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Nigel Eccles, Co-Founder, FanDuel
Each week I 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 and DraftKings. I 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 attempt to find players that can pay dividends for your lineup. In some cases, 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 to help you to sort through the noise while you put lineups together that can offer a degree of security.
FanDuel: Wilson ($8,600) + Metcalf ($6,600) = $15,200
DraftKings: Wilson ($7,200) + Metcalf ($5,500) = $12,700
Facing the No. 31 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 28 ranked pass defense allowing 274 yards per game
Game Total - N/A
Implied Totals - N/A
Game Line - N/A
The Seattle Seahawks are on the road this weekend as they face the struggling Atlanta Falcons on Sunday for a Week 8 NFC matchup. There is currently no line for the game with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan injured, but this is a fantastic matchup for the Seahawks passing attack.
Wilson is playing excellent football in 2019, throwing for 15 touchdowns and only one interception through seven games. He has thrown for 1945 yards and ran for 178 yards to go with three scores, and he is beating teams with his arm and his legs. He has a chance to have a monster game this week as the Falcons are struggling to defend the pass.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has 227 yards and three touchdowns in Week 4 versus Atlanta. In Week 4, the Falcons surrendered five touchdowns and 426 yards to Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 340 yards and three scores on Atlanta in Week 6, and last week, Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw for two scores, 268 yards, and he added a rushing touchdown.
The Falcons have allowed 17 scores through the air which are most in the NFL. The Falcons have allowed 8.5-yards per attempt which is fifth-highest in the NFL. They have also yielded 28 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only two teams in the NFL allow more. They have also given up five passing plays of 40-plus yards which are eighth-most in the NFL.
Lastly, no team in the NFL has fewer sacks than the five the Falcons have registered. The Falcons have not been able to apply pressure on the quarterback, and Wilson should have time to pick apart this secondary on Sunday.
Metcalf has seen 40 targets in 2019, and he has caught 20 passes for 389 yards and two scores. Metcalf is the vertical threat in the Seahawks passing attack. He is a height/weight/speed monster capable of winning down the field, and Wilson is taking shots down the field to him. He is averaging 19.8 yards per catch, and he will have chances to win vertically in this game.
Pivot: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett ($7,200 at FanDuel and $7,000 at DraftKings) is an excellent play in Week 8 as he is the first option in the Seahawks passing attack. He should see plenty of volume and will build upon the superb season he is having.
Wide receiver Jaron Brown ($5,100 at FanDuel and $4,000 at DraftKings) is a bit of a dart throw due to this matchup. He is worthy of selection for GPP play in Week 8.
FanDuel: Goff ($8,000) + Kupp ($7,700) = $15,700
DraftKings: Goff ($6,800) + Kupp ($7,500) = $14,300
Facing the No. 29 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 16 ranked pass defense allowing 241.9 yards per game
Game Total - 48.5
Implied Totals - Rams at 30.5 points and Bengals at 18 points
Game Line - Los Angeles Rams -12.5
The Los Angeles Rams are at home versus the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8, and they are a 12.5-point home favorite in this matchup. This game has the third-highest total of the week (48.5), and the implied number for the Rams has them over four scores (30.5). The Rams have the highest implied number of any team in Week 8, and Goff and the Rams passing attack should have a big game against the Bengals this week.
Goff has been up and down in 2019, but he is throwing for plenty of yardage, and he played very well versus Atlanta a week ago. He has thrown for 1995 yards, nine touchdowns, and seven interceptions to go along with two rushing scores in 2019.
The Bengals have given up nine scores through the air which is in the middle of the pack in the NFL. They are surrendering an 8.4-yard average which is sixth-highest in the NFL. Also, they have given up 27 passing plays of 20-plus yards which are seventh-most in the NFL. They have allowed five plays of 40-plus yards which are eighth-most in the league.
Pressure has been an issue for Goff, forcing him to get off his landmarks quickly and creating chaos in the pocket. Like last week, he should not have to deal with much pressure this week as the Bengals have not generated much pressure on the quarterback in 2019. They have only registered nine sacks which are fourth-fewest in the NFL.
