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.
Rodgers at home in December, against the Redskins, who have been much worse on the road this season, fighting to keep the top NFC North seed as the Vikings also have an easy game on tap…this is going to be peak Aaron Rodgers. You know I always pair him with Adams when healthy, and Lazard, my sort of ‘if you have extra space and want to be crazy’ FLEX play with Rodgers last week, looks like he’s firmly entrenched in this offense. He’s also the big salary saver in the stack. Jones was reportedly going to be more involved last week, and he sort of was, kind of, but I’m glad I didn’t pay up for him. I expect better things from him this week and am willing to roll him out at a lower salary than last week too.
Mayfield practiced fully Thursday and should be ready to meet AFC North division rival Cincinnati at home, where the Browns are 8.5-point favorites. Mayfield should have all his favorite options available to him and there are almost too many options to pick from. The OBJ or Landry decision has come out Landry for me the past two weeks, but this week I’m taking Odell. He’s now less expensive than Landry, for one thing. I will be watching the injury and practice reports over the next few days to see if anything new comes out about either of their nagging designations (groin for Beckham, hip for Landry). In PPR you kind of have to swallow Hunt’s increasing salary, because he’s doing what he does and now has double-digit fantasy points in all four of his games, and in three of those he’s faced a Top 5 run defense. Cincy is not that, in fact they’re eighth-most generous to running backs. Pittsburgh seems to have Chubb’s number, but anyone else he’s played, he’s succeeded this season. I love him this week. Andy Dalton will stay in the starting role as the Bengals try to eek some pride out of their horrible season. To make the stack more contrarian, by all means slot in John Ross, who is returning this week to lots of fantasy fanfare. But to stay on the safer side, it’s Boyd again. He’s done much better with Dalton this year, and the Browns are a bend-don’t-break kind of defense. He’s got a good chance at his fourth 100-yard game at a very reasonable price.
Cousins has a lot going for him this week, and it’s not all matchup and high team total (though those count). He’s got the best protection in the league, he is in the top half of passers in yards, and has over 20 passing touchdowns. His completion percentage is Top 10, and though he’s not a high volume passer, efficiency can go a long way in a good matchup. Diggs and Rudolph, a noted bargain TE option this week, have been carrying the receiving weight without Adam Thielen on the field, but Mattison wasted no time contributing there after Dalvin Cook went down with a shoulder injury. I think we’ll see Mattison involved even if Cook plays this weekend, as the Vikings would be crazy not to be looking ahead to the playoffs. They should beat Detroit pretty handily, and everyone I included here should be pretty popular.
Allen is hard to trust, but the past two weeks he’s actually averaging about 24 fantasy points per game, which is not bad for the price. He’s attempting a lot of passes and gets a Top 3 matchup. D.J. Moore’s salary is so high that a lot of people will overlook him despite his flawless last five games, and ditto for McCaffrey after last week’s big dud. Furthering mistrust of the Panthers this week is the fact that they put up three points vs. Atlanta three weeks ago at home. Despite the scoreboard, both Moore and McCaffrey had massive fantasy days, something I expect to see again on Sunday.
The Texans are big favorites at home against a Denver team that ranks 30th in points scored this season, which makes sense, ok. But Denver’s defense is also one of the best, ranking ninth in points allowed. Good offense can overcome good defense, especially at home, but I still think people will be shy about buying too heavily into Houston this week given the matchup. Watson is actually pretty affordable this week, and has been about as consistent as it gets (minus the Baltimore game). I think his 28 total touchdowns with only seven interceptions make him a pretty safe option in any lineup, any week. To make it more contrarian, then, include Fuller here instead of DeAndre Hopkins, a move that not only saves salary, but injects that low floor, low ownership plus loads of upside vibe we’re after in the big GPPs. That is, of course, assuming he plays. His targets and production are ALL OVER the place, so make sure you’re comfortable with the risk. Adding Sutton to the mix basically just picks on the opponent player most likely to succeed. He wasted no time getting on Drew Lock’s good side, catching two touchdowns last week. Houston has been a weak pass defense this year, so while Sutton may not be that good, he’s likely to be fine here.
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Ryan started the year boiling hot and wasn’t himself after returning from his ankle sprain initially. He has a five TD: six INT ratio in the last four weeks, getting completely shut down by Tampa Bay two weeks ago. This back and forth production is a turn off for many people, but I think there’s more good than bad to Ryan. However, he is attempting a ton of passes, is willing to throw the ball deep, and is still one of the better bets in his price range to surpass 300 yards (for the DK bonus). If you pair him with Freeman, who actually gets the second-best fantasy RB matchup this week, you should get all the Atlanta TDs.
The QB and his top receiver facing the Buccaneers has been the way to go just about every single week (see above, though). So why stop now? Brissett has been saving his bacon with a couple rushing touchdowns since returning from his knee injury and hasn’t been quite as efficient or effective as I’d like, but does seem to be developing increasing rapport with both Doyle and Pascal. It’s probable that Parris Campbell returns this week, but he’s hardly played this season and I expect some rust there. His return would cancel any value for Marcus Johnson too. But Doyle and Pascal are seeing a ton of targets and this should be a shootout even with Marlon Mack back.