Welcome back to our weekly countdown of the best QB/WR stacks for daily fantasy football! With four teams on bye and an early Sunday morning game in London, the 10-game Week 6 main slate is smaller than it has been at any point this season – only Weeks 9 and 10 will have fewer games on the main slate. For the second week in a row, there are very few clear discounts at QB. Managers can focus on desirable games or matchups, or they can try to fill in some of the rest of their lineup in order to determine what salary range they want to target for their preferred stack. However you want to build your lineup, we’ve got a stack for you.
The concept behind stacking a QB with his WR is simple; both players benefit from each completion, doubling the benefit of that play for your fantasy lineup. As Adam Levitan pointed out, 79 percent of the lineups that won DraftKings’ Fantasy Football Millionaire contests used a QB stack in their lineup. With the significance of stacking in mind, this article aims to highlight the best stacking options for Sunday’s main slate.
5. Kirk Cousins ($5,200)/Adam Thielen ($6,700) and Stefon Diggs ($5,900), Vikings vs. Eagles
Thielen’s salary is unchanged after he caught seven of eight targets for 130 yards, two TDs and 35 DKFP. Cousins’ salary dropped after he threw for 306 yards, two TDs and 23.54 DKFP. Diggs’ salary has dropped to its second-lowest of the season, above only the matchup against the Bears. In a week of mostly fair prices, these three are shocking bargains. And this might be their best matchup of the year.
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One of the major factors depressing this triumvirate’s production so far this season has been schedule and game flow. In all three of their wins, the Vikings got up double-digits early and were able to all but abandon the pass against defenses that weren’t able stop their powerful run game. The other two games were low-scoring defensive battles. But the Eagles have one of the best run defenses in the NFL, and they have been a sieve to talented WRs. Five WRs have scored at least 25 DKFP against them, and two more topped 13 DKFP. The Eagles stifled the weak Jets passing game, but the top two WRs combined for at least 32.8 DKFP in each of their other four games. Finally, the Eagles rank seventh in points per game, so the Vikings are unlikely to find themselves in another over-almost-before-it-started blowout. At least on paper, this is the ideal matchup to jumpstart the Vikings talented passing game.
4. Josh Rosen ($4,500)/Preston Williams ($4,100), Dolphins vs. Washington
As we covered last week, I only like bad quarterbacks. Ok, that’s not quite true. More accurately, I am prepared to roster an average-or-below player if I like the salary and the matchup – and in this case I do – and if it fits what I am trying to do with the rest of my roster. For example, by starting with this stack, managers can fit both of the most expensive RBs, Dalvin Cook ($8,400) and Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500), into their lineups with room to spare.
Rosen hasn’t exactly shined in his two starts, but he wasn’t all that bad, either. He’s averaged 31.5 attempts and 190 yards, and he kept the Dolphins competitive throughout the first half of both games. That’s a legitimate accomplishment, considering that when he took over the team was the worst team in NFL history through two games according to DVOA. In a good matchup, he could provide plenty of DFS value. Since Rosen took over, Williams has been – I don’t want to say “great”, because the Dolphins are dreadful, but, let’s go with – great-considering-he-plays-for-the-dolphins. In the two games Rosen started, Williams has twice as many targets as any other Dolphin, a 40% share of the team’s air yards, and 31% of the team’s passing yards.
Coming off a bye and playing at home, the Dolphins face one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Washington is fifth-to-last in pass defense DVOA, and they’ve given up the most passing TDs and the highest completion percentage.
3. Matt Ryan ($6,400)/Calvin Ridley ($5,700), Falcons at Cardinals
This game has the second-highest over/under on DraftKings Sportsbook in Week 6, set at 51.5. This projects as a high-scoring, poorly defended affair that I want significant exposure too. This is the last week that the Cardinals will be without Patrick Peterson (suspension), two other CBs have been limited in practices this week, and Robert Alford is still on IR. Due to an odd collection of bad injury luck and the suspension, Arizona’s Week 6 secondary barely consists of any NFL talents. Matt Ryan has been a fantasy machine this season, cranking out at least 19.68 DKFP in every game, despite that he has one of the worst TD-INT ratios of his career. He has at least 300 yards in every game.
