Starting Stacks for Week 16

Scott Bischoff takes a look at the stacks that could pay dividends in Week 16 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.

RISK-AVERSE STACKS

Dak Prescott + Amari Cooper

FanDuel: Prescott ($7,300) + Cooper ($7,000) = $14,300

DraftKings: Prescott ($5,700) + Cooper ($7,500) = $13,200

Facing the No. 29 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 25 ranked pass defense allowing 258.5 yards per game

Game Total - 46.5

Implied Totals - Cowboys at 27 points and Buccaneers at 20 points

Game Line - Dallas Cowboys -7

The Dallas Cowboys are at home on Sunday as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Week 16 NFC matchup. This game is expected to be high scoring as it has the fourth-highest total of the week, and the implied number has the Cowboys scoring almost four touchdowns in this game. Prescott and company should put points on the board with ease on Sunday.

Prescott has been up and down in 2018, but he has put up big numbers against lesser competition this season. His numbers are bolstered by his ability to score rushing touchdowns, and he has scored running with the ball five times this year. Just two weeks ago he threw for 455 yards and three touchdowns against the vulnerable Eagles defense.

The Buccaneers allow an 8.3-yard average, and no team in the NFL is worse in this area. The Buccaneers have given up 52 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only eight teams across the league have given up more. The Buccaneers have also yielded 30 scores through the air which is second-most in the NFL.

Cooper is easily the first option in the Cowboys passing attack, having scored six touchdowns in the seven games he has played for Dallas in 2018. Cooper has been targeted 37 times in the past four games. He has caught 30 passes in that span for 505 yards, and he has caught five touchdowns in that span of games.

The Cowboys passing game should excel against the Buccaneers as they have been very beatable against the pass throughout the entire season. If the Buccaneers can push the Cowboys offense and keep them throwing the ball, we could see Prescott and Cooper put up extremely big numbers in Week 16.

Pivot: Tight end Blake Jarwin ($4,700 at FanDuel and $3,000 at DraftKings) is worth rostering at his reduced price. He has been targeted 14 times in the past two games, and he has caught 11 passes for 101 yards. The Buccaneers are the league’s No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense versus the tight end allowing 7.1 attempts and 69.4 yards per game to the position.

Kirk Cousins + Adam Thielen

FanDuel: Cousins ($7,600) + Thielen ($7,600) = $15,200

DraftKings: Cousins ($6,000) + Thielen ($7,800) = $13,800

Facing the No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 10 ranked pass defense allowing 227.3 yards per game

Game Total - 43.5

Implied Totals - Vikings at 24.5 points and Lions at 19 points

Game Line - Minnesota Vikings -5.5

The Minnesota Vikings are on the road as they take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday for an NFC North matchup in Week 16. This game is not expected to be a high-scoring affair, but the implied number has the Vikings nearing four touchdowns, and they will need to play well on the road this week to get a much-needed NFC win as they try to maintain their playoff position.

Cousins has thrown for 26 scores and 10 interceptions to go along with 4227 yards in 2018 while adding one rushing touchdown to his numbers. The Vikings passing offense is a very capable unit, and they should be able to generate production in this game.

The Lions allow an 8.1-yard average, and only three teams in the NFL are worse in this area. The Lions have also yielded 26 scores through the air which is tenth-most in the NFL. Interestingly, the Lions run defense has transformed into a pretty stout unit since Damon Harrison was added via a trade in late October. This game looks juicy for running back Dalvin Cook, but the reality is the Lions are much better defending the run than they are the pass.

Thielen is a dangerous weapon because of his route-running ability. He plays with exceptional suddenness, and he creates separation with his efficient footwork into and out of his breaks. He also runs out of the slot, and that also gives him an immediate edge over the defender, and the Lions do not have an answer for Thielen.

Thielen has been targeted 28 has been times over the past four games. He has caught 20 passes for 242 yards, and he has scored two touchdowns over that span. Thielen draws a very favorable matchup against Lions slot corner Nevin Lawson in this matchup, and that is one Thielen can exploit in a big way.

Pivot: Wide receiver Stefon Diggs ($7,300 at FanDuel and $7,400 at DraftKings) will see plenty of Lions star cornerback Darius Slay in this contest, but he is capable of winning all over the field. He and Thielen are 1A and 1B in the Vikings passing attack, and he sees enough volume to warrant consideration for GPP play in Week 16. Tight end Kyle Rudolph ($5,500 at FanDuel and $3,400 at DraftKings) is a bit of a desperation play as he has only scored two touchdowns this season, but he has not scored in 11 weeks. The Lions are vulnerable to the tight end as they are the league’s No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense versus the tight end.

