With wide receiver pricing also lightened for Week 9, yet sparse and unpredictable matchups throughout the top tiers, nailing down the right stacks looks as crucial as ever. That was never more evident than in Week 8, when Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, and their respective receivers came together to generate gobs and gobs of GPP success, while Kirk Cousins and Jameis Winston stacks fell apart at the seams. Give us your favorite "safe" stack for week 9 – a QB-WR pairing you're exceptionally confident will reach at least cash value – and one contrarian stack you think could unexpectedly tilt GPPs. Are there any QB-TE stacks that catch your eye? And lastly, give us your best RB-D/ST stack, one you consider particularly likely to produce both a grinding, script-controlling RB and a shutdown defense.
Justin Howe: I’m loving the Kansas City-Dallas matchup, which boasts the week’s highest Vegas projection and tons of potential for fireworks. Prescott/Bryant is indeed a safe, popular, semi-affordable stack that plugs nicely into cash games. But honestly, my favorite stack at this point is Alex Smith/Tyreek Hill, which (a) comes a little cheaper than Prescott/Bryant on either site, (b) will come with less ownership, and (c) is just ultra-sexy in certain situations. Check out these 2017 home/road splits for Kansas City:
|A. Smith ANY/A||6.6||9.9|
|A. Smith TD:INT||4:1||12:0|
|T. Hill RecYd/Gm||37.5||100.8|
|T. Hill TD||0||3|
When the scoring projects to go up – and it probably will this week, as Vegas projects – Kansas City’s few dynamic players typically enjoy mega-boosts in volume and/or efficiency. Hill and Travis Kelce dominate that passing game to a wild extent, and Hill’s penchant for massive plays will be trotted out against a Cowboys defense that allows plenty of them. This is my baseline stack for contrarian GPP play this week, and I’ll be shocked if it’s not successful. Not just “can’t believe Kendall Wright couldn’t catch 5 little slants” shocked, but “can’t believe C.J. Anderson didn’t bother to show up against the Giants” shocked.
And, as Bonnema points out, shrewd GPPers will gobble up T.Y. Hilton at a sub-$5,000 DraftKings price tag. That’s far too low for an eruptive play like Hilton, and he stacks nicely with Brissett against a demoralized Texans team.
As a RB/DST stack, I think Leonard Fournette/Jacksonville looks best at the moment. He’s a volume hog, one who will grind out a lead nicely if his team provides one. And the Jacksonville defense projects beautifully against the Bengals’ paper-thin offensive line.
Justin Bonnema: I think Prescott/Bryant is one of the best stacks of the weekend. I'm sure it will be popular but that doesn't concern me. Kansas City has allowed the most DraftKings points per game to wide receivers and the second-most FanDuel points. They may have held the Broncos offense in check last week, but they gave up 210 yards and 2 touchdowns to Amari Cooper in Week 7, 155 yards and 1 to Antonio Brown in Week 6, and 5 combined touchdowns to DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V in Week 5. In total, they've allowed 13 touchdowns to receivers this season, which is easily the most, and forget not that Bryant is one of the best red zone receivers of this generation. It should also be mentioned that this is a great game to stack with Prescott/Bryant and some combination of Travis Kelce or Kareem Hunt.
For contrarian options, I sort of like Jacoby Brissett and one of his receivers. Jack Doyle might be the best option. T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief are also in play in what should be a high-volume situation. I went back and watched Brissett's game against a tough Bengals' defense last week (on the road), and he wasn't dazzling by any stretch. But as a punt play, he could offer decent ROI.
As far as RB/DST stacks are concerned, I'll take the easy one and go with Leonard Fournette/Jaguars; no explanation needed. Mark Ingram II/Saints is also interesting if Jameis Winston doesn't suit up. And lastly, DeMarco Murray and the Titans defense is in play. Coming off a bye, at home, against the Ravens... what more do you want?
Danny Tuccitto: I actually think that, outside of the Prescott-Bryant and Wilson-Graham stacks that have already been mentioned, the "safe" stacks this week on DraftKings predominately pair a quarterback with his top running back. Here's a list (with cash game value probabilities in parentheses):
- Jared Goff (50%) and Todd Gurley (41%)
- Alex Smith (49%) and Kareem Hunt (37%)
- Blake Bortles (48%) and Leonard Fournette (38%)
- Cam Newton (46%) and Christian McCaffrey (32%)
- Marcus Mariota (45%) and DeMarco Murray (34%)
- Drew Brees (44%) and Mark Ingram II (40%)
Given the above, my best RB/DST stacks simply attach the DST, perhaps excluding Kansas City and Carolina. (Although I will say road defenses aren't profitable in the long run, so I'd also shy away from the Rams.)
