NFL DFS Stacks Week 11

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This weekly article gets us ready for NFL DFS by considering some of the safest stacks, contrarian stacks, and a mini-stack or two. The premise is based on research showing the degree of correlation between one player’s fantasy output and another in his game. Among the strongest correlations are QB-QB(opponent), QB-WR1, QB-WR2, QB-WR1(opponent), QB-TE, and RB-D/ST. These are for the main slate on Sunday.

Safe Stacks:

Cincinnati Bengals at Las Vegas: Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, Josh Jacobs

The Bengals are back and given that we didn’t have them in Week 10, we might be more easily able to forget the stinker that Burrow and Chase put up against Cleveland in Week 9. In fact, we can probably very easily recall the awesome bounce-back game the Chiefs had against the Raiders last Sunday night. Although this game has one of the higher point totals and a very narrow spread, I’m not hearing a lot of buzz about it. Both teams need a win. I fully expect a reasonably priced Burrow and Chase to get back into the top of fantasy point standings this weekend, and am adding Mixon thanks to the Raiders’ generous DvP to RBs this season. He’s coming off a great effort, and in fact has three 20-plus fantasy point games in his last four. In each of those, he saw at least five targets in addition to a healthy rushing load. The Bengals’ defense has been up and down, but pretty consistently allowing opposing running backs to have their way. Jacobs’ salary has fallen and he is coming off a down game – all the Raiders are – in which he saw only 12 total touches. He did catch all five of the passes thrown his way, and if Vegas is correct, he will have a more favorable game script this week. All in all, this makes for a high-floor, high-ceiling game stack.

Tennessee vs. Houston: Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown, Marcus Johnson, Brandin Cooks

The Titans are big double-digit favorites over the Texans, a great matchup after a few weeks of tough sledding. Losing Derrick Henry was a blow, but it does give Tannehill a chance to post some big numbers this week. His completion percentage has been better the last few weeks than it was to start the season, though he is still a low-volume passer. Helping his cause is the fact that he’s rushed for a touchdown in four of the last five games. A.J. Brown let a lot of people down last week, but in the two games prior he had 11 targets, and his upside is equal to anyone’s. His salary has really dropped at Yahoo ($23) and FanDuel ($7200) so if you are targeting this game, he should be included in the stack. Marcus Johnson was the biggest winner last week with T.Y. Hilton out of the picture, and is still a nice bargain if he gets six or so targets. While I can’t trust Tyrod Taylor, and Taylor was not good for Cooks last week, Tennessee is a great passing/receiving matchup. They give up the most fantasy points to opposing WRs so if Taylor can be a little bit more accurate with his 13 targets to Cooks, we could have a fantasy winner. Cooks is still priced like a receiver on one of the worst teams in football. If you have a leftover RB spot, I still like D’Onta Foreman as a bargain option, especially if the Titans’ passing offense can put the game away in the third quarter.

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Contrarian Stacks:

Kansas City vs. Dallas: Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Dalton Schultz, Darrel Williams

The game of the week and I didn’t even put it up top! I figure most everyone is going to play the Chiefs no matter what this weekend, but I do think the Cowboys make for a terrific stack as well. Prescott is cheaper than Patrick Mahomes, Cooper and Schultz are cheaper than Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, so overall, you can do a lot more with a Cowboys stack than you can with a Chiefs stack. Week 10 was a big comeback week for both teams and so we expect to see both offenses firing on all cylinders in a game where defense takes a back seat. The Chiefs are the second-best QB matchup and seventh-best TE matchup. CeeDee Lamb is the most obvious play, but he hasn’t been that much better than Cooper this year. Cooper has one fewer touchdown and three fewer catches than Lamb. Both have one game over 30 fantasy points and one game of 20-30 fantasy points. Cooper is also less expensive than Lamb, so we are piling on the salary savings here while still getting a similar floor/ceiling profile. Schultz had a nice run in the early middle of the season but has been getting not so many targets lately, especially in the red zone (one target since the bye). He’s definitely a boom or bust candidate this week, but I’m hoping Prescott and the Cowboys remember what a TD-magnet he was back in Weeks 3-4 and get him involved as the Chiefs attempt to cover the wideouts in what should be a close game. With news of Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s pending return to action, a lot of people will write off Williams. However, his role in the pass game seems too important to send him to the bench. I see this as a shootout game, in which Mahomes will be finding all the open hands he can. Williams has certainly proven himself in that receiving back role and should be able to continue producing for a low salary.

Washington at Carolina: Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson, Terry McLaurin

With the news that Newton is trending toward being the starter for Week 11, he may not be such a contrarian play given his low salary and rushing touchdown upside. I do think this game could be overlooked by the aforementioned Chiefs-Cowboys extravaganza, so everyone here might be slightly under-rostered. Washington has been the league’s best QB matchup for fantasy so far this season, and Newton looked good in his limited action in Week 10. With another full week to practice and develop the playbook, I think he could be in a great position to exceed value. McCaffrey is expensive, but everyone else here is cheap enough to afford him. With a mountain of fantasy points in his first game back despite not scoring, he needs no justification to play. A QB change gives new hope to Anderson, who has had one of the more disappointing fantasy seasons. His six targets were the most he’s seen since Week 7 and the four catches were his most since Week 4. He’s still very much a risk/reward play for tournament lineups only. After a strong start to the season, McLaurin has been struggling. He doesn’t get a great matchup here, as the Panthers have allowed more than 200 yards passing only twice this season. For that reason, I’d prefer to use him on DraftKings, where the PPR scoring can make up for potentially less yardage.

Mini-Stacks of the week:

Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs

One question here is whether the Colts are going to be able to hang with the Bills. The Bills have been on both sides of blowout games this season, but are touchdown favorites at home this week. If the Colts’ multi-faceted attack can keep them close, I think Allen and Diggs will have a field day. Even if the game does turn into a blowout, the Bills are not a team that takes its foot off the gas as we saw last week. Allen and Diggs are the key to this offense and they should account for most of the points scored in this high-scoring game.

Nick Chubb and Browns D/ST

Chubb should be back off the COVID list for Sunday’s game against Detroit and thank the football gods. It would be a tragedy for him to miss the matchup with the Lions, our third-best RB matchup. He should now be considered one of, if not the best running back play of the week. Pair him with the Browns’ DST, a unit that is tied for second in the league for sacks per game while Detroit takes an average of 3.0 sacks per game. The Lions have one of the lowest implied team totals for the week, in keeping with their being the third-lowest scoring team in the league.