Each week I will 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. I will 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'm attempting to find players that can pay dividends for your lineup but 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 which will help you to sort through the noise while you put lineups together that can offer a degree of security.
The Giants bring the Cincinnati Bengals into town for a Monday Night Football contest in Week 10. Vegas has set the total at 48 points and the Giants are favored by 2.5 points in this game. Both teams have pass defenses that are struggling right now and the offenses should be able to make plays in this game.
The Giants implied number is 25 points and they face a pass defense that is surrendering 7.8 yards per attempt which is eighth-worst in the NFL. The Bengals have given up 16 touchdown passes which is ninth-worst in the NFL.
The Bengals have only allowed 182 total receptions on the year which is No. 13 in the NFL through nine weeks, but they’ve allowed a touchdown on just over 8.8 percent of those completions which ranks as No. 28 in the NFL. Also, they’ve allowed 29 plays of 20 yards or more (15.9 percent) which is No. 25 in the league.
Both those numbers are high and the question that needs answering is about the number of completions that the Giants will have in the game Sunday. The Giants throw the ball at a high rate which means more completions in this contest, and that means more opportunity for Manning and the passing offense.
The Bengals have an implied total of 22.5 points which means that their offense should put up enough points to challenge the Giants offense to keep throwing the football which translates into more receptions. Against this defense, more receptions means more big plays and touchdowns and that’s great news for the Giants.
Eli has been night and day as it relates to home and away games over the past four games. In his last two road games he has one passing touchdown and in his last two home games, he has seven passing touchdowns.
Beckham Jr. is heating up and has been targeted 41 times over the past four games, scoring five times and registering 22 catches for 373 yards. Manning and Beckham Jr. are a very safe combination in Week 10.
The Falcons travel to Philadelphia in a Week 10 contest featuring a pair of potent offenses in what Vegas is calling a high scoring, very close game. Vegas has the total at 51 points and there is no favorite here as the line is zero. Each team has an implied total of 25.5 points so a shootout is expected in this game.
The Eagles have allowed only 159 receptions to date which is tied for second-best in the NFL but there’s information inside those receptions that lead me to believe that Ryan and Jones can exploit this defense this week.
The Eagles have given up 28 plays of more than 20 yards which puts them in the middle-third of the NFL, but when considering the low number of receptions they’ve surrendered, it means they give up more chunk plays per reception than most NFL passing defenses. That’s Jones’ strength as a receiver. In fact, the Eagles give up a 20+ yard passing play on 17.6 percent of the completions they give up, which is fourth-worst in the NFL.
The Eagles started out hot against the pass allowing zero touchdowns through the air through the first three games of the season. However, after the bye in Week 4 they softened, allowing three scores to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 5.
In Week 6 they gave up two scores to Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. In Week 8, they gave up two scores to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and last week they were torched by Giants quarterback Eli Manning to the tune of four scores.
Ryan is playing some of the best football of his career and Jones is terrorizing defenses with his ability to win at the line of scrimmage because of his physicality and down the field because of his deep speed. He is also a monster after the catch as he’s too physical for the smaller defensive backs that he draws in coverage.
The Eagles are susceptible right now and Ryan and Jones are very safe plays in GPP play this week.
The Bengals travel to the Meadowlands for a Monday Night football contest versus the Giants in Week 10. Vegas likes this game as one of the higher scoring games of the week as the total has been set at 48 points. The Bengals are a 2.5 point underdog on the road and have an implied total of 22.5 points while the Giants have an implied total of 25 points.
The Giants are the league’s No. 25 passing defense as they’ve allowed a shade over 277 yards per game. Also, only five teams league-wide have given up more receptions than the Giants who have surrendered 210 receptions through eight games.
The return of tight end Tyler Eifert has started to open up things for the Bengals offense as they had been suffering from a lack of options outside of receiver A.J. Green. Dalton, Green, and Eifert should come out of the Week 9 bye firing on all cylinders. While the Giants are tough to score on and on paper this looks like a tough matchup, the game script has this game and the Bengals offense pointing in a good direction.
