Top DFS Stacks on FanDuel and DraftKings: Week 8
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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Tennessee Titans (-5.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals, O/U 54.5
QB Ryan Tannehill, Titans ($7,500 FD/$6,800 DK)
RB Derrick Henry, Titans ($9,500 FD/$8,000 DK)
WR A.J. Brown, Titans ($7,500 FD/$6,900 DK)
TE Jonnu Smith, Titans ($6,100 FD/$4,100 DK)
WR Tyler Boyd, Bengals ($6,400 FD/$6,600 DK)
Nothing like a five-man stack to make you feel alive. We’re going all in on an old fashioned Titans onslaught against an atrocious Cincy defense, bringing back Tyler Boyd as a good bet to benefit from an ocean of negative game script.
The Bengals’ implied total here has dropped by 0.8 points to 24 while the Titans’ total has ticked down by 0.2 to 29.5 points. The Bengals, having traded away Carlos Dunlap—their only defensive lineman who could remotely be considered a run stopper—are set up for a slaughter at the hands of the high-T Tennessee offense. Yes, Henry is going to be on a laughable number of rosters this week against a Bengals defense giving up nearly five yards a tote and 133.7 rushing yards per game. Whether he’ll be hyper-chalky in DFS tournaments this week is an open question. There are a lot of galaxy brains out there who might convince themselves the Big Dog won’t eat in a smash spot. He will. Henry enjoys 42% of the Titans’ total opportunity (rushes plus targets), the highest in the entire NFL. There’s almost no version of the simulation in which we exist where the Titans can’t maintain neutral or positive game script against the Bengals.
Henry and Brown have Week 8’s second-highest projected RB/WR ceiling, according to the 4for4 floor and ceiling tool. Brown, having commanded 24 targets in the three games since his return, has taken the role fantasy managers imagined he’d have in the efficient Titans passing attack. The Bengals allow the seventh most adjusted fantasy points to enemy receivers, the seventh-most yards per pass attempt, and the sixth most yards per completion. Cincy is 26th in pass defense DVOA. It follows that a big outing for Brown would register a bushel of fantasy points to Tannehill.
I don’t think Smith is a must-add to this onslaught, but the Bengals are a sneaky great tight end matchup. Questions about Smith’s post-ankle injury usage cropped up last week against the Steelers when he ran a route on a season-low 41% of Tannehill’s dropbacks. Perhaps Smith is being eased into the offense after suffering his ankle injury a couple weeks ago, or maybe the loss of Talyor Lewan will change the way the team uses Smith. With a price that’s fallen by $100 on FanDuel and a jaw-dropping $600 on DraftKings, he makes sense as a beneficiary of a fat Tanny stat line. Only six teams give up more adjusted fantasy points to tight ends than the Bengals, and 27.2% of targets against Cincinnati have gone to tight ends—the second-highest rate in the league.
Boyd is a natural comeback play against a Tennessee defense that’s struggled against opposing slot receivers. The Titans—who’ve given up the third most receiver receptions this season—saw JuJu Smith Schuster catch nine balls for 85 yards last week. In Week 5, Cole Beasley secured six of six targets against the Titans for 55 yards. Stefon Diggs had success in the slot in that same game. You get the point: slot wideouts are seeing lots of opportunity against the Titans. That’s unlikely to change in this game for the Bengals’ targets share leader. If you can’t fit Boyd into this correlation stack, throw Tee Higgins in there and let it rip.
Minnesota Vikings (-7) @ Green Bay Packers, O/U 51
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($8,400 FD/$7,600 DK)
WR Davante Adams, Packers ($9,100 FD/$8,800 DK)
WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($6,600 FD/$6,500 DK)
First, a word on this game’s over/under: it started at a gaudy 55.5 points, and as of this writing sits at 51. Clearly, it’s not enough to push me off this game for stacking purposes. But it’s a sign that bettors were hammering the under, for what that’s worth.
