Ben Roethlisberger/James Conner/Antonio Brown
The Pittsburgh Steelers feature one of the best offenses in the NFL on a yearly basis. They only scored 21 points in their first game, but they also totaled 472 yards in that game. That game was also played in wet, windy conditions, potentially limiting Pittsburgh potential for big plays. They get a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, who allowed a league-high 541 total yards last week. Kansas City also allowed the Los Angeles Chargers to score 28 points in that game. The Steelers are currently -4 point favorites in a game set at 52.5 points, and they feature one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 28.3 points.
Ben Roethlisberger is currently dealing with a minor injury, but he’s expected to be healthy for this game. He struggled with three interceptions last week, but still totaled 335 yards and one touchdown on only 23 completions. His top target last week was Antonio Brown, who totaled a 9/93/1 line on 16 targets. Brown has featured elite numbers without Le’Veon Bell in the lineup, and he should continue to see an elite number of targets on a weekly basis. James Conner has taken over at running back for the Steelers, and he was the only running back to touch the ball last week. He totaled 192 yards and two touchdowns on 36 touches last week. These three will continue to be the focal points of the Steelers offense, and they make one of the safest stacks on the slate.
Drew Brees/Michael Thomas/Ted Ginn
The New Orleans Saints are a bit of an obvious stack, but there is a spin on them in this article. Last week, the Saints threw for 432 yards and three touchdowns. They get a matchup against the Cleveland Browns, who allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to throw for 313 yards and one touchdown last week. These numbers are a bit skewed, though, as that game was played in terrible conditions, while this game will be played in a dome. The Saints are -10 point favorites in a game set at 50 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 30 points.
Drew Brees completed 82.2% of his passes last week, totaling 439 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers could’ve been even better, although Alvin Kamara scored twice from within the five-yard-line. Michael Thomas saw 17 targets last week, totaling 16 receptions for 180 yards and one touchdown. His 38% target share suggests he’ll continue to have a major role in an elite offense moving forward. Ted Ginn does not see the same target share as someone like Thomas, but he needed only six targets to post a 5/68/1 line last week. He’s New Orleans’ deep threat, making him a high upside tournament stacking option. If you’re playing cash games, Kamara is the player to use over Ginn. In tournaments, Ginn will give you leverage, as he’ll feature lowered ownership and a cheap price tag.
Jimmy Garoppolo/Marquise Goodwin/George Kittle
The San Francisco 49ers totaled only 237 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions last week. It’s tough to trust that game, though, as very few teams have ever found success against the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota. San Francisco will get a significantly easier matchup against the Detroit Lions, who allowed Sam Darnold to throw for 198 yards and two touchdowns on only 21 attempts last week. The 49ers are -6 point favorites in a game set at 48 points. The feature an implied total of 27 points this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo only totaled 261 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions on 33 attempts, but he averaged 17.4 passing yards per completion. Garoppolo was also playing without arguably his best wide receiver in Marquise Goodwin, who was injury early in the game. Goodwin is expected to return to action this week, and he could immediately slide into the number one receiver role. At worst, Goodwin will play as an elite deep threat in a great matchup. The final part of this stack is George Kittle, who lead the 49ers in targets, receptions, and receiving yards last season. Overall, Kittle posted five receptions for 90 yards on nine targets. There’s no reason to worry about San Francisco’s offense because they struggled against an elite Viking defense in Minnesota. This is a significantly better matchup for the 49ers, and they should be able to find plenty of success after a rookie quarterback tore apart Detroit’s secondary.
NOTE: Marquise Goodwin has been ruled out. Dante Pettis can be used in his place.
High Upside GPP Stack
Alex Smith/Chris Thompson/Jordan Reed
The Washington Redskins started their season out with a bang, totaling 429 yards and 24 points against the Arizona Cardinals. While that was an elite matchup, they get another plus matchup this week. The Indianapolis Colts allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to total 330 yards and 34 points last week. Indianapolis has projected as one of the worst defenses in the NFL this season, and Washington has an extremely high upside offense. They are -5.5 point favorites in a game set at 46.5 points, and the Redskins feature an implied total of 26 points this week.
Alex Smith is one of the most underrated players in the NFL, as he continues to produce, but never receives credit. In his first game with the Redskins, Smith need only 30 attempts to total 255 yards and two touchdowns. He also saw eight rushing attempts, although he only totaled 14 yards on them. Chris Thompson is an electric gadget player. He has proven time and time again that he doesn’t need a ton of touches to produce, though. Overall, he needed only 11 touches to record 128 yards and one touchdown last week. Furthermore, Thompson led the Redskins with seven targets, posting a 6/63/1 line. Jordan Reed is the other focal point of the offense. He’s fully healthy, and he has been one of the best tight ends in the NFL when healthy. Last week, he recorded four receptions for 48 yards and one touchdown on five targets. He also played quite a bit of time in the slot for Washington. This is one of the most unconventional offenses in the NFL, as their best two receiving threats are not wide receivers. It’s a way to get a bit of leverage on a three man stack, though. Washington is an offense that seemingly goes overlooked on a near weekly basis, and that could be the case with other intriguing matchups on this slate.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)