WATCH: MATCHUPS BREAKDOWN – WHICH QB IS BEST?
When playing DFS, it’s important to always try to improve and learn from others. For this reason, I check the first -place roster at the end of every contest I enter. You know what I find, basically every time? Stacks. Lots and lots of stacks. They aren’t always QB-WR stacks, but those are definitely the most common. After keeping up this practice for several seasons, it’s at the point where I’m shocked when I find a top-five roster that doesn’t include some kind of stack.
Since stacking is so important, let’s jump right in to my favorite QB-WR stacks ahead of Sunday’s main slate.
5. Josh McCown ($4,500) – Jermaine Kearse ($4,500)
Full disclosure, I’m much more interested in a stack with McCown and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($3,500) than McCown and Kearse. The Browns are so generous to tight ends they’ve practically been leaving touchdowns in the goody bags in visiting TEs’ hotel rooms. But this article is about QB-WR stacks, and the Browns’ defense is bad enough that multiple positions can benefit from facing it. Kearse leads the Jets in targets, receptions and touchdowns, and he has three out of their 10 red zone targets. Don’t be fooled by the Browns’ ninth opponent ranking for wide receivers – opposing No. 1 wideouts are averaging 23.7 points per week. As for McCown, he’s actually played relatively well this season, averaging at least a 66.7% completion rate in every game, but he has been undone by turnovers. That should be less of a problem against the Browns, who have the second-worst turnover margin in the league.
4. Tyrod Taylor ($5,000) – Andre Holmes ($3,400)
Taylor’s price is too low, and no active Bills receiver costs more than $3,600. Therefore, while none of the available WR options inspire any sort of confidence, the bar for earning value on any Bills stack is incredibly low. As was the case for the Jets above, the most exciting Bills stack option involves tight end Charles Clay ($4,800), who leads the Bills in targets and receiving yards, but we’re focusing on wide receivers here. Zay Jones ($3,600) leads Bills wide receivers in targets, but he’s only caught four of the 17 passes thrown his way, and Taylor hasn’t looked at him in the red zone since Week 1. On the other hand, three of Holmes’ eight targets have come in the red zone, and he’s converted two of those into touchdowns. In this price range we’re touchdown hunting, and with the extra targets made available by Jordan Matthews’ (thumb) absence, Holmes is the WR with the best shot at the end zone. Taylor’s 7.8 rush attempts per game are a nice added incentive.
3. Dak Prescott ($6,800) – Dez Bryant ($6,600)
This stack is all about Bryant, whose 15th-highest salary is almost comically low in this favorable matchup. In Week 1, the Packers were able to limit the Seahawks’ offensive by taking advantage of an O-line that is one of the worst in the league. Since then, however, No. 1 wide receivers facing the Packers have scored at least 15.1 fantasy points – and that 15.1 figure belonged to Kendall Wright. A.J. Green and Julio Jones, who lit up the Packers for over 100 yards each and combined for 48.9 points. Bryant’s price is solidly mid-tier, though his talent and matchup are both far better than that. Prescott’s salary is very fair, neither a rip-off nor a bargain, but I want to double-down on what I expect will be a big day from Bryant. Prescott is averaging 3.0 rushes for 22.3 yards and 0.5 touchdowns, bolstering his floor. He’s tied for third in touchdowns, and the Cowboys throw in the red zone 53% of the time.
2. Jacoby Brissett ($5,600) – T.Y. Hilton ($6,000)
The 49ers are not good, but the Colts are probably worse, so another favorable game script should be in order for Brissett and Hilton. Hilton has a gigantic 25% target share so far this season, and the Colts’ second-leading target recipient, Jack Doyle (concussion), is out Sunday. With Doyle out, the Colts’ third-leading target recipient Donte Moncrief ($3,900) has increased appeal, as he’ll probably see a larger share of those rare times the ball isn’t thrown to Hilton. But there is no need to get fancy. Hilton is 18th among wide receivers in points per game, despite playing one game with Scott Tolzien at quarterback, and then facing the stifling Seahawks’ and Cardinals’ pass defenses. The 49ers, on the other hand, have allowed at least 19.8 fantasy points to Robert Woods, Jaron Brown and Sammy Watkins. The 49ers also allowed more than 20 points to both Carson Palmer and Jared Goff, and no QB has less than 14.1 against them. Brissett has only thrown two interceptions, one apiece to those Seahawks and Cardinals, which is an excellent track record for a QB with so little experience and such difficult opponents.
1. Carson Palmer ($5,900) – Jaron Brown ($4,500)
There is some risk in trying to identify the right Cardinals receiver, the foursome of Brown, Larry Fitzgerald ($6,800), John Brown ($5,100) (quad) and J.J. Nelson ($4,900) (hamstring/tooth) are possibly the healthiest that they’ve been all season. But while their collective health is as good as it’s been, that’s not the same as saying everyone is healthy. Nelson and John Brown are likely to play, but both were limited in practices this week. John Brown’s limitations are particularly noteworthy, as he stated during the preseason that when he was limited in practice during the week, they would then limit the kinds of routes he ran on gameday. While those two have struggled through injury woes, Jaron Brown has emerged, receiving either double-digit targets or a touchdown in each of the last three games. His price and Palmer’s are both low. Palmer struggled a little early this season, but seems to be back on track after posting three straight games of at least 19 points. Since the opener, Palmer sports a 4-2 touchdown-to-interception rate, and he’s thrown for over 325 yards each week. Since David Johnson (wrist) was placed on IR, the Cardinals are third in the NFL in pass attempts.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is arikleen) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.