Starting Stacks for Week 15

Scott Bischoff takes a look at the stacks that could pay dividends in Week 15 in GPP play on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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.

A note on the Week 15 slate:

Three of the highest scoring games (via their game total) do not play on the main slate this week. The Los Angeles Chargers travel to Kansas City for an expected shootout on Thursday night with a game total of 53 points which is second-highest for the week. The New Orleans Saints travel to Carolina on Monday, and the game total in this game is 52 points. Lastly, the Philadelphia Eagles travel to take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night, and that game has a total of 53.5 points which is the highest total of the week. We are missing action with these games off the main slate, so we have to dig a bit to find value in Week 15.

RISK-AVERSE STACKS

Russell Wilson + Tyler Lockett

FanDuel: Wilson ($8,000) + Lockett ($6,700) = $14,700

DraftKings: Wilson ($6,700) + Lockett ($6,200) = $12,900

Facing the No. 25 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 13 ranked pass defense allowing 235.2 yards per game

Game Total - 44

Implied Totals - Seahawks at 25 points and 49ers at 19 points

Game Line - Seattle Seahawks -5.5

The Seattle Seahawks travel to California to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in a Week 14 NFC West matchup. This game is not expected to be high scoring, but the implied number has the Seahawks scoring almost four touchdowns in this game. Wilson and company should put points on the board with ease on Sunday.

Wilson is of the game’s elite quarterbacks, but he is in the middle of a bizarre statistical season. Wilson has thrown for 29 scores to go with only six interceptions, and he has accumulated 306 yards rushing in 2018. However, he has only thrown for 2788 yards through 13 games (an average of 214 yards per game), and he has only thrown for over 300 yards one time in 2018.

The 49ers do a solid job of defending the pass from an average standpoint as they have only allowed a 7.2 average. Only nine teams in the NFL are better in this area. However, they are allowing touchdowns at the fourth-highest rate in the NFL. The 49ers have also yielded 28 scores through the air, and only three teams have given up more.

Wilson threw for four scores (on 11 completions and 17 attempts) when these two teams met in Seattle just two weeks ago. It might not be so easy this week, but there is no arguing how efficient Wilson has been in 2018, and that should continue this week.

Lockett is easily the most explosive option in the Seahawks passing attack, having scored nine touchdowns on 49 catches in 2018. Lockett has been targeted 18 times in the past four games. He has caught 16 passes in that span for 272 yards, and he has caught two touchdowns in that span of games.

The Seahawks passing game should excel against the 49ers as they have been very vulnerable against the pass via touchdowns throughout the entire season. If the 49ers can push the Seahawks more at home than they did two weeks ago, we could see Wilson and Lockett hook up for multiple big plays on Sunday.

Ben Roethlisberger + Antonio Brown

FanDuel: Roethlisberger ($8,600) + Brown ($8,600) = $17,200

DraftKings: Roethlisberger ($6,600) + Brown ($8,500) = $15,100

Facing the No. 19 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 23 ranked pass defense allowing 259.5 yards per game

Game Total - 52

Implied Totals - Steelers at 25.5 points and Patriots at 26.5 points

Game Line - Pittsburgh Steelers +1

The Pittsburgh Steelers are at home against the New England Patriots on Sunday for a pivotal AFC matchup in Week 15. This game is expected to be a high-scoring affair as it has the third-highest total of the week. The implied number has the Steelers scoring almost four touchdowns, and they will need to play well at home this week to get a much-needed AFC win.

Roethlisberger has thrown for 28 scores and 13 interceptions to go along with 4227 yards in 2018 while adding three rushing touchdowns to his numbers. The Steelers passing offense is a very capable unit, and they should be able to generate production in this game due to the matchup, and the game script.

The Patriots have defended the fourth most passes in the NFL in 2018, and while they do a good job from an average standpoint, the heavy volume is adding up. Also, they struggle to generate pressure as they have only generated 24 sacks in 2018 which is third-fewest in the NFL. Roethlisberger should have time to get comfortable and allow plays to develop, and that means great things for the entire Steelers passing game.

The Patriots have given up 47 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only 10 teams across the league have given up more. They have also surrendered nine passing plays of 40-plus yards and only five teams in the NFL allow more of these types of plays. The Patriots have also yielded 26 scores through the air which is eighth-most in the NFL.

