What's your favorite traditional (QB-WR or QB-TE) stack for Week 5 and why? Are there any blue-chip offensive matchups that offer appealing "power stacks" (QB-WR-WR, for example) or "cross stacks" (QB-RB-WR)? And while you're at it, share with us your favorite non-traditional (RB-DST, WR-K, etc.) combination for the week as well.
Justin Bonnema: I'm going to take the easy one here and point to Aaron Rodgers/Jordy Nelson as the top traditional stack. Since pitching a near shutout in Week 1, the Cowboys have allowed 270 passing yards a game and eight touchdowns to just one interception. They don't have a pass rush outside of DeMarcus Lawrence, who will no doubt be a challenge for the Packers' offense line, but only three other Cowboys have recorded a sack this season. A rematch from last year's divisional playoff, this game has all the makings of an offensive showdown. To that end, I like a Packers power stack (Rodgers/Nelson/Randall Cobb), or a cross-stack of Rodgers/Nelson/Dez Bryant. I'll mix and match lineups built around those two options.
For nontraditional stacks, I'm starting to warm up to the idea of pairing Lamar Miller with the Texans defense. The Kansas City offensive line was already not playing well (Football Outsiders has them ranked 32nd in adjusted sack rate, which is, you know, last). Alex Smith has been sacked the second-most times in the league at the highest rate (sacked on a league-leading 11.7% of attempts, next closest is Tyrod Taylor at 10.8%), and now he's traveling to Houston with a banged up offensive line? Sign me up. Conversely, Miller may not seem all that safe given his lack of productivity despite opportunities, but with the Texans offense finding a rhythm with Deshaun Watson under center, I'll throw Miller in a few lineups and hope last week wasn't an outlier.
One other that will have almost no action and certainly comes with a lot of risk is Carson Palmer/Andre Ellington. The two have connected 14 times over the last two weeks for 145 yards (on 22 targets, which makes Ellington the fifth highest targeted player over the last two games) and just missed on a touchdown that was ruled out of bounds. The Eagles have been tough on opposing rushers, which sets up perfectly for Ellington. He's not used as a traditional running back and appears to be playing the David Johnson role while Chris Johnson receives the bulk of carries. It's a tricky situation given the timeshare, but in a few cheap GPPs, I'll lock in a contrarian stack of Palmer/Ellington.
Justin Howe: Carson Palmer definitely looks like an elite building block, especially on sites that offer a 300-yard bonus. He’s thrown for 325+ yards in 3 straight games, while the Eagles have allowed 347+ in each of their last 2. Most attractively, though, Palmer’s stacking targets all come affordably, considering the matchup. Larry Fitzgerald, who’s tied for the league lead in targets from inside the 10-yard line, is affordable for his status. Jaron Brown comes entirely too cheaply, especially on FanDuel, where he’s near the wide receiver minimum. And as Bonemma pointed out, Andre Ellington is thoroughly ingrained in the offense and comes at a strong discount. I’m also interested in John Brown, who’s back to a full complement of snaps and a decent target share. A handful of my GPP lineups will feature Palmer, and even more of them will include Ellington and one of the Browns.
I’m also intrigued by a Bilal Powell/Jets DST pairing. Powell isn’t as good as he looked last week, but he’s much better I’m expecting 50-60 rushing yards, with a solid shot at a touchdown, and for his receiving ability to tell the tale. He’s caught 5, 0, 0, and 4 passes this year, and the higher end of that spectrum could put him over the top, all while an up-and-down Jets defense repeatedly takes the ball away from DeShone Kizer. It’s an order of probability I’ll invest a little in, for sure.
Jason Wood: I like the cut of my colleagues' jibs. The Rodgers stacks (including some combination of Nelson/Cobb/Bennett) are viable, although I'm probably not going that direction personally. I also like the Texans stack, although I prefer a power stack (QB/WR/WR) of Deshaun Watson/DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller versus Lamar Miller. At the risk of being called a homer, I'm all in on Carson Wentz/Zach Ertz/Alshon Jeffery stacks, too. I would also recommend the other side of the Houston stack with a Kansas City stack. Alex Smith/Tyreek Hill/Travis Kelce could be a nice pivot, especially if Kareem Hunt has a high ownership.
I'm intrigued by a number of RB/DST stacks this week. Wendell Smallwood and Eagles defense appeals, but with Smallwood showing up on the mid-week injury report, I'll be keeping a close eye on his status. If he looks iffy, I'll pivot to a small exposure to LeGarrette Blount/Eagles stacks.
Two other RB/DST stacks that will have reasonably high ownership but remain compelling are LeVeon Bell/Steelers (against a Jaguars offense that's been exposed after a strong Week 1) and LeSean McCoy/Bills. The Bengals have pulled off the bottom under Bill Lazor but are still not sure things, particularly with Tyler Eifert hurt again.
David Dodds: Everyone is going to be on the Aaron Rodgers/Jordy Nelson stack. I like it as well, but from a game-theory point of view, it will be too popularly owned to profit with it in GPPs. The best counter to it will likely be the Dallas stack of Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant. Dez has an outstanding matchup (after many weeks of difficult ones) and I think there are a lot of scenarios where this game becomes a shootout.
For nontraditional stacks, I like pairing the Philadelphia defense with all-world running back LeGarrette Blount. I joke about the all-world part, but the Eagles defense ranks first in my pressure indicator. If they successfully get the sacks and fumble recoveries I suspect they will, Blount could get extra carries near the goal line. I expect he will be less than 3% owned in all formats.
Dan Hindery: I will go a little off the radar with an inexpensive stack that costs just $8,000 total on DraftKings and mention Josh McCown/Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The Browns have been amongst the best teams to target for both quarterbacks and tight ends. Opposing passers are averaging 256 passing yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns (plus 0.5 rushing touchdowns) against them. They haven't exactly faced a murderer's row of elite passers either. Over the past two weeks, they've allowed big fantasy days (27+ DraftKings points) to both Andy Dalton and Jacoby Brissett.
Opposing tight ends this season have averaged 8 catches for 72 yards and 1.0 touchdowns against Cleveland. Again, the production is more notable because it hasn't been because the Browns have faced a lot of top tight ends. They've been lit up by Tyler Kroft (6-68-2), Jesse James (6-41-2) and a trio of mediocre Ravens tight ends who combined for 13 catches and 121 yards.
For an unconventional stack, Tyler Lockett and the Seattle defense is a fun pairing. Lockett is a nice play by himself this week. He is finally healthy and has been on the field over 70% of the snaps in three straight weeks. With Doug Baldwin at less than 100%, Lockett should see a few extra targets come his way. Lockett is also the primary punt and kick returner for the Seahawks and scored two return touchdowns as a rookie in 2015. If he takes a kick back for a touchdown, it is a quick 12 points if he is stacked with the Seahawks defense. Seattle's defense is flying under the radar this week with a relatively tough matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. But we know what this unit is capable of in terms of getting after the quarterback and creating turnovers. They just scored two touchdowns last Sunday and are loaded with playmakers at every level.