Top game stacks
MIN @ DET
CAR @ SEA
PHI @ NYG
Jared Goff (Detroit Lions – $5,600/$7,100)
Over the last three games, the Minnesota Vikings have given up by far the most passing yards in the NFL. Over this span, they have given up 1,058 passing yards on only 126 attempts. As I mentioned in the waiver article, the last two weeks they have been lit up by Mac Jones (QB7), who went 28/39 for 382 yards and two scores, and Mike White (QB9), who finished 31/57 for 369 scoreless yards and two picks. Jared Goff now has his complete arsenal of weapons at his disposal, including a fully healthy D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Playing indoors or in warmer weather has always been more comfortable for Goff and as long as he remains as an elite distributor, he is going to play well. The Vikings can’t stop anyone and the Lions have elite weapons, meaning Goff is going to rake in the yards and fantasy points in this matchup.
Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles – $8,100/$8,700)
You could start Hurts every week if you wanted to. Hurts has scored at least 16.9 points every game and there has been only two weeks this season where Hurts didn’t finish as a top six option at QB. This week he will face his divisional opponent in New York against the Giants. The last time the Giants faced a QB who can run like Hurts, they got smoked for 7/77 rushing by Lamar Jackson. The Giants have turned into one of the more beatable defenses in the NFL on the perimeter with the fourth worst pass DVOA. It is almost certain their relentless blitzing style won’t work against the Eagles and their defensive coordinator is too stubborn to switch up his style to match his opponent. The Eagles offensive line is too good and the Giants won’t get home. This means a lot of island coverage for their CBs, who are average at best. You can pair either one of the Eagles WRs with Hurts but I wouldn’t do both. Finding a comeback from the Giants is difficult but I would lean Barkley.
Honorable Mention: Kirk Cousins (MIN), Trevor Lawerence (JAX)
Sam Darnold (Carolina Panthers – $5,200/$6,600)
This one may make you cringe but hear me out. Over the last 2 seasons, Darnold has hit 15+ fantasy points in seven of his 13 games. This week he will face off against the Seattle Seahawks in a game in which I love the over game total of 44. D’Onta Foreman should be able to find success on the ground, which is going to open it up for Darnold to connect with DJ Moore and Marshall. One reason why Darnold has been able to hit 15+ fantasy points with two scores over 25 is his added rushing since joining the Carolina Panthers. He has run for over 30 yards and/or a rushing score in five of those 13 games. He has multiple games in which he ran for double digit touchdowns. If Darnold can throw for 220+ with two passing scores and 3-6 points from rushing, he is going to blow his price tag out of the water.
Miles Sanders (Philadelphia Eagles – $6,200/$7,100)
This matchup lines up perfectly for Miles Sanders to eat. The Eagles have done a great job of attacking a team’s weakness and keeping their foot on the pedal until they suffocate the opposing team. The Giant’s main weakness is covering the opposing teams WR1 (AJ Brown is a good play this week) and stopping the run. They give up few receptions to opposing RBs but good thing Miles doesn’t catch balls anyway. On the ground, Miles has been dominant and is the unquestioned RB1 for the Eagles. He sees about 70% of the snaps while the Eagles are playing competitive ball, and has taken 187 out of 265 rushing attempts for the Eagles RBs this year. He has also seen a ton of goal line work, pumping out nine rushing TDs so far this season. I expect the Eagles offensive line to dominate in this game and the only way for Miles to fail is if Hurts vultures his goal line scores.
D’Andre Swift (Detroit Lions – $5,800/$7,200)
The Vikings are getting shredded every week by RBs through the air. As a matter of fact, as I mentioned with Goff, they are getting shredded everywhere in the air. Over the last three weeks they have permitted by far the most receptions in the NFL to the RB. On 32 targets, they have given up 29 receptions for 278 yards and two scores. Against the Cowboys in Week 11, Pollard went 6/106/2, On Thanksgiving, Stevenson went 9/76/0, and last week Knight (5/28) and Ty Johnson (6/38) combined for 11 receptions. D’Andre Swift is back as the 1A in Detroit. Last week he saw 39 (51.3%) of the offense snaps compared to Williams seeing only 23 (30.3%). He ran the ball 14 times for 62 yards and a score while seeing six targets, catching four of them for 49 yards. Over his last two games he has 14 total targets. The volume is back for Swift and the matchup is a lot better than it looks on paper. In a game that carries by far the highest total (52.5) on the slate, Swift has an increased chance of hitting paydirt again.
Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans – $7,900/$9,000)
The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the divisional rivals that Derrick Henry likes to boss around. In his career against the Jags, Henry has played 11 games, averaging 19.4 attempts per game for 103.9 yards and 1.3 TDs. Over his last four games against the Jags, Henry has run the ball 99 times for 588 yards and seven scores. The Jaguars by no means have a good rush defense. Don’t over think Henry this week. Fire him up confidently.