Kupp has emerged as the primary weapon in the Rams passing game. Kupp has 46 targets over the past four games, and he has caught 28 passes for 305 yards and two scores over that span. The script is incredibly positive for Kupp, and he should be able to exploit this matchup in a significant way.
Pivot: Wide receiver Robert Woods ($7,000 at FanDuel and $6,300 at DraftKings) moves all over the formation for the Rams, and he should be able to exploit the Falcons in this matchup.
Wide receiver Brandin Cooks ($6,900 at FanDuel and $5,700 at DraftKings) is the Rams vertical threat, and he is capable of scoring in a flash. He will have opportunities against a defense struggling to defend the big play.
Tight end Gerald Everett ($6,100 at FanDuel and $4,300 at DraftKings) has emerged as a viable option for Goff as he has been targeted 34 times in the past four games. He as 18 catches for 239 yards and two scores over that span.
FanDuel: Watson ($8,400) + Hopkins ($8,200) = $16,600
DraftKings: Watson ($7,100) + Hopkins ($8,100) = $15,200
Facing the No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 31 ranked pass defense allowing 289.8 yards per game
Game Total - 51
Implied Totals - Texans at 29 points and Raiders at 22 points
Game Line - Houston Texans -6.5
The Houston Texans are at home versus the Oakland Raiders on Sunday for a Week 8 AFC matchup that has the potential to be a high-scoring affair. This game has the highest total of the week (51), and the Texans passing attack is as dangerous as any in the game.
Watson is truly a game-changer playing quarterback for the Texans. He has thrown for 13 scores and five interceptions to go along with 1952 yards in his first seven games this season. Watson also uses his feet well, and he is bolstering his floor with his rushing totals (five rushing touchdowns), and he should pick apart a very porous secondary this week.
The Raiders have given up 16 scores through the air, and only two teams in the NFL have allowed more. They are surrendering an 8.9-yard average which is second-highest in the NFL. The Raiders have given up 32 passing plays of 20-plus yards which are most in the NFL. They have also allowed seven passing plays of 40-plus yards which are third-most in the league.
Consider that the Raiders have only defended 203 passes (only six teams have defended fewer attempts), and the numbers they are allowing to the passing game are showing that there is significant upside in this matchup as the Texans are built to throw the ball.
Hopkins is one of the game’s elite receivers, and he is the first option in the Texans passing attack. Hopkins has been targeted 40 times in the past four games, catching 30 passes for 290 yards and one score. He should be able to exploit this matchup and is an excellent GPP option in Week 8.
The game script is very positive for the Texans passing game, and the pace at which both teams can score points makes this a very intriguing stack.
Pivot: Wide receiver Kenny Stills ($5,700 at FanDuel and $4,700 at DraftKings) is in a great position this week as the Raiders cannot cover anyone in the secondary.
Wide receiver Keke Coutee ($5,100 at FanDuel and $4,100 at DraftKings) is assuming receiver Will Fuller’s volume, and he should excel in this matchup. He is a punt option given this matchup.
FanDuel: Stafford ($7,700) + Golladay ($6,700) = $14,400
DraftKings: Stafford ($6,100) + Golladay ($6,400) = $12,500
Facing the No. 27 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 23 ranked pass defense allowing 257 yards per game
Game Total - 50
Implied Totals - Lions at 28 points and Giants at 22 points
Game Line - Detroit Lions -6.5
The Detroit Lions are at home versus the New York Giants on Sunday for a Week 8 NFC matchup that has the potential to be a high-scoring affair. This game has the second-highest total of the week (50), and both teams should be able to move the ball with their passing games in this one.
Stafford is playing some of the best football of his career to this point in the 2019 season. He has thrown for 13 scores and three interceptions to go along with 1751 yards in his first six games this season. He will add to those numbers this week.
