Week 10 NFL DFS Stacks

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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.

Safe Stacks:

Cleveland Browns vs. Houston: Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry/Rashard Higgins/Austin Hooper, Kareem Hunt

A lot of stars align for the Browns this weekend. The over/under on this game is 53.5 points, and the Browns are home favorites coming off their bye. Houston ranks fourth in overall fantasy points allowed, eighth to QBs and TEs, third to RBs, and seventh to WRs. There may not be a way to go wrong with the Browns this week, and a game like they put together vs. Cincinnati a few weeks ago is looming large in my imagination.

Mayfield is priced to roster this week, $7000 FD, $6000 DK, $28 Yahoo, and although Nick Chubb is looking like he has a great chance to play Sunday, I’m sticking with Hunt for the first game back. Chubb is more expensive on every site, and makes for a better tournament play (lower ownership, broad range of outcomes). If you play in multi-entry tournaments, you might run a Mayfield lineup with any of his three main pass-catchers. If I had to pick one, it’d be Landry, who leads the wide receivers in targets, yards, is tied for the lead in red zone targets (only six), and is overdue for a touchdown catch.

LA Rams vs. Seattle: Jared Goff, Robert Woods, Tyler Lockett

Whomever is playing the Seahawks gets an automatic nod in this space. The only tough decision you’ll make with the Rams passing game is which receiver you want to roll with. I chose Woods as the safe option, with steadily high target volume, a team leading eight red zone targets, and his usage in the run game (he has two rushing touchdowns). Cooper Kupp is another great option, but I’d consider him more of a tournament play. Given his appearance on the injury report this week, Kupp’s roster percentage should be down. I don’t know what Tyler Higbee did to the Rams, but he has not been a threat at all (minus that one crazy game vs. Washington) with only 25 targets this entire season (seven games for Higbee).

The Rams have been a really good pass defense this season, so I’m not going overly in on Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf or Lockett. I do think it’s almost impossible to keep this trio shut down for a full 60 minutes, and I think it’ll be Lockett that finds his way around the Rams’ D. It’s also helpful that he’s a bit cheaper than Metcalf, though if you find the salary for Metcalf, go for it. I can’t argue with his talent and we just saw him succeed against one of the league’s best cornerbacks in Buffalo last weekend.

Jacksonville at Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, James Robinson

A somewhat unconventional stack from this game, where the Packers are massive two-touchdown favorites to win. Both defenses have struggled mightily to defend the run, which is why we’re targeting Jones and Robinson liberally in all contests this weekend. Robinson currently ranks as the fourth-best PPR RB, but is only priced close to that on Yahoo. He’s a bargain in my book facing Green Bay’s second-most generous fantasy run defense. Jones was healthy enough for a full workload in Week 9’s TNF game, meaning he has had another 10 days to get strong before attacking this No. 6 running back fantasy matchup.

You don’t have to take Rodgers with these running backs, but the Packers do have one of the highest implied team totals of the week. I’m not comfortable trusting any of the pass catchers, even Davante Adams (him because of the salary hit) here, because they are likely to get Allen Lazard back to add one more mouth to feed. Rodgers should still get his three scores, and I expect Jones to have at least one himself.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Buffalo: Kyler Murray, Christian Kirk, Stefon Diggs

The glaring absence here is DeAndre Hopkins. A combination of salary and Tre’Davius White have me off Hopkins this week (factors that make him a reasonable GPP option with lower roster percentage, given that White is great, but not invincible, especially traveling cross-country). Murray will cost you, and Kirk is a nice complement to that. Kirk has made some big flashy plays in the last couple weeks, and should get the chance to do so again. Even Larry Fitzgerald could put up a fantasy-worth game if you’re looking for a deeper stack or more savings. The Bills have been especially vulnerable to slot receivers this season. Arizona has held opponents to fewer than 23 points per game this year, and while they are not a formidable force in any one aspect of the game, I’m less into the Bills than I was last week. Diggs’ target share (almost double John Brown’s, the next leading receiver) makes him usable in almost any situation so he’d be my choice to run back an Arizona stack. Brown is another possibility, but I’m avoiding the run game time share and can’t yet trust the young receivers in Buffalo (Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie).

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Contrarian Stacks:

Miami Dolphins vs. LA Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, DaVante Parker, Miami D/ST

The Dolphins are home favorites against a Chargers Defense that is hemorrhaging fantasy points to opponents. We’ve seen a range of outcomes from Tagovailoa in just two games, but I think he sticks near the high end, or maybe even sets a new high this week. It’s a bummer that Preston Williams was placed on IR this week, as he seemed to have some solid rapport with Tua, but Parker was still the target leader in Week 9. I’ve seen some talk about Mack Hollins and mentioned him in the bargain article, but Parker is cheap enough for most lineups, especially when you pair him with his QB. I also like Mike Gesicki in this Williams-less scenario. He keeps coming close to getting some traction in the offense and then takes a step back.

The real contrarian piece is the defense and special teams of Miami. This is no slight to Justin Herbert, whom I love as much as the next person, but rather to the surprising talent of the unit. They are averaging almost 15 fantasy points per game in their last four games. Three down games came in Week 1 at New England, and vs. Buffalo during Allen’s amazing streak and Seattle, two of the best offenses. They haven’t gone a week without at least one sack, and after Week 1, they also have at least one turnover in each game. They’ve scored three defensive touchdowns in the last two weeks – against the Rams and Cardinals. They are very affordable everywhere.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati: Ben Roethlisberger, Eric Ebron, James Conner

The wide receiver situation in Pittsburgh is too muddled for me, so I will take what look like the surer things here. There will be some Roethlisberger touchdowns and the Steelers do boast one of the highest implied team totals this week. The Bengals are coming off their bye but that’s not expected to help the defense much. Ebron has been one of the steadier tight ends lately, scoring in each of the last two games, and gets the second-best TE matchup for fantasy this week. It may have taken a little while, but Big Ben likes a big tight end in the end zone and I think this is sustainable. Conner figures to be a pivot from Robinson and Jones, near the same price range, actually more expensive on FanDuel, but coming off a terrible game in a good spot. I’m writing that one off, and expect Conner back closer to 20 fantasy points this week.

Mini-Stack of the week:

Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller V at Cleveland

Kind of obvious, but the mini-stacks always are. The Browns are favored but there should be points to go around in this one. Cleveland ranks seventh in real points per game allowed, and eighth in fantasy points allowed. Both Watson and his receivers get Top 8 fantasy matchups, and Watson has been crushing it. You could argue for Brandin Cooks over Fuller, but I’m finding enough value on the main slate to work Fuller in. Let’s make it seven weeks in a row with a score, Fuller.