Buccaneers (27.5) @ Saints (22.5)
While this matchup between Tampa Bay and New Orleans does not appear to be particularly close, you can’t ignore the 50 point total and Buccaneers implied total nearing 30. This game does also have the potential to be closer than some of the other high total games we have on this slate. While New Orleans’ offense is questionable at best with Jameis Winston under center and Michael Thomas on the shelf, their defense has the potential to keep this one close enough for Tampa Bay to keep their feet on the gas.
We are getting to the point that despite the narrative that we should only target dual-threat quarterbacks for DFS tournaments, Tom Brady just keeps on throwing for four touchdowns every week and putting up tournament-viable DFS scores for him and his receivers alike. Week in and week out, the Buccaneers passing offense is in play.
Previously, the only thing that made it less-than-ideal to stack Brady and the Bucs passing game was that the trio of Mike Evans/Chris Godwin/Antonio Brown pretty much functioned as a threesome of WR1s. With Antonio Brown on the shelf, it is a bit easier to stack Brady with confidence, considering that we pretty much know where the targets are going. Rob Gronkowski looks poised to return this week which does add another wrinkle but also gives us a viable tight-end option in Brady stacks.
Mike Evans should face Marshon Lattimore coverage, which is less than ideal but may funnel more targets to Godwin/Gronkowski and possibly even Tyler Johnson if you are looking for an extreme punt salary saver in Brady stacks.
On the other side of the game, it is difficult to consider stacking Jameis Winston and the Saints passing game, so this should be a pretty one-sided game stack in terms of the quarterback. The only truly legitimate piece for New Orleans is Alvin Kamara, who essentially is their offense. The only problem is that the obvious Brady with one to two pass catchers and Kamara on the other side stacks should be heavily used, making this a pretty chalky way to start your lineup. Unfortunately, there is no other way to run it back on New Orleans that seems remotely acceptable due to their extremely limited and inept passing game.
If there was one silver lining, it would be that the Buccaneers’ fantastic run defense forces opponents to pass, yet Kamara is so heavily involved in the passing game that even that may not result in a tournament-viable performance from a Saints receiver.
This is one of those cases where the Buccaneers are highly stackable, yet I’d almost be more inclined to play their defense rather than any offensive piece other than perhaps Kamara. Still, it’s impossible to ignore the Tampa Bay side of his game, considering their recent performance. If nothing else, I’d want one of Evans/Godwin in most lineups.
Rams (31) @ Texans (16.5)
The matchup between the Rams and the Texans is just about as lopsided as the Bills and Dolphins. Yet, just as with the Bills, the Rams have a total of over 30, and multiple pieces of their offense put up tournament-winning scores week in and week out. Cooper Kupp is officially the best wide receiver for DFS purposes and possibly real life this year. It seems that you pretty much need him in your lineup to win tournaments every week. Stafford is one of the most viable quarterbacks for DFS despite a lack of running upside. Darrell Henderson Jr. is becoming a more and more consistent part of the Rams offense and is in play every week. On top of it, you have Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee as secondary pieces in Stafford passing stacks.
I wouldn’t envision making too many lineups this week without at least a piece of the Rams offense. However, when it comes to full stacking here, you do have to consider the fact that this game is likely to be a blowout. This may cap the upside of the Rams offense, and Stafford/Kupp do not come cheap. You would hope that the Texans can keep it at least somewhat close if targeting the Rams passing game. Darrell Henderson should be firmly in play regardless of the game script.
Pretty much every week, whoever is facing the Texans is in a smash spot. It is all the more amplified when it is one of the best offenses in football, such as the Rams. We are faced weekly with the question, “who can we run it back with on Houston?” Every week there is only one answer, and that is Brandin Cooks. He is legitimately the only player on the Texans that is even remotely viable in DFS. No one is really dying to play him at this stage in his career, but due to the sheer lack of weapons in Houston, his target share continues to put him on the DFS radar. His price remains reasonable, and he becomes a popular option most weeks both for value and as a bring back when attacking this Houston team.
Similar to the situation with the Buccaneers and Saints, the only issue here is that there is really only one way to stack this game from the Houston side. Stafford plus Kupp with Cooks stacks should be popular this week, but for a good reason. Darrell Henderson Jr. will gain a good bit of ownership as well, and the Texans’ run defense is actually far worse than their pass defense. I don’t mind playing Henderson and Kupp with no bring back, with or without Stafford.
If there is hope for the Texans, it is that Tyrod Taylor does appear poised to return at QB. This would be an upgrade over Davis Mills and may give them a fighting chance of keeping this one close enough for a full game stack to pay off. This may increase the viability of using Cooks as a bring-back and hoping for an optimal outcome for the Rams’ offense in a closer game than expected.
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