Because playoff slates are so small, we’re going to look at some stacking plays instead of each position as a whole. On a normal slate of 13+ games, there are going to be three or more games that hit the over by a wide margin. Stacking one of them is nice but doesn’t cut down a massive portion of the field. If you can pick the offense and game that smashes the over on the smaller slates, you may have access to the only game that does that, greatly increasing your odds of taking down a GPP.
All the Vikings + a Saint
The secret to slates with the Saints at home is to just stack their opponents. They have allowed 22.9 points at home compared to 19.8 on the road. This is mainly a product of the Saints putting up video game numbers at home, forcing their opponents to attempt to do the same. The scoring splits are similar for the Saints but the yardage totals are night and day. They averaged a staggering 420 yards per game at home and 327.8 on the road.
That means we’re stacking up the Vikings this week.
Kirk Cousins is top-eight in:
- Quarterback Rating - 107.4
- Touchdown rate - 5.9%
- Adjusted yards per attempt - 8.7
He’s been one of the league’s best passers this year, the volume just hasn’t been there. As an 8-point dog, that won’t be a problem this week.
Both Diggs and Thielen are clear stacking options. I lean Diggs as he has 225 yards over his past three games whereas Thielen came back for two games, was targeted seven times, and has 27 yards to show for it. However, an extra week of rest may help him get on track and he’ll certainly be low-owned. Double stacks are in play as well.
Dalvin Cook is the only other player I’d stack Cousins with. Before exiting Week 14 early with a shoulder injury, Cook was averaging 4.6 targets per game. Had he played all 16 games, Cook would have finished 8th in the NFL in targets. He was also one of three backs to top 8 yards per target on 30 or more targets this year.
Austin Ekeler was the only back with as much volume as Cook and the efficiency to match. He’s an easy stack with Cousins.
The run-back is pretty simple. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas control so much of the Saints offense that they are almost the only two options. Kamara has scored four times in the past two games after scoring twice in his first 12. He’s the best value running back at $7,400.
Jared Cook is an interesting play at tight end as he’s averaged a 3.5-66.8-.9 line since returning in Week 10.
Carlos Hyde and Houston Defense
Unsurprisingly, whenever Houston is favored, they pound the ball with Carlos Hyde. they have been favorites in eight games this season. In those contests, Hyde has averaged 17.3 carries for 77.3 rushing yards. In the other eight—13.4 for 56.5.
Houston are home favorites against the Bills this week.
The Bills defense is 5th in pass DVOA but 18th versus the run. Everything is pointing to a solid outing from Carlos Hyde.
On the other side of the ball, Josh Allen is 9th in sack percentage (7.6%) and he’ll be dropping back more than usual as the Bills are 3-point dogs.
WR-WR in the PHI/SEA Game
As far as Philly receivers go, there is only one worth mentioning and that’s Greg Ward. Ward caught 6/7 targets in Week 17 and was the team’s only receiver to go over two catches. The Eagles have been massacred by injuries down the stretch and that’s opened up a lot of opportunity for Ward.
Over the past four weeks, Ward has 30 targets and he’s caught 70% of those passes. The game-script for Philadelphia, as a 1.5-point underdog, should keep them passing. That makes Ward a solid option with Zach Ertz either out or dealing with actual damage to his internal organs.
The other side of this game comes down a coin flip as far as receivers go. D.K. Metcalf has a higher average depth of target (meaning more potential for slate-breaking splash plays) and is $1,100 cheaper. Tyler Lockett is more expensive but leads the team in receiving yards (1,057), receptions (82), and receiving touchdowns. This is all while having a handful of games seemingly derailed by a thigh injury that he played through.
The big tiebreaker for me is Lockett’s role shift in the middle of the year. In Weeks 1-9, he had a 10.7 aDOT.
Weeks 14-17: 14.3 aDOT.
The Seahawks have gotten Lockett much more involved in the deep passing game, giving him the same slate-breaking upside on a single target as Metcalf.