Brown is an incredibly dangerous weapon as he can make plays in the short, middle, and deep parts of the field. Brown is an incredible vertical weapon capable of scoring from a distance in a flash.

Brown has been targeted 46 has been times over the past four games. He has caught 29 passes for 373 yards and scored two touchdowns over that span. Brown has a chance to make a big play or two this week, and he will have to stay active if the Steelers are going to hang with the Patriots on Sunday.

Everything lines up this week for the Steelers passing attack in this contest, and Brown and Roethlisberger make for an excellent stack for GPP play in Week 15. Note that Roethlisberger is questionable with a rib injury as of this writing, but he should be able to play on Sunday. Monitor his status throughout the week.

Pivot: Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,800 at FanDuel and $8,000 at DraftKings) is a very potent weapon as well, and he might benefit from the Patriots desire to take Brown out of the game. Smith-Schuster should be active in this game, and he has a chance to have an excellent day in Week 15. Tight end Vance McDonald ($5,500 at FanDuel and $3,900 at DraftKings) has been quiet of late, but the Patriots allow 7.7 attempts (only five teams allow more) and 60.9 yards per game to the position.

Tom Brady + Julian Edelman

FanDuel: Brady ($7,900) + Edelman ($7,200) = $16,100

DraftKings: Brady ($5,900) + Edelman ($7,200) = $13,100

Facing the No. 21 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 12 ranked pass defense allowing 233.9 yards per game

Game Total - 52

Implied Totals - Patriots at 26.5 points and Steelers at 25.5 points

Game Line - New England Patriots -1

The New England Patriots take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road on Sunday in an AFC matchup in Week 15. This contest has a chance to be a high-scoring game as it has the third-highest total of the week, and the Patriots implied number is the second-highest implied number on the main slate in Week 15.

Brady remains an elite NFL quarterback capable of making plays in the pocket, and he has rare ability to maneuver inside the pocket with very subtle foot movement to extend plays. He has thrown 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2018, and while his numbers are off from where they normally are, they are strengthening as the season wears on.

The Patriots offense looks better right now than it has in the past six games. This matchup comes at a great time for the Patriots as they are going to have to score points if they are going to win this game, and we should see Brady and the passing attack at its best on Sunday.

The Steelers have allowed 25 scores through the air in 2018, and only nine teams have allowed more in 2018. Opposing quarterbacks have generated a quarterback rating of 97.8 against New England which is ninth-worst in the NFL.

The game script calls for enough points from the Steelers to push Brady to keep throwing the ball down the field and attacking the Steelers secondary. Brady has a strong chance to be extremely productive on Sunday against a beatable Steelers pass defense.

Edelman is the first option in the Patriots passing game as he has been targeted 37 times in the past four games, catching 25 passes for 299 yards and two scores over that span. There is plenty of upside in this stack as the Patriots passing attack should have a very strong outing in Week 15.

Pivot: Tight end Rob Gronkowski ($6,900 at FanDuel and $5,800 at DraftKings) faces the league’s No. 31 ranked DVOA pass defense versus the tight end this week. The Steelers allow 7.8 attempts and 78.9 yards per game to the tight end position. Gronkowski has looked a little better over the past few games after struggling in a big way earlier in the season. Wide receiver Josh Gordon ($6,800 at FanDuel and $6,400 at DraftKings) is a very interesting pivot away from Edelman in this high scoring contest. He has not had that blow-up game in 2018, but he is seeing volume and has had a solid floor on a week-to-week basis to warrant consideration. Also, he has a favorable draw against Steelers cornerback Joe Haden, and he should be able to take advantage of this matchup.

Kirk Cousins + Adam Thielen

FanDuel: Cousins ($7,800) + Thielen ($8,200) = $16,000

DraftKings: Cousins ($6,200) + Thielen ($8,600) = $14,800

Facing the No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 25 ranked pass defense allowing 261.6 yards per game

Game Total - 44.5

Implied Totals - Vikings at 26 points and Dolphins at 18.5 points

Game Line - Minnesota Vikings -7

The Minnesota Vikings take on the Miami Dolphins at home on Sunday in an important matchup in Week 15. This contest is not expected to be a high-scoring game via the game total, and the Vikings are coming into this game after firing their offensive coordinator this week. However, the implied total has the Vikings scoring almost four touchdowns, and Cousins should be busy in this game.

