Week 13 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.
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals
A high 50.5-point over/under and two strong offenses make this a great game stack to target.
There are several offensive options to consider on both sides, so no wasting time -- let's jump right in.
The visiting Los Angeles Chargers have a 23.75 implied team total and always have the potential to reach or exceed that given the skill position players they have. They are led by quarterback Justin Herbert ($8,200), who still managed to post 21.7 FanDuel points last week against the Denver Broncos even though the Chargers only scored 13 real points. This is due to his high passing volume, going for 44 passing attempts, the fifth time he's been over 40 attempts this season. Herbert has posted more than 21 FanDuel points three times in his last five games, with two of those games being 31-plus FanDuel points.
The Chargers pass the ball 64.97% of the time this season, which is the third-highest rate in the league. When their offense needs to score, they lean on Herbert, and that continuously gives him a high floor and a high ceiling in DFS. He's a great option to start this game stack but is the higher-salaried of the two quarterbacks.
The Chargers' passing game is extremely focused on two receivers, giving us clear options to stack with Herbert. Keenan Allen ($7,300) has a team-high 27.1% target share, and Mike Williams ($6,500) has a 20.1% target share.
They are the only two players above 20% on the Chargers, but Allen has been far more consistent than Williams has. Allen comes in with at least 12 FanDuel points in five straight games, while Williams has been held to fewer than 10 FanDuel points in four of the last five. This should make Allen the chalky stacking option, so consider Wiliams for potential leverage.
Austin Ekeler ($9,000) looks amazing right now with at least 18.9 FanDuel points in three of his last five games, 11 or more rushing attempts in each of those games, 6 or more targets in four of those five games, 7 total touchdowns, and a partridge in a pear tree. He controls the backfield with an ominous 66.6% snap rate while running a route on 57.7% of passing plays. Both of those clips are the highest on the team at running back by more than 30 percentage points, so roster Ekeler with confidence.
Those are the true core options for the Chargers' offense and the optimal stacking options. You can take a shot on Jared Cook ($5,100) for salary relief and given the fact he has a 12.9% target share and has 10 red-zone targets this season.
A Herber/Ekeler/Allen stack leaves you with about $5,900 on average remaining salary per player. If you double-stack the receivers of Allen and Williams, you are left with about $6,300 on average remaining salary per player. If you are running one game stack lineup, go with the former. If you are rolling out multiple lineups with several iterations of this game stack, mix in the latter.
Joe Burrow ($7,400) has also shown a lower ceiling of FanDuel points compared to Herbert. Burrow has posted fewer than 20 FanDuel points in each of his last three games but had posted more than 20 FanDuel points in five straight games prior to that. Burrow also hasn't crossed 30 FanDuel points in any game this season, something Herbert has done four times.
Despite all of that, I still like Burrow in this spot for a few reasons. The nearly $1,000 in salary savings from Herbert is nice when attempting a game stack, and Burrow should be less popular overall. While his recent performances may seem lackluster, we have to account for the fact Joe Mixon ($9,400) has posted two rushing touchdowns in each of the past three games. Burrow simply hasn't been in a spot where he's needed to put up massive numbers through the air, and the scores have been going to the running game. That could change this week.
Speaking of Mixon, he is looking like the ideal option for not only a potential game stack but for this weekend's slate overall. The Chargers are allowing 24.7 FanDuel points per game to running backs, which is the fourth-most in the league. He has at least 18 total touches in four straight games, with more than 30 total touches in each of the last two games. Play Mixon.
The Bengals' passing game comes down to three main options. Ja'Marr Chase ($7,500) has a 24.5% target share. Tee Higgins ($6,600) owns a 23.9% target share, and there is Tyler Boyd ($5,700) with a 19.5% target share. Their floors and ceilings are essentially baked into their salaries.
Of course, I'd love to roster Chase in as many game stacks as possible, but it truly comes down to salary constraints given the high-salary options on the Chargers' side. A Herber/Ekeler/Allen/Chase game stack leaves you with $5,600 on average remaining per player. Filling out the rest of the lineups is doable but certainly not easy.
This is where Higgins and/or Boyd can come into the fold or where you can roll with Burrow for the savings. The only other player I'd consider from the Bengals is tight end C.J. Uzomah ($5,100). He has a 10.2% target share, which is the fourth-highest on the team, and the Chargers are allowing the third-most (14.2) FanDuel points per game to tight ends.
