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.
This one is so easy in concept, and so difficult to execute. The Chiefs have a sky high team total (>30 points), and Mahomes is easily the highest projected QB this week. He’s priced accordingly, as is his favorite target and top TE, Kelce. I’ve also written about Tyreek Hill as an expensive GPP option, as well as the Chiefs’ D/ST as a bargain this weekend, but Jacobs is a great way to play this safe stack. No team allows more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Chiefs, and they have been shredded by Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler/Melvin Gordon the past two weeks. Jacobs is coming off his worst effort since Week 3 (Minnesota), and is listed on the injury report as questionable with an ongoing shoulder injury. Those two things might keep his ownership down a little bit, combined with his high-mid-range salary. I still want a decent amount of exposure to Jacobs this weekend. If you’re uncomfortable with him, you could pivot to Tyrell Williams or Darren Waller, who could both see double-digit targets in a catch-up situation.
Another game with a high point total is this one, and the spread is only one point. That makes both sides intriguing. I’m rolling with Foles over Jameis Winston here (see below) because Tampa Bay is so beatable through the air. He’s also quite a bit cheaper, so by stacking Jags, you can actually get to Christian McCaffrey if you want. Foles has attempted nearly 50 passes per game over the last two weeks, and while it hasn’t amounted to much – no 300-yard game, and only two touchdowns – that could easily change this week. The Jaguars are home, and as noted, this is the best WR matchup for fantasy in the league (second-best for QB). I’m landing on Chris Conley a LOT on the main slate, but think you can also consider paying up for Chark, especially in cash game lineups. In a committed game stack, I like both. Westbrook is coming off an eight catch game and is the cheapest Jacksonville receiver on FanDuel, so if it helps somewhere else in your lineup to save a few hundred salary cap dollars, I’m fine with him too. Mixing and matching those three is a smart way to cover all the bases. The same is true for the opponent; Evans is my preferred Bucs’ receiver this weekend, thanks to his lower salary and equal opportunity to Chris Godwin. It’s hard to predict how the touchdowns will fall from week to week, but some exposure to both Evans and Godwin in this potential shootout makes sense.
The Cardinals may fly a little bit under the radar this weekend coming off their bye and playing against San Francisco in two of the previous three weeks. However, if anything, that should make them even better targets in Week 13. Murray more than held his own vs. the 49ers, going into the bye week with fantasy point totals of 23, 28, and 27 in Weeks 9-11. In those three weeks, Kirk had 24 targets and caught three touchdown passes. Murray does tend to spread the ball around, but Fitzgerald remains his No. 2 option. His 100 percent catch rate (17/17) during that span is a big reason why. If you’d like to save (but Kirk and Fitzgerald are more than cheap enough for me), you could consider Pharoh Cooper, or even Andy Isabella or KeeSean Johnson. However, each of those three is very touchdown dependent and more risk than reward. I’m avoiding the running back situation for the most part – definitely in cash games – with Kenyon Drake established as the lead back, Chase Edmonds potentially returning and David Johnson the odd man out? There are too many questions here, and my preference for Edmonds over the other two from a fantasy perspective may just not align with reality.
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Contrarian because the over/under on this game is below 40 points, which is not a harbinger of fantasy success. As you know, the AFC North is known for its low scoring division rivalries and the Week 11 matchup between these two was only a 28-point affair. I expect emotions to be high this week given the ending of that game, as well as because the Browns are on a winning streak at last. I’ve been high on this trio for a few weeks in a row now and they haven’t disappointed. Landry is averaging over 10 targets per game over the last five games, and has been the touchdown machine for the Browns lately, with five scores in the last four games. Hunt has been an immediate contributor too, increasing his work on the ground each week, and being very involved in the pass game in two of his three appearances. In PPR scoring, he hasn’t been below 11.8 fantasy points yet. He’s still relatively cheap on DraftKings, so even though it’s not the best matchup, he’s part of my Browns GPP stack. I do think the Steelers perform a lot better here than they did previously, so you could turn this into a full game stack for a multi-entry GPP lineup, but it’s hard to pinpoint who the Steelers’ MVPs will be. James Washington and Benny Snell are candidates, but far from sure things.
The Giants are underdogs vs. the visiting Packers, who have been inconsistent on defense this season. Generally better at home than on the road, the Packers haven’t really been a defense to avoid since Week 4 after their hot start. Jones has performed in good matchups this season, with 30-plus fantasy points in two of his last four games. A perfect tournament QB option at his low salary with the right profile of risk/reward keeping his ownership down, it’s also nice to pair Jones with the struggling Barkley. Of course, his single-digit fantasy point games in Weeks 11-12 came against difficult run defenses and defenses have been able to key in on him while the receiving game has had some missing pieces. Now his price is down and he gets a Packers Defense that is giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. It’s a great spot for Barkley to get back to 20-plus fantasy points. Shepard is back, and immediately saw nine targets in Week 12. Though not yet ruled out, Golden Tate is still not practicing and in the concussion protocol, while Evan Engram is also doubtful for Week 13. It’s a nice set up for a high volume game from Shepard, and I’m counting on a score from him too.
Winston is truly a fantasy marvel this season. With more turnovers than any other team this season – mostly on Winston – as well as one of the highest sack percentages in the league, it’s a miracle that Winston consistently turns in 20-plus fantasy point performances. In fact, he’s been below 20 fantasy points just once since Week 2. The Jaguars aren’t a pushover defense this season, but aren’t the formidable foe of years past, either. In what I view as one of the best games to draw on for main slate lineups, Winston should get it done once again this week. The obvious pairings with him are Godwin and Evans, as noted above, but Ronald Jones Jr. gets the best matchup of the bunch. The Jaguars are allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Peyton Barber has not gone away yet, but Jones Jr. is so clearly the best option, garnering a decent number of targets in addition to a small majority of the carries. He’s scored touchdowns in three of the last four games (the exception being New Orleans, one of the best run defenses in the league). Between these two, I think you account for all the Bucs’ offensive scoring without breaking the bank on the star receivers.