Using our Stacking tool found within our Player Models, this piece will identify some of the top stacks of the weekend. Check out our Correlations page as well to find hidden edges in stacking positions and games.
Quarterback + Wide Receiver
- Philip Rivers ($6,400 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel)
- Keenan Allen ($7,500 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel)
Currently a top-three stack in the Tournament Model for both DraftKings and FanDuel, this duo has the pleasure of facing a Chiefs defense that is a shell of its former self, projected as a bottom-five secondary with a bottom-seven pass rush by Pro Football Focus. Unsurprisingly, Rivers owns the third-highest ceiling projection in our Models.
Kansas City prides itself on taking away the short area of the field, but after Marcus Peters was shipped to the Rams in the offseason, the Chiefs are at a massive talent disadvantage where Allen does the majority of his damage. In 2017, Allen’s total target depth was just 9.4 yards per target (Player Profiler), and he is expected to run the majority of his routes against Kendall Fuller. That is PFF’s ninth-best WR/CB advantage of the week.
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Running Back + D/ST
- James Conner ($4,500 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel)
- Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,400 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel)
I talked about my love for the Steelers defense in the Week 1 Defense and Special Teams Breakdown, and their 3.2 projected sacks (in our Models) is the highest projection on the slate this week. The matchup against Tyrod Taylor sets up extremely well, as the Browns quarterback has taken the second-most sacks of any quarterback on the slate over the past year. The Steelers are currently four-point favorites, despite the doubtful status of Le’Veon Bell this week.
With multiple viable paths to saving salary this week, Conner owns a top-five Projected Plus/Minus based on our new projections powered by Sean Koerner. The RB-D/ST positional correlation of 0.20 is especially strong. Similarly priced running backs, in games with similar spreads, with a comparable Projected Plus/Minus, have historically smashed value on DraftKings with a +2.54 Plus/Minus and 54.5% Consistency Rating (per our Trends tool).
Quarterback + Wide Receiver + Opposing Wide Receiver
- Blake Bortles ($5,600 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel)
- Keelan Cole ($3,800 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel)
- Odell Beckham Jr. ($7,000 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel)
It’s Week 1 and I’m already writing words about Bortles; this should end well.
Here’s the thing: Jacksonville ran the fourth-most plays last year on offense, largely because of their elite defense. A lot of that went to the run game, but Bortles could still find himself in advantageous positions with a short field. On the other side, the Giants were the third-fastest paced team in the NFL last year in neutral situations (Football Outsiders).
Cole is far and away the top value option at wide receiver in Models, and he’s also #good, standing out in Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception with a 69.9% success rate versus man coverage in 2017. He will be chalky, but there are other ways to go contrarian this week.
One of those routes is rostering OBJ, who is expected to be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey. He’s far from safe, but Beckham is talented enough to warrant exposure in tournaments with our highest leverage score at the position (which combines projected ownership and ceiling).
Quarterback + Running Back + Wide Receiver + Opposing Wide Receiver
- Drew Brees ($6,800 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel)
- Alvin Kamara ($8,500 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel)
- Michael Thomas ($7,800 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel)
- Mike Evans ($6,700 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel)
OK, to be fair, a lot of the appeal with rostering the Saints at the Superdome had to do with their uninspiring defense in the past, which has certainly changed. However, paying all the way up for Brees-Kamara-Thomas would be a lot more difficult on a normal slate where we didn’t have extreme value. You can easily make it work this week and lock in our highest-projected QB-RB-WR stack on the slate based on raw points. Thomas and the passing game are due for serious touchdown progression this season, and Thomas has a top-eight PFF matchup against Carlton Davis.
Further, I like the idea of pairing Brees and Kamara together for a few reasons. First, they have an obvious correlation if Kamara scores through the air. Second, Brees doesn’t cannibalize Kamara’s rushing touchdown upside in the same way someone such as Cam Newton does to Christian McCaffrey.
Bringing it back with Evans on the other side of the ball doesn’t feel great — especially since he struggled against New Orleans last year — but this is only the third time he has been priced at $6,700 or below since the start of the 2016 season, and he should remain a target monster. He also provides a top-10 leverage score at the wide receiver position.
Be sure to check out our industry-leading NFL News and Models, along with our Multi-Lineup Builder, Stack builder, ownership projections and more. Also, make sure to check out our other tools for the 2018 season, including the Matchups page, DFS Contests Dashboard, NFL Ownership page, and NFL Correlations page.
Pictured above: Drew Brees (9) and Alvin Kamara (41)
Photo credit: Chuck Cook- USA TODAY Sports