DFS Roundtable: Contrarian Stacks

What is Week 17's most stackable game? Let us in on your favorite against-the-grain superstack for Week 17.

What is Week 17's most stackable game? Imagine you're popping into a large-field GPP contest, one that's typically taken down by identifying the right game to mega-stack and pulling the trigger. Let us in on your favorite against-the-grain superstack for Week 17. It could be QB/RB, QB/TE/oppRB, even QB/WR/WR/oppWR - whatever combination you think will both score dynamically and come at low ownership together.

Jason Wood: I think it's going to be difficult to have a super stack that's not well-owned this week because DFS players know better than to go "all in" during Week 17, when snap counts and playing time are so difficult to forecast. I think we'll see more wheeling of risk on peripheral positions than we normally would.

With that in mind, a conversation about stacking should always start with a quick look at implied game/team totals. There's only one game with a 50+ point total this week: the divisional battle between the Saints and the Buccaneers. Only two other games are projected for 45+ points: Carolina at Atlanta (46 points) and New England at N.Y. Jets (45 points).

The highest implied team totals are:

New England - 30.25 points

New Orleans - 28.75 points

Minnesota - 25.75 points

Los Angeles (Chargers) - 25.5 points

Detroit - 25.0 points

Baltimore - 25.0 points

Right off the bat, I can tell you I don't trust Detroit or Baltimore to hit those totals. I just don't have confidence in the Ravens offense putting up those numbers, particularly when I don't think they'll need to in order to win the game. The Lions have 25+ point potential, but I'll never trust Jim Caldwell and Matthew Stafford in a big spot, particularly when they've got nothing left to play for other than pride. 

So that leaves us focused on New England, New Orleans, and Minnesota – but they're also going to be chalky. Of the three, I suspect the Vikings will be the lowest-owned because some don't think the Vikings have much to play for; I disagree. The Vikings still don't have a bye locked up, and with the Eagles’ loss of Carson Wentz, there's still an excellent chance Minnesota could host the NFC Championship game if they secure the two seed.

So my first super-stack would be:

Case Keenum ($7,700 FD/$6,000 DK)

Adam Thielen ($7,400 FD/$7,600 DK)

Latavius Murray ($6,600 FD/$5,300 DK)

I LOVE Thielen this week because he's on a cold streak while Stefon Diggs is playing well. That should create arbitrage in ownership percentages. Murray and Jerick McKinnon are essentially swappable; pick one (or use both in a diversification move).

If I'm playing the Patriots, I would look for a slightly contrarian stack in a GPP:

Tom Brady ($8,500 FD/$6,800 DK)

Brandin Cooks ($7,400 FD/$6,300 DK)

Danny Amendola ($5,200 FD/$4,600 DK)

I don't love this stack, but per the discussion, this is the kind of Patriots configuration I would choose, if I had to use one.

One slightly unusual super stack I'll be using this week is a 49ers stack. The 49ers are only projected to score 22.5 points, but they've been lights out with Jimmy Garoppolo under center and face a Rams team with nothing to play for, and plenty of veterans that could use a week of rest. I think San Francisco can score 25-30 points against a 2nd-unit Rams team, and that makes this stack attractive:

Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,700 FD/$6,700 DK)

Carlos Hyde ($6,900 FD/$4,900 DK)

Marquise Goodwin ($6,900 FD/$6,600 DK)

Dan Hindery: I agree with Jason that the 49ers-Rams game has sneaky shootout potential. San Francisco has looked excellent on offense since Garoppolo took over and should be able to find success assuming Los Angeles will rest some top defensive stars like Aaron Donald. Garoppolo, Hyde, Kendrick Bourne, and Goodwin are all in play. The 49ers also play at a fast pace and have awful cornerbacks, which means the volume could be there for the Rams receivers. If we hear in advance that some of the Rams starters are out, it could present an opportunity for extended playing time for young guys like Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett.

