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 Panthers are at home in Week 11 to take on the New Orleans Saints in an NFC South clash. Both teams are very potent on offense and can put up points in hurry, particularly through the passing game. Both teams have pass defenses that are struggling right now and the offenses should be able to make plays in this game.
Vegas has set the total at 52 points and the Panthers are favored by three points at home in this game. The Panthers implied number is 28 points and they face the league’s worst passing defense this week. The Saints have an implied total of 24 points so Vegas is looking at a lot of scoring in this game.
The Saints pass defense is surrendering 8.1 yards per attempt which is tied for fourth-worst in the NFL. They are also yielding a passer rating of 95.5 to opposing quarterbacks. The numbers all point to a high floor with a giant ceiling for Cam and company in this game, and one only needs to look at the recent history between these two teams to see how that can happen.
Back in Week 6 on the road in New Orleans, Cam threw for 300+ yards and two scores and added a rushing touchdown to boost his stat line. In Week 3 of the 2015 season, Cam threw for 300+ yards and two scores and added a rushing score in a home game. In Week 13 of the 2015 season, Cam threw for five touchdowns on the road against the Saints. The Saints very clearly can’t stop Newton.
That brings us to tight end Greg Olsen and his history against this porous defense. In Week 6 this season, Olsen was targeted seven times and converted six into catches for 94 yards. In Week 3 of the 2015 season, Olsen was targeted 11 times, catching eight balls for 134 yards and two scores. In Week 13 of the 2015 season, Olsen was targeted 12 times and he caught nine passes for 129 yards.
The combination of Newton and Olsen is as safe as it gets as it offers a nice floor and a uniquely high ceiling which makes it an excellent GPP play in Week 11.
Pivot: Kelvin Benjamin ($7,100) has been quiet recently and hasn’t scored in five games but this matchup is fantastic and rostering him makes sense in a pairing with Newton. Benjamin was targeted 14 times in the first matchup between these teams this season which is his highest targeted game of 2016 to date.
The Redskins bring the faltering Green Bay Packers into town for a Week 11 matchup that Vegas has pegged as a high-scoring game with the total set at 51 points. Washington is favored by 2.5 points at home and the Redskins implied total is 27 while the Packers implied number is 24.
The Packers have the No. 16 ranked passing defense but there in vulnerability there and were exposed just last week when the Titans chewed up this passing defense. While they rank in the middle of the pack from a total yards outlook, they’ve been torched when looking at the number of touchdowns they allow per completion.
The Packers have allowed a total of 191 receptions through nine games but have surrendered 19 touchdowns through the air, and that 10 percent touchdown-to-completion rate in No. 31 in the NFL. Also, the Packers have allowed 32 passing plays of 20 or more yards, and the rate at which they allow chunk plays per completion is 16.7 percent. That’s not a good number and they’re ranked No. 27 in the NFL here.
The Packers have allowed the fourth-worst passer rating (101.4) to quarterbacks and they’ve given up 8.2 yards per attempt which is second-worst in the NFL. The Packers present significant challenges from a run defense perspective and the Redskins won’t run the ball with much effectiveness in Week 11. The blueprint on how to beat the Packers is out there and it is through the passing game.
Clearly, the Packers can be had and when looking at the rate at which the Redskins will have to throw the ball this week, it’s easy to see things going well for Cousins and Reed.
Reed is a very athletic tight end and presents significant challenges for the Packers defense. They’ve struggled in trying to cover tight ends like this as they don’t have the personnel to stay with athletic tight ends. The Packers linebackers aren’t athletic enough to run with big bodied tight ends that can move, and that is exactly what Reed does well.
This is another stack that presents a good floor and a high ceiling which gives it great upside in GPP play.
The Colts bring the Tennessee Titans into Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 11 for an AFC South matchup that could have playoff implications. The Titans are 5-5 on the season and the Colts are 4-6 while the Houston Texans lead the division with a 6-3 record.
Vegas likes this game as the highest scoring game of the week as the total has been set at 53 points. The Colts are a three-point favorite at home and have an implied total of 28 points while the Titans have an implied total of 25 points.
The Titans are the league’s No. 24 ranked passing defense as they’ve allowed a shade over 267 yards per game. Also, only two teams league-wide have given up more receptions than the Titans who have surrendered 241 receptions through 10 games.
The Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck like to drive the ball down the field and challenge defenses vertically and that’s exactly where Luck and Hilton can win in this game. The Titans are allowing the third-most passing plays of 20 or more yards and only six teams in the NFL have allowed more plays of 40 or more yards down the field.
Back in Week 7 the Colts took on the Titans on the road and Hilton was targeted 12 times. He caught seven of those passes for 133 yards and a score. In that game, Luck went for 350+ passing yards and threw for three scores.
From a game script perspective, the only way the Colts will move the ball here is via their passing attack. Also, the Titans offense comes into this game on fire and they’ll push the Colts offense to stay in attack mode because of the number of points they’ll put on the board here.
