FanDuel NFL GPP Lineup Advice: Week 6
The team below is a bit stars and scrubsy. A value signal caller and his trusty No. 1 receiver make for an affordable stack that opens the door to a pricey running back and an expensive game stack of two elite receivers who are opposing one another. A cheap running back who isn’t necessarily a great correlation play with his defense is also included on the team together and could be considered a stack. I go back to the well for the same tight end I used on last week’s roster in a bounce-back spot, and the flex is filled with a value play who should benefit from gamescript.
Baker Mayfield (CLE): $7,100 vs. Chargers
Mayfield has started two games since relieving Tyrod Taylor in a Week 3 comeback victory on Thursday Night Football. In those two starts, he’s totaled 637 yards passing, three touchdowns, three interceptions, and two lost fumbles while rushing for 33 yards. It’s a mix of good and bad. This week, he hosts the cross-country visiting Chargers. Football Outsiders (FO) ranks the Chargers 16th in pass defense, a much softer assignment than against a Ravens defense that ranks fourth in pass defense that he faced last week. The Chargers have yielded the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this year, per Pro-Football-Reference. The bar isn’t high for Mayfield to deliver value, and I think he’ll clear it.
Todd Gurley (LAR): $9,500 at Broncos
Gurley is a workhorse and a stud. He leads the NFL in rushing attempts (101), touches (120), rushing plus receiving touchdowns (nine), and is second in yards from scrimmage (645). He’s also the leader in red zone touches among backs as you can see here. Lineups credits Gurley with 37 red zone touches, five more than Alvin Kamara’s second-highest total of 32. Gurley should have little trouble steamrolling Denver. At home in Week 4, Kansas City rushed for 142 yards against them. At the Jets last week, Denver laughably allowed 323 rushing yards. FO ranks them 26th defending the run, and they also rank them just 20th defending backs in the passing game. Gurley has caught three or more passes every game this year and is sporting per-game averages of 3.8 receptions and 46.0 receiving yards.
Tarik Cohen (CHI): $5,900 at Dolphins
Chicago is coming off of a bye in Week 5, and when we last saw them, they stomped the Buccaneers 48-0 in Chicago. Cohen erupted for 53 yards rushing on 13 carries and a 7-121-1 line on eight targets. Was his Week 4 outburst a sign that offensive-minded head coach Matt Nagy has figured out how to successfully pick apart the opposition with him, or was it merely the product of facing a terrible team in a lopsided victory? It’s probably a bit of column A and a bit of column B, but the Bears draw another middling team from the Sunshine State.
The Dolphins have yielded the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to running backs this year, and they’ve been especially bad keeping backs out of the end zone and keeping them in check in the passing game. Miami’s four rushing touchdowns allowed to running backs this year are tied for the sixth most, and their three receiving touchdowns allowed to the position are tied for the second most. The Dolphins have ceded the sixth-most receptions (36) and seventh-most receiving yards to running backs thus far this year. FO ranks them 23rd defending backs in the passing attack. Most notably, James White ripped them for 8-68-1 in Week 4. I suspect Nagy took a look at the film from that game during the bye, and he’ll wisely beat up on the Dolphins with his electric second-year weapon.
Julio Jones (ATL): $8,500 vs. Buccaneers
Jones still hasn’t scored a touchdown this year, but last week’s 62 yards receiving were a season low. He’s also caught at least five passes in every game. Touchdowns be damned, he’s doing pretty well with per-game averages of 6.8 receptions and 112.8 yards. He and the Falcons are 3.5-point favorites at home this week in the game on the main slate with the highest over/ under total (57.5 points) by 4.5 points, per Pinnacle. The Falcons didn’t hold up their end of the bargain in last week’s expected shootout in Pittsburgh, and they were boat raced.
They return home to face the Charmin-soft defense of the Bucs that allowed six passing touchdowns to Mitchell Trubisky before their bye. FO ranks the Bucs dead last in pass defense and 26th defending No. 1 receivers. Furthermore, only the Saints have allowed more FanDuel points per game to wideouts this year. This is a dreamy matchup for Jones, and it gets better. Atlanta’s top receiver has feasted on the Bucs in recent years. Since Dirk Koetter took over as head coach for Tampa Bay (his defensive coordinator in 2015 was Leslie Frazier and has been Mike Smith since 2016) in 2015, Jones has per-game averages of 12 targets, 7.83 receptions, and 123.17 receiving yards with five receiving touchdowns.
