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.
It rarely happens, but I am in love with Detroit this week. They are coming off a BYE, Stafford and Golladay looked totally in sync the two games prior, and now they get one of the best overall matchups in fantasy. QBs playing the Jaguars have scored the fourth-most fantasy points, and running backs against them rank ninth in the league. I’m tempted to include D’Andre Swift in a Lions stack, but he’s more risky than I want for this blurb. I hope the Lions used their week off to scheme a larger role for the rookie, but it’s also hard to argue against the production that Adrian Peterson has provided them so far. Instead, look to Golladay and Hockenson (a nice pivot from the high projected rostering of Mark Andrews) to round out your upside receiving slots. Golladay is a no-brainer. Hockenson has proven a reliable outlet for Stafford, with a solid catch rate and presence in the end zone. Hopefully, a high scoring back and forth game increases his volume. Complete the stack with a Jaguars receiver to take advantage of what should be a high scoring game and Detroit’s weak secondary. I prefer Shenault, who has emerged as a versatile threat, but Keelan Cole is a bit cheaper with an equal number of targets and more touchdowns under his belt than Shenault. D.J. Chark is still a question mark in terms of his ankle, but I’m not keen to pay up for him with two fine options in Shenault and Cole to choose from. James Robinson also gets a nice matchup here, but at his rising salary, he’s not my favorite RB for Week 6.
I think it will be hard to go wrong at QB from this game, which is why I prefer Tannehill. He’s much less expensive than Watson, who is the third-highest priced QB on FD and DK. The two salaries are closer on Yahoo ($28 and $31, respectively), but on all three sites, Tannehill is averaging about two more fantasy points per game than Watson. Also, given how well QB fantasy points correlate with implied team total, it’s worth noting that the Titans are 3.5-point favorites in this high-scoring game (53-point total). If I can spend less for greater or equal production, I’m doing it. Brown is back, and should always be the first look for Tannehill when he's healthy. It doesn’t really matter whether Corey Davis and Adam Humphries come off the COVID list for this game; Brown is coming off a 7-82-1 game, and will look to expand on that line in this division rivalry game. Brown’s salary seems way too low, especially on DK and Yahoo. Fuller fits the stack thanks to his health (!), his speed (remember what Justin Jefferson did to the Titans in Week 3), and his cost, though the best salary on Fuller is Yahoo, by far.
Everyone can recognize the fantastic matchup Atlanta offers, but the Vikings aren’t the most exciting team to roster. The low-volume passing offense is a contributor, which is why I recommend stacking this game without either QB. The DFS sites had time to properly price Mattison this week, which may lower his roster percentage, but in such a good spot, I think he’s at least worth the salary on FanDuel and nearly a must-play on Yahoo. Jefferson, as noted above, is a risk/reward speedster with great upside. He’s the player whose usage/salary I’m most comfortable with in Kirk Cousin’s paltry pass game. He only needs a couple long targets or catch and run opportunities to make value. Irv Smith Jr. is another possibility for the Vikings, and as a super salary-saver, I like him this week (again, the matchup, the point total, the touchdown probability), but I also don’t want to go overboard. Adam Thielen is always a reasonable cash game play as Cousins’ favorite target, but you’ll have to pay for him. Ridley is the obvious counterpoint to include in this game stack. He’s averaging almost 100 yards per game with a ZERO in Week 4. Look for him and possibly Todd Gurley to be productive against a Minnesota team that is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing WRs and multiple 100-plus yard rushers this season.
Who’s ready for a huge Jackson game? The Ravens are big favorites on the road in Philly this week, and Philadelphia has been anything but predictable this season. Their defense showed some skill against Cincinnati and San Francisco, when they combined for 13 sacks, and they’ve produced four turnovers the last two weeks, but it has really depended on their opponent. Pittsburgh and LA Rams easily had their way with the Eagles D. Their offense has scored the fourth-fewest points, including an unexpected high scoring game against Pittsburgh. I haven’t paid up for Jackson much this year, but I’m ready in Week 6. Andrews and Brown are definitely his favorite weapons, and although his passing volume is fairly low, we know that Brown is so fast and good after the catch that he doesn’t need such a high number of targets. We want Andrews in the end zone, where he has converted seven RZ targets into three touchdowns, but expect him to be popular. Likewise, if you want the popular Eagles play, choose Travis Fulgham. No complaints from me there, but if you want contrarian, it’s got to be Ertz. The targets have been there for him, the past connection between Ertz and Carson Wentz is not a fluke, and I believe there will be a big game from Ertz at some point. They’ll need it to stay in this one, and that big Ertz game at low, low rostership could vault you up the rankings in a big GPP.
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Mini-Stacks of the week:
If there were a time to bet on a repeat Fitzmagic game, it would be at home against the Jets, amiright? I am, but, it’s worth noting that Fitzpatrick has scored between 25-30 fantasy points in each of his last four games, so it’s really Week 1 vs. New England that is the outlier. The Jets allow the second-most points per game to their opponents, and rank sixth in fantasy point to opposing running backs. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Dolphins as 9.5-point favorites, one of the largest spreads of the week. Averaging about five targets and 13 carries per game, Gaskin’s biggest knock is that he doesn’t score enough. Look for that to change this weekend, and feel free to stash Gaskin in any lineups this week, with or without his QB. Note that I’m not opposed to rostering any Dolphins’ receivers, it’s just more of a toss-up which one will be the best (DeVante Parker gets my slight edge over Preston Williams or Mike Gesicki).
I love this duo in this matchup. I truly believe what they did last weekend is repeatable, so I’ll keep making chasing points jokes until he flops and it’s no longer fun. Seriously, Pittsburgh is at home, facing a Browns Defense that ranks third in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (best matchup of the main slate) and sixth to QBs. As I wrote earlier this week, Ben loves to key in on his WR1, and I think this might be the last chance to buy in for this low salary. The Steelers are modest favorites in one of the higher scoring games, which offers confidence in the floor this mini-stack provides. Figure on Claypool to be highly owned coming off the big game, so if you’re looking to take advantage of the matchup in a more contrarian way, you could spend up on JuJu Smith-Schuster (even though I view him as the second-priority target, there could be more than enough for both WRs to have value in Week 6).