4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 16
Let's get this out of the way first -- as you've undoubtedly heard by now, the Steelers-Saints game easily has the highest over/under of the main slate at 53.5 points, the only game over 48.5. As the lone expected shootout on paper, Pittsburgh and New Orleans stacks figure to popular in tournaments, much like the Patriots-Steelers game last Sunday, which was similarly the only high over/under on Week 15's main slate.
So, chances are you're going to want exposure the usual suspects of Drew Brees ($8,400), Michael Thomas ($8,300), and Alvin Kamara ($8,100) on the Saints, and Ben Roethlisberger ($8,700), Antonio Brown ($8,700), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($8,000), and Jaylen Samuels ($6,700) on the Steelers. It's worth noting Smith-Schuster was limited by a groin injury in practice, so monitor his status entering the weekend.
But as we also saw last week, that expected shootout between the Patriots and Steelers never actually materialized, with the two teams combining for just 27 points. Therefore, given the likely high ownership of Pittsburgh and New Orleans, there's plenty of merit to fading the game in at least some of your lineups for game theory reasons.
With that in mind, let's check out some alternative stacks for Week 16.
At their affordable salaries, Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper probably aren't going to fly under the radar against the Buccaneers, even considering both are coming off disappointing performances after surprisingly getting blanked by the Colts. But even so, they pack a lot of upside for a modest combined price, making them an intriguing duo to deploy together.
The Bucs' defense hasn't been getting torched quite like they were earlier in the season, but their defense still ranks just 28th in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, and ranks 32nd in Target Success Rate allowed to wide receivers. It's not surprise then that Tampa Bay has allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points to quarterbacks and the seventh-most to wide receivers.
Meanwhile, Prescott has shown noticeable improvement in his passing numbers since Cooper came to Dallas. According to the Rotoviz Game Splits App, Prescott is averaging 274.1 passing yards per game and 7.7 yards per pass attempt with Cooper, compared to 202.4 and 6.9 yards without him. Prescott is also playing notably better at home this year, where he's averaging 8.2 yards per pass attempt and has thrown 13 of his 17 touchdown passes.
As for Cooper himself, he's enjoyed a 24.6% target market share in a Cowboys uniform, seeing fewer than 7 targets just once in 7 games. And we all know the upside he brings, with FanDuel scores of 34.0 and 44.7 points in 2 of the last 4 games.
DeAndre Hopkins is always dangerous regardless of the matchup, but he draws a particularly enticing one against the Eagles, a defense that's struggled with injuries in the secondary and has allowed the second-most FanDuel points to wideouts and ranks 27th in Target Success Rate allowed to the position.
Hopkins is seeing massive volume as usual, leading the league with a 32.1% target market share, while also sporting a robust 45.4% air yards market share. He also ranks top-five in red zone targets and leads the league in targets inside the 10-yard line. Even coming off a season-best 34.0 FanDuel points, his hefty price tag figures to limit his ownership from getting out of hand.
Deshaun Watson may not be rattling off touchdowns at the same ludicrous rate as 2017, but he's still shown a tournament-winning ceiling, scoring 29-plus FanDuel points 3 times this year. Houston ranks just 28th in pass attempts per game, which has limited some of Watson's appeal this year, but he's proven to be efficient, completing 67.7% of his passes (compared to 61.8% last year) while still averaging 8.4 yards per pass attempt. Plus, he still adds FanDuel points on the ground, averaging 33.3 rushing yards per game over his last 6.
It doesn't hurt that Nick Foles ($6,000) looked competent in Philadelphia's upset win over the Rams last week, so this could be more of a back-and-forth affair than the modest 46.0-point total would imply. Considering how cheap Foles is, you could also elect to stack him with Zach Ertz ($7,400) or Alshon Jeffery ($6,300) as a way to fit in the pricey Hopkins for a full game stack.
Remember when Andrew Luck was chucking three or more touchdowns every game? He's now thrown just two over the last three games, but we know the upside is still there against a team like the Giants. Indianapolis has a 28.50 implied total and New York ranks just 20th against the pass by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. Among passers with at least 400 attempts this season, only Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, and Philip Rivers have a higher Passing Success Rate than Luck. He also ranks second in the NFL in passing touchdowns (34) behind just Mahomes.
Of course, Luck's appeal is directly correlated to whether or not T.Y. Hilton plays, but Hilton had no problem getting out there in Week 15 despite skipping practice all week, so we should be reasonably confident he'll be out there against the Giants. Since the bye week, Hilton has posted a team-high 27.7% target market share and 42.0% air yards market share over the last six games. He hasn't dropped below 77 yards in any game over that span and has a trio of outings with 125 or more yards.
The only concern is whether this turns into a Marlon Mack ($7,000) game, much like last week when the Colts steamrolled the Cowboys. Still, that isn't an uncommon issue in a week of potential blowouts, as Dak Prescott and Baker Mayfield ($7,700) face similar risks as big home favorites in favorable matchups.
Los Angeles Rams
There's no question Jared Goff hasn't played well lately, averaging under 6.3 yards per pass attempt in each of the last three games, with just one passing touchdown to seven interceptions.
Following a surprise home loss to the Eagles last week, the Rams go back on the road to take on the Arizona Cardinals as two-touchdown favorites, and it's easy to imagine this turning into a Todd Gurley ($9,600) game, as the Cardinals have allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the league and the third-most FanDuel points to running backs. Throw in that Arizona still has a strong passing defense -- 10th-best by numberFire's metrics -- and no one will be interested in Goff this week.
But if you're not afraid to wander off the beaten path, it's worth remembering that given how poor Arizona's offense is, they can dig themselves a hole rather quickly, much like the Falcons demonstrated by dropping 40 points on them last week. This led to Matt Ryan being the QB1 with 25.04 FanDuel points in an otherwise low-scoring week for quarterbacks. Sure, he only threw for 231 yards and needed a rare rushing score to get there, but the touchdown opportunities were there because of the matchup. The Rams are showing a 29.25 implied total, so points figure to get scored one way or another.
Despite Goff's struggles, let's not forget his ceiling has been immense this year, scoring 26 or more FanDuel points 5 times, including a season-high of 39.3. The Rams haven't quite been themselves lately, but this is right spot for one of their trademark offensive explosions, and even if Goff doesn't rack up the yards because of the tougher matchup, he's still a good bet to compile multiple scores. It's also worth noting Gurley has missed practice this week, and while he's still expected to play, he may not be relied upon as much as usual under the circumstances.
As for a pass-catcher you could pair with Goff, Robert Woods makes a good choice, who leads the team with a 24.7% target market share in the four games since Cooper Kupp was injured. Also, as ESPN's Mike Clay points out, with Woods working mostly out of the slot now, Brandin Cooks ($7,400) could draw shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson, potentially further enhancing Woods' value.
Given Goff's recent play, as well as some concerning numbers on the road, the floor admittedly isn't great here. But this could be a rare opportunity to buy into one of the league's best passing offenses at low ownership, which may very well be worth that risk.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.