Week 8 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
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.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Both teams come into this game among the slowest teams in the league based on average seconds per play, according to Football Outsiders. This isn't ideal, but we have seen both defenses allow plenty of points throughout the season, so ultimately, you shouldn't be too worried. The Packers are 7.0-point favorites in this game, which should give the Vikings a negative game script and allow plenty of passing opportunities.
For the visiting Vikings, quarterback Kirk Cousins ($7,100) is the cheaper option among the two signal-callers in this game, but he is far more inconsistent and has a lower floor of points along with a lower ceiling. He has more than 20 FanDuel points in only half of his games this year, but Cousins did manage to post 22.76 FanDuel points in Week 1 against these very Packers. Ideally, you have the pass-catching options from the Vikings and stay away from the inconsistency with Cousins. The only value in rostering Cousins would be that he should be far less popular in tournaments, a silver lining at best.
The clear best option for the Vikings is wide receiver Adam Thielen ($7,700), who leads the team in targets (49), receptions (33), red zone targets (9), and touchdowns (7). Frankly, he is a bit too cheap considering the role he has within the Vikings' offense and that he should be in a passing game script.
Rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson ($6,600) has been super exciting -- in half of his games. Jefferson has posted more than 100 receiving yards in three of his six games, but he's been under 50 yards in the other three. Those games with more than 100 receiving yards -- also had three touchdowns in these outings -- were good for 27.0, 12.3, and 35.1 FanDuel points. However, in the games with fewer than 50 receiving yards, Jefferson posted 3.6, 5.9, and 3.8 FanDuel points. Yikes. He is essentially a tournament-only option with that variance, but that is fine to embrace in a game stack.
Thielen and Jefferson are the only two players on the Vikings who have more than 20 targets, making the other options far riskier due to their low floors. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. ($4,500) is very inexpensive and has the second-most (four) red zone targets on the team, but he has yet to actually score a touchdown this season.
Running back Dalvin Cook ($9,200) missed last week with a groin injury but appears on track to play this week. Cook's absolutely needs to monitored as we get closer to Sunday. The Packers are allowing 29.7 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs, the most in the league. This is a phenomenal spot for Cook.
Of course, if Cook doesn't play, it will be Alexander Mattison ($6,500), who totaled only 3.5 FanDuel points on 11 total touches when he got the start for Cook in Week 6.
On the Packers' side of things, quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($8,400) was able to rebound last week against the Houston Texans and amass 27.32 FanDuel points after a very disappointing performance the week prior. That was the fourth time this season Rodgers posted at least 24 FanDuel points. He also has thrown for at least three touchdowns in four of his six games -- showing he has the higher ceiling among the two quarterbacks in this game.
Spending up for Davante Adams ($9,100) is never a bad idea -- did you see what he did last week? Adams racked up 38.1 FanDuel points from 196 yards, 13 receptions, and 2 touchdowns. The Rodgers-Adams stack is something worth spending up for, and realistically, it's the best way to start this game stack. As mentioned above, Thielen isn't overly expensive, so you could get all three of them into the same lineup. There is also plenty of value elsewhere on the slate to allow you to afford this trio.
Running back Aaron Jones ($8,500) is still dealing with a calf injury and has been ruled out for this game. So it's another week of Jamaal Williams ($7,000), who looked great last week with 23 total touches, more than 100 combined yards, and a total of 19.4 FanDuel points. The Vikings are allowing 21.3 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs and having Williams as the starter makes this game stack easier. Getting to Rodgers-Adams-Williams-Thielen can be done without breaking the bank.
After Adams, the receiving options for the Packers can be a bit dicey since they don't have the consistency on a week-to-week basis. Tight end Robert Tonyan ($5,900) has a total of 8.2 FanDuel points combined over the past two weeks, a significant drop off in production compared to where he was in the three weeks prior. But this shouldn't come as surprise since two weeks ago is when Adams returned to the lineup.
Starting this game stack with Rodgers seems like the right play. And then you can add a few of his offensive weapons and run it back with Thielen.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
This should be one of the more popular games to stack since the total is super high, and there are viable offensive options on both sides -- along with a bit of value. There are a few injuries to take note of, so let's hop in.
The backfield for the Seahawks is a mess, and there are three different injuries to track. Chris Carson ($7,600), Carlos Hyde ($5,000), and Travis Homer ($4,900) are all dealing with injuries and did not practice on Thursday. They all played in last week's game against the Arizona Cardinals, but we need to wait for inactives on Sunday morning for the final word. That leaves rookie DeeJay Dallas ($4,600) as the lone fully healthy running back on the Seattle roster.
The 49ers are allowing only 14.7 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs, which is the absolute lowest mark in the league. It's a tough matchup, and it could be wise to completely fade the Seattle backfield altogether.
The passing situation for the Seahawks is far easier to discuss. Quarterback Russell Wilson ($8,700) has put up 21.9 FanDuel points or more in every single game this season, multiple touchdowns or more in every single game, and has broken 30 FanDuel points in four of his six contests. He is an absolute star, but he comes at a very expensive salary.
