4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 3
It's three weeks in, and we're starting to see some trends become a little clearer each and every week. This not only helps offer better game and player projections, but we can also start to use a little bit more of our intuition when making decisions on players based on what we've seen in previous weeks.
One way to give yourself a competitive edge in DFS is by using a combination of statistics and intuition to create variance on a particular team or player. By taking a contrarian view on a particular team or player -- using variance as a rostering tool -- you are taking a risk. Sometimes you're going to miss, but when you're right, the potential of rewards are going to be much higher.
In this article, I will break down my favorite stacks for this week. These decisions are made by using player projections, Vegas implied team totals and player ownership projections.
If one trend has been particularly obvious throughout the first two weeks of the NFL regular season, it’s that the Miami Dolphins are really, really bad, and you should be rostering players and opposing defenses against them.
This week the Dallas Cowboys play the Dolphins at home and sport an implied total of 35.0 points as 22.5-point favorites. That is a mouth-watering spread for both Zeke and their defense. In Jonathan Bales Bales book Fantasy Football for Smart People, he mentions that “Teams projected to score 30 or more points in a game rush for around 14 percent more yards than those projected at 21-points and nearly 33 percent more than those at 14 points or less." And that doesn't factor in when you're favored to win by three plus touchdowns, like the Cowboys are this week.
Our current models have Elliot projected as the highest-scoring running back this week. He’s projected to rush for 105.42 yards and 1.04 rushing touchdowns. Should this game get out of hand early, his ceiling score could go well beyond that.
Stack him up with the Cowboys' D/ST this week. The Dolphins are sitting a measly implied total of 12.5 points right now, and after watching the New England D/ST score two touchdowns against the Dolphins last week, the Cowboys' D will be looking to get a piece of that pie, as well.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While it’s not a sexy play, Winston is offering the best point-per-dollar value among all quarterbacks, per our Week 3 projections. He’ll face the New York Giants this week at home in a game that has the second-highest over/under on the main slate.
Winston will face a Giants defense that has an Adjusted Defense Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back of 0.99, which ranks second-worst across the entire league. Winston has an arsenal of receiving weapons around him on this Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, but I most like stacking him with Mike Evans this week.
Evans has had a rough start to the 2019 season, but he’s due for a bounce-back game. He’ll likely be shadowed by Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who PFF currently has ranked 74th of 103 qualified cornerbacks this season. Evans will look to repeat what he did against the Giants in Week 11 last season, when he had 6 receptions, 120 yards and one touchdown.
While Evans target share has been cut down slightly by the emergence of Chris Godwin, being out-targeted by Godwin 15 to 13 through the first two weeks, Evans is an extremely talented receiver who can make a lot happen with few receptions.
With Saints quarterback Drew Brees being sidelined for this matchup, the consensus is that this will be a slower-paced game, especially with the way the Seahawks like to run the ball. Per Football Outsiders, the Seahawks have taken 29.82 seconds per play through the first two weeks of this season – which ranks as the 23rd-longest across all teams. So, one can understand why the slow-paced theory is scaring people off of this game.
But there is some sneaky value here. Per PFF, you can find Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas all below 5 percent ownership this week. That’s a steal for guys of their caliber and upside.
I like stacking up Wilson with Metcalf this week against a Saints defense that ranks 21st against the pass, per our schedule-adjusted numbers. DeAndre Hopkins ate this secondary for lunch in Week 1 with eight receptions, 111 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Rams receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp did the same thing last week, combining for 194 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Metcalf has been impressive early in his rookie campaign, and he has a nice matchup this week to continue that trend. Through his first two games as a rookie, Metcalf has seen 13 targets from Wilson, catching seven of them for 150 yards and one touchdown. With the lack of receiver depth on this Seattle team, the Wilson-to-Metcalf connection should continue to grow going forward.
Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs
My favorite stack of the week is a game stack between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. This clash currently has the highest over/under for the main slate at 52.0 points. Stack everyone from this game -- it’s going to be a shootout!
But on a more serious note, you can stack up this game in multiple ways. I do not have Patrick Mahomes listed above, but that by no means suggests you shouldn’t be playing him. I just opted to choose Jackson because you can choose just one quarterback in your lineup, and we have Jackson as a slightly better point-per-dollar value in our projections. As we all have seen these first two weeks, Jackson has taken a big step forward in his passing game compared to last season, and he’s still a tremendously good runner, too -- he became the first player in NFL history to have 250 yards passing and 120 yards rushing in a single game last week versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Stack Jackson with his receiver Marquise Brown and tight end Mark Andrews this week. The shootout potential in this game is sky high, and these two have proven to be Jackson’s favorite targets so far this year. Through two weeks, Brown and Andrews have accounted for 76 percent of all receiving yards and have caught four of Jackson’s seven passing touchdowns.
If you’re looking to run it back with KC players, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce are the guys to target. They are the most expensive pass-catchers players for the Chiefs, but they are also worth it.
Both Watkins and Kelce have shown their explosiveness through the first two weeks of this season, combining for 442 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Watkins is projected to see 8.64 targets this week with a 63 percent chance of scoring a touchdown, per our models, while Kelce is projected to be the top scoring tight end on the slate with 8.85 targets and a 60 percent chance of scoring a touchdown.
These two have exceptional talent and are playing in the highest-scoring offense in the league dating back to last season. When you combine that with the 2018 MVP (Mahomes) throwing them the ball, they're bound to have success.
Griffin Swanson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Griffin Swanson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username GriffDogg_. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. (edited)