanDuel: Smith ($7,400) + Crowder ($5,700) = $13,100
DraftKings: Smith ($5,400) + Crowder ($4,600) = $10,000
Facing the No. 27 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 26 ranked pass defense allowing 280.5 yards per game
Game Total - 44.5
Implied Totals - Redskins at 23 points and Panthers at 21.5 points
Game Line - Washington Redskins -1
The Washington Redskins bring the Carolina Panthers to town on Sunday for an NFC matchup in Week 6. This game does not have a high total, but there is sneaky potential for this game to go over the 44.5-point number because both teams are underperforming on defense.
The Panthers have yielded an 8.4-yard average which is sixth-worst in the NFL. They have given up 18 passing plays of 20+ yards and only nine teams in the NFL have given up more. Also, the
Panthers have generated nine sacks in 2018, and only six teams in the NFL have fewer sacks to this point in the season.
The Panthers are much better versus the run than they are against the pass and the Redskins should be able to exploit the matchup on Sunday. Look for Smith to throw the ball to his underneath weapons and his tight end against the Panthers as that is where they are vulnerable.
The Panthers have yielded big production ton players like Sterling Shepard, Tyler Boyd, and Cole Beasley, and all of those players work out of the slot. That is where Crowder enters the equation as he can hurt the Panthers in a very similar way as he works out of the slot.
Crowder is questionable with an ankle injury, and you will want to monitor his status entering this game. The Redskins are already thin at the receiver position, and if Crowder gets cleared to play, he has a chance to shine in this game. He should command a larger share of the work in this contest because of where he wins on the field.
There is risk because of the low implied number for the Redskins (23), but the Panthers are vulnerable where Crowder wins, and he has a chance to be an excellent value in Week 6. There is added risk because of his injury status, and the injury status of others at the position. This is a very risky stack, but one that might separate you from the field as others chase chalkier type plays in Week 6.
Pivot: Tight end Jordan Reed ($6,200 at FanDuel and $5,200 at DraftKings) is a very intriguing option this week. The Panthers are the league’s No. 27 ranked DVOA pass defense versus the tight end, and Reed should have a larger than usual workload because of the injuries around him. He has a chance to have a big day in Week 6 against a vulnerable Panthers pass defense.
UPDATE: Crowder did not practice in full this week and head coach Jay Gruden told reporters he needed to see Crowder run when determining his availability for Week 6. It is not a very good sign for his availability if he is not running to this point in the week, and it is probably wise to pivot to Reed. However, the door is open for wide receiver Maurice Harris ($4,500 at FanDuel and $3,000 at DraftKings) because of the potential volume due to injuries to starting wide receivers Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson. If Crowder misses the game, and another starting receiver is out as well, then Harris gets pushed into a starting role in Week 6. Harris is a viable play as he can line up out wide, but more importantly, he can operate out of the slot where the Panthers have been beaten badly in 2018.
FanDuel: Rosen ($6,400) + Kirk ($5,400) = $11,800
DraftKings: Rosen ($4,700) + Kirk ($4,200) = $8,900
Facing the No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 25 ranked pass defense allowing 278.6 yards per game
Game Total - 43
Implied Totals - Cardinals at 16 points and Vikings at 27 points
Game Line - Arizona Cardinals +10.5
The Arizona Cardinals travel to Minnesota on Sunday to take on the Vikings in an NFC matchup in Week 6. The Vikings are a very big favorite this week at home, and that means the game script calls for the Cardinals to open up the passing attack to stay in this game.
The Vikings are allowing a 9.1-yard average which is second-worst in the NFL. The Vikings have given up 10 passing scores, and only eight teams in the NFL have allowed more. The Vikings have allowed 23 passing plays of 20-plus yards which is third-worst in the NFL.
The Vikings have also allowed six passing plays of 40-plus yards which are the most in the NFL. It is clear the Vikings are vulnerable via the pass, and the Cardinals will have to throw the football to stay in this game which expands Rosen’s ceiling.
While there is no clear-cut first option in the Cardinals passing attack, Kirk is a big-play threat capable of taking the top off of the defense in a flash. Kirk hit the 49ers for a 75-yard touchdown on Arizona’s first play of the game, and he can do similar things to the Vikings. He draws a favorable matchup against Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes.
This stack is incredibly risky and is a contrarian play in a week full of chalk plays elsewhere. The Cardinals have a very low implied number and are a big underdog on the road. Rosen is a rookie quarterback on the road, and the Cardinals offense is struggling, but the Vikings are bleeding points to the passing game.
However, the savings that this stack provides allows you to load your roster with some of the safer plays at other positions.
Pivot: Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones ($5,000 at FanDuel and $2,700 at DraftKings) is another dart throw in a favorable spot. The Vikings are the league’s No. 31 ranked DVOA pass defense versus the tight end, and he has a pathway to GPP production due to the game script and the matchup.