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: Dalton ($7,800) + Green ($8,800) = $16,600
DraftKings: Dalton ($6,200) + Green ($8,000) = $14,200
Facing the No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 32 ranked pass defense allowing 327.5 yards per game
Game Total - 54
Implied Totals - Bengals at 29 points and Buccaneers at 25 points
Game Line - Cincinnati Bengals -4.5
The Cincinnati Bengals bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to town for a Week 8 matchup that is expected to be a very high scoring game. This game is expected to be a shootout with the second highest total of the week. The implied number has the Bengals scoring just more than four touchdowns, and Dalton will be able to exploit an extremely poor Buccaneers secondary on Sunday.
Dalton has thrown for 15 scores and eight interceptions to go along with 1822 yards in his first seven games in 2018. Dalton had a down game last week on the road versus the Kansas City Chiefs, but he draws a fantastic matchup this week, and a big bounce-back game is likely.
Opposing quarterbacks have hit the Buccaneers for an 8.8-yard average, and only one team in the NFL allows a higher average. The Buccaneers have given up 26 passing plays of 20-plus yards and only six teams in the NFL allow more of these types of plays.
The Buccaneers have also yielded 18 scores through the air, and no team has given up more. Lastly, the Buccaneers have allowed a quarterback rating of 125.8 which is worst in the NFL by a very wide margin. The Buccaneers have been torched by the pass in 2018 and are playing poorly on a weekly basis.
Dalton is going to take shots down the field, and that plays into the hands of A.J. Green. Green is one of the game’s elite route runners, and he has been targeted 44 times over the past four games. The Bengals do have a sense of balance on offense, but Green is easily the Bengals best vertical option in their passing attack, and he could be in store for a very big day against the Buccaneers.
The game script has both teams scoring points as both defenses are in the bottom five in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed. It is easy to see a scenario where each offense has to keep their foot on the gas to keep pace in this game.
The Bengals passing game is in a very favorable spot in this matchup as the Buccaneers are incredibly vulnerable 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 8.
Pivot: Wide receiver Tyler Boyd ($6,800 at FanDuel and $6,700 at DraftKings) draws a very favorable matchup versus Buccaneers slot cornerback M.J. Stewart, and he is an excellent option in Week 8. He is a secondary option to Green, but there is enough volume to play him in this high scoring game.
Tight end C.J. Uzomah ($5,400 at FanDuel and $3,500 at DraftKings) is an interesting option as he faces the league’s No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense versus the tight end. The Buccaneers allow 7.5 attempts and 89 yards per game to the tight end position.
FanDuel: Winston ($7,800) + Evans ($7,800) = $15,600
DraftKings: Winston ($6,000) + Evans ($7,800) = $13,800
Facing the No. 24 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 29 ranked pass defense allowing 300.7 yards per game
Game Total - 54
Implied Totals - Buccaneers at 25 points and Bengals at 29 points
Game Line - Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4.5
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the road in Week 8 as they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in a Week 8 contest that is sure to be a high-scoring affair. Only one game has a higher total than this one, and both teams are expected to score plenty of points via their implied totals.
The Bengals pass defense has defended 291 passes in 2018 which is third most in the NFL. They are in the middle of the pack from an average standpoint, but the volume they face has them allowing over 300 yards per game.
The Buccaneers have given up 27 passing plays of 20-plus yards and only five teams in the NFL allow more of these types of plays. They have given up five passing plays of 40+ yards, and only seven teams in the NFL have allowed more through seven weeks. Also, only four teams across the league have surrendered more passing touchdowns than the 15 the Bengals have allowed.
The game script calls for plenty of points from both teams and it is easy to see a scenario where Winston has to carry this offense on Sunday because of how poorly the Buccaneers defense is playing. Winston also runs with the ball and boosts his value via his rushing totals, as evidenced by the 55 yards and the touchdown he ran for versus Cleveland last week.
Evans is the first option in the Buccaneers passing attack, and his ability to win in multiple ways gives him a significant advantage on a weekly basis. Evans draws a favorable matchup against Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick this week.
Evans has been targeted 55 times in 2018, catching 30 passes for 591 yards while scoring three times. Winston and Evans are going to be very busy on Sunday in this high-scoring matchup, and this stack can pay huge dividends in GPP play in Week 8.
Pivot: Wide Receiver Chris Godwin ($6,300 at FanDuel and $4,500 at DraftKings) and DeSean Jackson ($6,400 at FanDuel and $5,300 at DraftKings) are both intriguing options because of the game script and potential for points, and both offer a saving from Evans that allows for spending elsewhere.
Andrew Luck + T.Y Hilton
FanDuel: Luck ($8,300) + Hilton ($7,400) = $15,700
DraftKings: Luck ($6,300) + Hilton ($6,300) = $12,600
Facing the No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 25 ranked pass defense allowing 279 yards per game
Game Total - 49.5
Implied Totals - Colts at 26 points and Raiders at 23.5 points
Game Line - Indianapolis Colts -3
The Indianapolis Colts travel to Oakland to take on the Raiders in an AFC matchup in Week 8. It may surprise some that Luck has amassed 20 passing touchdowns in 2018, and he has been forced to throw the ball an NFL leading 311 times this season.
