DFS Roundtable: Stacking the Deck

Give us your safest, most cash-ready stack play for Week 7 and tell us why we should trust its floor. Then give us your favorite contrarian stack, one you figure could tilt GPPs.

In Week 6, DFSers who stacked wisely made out well across the landscape. Many were burned by Deshaun Watson/DeAndre Hopkins and Drew Brees/Michael Thoms, while the Carson Palmer/Larry Fitzgerald pairing turned a lot of contests toward those who invested against the awful Tampa Bay secondary. Give us your safest, most cash-ready (QB/WR or QB/TE) stack play for Week 7 and tell us why we should trust its floor. Then give us your favorite contrarian stack (any positions), one you figure will be low-owned and could tilt GPPs this weekend.

Dan Hindery: The most popular stack of Week 5 was Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant. The duo combined for a healthy 46.9 points on DraftKings (44.4 on FanDuel). After Dallas’ bye in Week 6, Week 7 is a good week to go back to the well again with Prescott and Bryant. Dallas faces a San Francisco defense that ranks 26th in DVOA against the pass and 23rd in DVOA against opposing No. 1 receivers. Bryant has been the wide receiver whose fantasy performance is most closely correlated to the quality of the opposing cornerback. In fact, he has led the NFL over the last three seasons with 3.36 fantasy points per target against cornerbacks ranked in the bottom-25 of ProFootballFocus’ position grades. For Week 7, each of San Francisco’s starting cornerbacks ranks near the bottom of PFF’s positional rankings (79th, 90th, and 112th out of 114).

The stack of Joe Mixon and the Bengals defense is my favorite contrarian stack. Mixon has seen the majority of the Bengals’ running back touches in each of the past three weeks, and the offensive coaches have stated that their primary focus during the bye week was on how to get the running game rolling. In a week in which saving money is difficult, Mixon is priced as the RB26 on DraftKings and RB31 on FanDuel. The Steelers defense has given up the seventh most fantasy points to opposing running backs and was dominated by another rookie running back, Leonard Fournette, in their last home game. In the same game, the Jacksonville defense picked off Ben Roethlisberger five times (twice for touchdowns). The Bengals defense hasn’t been quite as dominant as Jacksonville’s but has been fantastic in its own right. The Bengals defense ranks third in DVOA and is top-seven against both the run and the pass. As with Mixon, the pricing is part of the attraction with the Bengals defense. Cincinnati is tied for sixth-cheapest on FanDuel and seventh-cheapest on DraftKings.

Chris Feery: For the safest stack, I concur with Dan: Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant should afford you the least amount of stress. Drew Brees is a fine choice against the Packers as well, but as we learned last week, stacking Michael Thomas with him does not equal plug-and-play production. Marcus Mariota is also a possibility against the lowly Browns, but I’m not completely sold on which option to stack him with. Hence, I’ll be more inclined to lean on Mariota for GPP purposes.

For contrarian purposes, I’m liking stacks of Brett Hundley and Jordy Nelson, as well as Eli Manning and Sterling Shepard. For the former, there are concerns that Hundley may not be up to snuff. I disagree, as he’s been working in the offense long enough to have a good handle on things. Will we see the same kind of production we’re used to seeing from the Packers? Nope, but we’ll see enough for a solid return on salary cap dollars invested.

As for the Giants stack, I’m fully aware that it’s a risk against the Seahawks, but I see it as one that’s worth taking. The Seahawks defense is not what it once was, and the team will be traveling east for this tilt. Add in the fact that the Giants offense showed a ton of life against the Broncos last week, and I’m optimistic that Bob McAdoo’s decision to give up play-calling responsibilities amounts to a turning point for the team.

Justin Howe: Dak Prescott-Dez Bryant will be a popular pairing, but I’d say the best stack on the board – and it’s a non-traditional one – is Prescott-Ezekiel Elliott on FanDuel, where Elliott is priced somewhat appropriately. The pair needs 34 FanDuel points to offer base value, a mark they’ve hit in 4 of 5 games thus far. And the 49ers matchup is a great one for both opposing pass and run games, with an elevated number of snaps on the table and overtly winnable matchups all over the field. It’s hard for me to imagine the Cowboys landing below 30 points, and rostering both Prescott and Elliott gobbles up that entire offense. Both will produce yardage and touchdown chances aplenty, and usually, when we’re looking to buy up most of a confident 30-point offense: (a) we’re paying a little more than this, and (b) we’re praying for a huge passing line. This stack features more affordable pricing, covers all of the Dallas bases, and is helped along by Prescott’s rushing – he’s averaged 6.6 FanDuel points from his rushing over the last 3 weeks.

Alessandro Miglio: As much as I like Julio Jones, stacking him with Matt Ryan might be a little too pricey for cash games. That's where the Tennessee offense comes in.

Delanie Walker is another guy I love for #TouchdownRegressionWeek, and he has a fantastic matchup to get off the schneid. The Browns have been among the worst at defending against tight ends this season, and that defense is just plain bad all around in spite of the individual talent. Pairing Walker with Marcus Mariota might be one of the safest cash stacks of the week, especially if Mariota isn't Drew Bledsoe reincarnated in the pocket thanks to his hammy.

Are RB-DEF stacks allowed here? If so, I'd say Jay Ajayi is due for a big workload and a touchdown during #TouchdownRegressionWeek, and stacking him with the Miami defense could be quite profitable. The Dolphins have been playing much better now that they've settled in for the season, and they are at home against Josh McCown and the Jets. True, that offense shredded the Patriots last week and beat the Dolphins a few weeks ago, but I am looking at Narrative Street and a positive trend here – Miami will get payback at home.

Danny Tuccitto: I actually think the safest stack of the weekend is Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz, but you'll have to play a slate involving Monday Night Football to use it. Wentz's 50% cash game value probability ranks fifth among quarterbacks, and Ertz's 34%, while 14th among tight ends, is still higher than the 33% threshold (i.e., likely to achieve 3x). Furthermore, Washington's pass defense ranks 27th in DVOA on tight end targets, as well as 29th in DraftKings points-per-game surrendered to tight ends.

As for a contrarian stack to use in tournaments, I'm with Dan on the Giants, except the one I'm leaning towards is actually Orleans Darkwa and the Giants defense. First off, my pool picks system selected the Giants to cover as a home underdog, so that immediately piqued my interest with respect to going contrarian. The next thing is that, according to Steve Buzzard's projections, neither are likely to be owned in more than 5% of lineups. Finally, the Seahawks offense ranks in the bottom half of the league according to DVOA, while their run defense ranks 26th. That run defense may rank sixth in terms of DraftKings points-per-game allowed to opposing running backs, but the devil is in the details: It's because of their prowess in stopping backs from catching the ball, not running it.

Devin Knotts: The safest stack this week for me is Drew Brees/Michael Thomas. Yes, everyone who was burned last week will be off of it, but the fact of the matter is that the Packers have failed to get a pass rush this season. They did not record a sack last week and are 27th in the NFL this season. Brees' price is deflated due to the lack of touchdowns and lack of big games that we have seen from him, but ultimately the Saints are fifth in passing yards and eighth in passing touchdowns. Green Bay's secondary is banged up, with Kevin King and Davon House questionable for this game, and while they're likely to play they will be less than 100%. The Packers also lost backup cornerback Quentin Rollins for the season. King will likely matchup against Thomas if he plays, and although the rookie has played well, he did struggle against the two best receivers he has faced. Julio Jones went for 108 yards against him, and A.J. Green went for 111 and 1 touchdown.