Justin Bonnema: Here's the super-stack that has my eye for large GPPs:

Kirk Cousins/Vernon Davis/Wayne Gallman

I doubt Cousins and Davis will be all that contrarian given how bad the defense of the Giants is, particularly on tight ends. Hopefully the crowd sees this game as one that has no consequence and avoids it accordingly. Cousins has everything to play for and I think he sees finishing the season 8-8 by defeating a division rival as a huge boost to his interest from multiple teams in the offseason. I expect him to him keep his foot on the gas and balloon his stats.

Over the last five games, Gallman has seen the sixth-most targets among running backs and has the fourth-most receptions. Unfortunately, those opportunities haven't translated to big fantasy points, partly because of his lack of involvement on the ground, and mostly because of how bad the Giants offense has played all season. But that's being priced into his salary on both sites. Gallman dominated snap counts last week with the highest he's seen all year (78%). I think this game blows past the scheduled over/under of 37.5 points thanks to Cousins, his receivers, and Gallman.

James Brimacombe: I want to load up on the Panthers/Falcons game as it has the feel of one of those high-scoring affairs between two division rivals. There is extra motivation in this game for both teams as the Panthers are fighting for seeding, while the Falcons have a win-and-you’re-in opportunity. I like doing a couple of stacks in this one, as you could go with Cam Newton, Devin Funchess (or Greg Olsen) paired with Julio Jones on the other side of this game. I also really like a Matt Ryan/Julio Jones stack on the Falcons side, with maybe Christian McCaffrey on the Panthers. One thing is for certain when rostering players from this game is that you are going to get your star players with a high volume of targets and touches.

Another stack I have some light interest in would be Russell Wilson/Doug Baldwin with Larry Fitzgerald on the other side. The Seahawks will be looking to put as many points on the board as possible this week and it could start with Wilson to Baldwin. For the Cardinals. the narrative is this could very well be the last time we see Larry Fitzgerald, and there might be a game plan to feed him the ball no matter the score.

Chris Feery: For the week’s most stackable game, I’ll be looking towards the tilt between the Falcons and Panthers. This is one of the few games in Week 17 with shootout potential, and stacks spearheaded by Cam Newton or Matt Ryan make a ton of sense as a result. James mentioned my favorite stack of the game: Ryan/Jones and McCaffrey - but I’m also intrigued by Newton/McCaffrey with Jones on the side. As for a contrarian stack, my colleagues already mentioned the appeal in the matchup between the Rams and 49ers. Garoppolo has been playing lights out since getting the keys to the offense, and there’s nothing to suggest he’ll be slowing down in a game in which the Rams will be resting starters. Goodwin is the top option to pair up with Garoppolo, but George Kittle is an intriguing contrarian option.

Justin Howe: I’m certainly excited by 49ers-Rams, which as a real 37-34 feeling to me. The Rams will sit their starters and keep up their end of the bargain – I’m certainly not sweating a 49ers blowout win – and there’s a lot of GPP value in the concept of them matching score-for-score. Malcolm Brown will be a lynchpin of my GPP rosters this week; his salary is just so small that we don’t really have to project any efficiency or touchdowns onto it. If I’m looking to MEGA-stack this game – one of the only real paths to Week 17 success in DFS – I’m going Garoppolo/Brown/Goodwin/Bourne makes a lot of sense. That leaves TONS of savings, enough to cram in, say, LeSean McCoy and Rob Gronkowski for an ultra-ceiling stab.

I like that Bonnema brought up Washington-N.Y. Giants, which also has the aroma of a wild shootout marked by mental lapses on defense. And while Eli Manning and Davis Webb could split snaps, I can’t imagine the Giants making that change with the score close. If it’s, say, 17-14 at the half, we’ll likely see Manning close things out – and do it as virtually 0% DFS ownership. Still, I can’t endorse him with a straight face – but Evan Engram is interesting if he plays. Something like Cousins-Doctson-Engram could pay off in a huge-field tournament.

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