The Colts are forecast to score almost four touchdowns, and it does not take much to put the majority of those scores on the arm of Luck. The Colts have two rushing touchdowns through seven games in 2018, and it is clear that Luck and the passing attack are leading the way for the Colts in 2018.
Luck has thrown for 1948 yards and 20 scores in seven games, and it is easy to see that Luck is producing at a very high level through seven weeks. He enters this game on fire as he has thrown for 15 scores in his past four games.
The Raiders pass defense continues to get gashed via the pass, allowing a 9.0-yard average which is worst in the NFL. The Raiders have given up 13 scores through the air, and only eight teams have allowed more.
The Raiders have given up 28 passing plays of 20-plus yards and only four teams in the NFL allow more of these types of plays. They have given up seven passing plays of 40+ yards which are tied for the most in the NFL through seven weeks. The Raiders have only generated seven sacks in 2018 which is the fewest in the NFL.
Hilton is a potent weapon with the ability to beat teams vertically as he can take the top off the defense quickly. He returned from a hamstring injury last week and scored twice while only catching four passes. Monitor Hilton’s status to make sure there are no lingering hamstring issues, and if he is clear, he is an excellent play along with Luck in Week 8.
Pivot: Tight end Eric Ebron ($6,400 at FanDuel and $4,900 at DraftKings) has been a very steady performer in the Colts offense. He has scored six touchdowns in seven games and has been targeted 59 times this season, and it is clear that Luck is looking his way. Ebron faces the league’s No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense versus the tight end in Week 8, and he is an excellent option in GPP play.
FanDuel: Cousins ($8,300) + Thielen ($8,800) = $17,100
DraftKings: Cousins ($5,900) + Thielen ($8,700) = $14,600
Facing the No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 28 ranked pass defense allowing 293.7 yards per game
Game Total - 52
Implied Totals - Vikings at 26.5 points and Saints at 25.5 points
Game Line - Minnesota Vikings -1
The Minnesota Vikings are at home to take on the New Orleans Saints in a Week 8 NFC matchup, and this game is expected to be one of the higher scoring games of the week via the game total. The implied number has both teams scoring just under four touchdowns in this game.
Cousins has had a strong start to the season with the Vikings as he has thrown for 2162 yards and 14 touchdowns to go with three interceptions through seven games. Interestingly, Cousins has had big games when the Vikings have been forced to throw against Green Bay and the Rams earlier in the season. That same game script is in play in this game as the Saints offense should be able to push the Vikings offense similarly in this contest.
Opposing quarterbacks have hit the Saints for an 8.7-yard average, and only two teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Raiders have given up seven passing plays of 40-plus yards which is the most in the NFL. Only four teams in the NFL have generated fewer sacks in the league than the 13 the Saints have registered.
Thielen and Cousins have great chemistry, and Thielen continues to be one of the most targeted players in the NFL. Thielen is a phenomenal route runner working out of the slot, and he draws a great matchup against Saints slot cornerback P.J. Williams on Sunday.
Thielen has been targeted 89 times in 2018 and his volume has stayed consistent in every game this year. He has not dipped under 10 targets in any game in 2018, and he has seen 45 targets in the past four games. He has caught 35 passes in that span for 484 yards, scoring a touchdown in each of those four games.
The Vikings passing game is in an excellent spot in this matchup as the Saints are vulnerable versus the pass and the game script is very favorable for Thielen to continue his stellar play.
Pivot: Wide receiver Stefon Diggs ($7,300 at FanDuel and $6,700 at DraftKings) has seen 45 targets over the past four games, catching 32 passes for 280 yards, but he has not scored in that span. He sees enough volume to consider, but he is not breaking big plays or scoring, but that could end this week. He faces a very beatable matchup against Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and could be in store for a big game in this game.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
FanDuel: Mayfield ($7,200) + Njoku ($5,700) = $12,900
DraftKings: Mayfield ($5,700) + Njoku ($4,600) = $10,300
Facing the No. 20 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 27 allowing ranked pass defense 282.3 yards per game
Game Total - 50.5
Implied Totals - Browns at 21 points and Steelers at 29 points
Game Line - Cleveland Browns +8
The Cleveland Browns travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday to take on the Steelers in a Week 8 AFC North matchup. This game has the fifth-highest total of the week at 50.5 points, and the Browns implied number has them scoring three touchdowns. They look to be chasing the Steelers in this game with the Steelers projected to score over four touchdowns.
The Steelers have allowed a 7.4-yard average which is in the middle of the pack in the NFL, but they are surrendering a lot of yardage based on volume alone. The Steelers have surrendered 15 passing scores in 2018 which is fifth-worst in the NFL.
The game script calls for the Browns to be behind and throwing in this game, and if that happens, we can easily find a path for GPP success for the Browns passing attack. Can Mayfield and the Browns receiving weapons take advantage of the uptick in volume they will see in this contest?
