Week 11 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Welcome to the Game Scripts to Target article for the 2020 season. Each week we'll be taking a look at specific games to target for daily fantasy tournaments. Stacking games has always been a popular option in GPPs, as it allows you to reach for upside with the back-and-forth scoring.
Dissecting game scripts should be a huge part of your process when building lineups in NFL daily fantasy.
How will the game play out? Will it be high-paced with lots of potential for fantasy points to be scored? Does it set up well for one team, both teams, or neither? A running back could go from a lock one week as a home favorite to a complete avoid the next week as a double-digit road underdog because the expected game scripts in these contests are completely different.
Projecting these outcomes can be extremely difficult for one person. We can use the lines and totals to see what oddsmakers think and go from there. A great resource is numberFire's Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map, which provides betting related numbers -- implied totals, over/unders, and spreads -- as well as custom metrics that show how the teams will match up against each other. This gives us a much better handle on how games are likely to play out, and we can take advantage of that in our lineups.
Let's look at some game scripts to target for this week.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
The headline for this game is that Saints quarterback Drew Brees is likely out due to a few different injuries. This means we should be seeing Jameis Winston ($7,200) under center for the Saints, but that isn't 100% confirmed yet. [Editor's note: The New Orleans Saints named Taysom Hill their starting quarterback for the week.] For the Falcons, wide receiver Calvin Ridley ($7,800) was seen at some portions of practice on Tuesday and is trending up, but his final status is waiting confirmation. That's really it for injuries, putting this game in a good spot with an over/under sitting at 51.5, which is the highest on the slate.
Overall, there are some very expensive options in this game, so stacking it can be a bit tricky but also very interesting since a lot of these players carry immense upside.
Let's start with the Saints, who are at home and hold the third-highest (27.75) implied team total. As noted above, they will likely have Winston under center, who clocks in as one of the cheaper options among quarterbacks on the entire slate. This is a fantastic matchup for Winston because the Falcons are dead last in the league when it comes to Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. If you've been following the NFL this season, that news shouldn't be a surprise. The Falcons are horrible on defense and targeting players against them is nothing new.
Running back Alvin Kamara ($9,700) has been en fuego this season, posting 18.8 FanDuel points or more in seven of his nine games. Kamara leads the team in target market share (27.24%) and rushing market share (41.98%). Wait, there's more. Kamara also leads the team in red zone targets (15) and red zone rushes (27). He is contributing in all areas and is well worth the expensive salary. The Winston to Kamara stack could help you capture all of the Saints' passing touchdowns and most, if not all, of their rushing touchdowns.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas ($8,200) is back, but he hasn't done anything of note so far. In his two games since returning, Thomas has 13 targets, 7 receptions, 78 yards, and no touchdowns. Those are very average numbers from an All-Pro, but the matchup in front of him cannot be denied this week despite the recent lack of production. The triple stack of Winston-Kamara-Thomas is $25.1K or 41% of your total salary.
The secondary options for the Saints are far less expensive but wildly inconsistent with their production. Emmanuel Sanders ($5,600) and Jared Cook ($6,100) would be the next best options, and while they are in a great matchup, they're often pushed out of the target share by Kamara and Thomas.
On the Falcons' side of things, quarterback Matt Ryan ($7,800) has posted 17 FanDuel points or more in four straight games after posting 12.42 FanDuel points or less in the three prior games. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Falcons playing from behind, giving Ryan a positive game script to work with and air the ball out. This is always good for his fantasy value, and pairing him with a receiver will allow you to maximize potential fantasy points.
To recap, wide receiver Calvin Ridley is practicing but not fully yet. The Falcons are coming off their bye week, providing a bit of hope he should be ready to go for this game with the extra rest. However, if Ridley ends up not playing, that will push plenty of people towards Julio Jones ($8,100), who had seven targets two weeks ago versus the Denver Broncos when Ridley was out. The Ryan to Jones stack is tried and true for DFS and always carries upside.
Surprisingly, in the game Ridley was out, tight end Hayden Hurst ($5,500) saw eight targets, which were a team-high. The Saints are allowing the seventh-most (12.2) FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends this season, putting him in a good spot. I like Hurst this week, regardless if Ridley plays or not, and frankly, he offers some leverage if he does play.
When it comes to Todd Gurley ($6,700) there doesn't seem to be a safe path to fantasy points for him in this game. The Saints have the sixth-best Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play and are allowing the fewest (15.9) FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs. It's just not a matchup or game script for him.
Getting clarity on Ridley's health will help, but you can still look to the other pass-catching players on the Falcons for viable stacking options.
Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts
According to oddsFire.com, 83% of the bets for this game are on the over, along with 97% of the money also being on the over. This is a good indication there should be plenty of scoring going on, and that means plenty of fantasy points to capture via a game stack. We have expensive options in this game, and we have value options in this game -- it really has it all.
For the Packers, they have the three most expensive players in this game, which puts you in an interesting position when it comes to roster construction. If you want to roster them, you'll need to find some value options on the Colts' side, but I'll touch on all of that.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($9,000) is the most expensive player at his position on the entire slate, but he is well worth the salary. He comes in with 22.5 FanDuel points or more in four straight games and seven of his nine total games. Rodgers will continue to have a high fantasy ceiling with his multi-touchdown potential, and the Packers' running backs have only produced a single rushing touchdown in their last four games.
