Stacking the Deck: FanDuel & DraftKings Stacks for Week 12
Welcome back to Stacking the Deck. This season at 4for4 we will be providing subscribers with Value Reports and Stack Value Reports that value every stack in terms of projected points/$. We also use our Adjusted Fantasy Points Against (aFPA) metric heavily in the column. What’s new this year is we know have the have the advantage of putting into practice two great offseason studies from my colleague, Senior DFS Editor, Chris Raybon: The Definitive Guide to Stacking on FanDuel and The Definitive Guide to Stacking on DraftKings.
Thanksgiving might be my favorite day all year to watch football (and play DFS), but small slates are definitely a unique challenge. Studs are at a premium and fading just for the sake of fading is not necessarily +EV.
This year in particular we will likely see massive ownership with Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell, and Ezekiel Elliott. Most lineups will have at least two of these players jammed in, which is not necessarily a poor strategy, in fact I prefer it. The challenge in tournaments in differentiating from the pack. It's not that the numbers and finding value don't matter, it's just that game theory and finding leverage situations matter much more.
FanDuel Stacks (Thanksgiving Slate)
Dak Prescott ($8,000) & Dez Bryant ($8,000) & Cole Beasley ($6,400) vs. WAS
Ezekiel Elliott is the chalk, for good reason, but what if Dak goes off in his first Thanksgiving game? Those are the situations you are looking for on short slates in tournaments. The Prescott-Bryant-Beasley stack is a double leverage play (I may have just made that up) off of both Zeke and Jason Witten, who will likely be a higher owned play at TE on both sites. The Cowboys have the highest implied total on the slate (29.25 points) and are home favorites (-7) against a Redskins team coming off of an extremely short week. People should be off Dez a bit with his matchup with Josh Norman, but for a guy that has lived off of efficiency, the Cowboys have been targeting him heavily. He's averaging 8.75 targets and 25.74 percent target market share over the past four games and should be able to get in space on some crossing routes. On a slate with limited studs, Dez is a great option. Quietly, Cole Beasley is second on the team in target share over the past four games, tied with Jason Witten (20.59 percent). Wouldn’t a Beasley two-touchdown game be the most annoying thing ever? Be the guy that’s laughing about it with a beer while you're stuffing your face, not the guy tilted over all his Jason Witten shares.
Sam Bradford ($6,700) & Stefon Diggs ($6,600) & Eric Ebron ($6,000) Matt Prater ($4,500) DET vs. MIN
Rostering Sam Bradford long-term is definitely negative EV. That said, he does have a fantastic matchup against the Lions, who rank 31st against quarterbacks in our Adjusted Fantasy Points Against (aFPA) metric, and you should get him at the lowest ownership on the slate next to Scott Tolzien (gross). At $6,700, I will be embracing the variance at least with some lineups, mostly because Stefon Diggs is #good and Detroit will not be able to shut him down like Patrick Peterson did last week. Embrace the negative recency bias. Diggs is one of my favorite plays on this slate and he should be more popular on DraftKings than FanDuel. On the Detroit side, tight ends have a .07 positive correlation to kickers at two positions where being a home favorite really matters (-2.5). I was at the Cardinals game last week and saw David Johnson catch a red zone touchdown through the middle of the field and I said to myself “Eric Ebron” next week. Okay I maybe I didn’t say that, but when Ebron scores I will definitely claim that I did — queue the beers from the first blurb.
DraftKings Stacks (Thanksgiving Slate)
Kirk Cousins ($5,900) & Rob Kelly ($4,300) & Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500) DAL vs. WAS
When your nickname is “Fat Rob” , you become an auto-play on Thanksgiving, especially when you can lock in 18-20 touches for $4,300. I am anticipating the most popular lineup construction to have at least two of Bell, Zeke, Brown. Kelley gives you some savings you desperately need. I like the idea of going somewhat “naked” this week with Cousins, as it’s a really tough offense to get a read on in the passing game. Zeke is a home favorite, and we know he going to get fed volume while feeding himself a lot of invisible cereal on Thursday.
Antonio Brown ($9,200) & Le’Veon Bell ($9,000) & T.Y. Hilton ($7,900) IND vs. MIN
There isn’t a ton to say about this one. Brown and Bell are insanely high-priced-but-fantastic plays, even on the road this week against a Colts defense ranked 27th and 18th against PPR WRs and RB, respectively. However, the total has dropped from 53.5 to 47.5 total points with Andrew Luck out with a concussion. This kind of pause is exactly why T.Y. Hilton could be a decent tournament play. If Tolzien completes a few passes, a couple could go to Hilton and you should get him at under 15 percent ownership.
Matthew Stafford ($8,200) & Theo Riddick ($7,200) & Anquan Boldin ($3,300) & Marvin Jones ($4,100) vs. MIN
This one may be right on the border of being contrarian and being stupid, but I will definitely be rolling out at least one Lions game stack against the Vikings. Riddick is no David Johnson (160 total yards and two TDs against the Vikings last week), but he did total 73 yards on 15 touches a few weeks ago when these two teams met. Anquan Boldin is the first type of under-the-radar play you want on these small slates because of his touchdown equity — see Cole Beasley. The second type is players we know have immense upside but have seen a huge decrease in price — see Jones at $4,100. People forget he was all the way up at $7,600 during his early season explosion. Maybe he blows up on Thanksgiving out of nowhere. If that happens I don’t care who's around, pants are off.
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