Baker Mayfield + Jarvis Landry

FanDuel: Mayfield ($7,700) + Landry ($6,300) = $14,000

DraftKings: Mayfield ($6,100) + Landry ($6,200) = $12,300

Facing the No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 29 ranked pass defense allowing 270.6 yards per game

Game Total - 44.5

Implied Totals - Browns at 26 points and Bengals at 18.5 points

Game Line - Cleveland Browns -7.5

The Cleveland Browns take on the Cincinnati Bengals at home on Sunday in an AFC North matchup in Week 16. This contest has the eighth-highest total of the week, and the Browns implied number is the seventh-highest implied number on the main slate in Week 16. Rostering players that play in games that go over their implied number is a key to finding a GPP edge, and the Browns have a chance to do that on Sunday.

Mayfield has looked excellent as a rookie starter, and that is no easy task in today’s NFL. He has thrown 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2018, and back in Week 12, he threw for four touchdowns and 258 yards on the road against the Bengals. Freddie Kitchens took over as offensive coordinator in Week 9, and Mayfield looks like a very different player than he was in the first eight games.

The Browns averaged 4.87 yards per play (No. 28 in the NFL) before Kitchens took over and they have been second-best in the NFL since Week 9 at 6.61 yards per play. It is easy to see the Browns have been very productive with Kitchens as offensive coordinator, and that productivity will continue this week.

The Bengals have allowed 28 scores through the air in 2018, and only three teams have allowed more in 2018. The Bengals allow a 7.9-yard average, and only five teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Bengals have given up 54 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only three teams across the league have given up more. The Bengals have given up 10 passing plays of 40-plus yards, and only four teams across the league have given up more.

Mayfield spreads the ball to all of his weapons, but Landry is the first option in the Browns passing game as he has been targeted 26 times in the past four games, catching 15 passes for 227 yards and one score over that span.

Pivot: Wide receiver Breshad Perriman ($5,100 at FanDuel and $3,200 at DraftKings) is the most intriguing option outside of Landry, and maybe even surpassing Landry. He is priced to a point where he can get to GPP value very easily and quickly because of his big-play ability. Perriman is a vertical weapon, and the Browns are taking shots down the field to him, but there is not much volume going his way. He is heavily touchdown dependent, but if he scores he is likely already at GPP value. Wide receiver Antonio Callaway ($5,100 at FanDuel and $3,900 at DraftKings) scored last week and was targeted seven times, catching five passes for 35 yards and a score. He is worth a dart throw in this matchup.

HIGHER RISK STACKS

Matt Ryan + Julio Jones

FanDuel: Ryan ($8,500) + Jones ($8,700) = $17,200

DraftKings: Ryan ($6,100) + Jones ($8,700) = $14,800

Facing the No. 28 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 21 ranked pass defense allowing 250.3 yards per game

Game Total - 47 (this number will go lower with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton going to injured reserve)

Implied Totals - Falcons at 22 points and Panthers at 25 points (this number will also go lower)

Game Line - Atlanta Falcons +2.5

The Atlanta Falcons take on the Carolina Panthers on the road on Sunday in a Week 15 NFC South matchup. This contest is not expected to be a high-scoring game via the game total (the number above will change), and the Panthers are coming into this game after placing starting quarterback Cam Newton on injured reserve this week. However, the implied total has the Falcons scoring three-plus touchdowns, and Ryan should be busy in this game.

Ryan has thrown for 30 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2018 to go with 4307 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns. He is playing at a high level, and this matchup comes at a great time for the Falcons as they should be able to have their way with the Panthers in this matchup.

Opposing quarterbacks have hit the Panthers for a 7.7-yard average, and only nine teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Panthers have given up 48 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only 12 teams across the league have given up more.

They have also surrendered 10 passing plays of 40-plus yards and only four teams in the NFL allow more of these types of plays. The Panthers have also yielded 28 scores through the air which is fourth-most in the NFL.

Jones has been the first option in the Vikings passing game as he has been targeted 152 times this season so far. He has been targeted 41 times in the past four games, catching 27 passes for 353 yards and three scores over that span.

Jones draws an extremely favorable matchup versus Panthers cornerback James Bradberry this week, and he should be able to exploit him all over the field. Ryan and Jones make for an excellent stack for GPP play in Week 16, but read the following potentially bad news before deciding to roster this stack.

This stack comes with risk in a variety of ways, and it is important to understand the totality of the risk before making a decision. Jones is questionable as of this writing with a hip injury, and there is a chance he will not be 100 percent for the game. That leads to the possibility that the Falcons might shut him down as this game wears on if they get up and take the lead.

