Welcome back to our weekly countdown of the best QB-WR stacks! With just two teams on bye and the Ram-Bengals London game starting at 1 EST, the main slate is bigger than usual for this part of the season. On top of that, many of the best players have favorable matchups, which will draw a lot of DFS eyes to the top-dollar options. In order to account for that, the fourth and fifth options listed below aren’t actually my fourth- and fifth-favorite stacks – rather, they are my favorite cheap and mid-priced options. 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. Ryan Tannehill ($5,100)/Corey Davis ($4,400), Titans vs. Buccaneers
I had a legitimately difficult time deciding between this Titans stack and the Derek Carr ($5,000)-Trevor Davis ($3,500) Raiders stack – assuming Tyrell Williams (foot; $5,500) is still out. What finally convinced me to focus on the Titans was my fundamental lack of trust for Jon Gruden and the Raiders in a crucial game with significant playoff implications. The seventh-place Raiders face the sixth-place Texans Sunday. The winner will hold the final Wild Card spot and a crucial tiebreaker.
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I’m not a huge fan of either Tannehill or Davis, but the price is right against the Buccaneers’ pass funnel defense. Pass funnels – teams with good run defenses and bad pass defenses – have been the cheat code to DFS this season. The biggest pass funnels this season have been the Falcons, Eagles, Texans and Buccaneers. Five of the seven best WR DFS games have come against those teams, and each has allowed at least five WRs to top 20 DKFP (on average, each defense has allowed a WR to reach 20 DKFP 3.0 times). Similarly, those pass funnels have allowed 12 QBs to top 25 DKFP and 18 to top 20 DKFP.
Davis’ targets have jumped since Tannehill took over as QB. We’ve known he was a big and talented WR, but he had minimal appeal when he was the Titans third or fourth option. It’s still a small sample size, but Davis has been a top-two option since the QB change.
The Broncos’ defense is legitimately good, and Chris Harris can guard anyone anywhere. That said, if you are looking for a mid-priced stack, this strikes me as the best option. Even with the tough matchup, Hilton’ salary looks too low. He has at least 14 DKFP in five of his six games and he’s averaging a touchdown per contest. Hilton has at least 10 targets in two of his last three games, and the third game was when the Colts went extremely run-heavy in an attempt to slow the Chiefs. That Chiefs game is also the only one in which Brissett failed to throw for multiple TDs and top 16 DKFP, and the only one of his last four where he scored less than 23 DKFP.
3. Jameis Winston ($5,900)/Chris Godwin ($7,100) and Mike Evans ($6,600), Buccaneers at Titans
I really wanted to make this my top stack of the week, but Titans have yet to give up a 40 DKFP stack this season. However, while no pairing has yet taken advantage, the Titans have all hallmarks of a pass funnel defense. The Titans’ rush defense ranks third in DVOA, while their pass defense is all the way down at 23rd. The lack of an explosive QB-WR stack performance so far seems like mostly a fluke, but it’s enough to dampen my enthusiasm.
And while they haven’t given up any gigantic games, they’ve still been a favorable matchup. Each of the last five QBs to face the Titans scored at least 18 DKFP, and four of those five threw for multiple TDs. Through just six games, 10 WRs have scored double-digit DKFP against them. Winston is willing to chuck the ball all over the field, and these two receivers are good enough to go catch it.
This pick is partly picking on the Giants, and partly taking advantage of two discounts. Stafford is the 11th-highest priced QB and Golladay is the 16th-highest WR, and both of those seem low for this matchup. The Giants have already allowed five QBs to top 22 DKFP, a mark Stafford has reached in half his games already. They’ve also allowed five WRs to break 20 DKFP, a mark Golladay has hit in half of his games. The Giants’ best CB tends to stick in the slot, which is where Marvin Jones ($5,800) usually plays, freeing Golladay to face the weaker parts of the defense. The gap isn’t quite large enough that you’d call it a pass funnel, but their pass defense is worse than their rush defense, and Sunday will be the Lions’ first game without their lead RB, Kerryon Johnson (knee).
1. Deshaun Watson ($7,200)/DeAndre Hopkins ($8,100), Texans vs. Raiders
This is a pretty chalky pick, but that’s part of why I made sure to go off-script with a few of the picks above. Watson and Hopkins will probably be two of the most widely-rostered players on the slate. Well, sometimes the consensus is right. As mentioned above, the winner of this game will hold the final Wild Card spot and a potentially crucial tiebreaker over a main competitor. But just because Oakland is still in the playoff hunt doesn’t mean they have a good defense. Rather, it’s quite the opposite. They rank 29th in points allowed, 30th in defensive DVOA, pass defense DVOA and pass TDs allowed, and 31st in pass yards allowed. No matter what metric you check, the Raiders’ defense is bad – especially their pass defense.
The Texans have effectively been without either Kenny Stills ($4,700) or Will Fuller (hamstring) in each of their past three games, and Hopkins has averaged 8.3 catches on 10.7 targets during that span. Watson has topped 20 DKFP in five of his seven games. The two games he missed that mark were against probably the two best defenses he’s faced, lending some predictability to his booms and busts. If that pattern holds Sunday, he would post one of his best games of the season – and he already leads all QBs in DKFP per game.
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