*Angry Tom Brady and crew are the NUTS match-up this week so no need to go into detail about it*
Jameis Winston/Jacquizz Rodgers/Mike Evans
The Bucs were on bye last week because of Hurricane Irma. This week they will face off against the Chicago Bears, who struggled against the Falcons last week. The Bears were able to bottle up the run last week, but they allowed Matt Ryan to throw for more than 300 yards. Overall, it was somewhat of a surprising game for the Chicago defense, but it was far from an impressive game overall. The Bears currently rank 25th in the NFL against quarterbacks, 12th against running backs, and 13th against wide receivers.
Winston and Evans are the obvious part of this stack. Evans is a target hog, who will see more one-on-one coverage this season with DeSean Jackson in the lineup. Evans will face off against Marcus Cooper for the majority of the game, and this will be a matchup that the Bucs will try to exploit. The third part of this stack is Rodgers, who was arguably the Bucs best running back in limited games last season. Rodgers has displayed great hands throughout his career, and while Charles Sims will likely handle the majority of the passing down work, Rodgers can hold his own in passing situations on early downs. Rodgers will also handle the work late in the game if the Bucs get a sizeable lead, as the Vegas line predicts.
Matt Ryan/Julio Jones/Mohamed Sanu
The Falcons found a win last week, but their offense was not nearly as powerful as many were expecting. This could be for a number of factors, but playing their first game on the road without much time with the starting offense in preseason likely played a major role in that. This week the Falcons will face off against the Packers in a game that is expected to feature a ton of scoring. Green Bay’s defense looked outstanding last week, but that was mostly because of Seattle’s terrible offensive line play. Green Bay’s cornerbacks struggled when Russell Wilson was given time to throw the ball.
The Falcons have a team total of 28 points, which is the fourth highest on the slate. Green Bay looked outstanding against the run last week, and Atlanta will likely be focusing on their passing attack this week. They recently stated that they need to get Jones involved in the offense more this week, as well. Last week, Jones and Sanu combined for 50% of the team’s targets. They aren’t an offense that comes as predictable, but this game could quickly turn into a shootout and attacking the Green Bay corners will be the most efficient way to do that.
Kirk Cousins/Jamison Crowder/Jordan Reed
The Redskins struggled in a plus matchup against the Eagles last week, which caused their prices to drop a bit. It could also cause their overall ownership to drop this week. They get a matchup against the Rams, who looked elite against the Colts last week. With that being said, Los Angeles faced off against Scott Tolzien, who has struggled throughout his career. The Redskins, who are still becoming a cohesive offensive unit after losing their offensive coordinator in the offseason, will be a much more difficult test this week.
The Redskins attempted 40 passes last week, which suggests they will continue to be a pass heavy team this season. Crowder and Reed combined to see 39% of Washington’s targets last week. In turn, T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle were the only two players on the Colts offense last week to record more than one catch. Crowder and Reed will play similar roles as Hilton and Doyle this week. Pryor will likely be shadowed by Trumaine Johnson, while Crowder will be covered by Los Angeles’s slot corner, Nickell Robey-Coleman. Crowder and Reed get the best matchups for Washington, and they will continue to be featured in the offense.
High Upside GPP Stack
Blake Bortles/Marqise Lee/Allen Hurns
It’s always tough to stack the Jaguars, but they make an elite tournament stack this week. Allen Robinson was ruled out for the season, which will thrust Lee and Hurns into bigger roles. Bortles is a headache to own in season long leagues, but he has proven time and time again that he comes with elite upside. They get a matchup this week against Tennessee, who currently ranks 21st against the quarterback and 25th against the wide receiver after struggling against Oakland the first week. The Jaguars will also see an uptick in plays because of the speed the Titans play at.
Bortles only attempted 21 passes last week, but the Jaguars simply did not need him after getting out to an early lead. This game is expected to be close, as the Titans are only -1 point favorites. The Jaguars could be throwing from early in the game to late into the fourth quarter. While Fournette’s workload is a bit worrisome for the passing games upside, Bortles, Hurns, and Lee are all cheap enough to exceed value in limited opportunities. The Titans allowed big games to both Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper last week, and Lee and Hurns could be in for a similar game this weekend.
By: Justin Bales (Twitter)