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 New Orleans Saints bring the Detroit Lions into town for a Week 13 clash on NFC teams. The Saints are a five-point favorite at home in what Vegas is calling the highest scoring game of the week with a total of 54 points. The Saints have an implied total of 30 points and the Lions have an implied number of 24 points.
The Saints have a very potent passing offense and it can put the ball into the end zone quickly, and the reality is that when the Saints play at home the passing game floor is very high. This week they draw the league’s No. 14 passing defense, but the Lions are very vulnerable and can be exploited by a passing attack like the kind the Saints will bring to the table Sunday.
Only three teams have surrendered more passing touchdowns than the 22 the Lions have allowed and no team in the NFL has yielded a worse passer rating (106.4) than the Lions have in 2016. Also, the Lions are surrendering 7.5 yards per catch which is ninth-worst league-wide.
Only two teams in the NFL have given up more completions than the 285 the Lions have given up to date. The Lions have allowed a touchdown-to-completion ratio of 7.7 percent which is ranked No. 21 in the NFL. The Saints play at an alarming offensive pace and they will make a very vulnerable secondary uncomfortable in Week 13.
Cooks was not targeted last week versus the Los Angeles Rams which is a surprise, but it is reasonable to expect the Saints to get him involved early in this game. In Week 15 last year, the Saints played the Lions at home and Cooks was targeted 13 times and caught 10 passes for 124 yards and a score.
While the Lions will do everything to limit the number of possessions the Saints will get on offense, it is clear that the Saints won’t need a big amount of volume to get the kind of production that can lead to high-end production from this stack. The combination of Brees and Cooks is an excellent GPP play in Week 13 as it offers a solid floor and a very high ceiling.
Pivot: Michael Thomas ($6,900) is seeing enough red zone looks to be worthy in this matchup while slot receiver Willie Snead IV ($6,500) has a great matchup against slot corner Quandre Diggs, or any other cornerback the Lions deploy against him. The Lions are incredibly vulnerable to the tight end position and Coby Fleener ($5,500) is a solid triple stack option if paired with Brees and one of the listed wide receivers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers go on the road in Week 13 to face the San Diego Chargers. The Buccaneers are 3.5 point underdogs on the road and the Buccaneers implied total is 21.5 points while the Chargers implied number is 25 points.
The Chargers have the No. 26 ranked passing defense, allowing 271.3 yards per game, but they are vulnerable as they have allowed 275 completions in 2016 which is ranked No. 27 in the league. However, they’ve allowed a touchdown-to-completion ratio of 5.8 percent which is eighth-best in the NFL.
The Chargers have given up 37 passing plays of 20+ yards which is a rate of 13.5 percent in relation to the completions they’ve allowed. The Chargers are ranked No. 15 in this category. The Chargers have given up seven passing plays of 40+ yards which is a rate of 2.6 percent in relation to the completions they’ve allowed. They are ranked No. 19 in the NFL in this category.
The Chargers are surrendering 7.2 yards per attempt which is No. 13 in the NFL. Yes, the Chargers internal numbers look solid but there is room here for Winston and Evans to do damage. When looking at the likeliest game script, the total and the implied numbers, there is a map which leads to high-end production for these two in this game.
This game has the potential to go over and I see the passing games leading the way in this game. The Chargers are going to score points and play to a pace that will force the Buccaneers into throwing the ball. Also, the Chargers have a stout run defense and are the league’s No. 6 ranked run defense, so the Buccaneers are going to have to rely on their passing game.
Evans is heavily targeted on a consistent basis (47 in the past four games) which gives him a high floor and the volume going his way along with the ability to score touchdowns gives him a huge ceiling. In summary, if the Buccaneers are to stay in this game it will come on the backs of Winston and Evans which makes them attractive options as a stack in GPP play in Week 13.
The Seahawks bring the Carolina Panthers into Seattle for a Week 13 contest. This game features teams that saw each other in the Divisional Round of the 2015 playoffs where Carolina won 31-24. Vegas has set the total at 45 points and the Seahawks are favored by seven points at home. The Panthers have an implied total of 19 points while the Seahawks have an implied number of 26 points.