Regarding a contrarian stack for tournaments, I concur with the Brissett-Doyle call, although my enthusiasm was much higher before Deshaun Watson got hurt. (This game went from a potential 45-27 affair to a potential cure for insomnia.) Instead, said contrarian enthusiasm has shifted towards Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, who are now going at a combined $2,800 below their peak cost. To boot, Steve Buzzard currently projects both players to have ownership rates far down the list at their respective positions.
Lately, for contrarianism, I've been trying to identify games between two good quarterbacks that also have relatively low over-unders. Last week, that game was Seahawks-Texans (i.e., Wilson and Watson with an over-under in the middle of the pack). This week, Panthers-Falcons fits that mold (as does a Seahawks repeat against Washington, actually).
Jeff Pasquino: For a safe stack, I do like the Brissett-Hilton call, or even a Brissett-Jack Doyle pivot.
My favorite stack is Wilson/Jimmy Graham, as Seattle gets to take on Washington, which is good against wide receivers but not so much against tight ends. That takes the pressure off of trying to figure out which Seahawk wideout to use and just taking Graham, whose high price tag may push ownership a little lower.
For wide receiver stacks, there is not a ton to love, but Smith/Hill is not a bad option. If you extend to the Monday slate, Matthew Stafford could hit either Marvin Jones Jr (my preference) or Golden Tate for some scores – but that is a riskier play given that Detroit could not punch anything in last week.
A sneaky stack (or game stack) lies in Baltimore-Tennessee. The Titans are not a good pass defense and the Ravens are up-and-down to say the least. Joe Flacco is dirt cheap, and so is Mike Wallace, and there is one thing that Flacco really does well – throw it deep. I could see a higher-scoring contest between the Titans and Ravens in which they shoot out and go back and forth, up and down the field, racking up points on Sunday. I also don't mind either running it back with Rishard Matthews or playing a Marcus Mariota-Matthews-Wallace stack.
For a RB/DST stack, I will take Lamar Miller and the Texans against the Colts. Both will now be relied upon a great deal, and I think they make a ton of sense. Fournette/Jaguars is my second option, but that costs way more.
John Mamula: With six teams on a bye this week, the DraftKings main slate is reduced to only 10 games. With the unfortunate news of Deshaun Watson's injury, this will create even more overlap with the most popular stacks as compared to most weeks. The herd will gather around Dallas/Kansas City, New Orleans, and Seattle when starting their stack building process.
For cash games, I prefer targeting Dallas with the Prescott/Bryant pairing. Excluding last week, Prescott has been phenomenal this season with five multiple-touchdown performances. Bryant should have his first 100-yard game of the year against a vulnerable Kansas City secondary, which has allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game and the most touchdowns (13) to wide receivers thus far.
For a lower-owned GPP stack, consider the Titans, who will be rested after the bye week. The crowd will be off the Titans as they barely escaped with a 12-9 victory over the winless Browns. Mariota and DeMarco Murray are both underpriced on DraftKings and should account for the bulk of the scoring.
My top QB-TE stack is Wilson/Graham. Washington is a funnel defense that has allowed 81.1 receiving yards per game, most in the NFL, to opposing tight ends.
My top RB/DST stack is also Fournette/Jaguars. The rookie running back has been spectacular, averaging 99.3 rushing yards per game and scoring 7 touchdowns. Fournette has averaged 24.1 touches per game and should be in line for another heavy workload this week.
James Brimacombe: With the sad news of Deshaun Watson’s injury, the big-time Houston stack is off the table. I think a lot of people will be going with Prescott/ Bryant and Russell Wilson/Doug Baldwin as the two chalkier stacks. I prefer Prescott/Bryant; with no Ezekiel Elliott this week the Cowboys are going to have to look to Bryant for some big plays in a game that should be a back and forth battle.
I also agree with Jeff and the Justins and sort of like the Brissett/Hilton stack. Brissett gives you a nice floor with his rushing ability, and the matchup against the Texans is fantastic. You can pay down for both Brissett and Hilton and pay up for running backs such as Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt, Fournette, and Mark Ingram II.
I would stick with Fournette and the Jaguars defense for a stack to consider for RB/DEF. Fournette should be fresh with a couple of weeks’ rest, and that defense has the ability to have an outstanding game on any week.
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