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Big Vegas totals are back in Week 13 with byes complete and a full slate of games. Of the listed games, who is your favorite and least favorite offense from which to construct lineup cores:
- Panthers (-4) at Buccaneers, 56.5 total
- Rams (-10) at Lions, 54.5 total
- Chiefs (-15) at Raiders, 55.5 total
Phil Alexander: It would be shocking if Rams at Lions and Chiefs at Raiders weren't completely one-sided games in favor of the visiting teams. While players from LA and Kansas City are attractive for that very reason, I'd lean towards Panthers at Buccaneers -- the only one of these three games with realistic 70-point potential -- as my top choice to build around.
Both defenses struggle to stop big plays downfield, which sets the stage for a shootout between Cam Newton and Jameis Winston. Christian McCaffrey is justifiably the first player most entrants will plug into their lineups, after producing one of the best PPR box scores we've ever seen in Week 12. Tampa Bay has been dreadful defending running backs without linebackers Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David in the lineup, and McCaffrey shredded this unit for 157 total yards and two touchdowns when they met back in Week 8.
D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Greg Olsen all profile as strong plays against the Buccaneers porous secondary, though their target volume is somewhat dependent upon Devin Funchess' status. Moore should be fine regardless, but his floor and ceiling both get higher if Funchess isn't there to command his customary five-to-eight targets.
For the Buccaneers, pairing Winston with Mike Evans and/or Cameron Brate is a good idea for the second-straight week. The matchup for Brate, in particular, is enticing. Carolina has allowed 46% more fantasy points than league average to opposing tight ends this season, including 30% more over the last five weeks. Peyton Barber is an inexpensive leverage play for tournaments. He has found the end zone in each of the last two games, and his best performances of the season have come in Winston's starts.
BJ VanderWoude: I think Phil has the right idea here, although I am not completely against stacking the Chiefs, especially if you are including Kareem Hunt in your lineups. The Chiefs will most likely get up quickly in this game, but Andy Reid likes to have the game well in hand before taking out his starters. I could see a Mahomes/Hunt/Hill stack getting you to 70 total points, however, Mahomes and Hill find themselves with the top salaries at their respective positions, and Hunt isn't far behind. 70 points just aren't enough to get you beyond a 3x salary multiple with this stack, so in the end, I believe Phil has the right idea with the Panthers.
I also like the Panthers stack because it allows you to use Tampa Bay's players in a game stack that you just cannot do with the Lions or Raiders. In addition to Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey, Jameis Winston and Mike Evans are attractive plays, and Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate and Adam Humphries make solid secondary plays. If you are looking to maximize PP$ value, this is definitely the game to target.
It is obvious that the Raiders are my least favorable offense among these teams. I see no redeeming value, either floor or ceiling, of any player on the Raiders. Doug Martin's value is solely dependent on getting into the end zone, a bet that I would not even make against porous Chiefs run defense. Jalen Richard has very little upside, and while there are certain cases where I could see playing him in a cash lineup, it would have to be in desperation only. You could make a weak case for a flier like Seth Roberts or Brandon LaFell, or even an option like Jared Cook among a week crop of tight ends this season, but there are just so many better options out there in my opinion.
James Brimacombe: I think you have to roll with the Panthers at Buccaneers game because of the point spread is the tightest out of the bunch and it does have the highest over/under. The Rams and Chiefs are big-time favorites and if you want to look at those teams and games I think you have to focus on the running games with Gurley and Hunt and hope they both can find the end zone multiple times. Those two games could have a downfall in the passing game come the second half if they turn into blowout type of games.
As for the Panthers/Bucs you have to like Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, and Greg Olsen on the Panthers side and on the Bucs side Jameis Winston, Peyton Barber, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Cameron Brate. I think you can do several game stacks with this game and mix and match all of these players. Newton, McCaffrey, Winston, and Evans are my favorites but they probably will also be the highest owned out of the bunch.
Will Grant: It's going to be chalk as heck, but give me as much as I can get of the Kansas City Lineup this week. 15 point favorite after a week of rest against a division rival who has one of the weaker defenses in the league. The Raiders are tied for second worst defense allowing 25 touchdown passes this season (2.25 per game). They also average almost 30 points per game allowed this year.
Now bring in the Chiefs - who came off a heartbreaking shoot-out against the Rams two weeks ago where they put up 50 points and lost. They AVERAGE 36 points per game scored. That's just crazy. Patrick Mahomes II is going to have a great game this week - and should easily hit 3 touchdown passes against the Raiders this week. That also means big opportunity for Tyreek Hill (who has 11 receiving touchdowns this year) and Travis Kelce (who has seven receiving touchdowns too). Then throw in a big dose of Kareem Hunt who averages 110 yards from scrimmage and has 14 total touchdowns this year and you can easily see why you need as much of this offense as you can get.
The only challenge to worry about with the Chiefs is that the pricetags of everyone will be super high and all of these guys will have super high ownership numbers in any contest. While it's impossible to ignore them in cash games, you won't get any of the differentiation that you need to bring home GPPs.
Dan Hindery: The Chiefs are my favorite this week. The 35-point team total is the highest of the season and with Sammy Watkins looking unlikely, there are some real bargain prices. Chris Conley ($4,500 on FanDuel, $3,800 on DraftKings) is a great price-saver. He saw eight targets last week filling in for Watkins and should see enough high quality targets to make good on his salary this week.
I am approaching the Panthers-Buccaneers game with some caution. On paper, it sets up as a shootout. However, second matchups against a division rival tend to be lower-scoring that expected. Plus, prior to the game early this season, these two teams had gone well under the total in four straight matchups.