Stacking the Deck: FanDuel & DraftKings Stacks for Week 6
Welcome back to Stacking the Deck.
This season at 4for4 we will be providing subscribers with Value Reports and Stack Value Reportsthat value every stack in terms of projected points/$. We also use our Adjusted Fantasy Points Against (aFPA) metric, which has been adjusted to reflect offseason transactions, 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.
We know the QB-WR1 stack is by far the most positively correlated stack there is. However, correlation isn't everything. In tournaments you also want differentiation. One thing I almost always try and do when selecting a QB-WR1 stack is choosing situations with a clear correlation play on the opposing team, ideally their WR1. If the game happens to shootout, you likely have at least two of the top options in the game and more importantly you likely shoot past the people with just the QB-WR stack alone in tournaments
Hopefully you have been following along. Week 5 may have been our best week yet with some nice hits: Roethlisberger-Coates, Hoyer-Howard, and Carr-Cooper-Crabtree, just to name a few.
We are going to focus on these positive correlations in this column, but also put a higher emphasis on leverage plays in GPPs this season. Let's keep it rolling. The following are my top stacks for Week 6 on both FanDuel and DraftKings:
Drew Brees ($8,500) & Brandin Cooks ($7,500) vs. CAR
Quarterback and WR1 have a .45 correlation on FanDuel, the strongest of all positions. The Saints are a slight home dog (+3) in the highest game total of the week (53). Brees has a ceiling of 35.6 in our projections, second highest on the slate at quarterback. Cooks also has a top-15 ceiling (22.7), and the Brees-Cooks stack as a whole boasts the fourth-highest ceiling on the slate. Carolina ranks 20th against quarterbacks in our signature metric, Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA). Drew Brees historically goes off at home and Cooks has proven to be nearly unstoppable on the fast track in the Superdome.
Alex Smith ($6,800) & Jeremy Maclin ($6,900) & Amari Cooper ($7,100) KC @ OAK
Pairing a QB with a teammate as well as his opponent's WR1 has proven to be highly effective. The Chiefs-Raiders point total is the third highest of the week (47) in a game that is currently a pick’em. The Smith-Maclin stack is a fantastic option on its own this week on FanDuel, but why not add the top correlation play from the opposing team with a fantastic matchup? Cooper is likely to avoid Marcus Peters and line up primarily against Phillip Gaines, easily one of the best WR/CB advantages of the week for a player who has a 23.38-percent target share in his last four games and could easily see some positive touchdown regression coming. Cooper will be highly owned, but people can’t seem to pull the trigger on Smith-Maclin, who come into a dream matchup in this game against a historically bad pass defense who ranks 30th and 32nd in aFPA to QBs and WRs, respectively. The Smith-Maclin-Cooper stack is the number-three QB/WR/Opp.WR stack in our our FanDuel Stack Value Reports for Week 6.
Ryan Tannehill ($7,100) & Jarvis Landry ($6,900) & LeVeon Bell ($9300) MIA vs. PIT
Using the same thought process as above, pairing a contrarian stack with a highly owned play in a fantastic situation is a plus-EV strategy in DFS. Miami is a heavy home underdog (+7.5) in the game with the third highest total of the week. Due to recency bias, Landry could see lower ownership than he should with the fifth-highest ceiling at the position. Say what you want about Ryan Tannehill, but he still has shown three-touchdown upside at home and gets to face a Steelers defense ranked 21st in QB aFPA. This is where the correlation play comes in. At first glance pairing a running back from the opposing team should negatively correlate. However, it is important to realize that there are exceptions to every rule, and as a massive favorite, LeVeon Bell has the highest ceiling at the position, especially when taking into consideration Ben Roethlisberger’s massive home/road splits that are lopsided in favor of him playing at home. This could be a nice leverage play off all the traffic going Antonio Brown’s way this week. Most Bell owners may also be led to a completely different roster construction, since not many will be using a QB in Tannehill's price range. This is something we are always trying to do in tournaments.
Brock Osweiler ($6,800) & Will Fuller ($6,900) & T.Y. Hilton ($7,100) HOU vs. IND
Pairing a quarterback and WR2 and his opponent's WR1 has a strong correlation. Houston is a home favorite (-3.5) and faces a Colts team that is 24th in QB aFPA. Fuller should draw Patrick Robinson on the majority of snaps this week, which almost guarantees he is getting loose for a least one deep shot. Again, use recency bias to your advantage, Osweiler-Fuller should perform much better than they did last week against Minnesota’s elite level defense. T.Y. Hilton is a nice correlation play, as he has the fourth-highest ceiling (23.5) on the slate and should draw Kareem Jackson in the slot. Advantage:T.Y., who has the ninth-highest target share in the NFL in the past four games.
