This weekly article gets us ready for NFL DFS by considering some of the safest stacks, contrarian stacks, and a mini-stack or two. The premise is based on research showing the degree of correlation between one player’s fantasy output and another in his game. Among the strongest correlations are QB-QB(opponent), QB-WR1, QB-WR2, QB-WR1(opponent), QB-TE, and RB-D/ST. These are for the main slate on Sunday.
This is the stack for when you want high floors and don’t care what it costs. None of these players has really delivered a bad fantasy game this season. Now they meet each other and the matchups couldn’t be better. Buffalo has been weak in the middle all season, letting opposing tight ends and slot receivers take major advantage there. Allen is a huge target hog in what should be a pass-happy game plan for both teams. Justin Herbert would also be a fine play and save you a few dollars, but Allen’s ability to rush in those short touchdowns provides an edge Herbert doesn’t have. Diggs is quietly having a fantastic fantasy season. He averages over 10 targets per game, and hasn’t had a game not in the double-digit PPR fantasy points. With one of the highest Vegas totals this week, I see all of these players reaching value with ease (and maybe Hunter Henry, Mike Williams, or Zach Moss too).
I’m banking on the Rams staying hot this week in another plus spot. The 49ers are decimated by injuries and have some remaining COVID-related uncertainties on top of it this week. Yes, they lost to San Francisco earlier in the year, but if Week 11 was any indication, the Rams have hit their stride. You can be confident that the Rams’ D will give them good field position and help control the time of possession, giving Goff and his top two receivers plenty of opportunities. Kupp is going to get the majority of targets, but Woods is more likely to score. Sometimes going after a stack like this feels like chasing points, but the Rams are a solid team, and when they are humming like this, I want to keep putting them in my lineups. Looked at another way: there’s nothing to suggest they won’t keep up the strong offensive play this week.
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Bridgewater practiced in full Wednesday, putting him firmly on track to take over as the Panthers’ QB. I mentioned in the bargain article that I love Samuel in this matchup, given the woes of the Vikings’ secondary so far this year. He’s the cheapest of the three possibilities for Carolina, and the most versatile, but either Robby Anderson or D.J. Moore could also come up big in what should be a high scoring game on both sides. Including Dalvin Cook in the stack is a no-brainer, unless your brain hates spending money. Cook’s salary ($11,000 FD, $9500 DK, $42 Yahoo) is a test of fortitude. Carolina does still rank as the league’s fifth-best RB matchup, so I’m going to have at least this one Cook tournament lineup for Week 12. Adam Thielen is on the COVID-19 list, a situation that could certainly evolve as the week goes on. Jefferson’s salary has already come up to meet his obvious talent, but if he were to act as the No. 1 this week, he’s an easy play. If Thielen is back, it would depend on how great the salary discrepancy was and where else you went with the lineup.
No one ever wants to stack the Giants, but the Bengals are a good matchup under normal conditions and now are without Joe Burrow (and maybe Giovanni Bernard). Burrow was one of the most prolific passers in the league this season, and his ability to throw so many passes underlines his ability to sustain drives. I’m not sure we get that from new starter Brandon Allen. In fact, I’d bet on the Giants controlling this game start to finish. That means plenty of opportunities for Jones and Co., possibly with better than average field position, to move the ball. Gallman had scored in four consecutive games prior to the Giants’ bye week, and is getting plenty of work, especially around the goal line. He’s affordable and should meet value in a great game-flow scenario. The Bengals have been especially weak against opposing tight ends this season, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. Engram is the league’s third-highest targeted TE (though his production with those targets is not commensurate). Look for a big game, possibly his best of the season, come Sunday. Jones is a very fair salaried QB with a good game script, and the ability to move the ball through the air and with his legs. That gives him a high enough floor that I can live with a possible turnover and couple sacks.
Mini-Stack of the week:
It’s kind of crazy to roster both Browns’ backs and yet, I want to do it. This team is determined to run the ball, and there have been several games this year where both Hunt and Chubb have produced DFS-worthy numbers. Adding Mayfield covers any random passing touchdowns, which Jacksonville gives up easily. The Jaguars have struggled to stop opponents in all phases of the game, and the Browns being near-touchdown favorites on the road says all you need to know. This should be a solid grouping, but if you are only going with one back, I’m making it Chubb (maybe Hunt on DraftKings, given how cheap he is there).