The Giants have given up 10 scores through the air, and they are quite solid in this category. That is where the positive ends for the Giants pass defense. They are surrendering an 8.9-yard average which is second-highest in the NFL. The Giants have given up 30 passing plays of 20-plus yards which are second-most in the NFL. They have given up seven passing plays of 40-plus yards, and only two teams in the NFL have allowed more.
They have also given up seven passing plays of 40-plus yards which are second-most in the NFL. Consider that the Giants have only defended 216 passes (eight teams have defended fewer attempts), and the numbers they are allowing to the passing game are significant. The Lions are struggling to run the ball, and if they are going to get to their implied number (28), it will be Stafford leading the way.
Golladay is the first option in the Lions passing attack, but the truth is that the Lions take what defenses give them, and you can stack wide receiver Marvin Jones just as easily as Golladay. Golladay was not looked at last week versus Minnesota, but he was targeted 45 times through the season’s first five games, catching 24 passes for 364 yards and four scores. He should be able to exploit this matchup and is an excellent GPP option in Week 8.
The game script is very positive for the Lions passing game, and the Lions defense is struggling which may force Stafford to keep his foot on the gas. That would be a great thing for the passing game on Sunday.
Pivot: Wide receiver Marvin Jones ($6,300 at FanDuel and $5,800 at DraftKings) went off last week, scoring four times versus Minnesota. The Lions passing game explosive and Jones is a worthy option due to this matchup.
Tight end T.J. Hockenson ($5,300 at FanDuel and $3,500 at DraftKings) remains a potent weapon, but his usage has diminished over the past few games. He may be a bargain (particularly at DraftKings) due to his price, and the potential for him to have a big game in this matchup.
HIGHER RISK STACKS
FanDuel: Jones ($7,000) + Engram ($6,300) = $13,300
DraftKings: Jones ($5,800) + Engram ($5,300) = $11,100
Facing the No. 15 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 30 ranked pass defense allowing 289.7 yards per game
Game Total - 50
Implied Totals - Giants at 22 points and Lions at 28 points
Game Line - New York Giants +6.5
The New York Giants are on the road versus the Detroit Lions in Week 8, and they are a 6.5-point road underdog in this matchup. This game has the second-highest total of the week (50), and the implied number for the Giants has them over three scores (22). Jones and the Giants passing attack will need to play well to keep the Giants within arm’s reach in this contest.
Jones took over for veteran quarterback Eli Manning in Week 3, and while he has struggled for stretches, he has shown that he is capable of making throws to help keep the offense moving. He has had several tough matchups over the past two games (Minnesota and New England), and he has looked like a young quarterback in those games. He has a chance in this one as the Lions are struggling on defense right now.
The Lions have given up 10 scores through the air, and they are a middle of the pack pass defense here. The Lions have given up 27 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only six teams in the NFL have yielded more. Also, the Lions have given up six passing plays of 40-plus yards, and only six teams in the NFL have given up more.
The Lions are struggling to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and that is where Jones has had problems at times this year. The Lions have registered 10 sacks in 2019 which are fifth-fewest in the NFL, and they do not have the personnel to get to the quarterback in a conventional sense.
However, they can rush three and drop multiple defenders into areas of the field which may confuse Jones, and there is some risk that Jones may not play up to the matchup here. Also, the implied number is low for the Giants, and there is the possibility the Lions could contain this passing attack in this game. I tend to think that Jones will have plenty of opportunities to make plays, whether it is coming from behind or making plays with his feet to extend drives.
Engram is one of the primary weapons in the Giants passing game. He missed Week 6 with a knee injury, but he played last week in rainy conditions at home versus Arizona.
He has 52 targets in his first six games of the 2019 season. He has registered 34 catches for 379 yards and two scores this season, and this matchup screams for nothing but positive things for him. He has a chance to have a big game versus the Lions in Week 8 and is a fantastic option for GPP play this week.