Steven Hauschka ($4,800) & Seahawks Defense ($4,800) vs. ATL
DEF and K have a .29 correlation, one of the strongest correlations there is. Seattle is large home favorite (-7.5) with the fifth-highest point total of the week (26). Atlanta likely will be forced to take chances to stay in or get back into the game, which increases the likelihood of turnovers for the Seahawks defense. The Hauschka-Seahawks stack is the #1 DEF/K stack on our FanDuel Stack Value Reports.
DeMarco Murray ($8,800) & Titans Defense ($4,700) vs. CLE
RB1 and DEF have a .12 correlation. Tennessee is a home favorite tied for the second-largest spread (-7.5), two things you always want to target with your defense. The cherry on top is they are facing a Browns team tied for the lowest team total on the slate (18.25). Also, it is long overdue that we give DeMarco Murray some credit. He has smashed value in poor matchups and game scripts consistently this year, neither of which is a problem in Week 6, and he has the third-highest ceiling at the running back position (26.5) against a team that is currently 27th in RB aFPA. The Murray/Titans stack is our number-five ranked RB/DEF stack on our FanDuel Stack Value Reports, and has the fourth-highest ceiling.
Carson Palmer ($6,000) & John Brown ($4,500) vs. NYJ
Arizona is currently a 7.5-point home favorite and has the third-highest team total (26.75). A lot of people will be off Palmer after a poor start and coming off a concussion, but this offense still has as much upside as any in the league. John Brown had a poor showing against the 49ers last week on Thursday Night Football, but it was with Drew Stanton at quarterback. Before that, he has quietly been making his way back to elite-level production, averaging a massive 13.5 targets, eight catches, and 107 yards in the two previous games. It looks like Brown will be matched up against cornerback Marcus Williams, who won’t be able to slow him down in another top WR/CB advantage of the week against a Jets team that is 30th in both QB and WR aFPA. If playing the Thursday-Monday Slate, don’t be caught without exposure to the Palmer-Brown stack, which comes in at number-nine in our QB/WR stacks on DraftKings.
Tom Brady ($7,700) & LeGarrette Blount ($5,000) vs. CIN
When a quarterback scores 25 or more points on DraftKings, the RB1 is roughly as likely to also hit 25 as the WR2 or TE1. The Patriots are a heavy home favorite (-7.5) and don’t kid yourself, #AngryTom is still not satisfied. The problem with Brady is who to stack him with week-to-week when he has so many weapons. This is essentially naked Brady, but you offer yourself the ability to have access to likely every touchdown in this game by pairing him with Blount. Sometimes in stacking you should walk yourself through what you predict the game script to be. I see a reasonable chance that Brady goes off for 3-4 touchdowns early against a Bengals team 23rd in QB aFPA, then Blount mops up in a game with a big spread, giving him two-touchdown upside. To me the Brady-Blount stack is most attractive stack in this game instead of guessing on a higher owned/priced player like Rob Gronkowski.
Tyrod Taylor ($5,300) & LeSean McCoy ($6,900) vs. SF
When a quarterback scores 25 or more points on DraftKings, the RB1 is roughly as likely to also hit 25 as the WR2 or TE1. The Bills are a heavy home favorite (-7.5) and the Bills see a higher percentage of offensive yards come on the ground than any team in the league. This includes Taylor’s rushing ability, which raises his ceiling in tournaments, as he is averaging 5.2 rushes and 34 yards per game on the ground (fourth in the league). The 49ers are 25th in the aFPA to PPR RBs and McCoy has the fourth highest ceiling on the slate (28.7) and will be facing a team who just gave up 30-185-2 to David Johnson. The Taylor-McCoy stack allows you to get a piece of this offense at a lower ownership and also gives you contrarian lineup construction.
Cam Newton ($8,100) & Kelvin Benjamin ($8,100) & Ted Ginn ($3,900) & Brandin Cooks ($7,600) & Willie Snead ($6,400) & Mark Ingram ($6,000) CAR @ NO
Have exposure to at least one game stack when the Saints are at the Superdome as it is quite literally the Coors Field of NFL DFS. This game is by far the highest point total (53) and with a close spread (panthers -3), it could easily be a shootout. None of this is groundbreaking information, but in games with high owned players, you would be surprised how “little” the ownership is with game stacks. That is how you differentiate yourself, obviously, but also how you hedge if you decide to fade some of these higher owned players in your other GPP lineups.
LeSean McCoy ($6,900) & Bills Defense ($3,700) vs. SF
RB1 and DEF have a .11 correlation. Buffalo is a home favorite tied for the second-largest spread (-7.5), two things you always want to target with your defense. Similar to the Tennessee situation, the Bills are facing a 49ers team tied for the lowest team total on the slate (18.25). Paying up at defense on DraftKings tournaments is a good pivot off of people paying down with how large the disparity in pricing is from top to bottom. The McCoy-Bills stack has the third-highest ceiling in our DraftKings Stack Value Reports for RB-DEF.