Top DFS Stacks on FanDuel and DraftKings: Week 1

Sep 10, 2020
Top DFS Stacks on FanDuel and DraftKings: Week 1

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Stacking players is a stairway to the top of daily fantasy tournaments, maximizing upside by creating the sort of volatility that can help your roster post a crooked score—one way or another.

Below are some of the most intriguing stacking plays I found while sifting through the week's matchups. Most of these options will leave room for high-ceiling studs. The goal, naturally, is to get a lot for a little. So let's get into it.

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Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5) @ Washington Football Team - O/U 43.0

QB Carson Wentz, Eagles ($7,700 FD/$6,300 DK)

WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles ($5,700 FD/$4,900 DK)

WR Terry McLaurin ($6,500 FD/$5,600 DK)

Update: Jalen Reagor put in a full practice on Thursday. He could be a go for Sunday against Washington, potentially putting a cap on Jackson's opportunity. If you stick with stacking Jackson with Wentz, you're hoping Reagor's presence in the lineup pushes DFS players off DJax, making him a more unique play. You could also throw Reagor in with Wentz. DFS players might be queasy about deploying a rookie wideout with a bum shoulder.

The over-under in this one isn’t sexy, exactly. It’s actually pretty ugly. But wait! The Eagles sport an implied total of 24.25 points, which is hardly hateful. And they’re squaring off against a Washington secondary that allowed a 68.8% completion rate in 2019—the fourth-highest rate in the league.

Washington opponents didn’t have to rip them through the air all that often in 2019; they’d get a lead, know Washington’s toothless offense wouldn’t even try to score points, and keep the ball on the ground for much of the second half. That could happen in Week 1, but in the off chance it doesn’t, pair Wentz with his primary deep threat—Jackson, who loves him a revenge game narrative—and running it back with McLaurin, a potential target hog in a rejuvenated offense.

Wentz is a pretty good deep ball thrower, completing 51% of his passes over 20 yards last season. Only eight QBs were more accurate downfield. Most important for Jackson’s opportunity in Week 1: Wentz was 11th in deep shot attempts in 2019 despite being without a legit downfield threat. Who could forget DJax roasting his former team in the 2019 season opener, turning nine targets into eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns? With Jalen Reagor and Alshon Jeffrey likely to miss the Eagles’ season opener, Jackson will see target volume by default. The sort of high-value targets Jackson gets means a big game is in play.

McLaurin, who commanded a monster share of targets as a rookie (no small feat), wrecked the Eagles in two matchups last year, catching 10 of 12 targets for 255 yards and two scores. With a pass-heavy game script in a game that sees Washington enter as home underdogs, McLaurin could be the beneficiary of a Football Team playing catch up. We saw McLaurin thrive in similar scenarios last year, when nearly 70% of his targets came when the Football Team was trailing.

This stack is the third-best value among combinations of QB, his receiver, and the opponent’s top receiver, according to the 4for4 Stack Value Report. Jackson, by the bye, happens to be the sixth-best WR value on FanDuel, while McLaurin is a top-10 WR value on DraftKings.

Las Vegas Raiders (-3.5) @ Carolina Panthers - O/U 47.5

QB Derek Carr, Raiders ($7,100 FD/$5,900 DK)

RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders ($8,200 FD/$6,800 DK)

WR Bryan Edwards, Raiders ($4,500 FD/$4,200 DK)

RB Christian McCaffrey ($6,500 FD/$10,000 DK)

The Panthers-Raiders tilt has the makings of a high-scoring affair: two porous defenses and plenty of speed demons on both sides. You could spend all day—as I have done—making various stacks in this matchup. I like this one best because it includes the two guys—Jacobs and McCaffrey—who will necessarily have to be involved in a shootout kind of game.

Probably Jacobs will continue to be ignored in the passing game, for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter a whole lot for our purposes since his price point is reasonable, bordering on generous on both sites. Jacobs was served a healthy heaping of touches in Raiders wins last year, notching an average of 23. The Silver and Black happen to be 3.5-point road favorites here going against a Panthers defense that gave up a league-high 5.2 yards per carry in 2019. And 43.7% of plays run against the Carolina defense were on the ground—the ninth highest rate in the NFL. Jacobs, sporting the sixth-highest projected ceiling among running backs on FanDuel, will get 20+ touches in this one barring a total disaster for the Raiders.

CMC is game script-proof and its reflected in his sky-high DFS price tag. He’s going to get his. McCaffrey last year was peppered with targets when the Panthers fell victim to negative game script (which, it turns out, was pretty much the entire season), seeing double-digit targets in nine of 16 games. There’s no reason to think he wouldn’t gobble up targets against the Raiders if it’s a back and forth affair, or if Carolina falls behind early.

That leaves Carr and Edwards, a cheap QB-WR combo with a lot of upside. Edwards is slated to start opposite Henry Ruggs after Tyrell Williams’ season-ending injury. Williams, of course, played almost 80% of the Raiders’ offensive snaps a year ago, meaning Edwards should get a lot of run to start the year. Edwards is dirt cheap on both sites, could be his team’s top receiver, and faces a Raiders secondary that allowed the seventh most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to enemy wideouts in 2019. Teams carved up the Raiders via the pass in a decidedly efficient way, averaging 7.8 yards per pass attempt—the highest in the league.

The salary cap relief Edwards offers means you can still fit guys like Kenny Golladay and Joe Mixon into your lineup, if you so choose.

Indianapolis Colts (-8.0) @ Jacksonville Jaguars - O/U 45

QB Philip Rivers, Colts ($7,200 FD/$6,000 DK)

RB Jonathan Taylor, Colts ($5,400 FD/$5,700 DK)

WR T.Y. Hilton, Colts ($6,500 FD/$5,800 DK)

DEF Colts ($3,700 FD/$3,000 DK)

WR D.J. Chark ($6,600 FD/$7,700 DK)

The Colts have the sneakiest implied total of the week. At 26.25 points, their total is higher than all but five teams. It makes more than a little sense: they’re taking on a Jacksonville defense that has dealt away all of its best players over the past year—the machinations of a galaxy brained general manager and owner.

That leaves the Colts’ relatively low-priced players to take advantage of a defense that shouldn’t provide much resistance in 2020. Stacking Rivers with Taylor, Hilton, and the Colts defense is predicated on an Indy blowout victory. Adding Chark to the mix is an effort to benefit from the negative game script the Jaguars will likely face, and the throws Gardner Minshew will have to make to his top target against a so-so pass defense.

Chark saw 15 targets in his first game against the Colts last year, and five targets in the other. He dominated in the first matchup, posting 104 yards and two touchdowns on eight grabs. The Jags WR1 could be a garbage-time hero in 2020 after he saw a spike in targets, receptions, and yardage in Jacksonville losses in 2019. They enter this Week 1 game as big home dogs.

Does Taylor enter his first game as a pro with any kind of floor? Let me know if you find out. Marlon Mack could very well be part of the team’s game plan while they ease the rookie back into the fold. The run-loving Colts should have plenty of carries to go around if things go according to plan here though. If Jacksonville’s run defense struggles continue in 2020, we could once again see lots of rushing scores against the Jags. They allowed the second-most touchdowns on the ground in 2019.

Indy’s defense is hardly a tough sell, even in this road matchup. The Jags gave up the ninth most schedule-adjusted points to defenses last season, with Minshew’s completion rate hovering around 60% in both wins and losses. That’s not great, and it’s exactly the kind of thing we want to see when we’re using a defense against a QB who should be forced to chuck it into an expecting secondary. Hence, the Colts defense has the seventh-highest projected ceiling of opening week, per 4for4.

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