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.
I have been receiving feedback/questions about what game types I play each stack in and what format I recommend for others, so I am going to make sure to clarify in my explanations for each. I don’t want to end up having a reader play a Blake Bortles stack in cash games.
Lets dive into Week 11…
Alex Smith ($6,700), Kareem Hunt ($8,000), Travis Kelce ($7,300), and Sterling Shepard ($6,300)
The Chiefs are 10.5-point road favorite traveling to Jets Stadium to face the worst team in the league…the Giants. There’s not much to say that I don’t say every week; stack guys against the Giants and run it back with Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. This week, I don’t love Engram with the other high priced tight ends in great matchups, but he’s a great game theory play as he’ll be very low owned. Sterling Shepard is a lock for me until he’s priced like the elite fantasy wide receiver that he is (regardless of his actual talents). The Chiefs should be able to do whatever they want against a Giants defense that ranks 27th against the run and 29th against the pass by DVOA. If all-world defensive tackle Damon Harrison can’t go for the Giants, Kareem Hunt might be an all-in lock button play in every lineup I make. He’s already a great play, and I want him on most teams. There is also wind concerns in this game that could really downgrade this stack and both passing games, so make sure to check on Sunday. For those of you who played Garrett Celek last week, we go right back to targeting tight ends against the Giants. They rank #1 in fantasy points allowed to tight ends and 26th in DVOA against the position. Travis Kelce is the best tight end play of the week and arguably the best pass catcher of the week. Alex Smith has a nice floor and ceiling projection this week, and is priced at a $700 discount off Tom Brady on both sites. This stack is cash viable.
Melvin Gordon ($7,600) and Chargers Defense ($3,000)
Last week we saw Austin Ekeler take two touchdowns and 15 touches, while playing a serious role in the Chargers offense. Personally, I’m not too worried about Melvin Gordon losing work, as he still had 21 touches and 8 targets in Ekeler’s big game. The Bills have played 3 games since trading thier star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, and have given up the 138.4 fantasy points to opposing running backs. That’s an AVERAGE of over 46 fantasy points to running backs per week. So if you do think Gordon will be splitting more work with Ekeler moving forward, you should consider playing Ekeler. The Bills are also benching quarterback Tyrod Taylor (aka TyGod) for 5th round rookie from Pitt Nate Peterman. The Chargers defensive line is 3rd in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate, while the Bills offensive line ranks 30th in the same metric. Without Tyrod’s scrambling ability, Peterman is a dead man walking back there. We also can expect some rookie mistakes potentially leading to turnovers for the Chargers defense at only $3,000 on Draftkings and $4,300 on Fanduel. This stack is cash viable.
Kirk Cousins ($6,100), Chris Thompson ($5,400), Jamison Crowder ($4,300), Alvin Kamara ($7,500), and Michael Thomas ($7,400)
The Redskins/Saints game is the only game other than Patriots/Raiders to have a total in the 50s at 51. Kirk Cousins is a major discount off the top QB options this week, making him a play in what should be a shootout. Cousins is coming off a 30 point fantasy game against the Vikings defense. The Redskins will most likely be without Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor, so we can really narrow down where the targets should go. Jamison Crowder has 24 targets his last 2 games, and plays in the slot so he’ll avoid the difficult outside corners of the Saints. Chris Thompson will also avoid them out of the backfield. Rob Kelley is out, so Thompson will see a majority of the running back snaps. As 7.5-point road underdogs, Thompson should see the game script needed for a big game. If making a game stack, I would lean Alvin Kamara over Mark Ingram, because of game flow. In order for us to get the upside we need to win a tournament, we need the Saints to keep the game close and pass often. If Ingram has a big day, it’s most likely that they’re controlling the game and running the clock out. Michael Thomas has seen 8+ targets in every game outside of the Lions matchup with Darius Slay. Thomas is one of the safest floors for a wide receiver this season, and according to Pro Football Focus, he runs 70% of his routes away from Josh Norman‘s side of the field. I would play pieces of this game in cash games, but probably not the full stack.