There’s no way around it: this three-way stack will blow a hole in your salary after Rodgers and Adams saw their prices go straight through the stratosphere on both sites since Week 7. We’re stacking the most deadly QB-WR combo in the league. And there’s no point in stacking Rodgers with anyone if you can’t pair him with Adams. When a wideout is seeing a target share north of 30%—and in two games, more than 40%—every time he suits up, you swallow the bile and pay up for him. I don’t need to remind you of what Adams did to these same Vikings in Week 1, catching 14 of 17 targets for 156 yards and two touchdowns in three and a half quarters of work. He ate Minnesota’s secondary alive, and against a Vikings defense allowing a hefty 8.2 yards per pass attempt—the third-highest mark in the NFL—there’s little reason to think Aaron Rodgers won’t carve up the Vikes in Week 8.
We’re running it back with Jefferson because he’s far cheaper than Adam Thielen and he’s gone off when the Vikings face loads of negative game script. They’re seven-point road dogs in this one, so after they try and fail to establish the run, we could get two quarters of frantic Kirk Cousins garbage time passing. Jefferson, who runs 42% of his pass routes from the left side of the formation and 42% from the slot, is expected to largely avoid shutdown Green Bay corner Jaire Alexander. That’s good. Actually, it’s great.
The rookie has nearly pulled even with Thielen's target share—an unthinkable scenario just a month ago. Jefferson has 25% of the team’s targets over their past four games, 3% less than Thielen. The same goes for air yards: Thielen has 416 air yards over the past four games, 11 more than Jefferson. And Jefferson has posted more air yards per target over the span. His yards per target has been nearly double that of Thielen's, making Jefferson an inferior floor play and a superior ceiling option. Stacking him with Rodgers and Adams is predicated on the Vikings not being able to operate the hyper-conservative offense they prefer. If this contest turns into a Packers blowout or a back-and-forth affair, I love Jefferson’s chance to once again go nuclear.
Vegas Raiders (+2.5) @ Cleveland Browns, Over/under: 51
RB Kareem Hunt, Browns ($8,200 FD/$6,900 DK)
WR Henry Ruggs III, Raiders ($5,700 FD/$4,900 DK)
This game features not one, but two pass defenses with bottom-8 DVOAs. Neither team wants to deploy a low-T pass-heavy offense, but at least one team might find it irresistible this week. That’s my hope, anyway.
This is my weekly secondary stack that you might use along with a larger stack that includes a QB and at least one of his pass-catchers. We’re going to hedge on the Browns having another passing explosion and roll with Hunt, who finds himself in a prime spot. Only the Packers and Texans allow more schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing backs than the Raiders.
Vegas hasn’t exactly been gouged on the ground—they’ve allowed the 19th most rushing yards—but time and again they’ve seen backs post big receiving lines against them. Running backs are averaging seven receptions per game, as only Carolina has allowed more receiving yardage to backs in 2020. Hunt, as you might know, has a stranglehold on pass-catching duties in Cleveland, running far more pass routes than any other Browns back and commanding a respectable 12% targets share over his past three games as the Browns’ RB1. Oh, and Hunt has seen two-thirds of the team’s rushes since Nick Chubb went to IR.
A dominant day for Hunt and the Cleveland rushing attack could create (some) opportunity for Henry Ruggs III, the fast-as-hell rookie who profiles as a prototypically high variance wideout for DFS tournament purposes. Ruggs has a lowly three targets in each of his past three games; in one of those games—against KC’s vaunted secondary—Ruggs exploded for 118 yards and a score. Know what you’re getting with Ruggs: a receiver whose upper target range is around five. He’s been on the field quite a bit though, playing 75% of the Raiders’ snaps against Tampa in Week 7 while running 32 routes—second-most among Vegas wideouts. The week before against KC, he was again second in pass routes among Raiders receivers.
Cleveland’s secondary has struggled against speedy wideouts this season. Marquise Brown’s only sorta-big game came against the Browns in Week 1 when he caught five passes for 101 yards; Chase Claypool and James Washington gave the Browns fits in Week 6, combining for eight catches and 142 yards; and Tee Higgins went for 71 yards last week against the Browns. Ruggs again has the upside (and the downside) to make for an excellent GPP option.