Welcome back for Week 5 as we run down my top five NFL QB-WR stacks for DraftKings DFS this week. Let’s get to it.
For the uninitiated, 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 DraftKings fantasy lineup. With the significance of stacking in mind, this article aims to highlight the best stacking options for Sunday’s main DraftKings NFL slate.
5. Daniel Jones ($5,400)/Darius Slayton ($4,800), New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Jones is probably a bad quarterback, but the Cowboys definitely have a bad defense. If you’re looking to save at QB, this is a great matchup to target. Quarterbacks facing Dallas are averaging 23.8 DKFP so far this season, and they’ve thrown a combined 11 TDs compared to just one INT. Furthermore, the Cowboys’ offense is one of the best in the league, ranking first in yards and third in points, so there should be constant pressure on the Giants to keep throwing.
Jones and Slayton have struggled over the last three weeks, but a big part of that has been their brutal schedule. In those games they’ve faced the Bears, 49ers, and Rams – all three rank in the top eight in pass defense DVOA and net yards per pass attempt allowed – those are three of the best pass defenses in the NFL. In that context, the fact that this pair was able to combine for 50 DKFP in Week 1 against the Steelers, a good defense in their own right, takes on added meaning. Slayton leads the Giants in receiving yards and TDs, and he’s in a good position to take advantage of the easiest matchup he’s seen all year.
4. Matt Ryan ($6,100)/Calvin Ridley ($7,500), Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
I remain highly skeptical of the Panthers’ defense. They appear to be better than I expected coming into the season, but that’s a remarkably low bar. Additionally, I like the idea of sticking with the Falcons’ stack while many managers are probably turned off by their poor showings in back-to-back weeks. Ridley’s (thigh/knee) injury and lofty salary are a bit scary, but that helps make this already contrarian play that much more contrarian.
Ridley shot out of the gate this season, posting three straight games of at least 10 targets and 100 yards. He scored 36.9, 32.9 and 19.7 DKFP in those games. Then he caught zero of his five targets in Week 4. I think that Week 4 was a fluke – a combination of a tough CB matchup, fighting through injury, and some uncharacteristically bad passes from Ryan. Ryan is fourth in the NFL pass attempts and the Falcons’ defense is so bad that Atlanta should have to keep passing all game. Despite his doughnut in Week 4, Ridley still enters Week 5 as one of the highest-scoring fantasy wide receivers.
I’m assuming that Julio Jones (hamstring; $6,800) will not play. If that’s correct, then Russell Gage ($5,100) is a decent option if you like the idea of this Falcons stack but aren’t willing to spend all the way up to Ridley.
3. Teddy Bridgewater ($5,900)/Robby Anderson ($5,900), Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
One of my favorite DFS plays in the new No. 1 WR whose salary is still lower than that of his teammate. As good as D.J. Moore ($6,000) was last season, and as much as I still like him as a young and improving talent, he is currently the Panthers’ No. 2 pass-catcher behind Anderson. On the season, Anderson has more targets and more catches than Moore, and that difference has only increased over the last two weeks. Anderson has more red zone targets, and they have the same number of 20-plus yard receptions. His floor is high, having topped double-digit DKFP in each of his four games, and the speedster’s ceiling is excellent – he’s a constant deep threat and he’s second among WRs in yards after the catch. The salary gap between him and Moore has shrunk, but Anderson is still a bargain.
Bridgewater isn’t particularly exciting, but the opportunity to face the Falcons is. They’ve given up more than 30 DKFP to opposing QBs every week – and they lost even more defensive starters to injury during Week 4. And while he’s not the most glamorous option, he has been solid, averaging 287 yards passing with a 73% completion rate. Though he’s certainly no Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson, Bridgewater is willing to run with the ball when necessary, with a respectable 12 rushes for 70 yards and a TD so far. We can start him with confidence in this matchup against one of the two-or-three worst defenses in the league.
2. Kyler Murray ($7,200)/DeAndre Hopkins ($7,900), Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets
After four weeks, the Jets’ defense appears to be one of the biggest “pass funnels” - teams with a good run defense and a bad pass defense, thereby incentivizing opponents to focus on their air attack. According to DVOA, they have the seventh-best run defense and the 11th-worst pass defense (other notable pass funnels are the Seahawks, who are not on the main slate, and the Giants, who will face this week’s No. 1 stack, below). Jets opponents are averaging the second-best starting field position for each drive, so the Cardinals should also face a lot of short fields. The Jets have faced one mobile QB, Josh Allen in Week 1, and he scored 33.2 DKFP. Murray leads all QBs in rushing yards and TDs, and has scored at least 24 DKFP every week. Only four WRs have seen at least six targets against the Jets, and three of those topped 16.6 DKFP. Hopkins is second in the league in targets.
While this stack is the most expensive QB-WR stack available Sunday, it’s worth noting that this pairing costs a combined $400 less than they did last week.
1. Dak Prescott ($7,400)/Michael Gallup ($5,400), Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
I love CeeDee Lamb ($6,000). The Cowboys have been on the main slate three times this season, and I recommended a Prescott-Lamb stack for two of those. However, I think Gallup is the better play here for Week 5. As I mentioned last week, the Browns’ defense has been particularly susceptible to slot WRs, which made it a better matchup for Lamb. The Giants have no such tendency. While the Gallup’s production has mostly underwhelmed, he remains a focal point of the Cowboys’ offense – it is Gallup, not Lamb or Amari Cooper ($7,400), who has led the team in snaps every week. And while Gallup’s final box scores were disappointments in Weeks 1, 2 and 4, his numbers through the first quarter of the season are not as bad as some in the fantasy talk-o-sphere would have you believe. Gallup is still 22nd in receiving yards and 11th in air yards. Only Calvin Ridley and Marquise Brown have both more targets and a high average depth of target than Gallup. Prescott is looking for Gallup on deep plays, and those should be easier to connect on against the Giants’ weak secondary.
Prescott has been good, but equally important is how bad the Cowboys’ defense has been. Even if the Cowboys get ahead early, their offense cannot afford to take their foot off the gas. Their poor defense is a large part of why Prescott has already attempted 201 passes, while no one else has topped 177. However, all those attempts are fantasy gold.
I expect Cooper ($7,400) to also have a good game, but his salary strikes me as somewhere between fair and high, while Lamb ($6,000) and Gallup ($5,400) appear to be discounts. And while I view Lamb’s salary as a good deal, I’ll gladly take the extra $600 in savings, especially when Gallup comes with increased chances at a few big plays.
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