As mentioned above, the Panthers are without starting quarterback Cam Newton for the rest of the season. Taylor Heinicke gets the start, and there is a strong chance the Panthers offense cannot push the Falcons to keep throwing meaningful passes. Will the Falcons need to get to their implied number in this game to win, and will they need to throw the ball much in the second half?

There are multiple levels of risk with Jones, and you will want to monitor his status to see if he can practice this week. If he is a full go, he and Ryan make a fantastic stack for GPP play in Week 16.

If Jones misses the game, this section will get edited and the players listed below will become significantly more valuable as they will see a large increase in volume in a plus matchup.

Pivot: Wide receivers Calvin Ridley ($5,500 at FanDuel and $5,100 at DraftKings) and Mohamed Sanu ($5,300 at FanDuel and $4,400 at DraftKings) are both excellent options if Jones misses this contest. Both will absorb volume without Jones and could be foundational pieces to a winning GPP roster. The same applies to tight end Austin Hooper ($5,300 at FanDuel and $3,700 at DraftKings).

Mitchell Trubisky + Allen Robinson II

FanDuel: Trubisky ($7,900) + Robinson ($6,500) = $14,400

DraftKings: Trubisky ($6,300) + Robinson ($5,400) = $11,700

Facing the No. 25 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 12 ranked pass defense allowing 233.9 yards per game

Game Total - 42.5

Implied Totals - Bears at 23 points and 49ers at 19.5 points

Game Line - Chicago Bears -4

The Chicago Bears take to the road to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday for a Week 16 matchup of teams going in opposite directions. This game is not expected to be all that high scoring, but the implied number for the Bears has them scoring three-plus touchdowns, and there is a chance that Trubisky and the passing attack could have a big game on Sunday.

Trubisky has thrown 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and he has boosted his value with his legs throughout the 2018 season. Trubisky has rushed for 402 yards and three scores this season, and he has hurt defenses with his legs on a consistent basis.

The 49ers do a solid job of defending the pass as opposing quarterbacks have hit the 49ers for a 7.2-yard average. Only nine teams do a better job in this area. They are posting solid numbers against the pass, but there is a vulnerability that teams have exploited. The 49ers have yielded 30 scores through the air, and only one team has given up more. Also, the 49ers have yielded a passer rating of 103.1 which is second-worst in the NFL.

Robinson is a dangerous weapon, but he has been limited for much of the season in the Bears passing attack. Robinson has been targeted 28 has been times over the past four games. He has caught 15 passes for 212 yards, and he has not scored over that span. There is significant risk is starting Robinson to begin with, but there are other risks that need to be accounted for before deciding to roster this stack.

The 49ers are going to struggle to move the ball on the tough Bears defense, and it is likely that the 49ers will not push the Bears and force them to keep throwing the ball through all four quarters. Can Robinson get into the end zone, and will there be any meaningful reason for the Bears to be throwing the ball late in this game?

The 49ers are going to struggle to contain Robinson, and he and Trubisky make for an interesting stack for GPP play in Week 16, but there is significant risk in rostering this stack. As laid out above, this stack is dependent on the 49ers offense scoring and pushing the Bears offense to keep throwing.

There is upside though as the 49ers pass defense allows the opposition to score at a high rate, and Trubisky should easily get the Bears into the end zone on Sunday. If the 49ers push the Bears at all, the upside/ceiling expands for Trubisky and Robinson, and that could open the door to a big day in Week 16 for both.

Pivot: Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel ($5,000 at FanDuel and $4,400 at DraftKings) is worth a shot in this matchup as the 49ers will give up touchdowns via the pass. At his price, it will not take much for Gabriel to get to value if he can find the end zone.

Josh Allen + Robert Foster

FanDuel: Allen ($7,700) + Foster ($6,000) = $14,700

DraftKings: Allen ($5,800) + Foster ($4,900) = $10,700

Facing the No. 18 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 23 allowing ranked pass defense 256.5 yards per game

Game Total - 44.5

Implied Totals - Bills at 16 points and Patriots at 28.5 points

Game Line - Buffalo Bills +12.5

The Buffalo Bills are on the road on Sunday to take on the New England Patriots in a Week 16 AFC East clash. This game is not expected to be high scoring, but the implied number for Patriots is four-plus touchdowns. The Bills are only projected to score 16 points, but it is not tough to see them going over that number, and that is where you can find an edge in GP play.

Allen is playing much better football over the past month since returning from an elbow injury, and he has significantly boosted his value with his ability to run with the football. He has accumulated 351 yards rushing in the past four games and scored three touchdowns.

