This article lays out my favorite ways to take advantage of positional correlations in DFS scoring through stacking. Factors that go into this strategy include the implied team total, the talent of the players, the opposing defense (especially any funneling tendencies), and the likely popularity of the players.
I’m going back to Brees in another dream matchup. He’s on the road, but against the Bucs, I don’t even care. Perhaps this should be a contrarian stack, partly because of Brees’ price and partly because of his Week 10 disappointment during high ownership, but no. This is the right play, and in all likelihood Brees will perform much more like his normal, 20-30 fantasy points per game self. Michael Thomas’ salary is also sky high this weekend, but he’s one of only a few players capable of averaging over 25 fantasy points per game with only four receiving touchdowns. There is arguably no safer WR option than Thomas in any week, much less in the ideal matchup – weak pass defense, division rival, high point total, narrow spread.
The Bucs are very good against the run however, which in combination with the sharing of duties between Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray (as well as their salaries), makes New Orleans’ RBs a fade for me this week in cash game lineups. I do include Jared Cook as a safe stacking partner thanks in part to the almost-as-good-as-Arizona matchup for TEs, but also because Brees doesn’t really have a good WR2 and looked Cook’s way 10 times last week. I expect a shootout and Thomas can’t catch everything, right?
In light of a possible shootout, you’ll want some exposure to Godwin or Mike Evans, Tampa’s dynamic duo. If there was a way to afford both in this stack, I’d do it, but Godwin gets the nod on the heels of his 12-target game last week, his slightly lower salary, and his prior annihilation of the Saints in Week 5. For all those factors, Evans would make your lineup a bit more contrarian if you’re looking to multi-enter tournaments around this core.
QBs named Allen are a priority for me this week, and Kyle gets top billing here as he has been one of the steadiest plays at the position this season, outside of the always rough 49ers game. I wouldn’t argue against using any of the Panthers’ receivers, in fact I’ve written about D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Greg Olsen elsewhere this week, but McCaffrey is my must-have from this game. He’s just shy of 1400 total yards already, and tied with Aaron Jones with 14 total touchdowns. He’s a machine every single week and has been worth spending up on. In contrast, Julio Jones’ hasn’t scored in forever, and his salary is really quite low as a result ($7800 FD, $7500 DK). I’m not saying he’s going to score this week, but I think his volume of catches and yardage are more than capable of making him a safe WR play. It hasn’t been confirmed that Devonta Freeman will miss the game, but Hill logged 20 carries last week and caught one of his two targets for a touchdown. He’s the cheap piece of a high scoring stack, and gets one of the best positional matchups too (Carolina allows the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs).
Editor's Note: Looking for an added edge? Dominate all season long with our DFS Toolkit. Use our Lineup Optimizer to come up with winning lineups for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! Click here for more!
This game has been flying under the radar for me a little bit but it does have one of the higher point totals of the week, and features one of the best offenses. The Cowboys are sixth in points per game scored, Detroit is a Top 7 QB matchup, and allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Zeke is in line for a nice bounce-back game this weekend, while Prescott and Cooper have been one of the best fantasy combos this season. This is a pricey trio to build around, but with bargains like Hill, Olsen and Terry McLaurin, you can do it.
Taking so many players from a game with such a low point total (38 points) and narrow spread (Redskins -1) and without a quarterback is crazy. I can live with crazy, though, as this trio supplies the matchup-based upside I want with less risk than I foresee with either Sam Darnold or Dwayne Haskins. I’ve actually slotted the Redskins’ D/ST in a few lineups given the sack rate and turnover potential of the Jets. McLaurin has faced three very tricky matchups in a row and is off the radar with a lower salary than the last time I thought about using him. I think he gets back on the radar quickly come Sunday with about 7-10 targets. The Jets are behind only the Bucs in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers.
Bell is a prime bounce-back candidate and he wasn’t even awful in PPR formats last week. Look, the Jets’ offense isn’t much, but what they do runs through Bell and Crowder. That’s especially true for Crowder since Darnold has been back under center. Both Bell and Crowder are PPR plays, thus the DK disclaimer above.
I still don’t know how much to trust Garoppolo or any of his receivers, not to mention the run game. I want some exposure to the 8-1 team facing the league’s most generous pass defense (in fantasy points allowed to QB and TE). Garoppolo did have his best game of the season vs. Arizona a couple weeks ago, and now the game is at home. It sounds like George Kittle will be absent again this week, and Emmanuel Sanders is trending that way as well. I think Samuel retains the top receiver role, and given the Arizona vs. TE story, if Kittle is out you have to think about Dwelley, who saw seven targets in Week 10. Kendrick Bourne is another possibility if both Sanders and Kittle are out and you’re using a more reliable TE like Cook. When these teams played in Week 9, Kenyon Drake ran wild, and the 49ers D/ST managed only three fantasy points; their worst mark of the season. Given that the game is at home this time, and they’ll be ready for the new look Cardinals, who rank in the top 10 in sacks taken, while San Francisco has the highest sack percentage of any team this season, I’m buying them at a discount in this contrarian stack.
At home facing the lowly Bengals, Josh Jacobs is a no-brainer. Relying on an average defense in a good situation, a tight end who has fallen from our good graces, and an average quarterback in a good situation takes a little more guts. Carr is at least somewhat more affordable than Raiders D or Waller, and has done his best work in good matchups this season (Detroit and Houston are both Top 10 passing matchups, but Cincy is better than both). However, Carr’s best work doesn’t even include one 300-yard game. He usually has one super game a season, and this could be it. Waller has been absolutely flat the last three games, which include Detroit and Houston. His target share is ok, but his output is frustratingly low and he hasn’t scored in the last two games. The field is likely to be heavy on Mark Andrews and Jared Cook this week, passing over Waller’s high salary for some fresher options. There’s no reason he can’t go back to being the stud in Oakland, and so paying up for him in this stack is a must to keep it contrarian. The Raiders D/ST is the second-most expensive on FanDuel, but Cincinnati is averaging the sixth-most sacks per game and turns the ball over fourth-most in the league. Ryan Finley didn’t do anything to reverse that trend in his debut, which makes them playable as one of the biggest home favorites of the week.
Josh Allen and Buffalo D/ST
I love Allen this week as a solo Bill. Devin Singletary is also a possibility, given Miami’s run defense, but his value depends a lot on how much he’ll have the ball in his hands. I know the ball will be in Allen’s hands. He’s a strong bet for multiple passing and rushing touchdowns this week as he seems more and more comfortable taking over with his legs when in the red zone the past two weeks. The best thing about Allen though is his mid-range salary and his very stable range of outcomes. That said, I do think he hits the high end of that range Sunday.
The Bills D/ST is priced about where you’d expect the defense facing Miami to be priced, at or near the top. They aren’t always my favorite choice for DFS or fantasy because although they are a fantastic real football defense, they don’t often turn in the stats that count for us. With only 22 sacks and six picks, and one defensive touchdown, they aren’t normally a game changer. One of their best efforts, including the DTD, was against Miami in Week 7. I’m happy with double-digit fantasy points from them. This is a mini-stack that allows a lot of diversification around it in tournaments as well as a stable cash game build.