Blaine Gabbert ($4,900) and Larry Fitzgerald ($6,900)
OK, I understand this is gross, but hear me out. Blaine Gabbert is dirt cheap and can lead you to a completely different roster construction as your opponents in a large tournament like the Millionaire Maker where you have to beat hundreds of thousands of lineups. In 6 games for the 49ers last season, Gabbert averaged 6.7 rushing attempts and 28.8 yards per game, giving him sneaky rushing ability. The Texans have given up an average of 30.7 fantasy points to opposing QBs over the past 3 weeks, since all the injuries happened. If Gabbert can manage 18 fantasy points, you’re in business. If you play Gabbert, you want to capitalize on his upside by pairing him with someone in the offense; the Cardinals make it easy…play Larry Fitzgerald with him. Fitzgerald has been the focal point of the offense no matter who the quarterback has been, and I don’t see that changing with Gabbert (who’s probably not a downgrade from Drew Stanton at all). This is strictly for large field tournaments.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,300) and Mike Evans ($7,900)
This is my favorite game theory stack of the week. Last week, Ryan Fitzpatrick was the most popular QB of the week for some reason. If you read this article last week, you knew I had no interest in Fitzpatrick against the Jets. However, if all those burned by him refuse to go back, I have legitimate interest. This matchup with the Dolphins’ 31st ranked pass defense by DVOA is about as good as it gets. Mike Evans comes off suspension and should go back to at least his usual 8-11 targets and just dominate this Dolphins secondary. People just watched Cam Newton tear apart this Dolphins defense on Monday night with his arm and his legs, but will avoid Fitzpatrick strictly due to recency bias. Evans is also projected to be one of the most popular wide receivers of the week, so an easy way to diversify your tournament lineup is to pair him with Fitzpatrick. This is strictly for large field tournaments.
Jay Ajayi ($6,900 FD) and Eagles Defense ($4,700 FD)
This is a Fanduel specific play, because the Sunday night Eagles/Cowboys game is off the main slate on Draftkings. I will go more in-depth, but there’s two reasons for this play: Tyron Smith and Sean Lee. The Cowboys left tackle and middle linebacker are both out for this matchup, which makes this an even more difficult matchup for the Cowboys. Sean Lee is the captain of this defense that really struggles without him. The Eagles are coming off a bye (Jay Ajayi’s second bye week) and ready to get Ajayi more involved in the offense. I think we will see 15+ touches from a guy who was an $8,000 player not too long ago. If he can take over the backfield on the best offense in football, we could be getting an under-priced running back before the public jumps on board. Without Smith last week, Faclons’ Adrian Clayborn tied the single game sack record with 6 going up against whatever left tackle to Cowboys used on that play (none were successful). Brandon Graham will have a field day on Sunday night, and I want to receive fantasy points for it. I usually don’t play road defenses in divisional matchups, but this will be an exception. I would NOT play this in cash games, only in tournaments.
Stack of The Week
Tom Brady ($7,400), Rex Burkhead ($3,600), Brandin Cooks ($6,600),
Jared Cook ($4,800) and Amari Cooper ($6,000)
The Patriots/Raiders game has the highest total of the week by far at 55 points. That’s a lot of points. I would not recommend making lineups without at lease a piece of this game. Tom Brady, though expensive, is the best quarterback play of the week if you can afford him. He easily has the highest floor and ceiling out of any quarterback this week (like most weeks). The Raiders pass defense is ranked 32nd in the NFL by Football Outsiders’ DVOA. Rob Gronkowski is a great play and we all know that, but I think stacking the Patriots without Gronk could give you leverage over the field since this whole game will come with high ownership. My favorite pairing fro Brady in tournaments is Brandin Cooks, who’s seen 8+ targets in 4 of his last 5 games. Cooks should get an opportunity to score a couple long ones against these Raiders big, physical corners that can’t keep up with Cooks. Rex Burkhead is free in dfs this week, and has legitimate RB1 upside if he continues to see an increased workload. Since returning from injury, Burkhead’s offensive snap rate has increased from 17.6% to 31.4% to 51.4%. Last week he had 13 touches, and with Chris Hogan out again Burkhead should get more reps in the slot. On the Raiders side, I really like Jared Cook as a tight end play that could go overlooked. Over his past 3, Cook’s gone for 19.7, 9.7, and 23.6 flashing serious upside. I like both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, so I tend to side with the cheaper/lower-owned player. Unfortunately, they are only $100 difference on Draftkings and $200 on Fanduel. The Patriots have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. I prefer Amari Cooper slightly this week, as he’s seen 29% of the team targets over the past 3 games. I would play pieces of this game in cash games, but probably not the full stack.
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.