Welcome back to our weekly countdown of the best QB-WR stacks! For the most part, the Week 5 QB salaries are almost shockingly fair, which opens up a lot of potential avenues for lineup building. The recommendations try to reflect that this week, with recommendations ranging from silly cheap to borderline chalk. 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. Chase Daniel ($4,800)/Allen Robinson ($5,600), Bears at Raiders
Assuming Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder, doubtful; $5,100) is out, Daniel is a reasonable option at this near-minimum salary (outside of Washington, the cheapest starting QB in Week 5 will probably be $4,700). Daniel stepped in mid-way through the first quarter in the Bears’ Week 4 win over the Vikings, and he played well against a tough defense. He completed 73% of his passes for 195 yards, threw one TD and didn’t turn the ball over. With a week to prepare and a much cushier matchup, Daniel should be even better. While the Vikings’ defense ranks sixth in yards and points allowed per game, the Raiders rank sixth-to-last in passing yards allowed per game and in the bottom third for points and total yards.
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Furthermore, Daniel’s insertion into the lineup was a boon to Robinson, who had seen his target share and air yards share decrease every week under Trubisky. All seven of Robinson’s Week 4 targets – all of which were caught – came from Daniel. Robinson is back to being the clear No. 1 WR, yet his salary is that of a second or third option.
It should also be noted that this is not really an away game for the Bears – this game will take place in London. If anything, I’d expect more Bears fans in attendance than Raiders fans. Though the game will start at 1:00 pm EST and be a part of the main slate, it’ll be a night game for the players.
That said, if you’re really willing to take a risk that saves a ton of salary, then take a look at this next one…
Depending on a couple health situations around the league, Flacco will be the 30th or 31st most expensive starting QB in Week 5. There is obviously a lot of risk in rostering a player that cheap, especially when the discount is for a player who’s been starting regularly for years – Flacco isn’t cheap because he’s unproven, he’s cheap because he isn’t all that good. But is Flacco really a bottom-three QB? No. Certainly not. Especially when he has a favorable matchup. Similarly, Sanders is averaging 5.8 catches for 74.5 yards this season – that should cost a lot more than $5,100, again, especially in a favorable matchup.
The Chargers’ defense would be good, probably, if it were anything resembling healthy. But with multiple key defenders on IR, including First-team All-Pro safety Derwin James, and the possible absence of stars DE Melvin Ingram and CB Casey Hayward, they’ve become one of the worst in the league. They’re third-to-last in pass defense DVOA, and they’ve allowed the eighth-most passing TDs. All three non-Dolphins’ QBs who faced the Chargers scored at least 16 DKFP, and they’ve allowed an opposing WR to score 28.7 DKFP in half of their games – or two of their three games if we don’t count the Dolphins as a real NFL team (note: we should not count the Dolphins as a real NFL team).
Noticing a theme yet? I hate good QBs.
Ok, not really. But I certainly don’t mind mediocre QBs if the price is right and the matchup is good. And the Cardinals might be the most favorable opponent possible for a QB. They lead the league in pace, they are without their top-two CBs, and they’ve already allowed three opposing QBs to top 25 DKFP – Kyle Allen, Matt Stafford, and Lamar Jackson. Both Dalton’s and Boyd’s salaries have increased due to the matchup, but only barely.
The Bengals haven’t figured out how to win yet, but their new offense has breathed life into the fantasy value of the passing game. This is just the second time in Dalton’s career that he has thrown at least 36 pass attempts in four consecutive games. He was awful on Monday night, but he topped 18 DKFP in his first three games, two of which were against above-average defenses. Boyd was the target on nearly a quarter of all Daltons’ pass attempts, and that should increase facing a depleted secondary with John Ross now on IR.
2. Matt Ryan ($5,900)/Calvin Ridley ($4,900), Falcons at Texans
I did a double take when I saw Ridley’s salary. $4,900? Really? Ridley is the 45th-most expensive WR this week? In a plus-matchup?
The Texans have been as favorable for WRs as the Cardinals have been for QBs. Three WRs have already scored at least 20 DKFP against them, and seven have scored in double-digits. The Texans gave up 46.6 DKFP to Keenan Allen, the third-most by an WR in a game this season. Ridley’s salary has dropped after back-to-back bad games, including just one catch for six yards in Week 3. Mohamed Sanu’s ($4,200) workload increased in those two games, adding to the concern. But this happened early last year, too, and Ridley’s talent won out. In the three weeks following Ridley’s 2018-low in targets, he scored six TDs. If you’re more comfortable playing it safe with Julio Jones ($7,700), that makes total sense – as we already covered, this is a smash spot for WRs. But while Jones is fairly priced as the highest-salaried WR on the slate, Ridley offers a massive discount. I expect both to provide at least break-even production.
Ryan hasn’t always looked good this season, but he keeps getting it done for fantasy. He’s scored at least 19 DKFP in all four games. Also, stacking against the Texans has been mostly successful so far this season. They’ve given up QB-WR stacks of 70.2 DKFP (Phillip Rivers-Allen), 50.1 (Drew Brees-Michael Thomas), 37.9 (Brees-Ted Ginn), 36.6 (Gardner Minshew-DJ Chark), 31.1 (Rivers-Mike Williams) and 28.4 (Minshew-Chris Conley).
1. Dak Prescott ($6,000)/Amari Cooper ($6,800), Cowboys vs. Packers
See? I like talent, too! The Packers have the veneer of an intimidating defense, and I’d drop the word “veneer” if we were talking about actual football and not DFS. That big red “4th” under “opponent rank” next to Prescott’s name looks scary when we’re building our rosters. But are we really supposed to be afraid of a defense that stopped Joe Flacco, Mitchell Trubisky, and whatever is going on with the Vikings? The only time they played a real QB and a team that has discovered the forward pass they gave up 19.7 DKFP to Carson Wentz. Prescott is fifth among QBs in DKFP entering Week 5, and his workload is stable attempting at least 30 passes in every game. Prescott is coming off a bad week, but an $800 salary drop for a bad week and what might be a paper-tiger defense is far too steep. He’s a good deal. Cooper has four TDs in four games, and the Packers don’t have a defender who can stay with Cooper’s crisp routes. The Packers’ defense may have improved, but they don’t have a shut-down corner, and even some of the best CBs in the NFL have failed to shut down Cooper. This is the best offense the Packers have faced, and both of these players should probably have a higher salary.
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