Pivot: Donte Moncrief ($6,500) is a solid option versus the Titans because of the high total and the fact that the Colts will be throwing early and often in this game. He’s been very reliable from a touchdown perspective but hasn’t been producing from a yardage outlook, so you’re relying on his touchdown potential if you roster him.
The Tennessee Titans are on the road in Indianapolis in Week 11. As stated above, Vegas likes this game as the highest scoring contest of the week with a total set at 53 points. The Titans are a three-point underdog on the road and they have an implied total of 25 points.
The Colts are the league’s No. 31 ranked passing defense allowing 287.9 yards per game. Only seven teams in the NFL have allowed more than the 17 passing scores the Colts have yielded to date. This defense can be had and Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota comes into this game as hot as any quarterback in the game.
Over his past six games, Mariota has thrown for 17 passing scores and has two rushing scores to add to his total. He’s also taking care of the ball as he’s only thrown three interceptions in that span. That’s a 19:3 touchdown to turnover ratio is his past six games, and he should keep those totals running this week.
Walker is a matchup monster and defenses throughout the league are having a tough time trying to cover him. He’s scored in three of his past four games and has been targeted 33 times in that four-week span. He’s converted 25 of those targets onto catches and has totaled 325 yards.
The numbers all point in a very good direction for Mariota and Walker in this matchup and they make for an excellent GPP stack in Week 11.
Pivot: Rishard Matthews ($6,000) is an intriguing option as he’s been white-hot with Mariota in the six-game span discussed above. He is very much touchdown dependent as he isn’t seeing a lot of volume, but he has scored six times and he’s worth rostering while the Titans offense stays hot.
The Saints travel to Carolina in Week 11 to take on the struggling Panthers in an NFC South matchup. The Saints are three-point underdogs on the road and have an implied total of 24 points. They’ll face the No. 25 ranked pass defense in the NFL and the No. 2 ranked run defense in the NFL.
The Saints are going to have to be very dependent on their passing game in this one as they aren’t going to run the ball effectively on the Panthers, and the Panthers offense will score enough points to keep Brees attacking a very vulnerable secondary down the field.
This game has been tagged as the second highest scoring game of the Week 11 slate of games and we’ve seen these teams light up the scoreboard in the very recent past when facing each other.
Brees went for 465 yards passing and threw four touchdown passes against the Panthers back in Week 6. Brees missed the Week 3 matchup against the Panthers in 2015 but put up 282 yards passing and threw for three touchdowns in the Week 13 matchup.
Cooks was targeted nine times back in Week 6 (without cornerback Josh Norman) and caught seven passes for 173 yards and a score. In 2015, Cooks faced the Panthers twice (with cornerback Josh Norman) and was targeted eight times in Week 3 and 10 times in Week 13. In Week 3, Cooks caught seven passes for 79 yards. In Week 13, Cooks went for six catches for 104 yards and a score.
This is another stack that provides a great floor while allowing for enough upside to be worthy of GPP play in Week 11.
Pivot: Willie Snead IV ($6,700) and rookie Michael Thomas ($6,500) are both very intriguing options in this game as Brees does spread the ball around enough to make them all worthy of consideration. Snead does his damage out of the slot and Thomas is a rookie playing very well for a first-year wide receiver. Stacking Brees with any of these receivers makes sense, and there is an argument to be made for stacking Brees with Cooks and either Thomas or Snead due to the likeliest game script and potential for points.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
The Jaguars travel to Ford Field in Week 11 to take on the Detroit Lions in what looks to be a reasonably one-sided game as the Lions are favored by 6.5 points at home, but that number seems a little off to me and I fully expect the Jaguars to give the Lions everything they can handle in this game.
The game total is set at 48 points, and the Jaguars have an implied total of 21 while the Lions have an implied number of 27 points. What stands out here is how the Jaguars have struggled to open games and how they’ve produced garbage-time points to get enough fantasy production to warrant consideration on a weekly basis.
The Lions are one of the league’s worst passing defenses as they’ve given up 20 touchdowns through the air in nine games which is third-worst in the NFL, only behind Cleveland (25) and Atlanta (23) who have both played 10 games. They’ve also allowed a league-worst passer rating of 112.4 to quarterbacks.
The Lions are allowing 25.8 completions per game which is third-worst in the NFL. The reality here is that there just isn’t a statistic to look at that doesn’t support a very positive outlook for Bortles and the Jaguars passing offense.
Robinson has had his share of struggles in the 2016 season, but he’s seeing enough target volume to support a very bullish outlook on a weekly basis, even with the overall ineptitude of the Jaguars offense to date. Robinson has been targeted 48 times in the past four games. He’s caught 24 passes for 262 yards and has scored in each of his past two games.
Simply put, if Robinson gets that kind of target volume in this game, he’ll make enough plays to make rostering him very worthwhile as the Lions haven’t provided to be much of a test for any passing offense in 2016.
Bortles is struggling from very poor play and his mechanics have disappeared, and there’s risk in starting a quarterback that is struggling in the ways that Bortles is at this point. However, the Lions offense should make enough plays to keep the Jaguars passing attack pushing to make plays to stay in this game.
