NFL history was made in week eight. The Saints and Giants combined for the fourth highest point total ever in a 52-49 Saints win. A 46-year-old record was broken when Drew Brees and Eli Manning combined for 13 touchdown passes, with Brees tying another NFL record by throwing seven. If you played either quarterback with pretty much any pass catcher from this game, you set yourself up for some success. This game was home to the two highest scoring quarterbacks, four top-ten wide receivers and the number one tight end.
With the incredible game at the Superdome, other stacks just didn’t hold a candle. Tom Brady had another great week, but Brandon LaFell was the wrong choice at receiver, turning his seven targets into only 6.7 points. Rob Gronkowski was the third highest scoring tight end, but was outshined by Ben Watson’s 25.2 points.
Tavon Austin continued to dominate the fantasy landscape en route to 23.9 points, making sure his stack with Nick Foles met value in spite of Foles’ mediocre production. I expected Austin to perform up to value, but finishing as the third highest scoring receiver wasn’t really on my radar.
Before we get to this week’s stacks, I have a few things to consider:
* I was only able to find a total of four stacks which I have any real interest in using.
* Due to all of the injuries to running backs last week, there are a ton of great, cheap options this week.
* Because of both of these things, this week’s article is going to be a different format, highlighting the four stacks I like and leaving out the Fool’s Gold stack.
Remember, these are recommendations for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs) with over 50 entries and aren’t necessarily recommended for cash games.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB PIT
Antonio Brown, WR PIT
Brown ($8,700) has become a pretty expensive player for the production he’s put forward in recent weeks. However, with the return of Roethlisberger ($8,300), Brown finally saw more than ten targets for the first time since week three, when Big Ben last saw the field. I’m going to bet on not many FanDuelers targeting Brown. Martavis Bryant’s ($6,900) low price should at least keep the draft community distracted and away from Brown’s superior talent and upside.
In the four weeks when Roethlisberger was out of the lineup, Brown was outside the top 40 receivers. In weeks one and two, he was the number one overall receiver. People may look towards Bryant as a reason why Brown won’t ascend to the top fantasy receiver again, but he was still second in wide receiver scoring last season when Bryant was in the lineup. This week against the struggling Raiders defense is probably going to be the last opportunity to get Brown in your lineup with a modest ownership rate.
Philip Rivers, QB SD
Antonio Gates, TE SD
Rivers ($8,600) has been a monster the last five weeks, sitting nearly 13 points above the next highest scoring quarterback. Now with his top receiver, Keenan Allen, placed on injured reserve, his ownership rates should see a dip. The biggest beneficiary of Allen’s absence should be Gates ($6,000).
The Bears defense has been no slouch against tight ends, ranking as one of the three best against the position, but Gates doesn’t really care how good you are. He still gets his targets. This game is being billed as the second highest scoring game of the week, and those points need to come from somewhere. Gates should be looking for greater than ten targets, which should be plenty for him to make his value. Rivers has plenty of other capable pass catchers to help him meet his value.
Stacks of the Weak
Marcus Mariota, QB TEN
Justin Hunter, WR TEN
After having two QB1 weeks in the first three weeks of the season, Mariota ($7,100) has had more of a modest output when he’s been on the field. Now, after spending two weeks on the sideline due to injury, he returns with the price of a low end QB2 against the worst defense against opposing quarterbacks. While I don’t envision a top five finish, I do think he will return greater than 20 points this week.
Mariota’s top wide receiver, Kendall Wright, has been ruled out for the week, leaving opportunity for someone else to step to the forefront. Many are expecting Dorial Green-Beckham ($4,900) to be the greatest beneficiary, but Hunter ($4,600) has the lower price and will be matched up against doesn’t-actually-play-defense cornerback Brandon Browner. He will also have an ownership near zero percent. It won’t take much for Hunter to meet value, and Mariota should have an easy job meeting his while trying to keep up with the New Orleans offense.
Jameis Winston, QB TB
Mike Evans, WR TB
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE TB
Evans ($7,500), the much ballyhooed former first round pick, finally caught his first touchdown reception of the season two weeks ago and is starting to soak up targets like he did as a rookie. Hopefully, Coach Lovie Smith game-plans for Evans to line up on the left against Jayron Hosley as much as possible, where he can use his superior size and strength against the slight corner. Winston ($6,700) should benefit from being listed as one of the lowest priced quarterbacks this week in a match up against a team who gave up seven touchdown passes to Eli Manning last week. Even half of that production will make for a good game from Winston.
The big question mark in this stack is Seferian-Jenkins ($5,200). Earlier in the week it was looking like he might play this week, but his availability has been called into question in the last 24 hours. If he does play, he has the best match up of the week for tight ends, as well as a TE2 price. He will be a great value play. If he sits, Brandon Myers ($4,500) is worth a look as a replacement, but he doesn’t have anything close to the upside of Seferian-Jenkins. Whether ASJ plays or not, Winston and Evans are good high upside plays in a game where they will be at home and likely playing from behind.