The Panthers are the No. 29 ranked passing unit in the league allowing just over 275 yards per game. The Panthers have allowed 281 completions which is ranked No. 28 in the NFL. This is a positive for the Seahawks as the game script should funnel passing plays to the Seattle offense.
Only six teams league-wide have allowed more passing scores than the 21 the Panthers have allowed. The Panthers have yielded a touchdown-to-completion rate of 7.5 percent which is ranked No. 19 in the NFL.
Looking at the home and road splits for Carolina’s passing defense is interesting as they’ve been very good at home and very bad on the road. The same can be said for home and road splits for the Seahawks passing game.
Everything lines up here for a big bounce-back game from Wilson and the rest of the offense, particularly the passing attack. The Panthers are the league’s No. 2 ranked run defense, allowing a league-best 3.3 yards per carry.
The Seahawks passing attack will have to carry the load in this game and they’ll exploit the middle of the Panthers defense without stud linebacker Luke Kuechly. This is where Graham will hurt the Panthers and make his money this week.
Graham has been on fire over the past four games, catching 21 passes for 264 yards and three scores, and he should extend his streak of excellent play in Week 13. Wilson and Graham make for a solid and safe stack in GPP play in Week 13.
The Indianapolis Colts travel to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 13. This game looks to be one of the highest scoring games of the week with the total set at 50 points. The Colts are a one-point favorite on the road and they have an implied total of 25.5 points.
The Jets are the league’s No. 22 ranked passing defense allowing 262.8 yards per game. The Jets have surrendered 264 completions to date which is ranked No.23 league-wide. The Jets have allowed 18 passing scores (No. 17) to date and have yielded a touchdown-to-completion rate of 6.8 percent which in ranked No. 16 in the NFL. All of this points to the Jets being a middle of the pack passing defense, but let’s look a little deeper.
When looking at the Colts offense, their strength is pushing the ball down the field and challenging the defense vertically with the speed they have lined up out wide. The Jets have given up 35 passing plays of 20 or more yards which is a touch better than average throughout the league. The Jets have given up 10 passing plays of 40 or more yards which a rate of 3.8 percent in relation to their completions. Only two teams have given up more plays of 40 or more yards than the Jets and this is the area that the Colts will look to expose and that’s exactly where Hilton’s shines as a player.
Hilton is going to see plenty of volume in this game as the Colts like to throw the ball on offense regardless of whether they’re being forced to or not. They will be forced to throw in this game as they don’t run the ball effectively and the Jets do a very good job stopping the run as they are ranked the No. 4 run defense.
Pivot: Donte Moncrief ($6,700) is a red zone weapon and has scored in 5-of-6 games that he’s played in this year (4-of-5 with Luck at the helm). You’re going to be chasing a score here as he’s really not accumulating enough yardage on a weekly basis which makes him a risky option with a very shaky floor.
Phillip Rivers ($8,200) + Tyrell Williams ($6,600) = $14,800
The Chargers bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into town on Sunday for a Week 13 matchup that pits two potent offenses against each other. The Chargers are 3.5 point favorites at home and have an implied total of 25 points while the Buccaneers have an implied total of 21.5 points.
The Chargers face the No. 17 ranked pass defense in the NFL which is allowing 253.5 yards per game, but this same defense is surrendering 7.8 yards per catch. Only four teams league-wide allow more yards per catch than the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers do a good job on the completions front as they’ve only allowed 234 completions to date which is No. 6 overall in the NFL. However, hidden in those completions is the key to how and why the Chargers passing attack will produce at a nice rate in Week 13.
The Buccaneers have allowed 20 scores through the air in 2016. They’ve allowed a touchdown-to-completion ratio of 8.5 percent and only three teams in the NFL give up touchdowns at a rate higher than Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers have given up 43 passing plays of 20+ yards which is a rate of 18.4 percent in relation to the completions they’ve allowed. The Chargers are ranked No. 31 in this category. The Chargers have given up 12 passing plays of 40+ yards which is a rate of 5.1 percent in relation to the completions they’ve allowed. They are ranked No. 31 in the NFL in this category as well.