In their first meeting last year in Atlanta, Jones memorably smashed them for a 12-253-2 line. They held him to 3-54-0 in their second meeting, but Atlanta has since added talented rookie wideout Calvin Ridley to the fold, so they can’t solely focus on taking Jones away without repercussions of being clobbered by Atlanta’s newest weapon. Finally, for a guy who dubiously can’t find pay dirt, Jones has had little trouble doing so against the Bucs with 10 touchdown receptions in 12 career games against them and at least one in four of six games during the Koetter era. This is the week Jones gets off the schneid.
Mike Evans (TB): $8,000 at Falcons
Jones isn’t the only high-profile receiver I like in the projected shootout in Atlanta. Evans is on the opposition, and he’s eaten against the Falcons. In eight career games against them, he has per-game averages of 9.5 targets, 5.8 receptions, 86.5 receiving yards, and has scored six touchdowns. He’s bested 75 yards receiving with at least five receptions in each of his last four meetings with the Falcons, and he’s scored four touchdowns during that four-game stretch. FO ranks Atlanta’s injury-ravaged defense 28th defending the pass and 23rd defending No. 1 receivers. The Falcons have coughed up the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to wideouts this year. The fifth-year pro is posting career bests in receptions per game (7.3) and receiving yards per game (106.5) this season, and he’s caught a touchdown in three of four contests. He’ll have little trouble giving Atlanta fits.
Jarvis Landry (CLE): $6,900 vs. Chargers
Landry’s the obvious top stack partner for Mayfield (though he’s not the only one I like, he’s the one I like best at FanDuel by far). In Mayfield’s two starts, Landry’s been targeted 20 times (10 times in each game). Davis Mattek recently pointed out that Landry is tied with two others for fifth in market share of passing targets for their respective teams at 29%. That kind of volume will eventually lead to a blowup week, and this is a good spot for it.
Sans Joey Bosa, the Chargers defense hasn’t been anything special. They’ve also struggled with wide receivers specifically, surrendering the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to the position. Landry hasn’t been used as a dink-and-dunk option like he was in Miami, and he’s averaging a career-best 13.1 yards per reception. To put his usage change in perspective, NFL’s Next Gen stats credited Landry with an average of 6.1 average targeted air yards last year compared to 9.9 this year. His increased usage downfield bodes well for his outlook against a defense that’s allowed the second-most 20-plus yard passes (26), according to NFL.com. The Chargers are also tied for the fourth-most 40-plus yard receptions allowed with five.
Vance McDonald (PIT): $4,600 at Bengals
Atlanta’s inability to hang with the Steelers in Pittsburgh last week resulted in Ben Roethlisberger needing to air it out only 29 times. The passing volume simply wasn’t there to support an ancillary piece like McDonald, but he’s in a good spot to bounce back against a defense that should funnel the ball his way. The Bengals are tied for the fifth-most receptions allowed (28) to tight ends, have yielded the 10th-most receiving yards (280) to the position, and are tied for the third-most touchdown grabs (three) coughed up to them. Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator Teryl Austin previously served in the same role with the Lions from 2014-2017. His defenses have routinely hemorrhaged points to tight ends including surrendering the fifth-most FanDuel points to them in 2015, eighth most in 2016, and tying for the 12th most given up last year. In the two weeks prior to McDonald’s clunker last week, he’d totaled nine receptions for 174 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. He doesn’t need a ton of targets to do damage and deliver on his bargain salary.
Courtland Sutton (DEN): $4,800 vs. Rams
The Broncos are seven-point home underdogs against the high-powered offense of the Rams. The gamescript should be favorable for Denver’s pass catchers, including Sutton. The big rookie wideout reached the end zone for the first time in his career last week, and he’s been targeted five or more times in four of five games. If the Rams race out to a big lead early, Sutton will be positioned to set new highs across the board against a leaky, banged up secondary.
Bears D/ST (CHI): $4,500 at Dolphins
The Dolphins are reeling, and the Bears are coming off of a bye. This is a recipe for a big scoring outing from the Fighting Khalil Macks. In all seriousness, Mack has been a one-man wrecking crew, and FO ranks Chicago as the best defense in the NFL this season. The Bears have allowed the third-fewest yards per play (5.1) and have the second-best scoring defense at 16.3 points per game allowed. They’ve also done an elite job of forcing turnovers ranking tied for second with 11 despite having played one fewer game than most of the rest of the league. More remarkably, they rank alone in second with 18 sacks, just one fewer than the Steelers. For Miami’s part, their offense is awful. They’ve fallen short of 300 total yards of offense in consecutive games and three times in five contests, and they’ve turned the ball over multiple times in four games.