Week 7 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Welcome to the Game Scripts to Target article for the 2021 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 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.
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
That over/under is a full seven points higher than the next game, putting this game at the top of everyone's list this week, and it's by a wide margin. Both teams are top 10 in points scored this season, as well as both being bottom 10 in points allowed. We couldn't have a better matchup to stack in DFS, so let's jump in.
Both the Titans (69.5) and the Chiefs (67.7) are also in the top 10 for the most plays per game, a strong indication there will be plenty of opportunities for all players involved to reach or exceed fantasy value. We also see both teams are top 10 in average seconds per play when trailing by seven points or more. They both know when to step on the gas and get the offense moving, yet another indication the points should be flying back and forth in this matchup.
We'll start with the visiting Chiefs, who hold the third-highest (31.50) implied team total on the slate and could easily see them surpass that given the weak defensive matchup.
There has been plenty of talk surrounding Patrick Mahomes ($8,800) and the number of interceptions he has thrown this season, but that hasn't impacted his fantasy production in any significant way. Mahomes has still produced 20.9 FanDuel points or more in every single game while throwing multiple touchdowns in every game. Sure, can you make the case that his production would've been better in some of those games? Yes, but the interceptions aren't impacting his floor of points.
Given the fact the Titans' defense is allowing the fourth-most (22.8) FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks, Mahomes is a shoo-in for another strong outing. We all know who we want to stack with Mahomes, but is there a way to be different with your approach?
The two clear best options to stack with Mahomes are Tyreek Hill ($8,500) and Travis Kelce ($8,200). Combined, they account for 50.6% of the Chiefs' target market share, with only one other player -- Mecole Hardman ($5,400) (15.3%) -- being above 10%.
With the Titans allowing a league-worst (42.3) FanDuel points per game to wide receivers, Hill is in an elite matchup and should not be faded. It should be noted that he is dealing with a quad injury and didn't practice on Thursday. It was the same situation last week, and he started and went for 9 catches, 76 yards, and a touchdown versus Washington. I'm not overly concerned with the injury, but it's just something to keep an eye on.
For how bad the Titans' defense is overall, they are surprisingly great against tight ends. This season, they are allowing only 5.7 FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends, which is the third-fewest in the league. It makes the decision to roster Kelce that much more interesting, but I'll still be looking to stack him with Mahomes due to the potential upside.
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire now on injured reserve, Darrel Williams ($6,700) played on 71.8% of the snaps last week while running a route on 58.0% of the passing plays and seeing 24 total touches. Those were all the highest among the Chiefs' running backs, and Williams is clearly the option to side with if you want to add a running back to this stack.
A stack of Mahomes, Hill, and Williams gives you access to both the passing and rushing game for the Chiefs while being a bit less expensive than Mahomes, Hill, and Kelce. That is something to keep in mind since the Titans also have a few expensive options.
Speaking of the Titans, they are led by Derrick Henry ($11,000), who is the most expensive player on the entire slate by a full $2,000. This is due to his 24.7, 31, and 34.6 FanDuel points in his last three games. Over that span, he's posted 130 rushing yards or more in each game and scored 7 total rushing touchdowns. Deciding to roster Henry this week can put your lineup in a salary crunch, which is accentuated by an expensive Kansas City stack.
Getting exposure to this game is a great idea due to the reasons listed above, but it really comes down to whether you can afford to pay for Mahomes, Henry, and Hill. Simply rostering those three players leaves you with a $5,283 average salary remaining per player for your lineup.
This is why there is an argument to be made about starting the game stack with Ryan Tannehill ($7,600) instead of Mahomes. I'm not here to debate whether Tannehill is better than Mahomes -- he's not -- but in the context of this game stack, he could be the better option. The Chiefs are allowing the second-most (25.6) FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks. Tannehill has only crossed 20 FanDuel points one time this season, but this is the ideal matchup for him to reach and exceed that level again.
Wide receiver Julio Jones ($6,900) left Monday's game early got a limited practice on Thursday due to a hamstring injury. A.J. Brown ($7,000) also hasn't practiced, but that was due to an illness, the same one that had him listed as questionable going into Monday's game.
Considering Jones already missed two games this season with a hamstring injury, it's not looking good for him leading into Sunday's game. Of course, we'll need final confirmation before lineups lock. Brown, on the other hand, seems a bit more likely to play, but that also needs confirmation.
In the two weeks that Jones was out of the lineup, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine ($5,200) held a 16.3% target market share, Josh Reynolds ($5,100) held a 14.3% target market share, and running back Jeremy McNichols ($5,500) held a 20.0% target market share. If Jones is ruled out, they would all be secondary options behind Brown, who is the clear top pass-catching option.
A stack of Tannehill, Henry, and Brown plus the bring back of Hill leaves you with a $5,180 average salary remaining per player. This gives you enough exposure to both offenses and provides plenty of upside if this game were to hit the over on its 57.5 total.
Philadelphia Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders
Even though there is a game -- Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams -- with a 50.5 over/under, it has a 15.5-point spread and likely won't have a lot of back and forth action. This is why we want to look past that game and go to the Eagles-Raiders matchup.