This game has some elite offensive options to consider, and it ultimately comes down to roster construction and the salary you have available.
Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders
With a solid 49.5-point over/under, the Las Vegas Raiders hosting the Washington Football Team is a spot to target this week.
We have a matchup of two teams in the top half of the league for the most plays run per game and two teams that don't have any players over $7,500. This should make for a game with plenty of action back and forth, and we can capture it all due to the modest salaries.
Washington is coming off a big win on Monday night, which was spearheaded by running back Antonio Gibson ($6,200), who totaled 20.2 FanDuel points from 29 rushing attempts and 111 yards in addition to 7 receptions and 35 yards through the air. It amounted to a staggering 27 total touches for Gibson. The Raiders are allowing 24.5 FanDuel points per game to running backs, which is the fifth-most in the league.
While we can't expect Gibson to have 36 touches every week, he should see a lot of volume in this one. J.D. McKissic has been ruled out. Wendell Smallwood ($4,500) is reportedly set to take over McKissic's role, which is about 10 touches per game, but we could see Gibson unleashed once more.
There's no doubt Terry McLaurin ($7,200) is a great receiver, but he's also failed to reach 10 FanDuel points in five of his last seven games. The Raiders are allowing the sixth-fewest (26.0) FanDuel points per game to wide receivers, putting him in a tough spot. I still want some exposure to McLaurin, but it will be in a limited capacity.
Logan Thomas ($5,600) returned from his injury last week and played 77% of the offensive snaps and ran a route on 64% of the passing plays, which led to him racking up 6 targets, 3 receptions, and 31 yards. The Raiders are allowing the second-most (14.4) FanDuel points per game to tight ends this season, making Thomas appealing.
Given the volume of touches Gibson sees and the affordable salary combined with the soft matchup for Thomas, they should be the two primary options from Washington. I have no interest in any of the secondary wide receivers for Washington or quarterback Taylor Heinicke ($7,100).
On the Vagas side, Darren Waller ($6,800) is out this week, which removes a massive part of the Raiders' offense. Waller has a team-high 23.3% target share as well as team-high marks in snaps played (81.9%), routes run (82.1%) and red zone target share (28.3%).
This is a huge blow to the Raiders' offense, but it opens up some value for us in the form of Foster Moreau ($5,000). He is the backup tight end and plays a very limited role overall but had one start this season when Waller was previously out. In that game, Moreau posted 6 grabs for 60 yards and a score. Washington is around the league average for FanDuel points allowed to tight ends, making Moreau a viable salary saver this week.
Josh Jacobs ($7,000) was limited in practice on Thursday, putting his status for Sunday's game in question. If he ends up being out, Kenyan Drake ($5,400) and Peyton Barber ($5,000) would likely split time in the backfield. Either way, it's not the ideal matchup for a running back against Washington, who is far weaker versus the passing game. Washington has allowed the second-fewest (713) rushing yards to running backs this season, compared to the fifth-most receiving yards to wide receivers.
That makes this spot about Derek Carr ($7,500) and the Raiders' receiving options. If a defense is that bad against wide receivers, you can imagine they are also bad against quarterbacks. In fact, Washington is allowing 24.0 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks, the most in the league. This should put the Raiders in a spot to lean on Carr, who has posted at least 19 FanDuel points in four of his last six games.
The passing upside is going to be there for Carr, but without Waller in the lineup, who should you stack with Carr? The first and optimal answer is Hunter Renfrow ($6,400). While Waller leads the team with a 23.3% target share, Renfrow is right behind him with a 20.5% target share. This has led to Renfrow racking up eight or more targets in four of his last five games, seven-plus receptions in four of five, and at least 14.0 FanDuel points in three of five.
With Washington allowing the fourth-most (32.6) FanDuel points per game to wide receivers, Renfrow is in a spot to feast, especially if Jacobs is out on top of Waller being sidelined.
DeSean Jackson ($5,200) can always be considered as an addition to a tournament stack thanks to his big-play potential, which was on display against the Dallas Cowboys last week with a 56-yard touchdown. Zay Jones ($5,300) had a season-high seven targets last week, which is encouraging usage with Waller out of the lineup. He's a thin play overall but could be used for salary relief.
A Carr-led stack looks like the way to go, and then you can pair him with Renfrow and potentially Moreau or Jacobs (if he plays). That will leave you with more than enough salary to roster Gibson or Thomas from Washington.