Pivot: Wide receiver Golden Tate ($6,100 at FanDuel and $5,800 at DraftKings) was suspended the first four games of the season, but he has been heavily targeted since Week 5. He has 26 targets in the last three weeks and has caught 15 passes for 195 yards and a score over that span. Tate will get his looks in this game, but he will have a tough time out of the slot as he draws Lions slot corner Justin Coleman, and he is playing at a very high level.
Sony Michel + Patriots Defense
FanDuel: Michel ($6,500) + Patriots ($5,000) = $11,500
DraftKings: Michel ($5,200) + Patriots ($4,300) = $9,500
Facing the No. 25 ranked DVOA rush defense and the No. 30 ranked run defense allowing 154 yards per game
Game Total - 45.5
Implied Totals - Patriots at 28 points and Browns at 17.5 points
Game Line - New England Patriots -10
The New England Patriots are at home versus the Cleveland Browns on Sunday for a Week 8 AFC matchup. The Patriots are a 10-point home favorite, and the game script has Michel and the running game getting plenty of work in this contest. Michel should get several looks in the red zone, and he has a chance to score multiple touchdowns in this game.
Only 10 teams in the NFL have defended more running plays than the Browns, and opposing runners are generating production through the amount of volume they are getting. The Redskins allow a 5.0-yard average, and only one team across the league allows a higher average. The game script calls for a similar expectation with the Patriots up in this contest and running to grind out the clock in this game.
The Browns are going to struggle to handle the Patriots defensive front when they try to throw the ball. The Patriots manipulate and confuse quarterbacks with their alignments, and they blitz from odd spots on the field, and this makes quarterbacks uncomfortable.
The game script has the Browns throwing the ball plenty to try and stay in the game, and that means chances for the Patriots defense to score points through sacks and turnovers. They have been incredible in 2019, amassing 18 interceptions while surrendering only one score through the air. The Patriots also have produced 26 sacks in 2019, and only one team in the NFL has more sacks to this point in the season.
The game script looks excellent for Michel and the Patriots defense, and it is not difficult to see them ahead in this game while shortening the game via the rushing attack. Both sides of this stack have a chance to be extremely productive, and it is an excellent option for GPP play in Week 8.
Todd Gurley + Rams Defense
FanDuel: Gurley ($7,400) + Rams ($5,000) = $12,400
DraftKings: Gurley ($7,400) + Rams ($3,800) = $11,200
Facing the No. 28 ranked DVOA rush defense and the No. 32 ranked run defense allowing 189 yards per game
Game Total - 48.5
Implied Totals - Rams at 30.5 points and Bengals at 18 points
Game Line - Los Angeles Rams -12.5
The Los Angeles Rams are at home versus the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday for a Week 8 matchup. The Rams are a 12.5-point home favorite, and Gurley should have his way as a runner and as a receiver on Sunday. The game script is incredibly positive for the Rams offense as a whole, but there will be a point when the Rams go run-heavy to shorten the game.
No team in the NFL has seen more running plays than the Bengals as they have defended 253 runs through seven games. Teams average a touch over 36 runs per game against the Bengals. That kind of volume will lead to a massive day for Rams runners, and Gurley could be the beneficiary if he sees a bunch of carries Sunday.
The Bengals have yielded nine touchdowns on the ground, and only two teams across the league have allowed more. The Bengals allow a 5.2-yard average, and no team in the NFL allows a higher average. The Bengals have given up 14 running plays of 20-plus yards which are most in the NFL. It is reasonable to expect Gurley to hit the Redskins with a huge gain or two in this game.
The Bengals offensive line is having a hard time protecting quarterback Andy Dalton as they have given up 24 sacks in 2019 which are fourth-most in the NFL. The game script has the Bengals down big and forced to throw to hang in this contest.
The Rams defense will have opportunities to put fantasy points on the board via the pressure they can generate. It is not unrealistic to see the Rams creating sacks and turnovers in this game, and potentially scoring on defense.
The game script is as positive as possible for Gurley and the Rams defense, and it is not difficult to see the Rams going run-heavy late in this contest. Both sides of this stack have a chance to be highly productive, and it is an excellent option for GPP play in Week 8.