The two glaring high Vegas totals of Week 6 are Tampa Bay-Atlanta (57) and Kansas City-New England (58). Both point spreads are close with the Buccaneers coming off a bye and the Patriots finding their offensive stride in recent weeks.
Is there an auto-stack among these four teams? More importantly, what is your take on the best value among the backfields?
Justin Howe: The two glaring high Vegas totals of Week 6 are Tampa Bay-Atlanta (57) and Kansas City-New England (58). Both point spreads are close with the Buccaneers coming off a bye and the Patriots finding their offensive stride in recent weeks. Is there an auto-stack among these four teams? More importantly, what is your take on the best value among the backfields?
It's early, but the chalkiest stacks look like Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski and Matt Ryan-Julio Jones. They're the obvious home-team stacks, anyway. I'm definitely more interested in the former, as Gronkowski has more avenues to a big day than Jones, who still seems allergic to the flora of the end zone. The Patriots can bully their way to not just yardage, but touchdowns as well, especially against Kansas City's sieve-like secondary.
But overall, when I'm looking to diversify, I'm more interested in the backfields of the KC-NE game. Running games often peter out in high-flying matchups like this one should be, but there's just so much pass-game appeal in these units. Kareem Hunt is the Chiefs' unchallenged workhorse, and it's hard to shake the memory of him repeatedly gashing last year's Patriots on those stretch runs. And the Patriots only dressed two running backs last week - their production should again be concentrated entirely on Sony Michel and James White. Both Hunt and Michel come relatively affordable, too. Identify the right game script and win valuable prizes.
Phil Alexander: With Kansas City at New England off the main slate, my focus in on Tampa Bay at Atlanta. My favorite way to stack the game is with Jameis Winston, Cameron Brate, and Julio Jones. Winston is significantly cheaper than Matt Ryan and his matchup is nearly as good. The Falcons have allowed four quarterbacks to throw for three touchdowns against them in their first five games, and the only one who didn't was Nick Foles.
Brate has posted salary multiples of 4.76x and 4.57x in each of his last two games. Even though his price is up $1,100 from last week (DraftKings), O.J. Howard isn't around to limit his snaps, giving Brate overall TE1 upside in a soft matchup.
With Jones, you simply play him any time he's facing Tampa Bay. Look at these game logs. In 12 career games against the Buccaneers, Jones has averaged 23.8 fantasy points vs. 18 fantasy points in all other games -- an increase of over 32%.
The way to beat both of these teams is via the pass. I won't have any exposure to Tampa Bay's running backs unless it's reported before game time Ronald Jones has completely overtaken Peyton Barber coming out of the team's bye week. One of Atlanta's running backs could make a great leverage play on Ryan and Jones, but good luck figuring out which. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman each played less than 40% of the snaps last week, and Ito Smith makes it a full-blown three-way committee.
Will Grant: The no-brainer stack this week has to be Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Jones has yet to get into the end zone this season, despite leading the team in targets (55) and having 24 more targets than his next closest competition Mohamed Sanu. Tampa Bay made Mitchell Trubisky look like Drew Brees two weeks ago and even with two weeks to prepare, I think the Falcons carve them up pretty well through the air again this week. It might be a bit expensive, but tossing in Mike Evans for a super stack might not be a bad idea either. Last week Antonio Brown tore up the Atlanta defense and Evans is still a target monster for the Buccaneers.
From a running back perspective, I love James White against the Chiefs this week. The Chiefs fired up on Jacksonville last week and their defense played the best that they have all season. Yet they still gave up 122 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown to T.J.Yeldon despite being up by 20 at halftime. They’ve shown vulnerability to running backs who can catch out of the backfield and White is a big part of the New England passing game. I think he’s a great option at running back this week.
James Brimacombe: The stack I want to own is Jameis Winston and Mike Evans as the Buccaneers have zero running game and have shown no signs of trying to make one happen. With them coming off a bye week and with Winston back under center look for them to attack the Falcons defense that continues to give up huge plays to everyone that they face. You could also chase the stack back with Julio Jones on the other side of this game and even add in a cheap Cameron Brate at the tight end position.
As far as a running back that I want to invest in this week it is Sony Michel as the Patriots are finding their stride and he is coming off back to back touchdown games averaging 22 touches in each.
Dan Hindery: With the Chiefs-Patriots game off of the main slate, all of the focus will be on the Buccaneers-Falcons game. The dilemma for me is that the strengths of the Tampa Bay offense (deep passing) aren’t ones which match up great with the areas where Atlanta is most vulnerable (slot receivers and pass-catching running backs) but the Tampa players are priced so attractively, especially Jameis Winston and Cameron Brate, they have to be in strong consideration. On the Atlanta side, Julio Jones is in a great spot. He has twice as many career touchdowns against Tampa (10) than he does against any other team. Matt Ryan is also a strong play. The biggest concern for the Atlanta offense is how difficult it has been to predict which players will have big games when. Ito Smith has made the running back by committee backfield even more crowded and Ryan has really spread the ball around in the passing game as well. This feels like a game to mostly avoid if ownership is expected to be through the roof.