DFS Stacks & Sneaky Plays: Week 14

One of my favorite tools of any on the site is the situation run/pass ratios. The reason is simple. It allows us to see what a team wants to do. I split out first and second downs because the decision is made for the coach in most third-down situations. First and second down are usually where a team shows their identity. Dial it down even further by only looking at plays that are run while the team is within one score, and you can learn a lot about a team. 

Kansas City and Pittsburgh continue to lead the league in pass-rate in these situations. The Bills are up near the top, as well. If you look at the past month, though, you see how teams have changed.

The Chiefs, Steelers, and Bills are all still up in the 59% – 63% range. Seattle, on the other hand, has dropped like a rock. 

Chiefs Stack, Obviously

It’s impossible to ignore Kansas City when the Chiefs are on the main slate. People have tried to make the case to fade them from time to time, but it’s a fool’s errand. We want large pieces of the largest passing pies in DFS. That means Travis Kelce ($7,400) and Tyreek Hill ($8,500). You have to pay a premium for them but there are enough value plays on the slate this week to make it work. 

Those two account for 47% of Patrick Mahomes’s ($8,100) targets. Mahomes has the fourth-most passing attempts in the NFL this year. There’s always a chance with them that a couple of random touchdowns go to the secondary or tertiary receivers, but that’s not a reason to avoid these pass-catchers. I’m fully out on the running game until further notice simply because they don’t really seem like they have the willingness to trust those guys at the moment. 

The Miami offense has shown some life lately and both of these teams will run plenty of plays. Myles Gaskin ($5,600) came back from injury last week and dove right back into his role. 

While active, Gaskin has been the guy to own in the Miami backfield. He’s accounted for nearly 60% of the running back carries and over 60% of the running back targets in this Miami offense while healthy. Don’t overthink it.

Ground and Pound 

Finding generous defenses is an important part of any slate. This week we’ll pick a couple of running backs with juicy matchups based on our explosive runs allowed. 

The Texans are one of the worst teams at stopping big plays on the ground. Just over 13% of the run plays against them have qualified as explosive rushes. They’re tied for last in the raw number of explosive rushes allowed. David Montgomery ($6,500) has one of the most valuable roles in the NFL. He’s accounted for 70% of the running back carries so far.

On top of that, he’s been used in the passing game. Montgomery has accounted for about 55% of the running back targets this year. In fact, there hasn’t been a game all year where he’s seen fewer than three targets. 

The Jaguars are almost as bad as the Texans at defending the run. Derrick Henry ($8,700) gets that matchup this week. In my opinion, Henry is matchup-proof anyway. The only thing that can truly stop Henry is game-script. We saw that last week as Jeremy McNichols ($4,000) saw a season-high snap rate as the Titans fell behind early. Henry has one of the most valuable workloads in the league in a regular week. 

He leads the league in red zone rush attempts at 54. Nobody else on the team is even in double-digits. The obvious bring back on the Henry play is James Robinson ($7,500). While both plays individually will be popular, people are hesitant to play running backs on opposite sides of the same game. The correlation isn’t as bad as people think, though. It’s essentially the same correlation as playing the opposing WR1 and it’s actually a stronger link than playing the WR2 or TE1 on the opposing side. 

Bargain Basement

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the cheapest viable running back on the slate. With Antonio Gibson’s diagnosis of turf toe, J.D. McKissic ($4,900) is getting a lot of buzz. But, depending on how you think the game goes, you might want to consider Peyton Barber ($4,400). At his price, he really only needs 60 yards and a touchdown. He was given a goal line carry to go along with his 14 total touches last week. We’re talking deep GPP fliers here, but if Barber somehow scores multiple touchdowns he’d provide plenty of leverage. 

At $3,900, Breshad Perriman is interesting. Denzel Mims is dealing with a family emergency and won’t be on the field this weekend. He only saw four targets last week. While his usage has been inconsistent, he has shown flashes and had spike weeks. This matchup isn’t something that scares you. 

Since Week 8, Perriman has been the second-most targeted receiver in this Jets offense. They somewhat functioned like an NFL offense last week, so they’ve got that going for them!