D’Onta Foreman (Carolina Panthers – $5,400/$6,900)
I love the combination of price, volume and matchup for Foreman this week. Foreman’s volume has been ridiculous since taking over as the lead back when CMC got traded. He has at least 15 carries in four of his last six games, accumulating at least 113 yards rushing in all of them. The two games where he didn’t hit those marks were in games that Baker Mayfield started and the team either went down by four touchdowns in the first half (CIN) or played an ugly weather game (BAL). This week it will be Sam Darnold and the team is coming off of a bye, visiting the Seahawks in Seattle. The Seahawks are giving up the most PPR points per game to opposing RBs since Week 10 and are the 8th worst rush DVOA in the NFL over the course of the season. I think this game goes over the 44 mark and is one of my favorite under the radar stacks this week with Foreman being a staple of the stack if that’s the route I end up going.
Honorable Mention: Tony Pollard/Ezekiel Elliott (DAL), Joe Mixon (CIN)
Chuba Hubbard (Draftkings – Carolina Panthers – $4,800/$5,500)
This is one that I like even if Foreman plays. As you can tell from my Foreman write up just above this, I like the Panthers ground game in this matchup. This becomes a fantastic play if Foreman misses, but I think Foreman plays. There is also the chance that Foreman plays only about 45% to 50% of the snaps for the Panthers, which is why he is going to go under the radar. I am good with playing one or the other but not both. At least one will make my lineup this week.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Detroit Lions – $7,800/$8,600)
I think it is well known how good Amon-Ra St. Brown is and I don’t need to convince anyone of that. This week is more about being a byproduct of a great matchup and the top game stack of the week. I love Jared Goff this week so pairing him with his elite slot WR is a no brainer. The Vikings give up the third most PPR points to opposing WRs overall and ninth most to opposing slot WRs. The Vikings also have the fourth worst DVOA against opposing WR1s. This is a smash spot for Amon-Ra St. Brown just as much as it is Jared Goff.
Devonta Smith (Philadelphia Eagles – $6,300/$7,000)
Devonta Smith gets the nod for me on the Eagles WR I would play this week. I want to point out the Giants have the 24th DVOA against opposing WR1s and the sixth DVOA against WR2s. The issue with using this information for the Eagles comes into play that both Brown and Devonta Smith are good enough to be WR1s. Both of them will likely be running wide open and I am pivoting to the WR who will be lower owned and cheaper.
Garrett Wilson (New York Jets – $5,900/$7,200)
Over the last month of the season, the Bills are getting torched by opposing WRs. They are giving up the 7th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs and the 4th most to the slot. Wilson is the unquestioned WR1 of this team and is lining up outside about 71% of the time and in the slot the other 29%. Over the last two games since Mike White took over at QB, Wilson has seen target counts of eight and 15. He has pulled in 13 of those balls for 257 yards with two scores. He has scored 26.4 and 24.2 PPR over those two games respectively.
Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings – $4,900/$6,400)
You can easily start Justin Jefferson in this matchup and I would recommend that. But we are in the business of pivoting to lower ownership in these GPPs and I think Thielen offers a high floor and a great price point. The Lions are the worst team in the NFL when guarding opposing teams WR2’s. They are awful against WRs in general but it is worth noting that in Week 3, this Lions team held Justin Jefferson to only three receptions for 14 scoreless yards. In that game, Thielen went 6/61/1 on eight targets and KJ Osborn went 5/73/1 on eight targets. Again, I am 100% in support of trotting Justin Jefferson out there but given the matchup, highest point total on the slate, and price point, I prefer Thielen slightly. You can also trot KJ Osborn out there if you really need to save salary.
Tee Higgins (Cincinnati Bengals – $7,000/$7,800)
I’ll tee up Higgins for one more week as the alpha over Chase on game day. It is nice having Chase back for Higgins so that defenses have to focus on Chase and can’t solely guard Higgins. Joe Burrow has thrown the ball at least 35 times in six of their last eight games. It seems that the guard is changing in Cincinnat,i where they are running Mixon less and letting Burrow be the centerpiece of this offense. The best way to attack this defense is with perimeter WRs and I’d rather attack where they have the fourth worst DVOA against the WR2 and save the money with Higgins over Chase.
Honorable Mention: DJ Moore (CAR), AJ Brown (PHI), Zay Jones (JAX)
Terrace Marshall (Draftkings – Carolina Panthers – $3,600/$5,500)
We’re back to the Marshall train this week. The Seahawks are last in DVOA against opposing WR2s. The only cause for concern here is the fact that Sam Darnold is the Panthers QB. But at his price tag, you can’t find a ton of value down here. Marshall has seen at least six targets in three of his last five games, with one of those games being the Denver Broncos elite pass defense. Marshall has had at least 43 yards or a score in four of his last five games. The volume should be there for Marshall and the matchup is a fantastic one.
DJ Chark (Fanduel – Detroit Lions – $4,300/$5,700)
Chark has seen 11 targets over the last two weeks, pulling in seven of them for 114 yards and a score. Over those two games he has scored a total of 24.4 PPR points. In a game that has the highest point total on the slate and a WR with 100+ yard and 1+ TD potential, Chark is priced too cheap for his ceiling.