Pairing Rodgers with wide receiver Davante Adams ($9,500) is a solid option each and every week. Adams is the most expensive wide receiver on the slate, and these two alone would account for 31% of your total salary available. Adams leads the Packers in nearly every receiving category you can think of: targets, receptions, touchdowns, red zone targets, red zone touchdowns, and air yards. The list goes on and on, but this is nothing new for Adams. This two-man stack alone could exceed 40 FanDuel points in a hurry. You should play Adams this week if he is good to go, as he was limited in practice on Wednesday.
The backfield situation for the Packers is certainly interesting right now, and there might not be a clear answer. Aaron Jones ($8,200) has been back for two games, and there isn't much to take from it. He has 18 total touches or more in both games but hasn't found the end zone. Jones played on 61% and 63% of the snaps in the past two weeks, which is a bit low considering his salary is over $8K. Jamaal Williams ($5,300) played on 48% of the snaps last week and had 11 total touches. He would be a big leverage play but has a low floor.
On the Colts' side of things, quarterback Philip Rivers ($7,000) is clearly much cheaper than Rodgers but has a much lower ceiling. In his nine games this season, River has posted over 20 FanDuel points only twice, compared to Rodgers, who has seven games at that mark. It's clear Rodgers is the answer at quarterback for the highest upside.
The backfield for the Colts is an absolute mess. By mess I mean there are three running backs who are playing on at least 20%-30% of the snaps and no one player is the clear option.
Nyheim Hines ($6,100) has two games of 19 FanDuel points or more in his last three games, which is great, but he was under 5.0 FanDuel points in the other game. Jonathan Taylor ($5,700) has seen fewer than 10 touches in each of the last two games but has seen at least 2 targets in each of the last five games. Jordan Wilkins ($5,300) had 21 total touches three weeks ago against the Detroit Lions but has a total of 21 touches in the last three weeks combined.
It seems every week the Colts are going to change things in their backfield just a bit where you can't nail down who the true number one option will be. This can push people away, but if you're willing to take a risk, the benefit could be huge.
Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. ($5,500) is affordable and is coming off a bit of a breakout game against the Tennessee Titans last week. He ended with 7 receptions for 101 yards but no touchdown. Considering he is the most expensive receiver on the team, it makes adding him to any lineup very easy and should allow you to pay up for Rodgers and Adams.
T.Y. Hilton ($5,400) hasn't posted more than 10 FanDuel points in any of his eight games this season and is not fantasy-relevant at this point. Zach Pascal ($5,300) has five targets or more in each of his last four games and should be the least popular among the Colts' receivers, making him an interesting dart throw.
It's clear you should pay up for Rodger and Adams, then look to take some shots with the less expensive options on the Colts.
Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers
This game might not seem like the ideal spot for a game stack, but it has a few things going on.
First off, the injury news surrounding Carolina Panthers' quarterback Teddy Bridgewater ($7,200) is still up in the air. He practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday and is still listed as day-to-day. If he is out, the Panthers could use either P.J. Walker ($6,500), who entered the game last week when Bridgewater was hurt. Or we could see Will Grier ($6,000), who has been a healthy scratch for most of the season. There is also the added wrinkle we could see BOTH in the same game, according to head coach Matt Rhule.
Seeing both is not what we want to happen, as neither would have fantasy value at that point. We also know that running back Christian McCaffrey is out for this game, putting Mike Davis ($7,400) in the starting role.
For the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford ($7,500) is dealing with a thumb injury but is expected to start on Sunday. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay ($7,000) is back at practice after missing the last two weeks. Marvin Jones ($6,400) and Danny Amendola ($5,200) were both out of practice on Wednesday, putting their status up in the air for Sunday. Tight end T.J. Hockenson ($6,000) is dealing with a toe injury and was limited at practice on Wednesday.
There's a lot going on for both sides, and since it's very unclear, it could cause some people to stay away from this game, making it far less popular. That is always good from a tournament perspective.
For stacking options, if Stafford plays, you clearly want him since the Panthers could have two different players taking snaps. The Panthers are allowing 19.4 FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so it's a decent matchup for Stafford.
While the receiving options for the Lions are dealing with a ton of injuries, the running back situation became a bit more clear last week. Rookie running back D'Andre Swift ($6,900) played on 73% of the snaps to lead the backfield. As you would assume with that many snaps, he also led their running backs with 21 total touches. It's clear the rookie has taken control of the backfield ahead of Adrian Peterson ($5,100) and Kerryon Johnson ($4,800).
That lines up nicely because the Panthers are allowing 25.4 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs, which is the fourth-most in the league. A Lions stack is looking like Stafford plus Swift plus whichever of the receivers end up being healthy. It's pretty straightforward.
Now for the Panthers, Mike Davis appears to be in an ideal matchup because the Lions are allowing the most (33.2) FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs. It's also not a stretch to imagine Davis as the primary option in their offense if they are going with a backup quarterback.
While they might have a backup quarterback, the matchup for the Panthers' pass-catching options is solid because the Lions are allowing 29.9 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers. Robby Anderson ($6,300) leads the team in targets (90), receptions (64), and air yards (249), and he's second in red zone targets (9). He has all of these stats yet only has one receiving touchdown on the season.
D.J. Moore ($7,300) is also a very viable option, as he is second behind Anderson is nearly all of those categories and actually leads the team with four receiving touchdowns.
So, as long as the injury statuses for Lions' receivers are cleared up, a game stack here is very clear on both sides and shouldn't be that popular.