The concept behind stacking a QB with his WR is simple: both players benefit from each completion, doubling the benefit of that play for your fantasy lineup. As Adam Levitan pointed out this offseason, 79 percent of the lineups that won DraftKings’ Fantasy Football Millionaire contests used a QB stack in their lineup. With the significance of stacking in mind, this article aims to highlight the best stacking options for Sunday’s main slate.
5. Marcus Mariota ($4,700)/Corey Davis ($4,500), TEN vs. NE
Mariota has been mostly bad this season, and Davis is likely to spend most of the game facing one of the best CBs in the league. Not exactly the opening you’d expect for a ‘start this player’ blurb – but we need to honestly assess the situation when setting our lineups. For Davis, however, facing challenging matchups has been the norm this season, as he’s seen arguably the most difficult schedule for any WR this season – compared to Xavien Howard, Tre’Davious White, and the multiple top CBs on the Jaguars, Ravens and Chargers, Stephon Gilmore might actually be one of Davis’ easier opponents.
Davis is by far the most important player in the Titans’ passing game, seeing more than twice as many targets, receptions and yards as any other WR or TE. While Gilmore is a difficult matchup, the Patriots allow the seventh most passing yards per game.
Mariota is averaging 31 yards on 5.8 rushes per game, and mobile QBs have hurt the Patriots this season. Both Blake Bortles and Mitchell Trubisky – not exactly Pro-Bowl candidates themselves – scored 36 DKFP against the Patriots. The Pats have allowed at least 250 passing yards and multiple TDs to six of their nine opponents. This stack is far from a slam dunk, but there are enough reasons for optimism to warrant taking the risk on them, especially in GPPs.
4. Mitchell Trubisky ($5,600)/Taylor Gabriel ($4,900), CHI vs. DET
Trubisky’s meager 135 pass yards, six rush yards and 9.0 DKFP outing in Week 9 did yeoman’s work bringing down his salary ahead of a much more favorable matchup against the Lions. Trubisky is not a particularly great QB, so he only enters the DFS picture when he’s priced accordingly – and, because of Week 9’s stinker, he is. The Lions have allowed at least a pass TD in every game, and they recorded just three INTs on the season. No QB attempted more than three rushes against them (excluding late-game kneel-downs), so we don’t yet know how well the Lions will be able to adapt to Trubisky’s run game, an area in which he ranks second among QBs. Trubisky is averaging 37.8 rush yards per game, and he has two rushing TDs.
Gabriel (knee) might not be available for Sunday, in which case I’d pivot to Allen Robinson ($5,000), who is set to return from a groin injury. Either player is a viable option, and both see a similar amount of targets when healthy. I’m assuming both will play, in which case I prefer Gabriel, who is less likely to be followed by Lions CB Darius Slay. However, if only one is active, I like the salaries and the matchup enough that I’d risk the matchup against Slay.
3. Jared Goff ($6,100)/Robert Woods ($6,600), LAR vs. SEA
The defense unit for the Seahawks has been good this season, but that has led to this stack being significantly underpriced. Goff has five games of at least 22 DKFP, and he’s only failed to reach 16 DKFP once – that means that unless he has his worst or second-worst game of the season, he’ll provide approximately break-even value for this salary.
Woods’ path to DFS value is slightly steeper, but not by a ton. He’s been an absolute target hog and his production floor is rock-steady. He’s seen at least seven targets in all but one game, averaging 8.2 per game, and he has at least 70 yards in every game except Week 1. And though the Seahawks have been tough, Goff threw for 321 yards and a TD against them in their first matchup, and that was on the road. In that game, both Woods and Cooper Kupp ($6,400) topped 19 DKFP.
2. Baker Mayfield ($5,400)/Jarvis Landry ($6,200), CLE vs. ATL
Week 10 will probably be the Falcons last game without LB Deion Jones, which means it might be their last week as one of the worst defenses in the league. But what happens to the Falcons’ defense after Week 10 is a problem for future us to sort out, and current us can just continue to take advantage of the carnage that was left behind when Jones was sidelined. The Falcons have allowed the third-most TDs and DKFP per game to QBs this season, and the sixth-most rushing yards to the position. They allow the fourth-most points per game. Against WRs, they’ve given up five 100-yard games.
Landry is second in the NFL in targets, and while his workload dropped in Week 8 – the first game with a new offensive coordinator – one game is not enough to warrant concern. That’s especially true given that he still managed six catches for 50 yards. Mayfield has at least 14 DKFP and one TD in every game except his NFL debut, which makes for a great floor at this salary.
1. Alex Smith ($5,300)/Maurice Harris ($3,900), WAS at TB
I’d start my dog if he were facing the Buccaneers defense. Assuming Jamison Crowder ($4,200) remains out with an ankle injury, Josh Doctson ($4,300) and Harris will probably share the bulk of the receiving work Sunday. Doctson is averaging 5.5 targets per week since he returned from a Week 5 injury, and he is the safer option for cash games. Harris busted onto the scene in Week 9, posting 124 yards on 10 catches from 12 targets. Harris had gone mostly unused and unnoticed before that game, though he also saw eight targets in Week 5 when Doctson was out.
With Paul Richardson (shoulder) now out for the season, it is reasonable to suspect that Harris will again see a large workload. Smith has only topped 16 DKFP three times this season, but his production has mostly tracked with the quality of the opponent – i.e., his best game came during probably his easiest matchup so far, and his worst came against one of the hardest matchups.
Here’s a quick refresher course on how terribly awful the Buccaneers defense has been: They have allowed at least 19.8 DKFP to a WR every week. They have allowed at least 19.7 DKFP to a QB every week. They’ve allowed a 40 DKFP stack in every single game, and they’ve given up multiple 60 DKFP stacks. They’ve allowed the most points per game, and they rank last in defensive DVOA.
One last note on this game, if Jordan Reed ($4,400) ends up having to sit out with a neck injury, then Vernon Davis ($2,800) becomes a very attractive play. In that situation, a Smith-Harris-Davis triple-stack is totally reasonable, and probably the strategy I’ll end up using.
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