Vikings (21.75) @ Ravens (27.75)
Lamar Jackson is popping in projections across the industry as one of the top point-per-dollar quarterbacks of the week. All with the immense ceiling potential we all know he has. This is a winning combination for large-field NFL GPPs. We have a solid game total here, approaching 50 at 49.5. While the Ravens are definite favorites, it should stay close enough for shootout potential.
The passing rate for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens has been higher than ever before this season, and he is still carrying the ball 10+ times per game on average. In looking at the current dusty state of the Ravens backfield, you would have to assume that they will continue to be just as if not more committed to the pass. The combination of pure pass volume with rushing upside puts Lamar at the top of the heap this week.
On top of it, it is easy to know where the targets are going between Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews, and Mark Andrews fills the ever-pesky tight end slot. This is a simple stack to figure out without too many mouths to feed in the passing game. The Vikings have had a good pass offense so far this year by multiple metrics but have mostly succeeded against weaker opponents and faltered when facing better quarterbacks and offenses.
On the Vikings side, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are perfect bring-back options that have been great against man coverage this year, which we expect from Baltimore. Both should be reasonably low-owned on DraftKings and FanDuel due to lukewarm projections and the Ravens’ reputation as a good defense. Tyler Conklin will pop in projections as a value tight end on DraftKings at just $3000 and is another good bring-back option for non-Andrews Ravens stacks.
Dalvin Cook is playable every week, but this isn’t the optimal spot against the Ravens’ run defense. He should gain more ownership on DraftKings than the Minnesota receivers, and I’d lean toward the passing game when game-stacking here.
Kirk Cousins full stacks to Jefferson and/or Thielen will not pop in optimizers. Still, a contrarian way to play this game is to go that route and play the other side, hoping for a shootout. A Cousins stack with one or two pass-catchers and Marquise Brown or Mark Andrews on the other side is a very unique way to get exposure to this game environment. All with a cheap quarterback while fading the Lamar chalk. If you really think Lamar stacks can reach a ceiling in this game, you’d be hoping for a shootout. Why not attack it the other way at low ownership?
Chargers (25.5) @ Eagles (24)
Here we have another 49.5 total with an even closer spread. This game is projected in reputable projection systems for the most plays run on the week. Jalen Hurts has been a consistent fantasy asset for the most part due to garbage time production despite being mostly questionable in real life. He is one of the top point-per-dollar projected quarterbacks on the week. We all know that he has excellent upside in NFL DFS tournaments with his rushing potential.
This game is a slight puzzle as even though it looks good on paper, we have seen a change in the Eagles game plan in terms of leaning run based on their last game against the Lions. This, of course, severely caps the upside of Jalen Hurts. On top of it, the Chargers are a team that begs their opponent to run by focusing on stopping the big play.
Yet, it would be hard to target the Eagles’ running game considering what we saw with Miles Sanders on the IR last week. It appears unpredictable which of Boston Scott, Jordan Howard, and Kenneth Gainwell will get the work. Duties appear to be split enough to cap the upside of any one of their RBs. Gainwell would likely get more run than he did last week in a trailing game script as a pass-catching back.
I would not read too much into their last game since it was against Jared Goff and the woeful Lions, and they were able to get out to a considerable lead and lean on the running game. That they did run more in their week seven game against the Raiders could be a red flag, but it did not stop Hurts from producing in a closer game with the Eagles trailing.
If targeting the Eagles, I would be more likely to bank on a closer game in which they are most likely trailing and play Hurts stacks with DeVonta Smith and/or Dallas Goedert. If you did choose to trust the run game, Boston Scott would appear to be their likely lead back in a close one. Jordan Howard may have gotten more work last week due to the blowout game script. While Gainwell may get more opportunities if the Eagles get well behind, I’m not sure that it would be enough to warrant consideration on a full NFL Sunday slate.
The Eagles are near the league’s bottom in both rushing and passing fantasy points allowed per game. This bodes well for all pieces of the Chargers’ offense, and Austin Ekeler in particular as a pass-catching running back. You can also fire up Justin Herbert at QB rather than Hurts with Ekeler, Mike Williams, or Keenan Allen. Justin Herbert should be lower owned than Hurts. This is an excellent way to tackle this game alternately with less ownership. Or you can simply bring back Hurts Eagles stacks with a Chargers piece.
There are some concerns with Darius Slay likely to shadow Mike Williams. He has experienced some regression this season in tougher matchups. This could lean toward Ekeler/Allen being the preferred DFS targets for the Chargers. We shouldn’t completely forget tight end Jared Cook either, mainly if stacking the Chargers side.
This is an easy game to stack in many ways with so many viable pieces on both sides. Whether full stacking with a QB or secondary stacking with a mini-correlation, this is one to target for NFL GPPs.