I see the Giants putting up enough points at home on a soft Bengals defense and forcing the Bengals to keep the foot on the accelerator via the passing game. The Bengals have explosive options and the numbers show that the Giants give up a significant number of yards and receptions in 2016.
Green is being targeted at a fantastic rate through half of the season. He’s been targeted 88 times in 2016 and while some consider the return of Eifert as eating into his volume, I see it as a benefit as the quality of his targets will more than offset the small reduction (if that happens) with Eifert’s return.
Dalton and Green are very sound plays in Week 10 as they may be forced to keep pace with a very potent Giants offense at home.
Pivot: Tyler Eifert ($6,100) is a great option versus the Giants because of the sheer target volume he sees in this offense. Eifert returned in Week 8 but didn’t play a full workload as he was eased into the offense. However, last week he saw a full workload and was targeted 12 times, catching nine balls for 102 yards and a score.
The Green Bay Packers are on the road in Tennessee in Week 10. Vegas likes this game as a high-scoring contest with the total set at 50 points. The Packers are favored by 2.5 points on the road and they have an implied total of 26 points.
The Packers simply can’t run the ball and have adjusted their offense to more of a short throwing attack which is effectively their running game. The Packers had their bye in Week 4, and since that time Rodgers has thrown the ball 224 times but is only averaging 6.3 yards per attempt.
It’s clear the Packers understand their limitations and have deployed a plan to move the ball which is working. Rodgers has thrown 13 touchdown passes over those five games, with 10 coming over the past three games.
The Packers are utilizing the short passing attack and that opens the door for shots down the field to outside receiver Jordy Nelson. Rodgers is still taking shots down the field for Nelson as he’s been targeted 22 times over the past two weeks. Nelson has scored seven times in nine games and looks to be completely healthy tearing his ACL last year.
The Titans are the league’s No. 20 pass defense. They’ve allowed 14 touchdowns which puts them in the middle of the pack and the seventh-most completions (209) in the NFL through nine games. More importantly, the Titans have given up 34 passing plays of 20 or more yards which is good for fourth-worst in the NFL.
Rodgers and company come into this game on fire and are solid GPP plays in Week 10.
Pivot: Randall Cobb ($6,600), Davante Adams ($7,200) and Ty Montgomery ($6,200) are all intriguing options as Rodgers spreads the ball around enough to keep their floor high enough to consider using them in this high scoring game which will be led by their passing attack.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
The Browns travel to Baltimore on Sunday for an AFC North matchup in Week 10. The Browns are 10 point underdogs on the road and have an implied total of 17.5 points. It’s tough to look at a team that has such a low total and select their quarterback to start in GPP play, but there is upside in this game based in how this game will shake out.
The Ravens defense is solid versus the run and the pass, but the Browns will be behind and their passing attack will be heavily leaned upon in this contest. Garbage time points still count and I’d expect Kessler and Pryor to connect throughout this game as the Browns are going to have a very hard time running the ball.
Kessler has started four games (Week 3, Week 4, Week 6 and Week 9) in 2016 and in those games Pryor has been targeted 42 times, catching 25 passes and scoring four touchdowns. He and Kessler have a “thing” that’s allowed them to make plays together, and that should continue this week.
Yes, there is plenty of risk in this stack, but I’m speculating here that the ownership numbers will be very low and that makes the risk worthy as the price reduction allows for great versatility in setting your roster.
The Broncos travel to New Orleans in Week 10 to take on the Saints in Week 10 in what Vegas is calling a high scoring game as the total is set at 50.5 points. The Saints are favored by 1.5 points and they have an implied total of 25.5 points while the Broncos have an implied number of 24.
It is well documented that the Saints are a different team from an execution standpoint at home than they are on the road, and that means that the Broncos will have to be at their best on Sunday to keep pace. It helps that they’ll face the league’s worst pass defense and there will be plenty of opportunity to make plays in this game.
The risk is that the Denver defense is stout and will limit the Saints offense, but that’s built into the numbers and it is a matter of whether you trust the Saints offense to force the Broncos into a back and forth, high scoring game.
