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Aaron Rodgers
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Daily Games

NFL DFS Stacks Divisional Round

by Renee Miller
Updated On: January 9, 2020, 3:40 pm ET

This article lays out my favorite ways to take advantage of positional correlations in DFS scoring through stacking. Factors that go into this strategy include the implied team total, the talent of the players, the opposing defense (especially any funneling tendencies), and the likely popularity of the players. 

 

Safe Stacks

Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Damien Williams

Expect this to be the most popular team stack, if not game stack, of the week. The game has a 51-point total, and Houston is by far the most lax defensive team still in play. In fact, they’re the worst offensive team still in play too. In terms of fantasy points allowed, the Texans rank fourth to QB, sixth to RB, 12th to WR and 10th to TE. You really can go full Chiefs and expect everyone to reach value. Hill wasn’t so splashy down the stretch, but he had double-digit fantasy points in every full game he played. Williams is the clear lead back and will probably have at least one goal line opportunity. Kelce didn’t need to do much in the regular season finale, but expect him to be Mahomes’ favorite target this week. It’s pretty much between Kelce and George Kittle, and while I don’t think you can go wrong with either, I’m including Kelce in a Chiefs stack for sure. At QB, Mahomes is my favorite play. He’s cheaper than Lamar Jackson, has the highest implied team total, and as I just covered, has all his weapons ready to rock. Houston has little chance to contain this full-strength unit and we could see one of Mahomes’ best games ever this week. 

Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews, Mark Ingram/Gus Edwards

The Ravens are as big a home favorite as the Chiefs, though this game carries a slightly lower point total (47 points). Jackson needs no explanation here, as he averaged 80 rushing yards per game, 2.4 passing touchdowns per game, with only six picks this season. He was the leading fantasy QB by a mile. So naturally, his salary reflects that. The good news is that he was so dominant, all his teammates are relatively cheap. Brown is certainly a risk/reward play, but I expect the Titans to at least try to limit Jackson’s rushing potential, forcing him to look downfield for his favorite target. My feeling is that Brown will be key. If you wanted to go more contrarian, certainly you could also save big with Seth Roberts, Willie Snead IV or Miles Boykin, but that is not my preference. Andrews and Ingram are questionable with ankle and calf injuries, respectively. If Andrews is still less than 100 percent on Saturday, I’m fading him in favor of Kelce or Kittle, and not taking the chance on a big Nick Boyle or Hayden Hurst game nor on an equal split. My guess is that Andrews is completely fine and ready for a big day. Ingram is somewhat more concerning, but it’s really the RB role I want, not necessarily Ingram specifically. So, if Edwards starts in place of Ingram, I’m fine with slotting him into this stack. I do think the lingering designation will keep people off of this run game a little bit. 

 

Contrarian Stack

Tennessee Titans: Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown, Derrick Henry

Ian Hartitz, in his myth-busting article this week, points out a few reasons to not count out the Titans this weekend. At the least, he says, we should expect a closer game than Vegas does (Ravens minus-9.5). As you just read, I love the Ravens this week, who wouldn’t? That’s what makes a Titans stack more contrarian. Brown is very pricey and coming off a terrible game, but he hasn’t had two in a row like that since early October (Buffalo and Denver). He’s grown tremendously since then, and that was pre-Tannehill Takeover. He’s more reward than risk for me this weekend. The other nice thing about this contrarian threesome is that you know who the main guys are here. There’s no RB competition or time share: Henry is THE MAN. I expect the Ravens to focus on slowing him down, but good luck to them! Their efforts will likely go largely in vain, and insomuch as they are successful, it should leave some nice opportunities for Tannehill and Brown to connect. Henry is super-expensive, but Tannehill’s bargain-range salary compensates decently. In other words, you won’t have to have a lineup full of scrubs if you stack the Titans. 

 

Mini Stack

Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones

It’s going to fall under the heading of a ‘bad weather game’ given the predicted cold, and I’m guilty of over-weighting scary weather factors. Attempting to break the habit, I will be using a double-Aaron stack in a couple tournament lineups this weekend. Rodgers in the playoffs has been great, and Lambaugh Field is one place where home truly is sweet. In the playoffs, Rodgers boasts a 6.1 percent TD rate with only a 1.7 percent interception rate (per Pro Football Reference). For comparison, the GOAT Tom Brady’s numbers are 4.5 percent TD rate and 2.2 interception rate in the playoffs. The cold weather could also press both teams into a run-heavy approach, which of course is a boon to Jones. Jones’ usage was variable this season, but he ended strong with 23 and 25 carries, his highest tallies of the season. He also had nine targets in those two games, though you’re not rostering him for his receiving chops.