Clearly, the Buccaneers are getting gashed with big plays down the field as shown by the numbers above, and Williams can take advantage of this on Sunday. Williams is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury, so be sure to monitor his status for Sunday before rostering him.
Williams has become the go-to receiver in the Chargers passing attack and has lit up the opposition every week with the exception of two games versus Denver. He’s been targeted 32 times over the past three games and he’s scored in each of them.
I like this game to go over and that means very good things for Rivers and Williams. This is another stack that provides a stable floor while allowing for enough upside to be worthy of GPP play in Week 13.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
The Bears host the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field in a Week 13 contest that features two struggling teams. The Bears are favored by 2.5 points at home against a 49ers team that has been scoring points on offense but isn’t stopping anyone on the defensive side of the ball. Vegas has the total at 44 points and the Bears have an implied total of 23 points while the 49ers implied total is 21 points.
The 49ers are the league’s No. 15 ranked passing unit and are allowing a passer rating of 99.9 to opposing quarterbacks. The 49ers allow 7.5 yards per attempt which is ninth-worst in the NFL and have given up 26 touchdowns in 2016. Only the Cleveland Browns have allowed more touchdowns than the 49ers to date.
The 49ers have allowed 236 completions which is ranked No. 9 league-wide. However, they’ve allowed a touchdown-to-completion ratio of 11 percent which is the worst rate in the NFL. While teams aren’t completing a large quantity of passes, it’s more about the quality of plays they’re yielding. They are giving up a huge number of touchdowns in relation to their number of completions.
The 49ers are also being hit for big passing plays on a consistent basis. The 49ers have given up 40 passing plays of 20+ yards which is a rate of 17 percent in relation to the completions they’ve allowed. The 49ers are ranked No. 28 in this category.
The 49ers have given up eight passing plays of 40+ yards which is a rate of 3.4 percent in relation to the completions they’ve allowed. They are ranked No. 24 in the NFL in this category. All of the above numbers have Barkley’s outlook pointing in a very positive direction.
Wilson emerged last week in his second game back from a foot injury that has cost him 10 games this year. He has 11 targets last week when paired with Barkley and caught eight passes for 125 yards and a score. He’s a value play at his price in Week 13.
The 49ers have been playing much better on offense as quarterback Colin Kaepernick is playing at a nice level. This has given opposing quarterbacks the opportunity to make plays against the 49ers poor pass defense. Barkley will have the opportunity to make plays this week but it doesn’t come without risk.
It is December and this game will be played outdoors in Chicago and Vegas doesn’t like this game to be a high-scoring affair with a total set at 44 points. Therein lies the risk as it is possible that there aren’t enough points to warrant this stack, but it has enough upside and comes at a reduced price which makes it super intriguing.
The New York Jets host the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13 in a matchup that Vegas is expecting to be high scoring. Vegas has the total set at 50 points and has the Jets as a one-point underdog at home. The Jets have an implied total of 24.5 points while the Colts have an implied number of 25.5 points.
The Colts are the league’s No. 30 ranked pass defense allowing 278.7 yards per game. They are ranked No. 25 in the league in completions allowed and the script funnels attempts and completions to the Jets receivers this week.
They’ve allowed a touchdown-to-completion ratio of 8.2 percent which is ranked No. 27 in the NFL. Also, the Colts are allowing a large number of intermediate yardage plays as they have surrendered 41 passing plays going for 20 or more yards. This is a rate of 15.3 percent in relation to the completions they’ve allowed. The Colts are ranked No. 24 in this category.
The Colts have stiffened against deep plays and have only given up five passing plays of 40+ yards which is a rate of 1.9 percent in relation to the completions they’ve allowed. They are ranked No. 10 in the NFL in this category, and it is clear that the Colts are vulnerable in the middle of their defense.
