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Disclaimer: the Top Stacks Report will be a weekly article highlighting my favorite correlated stacks of the week on both Draftkings and Fanduel. I will be using Draftkings pricing in the headers. Unless one site is specified, I like the stack for both.
Lets dive into Week 10…
Matthew Stafford ($6,800), Golden Tate ($6,800), and David Njoku ($2,600)
The Lions are 11-point home favorites against the Cleveland Browns….oh, you want more analysis? Fine. Per Football Outsiders’ DVOA, the Browns are #1 in run defense and #28 in pass defense. They are allowing a league best 2.9 yards per carry on the season, while the Lions rank dead last in run offense by DVOA. The Lions may also be without their best offensive lineman (7th ranked guard by Pro Football Focus) T.J. Lang on Sunday. With all that said, the Lions would be wise to attack the Browns through the air with Matthew Stafford’s arm that has averaged 365 yards per game over the past 3. The Browns should be getting Pro Football Focus’ #2 corner Jason McCourty back from injury, who will most likely shadow Marvin Jones on the outside. This should open up more targets for Tate on the inside. Tate has had at least 7 receptions and 86 yards in each of the past 3 games, all while Marvin Jones has seen 11+ targets in each. It’s difficult to find the right Browns pass catcher to run back an opponent stack with, but I really like David Njoku this week. At $2,600 ($100 from minimum) on Draftkings and the minimum price $4,500 on Fanduel, Njoku is my favorite tournament pivot off Garrett Celek who is sure to be popular. After seeing no more than 4 targets in a game for the first 5 games of his season/career, Njoku went into the bye week having games of 5, 5, and 7 targets. Of those 17 targets, 4 came in the red zone. Coming out of the bye against a Lions defense ranked 31st in DVOA against the tight end, it would be wise for the Browns to focus more of the offense on their stud 1st round draft pick. The Browns receiving corp is similar to that of the current Giants (post-injuries), so featuring Njoku the way the Giants feature Evan Engram would be most beneficial for the team in the short-term as well as the long-term development of Njoku.
Jordan Howard ($6,100) and Bears Defense ($3,000)
Without trying to sound repetitive, here’s what I said about Jordan Howard in my Draftkings Pickem article this week:
One of my favorite dfs plays of the week is Jordan Howard. The usage he’s been seeing since Mitchell Trubisky took over at QB is insane; he’s seen touch totals of 19, 37, 21, and 26. The Bears are 5.5-point home favorites against the Brett Hundley led Packers. Since Hundley took over (including the game Aaron Rodgers got hurt), the Packers are allowing an average of 31.2 fantasy points a game to running backs. The Packers have the #11 DVOA run defense, but that doesn’t matter when your offense can’t stay on the field. The Bears game plan is to make Trubisky do as little as possible to still win the game, similar to how the Jaguars have been playing. Jordan Howard doesn’t see much work in the passing game (because he can’t catch), but he should see plenty of carries in this one to make him a great fantasy play.
Since the game Aaron Rodgers got hurt and Brett Hundley had to walk into an impossible situation in Minnesota against the Vikings defense (he threw 3 interceptions), Hundley has been ultra-conservative. Hundley’s 5.2 average yards per attempt in his 2 starts would rank dead last on the season on a per game basis among all starting QBs. As you could probably guess without watching, the Packers are on a 3 game losing streak including the Vikings game that Rodgers was hurt during. We have to assume the Packers will be forced to open up the playbook to Hundley a little more now that their postseason hopes are fading quickly, and the Kaepernick takes are firing from every direction (which I agree with entirely). A more aggressive Hundley will lead to a higher probability of turnovers for the Bears defense. The Bears also have the #10 pass defense by DVOA, as well as the 10th most sacks in the NFL to create a floor for their fantasy value.
