Week 3 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Week 3 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.
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are off to a hot start, and more importantly, Russell Wilson ($8,700) has looked amazing with nine touchdowns through the first two weeks. They are "Letting Russ Cook" up in Seattle, and that means there is a pile of fantasy points waiting for us when we choose to stack him. What also helps is the fact that the Seahawks' defense isn't good this season, and it sets up some high-scoring environments to target.
The Seahawks' offensive production is concentrated within a few players, which makes stacking them rather simple -- the only issue is being able to afford them in one lineup. Tyler Lockett ($6,800) holds a 30.16% target share through the first two weeks, which is the highest on the team, along with 19 targets, which is also the highest on the team. D.K. Metcalf ($6,500) is second on the team in target share (22.22%) and targets (14) but has yet to have a single red zone target. Surprisingly, David Moore ($4,600) leads the team with four red zone targets, but he has only six targets overall -- he's a much riskier option.
Of course, Chris Carson ($7,700) leads the rushing attack for the Seahawks, and actually leads the team in receiving touchdowns (3), but has yet to reach the end zone via the ground. The main three options for Seattle are elite, and pairing them with Wilson should have you excited this week.
While the Cowboys had a thrilling victory last week, their defense looked terrible. It's almost as if we are getting two very similar teams facing off against each other with fireworks just waiting to happen.
Last week, Dak Prescott ($8,500) posted a monster 39.8 FanDuel points -- which was boosted that high by three rushing touchdowns. That is not something we can count on every week. However, the 39 pass attempts or more in the first two weeks is what we really should be looking at. If the Cowboys' defense is going to be allowing this many points, they are going to be in spots where passing is required, and thus, a more consistent floor from Dak.
The easy answer in the Cowboys' offense is Ezekiel Elliott ($9,000), who has a total of 53 touches in the first two games and holds a 13.79% target share, which is tied for the fourth-highest on the team. Not much more to say here -- he is elite, add him in your lineups if you have the salary.
The three wide receivers for the Cowboys have been good but not great to start the season, as they have zero touchdowns combined. Regardless of that, they are strong options and should see plenty of volume since the Cowboys are averaging 22.44 seconds per play, which is the fastest in the league in situation-neutral pace, per Football Outsiders. This pace, combined with a defense that allows too many points, should set them up for a positive game script.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper ($7,000) leads the team in target share (27.59%) and targets (24). Rookie CeeDee Lamb ($5,600) has the second-highest target share (17.24%) and the second-most targets (15). New starting tight end Dalton Schultz ($4,900) has jumped up to the third-highest target share (14.94%) and targets (13). Lost in the mix is Michael Gallup ($5,700), who is tied with Elliott in both target share (13.79%) and targets (12).
This is setting up to be a phenomenal game stack due to the explosive offensive options on both sides -- get some shares in this game.
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
The over/under for this game opened at 53.0 and has risen to 55.5, making it the second-highest total on the slate. On top of that, 60% of the bets are on the over, along with 71% of the total money being on the over, according to oddsFire.com. Plenty of money on the over is a good sign we should see lots of scoring, and thus setting us up for a strong game script to target.
In terms of pace of play, the Cardinals are averaging 26.37 seconds per play -- the third-fastest in the league -- when in neutral games situations. The Lions are averaging the 28.54 seconds per play -- the 10th-fastest in the league -- when in neutral games situations. Two teams in the top 10 for pace is amazing for the potential upside, so let's jump in.
Kyler Murray ($8,400) is off to a hot start this season and comes in projected for 24.7 FanDuel points, the most of any quarterback on this slate. He has 78 passing attempts through two games, which is very encouraging for his upside in this matchup. Pairing Murray with DeAndre Hopkins ($8,500) is an amazing stack and a strong way to start off some lineups. Hopkins holds a 34.25% target share within the Cardinals' offense, which is 17% higher than the player with the second-highest target share. Hopkins has 25 targets through two games, which leads the team, along with three red zone targets, which also leads the team.
