Every Friday, this article provides several FanDuel stacks. Most of these positively correlated combinations are best suited for tournament play. But some of the safer duos with high floors can be used in cash games. We'll discuss highly-owned stacks with some twists to make them more unique. We'll also unearth less common stacks for top-heavy contests and create strong lineup anchors with defensive stacks.
Tom Brady ($9,100) + Julian Edelman ($8,000) = $17,100
The Patriots have the highest implied total of the week with nearly 31 points. They travel to New Jersey to face the Giants in a shootout that I expect to be closer than the touchdown spread.
Twist: In the early ownership data I'm seeing from Thursday contests, Rob Gronkowski ($8,000) has slightly lower ownership than Julian Edelman. If the ownership numbers were further apart, it would make Gronkowski the preferred play, but the Giants struggle more against receivers than tight ends. Over the past five weeks, they've allowed receivers to score 45 percent more fantasy points then usual. If you're looking for a cheaper Patriots stack or a triple-stack possibility, Brandon LaFell ($6,200) is worth consideration.
Aaron Rodgers ($9,200) + Randall Cobb ($7,700) = $16,900
Vegas has the Packers scoring 30 points against the Lions in Green Bay. My only concern with this stack is that Green Bay is the biggest favorite of the week at 11.5 points. I'm projecting a big game for James Starks, but there should be plenty of fantasy goodness to go around.
Blake Bortles ($7,800) + Allen Robinson ($7,500) = $15,300
The Jaguars' passing attack has come a long way from last season in order to qualify has highly-owned. Robinson appears to be the highest-owned receiver in Thursday contests, and Bortles is top-five at his position. Playing on the road as an underdog against a struggling Ravens secondary should lead to more fantasy goodness from this duo.
Less Common Stacks
Eli Manning ($7,400) + Odell Beckham Jr Jr. ($8,800) = $16,200
This Giants stack is in play almost every week, but this week is especially tasty against the Patriots. If you've read my column before, you know I like teams projected to be high-scoring underdogs. Beckham will be highly owned, but Manning's Thursday ownership numbers were well below what I expected. Don't get cute and try to find a twist or triple stack for the Giants. Just play their top duo and toss a Patriots pass-catcher into the same lineup to lean into the high-scoring game script.
Kirk Cousins ($6,500) + Jordan Reed ($5,800) = $12,300
Over the past five weeks, the Saints lead the league in allowing both quarterbacks and tight ends to overperform their typical fantasy output. They've allowed a 55-point stack three weeks in a row. Until further notice, stack the Saints' opponents.
Twist: I prefer Pierre Garcon ($6,400) over DeSean Jackson ($6,000) this week. New Orleans' top corner Devin Breau is likely to cover Jackson more often, leaving Garcon to have his way with Brandon Browner. I'm also not convinced that Jackson is fully up to speed in this offense after missing so much time this year.
Green Bay Packers ($4,900) + James Starks ($6,000) = $10,900
Head Coach Mike McCarthy officially named Starks the starter this week. His low price makes this defensive stack an excellent value. I prefer this stack over the Packers' arial attack as I envision Green Bay leaning heavily on their running game with a large second-half lead. Detroit has struggled against the run over the past five weeks, allowing backs to overperform by 37 percent.
Cincinnati Bengals ($5,000) + Giovani Bernard ($6,300) = $11,300
The Bengals are projected to have a high score, a wide spread, and a low scoring opponent. They host the Texans, who have allowed running backs to overperform by a league-worst 63 percent over the last five weeks.
St. Louis Rams ($5,400) + Todd Gurley ($9,200) = $14,600
If you're willing to pay the big bucks because you've found value elsewhere, then pair the highest-priced defense and running back of the week. The Rams host the Bears, who the sportsbooks project to be the week's lowest-scoring team.
Austin Lee spent several years in a performance improv group, once rubbed peanut butter all over himself on stage, and strongly believes that great comedy happens in threes. 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. Also check out his Normalized Strength of Schedule tool or hit him up for advice on Twitter.