Welcome back for Week 3 as we run down my top five NFL QB-WR stacks for DraftKings 13-game slate. 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 slate.
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5. Ben Roethlisberger ($6,400)/Diontae Johnson ($5,400), Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans
This stack is a bet: is Johnson, not Juju Smith-Schuster ($6,600), the Steelers’ true No. 1 WR? I’m not convinced either way yet, though we’ve reached the point where a “yes” answer would no longer surprise me. And if “yes” is actually the answer, then this $1,200 in savings is ginormous. If you’re only rolling with one lineup, then I’d feel more confident going with one of the other stacks listed here, but if you’re going multi-entry, then I’d strongly recommend getting some Roethlisberger-Johnson exposure.
Through two games, Johnson leads the team in receptions and yards, and has a massive advantage in targets and air yards. Smith-Schuster is talented and has an impressive a track record, but there is a very real chance that Johnson has permanently supplanted him as the team’s primary weapon.
Roethlisberger’s salary strikes me as fair. He’s had two good games — 22.06 and 22.24 DKFP — against two bad opponents. It’s still hard to know what to make of the Texans’ defense, as they’re started with arguably the hardest possible schedule in the Chiefs and the Ravens. But, at the risk of repeating my comments about Houston from last week, the evidence we have implies that this is a favorable matchup for the Steelers. Houston was one of the worst pass defenses in 2019, and they seemed to prioritize their defensive front-seven over their secondary in the offseason. They have yet to force a turnover, and they’ve given up 67 points.
4. Mitchell Trubisky ($5,700)/Allen Robinson ($6,200), Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
I’ll be candid — recommending Trubisky does not feel good. Never does. That said, there are several good reasons to consider him in your DraftKings lineups Sunday. First, and most important, is the matchup with the Falcons. They’ve allowed the most points and the second-most yards and passing yards this season. The schedule hasn’t done them any favors, but they were an awful defense for most of last season and they are already dealing with numerous injuries to starters. Second, while Trubisky still looks below-average, he’s shown some positive signs in Weeks 1 and 2. Though the opponents were favorable — the Lions and Giants — he’s currently rocking a 5-to-2 TD/INT ratio and improvements across most stats including yards per attempt and yards per game. Finally, his low salary should give managers tons of flexibility when building their lineups. Jared Goff ($5,600) is the only cheaper QB I’m willing to give any consideration to on Sunday.
If you’re going to stack Trubisky, it’s hard to make an argument for any running mate besides Robinson. Robinson’s final box scores have underwhelmed so far, but he is dominating the targets and the air yards. He’s seen twice as many targets as any of his teammates, and a full 40% of the Bears’ air yards. Five different Bears already have one TD, so while Robinson has yet to score, that’s not because Trubisky has an alternative red zone target he prefers. Furthermore, Chicago has heavily favored the pass when they’ve gotten to the red zone. They’ve attempted 14 passes inside the 20, compared to just seven rushes — three of which were by Trubisky.
3. Cam Newton ($6,700)/Damiere Byrd ($3,000), New England Patriots vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Am I getting too cute here? Am I overcorrecting to balance out somewhat chalky No. 1 and No. 2 stack recommendations below? Maybe. But hear me out. Byrd leads all Patriots WRs in snaps. He’s second on the team in air yards behind Julian Edelman ($6,200), despite seeing half as many targets as N’Keal Harry ($4,200). Though Byrd didn’t get a single target in Week 1, the Patriots only attempted 19 throws. Edelman and Harry saw seven and five targets, respectively, and no one else saw more than three. When New England attempted 44 passes in Week 2, Byrd was added to the circle of trust and caught six of his nine targets. Watching the game, it felt as though Newton was making a concerted effort to get Byrd the ball and, when I checked the box score afterwards, I was surprised to learn that Byrd had fewer targets and catches than Harry. There is obviously a ton of risk rostering Byrd, but I think he’s likely to remain a meaningful part of this passing game moving forward.
Newton is third among QBs in DKFP per game, and he’s inside the top-eight in passing yards, completion percentage and yards per attempt. And, of course, he is first in the league in a stat that can have the biggest impact on fantasy QB: Rushing TDs. Only one RB can match Newton’s four end-zone plunges. Last season, the Raiders allowed the eighth-most rushing TDs, and they’ve allowed the third-most so far in 2020.
2. Kyler Murray ($6,800)/DeAndre Hopkins ($7,900), Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions
This pair’s salaries keep rising, but they still aren’t high enough to turn me away. Despite seeing “only” nine targets in Week 2, Hopkins still leads all WRs in target share. He leads the NFL in receptions and is fifth in receiving yards. Murray leads all QBs in rushing yards, providing a solid boost to his passing production. And the Cardinals have run the eighth-most passing plays, despite leading by double-digits for almost all of Week 2. On top of that, they face the Lions, who look like one of the worst defense in the league. Detroit is in bottom-five of the league in points allowed, yards allowed and defensive DVOA. Sometimes, identifying good DFS plays is very hard. This is probably not one of those times.
1. Russell Wilson ($7,300)/DK Metcalf ($6,500), Seattle Seahawks vs. Dallas Cowboys
Simply put, these two salaries have not risen as much as they I believe they should have, so they appear to be a significant bargain. Wilson’s salary is up $200 over Week 2, and Metcalf’s is up $400. Those increases feel like the baseline changes we would expect when transitioning from one of the worst matchups (Patriots) to one of the most favorable (Cowboys) — the pair’s exceptional output does not appear to have factored in. Wilson threw for 288 yards and five TDs against 2019’s best pass defense (according to DVOA), while Metcalf caught four-of-six passes for 92 yards and a TD while getting blanketed by the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
This Cowboys defense is a much softer matchup than the Patriots. Dallas has given up an average of 20.0 DKFP to opposing QBs, and the top scoring WRs in Weeks 1 and 2 scored 20.9 DKFP and 32.9 DKFP, respectively. On top of that, Metcalf is emerging as a top-tier WR and Wilson is off to the best start of his career. Metcalf narrowly trails Tyler Lockett ($6,400) in targets, but has a massive advantage in yards and air yards. Metcalf has posted back-to-back weeks of 90-plus yards and a TD. Through two weeks, Wilson is on track to crush his previous career bests in completions and yards, and the Seahawks are calling a much higher ratio of pass plays than in previous seasons.
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