That player with the second-highest target share is Larry Fitzgerald ($5,400), who is very affordable this week and could be in line for plenty of usage since Christian Kirk ($5,600) missed practice on Thursday due to a groin injury. Kenyan Drake ($6,500) is the clear option in the backfield for the Cardinals and has 36 rushing attempts through two weeks. Detroit is allowing 34.1 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs, which is the fourth-most in the league.
The Lions are 5.5-point underdogs in this game, which means a positive game script for their passing attack, and that's the spot to target for fantasy production. You could roster Matthew Stafford ($7,300) if you wanted to go against the grain, but ultimately, Murray is just a better option.
Actually, before we get to their passing game, let's talk about the three running backs quickly. Adrian Peterson ($5,100) and Kerryon Johnson ($5,200) have a combined four targets through two games -- in other words, they have no value in the passing game. Since the Lions should be playing from behind, those two are very thin options. However, D'Andre Swift ($5,300) has 11 targets through the first two games, which is the fourth-most on the team, and could be a nice tournament target.
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay ($7,500) missed the first two weeks with a hamstring injury but is expected to back for this game. With no stats this year, we can look back to 2019 to see that Golladay led the team in targets (114), touchdowns (12), and target share (21.43%). He should resume that role as the team's number one receiving option.
In 2020, Marvin Jones ($6,100) leads the team in target share at 19.18%, but that could very well drop with Golladay back in the lineup. You should still be willing to take a shot with Jones due to the fact that he had 15 red zone targets in 2019, which were only two less than Golladay's team-high of 17.
Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles
The 47 total is around the middle of the pack for the 13-game slate, but what's more important is the fact that 84% of the bets are on the over and 94% of the total money are also on the over, according to oddsFire.com. That's a significant portion of the money, and it should be taken as a good sign.
This game also features two teams in the top 12 for the fastest pace in all situations, giving us another spot where we should plenty of plays being run. This is yet another spot with a strong game script to target for stacking and tournaments.
The Eagles have an implied team total set at 25.50 and offer some good value options this week since they are dealing with a few injuries. Quarterback Carson Wentz ($7,600) has looked average through the first two games but does have 85 passing attempts, which is very encouraging for his potential upside.
Miles Sanders ($7,400) didn't play in Week 1 but returned in Week 2 with 20 rushing attempts, 7 targets, 3 receptions, and a total of 18.6 FanDuel points. He is, without a doubt, their number one option in the backfield, and he has value in any situation the Eagles find themselves in -- leading or trailing.
The receiving options for the Eagles are very condensed due to Jalen Reagor now out with a hand injury. This leaves DeSean Jackson ($5,500) as the de facto number one wide receiver for the Eagles. He has a 20% target share through two weeks and has 16 targets -- both of which are the second-highest on the Eagles.
Philadelphia has been running with two tight ends, and they are both viable. Zach Ertz ($6,200) and Dallas Goedert ($5,200) have both played on at least 84% of the snaps this season, along with both having a target share of 17% or higher. A Wentz, Jackson, and Goedert stack is very affordable this week.
For the Bengals, they are led by rookie quarterback Joe Burrow ($7,400), who threw the ball 60 TIMES in Week 2, for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Bengals should be playing from behind, and that will allow Burrow to access his ceiling again.
Wide receiver A.J. Green ($5,900) leads the team with 24 targets, which is 11 higher than the next-closest player. However, those 24 targets have only resulted in 10 receptions, and he has yet to find the end zone. Tyler Boyd ($5,800) leads all receivers with an 83% snap rate, receptions (11), and he also has the second-most targets (13) on the team.
Tight end Drew Sample ($4,800) took a step forward in the offense last week with nine targets, and he could continue to see that volume with C.J. Uzomah now out for the season with an Achilles injury.
Joe Mixon ($7,000) has a total of 40 touches in the first two games but has only turned that into a total 16.2 FanDuel points, and ultimately is tough to roster at that salary. Stick with the passing options for the Bengals when looking to stack this game.