Week 6 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Week 6 of the NFL is here! 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.
Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A matchup of two household names at quarterback brings us an over/under sitting at 55.5 and a spot to look at a game stack.
Those quarterbacks are Aaron Rodgers ($8,400) of the Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady ($7,500) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This could be appointment television for some, but for DFS players, we are looking at this as a potential game stack. The offenses on both sides are putting up points, while the defenses are lacking. This should present a strong scoring environment and plenty of fantasy points to capture.
For the Packers, they have been without top wide receiver Davante Adams ($9,000) for a few weeks, but he was back at practice this week and is set to play in this game. Adams has played in "two" games this season, but really it's only one. He had a monster Week 1 with 17 targets, 14 receptions, 156 yards, and 2 touchdowns. In Week 2, he had only three targets and three receptions, leaving the game with a hamstring injury. Even after missing the past three weeks, Adams still holds a 13.79% target share on the Packers, which is the third-highest on the team. He has been and still is Rodgers' favorite target.
After Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,600) has seen plenty of action in the passing game with 29 targets -- a team-high -- and is considerably cheaper. If you are targeting this for a game stack, spending up for Adams can be tough when there are also expensive options on the other side of the ball. Going to MVS has a lower ceiling, should be less popular, and eases roster construction.
Tight end Robert Tonyan ($6,200) has emerged as an option for the Packers' passing game and leads the team with five touchdowns. Currently, he has the fourth-most targets on the team, but ahead of him, we see Allen Lazard, who is now on Injured Reserve. Tonyan has legitimately done all of his production in games where Adams didn't play, and with his salary now over $6K, I'm skeptical that he can pay that off this week.
This should be a higher-scoring game, and that should lead to plenty of passing, but don't forget about running back Aaron Jones ($8,500). Jones has four targets or more in each game this season and is certainly a viable option for this game stack. Jones also has accounted for 59% of the Packers' total rushes, so he will see the ball plenty.
For the Buccaneers, they are dealing with their own set of injuries, which impacts their rushing and passing options. Wide receiver Mike Evans ($7,600) sat out of practice on Wednesday, but it should be viewed as a maintenance day, as he hasn't missed a game this season. Chris Godwin ($7,700) has missed the last two games but was back at practice in a limited capacity. Scotty Miller ($5,200) was also limited but has been dealing with the same injury for a few weeks and has played in each game. Tight end Rob Gronkowski ($5,000) was yet another player who was limited in practice, but again, he did the same thing last week and is simply managing his workload.
But wait, there's more. Running backs Leonard Fournette ($5,500) and LeSean McCoy ($4,800) were both limited in practice on Wednesday. OK. Only six players that see the field we need to keep track of, but it's all there. Of course, if Godwin plays, that is a bit more important than Fournette or McCoy, but we need to account for it all.
If Godwin is out again, Evans is the clear stacking option to pair with Tom Brady. Evans leads the team in targets (38), touchdowns (6), and red zone targets (8). Getting those juicy two-yard touchdowns are always nice for your lineups. This could be one of the chalkier stacks within this game if Godwin is out.
The backfield is a bit of a mess for the Buccaneers, but if you are looking to add anyone to a stack, it should be Ronald Jones ($5,800). He leads the running backs on the Bucs with a 54% snap rate this season, while no other player is above 20%. On top of that, he also has the second-most targets (25) on the team.
Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings
The over/under for this game is sitting at 54.5, which is the second-highest on the slate, putting this game in a good spot for plenty of scoring and fantasy points. Both teams are horrible on defense this season -- specifically their secondaries -- which gives this the potential for a full-on shootout.
The Falcons are allowing 35.0 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers -- the eighth-worst in the league. The Vikings are allowing 36.9 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers -- the fifth-worst in the league. Two teams in the bottom-10 of the league in terms of fantasy points allowed sets this up very nicely for a game stack.
Wide receiver Julio Jones ($8,200) missed last week's game and didn't practice as of Thursday, putting his status for this game in question. With him missing time, Calvin Ridley ($8,600) has ascended to the top option in the Falcons' passing game, leading the team with 51 targets, 20 more than the next closest player.
Stacking Ridley with quarterback Matt Ryan ($7,400) isn't too expensive and should allow you to add a few more players to round out this game stack. The Vikings are allowing 20.4 FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks, mainly due to the fact they have allowed 10 passing touchdowns this season, tied for the fourth-most in the league.
With Jones missing last week, wide receivers Russell Gage ($5,500) and Olamide Zaccheaus ($4,900) each saw four targets and would only be in play this week if Jones is out again. Tight end Hayden Hurst ($5,400) has the third-most targets (28) on the Falcons this season and could also be in play this week. He was limited in practice on Thursday, which is yet another injury to keep an eye on.
