WATCH: WHERE CAN YOU SAVE AT WR THIS WEEK?
It’s a busy bye week, but most of the easiest passing defenses are still in action in Week 6. Rostering both the quarterback and wide receiver who connect for a big day is often the key to fantasy success. So without further adieu, let’s get into my favorite QB-WR stacks for Week 6.
5. Derek Carr ($5,900) – Michael Crabtree ($5,800)
Not only are both of these players underpriced, but due to fears about Carr’s back injury and the Raiders’ poor offensive production, there is a good chance both will be lightly owned, too. There is, of course, the extra risk involved when a player is returning from injury ahead of schedule, as Carr will do. But he keeps expressing optimism, going so far as to say he would have played last week if the coaches allowed him. Though Carr’s fantasy output was low in his last two games, his stats were actually looking good against the Broncos before he got injured, and he began the season with back-to-back games over 18 points. The Chargers defense is struggling, and as long as Carr is healthy he should be able to take advantage. As for Crabtree, he has at least 80 yards in three of his four games, and he leads the Raiders in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
4. Case Keenum ($5,000) – Adam Thielen ($6,000)
It’s hard to trust Keenum, but there is so much value here between his salary and this matchup. The Packers’ defense has shown signs of improvement this year, holding each of Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton below 17 points, but all three are having down years and playing below their reputation. Dak Prescott lit up the Packers for 30.7 points, and despite the apparent struggles of opposing quarterbacks, they still rank as a favorable matchup for wide receivers. Keenum posted a huge game against the weak Buccaneers’ defense, and his pro-rated production from Week 5, when he took over for an injured Sam Bradford (knee), would have been profitable. Keenum was ineffective against the tougher Lions’ and Steelers’ defenses, but this is an easier matchup than those were.
Thielen leads the Vikings in targets and receptions and only trails Stefon Diggs (out, groin) by three yards. Diggs has four touchdowns to Thielen’s zero, but the red-zone target distribution is a much closer 5-to-4. With Diggs officially out, Thielen is the now clear No. 1 option against a defense that has allowed five wide receivers to score at least 15 fantasy points against it this season. Last year, Thielen went off for 12 receptions, 202 yards and two touchdowns in Green Bay in Week 16.
3. Matt Ryan ($7,000) – Taylor Gabriel ($4,600)
Ryan faces the rare combination of a decreased price heading into a positive home matchup after a bye week. The price dropped after a down outing against a legitimately good Bills defense. The Dolphins’ defense is not good, and it appears to heading in the wrong direction. Without the stack, I’d only use Ryan in cash games due to his price, but with the stack, he’s viable for GPPs, too. With Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) out, Gabriel steps in as the No. 2 option, and he’s an absolute game-breaker. During a seven-game stretch of increased usage in 2016, Gabriel scored six touchdowns and had nine plays of at least 20 yards, including three for more than 40 yards. That upside at this price has potential to be a GPP goldmine. An alternative stack option to take advantage of this matchup would be to use Austin Hooper ($3,500), another high-upside low-floor player.
2. Josh McCown ($5,200) – Jermaine Kearse ($4,800)
After accurately predicting a big day for this stack last week, I’m going back to the well, despite their combined salary increase of $1,000. The primary reason – and as a Massachusetts-bred Patriots fan it pains me to say this – is that the Patriots’ defense is simply awful. DraftKings rates the unit as the easiest matchup for opposing quarterbacks and third-easiest for wide receivers, and that may actually be giving the Patriots more credit than they’ve earned. McCown’s quarterback rating has been over 100 in three of five games, so he’s equipped enough to take advantage of the Patriots’ defensive generosity. Kearse is leading the Jets in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns, so if we’re looking at the Jets offense, he’s the pass-catcher we want. Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($4,300) has been solid since returning from suspension, so he’s an alternative option to take advantage of this juicy matchup.
1. Carson Palmer ($6,100) – John Brown ($4,500)
Brown is questionable with a lingering quad injury, but he’s been getting healthier and he looked good in Week 5. Managers who don’t trust his health have a good backup plan as long as the preserve $400, as Brown’s absence would be a boon for Jaron Brown ($4,900). But despite John’s lower price, he’s a better option than Jaron. John out-snapped Jaron in Week 5 48-36, and he out-targeted him 7-6. John is a speedy deep threat in this very favorable matchup. The Buccaneers defense is almost as bad as the Patriots’, but the Buccaneers offense is good enough to keep the score rising. The Cardinals’ running game is in shambles, and Palmer is on pace to contend for the NFL’s pass attempts record. Despite that they are facing their easiest matchup of the season, neither Palmer nor John Brown is setting their season-highs for salary.
If you’re looking for a safer option, or in the unlikely event John Brown is deemed unfit to play, consider Larry Fitzgerald ($6,800) as a stacking alternative with Palmer.
1. Kevin Hogan ($4,600) – Ricardo Louis ($3,900) – Browns
2. Jamies Winston ($6,200) – Mike Evans ($6,900) – Bucaneers
Both of these pairings narrowly missed the cut for inclusion above, and for effectively the same reasoning. Even though I rate all four players as discounts, I don’t have enough confidence in any of them to put my full backing behind recommending them. In the case of the Browns’ stack, my discomfort comes from nominating two young, unproven players in a poor offense. As for the Buccaneers’ stack, I’m afraid of the Cardinals’ defense, and especially the probability that Evans gets shadowed by Patrick Patterson. Because I find all their prices attractive, I wanted to call your attention to them, even though I am personally unlikely to use either pairing.
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.