The Colts have allowed the second-worst passer rating (104.9) league-wide and it is clear from a game script outlook it is easy to see more passing volume from the Jets this week as the Colts will score enough points to force the Jets to keep throwing the ball.
Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall is struggling but will still draw coverage and open the middle of the field for Enunwa. Enunwa has scored in three of his past five games and has emerged as a viable option for Fitzpatrick.
The Colts defense has allowed opposing quarterbacks very good numbers throughout this season and this means that we could see very good numbers from the Jets passing game. This stack is not without risk as Enunwa hasn’t seen a giant amount of volume and is touchdown dependent, which makes the stack dependent on the amount of scoring we’ll see in the game.
The Detroit Lions travel to New Orleans in Week 13 to take on the Saints in a critical NFC matchup that pits teams vying for playoff spots. The Lions are five-point underdogs on the road and have an implied total of 24 points while the Saints have an implied total of 30 points.
The Lions will face the league’s No. 17 pass defense which is allowing 271.4 yards per game and only four teams league-wide have allowed more yards per catch than the 7.8 yards per catch the Saints allow. The Lions have deployed a scheme to get the ball out quickly to weapons that can make the first man miss to create yards after the catch and this number will help the Lions.
Stafford’s production is very much tied to the amount of pressure he faces, and the Saints only have 22 sacks on the season which is ranked No. 20 in the NFL. This should allow Stafford to take a few shots down the field and the game script is calling for lots of passing game volume from an already passing defendant offense.
The risk here and a limiting factor is the Lions propensity to slow-play on offense to reduce the number of possessions and plays the opposition gets. This helps to explain why the Lions are winning games and why they’ve been in close games all year.
The Lions pace puts a cap on their offensive output but the game script has their passing game pointing in the right direction. Tate is very volume dependent but he’s seeing the kind of volume on a weekly basis that warrants rostering him.
Pivot: Eric Ebron ($5,700) will challenge the middle of the field in Week 13 and while he wasn’t involved last week, he’ll have to be heavily involved this week if the Lions are going to get to the 3+ touchdowns they are forecast to have.
LeGarrette Blount ($6,600) + New England Patriots ($4,600) = $11,000
The Patriots face the Los Angeles Rams at home in Week 13 in what looks like a great matchup for the Patriots, their ground game and their defense. The Patriots are favored by 13 points at home with an implied total of 28.5 points.
The Rams have the NFL’s 20th ranked run defense and are allowing 4.3 yards per carry which also ranks ninth-worst in the NFL. Only two teams in the NFL have surrendered more runs of 20 or more yards than the 10 the Rams have allowed.
From a game script outlook, the Patriots should be up in this game with the Rams being forced to throw the ball to get back into the game. Rookie quarterback Jared Goff starts his third game this week on the road for the Rams and that will give the Patriots more than a few chances to make plays in this game.
Devontae Booker ($6,400) + Denver Broncos ($5,000) = $11,400
The Denver Broncos are on the road in Week 13 to take on a Jaguars football team that is very much struggling on offense. The Broncos are favored by five points on the road with an implied total of 23.5 points.
From a game script outlook, it is likely that the Broncos will run early and often against a Jaguars defense that is very tough versus the pass (No. 5) but vulnerable to the run. We’ll see a heavy dose of Booker as a runner in this game against the league’s No. 24 ranked run defense which has surrendered 13 rushing touchdowns (only three teams have allowed more) and is allowing 116.6 yards per game against the run.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is struggling mechanically and he faces a stout passing defense ranked No. 1 league-wide. The Broncos have the personnel to lock up wide receivers and the ability to generate significant pressure to force quarterbacks to throw the ball early. This kind of pressure will funnel opportunity to the Broncos defense and I think it is likely that we’ll see multiple turnovers from the Jaguars this week.
Booker is in for a heavy workload as he’s seen back-to-back weeks with 24 carries and that number (or more) is available this week. There is opportunity on both ends of this stack and it is one that could pay big in GPP play in Week 13
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