Bilal Powell ($4,000), Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($4,800), Chris Godwin ($3,000), and Adam Humphries ($3,100)
This is an unconventional stack without a quarterback from this game, but I really don’t like either. Josh McCown has become expensive, so I can’t justify the play when for only a few hundred dollars more on both Draftkings and Fanduel, you can play Ben Roethlisberger or Matthew Stafford. I also have little to no interest in Ryan Fitzpatrick starting for Jameis Winston going up against his old team. Fitzpatrick is cheap, but there is one QB at a similar price that I prefer over him. However, there are cheap plays in this game that will allow you to play guys like Matthew Stafford, Le’Veon Bell, A.J. Green, and whoever else you want to play. With Matt Forte ruled out for this game, Bilal Powell is as close to an all-in play as we have this week. A starting running back that gets pass catching work and should see 20+ touches against the #30 defense by DVOA for only $4,000 should be in almost all of your lineups (unless you want to fade in large field tournaments like the Milly Maker). Unlike with McCown or Fitzpatrick going up against their former teams, I’m definitely buying into the Austin-Seferian Jenkins revenge game. The Buccaneers drafted him in the first round, and were willing to just throw him away when his alcohol and off-the-field issues became a problem for him instead of trying to get him the help he truly needed. Now that he’s a changed man and balling week in and week out on the field, ASJ has certainly had this matchup circled on his calendar. The Buccaneers rank 31st in pass defense DVOA. Tampa Bay will be without QB Jameis Winston and stud receiver Mike Evans. Evans’ suspension was announced after pricing came out, so we have receivers that should see increased roles for cheap price tags. Last week I was early, but now it’s Adam Humphries week. DeSean Jackson should see shadow coverage from Morris Claiborne in this matchup, so there REALLY should be targets to go around. I don’t think Humphries will see double digit targets, but 7-9 targets from near minimum price will payoff value. The receiver I’m more interested in is Chris Godwin, who should see the majority of the snaps on the outside for Mike Evans. Godwin is an incredibly talented rookie out of Penn State (I’m biased). He gets to run most of his routes against Juston Burris who ranks 99 out of 116 graded cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus. Play Godwin in GPPs as the pivot off Humphries.
Stack of The Week
Eli Manning ($5,100), Sterling Shepard ($5,500), Evan Engram ($6,200), Carlos Hyde ($5,300), and Garrett Celek ($2,500)
The Giants and 49ers matchup is my favorite game of the week. Gross, right? Hear me out on this one. The Giants defense is 28th in DVOA, while the Niners defense is 25th. The Giants pass defense is 26th in DVOA, while the Niners defense is 27th. The Giants run defense is 25th in DVOA, while the Niners defense is 23rd. The Giants play at the 6th fastest pace in the NFL, while the Niners play at THE fastest pace. Basically, we have a matchup with two of the most up-temp offenses in the league and two of the most egregious defenses. I think this one is going to be a shootout with fantasy points to go around. The best part is that, for the most part, the players are priced for being on bad football teams, so we can find value. On the Giants side (and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this), Eli Manning is my favorite cheap QB of the week. The Niners are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the NFL. In 5 of their last 7, the Niners have given up at least 20 points to opposing QBs; the 2 that didn’t were Carson Wentz in a blowout and Drew Stanton last week. The Giants are currently 2.5-point road favorites traveling across the country, so I expect this not to become a running game early. Since Week 6, following the Odell Beckham injury, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram combine for 54% of team targets and 70% of team air yards (AirYards.com). This has become a situation similar to Demaryius Thomas-Emmanual Sanders and Amari Cooper-Michael Crabtree from last season; when in plus matchups, triple stack the QB with his two favorite weapons. The Niners are #1 in DVOA against the tight end, but their cover safety Jaquiski Tartt is out for the rest of the season. Also, Engram plays more like a slot receiver, regardless. Since C.J. Beathard took over the QB job in Week 6, Carlos Hyde leads the team with 20% of team targets. Hyde is not seeing 15+ carries per week, but the potential for double digit targets alone make for a good play at $5,300 on Draftkings. Add in 12-14 carries and goal line work, and now we’re talking about an elite play. Tight ends George Kittle and Cole Hikutini are both out, which leaves just Garrett Celek to take over tight end duties. He should see almost all the snaps against a Giants defense that gives up by far the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Celek is minimum priced on both Draftkings and Fanduel, and is one of my favorite cash game plays on a week where tight end is thin.
Good luck this week, and feel free to reach out with questions/feedback on twitter @EvanRosenberg0. I would love to hear your thoughts and discuss further.