The first thing that comes to mind when you stack in NFL is a QB with his pass-catchers. But stacking a RB with that team’s D/ST can play into another game script. With just four teams on this slate, if a team wins big, and makes some plays defensively and running the ball, rostering that RB and D/ST could be the key to cashing. The starting RB has even more value in these stacks in the postseason, because teams won’t take their foot off the gas. The starter will continue to get touches and run up the score.
Below we rank the four defenses and starting running backs in order of value for stacking purposes. All purposes courtesy of DraftKings.
Damian Williams ($7,000) & Chiefs D/ST ($3,100) vs. Titans
The Chiefs are favored by a touchdown at home, which always makes a RB play appealing. But Williams’ appeal is that he’s basically game-script-proof. He checks in at his highest salary of the season, but is dominating the backfield snaps, with other RBs playing a total of just two plays against Houston. Williams is averaging just about 27 DKFP over his last three, finding the end zone six times. His role in the passing game keeps him very safe — nine receptions on 16 targets over the last three games with two scores. The Chiefs D/ST had scored 8.0 or more DKFP in every game since Week 11 until last week, but it’s own special teams really cost 14 of the 31 points allowed. Some regression from a hot Tennessee offense could be on the way.
Derrick Henry ($8,700) & Titans D/ST ($2,000) at Chiefs
Henry should be one of, if not the most popular play on the slate. But the Titans D/ST is pretty scary to roster. You know the numbers on Henry, he’s on a historical run where you expect well over 100 yards and a touchdown anytime you roster him. It’s worth mentioning he did dominate this matchup back in Week 10 — 23-188-2 (36.1 DKFP) — although that was in Nashville. The sneaky play here is the D/ST, which has been ruthless in the postseason. Tennessee has allowed just 25 points combined to the Patriots and Ravens, scoring 14 DKFP in each game. Do I think the Titans can contain Kansas City’s offense? Hell no! But we’re wrong all the time, so why not give it a whirl in tournaments?
Raheem Mostert ($4,300) & 49ers D/ST ($2,900) vs. Packers
Tevin Coleman ($5,700) came out of nowhere to steal the featured role against the Vikings. He carried 22 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns (25.5 DKFP). While it does frighten me that Coleman could see a big role again, I’m more excited about the discount it gets us on Mostert. Mostert still carried 12 times for 58 yards last week, and was dealing with a calf injury. Even if these two go back to splitting carries, 15-20 touches from Mostert for this salary makes a ton of sense, and the game script of 7.5-point home favorites plays into it. The 49ers D/ST is my favorite of the four on the slate. It averages 12.3 DKFP in home games, scored 14 DKFP against Minnesota last week, and 11 DKFP in the earlier matchup against Green Bay. From an eye test, Minnesota could barely get a first down last week, which doesn’t look for for Green Bay. I expect something similar to the six sacks we saw last week.
Aaron Jones ($6,700) & Packers D/ST ($2,400) at 49ers
The Packers ground game is a tough sell this week. So I’ll say that I like Jones being the cheapest he has sine Week 14, and you’ll certainly get low ownership here. But the 49ers D/ST ranks second in DKFP allowed to RB this season, and we saw exactly why in Week 12 — Jones carried 13 times for 38 yards (3.8 DKFP). Jones is an easy fade for me if I’m just building one lineup this week, so if you’re entering multiple lineups, that’s exactly why you’d look for a little exposure here. Packers D/ST is also a tough sell, totaling just 9.0 DKFP in the last two weeks combined, and scoring -1.0 DKFP in the game in San Francisco. This stack is just a contrarian play, purely for ownership.
I am an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.