The Steelers are struggling to defend the tight end in 2018. They are the No. 20 ranked DVOA pass defense versus the tight end, allowing 10 attempts and 77.8 yards per game to the position. Njoku is a dangerous playmaker, and Mayfield is giving him plenty of looks on a weekly basis.
Njoku has been targeted 35 times over the past four games, and he has caught 22 passes for 228 yards. He has also scored in two straight games and has become a big part of the offense with Mayfield at the helm.
As mentioned above, the game script tells us the Steelers are going to score points, and that means the Browns offense will be forced to throw the ball on Sunday. That gives them an excellent chance to go over their implied number which makes their players more valuable than their pricing.
The risk associated here is the low implied number for the Browns and the fact that we have a rookie starting a game in a hostile environment on the road. Also, the Steelers will apply pressure on Mayfield as they have generated 22 sacks in 2018 and only the Baltimore Ravens have more sacks in 2018. The other side of that coin is the certainty that Mayfield can make plays out of structure and generate points via his ability to escape the pocket and make plays with his feet.
Note that Njoku is questionable with a knee injury and you will want to see him practice this week. Monitor his status and make sure he is playing Sunday.
Pivot: Wide receiver Jarvis Landry ($6,700 at FanDuel and $7,200 at DraftKings) is an excellent option in Week 8 in a game that calls for the Browns passing attack to be throwing to stay in the contest. Landry continues to see a heavy workload, but he and Mayfield have struggled to get on the same page. Landry has only scored twice in 2018 while seeing 83 targets and the inefficiency caps his ceiling.
FanDuel: Keenum ($7,000) + Sanders ($7,200) = $14,200
DraftKings: Keenum ($5,100) + Sanders ($6,500) = $11,600
Facing the No. 12 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 31 ranked pass defense allowing 316.6 yards per game
Game Total - 53.5
Implied Totals - Broncos at 22 points and Chiefs at 32 points
Game Line - Denver Broncos +10
The Denver Broncos travel to Kansas City on Sunday for a Week 8 AFC West matchup versus the Chiefs. This game has the third-highest total of the week, and there is potential that the Broncos go over their implied number as they look to be chasing the high-scoring Chiefs in this game. It has been essential in GPP play in 2018 to find players on teams that can score more than their projected total, and that is the case here with the Broncos.
The Chiefs are performing admirably on defense, but they have defended the most passes (303) in the NFL through seven weeks. That speaks to the concept that the opposition has been forced to abandon the run and throw the ball to try to stay in games because the Chiefs offense can score at an amazing pace. The path for the Broncos to go over their expected three-score game-total is not hard to find, and I expect them to go over in this game.
The Chiefs have yielded a 7.7-yard average, and only nine teams in the NFL allow a higher average. They have given up 34 passing plays of 20-plus yards and no team in the NFL has given up more. There is meat on the bone for the Broncos in this matchup.
Sanders has emerged as the Broncos first option from a target perspective as he has seen 38 targets over the past four games. He has caught 27 passes for 334 yards and two scores over that span. Sanders draws a favorable matchup against Chiefs slot cornerback Kendall Fuller in this matchup, and he should be able to produce an excellent stat line when all is said and done in this game.
There is risk because of the low implied number for the Broncos (22) and the chance that the Broncos simply cannot stay with the Chiefs from a pace perspective. However, the game script is positive for the Broncos passing attack and there is a strong chance they go over their implied number which makes Keenum and Sanders an intriguing stack in Week 8.
Lamar Miller + Houston Texans D/ST
FanDuel: Miller ($6,000) + Texans ($4,800) = $13,500
DraftKings: Miller ($4,700) + Texans ($3,100) = $11,300
Facing the No. 11 ranked DVOA run defense and the No. 29 ranked run defense allowing 136.7 yards per game
Game Total - 44
Implied Totals - Texans at 26 points and Dolphins at 18 points
Game Line - Houston Texans -7.5
The Houston Texans bring the Miami Dolphins to town for an AFC matchup in Week 8. The Texans are almost a 7.5-point favorite at home, and they are forecast to score almost four touchdowns in this game.
Miller has a great matchup in Week 8 against a defense yielding 4.5 yards per carry, and only nine teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Dolphins are giving up big splash plays against the run on a consistent basis as they have surrendered nine running plays that have gone for 20-plus yards. Only two teams across the league have given up more big plays to the run in 2018. Also, the Dolphins are giving up significant volume to the running attack as they have defended 212 attempts which are second-most in the NFL.
Miller comes off a 100-yard performance against the formidable Jaguars defense in Week 7, and he is in store for another big day in this matchup. This is a volume based play, and there should be plenty on volume in store for Miller as the Texans are more than a touchdown favorite at home.
The Texans should be able to get after Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler as they enter this game having surrendered 15 sacks to date. Osweiler has a history of struggling with pressure, and the Texans defensive line should win the battle up front in this contest.
Miller and the Texans defense are both in an excellent spot in Week 8, and both sides of this stack should pay perform well in GPP play in Week 8.