DFS Core Four and Value Stacks: Week 6
This Week 6 NFL DFS article consists of two parts, the "Core Four" and value stacks. The Core Four are my four favorite plays on the main slate for any game format, regardless of price or projected percent rostered. All four will almost assuredly be in my cash lineup and be an integral part of my GPP core plays (though they probably won't all be in the same GPP lineup).
For the value stacks, I’ll be using 4for4's Stack Value Reports to find stacks that can take down a tournament. I like building contrarian stacks around my chalkier core of players because you only have to get one instance correct for it to hit. Though there may be a chalkier player or two within the value stack, I will usually add a piece from the game that makes the stack a bit contrarian.
For example, if we hit on a contrarian quarterback play while having a pass-catcher or two from that same game, the positive correlation of those stacks is technically getting one contrarian play correct despite filling multiple roster slots. I feel this is easier than having a chalkier stack while trying to hit multiple individual low-rostered plays throughout the rest of your lineup. Keep in mind that these are contrarian stacks, so you don’t have to use these stacks in a large percentage of lineups to be overweight on the field. They should be used in tandem with a chalkier core of players.
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Core Four Plays
UPDATE: Kareem Hunt moves to my top core RB play with Chubb out
QB Lamar Jackson ($8,200 FD/$7,400 DK)
We get the prime time pricing discount on Lamar for Week 6. If he exploded for 40 DK points on Sunday, he’d probably be $1,000 more expensive than his current salary. The frenetic pace of the comeback against the Colts is one we could see repeated in Week 6 against the Chargers. The Bolts offense has been clicking and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them have success early and push the pace in this game. The Chargers’ scheme has allowed offenses to run the ball efficiently—they almost play a bend, don’t break style. That has detracted from QB scoring at points this year, but Lamar being an integral part of the run game makes it advantageous for him. He’s contributed nearly 10 points per game on the ground, so he’s my favorite cash game quarterback on the slate.
RB Khalil Herbert ($5,500 FD/$4,600 DK)
Herbert wasn't on many radars a week ago, but the lack of availability of David Montgomery and Damien Williams gives him a golden opportunity. The Packers rank 22nd in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to running backs and the game flow could provide a boost in receptions for Herbert. The fact that he's just above the RB minimum makes him an easy cash play. The Bears' passing game has been suspect and Nagy has continued to rely on the run game. Herbert looked solid in a 50/50 timeshare with Williams last week racking up 75 yards. His floor is solid, but given the projected touches, he has a rather high ceiling for his bargain price.
RB Darrel Williams ($5,200 FD/$4,900 DK)
It's the week of the cheap touches at running back. Normally my strategy is to load up on top running back options and play mid-to-low-range wide receivers, but the way this week is shaping up it looks like the opposite strategy is the prudent play. Williams is no slouch. He's played in this Chiefs offense for multiple seasons and has beat out Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson to stay in Kansas City. The fact that Tyreek Hill may out make this play even more enticing. Not that Williams will soak up Hill's targets, but that the offense is just going to be more concentrated. He's both a capable runner and pass-catcher. Much like Herbert, for this price, he's an easy fit in cash games and allows you to get up to stud receivers.
WR Ricky Seals-Jones ($5,000 FD/$3,000 DK)
I struggled with making Seals-Jones a cash game core four, but his involvement and usage in Washington’s offense is undeniable with Logan Thomas and Curtis Samuel on the shelf, Terry McLaurin possibly out and Cam Sims and Dyami Brown all reeling as well. Seals-Jones played all but one snap, led the team in targets, and nearly hauled in two touchdown passes. I don’t normally argue the merits of film versus stats/metrics, but Seals-Jones's involvement in Week 5 was much more pronounced in terms of a possible fantasy point ceiling than the box score dictates. His stat line could have easily been 6-60-1 or 7-70-2, which would have him in every lineup this coming week. The difference was securing the two end zone passes. For his current pricing, I like him a lot, especially on DraftKings where the savings is much needed.
Value Stacks to Target
QB Taylor Heinicke, Washington ($7,300 FD/$5,800 DK)
WR Terry McLaurin, Washington ($7,400 FD/$7,100 DK)
WR Mecole Hardman, Chiefs ($5,500 FD/$4,300 DK)
WR Travis Kelce, Chiefs ($8,500 FD/$7,000 DK)
There isn't a setting for a single stack with a double bring back in our Stack Value Report. However, if you put the pieces together manually you can see this is a very unique and high ceiling stack. It's basically a Mahomes double with a bring-back, but you are opting to put Heinicke in the QB spot instead of Mahomes to get some value. I like the single stack with Heinicke because he is mobile and Terry McLaurin has a stranglehold on the usage in this offense with a 30% target share and 44% air yards share. You're hoping for some rushing production and perhaps a touchdown on the ground plus the majority of the passing production to go to McLaurin, which it has to this point in the season. Be sure to monitor McLaurin's injury status heading into Sunday.
With Tyreek Hill unlikely to play, the Chiefs' offense gets a bit more concentrated. I like leaving Darrel Williams out of these tournament stacks because it is direct leverage on what should be a chalk running back. Just to be clear, Williams is a cash play, but I don't mind the idea of hedging in tournaments with a fade. With Hill out, 40% of the Chiefs' air yards and 28% of their targets are unaccounted for. Kelce and Hardman already combine for 40% of the Chiefs' air yards and targets. I expect to be able to capture at least 50-55% of the targets and air yards against the Football Team. The total in this game is approaching 55 so it's going to be a popular game to stack. This is a unique way to get access without being similar.
QB Carson Wentz, Colts ($6,700 FD/$5,400 DK)
WR Michael Pittman, Colts ($5,800 FD/$5,800 DK)
WR, Brandin Cooks, Texans ($6,500 FD/$5,800 DK)
Carson Wentz impressed on Monday Night Football against the Ravens. The Colts' offense clicked and his connection with Michael Pittman looked top-notch. Pittman currently owns a 25% market share of targets and a 37% market share of the Colts’ air yards. His first touchdown of the season came against the Ravens last week which gives him a touchdown rate of 20% and an expected touchdown rate of 40%. This indicates that with his usage he should be scoring more touchdowns. I like buying low on touchdown variance in Week 6. Pittman will be popular, especially on FanDuel, but the uniqueness comes from rostering Pittman in a Colts/Texans stack which I don’t think will be popular.
Brandin Cooks's market share numbers are elite. He is seeing 33% of targets and 50% of air yards in the Texans’ offense. He has a solid average depth of target at 13 yards per target, as well. Like Pittman, his expected touchdown rate is higher than his actual touchdown rate, suggesting that if similar usage continues he’ll be in line for some touchdown regression in his favor.