Week Sixteen NFL Stacks

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There are a handful of great stacks to look at in Week 16, but we’ll focus on three stacks for this weekend. Welcome to the Week 16 stacks! In case it’s not clear, the underlined team is the stack to focus on.

New York Jets at New England Patriots

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Plays

QB: Tom Brady – $7700 DraftKings, $9000 FanDuel

WR: Chris Hogan – $4200 DraftKings, $5300 FanDuel

RB: LeGarrette Blount – $5600 DraftKings, $7200 FanDuel

Flex: Julian Edelman – $6900, $6700 FanDuel

Vegas

Total: 43.5

Spread: NE -16.5

Implied team total: 30.0

Stack Breakdown

Stacking the Patriots makes a lot of sense this week if the Jets can keep the game close enough to keep the starters on the field for New England, or if Bill Belichick decides to pile on points against a weaker divisional rival. The Patriots have the highest implied team total on the slate at 30.0, so they’ll garner a lot of ownership (see below), but are the highest projected team stack on the DFSDatalytics projections.

By DVOA, the Pats have the third best offense in the NFL (20.6%) and the second highest pass DVOA (48.4%), and that’s including the first four Tom Brady-less games to start the season. Their cake matchup has them going up against the Jets’ 28th-overall ranked defense, and more importantly their 32nd-ranked pass defense. Although the Jets’ cornerback PFF ratings aren’t as bad as the team DVOA would imply, the Jets this season have allowed 2433 yards through the air and 15 receiving touchdowns to WR.

The Patriots’ deep threat receiver Chris Hogan should get a lot of run this week, as he’ll be matching up with the ghost of Darrelle Revis (78.9 on PFF, thrown at on 19% of routes); although Tom Brady has only connected on nine “Big Plays” (passing plays over 25 yards) which is only 3.61% of his completions, the Jets’ are bad on deep passes – NYJ has a deep ball DVOA of 41.8% (24th). For his deep-ball and touchdown potential, Hogan is the optimal Patriots WR but is priced $2700 cheaper than their “best” receiver, Julian Edelman. Hogan is actually a better play on FanDuel than DraftKings because he’s not a high-volume reception player, but still projects very well on both sites.

The Jets defensive line also ranks as the worst in the league, with an adjusted sack rate of 4.0% and combining for only 40 hurries from their DEs. Compare that with Olivier Vernon of the better NY team who has 33 hurries from that position on his own. That should allow Brady tons of time in the pocket to let plays develop downfield and to either take his shots at Hogan or check it down to Edelman.

Edelman should also have a big day, as he’s on the field the most of the WRs (just under 80% of total snaps) and runs a route 71.03% of snaps played. Given that Edelman is a target monster (0.25 times per route run/126 targets this season), he should pick up a lot of points from receptions as opposed to lots of yardage. He’s projected for 9 targets this week as a floor and faces an incredibly weak part of the field of the Jets –  the Jets are 27th in DVOA for passes across the middle of the field. Over the last three weeks with Rob Gronkowski missing Edelman’s been targeted 12, 15, and 12 times against teams worse than the Jets (Denver, Baltimore, Los Angeles). Look for him to run a lot of slants and curls out of the slot, as well as the odd gadget running play or pass out to the flat.

There’s really not much to be said here about Tom Brady that hasn’t already been said. He’s the highest projected QB by a good margin, and the only 30+ projected quarterback this week.

At running back, LeGarrette Blount has started losing touches to Dion Lewis since Lewis came back in Week 11. From that week up to last week (five games), Blount grabbed 83 rushing attempts – 16.6/game – and in the five games previous he saw 94 (18.8/game). Last week was the first time that Blount had less touches than Lewis, with 17 attempts to Lewis’ 18. From a game-flow perspective though, Blount should get a lot of action in this game as the clock-eating back in a blowout. Blount is also the only goal line threat as a running play – not including Brady sneaks – as this season he’s rushed 17 times from inside the 5 which is T1 for attempts. Blount has connected for the score nine times and has taken 68% of the Pat’s rushes from that position.

The one good thing the Jets can do is run-block, and stuff backs behind the line. That hurts Blount (and James White and Dion Lewis) this week, as the Jets stuff the runner on 27% of rush attempts; conversely, if one of the backs can find a hole, the Jets rank 29th in Open Field yards allowed to running backs. The Patriots have the ninth-ranked run-blocking offensive line, and only get run stuffed 19% of the time.

Other Factors & Ownership

Weather won’t be a factor in Foxboro this weekend, with the forecast calling for sunny & clear with minimal winds (8-10mph) and temperatures in the low 40s at gametime. The Jets get an extra day off because they played last Saturday at home against Miami, getting pumped by MATT MOORE(!) 34-13.

The Patriots should figure to be the most highly owned this weekend in a divisional matchup against the Jets. Our highest projected WR (Hogan) should see lower ownership than Edelman based on name value/price. FanShareSports.com currently has Edelman as the T18th most “tagged” player (100% start), versus Hogan as the T45th most tagged. (As an aside, FanShare is a valuable resource (not affiliated with DFSDatalytics!) that costs absolutely nothing and correlates their tagged players closely with actual ownership.)

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Good luck this weekend! Don’t forget the games are on SATURDAY! And Happy Holidays!

You can follow me on twitter @adalyfrey

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