Cousins has struggled of late, and the passing attack has suffered over the past few games. He has thrown 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2018 to go with 3698 passing yards and a rushing touchdown. This matchup comes at a great time for the Vikings as they should be able to have their way with the Dolphins in this matchup.

Opposing quarterbacks have hit the Dolphins for an 8.1-yard average, and only four teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Dolphins have given up 50 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only five teams across the league have given up more.

They have also surrendered nine passing plays of 40-plus yards and only five teams in the NFL allow more of these types of plays. The Patriots have also yielded 26 scores through the air which is eighth-most in the NFL.

Thielen has been the first option in the Vikings passing game as he has been targeted 141 times this season so far. He has been targeted 38 times in the past four games, catching 25 passes for 289 yards and two scores over that span.

Thielen draws an extremely favorable matchup versus Dolphins slot cornerback Bobby McCain this week, and he should be able to exploit him all over the field. Cousins and Thielen make for an excellent stack for GPP play in Week 15.

Pivot: Wide receiver Stefon Diggs ($7,700 at FanDuel and $7,600 at DraftKings) is a game-breaking type of receiver capable of making plays all over the field. He draws an excellent matchup against Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer in Week 15, and he is also an excellent GPP option this week.

HIGHER RISK STACKS

Derek Carr + Jared Cook

FanDuel: Carr ($6,800) + Cook ($6,300) = $13,100

DraftKings: Carr ($5,400) + Cook ($5,600) = $11,000

Facing the No. 27 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 29 ranked pass defense allowing 273.8 yards per game

Game Total - 46

Implied Totals - Raiders at 21.5 points and Bengals at 24.5 points

Game Line - Oakland Raiders +3

The Oakland Raiders take to the road to face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday for an AFC matchup in Week 15. This game is not expected to be all that high scoring, but the game script has the Raiders down and chasing in this game, and that means more production from the Raiders passing attack.

The Bengals implied number has them scoring three-plus touchdowns in this contest, and if the Bengals offense can force the Raiders to keep throwing the ball, then we should see points pile up throughout this game.

Opposing quarterbacks have hit the Bengals for an 8.0-yard average which is sixth-worst in the NFL. The
Bengals have given up 50 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only five teams across the league have given up more. The Bengals have also yielded 27 scores through the air, and only four teams have given up more.

Cook is a dangerous weapon and a difference maker at the tight end position, and he is one of the most important weapons in the Raiders passing attack. Cook has been targeted 29 has been times over the past four games. He has caught 19 passes for 279 yards, and he has scored three touchdowns over that span.

Interestingly, Cook has 825 yards receiving in 2018 which is fourth-most for all tight ends. He has 15 receptions that have gone for 20-plus yards which are second-most in the NFL. The Bengals are going to struggle to contain Cook, and he and Carr make for an interesting stack for GPP play in Week 15, but there is significant risk in rostering this stack.

As laid out above, this stack is dependent on the Bengals offense scoring early and pushing the Raiders offense to keep throwing. Neither team performs well on defense, so it is reasonable to see this game go over which lays out a nice path for GPP success for Carr and Cook.

Pivot: Wide receiver Jordy Nelson ($5,000 at FanDuel and $4,200 at DraftKings) is worth a dart throw as he has been targeted 18 times in the past two games, catching 16 passes for 145 yards in that two-game span. Nelson’s price is enticing, and if he can get into the end zone, he can easily get to GPP value.

Nick Mullens + George Kittle

FanDuel: Mullens ($6,600) + Kittle ($7,400) = $14,000

DraftKings: Mullens ($4,800) + Kittle ($6,300) = $11,100

Facing the No. 13 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 16 allowing ranked pass defense 246.7 yards per game

Game Total - 44

Implied Totals - 49ers at 19 points and Seahawks at 25 points

Game Line - San Francisco 49ers +5.5

The San Francisco 49ers are at home on Sunday to take on the Seattle Seahawks in a Week 15 NFC West clash. This game is not expected to be high scoring, and the implied number for 49ers is only 19 points. However, there is significant value in finding players that play in offenses that go over their projected point total, and that is exactly what the 49ers should be able to do in this game.

