4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for the Divisional Round
If you're new to daily fantasy football, then you'll have to make some changes to your fantasy football strategy. You don't have "your guys" on a weekly basis -- and you need to adjust to each and every matchup.
A big part of building your roster is weekly quarterback selection. In terms of salary, passers range from the top of the player pool to the bottom, with some replacement-level passers at the same price point as kickers and defenses on FanDuel.
Along with those quarterbacks, though, you have the option of pairing pass-catchers with your signal caller, and per 4for4's Chris Raybon, a quarterback's top receiver has the strongest positive correlation to quarterback success -- and his tight end and second receiver are next in line.
If you're going to stack, though, you need to have a purpose. If you're trying to win a big tournament, you'll want to find a combination that can put up points in bunches -- all while possibly being underowned. That part could be tricky this week with so few options to pick from, but which teammates might fit the bill? We'll scope out two for each two-game slate.
New England Patriots
Brady is probably the consensus top quarterback play on the full slate, and that's especially true on the Saturday-only slate. The New England Patriots are 13.5-point favorites with an implied total of 30.75 points. The next highest implied total is 25.75 points. Tennessee ranks 27th in adjusted yards per attempt since Week 10 and are a top-five rush defense according to our metrics. That funnel setup should lead to added passing production from Brady in a get-right spot.
Rob Gronkowski is the obvious stacking partner, and there's no reason you can't use him, but don't overlook Hogan entirely. Hogan, by all indications, is set to return from his shoulder injury, and he has accounted for eight targets from inside the 10 despite playing in only nine games. Hogan averaged 11.5 FanDuel points before his injury, and the Titans are 18th in receiving FanDuel points per target to wideouts since Week 10.
There are quite a few stacking partners for Brady -- namely Gronkowski, Hogan, Brandin Cooks -- but Hogan has touchdown upside and should be the lowest owned of the three.
It's not often you want to stack a team that has an implied total of just 17.25 points, but your other options for this slate are Nick Foles against defense that's trending up or Matt Ryan, who has yet to eclipse 20 FanDuel points in a game, against one of the league's toughest defenses. Most non-Brady owners should look to Ryan for just $200 more than Mariota. Also, with Derrick Henry a locked-in option at running back, few lineups should feature Mariota at quarterback.
Mariota has just one 300-yard game to his name this season, 306 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a blowout on Thursday Night Football. That could be a similar script this week. Mariota has, though, ran the ball 18 times over the past two games, and the Patriots have given up some rushing production to mobile quarterbacks, including 44 yards to Cam Newton on 8 carries and 41 to Deshaun Watson on 8 carries. Mariota's upside is capped, given the lack of passing, but neither Foles nor Ryan have flashed massive ceilings. A rushing score plus some yards on the ground could lead to a useful Mariota game.
Walker's 24.34% market share over the past five games ranks fifth among players this weekend and third on the Saturday slate. Walker has drawn 4 of Mariota's 18 red zone targets over the past five games but has caught just one for a four-yard touchdown. If they connect on those, Walker -- at a $1,900 discount from Gronkowski -- could pay the bills.
Quarterbacks on the Sunday slate are tricky, as they all face somewhat of a tough pass defense. Keenum's Minnesota Vikings, though, own the second-highest implied total at 25.75 points, and this game is played indoors, the only indoor game of the weekend. Plus, for as good as the New Orleans Saints' pass defense has been all season, they've allowed 19.43 FanDuel points per game since Week 11. Five different quarterbacks have put up at least 20 on them in that span, and they've struggled to get to the passer lately.
Keenum's recent totals are worrisome -- 19.44, 9.36, and 11.56 FanDuel points -- and he's been getting sacked at a much higher rate of late (0.6 sacks per game from Weeks 2 through 11 and 2.8 from Weeks 12 through 17). However, the line is getting healthier and is its healthiest in weeks. This could be a bounceback spot for Keenum.
Thielen is the preferable stack candidate with Keenum, as he'll play more from the slot than Stefon Diggs will. That means fewer snaps covered by Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley. Thielen ranks third on the Sunday slate in past-five market share at 23.68%, behind only Antonio Brown and Michael Thomas.
Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger ($7,700)
Wide Receiver: Antonio Brown ($8,400)
Roethlisberger threw five interceptions against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first meeting, but he has turned his play around during the second half of the season. Prior to their Week 9 bye, Roethlisberger had 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, with a Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back of 0.11 and a Success Rate of 46.32%. After the bye, he threw 18 touchdowns and 5 picks, for a per-drop-back Passing NEP of 0.32 and a Success Rate of 52.86%. (League averages are 0.06 and 44.75%, respectively.)
You don't really want to pick on the Jaguars' defense, but they did allow Blaine Gabbert, Russell Wilson, and Jimmy Garoppolo to top at least 18.0 FanDuel points from Week 12 onward. Roethlisberger is playing lights out, gets his top receiver back, and is at home.
That top receiver, of course, is Brown, who put up 20.7 FanDuel points in their first meeting -- but did need 19 targets to do so (when Roethlisberger threw 55 times). Part of the tournament case for Brown is that his running back teammate, Le'Veon Bell, will be a super chalky pick and that Brown himself is returning from injury.
The price is down $600 from his full-slate price, though, and with Michael Thomas dealing with Xavier Rhodes' coverage, Brown makes for the best expensive option at wideout on the Sunday-only slate, a slate that shouldn't feature many expensive wide receiver plays given the options at running back.