Week 14 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.
Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Both teams are in the top 10 of the league for the most plays run per game and both are in the top 10 of the league in the fastest average seconds per play when trailing by seven points or more. This is a perfect combination for a matchup and gives us the potential to see a fantasy ceiling from several players.
We'll start with the visiting Buffalo Bills, who are coming off a rough/weird/interesting game. With 50 mph winds, the Monday Night game against the New England Patriots gave us bad production across the board and something we need to take with a grain of salt.
So, yes, we should still be looking to Josh Allen ($8,800) this week versus the Buccaneers, who are allowing 18.5 FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks (15th in the league). Prior to last week's game, Allen had posted 17-plus FanDuel points in 10 of his 11 games this season. With his dual-threat ability and rushing touchdown potential, he always carries a high ceiling.
Stacking Allen with Stefon Diggs ($8,200) always carries massive upside since Diggs leads the team with a 24.8% target share, a 26.0% red zone target share, and 1,273 air yards. You can anticipate an Allen to Diggs stack as being a popular option for this game stack and this week overall. While the Buccaneers are in the top half of the league for the fewest FanDuel points allowed per game to wide receivers, the Bills pass the ball 60.1% of the time this season (13th most in the league). When push comes to shove, they rely on the passing game.
You can also look to add Cole Beasley ($5,900) to a Bills' stack with his 19.2% target share, which is the second-highest on the team. Beasley has a low 5.4 average depth of target (aDOT) but can often rack up several quick receptions and pile up the fantasy points that way rather than one or two big plays.
Emmanuel Sanders ($5,800) can always be in play with his team-high 15.4 aDOT -- the polar opposite of Beasley. Sanders can rack up fantasy points with one long touchdown but has a 15.7% target share, putting him a step behind Diggs and Beasley.
I have some interest in Dawson Knox ($6,000) due to his 19.1% red zone target share, which is the second-highest on the team. It also helps that the Buccaneers allow the 10th-most (11.5) FanDuel points per game to tight ends this season.
As for the Bills' rushing game? I have no interest, none, zero, zilch. The timeshare between Devin Singletary ($5,500), Matt Breida ($5,400), and Zack Moss ($5,400) is not something I want any part of. No, thank you.
The Bills' stack should start with Allen and Diggs, then one of Beasley/Sanders/Knox. That could be the chalky combination, presenting an opportunity to fade Diggs and take two of the other options. I would say fade Diggs only if you are rolling out multiple iterations of this game stack.
Let's turn to the Buccaneers, who have scored 30 points or more in three straight weeks and are the league's highest-scoring offense. The upside and stacking potential they bring in borderline unrivaled and can help you win a tournament.
We start with the obvious, inevitable, Tom Brady ($8,200), who now has multiple passing touchdowns in seven of his last eight games. In four of those eight games, he had four passing touchdowns or more. While Brady's production has a high ceiling, it has to be noted that the Bills are allowing the fewest (11.0) FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season. In fact, the Bills are in the top 10 at each position -- quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end -- for the fewest FanDuel points allowed per game.
On paper, this is one of the tougher matchups the Buccaneers will have this season, but they are still carrying a 28.25 implied team total -- second-highest on the slate.
If we look at the Buccaneers' receiving options since Antonio Brown has been out with an ankle injury, Chris Godwin ($7,700) leads the way with a 24.1% target share and is tied for the second-highest on the team with an 18.5% red zone target share. Godwin's 15/143/0 line from last week won't be replicated this week, but him seeing 10+ targets is on the table.
Mike Evans ($7,200) has the second-highest (17.6%) target share on the team, along with a very solid 11.5 aDOT. That always provides him with some big-play ability. Both Godwin and Evans are great options for a game stack, so look to use them both alongside Brady.
Leonard Fournette ($7,600) has proven to be one of the more consistent fantasy running backs this season, going for 16 total touches or more in eight of his last nine games. He has a strong 16.3% target share, which is actually the third-highest on the team. He also leads the team with 63% of their red zone rushing attempts, making him a high-floor, high-upside option this week and every week.
Rob Gronkowski ($7,000) would be another strong option. Since returning to the lineup three weeks ago, he has racked up 25 targets, 17 receptions, 252 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Gronk is looking like the old Gronk, and his 15.6% red zone target share always makes him a threat for a touchdown from Brady.
A stack of Brady plus Evans plus Gronk and then running it back with Diggs leaves you with about $5,800 on average per player remaining. It's roughly the same if you go with Allen plus Diggs plus Beasley plus Godwin or Gronk. There are several different ways to attack this game stack, and they all bring plenty of upside.
San Francisco 49ers at Cinncinati Bengals
The news for this game starts with the fact there are a number of injury situations to keep track of. Both Joe Mixon ($8,500) and Tee Higgins ($6,800) are expected to play, strengthening the Bengals' offense. 49ers' wideout Deebo Samuel ($8,500) and running back Elijah Mitchell ($7,400) both didn't practice on Thursday, putting their status in question for this weekend.
Samuel didn't play in last week's game versus the Seattle Seahawks, and that led to George Kittle ($7,100) leading the team with 12 targets, which was good for a 40.0% target share. Brandon Aiyuk ($6,400) held the second-highest target share last week at 20.0%, and if Samuel misses another game, we should expect something similar from the 49ers.
Jimmy Garoppolo ($6,700) isn't viewed as a quarterback who has massive upside, but he is considerably more affordable than other options and has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games. He has a high of 27 FanDuel points this season, and while the lack of ceiling is clear, there's plenty of point-per-dollar value.
The running game and the question of whether or not Mitchell will play is rather important since the 49ers only pass the ball 51.70% of the time (third-lowest in the league). In other words, they run the ball the third-most in the league. We've known this for years with Kyle Shannan as the head coach.
If Mitchell is out, the backfield work would likely come down to Jeff Wilson ($4,900) or JaMycal Hasty ($4,700), who both provide immense value and have a solid matchup since the Bengals are allowing 21.6 FanDuel points per game to running backs; that is the 12th most in the league. This is a wait-and-see situation because Mitchell's status is still up in the air.
If Mitchell is out, it could actually be a time to turn to a Garoppolo, Kittle, and Aiyuk stack, which would certainly be an off-the-board type stack.
On the Bengals' side of things, the main stack is looking like Joe Burrow ($7,100), plus Mixon, plus Ja'Marr Chase ($7,200). The 49ers are allowing 18.7 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season, putting them as the 12th-worst team in the league. Burrow had a bit of an up and down game last week but posted 18.6 FanDuel points -- his highest output since October 31st.
Last week, the Bengals had two of their starting offensive linemen -- Trey Hopkins and Riley Reiff -- both miss the game, and that led to a rather poor rushing performance from Mixon, only 54 yards on 19 carries but managed to find the end zone once. If those linemen are going to be out again this week, consider leaning towards Burrow and the receivers as the stacking options before Mixon.
Chase holds a 24.2% target share, which is the second-highest on the team by the thinnest margin behind Higgins (25.5% target share). They both have aDoT's over 12.0 yards and both hold red zone target shares over 25%, which lead the team. It's a bit of a coin flip, but given their relatively affordable salaries, it's viable to stack them both. You can look to run that stack back with Kittle and that leaves you with a healthy $6,300 on average per player remaining.
This is truly where I'm looking to stack this game since it accounts for each team's top options and allows the flexibility to spend up for some top-tier running backs who are either in better spots or have no injury designation heading into the game.