Thomas is a stable option in this passing attack as he’s been targeted 10 times in each of his past four games, and that kind of volume in this game will lead to very good production.
Pivot: Emmanuel Sanders ($6,900) offers a slight reduction in price but is seeing enough volume to warrant rostering against this defense. He’s seen 35 targets over the past four weeks, and his situation is similar to Thomas. If he sees that kind of volume, he will be productive.
The Bears are on the road in Tampa Bay in Week 10 and they face off against a potent offense which will put points on the board and force the Bears passing attack to keep pace. Therein lies the risk and rostering Cutler and Jeffery is a matter of whether there is enough passing game volume for the Bears.
The Buccaneers are No. 27 in the NFL versus the pass and they’ve allowed 8.3 yards per attempt which is second-worst in the NFL. Only three teams in the NFL allow more passing touchdowns than Tampa Bay as they’ve surrendered 18 through eight games.
The Buccaneers have given up 37 passing plays of 20 or more yards which ranks behind only Oakland for most in the NFL, except Tampa Bay has done this through eight games and Oakland has played nine. From a sheer numbers standpoint, Tampa Bay is the worst unit in the NFL in this category. The same can be said for plays of 40+ yards, and it is clear that the Buccaneers can be beaten down the field.
Jeffery has seen 39 targets over the past four games before the Week 9 bye, and he could be in line for more work in this game from a game script outlook. I believe he is undervalued when looking at the overall picture in this game, and he and Cutler could pay big dividends in GPP play in Week 10, but it is not without risk.
The Eagles take on the Falcons at home in Week 10 in what appears to be a high scoring, very close game. Vegas has the total at 51 points which is the highest total of the week and each team has an implied number of 25.5 points.
The Falcons offense has been electric and will keep the Eagles and Wentz throwing the ball just to stay in this game. This is why Wentz and Matthews are on this list as the script is calling for lots of points and an outlook that puts the passing game at the fore.
The Falcons are the league’s No. 31 passing defense and have surrendered a league-high 23 touchdowns to date. They have also given up 260 receptions to opposing offenses which ranks dead last in the NFL. Only three passing defenses have allowed a higher passer rating than the Falcons and when looking at the big picture, it is easy to see how Wentz and Matthews can be productive Sunday.
Matthews is the main target in this passing offense and should be a focal point on Sunday as the Falcons surrender so many receptions and yards, and when you combine that with the game script, it’s easy to see Wentz and Matthews being valuable in GPP play this week. Lastly, the price reduction in rostering both Wentz and Matthews allows for great roster flexibility and will allow you to load up elsewhere.
Pivot: Tight end Zach Ertz ($4,600) is another option in what looks like a very positive game script. He’ll get plenty of volume in this game and could be a player that pays off in a big way Sunday.
Arizona Cardinals ($5,200) + David Johnson ($9,400) = $14,600
The Cardinals bring the San Francisco 49ers into town on Sunday and it is a glorious matchup for Johnson and the Cardinals defense. The Cardinals are favored by 13 points at home with an implied total of 30.5 points. The 49ers have the NFL’s worst ranked run defense and only one team has allowed more rushing touchdowns than the 49ers. The 49ers are also allowing 5.3 yards per carry which is worst in the NFL. The likeliest outcome here is a heavy dose of workload for Johnson as the Cardinals will be up in this game with a heavy dose of work for Johnson. There’s also opportunity for the Cardinals to make plays on defense as they face a poor 49ers offense.
Baltimore Ravens ($5,100) + Terrance West ($6,500) = $11,600
The Ravens host the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North matchup in Week 10. The Ravens are favored by 10 points at home with an implied total of 27.5 points. The Ravens have the league’s No. 2 rushing defense and that should put the Browns into plenty of throwing situations which will give the defense more than their share of chances to makes plays on defense. Look for West to get a significant amount of work here as the Ravens should be up and running the ball against the league’s No. 31 ranked rushing unit.
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