Welcome back to our weekly countdown of the best QB-WR stacks! With six teams on bye, Week 10 presents us with one of the smallest main slates of the season. Several of our favorite foibles are back on the main slate, opening up attractive picks at all ranges of the salary spectrum. 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.
Brissett (knee) is questionable for this game, but the fact that he was a limited participant in practice all week – as opposed to missing some days entirely, makes me optimistic that he plays. If he is out, then I’d be just as willing to start Brian Hoyer ($5,900) in his place.
There are a few things to like about this stack. First, the obvious – the Dolphins are very bad. They’re gradually climbing up from the depths of the worst defenses of all time, but they’re still the worst this season. Sam Darnold in Week 9 was the first QB they held below 15 DKFP, and five have topped 21 DKFP. Second, the salaries are cheap, but no so cheap as to make this an obvious play. Managers know they need to at least consider the Dolphins’ opponents every week, but I think the uncertainty around Brissett’s health and the good-not-great salaries will cause many to look elsewhere. Finally, the absences of T.Y. Hilton (calf) and Parris Campbell (hand) should narrow the Colts’ target tree. Pascal leads the team in targets and air yards during Hiltons’ last two absences, and Pascal trailed only Hilton in those metrics during Campbell’s last missed game.
The idea of recommending a Titans stack makes me a little nauseous. But do you see those salaries? This entire stack costs barely more than Saquon Barkley ($8,800). It’s so cheap that we have to at least consider it. And a scary thing happened when I looked into this stack – it’s a reasonable option! This Cheifs’ defense is better than their reputation, but they’ve still allowed six out of the nine QBs they’ve faced to score at least 18 DKFP. Corey Davis (hip; $4,400) is doubtful, and he’s the only Titan with ass many or more targets or air yards than Brown since Tannehill took over as starter. Stylistically, Brown is somewhat similar to the types of WRs who have had the most success against the Chiefs – DJ Chark, Kenny Golladay, Courtland Sutton. If you’re trying to fit in some of the pricey top-tier players, the savings this stack provides might be difficult to ignore.
As we’ve established repeatedly through this column this season, I hate good quarterbacks. Ok, obviously that’s not quite true, though you can be forgiven if my back-to-back picks of Tannehill and Danny Dimes raised an eyebrow. In DFS, value matters more than underlying skill, and both of these stacks feel like massive values. Jones has had an up-and-down season, but his 30-plus DKFP outings in Tampa Bay and Detroit demonstrate his high ceiling. It’s unlikely the Jets will be quite as bad as they were in their Week 9 loss to the Dolphins, but the Jets are a favorable matchup even when they’re playing at their best. Six of the eight QBs they’ve faced topped 18 DKFP, and seven of the eight threw for at least 249 yards. Also, though this is officially a road game, it’s in the Giants home arena and the stadium is likely to be evenly split between Jets and Giants fans.
As was the case in the Titans stack, above, one of the attractive elements of this stack is that the Giants will be without WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) and TE Evan Engram (foot). In their four games with Shepard out and Tate active, Tate has seen 25% of the team’s targets and 28% of their air yards. In Week 6, when both Shepard and Engram was out, Tate’s target share jumped to 33% and his air yards share to 37%. If you’re looking to save salary, or you want to make this a triple-stack, both WR Darius Slayton ($4,200) and TE Rhett Ellison ($2,500) are reasonable options – both also saw massive jumps in their workloads in Week 6. But Tate is cheap enough that there’s no need to come off him for the standard QB-WR stack, especially considering the talent chasm separating him from Slayton and Ellison.
2. Kyler Murray ($6,500)/Christian Kirk ($5,200), Cardinals at Buccaneers
We’re slowly increasing the talent level of these stacks… But this stack has much more to do with the opponent than it does Murray and Kirk. The Buccaneers have produced fantasy profits like an oil field this season. They’ve already given up two 70-plus DKFP stacks, one 60 DKFP stack, and two more 40 DKFP stacks. Every QB since Week 2 has topped 17.4 DKFP, and they’ve allowed at least one 17-DKFP WR in six of their last seven. According to DVOA, they have the best run defense, but the 26th pass defense, making them the epitome of a pass-funnel defense.
While this defense bad enough that I’d start Blake Bortles against them, Murray has been pretty good for most of the season. Though he struggled in Weeks 7 and 8, but he scored 17 DKFP in every other game. The Cardinals operate at the second-fastest pace and the Bucs the ninth, increasing the number of opportunities. Over the past three games, Larry Fitzgerald ($5,500) has fallen off significantly, and Kirk has stormed into the lead as the Cardinals’ top receiver. Kirk missed Week 7, and he’s commanded a 29% target share and a 39% air yards share through Weeks 8 and 9.
At some point I have to stop messing about with mediocre passers and just focus on the best pairing on this slate. Sure, in a perfect world, Thomas wouldn’t be the most expensive WR on the slate – or, at least, not by such a wide margin. But it’s a price worth paying. It hasn’t gotten as much attention, but Thomas has dominated the WR field this season almost as resoundingly as Christian McCaffrey has dominated the RBs. Thomas leads the NFL with 109 receiving yards per game, and he has massive leads in targets and receptions per game. Only Cooper Kupp comes close to Thomas’s 11.1 targets, and his 9.1 receptions are way above DeAndre Hopkins, who is in second place with just 7.6. Now with Brees back and well-rested following a Week 9 bye, Thomas’ cathedral ceiling is only getting higher. In his first game back from a thumb injury, Brees threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns.
If Brees’ and Thomas’ combined excellence isn’t enough to convince you, then consider the opponent. The Falcons’ defense is among the worst in the league, and that’s primarily because of their shoddy pass coverage. They’re a pass-funnel defense, with the 10th-ranked run defense but the 31st-ranked pass defense, according to DVOA. Every QB they’ve faced has scored at least 14 DKFP, and five of the eight have topped 23 DKFP. Opposing QBs have combined for a 117.6 QB rating, the second-highest figure in the league. The Falcons’ two interceptions ties the league low, and their 19 passing TDs allowed is the third-highest. They’ve given up six different 19-plus DKFP games to WRs, and 15 opposing WRs reached double-digits. This is a matchup that demands attention, and a QB-WR pairing that has been among the best this season.
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