The only real question here is why am I recommending Ridley over Julio Jones ($8,000)? Jones is the most expensive WR on the slate. That salary is fair, but there is little need to bother with fairly priced WRs when there are so many good discounts. Ridley’s salary has spiked after his 19.8 DKFP in Week 5, but he’s still running cheaper than his talent. Excluding all of Week 3, which was a disaster for Ridley, he leads the Falcons in receiving yards and air yards, he is tied for the lead in TD catches, and has only four fewer targets than Jones. If we can write off Week 3 as an outlier, then Ridley should be considered one of the best No. 2 WRs in the league, more like Chris Godwin ($6,700; not available on the main slate) than Michael Gallup ($5,600).
2. Kyler Murray ($6,500)/Larry Fitzgerald ($6,100), Cardinals vs. Falcons
As mentioned in the Falcons’ stack, above, I want exposure to this game. Both teams are expected to pile on points against injury-decimated defenses that weren’t good when they were healthy. The Falcons have given up at least 20 DKFP to a WR in each of their last four games, and have allowed multiple WRs to reach double-digit DKFP in all five of their games. And their pass defense has only gotten worse since safety Keanu Neal was placed on IR before Week 4. In Week 4, they allowed two Titans WRs to top 20 DKFP, and in Week 5 they allowed Will Fuller to set the season-high for a WR with 56.7 DKFP.
The Cardinals operate at the second-fastest pace in the league, and they’ve attempted the fourth-most passes this season (the Falcons have attempted the most). Murray has at least 17 DKFP in every game this season, and he’s been running the ball more as the season has worn on. The Cardinals might be without Christian Kirk (ankle; $5,200) and Damiere Byrd (hamstring; $4,100), both of whom have been limited in practice and missed Week 5. Fitzgerald has seen a 22% target share, with Kirk and Byrd second and third on the team in opportunities and weighted opportunities (the latter a metric that combines target share with air yards to account for the increased value of deeper targets). Even if Kirk and/or Byrd are healthy, Fitzgerald is an excellent DFS play due to his discounted salary and the matchup. But if Kirk and/or Byrd remain out Sunday, that only increases Fitzgerald’s appeal.
1. Deshaun Watson ($6,700)/DeAndre Hopkins ($7,400), Texans at Chiefs
The only game with a higher over/under than the Cardinals-Falcons is the Texans-Chiefs matchup – and the difference is significant. The over/under for the former is 51.5, while it is 55.5 for the latter. The Chiefs haven’t been quite as generous to opposing offenses as the Cardinals or Falcons, but the players in those stacks don’t have nearly the same talent level as Watson and Hopkins at this point in their careers (I will defend Matty Ice and Larry Fitzgerald until I die). Hopkins had the second-most DKFP of all WRs in 2018. He’s faced a brutal lineup of some of the best shadow corners in the league – Marshon Lattimore, Jalen Ramsey, Casey Hayward, James Bradberry – yet he’s still seventh in targets, ninth in the NFL in air yards and 17th in DKFP. He is the Texans’ best offensive weapon, and they will need him to have a big day against the Chiefs in order to keep pace with the Kansas City offense.
Watson has alternated between great games and bad games, but the pattern has been predictable. He struggled against the two best defenses he faced, and scored at least 29 DKFP in each of his other three. The Chiefs will not be one of the two or three best defenses that the Texans have faced.
Bonus “What’s Better Than No. 1?” Stack. Patrick Mahomes ($7,500)/Tyreek Hill ($6,900), Chiefs vs. Texans
No need to overthink it. If Hill is available for Week 6, this stack becomes the most attractive on the slate. Mahomes is a one-man wrecking crew out to avenge the Chiefs’ Week 5 loss. Hill is the team’s best WR, and was the third-most productive DFS WR in 2018. The Texans defense has struggled against the pass. The Chiefs are at home.
If Hill is out, then feel free to pick your favorite of Demarcus Robinson ($5,900), Mecole Hardman ($5,300) and Byron Pringle ($3,500) to stack with Mahomes in a GPP. With Hill out, the Mahomes-choose-your-own-WR-adventure stack would rank sixth, barely missing out on inclusion in this article.
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