Pairing Wilson with either Tyler Lockett ($7,200) or D.K. Metcalf ($7,800) is a strong start to this game stack and gets you access to a monster ceiling. Lockett went Super Saiyan last week with 20 targets, 15 receptions, 200 yards, and 3 touchdowns for a total of 45.5 FanDuel points. Metcalf, on the other hand, didn't do too much. He ended with only 5 targets, 2 receptions, and 23 yards for 3.3 FanDuel points.
You can play the narrative that Metcalf is due for after a disappointing game, but don't expect him to be a sneaky play or anything.
Honestly, that's really it for the Seahawks. Lockett and Metcalf account for 48% of the target share, and no other players are that consistent or really worth considering.
On the 49ers' side of things, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo ($6,600) is very affordable this week and gets to take on a Seahawks defense that is allowing 27.8 FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks -- the most in the league.
Garoppolo hasn't shown to have as high of a ceiling compared to Wilson, but the matchup is simply fantastic and the salary is amazing. If you are going to start this game stack with Garoppolo, you should 100% stack him with tight end George Kittle ($7,700). Kittle leads the team in targets (45) and receptions (36). He's also tied for the lead in touchdowns (two) and has the third-most (three) red zone targets.
If you are starting the game stack with Wilson plus his receivers, you should still look to roster Kittle as the highest-upside option on the 49ers.
Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk ($5,900) has seen five targets or more in four of his last five games and paces the team in red zone targets (6) this season. The Seahawks are allowing the most (49.2) FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers, so, yeah, this is a great spot for Aiyuk.
The running back situation for the 49ers is also a bit of a mess. Raheem Mostert is on injured reserve. Jeff Wilson is out multiple weeks. Tevin Coleman hasn't played since Week 2 but has been back at practice this week, and general manager John Lynch said they are "hopeful" Coleman can play this weekend. Jerick McKinnon($6,000) and JaMycal Hasty ($5,600) are the only two fully healthy running backs for the 49ers, but it might be an avoid spot anyway. The Seahawks are in the top half of the league for fewest FanDuel points allowed per game to opposing running backs.
The ideal option may be to stick with all of the passing options on both sides and completely ignore the injury situations for both backfields.
Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns
With two of the worst defenses in the league going head-to-head, are we looking at a spot for a game stack?
The Las Vegas Raiders are traveling east to take on the Cleveland Browns, where the over/under is set at 50.5. When I say bad defenses, I mean they are both in the bottom seven of the league for total points allowed, bottom seven of the league for the most FanDuel points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks, and bottom 11 in the league for the most FanDuel points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers.
From a top-down view, this game could be among the easier to stack since the players in it aren't as expensive as the prior two games we've mentioned. This should make roster construction easier overall and give you strong offensive equity on both sides.
Let's start with a few quick injuries. Browns' wide receiver Odell Beckham tore his ACL and is out for the year. Running back Kareem Hunt ($8,200) has been limited in practice this week but should be good to go for the game. He was also limited last week in practice and played the whole game. Tight end Austin Hooper has been ruled out for the second straight week, giving an opening for some value options.
Quarterback Derek Carr ($7,300) has a modest salary and has quietly put together a very solid fantasy season. He has multiple passing touchdowns in five straight games and at least 31 passing attempts in five straight games, which has led to him posting 20 FanDuel points or more in four of these five games. The Browns are allowing the seventh-most (22.3) FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so this is shaping up to be another solid game for Carr.
Carr's top receiving option is tight end Darren Waller ($6,800), who leads the team in targets (55), red zone targets (10), and red zone touchdowns (3). You can expect another strong target share for Waller in this one, and he is a very affordable way to start off a game stack.
Wide receiver Nelson Agholor ($5,000) has the fourth-most targets (23) on the team but leads the Raiders in receiving touchdowns (5). He has been sneaky good lately, posting 12.4, 13.7, and 19.2 FanDuel points in his last three games. The Browns are allowing the second-most (40.6) FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers, which puts Agholor fully in play.
The Raiders are surrendering 23.5 FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks, the fourth-most in the league, so Baker Mayfield ($7,200) is in a spot to succeed. He comes in with at least two passing touchdowns in five of his last six games.
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry ($5,800) is now the de facto number-one with Beckham out for the year, which should mean more targets going his way. Landry is dealing with a rib issue but is expected to play, as this has been an ongoing issue for most of the season. For a number-one receiver, Landry is very affordable and can easily be stacked with Mayfield.
You can also look to Rashard Higgins ($5,500), who stepped into playing time last week with Beckham leaving early. Higgins ended with 14 FanDuel points from 6 receptions and 110 yards. He should be among the more popular value options at wide receiver this week.
Since Hooper is out again, we should expect a split between Harrison Bryant ($5,000) and David Njoku ($5,000). Last week Bryant played on 77% of the offensive snaps, compared to 60% for Njoku. Bryant ran 17 pass routes, and Njoku ran 12. Bryant had 5 targets, 4 receptions, 2 touchdowns, which was good for 19.6 FanDuel points. Njoku had three targets, two receptions, and a single touchdown for nine FanDuel points.
The offensive options for the Browns are very affordable, allowing you to grab a few of them while still having the salary to roster Waller -- the most consistent option from the Raiders -- and complete this game stack nicely.