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.
With an over/under of 52.5, this game is poised to yield plenty of fantasy points for DFSers this Sunday. There are more ways to stack it than the one I’m favoring, and I certainly have no problem with lineups containing Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb or Hayden Hurst. I think that on most sites, the small spend-up on Prescott over Ryan will be worth it. The Cowboys are a five-point home favorite, and I think Prescott will throw for at least two touchdowns and over 300 yards. If he keeps up his modest rushing (30 yards in Week 1), there is that additional fantasy advantage over Ryan. Finally, Atlanta gave up the most fantasy points to a QB in Week 1 than any other team, while Dallas held Jared Goff to 11.5 fantasy points.
As mentioned, I like the Dallas receivers, but with so much talent there, it’s a guess who has the best day. In fact, our NFL DFS Optimizer puts four receivers from this game in the Top 6 WR values (dollars per fantasy point). We can, on the other hand, predict that Elliott will be a work horse against a non-threatening Falcons D. Between Dak and Elliott, we should account for most of the Cowboys’ points. I noticed that the Rams ran well against Dallas, and losing their best linebacker isn’t going to help the Cowboys’ run D. Gurley fits this stack and as long as the game doesn’t get too out of hand in Dallas’ favor, he should enjoy another week of high usage (14 rushing attempts and five targets last week). Ridley caught two touchdowns last week, but all three Atlanta receivers had the same stat line, catching nine-of-12 targets from Ryan. I’m thinking Jones is in the end zone this week, but if you need the extra $600 or so, I’m fine with using Ridley instead.
Brady saved his fantasy day by rushing in a short touchdown in Week 1, but I think he’ll get it done through the air this week. It’s a much friendlier matchup (the Bucs are nine-point favorites in one of the highest point totals of the weekend) for one thing, and having gotten through a real game together has to have Brady and his new teammates more on the same page. With Chris Godwin in the concussion protocol, Mike Evans is a top priority. He could be in for a huge bounce-back game, and Pat has him ranked WR5 this week (he’s the 13th-most expensive receiver on DK).
Howard was targeted much more often than Rob Gronkowski in Week 1, and is priced lower. We’ve been waiting for the athletic tight end to get more action, and Brady could be the answer. Howard isn’t a necessary component of this stack, but he is affordable, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores again this weekend. I like pairing a Panthers receiver here, because they are significant underdogs, game script dictates that Teddy Bridgewater will be in pass mode. Anderson and D.J. Moore are both viable options, and I think based on what we saw in Week 1 that their range of outcomes overlap enough to simply invest in the cheaper option. If you feel better about Moore and can afford it, go for it!
Rivers threw the ball 46 times in Week 1, and although two of those went for interceptions, he did come away with a respectable 78 percent completion rate and 363 passing yards. Both Campbell and Hilton saw nine targets last week; Campbell is cheaper so much like the argument with Anderson vs. Moore, this choice comes down to affordability and personal preference. I’m going with Campbell. I think that Jonathan Taylor and/or Nyheim Hines will be the more popular plays from Indy, but Aaron Rodgers exposed the inexperience of the Vikings’ secondary which is something this Colts Offense should exploit. Thielen isn’t all that contrarian, but has to be included in this game stack. The Vikings scored a lot of points in Week 1, and Thielen’s 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns dominated the box score.
I don’t know how many people will expect or trust Trubisky to have two good outings in a row, but the matchup is a good one, and he played mistake-free in Week 1. He involved six different receivers, though Robinson and Anthony Miller combined for 15 targets. Robinson is the guy that has the most upside, and is quite affordable on all three sites. Slayton came on strong at the end of the 2019 season, and he looks like the real deal for Daniel Jones. He out-targeted and vastly out-produced Sterling Shepard (and Evan Engram). I love that Slayton is less expensive than Shepard on all three sites. I think this game will be under the radar, even in the big tournaments.
Mini-Stack of the week:
Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs; Buffalo Bills at Miami
Allen is going to be valuable every week for his rushing ability and his propensity to find the end zone with his feet. I love that he came out and passed for over 300 yards (career first) to start the season. He shouldn’t have any more trouble with the Dolphins than he did with the Jets. Not only will his defense assure that Miami’s offense rarely has the ball in their hands, Allen and the Bills should be able to sustain long drives as they showed with more creative play calling in Week 1. I think one of Zach Moss or Devin Singletary could have value as well, and I don’t doubt John Brown’s connection with Allen, but I’m betting on a big splashy Diggs performance here. He had only one fewer target than Brown, but led the team in receiving yards (86) on an 89 percent catch rate.