KJ Osborn (Both – Minnesota Vikings – $3,500/$5,300)
If you want to pivot further down on either site, I like KJ Osborn this week. As I mentioned above with Adam Thielen, Osborn posted a 5/73/1 mark in Week 3 against the Lions. We have seen Osborn hit double digit targets before this season (Week 10) so we know it is possible. If the Lions decide to go full court press again on Justin Jefferson, it’ll open up more lanes for everyone else on this offense.
Mark Andrews (Baltimore Ravens – $6,500/$6,800)
It was last year when Mark Andrews broke out that Tyler Huntley was his QB. Huntley loves to pepper the only resemblance of a pass catcher in Baltimore at a near 30% clip. Against the Steelers last year, Andrews saw 15 targets, catching eight of them for 85 scoreless yards. Last year once Huntley took over, Andrews caught 47 balls for 600 yards and four scores over the six games. I expect more of the same in this matchup and it will go largely under the radar due to the low total and perceived tough matchup when in actuality it is a fantastic matchup. The Steelers are solid against the TE but only when that person is part of the line. Andrews lines up in the slot almost 67% of the time and even out wide 21% of the time.
TJ Hockenson (Minnesota Vikings – $5,100/$6,500)
I almost wrote Detroit Lions here, thinking of a Lions and Vikings matchup. But Hockenson has his first “revenge” game against his former team this week. So not only does Hock get a revenge game, he gets the matchup against a Lions defense that has been unable to guard opposing teams TEs. On the season the Lions have given up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing TEs, including a 5/30/1 performance for Engram last week on seven targets. Before they did well in Weeks 11 and 12 against the Giants backups and the phased out Dawson Knox, the Lions had given up 16.5 PPR PPG to opposing TEs, which was second in the NFL through 10 weeks. I don’t think they’ve learned to clamp down the TE, just a by-product of their opponents. I am still viewing the Lions as an elite matchup for TEs and I’m viewing Hock as such this week.
George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers – $4,300/$5,900)
I’m going back to the well on Kittle. With Brock Purdy starting at QB, It’s logical to think that Shanahan will rely on Kittle for some run after the catch plays. The Bucs are giving up the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing TEs and have the 10th worst DVOA against them. Kittle has a slate breaking ceiling and can hit that any given week. He has a top matchup and I think Shanahan utilizes it to his advantage.
Honorable Mentions: Dalton Schultz (DAL), Pat Freiermuth (PIT)
Ian Thomas (Carolina Panthers – $2,700/$4,500)
I’d rather pay up for TE this week but if you need the cost savings, Thomas is a solid dart. The Seahawks have given up the fifth most TDs to opposing TEs and the fifth most PPR points. Over the last two weeks Thomas has seen six total targets, catching five of them for 45 scoreless yards. Honestly, catching two balls for 25 yards gets you almost 2x on Thomas on Draftkings and anything above that is a bonus. This is a pure punt and can pay off big time if Thomas pulls in a 3/30 receiving line and falls in the endzone.
Dallas Cowboys ($5,200/$3,800)
The Cowboys defense is going to chew up the Texans and spit them out. The Texans are trotting Davis Mills back out there only to let him get smacked around by the Cowboys pass rush. The Cowboys are an absurd 16-point favorites at home and are the fantasy football DST1 on the season so far. The Cowboys lead the NFL in sacks and pressure rate. I fully expect that to continue this week as they should dominate the Texans.
San Francisco 49ers ($4,600/$3,200)
The 49ers are an elite defense. Their pass rush is relentless, their LBs cover well and don’t miss tackles while their defensive backs cover above expectations and have their lives down easy street given how good the front seven is. This week they face a diminished Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line. Brady will get the ball out quickly through pop passes, dump offs to RBs and screens. However, keeping the game tight to the line of scrimmage isn’t going to benefit the Bucs. The 49ers are tough to run on and this is not going to generate long sustained drives. Eventually Brady is going to have to run a drop back offense and it’s not going to be pretty. The Bucs have the second lowest team total on this slate and honestly, I like under 16.5 for this team on Sunday.
Pittsburgh Steelers ($2,800/$3,800)
The Steelers are facing their divisional rival, the Baltimore Ravens, at home this Sunday with backup QB Tyler Huntley leading the Ravens offensive attack. As I mentioned last week, the Ravens offense is a shell of what we have begun to think of them as. Greg Roman has one foot out of the door and they didn’t score their first touchdown at home against the Denver Broncos until there was only 28 seconds left in the game. Since getting trounced by the Bengals in Week 11, the Steelers have held the below average offenses of the Colts and Falcons to 13 points and 16 points, respectively, the last two games. The Steelers defense seems to be turning a slight corner as they get a little bit healthier on the defensive side of the ball. Mix in the Ravens inability to sustain consistent drives, nor show the ability to finish them, with an improving Steelers defensive unit and its a recipe for the under to hit and the Steelers to accrue 7-10 DST fantasy points.