Mullens has been slinging the ball over the field as the 49ers get down early and play catch up to try to get back into games. We saw Mullens throw the ball 48 times two weeks ago when these teams faced off, accumulating 414 yards passing and throwing for two scores. Mullens has thrown for 746 yards and four scores in the past two games.

This stack is entirely dependent on the game script that calls for the Seahawks to get up early, thus forcing Mullens to open up the offense while throwing the ball. There is risk here, but there is also fantastic upside as laid out above.

Kittle has emerged as a nightmare of a matchup problem for NFL defenses as he is too athletic for linebackers and too big for smaller cornerbacks. He is capable of gutting defenses with big splash plays, and he has become the 49ers primary weapon. Kittle has been targeted 41 times in the past four games, catching 28 passes for 411 yards while scoring one touchdown over that span.

Again, this stack is very dependent on how much the Seahawks can push Mullens to throw the ball. The bigger point is the Mullens and Kittle stack can outperform its price if they can score more than 19 points in this game.

While there is risk, there is also upside based on the matchup, game script, and the price of each player. Mullens and Kittle make a risky but intriguing stack for GPP play in Week 15.

Pivot: Wide receiver Dante Pettis ($5,500 at FanDuel and $4,400 at DraftKings) is an explosive weapon capable of beating a defense in a variety of ways. He is explosive, and he is also a crafty route runner, and that makes him a dangerous weapon as a receiver. He has scored a touchdown in each of his past three games, scoring four over that span.

RB/DST STACKS

Leonard Fournette + Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST

FanDuel: Fournette ($8,200) + Jaguars ($4,800) = $13,000

DraftKings: Fournette ($7,500) + Jaguars ($3,400) = $10,900

Facing the No. 25 ranked DVOA run defense and the No. 14 ranked run defense allowing 112.3 yards per game

Game Total - 36

Implied Totals - Jaguars at 21.5 points and Washington at 14.5 points

Game Line - Jacksonville Jaguars -7

The Jacksonville Jaguars are at home to face the Washington Redskins in a Week 15 matchup. The Jaguars are a seven-point home-favorite, and the running game will be relied on heavily in this contest. Fournette has a chance to shine in Week 15.

The Redskins have surrendered 11 touchdowns on the ground, and only 11 teams across the NFL allow more. The game script calls for a very heavy workload for the Jaguars running backs, and Fournette could be in line for a very big game in this contest.

The Redskins are starting veteran quarterback Josh Johnson, and the Jaguars defense still has teeth. They will generate pressure on Johnson, and that could lead to turnovers. Johnson has not played much football, and the Jaguars defense has a chance to shine in this matchup.

Both Fournette and the Jaguars defense have outstanding matchups in Week 15, and both sides of this stack should perform well in GPP play in Week 15.

Tevin Coleman + Atlanta Falcons D/ST

FanDuel: Coleman ($6,100) + Falcons ($4,000) = $10,100

DraftKings: Coleman ($4,200) + Falcons ($2,700) = $6,900

Facing the No. 22 ranked DVOA run defense and the No. 30 ranked run defense allowing 139.5 yards per game

Game Total - 44

Implied Totals - Falcons at 26 points and Cardinals at 18 points

Game Line - Atlanta Falcons -8.5

The Atlanta Falcons bring Arizona to town on Sunday to face the struggling Cardinals in a Week 15 NFC clash. The Falcons are an 8.5-point home-favorite, and they are expected to get out to a lead early, and they should not have much difficulty putting points on the scoreboard.

The Cardinals are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, and 17 teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Cardinals have surrendered 15 running plays that have gone for 20-plus yards, and only two teams in the NFL allow more of these types of runs. They have also given up 18 rushing touchdowns which are the most in the NFL in 2018.

The Falcons will be able to apply pressure on Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen as the Cardinals are missing multiple members of their offensive line. Rosen has thrown 12 interceptions in the 11 games he has played, and he is trying to do too much with the ball which is leading to turnovers.

Coleman is splitting time with running back Ito Smith, but Smith is questionable for this week with a neck injury. Watch how this injury plays out, and if Smith sits this game out, look for a very big game from Coleman.

The matchups are excellent for both Coleman and the Falcons defense, and each part of the stack should perform well in GPP play in Week 15.