Top DFS Stacks on FanDuel and DraftKings: Week 17
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.
Tennessee Titans (-7.5) @ Houston Texans; O/U 56.5
QB Deshaun Watson, Texans ($8,700 FD/$7,700 DK)
WR Brandin Cooks, Texans ($7,300 FD/$6,900 DK)
RB Derrick Henry, Titans ($10,200 FD/$9,400 DK)
The most stackable game on the Week 17 main slate, this game’s already-astronomical total has risen by 1.5 points since Monday. There are a bunch of ways to stack this game—guys like A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, Keke Coutee, David Johnson, and Chad Hansen come to mind—but I think the Watson-Cooks-Henry stack is the most straightforward option. Some combination of these players—something like Johnson and Brown—could also make high-upside secondary stacks in GPP lineups.
Watson will reportedly play through the hand injury he suffered last week and the playoff-seeking Titans have every reason to go all out. Motivation shouldn’t be a factor in this one.
Tennessee’s secondary is a disaster. They get burned weekly. Only Detroit’s abysmal defense allows more schedule-adjusted fantasy production to wideouts, and just barely. Last time these teams played, in Week 6, Houston wideouts combined for 19 catches, 208 yards, and three touchdowns. Cooks scorched the Titans for nine catches on nine targets for 68 yards and a score that day. As the Texans’ target hog—Cooks has commanded 24% of the team’s targets over the past three weeks—he should get every opportunity against the pass-funnel Titans. Nearly 69% of yardage gained against Tennessee this season has come through the air, the seventh-highest rate in the league.
Houston's defense can be had in any number of ways, making any and all Titans skill position players viable in DFS this week. Only the Lions allow more schedule-adjusted points to running backs, so there’s little reason to think Henry won’t get every chance to wreck the Texans on the ground in a must-win game for the Titans. No team has allowed more rushing yardage this year than the Texans. In Week 6, Henry ran roughshod over Houston’s defense to the tune of 212 rushing yards and 52 receiving yards. He scored twice that day. Henry’s Week 17 DFS salary might make you dry heave, but it might keep his usage somewhat depressed in large-field tournaments. Don’t hesitate to stack Henry alongside Ryan Tannehill and a Tennessee pass catcher. Game script should facilitate all three players.
Minnesota Vikings (-7.5) @ Detroit Lions; O/U 54.5
QB Kirk Cousins, Vikings ($7,700 FD/$6,300 DK)
WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($8,000 FD/$7,600 DK)
RB Mike Boone ($4,600 FD/$4,000 DK)
Any kind of Minnesota mega-stack is in play against the lifeless Lions in a game featuring the second-highest over/under of the week. Only the Titans and Colts have a higher implied total than the Vikings. Detroit—after being dismantled by the Bucs last week—is now giving up the most adjusted fantasy points to running backs, quarterbacks, and wideouts. It’s truly remarkable how bad they are. Consider Irv Smith (with Kyle Rudolph out once again) and Adam Thielen for stacking purposes in a game that could see the Vikes pour it on.
The landscape of this game improves if Matthew Stafford is able to play through his multiple injuries. His presence would create a run-back option or two alongside a Vikings stack—someone like Marvin Jones or T.J. Hockenson.
While the Vikings have nothing to play for, they should have all their players in high gear this week. Dalvin Cook is out and Alexander Mattison has missed two straight games after having an appendectomy and then suffering a concussion, leaving Mike Boone as the odds-on favorite to handle a starter's workload against Detroit. Having allowed the third-most rushing yardage this season along with a whopping 40 running back touchdowns, there’s no better spot for Boone, who will surely be highly owned if Mattison is sidelined. But stacking him alongside Cousins, Jefferson, and one Detroit pass-catcher offers some uniqueness in large-field GPPs.
Jefferson has separated from Thielen a bit over the past month. The rookie has a 29% target share over the past four games, 10% higher than Thielen in his past four outings. Leading the team in air yards by a solid margin, Jefferson is far more likely to see downfield, high-value looks from Cousins against Detroit. The hope is the ultra-conservative Vikings don’t let off the gas once they grab a big lead against the Lions.
Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5) @ Denver Broncos; O/U 51
QB Derek Carr, Raiders ($7,200 FD/$5,700 DK)
TE Darren Waller, Raiders ($7,800 FD/$7,100 DK)
TE Noah Fant, Broncos ($5,700 FD/$4,400 DK)
Neither of these teams are going to the playoffs, the Raiders done in by Jon Gruden’s Stone Age play-calling and old school ways, the Broncos done in by one of the league’s worst starting quarterbacks.
While two tight ends in a DraftKings lineup is hardly advisable, Waller functions as the Raiders’ No. 1 pass catcher. He’s not a regular tight end. He’s a cool tight end. Incredibly, Waller is second on the team in air yards, just 100 yards behind Nelson Agholor. His 28% target share is otherworldly for a tight end (or any pass catcher). Against a borderline atrocious secondary in a game with a high over/under, Waller has enormous upside.
Playing Fant is less about matchup than it is about usage and likely game script. The Raiders give up the eighth fewest schedule-adjusted points to tight ends, but Fant is seeing a bunch of targets as the Broncos find themselves in constant negative game script. Fant, who has a 20% target share over his past three games, could easily see double-digit targets if this game turns into a back-and-forth affair or the Broncos are chasing points in the second half. Fant’s DraftKings price point is way too low.