The Top DFS Contrarian Stacks: Week 7

The Top DFS Contrarian Stacks: Week 7

When laying out Week 7 NFL DFS contrarian stacks, I’ll be using a combination of our Stack Value Reports and GPP Leverage Scores to find unique stacks that can take down a tournament. I encourage you to read the series on how to win a GPP in the DFS Strategy Hub. You’ll quickly realize that taking down a tournament requires a balance of players ranging from low-owned to chalky.

I like building contrarian stacks around my chalkier core of players because you only have to get one instance correct for it to hit. 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-owned 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.

QB/RB/Opp TE1

QB Kyler Murray ($6,700 DK/$7,700 FD)
RB David Johnson ($7,800 DK/$7,400 FD)
TE Evan Engram ($6,500 DK/$6,800 FD)

Any time I think a stack or game will be at least somewhat popular, I look for ways to make the stack unique. If a player is 50% owned, but the game stack you create is only rostered in 5% of lineups, you've turned the chalk into a contrarian play. Playing Kyler Murray this week will be a popular move, but rostering him without a pass-catcher will be unique. If you read this article last week, I recommended doing this with Lamar Jackson and it proved to be pretty wise as he did most of the damage with his legs. Kyler Murray can do the same thing, but he also spreads the ball around to all his receivers and running backs, which makes it difficult for his teammates to hit value. It also makes it very difficult to pinpoint who exactly will hit value if they do.

By pairing him up with David Johnson (or Chase Edmonds if DJ can't go), you are exposing yourself to all of the Cardinals' touchdowns. Murray didn't use his legs much in the first two games of the year, but has since added 220 yards and two touchdowns in four games, an average of 8.5 fantasy points. Johnson, while not setting the world on fire with his rushing stats, has seen eight targets per game if you exclude the debacle against the Ravens. This stack makes a lot of sense as Murray targets the running backs heavily. If Murray racks up all his stats on the ground and connects with Johnson (or Edmonds) through the air for a score, you automatically have leverage over all the Murray lineups that used a pass-catcher.

If Evan Engram ($6,500) plays I would use him—if not you can use Golden Tate in this spot. The Cardinals have ceded over 20 fantasy points per game to tight ends and have most recently been eaten alive by Austin Hooper. Engram's price, recent injury, and most recent two games may keep his ownership depressed, but you can't beat the matchup. It looks like Sterling Shepard won't play which only aids in the number of targets Engram will see. He currently is averaging almost ten targets per game. Engram has had two smash games with over 100 yards and a touchdown, but also three games with just around 10 PPR fantasy points. If there was ever a game for Engram to flash his ceiling it would be this one. 

QB/TE1/Opp WR Stack

QB Lamar Jackson ($6,800 DK/$8,400 FD)
TE Mark Andrews ($4,800 DK/$6,700 FD)
WR DK Metcalf ($4,800 DK/$6,200 FD)

It looks as though Marquise "Hollywood" Brown could miss another game, which makes a Lamar Jackson to Mark Andrews stack very intriguing. Jackson should be very popular, as the Seahawks are ranked bottom 10 in adjusted fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. The Ravens have also run nearly 80 plays per game! That's a pretty crazy stat from a ball-control offense. But the fact of the matter is they are so good at controlling possession, they usually have the ball for the vast majority of the game. Mark Andrews hasn't seen a game with less than seven targets and is averaging closer to eight per game. The Seahawks only trail the Cardinals in terms of fantasy points allowed to the tight end, so the matchup is right, too. Andrews falls in a range with Austin Hooper, Darren Waller, not to mention Hunter Henry who will command ownership at his depressed price. WIth Jackson attempting 33 rushes in the last two games and the Seahawks being susceptible to the tight end, this is setting up to be a very high ceiling stack.

Many will be running this stack back with Tyler Lockett, however, the Ravens have been very good at defending slot receivers this year with Marlon Humphrey. Most recently he held Tyler Boyd to three catches for 10 yards. With Will Dissly on the shelf and Tyler Lockett being locked down by Humphrey that allows DK Metcalf to see a boost in targets. Metcalf leads the Seahawks in market share of air yards (27%), total air yards (467) and average depth of target (15.1). The Ravens like to play ball-control offense as I mentioned, leading to long, sustained 8+ play drives which often keep the opposing offense off the field. Because of this, I want to run it back with big-play receivers, who don't need volume to smash value, because odds are there won't be much volume. Metcalf can crush value with three receptions due to the nature of his targets.

QB/RB1/WR1/DST

QB Josh Allen ($6,500 DK/$7,700 FD)
RB Frank Gore ($4,700 DK/$6,000 FD)
WR John Brown ($5,500 DK/$5,900 FD)
DST Buffalo Bills ($4,300 DK/$5,500 FD)

This is a complete onslaught stack assuming the 17-point favorite Bills absolutely smash the Dolphins. John Brown has a commanding air yards share of 34% and target share of 22%. Additionally, Zay Jones is out of the picture and leaves behind 12% of the team targets and 18% of the air yards. The Dolphins rank 30th in aFPA to quarterbacks, 31st in aFPA to running backs and 21st in aFPA to wide receivers. By rostering this combination, you are projecting a game script in which Josh Allen and John Brown connect on a deep shot or two and open up a big lead on the Dolphins. The Bills then turn to Frank Gore to grind out a win and he goes over 100 yards and gets into the end zone on a season-high number of carries. Gore currently averages 15 carries per game, but could see a boost in those numbers with the game script. One snag to this script is the return of Devin Singletary, who will replace Yeldon on passing situations, but could steal some carries from Gore. Nonetheless, the game script we are projecting here fits Gore better than Singletary, especially if you believe in revenge narrative. This could simply be the idea that they ensure Gore gets the goal line carries to score against his former team. 

The result of a Bills offensive onslaught is that Ryan Fitzpatrick has to drop back often to keep pace with the Bills. This helps the Bills defense in several ways. The Dolphins have two rookies on the offensive line that have been blowing assignments every week. They rank 31st in adjusted sack rate allowed. The extra dropbacks coupled with the quarterback pressures results in sacks, sack/fumbles, and also force an already turnover-prone Fitzpatrick into poor throws throughout the game. It's not often a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and defense would all be in the same lineup, but I've studied previous tournament-winning lineups and it's happened in the Millionaire Maker winning lineup in each of the last two seasons. 

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