Every Friday, this article provides 7-10 FanDuel stacks for tournament play. We'll discuss twists that make highly-owned stacks more viable, unearth less common stacks for top-heavy contests, and create strong lineup anchors with defensive stacks.
The Vegas lines project four teams to stand above the crowd, and those players will be heavily owned this week. Several Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, and Cardinals make excellent cash game plays. If you use them in tournaments, be sure to combine them with some differentiation in your other roster spots.
Highly-Owned Stacks (with a Twist)
Tom Brady ($8,700) + Julian Edelman ($7,700) = $16,400
The sportsbooks project the Patriots as the highest scoring team of the week, putting up 30.5 points against the Jaguars in Foxboro. People are sure to stack the hottest team in football. Some will even throw down $17,100 to pair Brady with Rob Gronkowski ($8,400). That's too rich for my blood. With only one end-zone Gronk Smash last week, the duo failed to hit 3x value.
Twist: If you have your heart set on stacking Patriots, pair Brady with Aaron Dobson ($5,000) for a more reasonable $13,700. Dobson is playing the majority of the two-receiver sets and posted a respectable seven-catch, 87-yard line last week. Brady's deep threat has a good shot at getting loose for a big play this week.
Ben Roethlisberger ($8,500) + Antonio Brown ($9,300) = $17,800
This stack won people a lot of money last week, which means people will be all over it this week as the Steelers travel to St. Louis.
Twist: I'm not a fan of Darrius Heyward-Bey's ($5,300) long-term prospects, but until Martavis Bryant returns from suspension in two weeks, he has serious upside as the Steelers deep threat. At only $13,800, this duo basically reaches tournament value with one big touchdown.
Carson Palmer ($8,100) + Larry Fitzgerald ($6,700) = $14,800
As last week's top scorer, Fitzgerald will be highly owned at only $6,700. It's tough to ignore that value in cash games, but you'll get lost in the crowd using him in GPPs.
Twist: John Brown ($6,000) is the master of drawing downfield pass interference. Too bad you don't get points for penalties in fantasy. This is the week he sheds penalties for points.
Less Common Stacks
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($6,800) + Brandon Marshall ($7,400) = $14,200
Let's call this a medium-owned stack. With Eric Decker battling a knee injury and the Eagles reeling, people are going to be all over Marshall, especially after snagging seven balls for 101 yards and a touchdown on Monday Night Football. You'll need to find differentiation elsewhere in your lineup, but it's easy to imagine this pair connecting for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Blake Bortles ($6,700) + Allen Hurns ($5,100) = $11,800
Pre-season hypster Allen Robinson ($6,600) had a huge game last week with 155 yards and two touchdowns. At that price, i wouldn't blame you if you wanted to use him in this stack instead. But Bill Belichick tends to focus his defense on neutralizing opponents' top weapon. Bortles will be looking to the other Allen to pick up the slack as the Jaguars futilely play catch-up as 13.5-point underdogs. Target hog Rashad Greene Sr is also out of the picture on injured reserve.
Nick Foles ($6,500) + Kenny Britt ($5,400) = $11,900
Foles and Britt connected for a 40-yard touchdown last week. They'll do even more damage against a weak Steelers secondary. The sportsbooks predict this even matchup as one of the highest scoring of the week.
Seattle Seahawks ($5,300) + Marshawn Lynch ($8,700) = $14,000
The Seahawks are 14.5-point favorites in their home opener against the hapless Bears. This will be a popular play but could provide stability for an otherwise wild roster. It's such a sure thing that I'd even consider this stack in cash games.
Arizona Cardinals ($4,700) + David Johnson ($6,000) = $10,700
Last week Cardinals coach Bruce Arians firmly supported veteran Chris Johnson ($6,200) as the workhorse. This week Arians is coming around, saying that David Johnson's role will grow. The Johnsons should split carries more evenly, and at this low price, I'm willing to throw a GPP dart at David making another big play.
Carolina Panthers ($4,600) + Jonathan Stewart ($6,500) = $11,100
Even if Drew Brees plays, his injury should hamper him enough to be ineffective on the road against a tough Panthers defense. With 20 touches per game, Stewart will improve his efficiency against the sieve-like Saints rush defense.
Austin Lee loves snowboarding on the fresh powder of Lake Tahoe, once stuck 70 plastic forks in his fro, and built a 100-foot zipline in his backyard as a teen. For more of his DFS insights, watch The Footballguys Daily Fantasy Hour presented by Rotogrinders on Wednesdays at 9:30pm ET or listen to The Audible's FanDuel podcast on Friday mornings. Feel free to hit him up for advice on Twitter.