The Bills will likely be trailing in this game, and that means that Allen will be throwing the ball down the field and scrambling to keep the chains moving. He can produce at a high level, but it will be volatile, and I’d guess his stat line looks solid at game’s end as the Patriots do not have a very good pass defense. There is risk here, but there is also fantastic upside as laid out above.

The Patriots have allowed 28 scores through the air in 2018, and only three teams have allowed more in 2018. The Patriots have given up 52 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only eight teams across the league have given up more. The Patriots have given up nine passing plays of 40-plus yards, and only seven teams across the league have given up more.

Foster has emerged as a down-field threat in the Bills passing attack, and he is making defenses pay via his vertical ability. Foster has been targeted 19 times in the past four games, and he has caught 14 passes for 333 yards and two scores over that span. He has back-to-back 100+ yard games, and he will have opportunities to make big plays in this matchup.

The risk is associated with the ability for Allen to play catch up against a defense expecting the pass, and the low implied number for the Bills. While there is risk, there is also upside based on the matchup, game script, and the price of each player. Allen and Foster make a risky but intriguing stack for GPP play in Week 16.

Pivot: Wide receiver Zay Jones ($4,800 at FanDuel and $3,700 at DraftKings) is worth a dart throw at his price while considering the matchup, game script and potential for him to reach GPP value in Week 16.

RB/DST STACKS

Ezekiel Elliott + Dallas Cowboys D/ST

FanDuel: Elliott ($8,800) + Cowboys ($3,700) = $12,500

DraftKings: Elliott ($9,000) + Cowboys ($2,600) = $11,600

Facing the No. 31 ranked DVOA run defense and the No. 27 ranked run defense allowing 128.1 yards per game

Game Total - 46.5

Implied Totals - Cowboys at 27 points and Buccaneers at 20 points

Game Line - Dallas Cowboys -7

The Dallas Cowboys are at home to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Week 16 NFC matchup. The Cowboys are a seven-point home-favorite, and there is a chance the running game has a chance to produce at a high level making Elliott an excellent GPP play in Week 16.

The Buccaneers are allowing 4.8 yards per carry, and only six teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Buccaneers have surrendered 16 running plays that have gone for 20-plus yards, and only four teams in the NFL allow more of these types of runs. They have also given up 17 rushing touchdowns which are the third-most in the NFL in 2018.

The game script calls for a very heavy workload as the game wears on for the Cowboys running backs, and Elliott could be in line for a very big game in this contest. Elliott’s path to GPP success is fairly easy to see in Week 16 versus the Buccaneers defense.

The Buccaneers are turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Their quarterbacks have thrown 25 interceptions to date which is most in the NFL. The Cowboys can pressure the passer, and it is easy to see them getting turnovers on defense which can turn into instant production with the ability to make a big play or two.

Both Elliott and the Cowboys defense have outstanding matchups in Week 16, and both sides of this stack should perform well in GPP play in Week 16.

Marlon Mack + Indianapolis Colts D/ST

FanDuel: Mack ($7,000) + Colts ($4,500) = $11,500

DraftKings: Mack ($5,500) + Colts ($3,300) = $8,800

Facing the No. 19 ranked DVOA run defense and the No. 28 ranked run defense allowing 128.4 yards per game

Game Total - 46.5

Implied Totals - Colts at 28 points and Giants at 19 points

Game Line - Indianapolis Colts -9

The Indianapolis Colts are at home as they bring the New York Giants to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday for a Week 16 clash. The Colts are a 9-point home-favorite, and the game script calls for them to be up early in this game, and they should have little trouble putting points on the board.

The Cardinals are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, and only 13 teams in the NFL allow a lesser average. The Cardinals have surrendered 11 running plays that have gone for 20-plus yards, and only 11 teams in the NFL allow more of these types of runs. They have also surrendered three running plays that have gone for 40-plus yards, and only five teams in the NFL allow more. They have also given up 15 rushing touchdowns which is sixth-most in the NFL.

The Colts are expected to get up early and force the Giants to keep passing in this game, and that means there will be opportunities for sacks and turnovers for the Colts defense. The Giants have yielded 46 sacks which are fourth-most in the NFL. The Colts have generated 38 sacks in 2018, and only 11 teams in the NFL have generated more.

The Colts will be able to apply pressure on Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and that pressure can lead to defensive production. More passing from the Giants means more opportunity for the Colts defense.

Mack is the Colts lead back, and he has been excellent in games when the Colts had a big lead. Just last week he had 27 carries against Dallas in a game they won 23-0. He will have similar volume against the Giants, and he has a chance to have a very good day on Sunday.

Mack and the Colts defense are each in an excellent situation from a matchup perspective, and both parts of the stack should perform well in GPP play in Week 16.