While in situation-neutral game scripts this season, both the Eagles and the Raiders are in the top half of the league for the fastest average seconds per play. This is a recurring theme we always look for, as it helps indicate how many potential plays can be run in a given game.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts ($8,300) has been unbelievable this season -- currently the QB5 -- and he has posted 21 FanDuel points or more in all six of his games. Despite failing to reach 200 yards passing in each of his last two games, his production is still strong due to his rushing floor and rushing touchdown equity in the red zone. While Miles Sanders ($5,900) leads the team with 48 red zone rushing attempts, compared to Hurts' 19 attempts, it's Hurts who has 3 rushing touchdowns and Sanders has none.
Hurts is an awesome way to start this game stack, and turning to his pass-catchers is the route to go. Sanders hasn't just failed to score on his red zone attempts, as he's also failed to reach the end zone at any point this season. He's posted fewer than 10 FanDuel points in five of the six games this season and has been a bit of a disappointment.
But the Raiders are in the bottom half of the league (23.1) when it comes to FanDuel points allowed per game to running backs. Sanders is a fine option, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is a bit overlooked due to the lack of production recently.
Ideally, you'd look to stack Hurts with tight end Dallas Goedert ($5,900), who is back from the COVID list but didn't practice fully on Thursday. We'll need to monitor his status as the week goes on, but if he is able to play, he might be the top option for stacking. The Raiders have allowed the second-most (41) receptions to tight ends this season and the fifth-most (407) yards.
DeVonta Smith ($5,800) leads the team with a 22.1% target market share, while no player is above 15%. He is the top receiving option to stack with Hurts and is very affordable. Jalen Reagor ($5,200) and Quez Watkins ($5,300) are not priority options for this stack and would only come into play if Goedert can't play.
Derek Carr ($7,400) was able to post over 20 FanDuel points last week, which was the first time since Week 3. The Raiders as a team are only rushing for 79.8 yards per game, which is the third-lowest in the league. They aren't finding any success there and are relying on Carr more and more to keep them in games.
This is where a Raiders stack should start, and you can look to pair him with Darren Waller ($6,800) or Josh Jacobs ($6,900). The Eagles are in bottom eight or worse when it comes to FanDuel points allowed to tight ends (13.7) and running backs (25.3) per game. Compare that to the Eagles allowing the fourth-fewest (24.6) FanDuel points per game to wide receivers.
While Henry Ruggs ($5,700) has plenty of big-play potential with his 17.1 average depth of target (aDOT), the matchup is no doubt a tougher one. I still have plenty of interest in adding him to a stack because his salary is very affordable and all it takes is one or two big plays to pay off his salary.
Hurts has higher upside compared to Carr, and that's where I'm starting my stacks since it's very easy to add Sanders, Smith, and Waller to a game stack.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
While this has traditionally been considering a defensive matchup, we find both teams in the top 11 of the NFL in points scored this season. They have both proven they have very capable offenses that can put up points in a hurry.
This could be one of the easier games to stack since there are very clear options at each position for both teams, and it makes roster construction rather straightforward.
Lamar Jackson ($8,400) is always a fantastic DFS option and has two very clear options you can stack with him. Even though he is coming off his worst fantasy game of the season (13.78 FanDuel points), his ceiling is immense and can be trusted in any matchup.
Those two stacking options would be Mark Andrews ($7,500) and Marquise Brown ($7,300), who combine to account for 46.8% of the Ravens' target market share. This is a rather expensive stack but helps account for nearly all of the possible passing touchdowns the Ravens could have in a given week.
It has to be noted that rookie wide receiver, Rashod Bateman ($5,300) made his season debut last week and caught 4-of-6 targets for 29 yards. It's reasonable to assume they want to get him more involved in the offense and see his target share expand. He's a fine addition to a stack if you need the salary relief.
I have zero interest in the Ravens' backfield. Zero, none, nothing. They are splitting snaps, splitting touches, and I have no interest. The backs rarely see over 10 total touches, and there's no path to a ceiling of fantasy points.
It's Lamar with Andrews and Brown, while Bateman is a secondary option if you don't have the salary. Simple as that.
The Bengals' side is where things get interesting because they have three viable wide receivers and a running back to consider.
Of course, you can also lead this game stack with Joe Burrow ($7,200), who has posted 18 FanDuel points or more in five of the six games this season and has thrown at least 2 touchdowns in every single game. He hasn't shown as high of a ceiling as Jackson, but the consistency is there, and he is a good bit more affordable.
Joe Mixon ($7,200) is the clear lead back for the Bengals and has been playing on 65.6% of the snaps while running a route on 46.8% of passing plays. With the Ravens allowing the 12th most (23.3) FanDuel points to running backs, he is firmly in play this week.
The trio of Ja'Marr Chase ($7,500), Tee Higgins ($6,100), and Tyler Boyd ($5,800) all have a target share of 22.2% or higher, are all playing on 71% of the snaps or more, and are all running a route on 83% of the passing plays or more. Their underlying stats are all very similar, but the production on the field is far from equal.
Chase has taken a clear step forward as the number one option and also leads the trio with a 16.0 aDOT, with the other two both being under a 9.0 aDOT. Chase has posted over 10 FanDuel points in each game while being over 18 three times. Neither Higgins nor Boyd has been higher than 16 FanDuel points in any game this season.
This would make Chase the safest option, but I also have plenty of interest to mix in shares of Higgins and Boyd if they aren't going to be as popular. They are also a bit less expensive, which can allow you to pay up for Andrews or Brown to complete the game stack.
A Burrow, Mixon, and Chase stack could help you account for a significant portion of the Bengals' offense, and then look to run it back with Andrews or Brown.