I'm cautiously optimistic about Todd Gurley ($6,800), who has managed 15 total touches or more in all five games this season and turned that into 12.7 FanDuel points or more in four of five games. The Vikings are in the bottom half of the league in FanDuel points allowed to running backs, so there is an opening for Gurley here.
The Vikings come in with a 29.50-point implied team total, which is the highest on the slate. The Falcons own one of the worst defenses in the league, and you should be excited at the opportunity to attack them.
Let's start with one of the most obvious plays on the entire slate, wide receiver Adam Thielen ($7,400), who is in for a massive game. He comes in projected for 15.0 FanDuel points and is the second-best value among wide receivers on the slate. As mentioned above, the Falcons are allowing 35.0 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers. So yeah, this is a spot you want to roster Thielen.
If Thielen is set for a big game, that means quarterback Kirk Cousins ($7,100) is also set for production -- projected for 20.1 FanDuel points to be exact -- and is the third-best value among quarterbacks this week. Overall, the Kirk to Thielen stack isn't that expensive and will allow you to pay up for Ridley on the other side.
Running back Dalvin Cook ($9,500) suffered a groin injury last week and didn't practice as of Thursday. In his place, Alexander Mattison ($7,000) is expected to get the start and should be among the chalkier options on the entire slate.
Thielen is the clear top option for the Vikings and leads the team with 44 targets. There is a significant drop off to the player with the second-most targets (23), which is rookie receiver Justin Jefferson ($5,900). Outside of his game with 175 yards, 7 receptions, and 1 touchdown, he hasn't had more than 5 receptions in any one game. He is a big boom or bust option in DFS.
The Vikings offensive production is very condensed, and rostering Cousins, Thielen, and Mattison could help you account for nearly all of their offensive scoring.
Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Lions have an implied team total set at 29.00, while the Jaguars are at 25.50. Both teams are in the bottom-10 in the league for the most FanDuel points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks. Both teams are in the bottom-13 of the league for the most FanDuel points allowed per game to opposing wide receivers.
When it comes to pace of play, the Lions are averaging 26.20 seconds per play in all game situations, which is the eighth-fastest in the league. The Jaguars are averaging 26.24 seconds per play in all game situations, which is the ninth-fastest in the league.
So, what does this all mean? We have two bad defenses, two teams playing at a fast pace, and one game script worth targeting.
The quarterbacks on both sides of this game are both very viable, extremely affordable, and have some of the best projections on the slate. Matthew Stafford ($7,300) is projected for 21.5 FanDuel points -- the second-most on the slate -- and comes in as the best value among quarterbacks. Gardner Minshew ($7,200) is projected for 20.6 FanDuel points -- the fourth-most on the slate -- and is the second-best value among quarterbacks.
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay ($7,200) is shaping up to be one of my favorite plays on the entire slate and is too cheap for his potential upside. Over the past two weeks, we saw Brandin Cooks and Tyler Boyd torch the Jaguars' secondary for 15 receptions, 251 yards, and 1 touchdown. Golladay is an elite receiver and is fully capable of hitting or exceeding his 13.9-FanDuel-point projection.
The Jaguars are allowing 14.0 FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends -- the eighth-worst in the league -- putting T.J. Hockenson ($5,700) in a spot to continue his strong start this year. He comes in with at least 50 yards or a touchdown in all four games this season.
Wide receivers Marvin Jones ($5,800) and Danny Amendola ($4,900) are first and third -- respectively -- on the Lions when it comes to targets this season. But a reminder, Golladay didn't play in the first two games this season. Jones is the better option since he has six red zone targets this year, compared to only one for Amendola.
Jaguars' top receiver D.J. Chark ($6,600) is listed as questionable for this game and is dealing with an ankle injury. If he plays, you should look to have him in this game stack. If he is out, it opens up opportunity for the rest of the receivers. Speaking of their other receivers, Laviska Shenault ($5,800) was limited in practice on Thursday, but he was limited last week and eventually played.
Keelan Cole ($5,600) has the second-most targets (28) and the most touchdowns (3) on the Jaguars but is their third-most-expensive wide receiver. If Chark ends up being out, Cole should be a top target given his role in the passing offense.
Running back James Robinson ($6,500) is also a fantastic option this week since the Lions are allowing the third-most (30.6) FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs. It also doesn't matter if this game is a blowout or super close -- Robinson will have a role. He has an 11.52% target share in the passing game and owns 78% of the total rushes for the Jaguars.
The salaries of the players in this game are very reasonable and should allow you to stack with ease. You should also be in a spot to pay up for an elite option from one of the first two games as well.