Pivot: Julius Thomas ($5,900) just happens to play a position that the Detroit Lions are not built to stop. The Lions don’t have the athleticism out of their linebackers to stay tight in coverage on athletic tight ends and have been brutalized by the position for multiple seasons. Thomas is not getting enough receiving yards to support a solid floor, but he has scored in three of his past four games and is likely to score again in this matchup.
The Bills travel to Cincinnati in Week 11 to take on the Bengals in an AFC matchup that Vegas has pegged as a tight game. The Bills are three-point underdogs on the road but have an implied total of 22 while the Bengals have an implied number of 25.
The Bengals are the No. 17 ranked passing defense but that’s a very misleading number when considering the numbers inside that ranking. The Bengals allow 7.5 yards per attempt and are ranked No. 21 in the NFL in this category.
Only three teams league wide have allowed more touchdowns than the Bengals (19 through nine games) and they surrender a touchdown-to-completion rate of 9 percent which is fifth-worst in the NFL. The Bengals have consistently been beaten by quarterbacks in 2016 and this matchup favors Taylor in multiple ways.
Taylor comes into this game with a nice floor as his rushing totals augment his passing numbers. He’s scored a rushing touchdown in three straight games and will look to continue his solid play coming out of Buffalo’s Week 10 bye.
Woods is Buffalo’s most targeted receiver and is in line for a lot of volume in Week 11. He saw 13 targets in their matchup versus Seattle before the bye and will have to lead the Bills this week in the passing game. He does have a lingering foot injury and you’ll need to confirm his status for Sunday.
The likeliest game script outlook is for this game to be a back and forth type of game, but the Bengals offense should put the Bills in a situation where Taylor keeps his foot on the gas pedal. This stack is not without risk, but there’s enough touchdown upside here to warrant taking a flier on the pair. Also, rostering Taylor and Woods allows for great flexibility in setting the rest of your lineup as it puts players like running back Le’Veon Bell or LeGarrette Blount in play.
The Ravens travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys on the road in Week 11. Vegas has the total at 45 and the Ravens are seven-point underdogs on the road. The Cowboys have an implied total of 26 points while the Ravens implied total is 19.
The Cowboys are the league’s No. 21 ranked unit and are allowing a passer rating of 99.4 to opposing quarterbacks. They are vulnerable to intermediate targets as they’ve allowed the third-most completions in the NFL to date with a total of 241 through nine games. They’ve given up 26.8 completions per game which is second-worst in the NFL.
Smith can win in this area of the field and the likeliest game-script outlook points to a large amount of passing game volume from the Ravens as the Cowboys will be up in this game behind the league’s best rushing attack and big plays against a Ravens passing defense that allows an inordinate number of passing scores in relation to their defensive ranking.
The Ravens are missing key pieces up front as All-Pro guard Marshall Yanda is banged up. It is possible that their other starting guard (Alex Lewis) will be out as well. The passing attack will have to keep the Ravens in this game, but they look to get a bit of help as the Cowboys are going to be without starting cornerback Morris Claiborne, while cornerback Orlando Scandrick is currently questionable.
There is no doubt that this stack is incredibly risky, but it allows for great flexibility as it allows you to load up elsewhere to take advantage of matchups elsewhere.
New England Patriots ($4,900) + LeGarrette Blount ($7,300) = $12,200
The Patriots travel out to San Francisco on Sunday and it is an outstanding matchup for Blount and the Patriots defense. The Patriots are favored by 13 points on the road with an implied total of 32 points. The 49ers have the NFL’s worst ranked run defense and are allowing 5.1 yards per carry which also ranks last in the NFL. They have allowed 13 rushing scores to date which is also last in the league. You get the picture. Blount is in line for a heavy workload against a very bad run defense and he has scored at least one touchdown in eight of nine games played in 2016. From a game script perspective, it is easy to see the Patriots way up in this game and the 49ers throwing the ball to get back into the game. The 49ers offense and quarterback Colin Kaepernick aren’t really a threat at this point, and they shouldn’t challenge the Patriots defense all that much in this game. The reality is that more throwing from Kaepernick does give the Patriots defense more opportunity for turnovers and big plays which makes this stack intriguing on both ends.
Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,900) + Le'Veon Bell ($9,100) = $14,000
The Steelers travel to Cleveland in an AFC North matchup in Week 11. The Steelers are favored by nine points on the road with an implied total of 29 points. From a game script outlook, it is tough to see the Browns staying with the Steelers in this game as there are mismatches all over the field in favor of the Steelers. We’ll see a heavy dose of Bell as a runner in this game against the league’s No. 31 ranked run defense which is allowing 4.5 yards per carry. The Browns are No. 27 in the NFL in this category. Only three teams have surrendered more rushing touchdowns (12) than the Browns and this is a matchup that Bell should exploit for a big game. Bell is also being targeted a lot (56 targets in six games in 2016) in the Steelers passing attack and that boosts his value. There is uncertainty at the quarterback position (and generally all over on offense) for the Browns and in a game with the Steelers ahead, there will be plenty of opportunity for the Steelers defense to make plays as the Browns throw from behind.
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