4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 17
Stacks fuel upside in FanDuel contests. To that point, colleague Brandon Gdula took a deep dive into hit rates and correlation for stacks. It's worth a read.
Every week, I'll lay out my four favorite stacks in this space. Here are the stacks I'm honing in on this week.
San Francisco 49ers
The #49ers list QB Jimmy Garoppolo as doubtful with his thumb injury. He did not practice all week. With the playoffs in view, Trey Lance expected to start.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2021
Since penning my love for Lance earlier this week, he's slipped from the top of the heap in value score -- a measure of points $1,000 of salary -- in our projections to the fourth-best value. Nonetheless, I still love him.
Lance is a cheat code with his legs, rushing for 130 yards on 23 attempts in six quarters across Week 4 and Week 5. Additionally, he spun it for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Since then, he's had numerous weeks to gain valuable practice reps, ideally improving his grasp on the offense and enhancing his aerial potential to his talented collection of pass-catching options.
For full disclosure, George Kittle is my favorite stacking partner with Lance. However, there are two reasons I also love Brandon Aiyuk. First, I expect Kittle to be the most popular Niner stacked with Lance, making a pivot to Aiyuk a high-level contrarian move in GPPs. Second, Aiyuk isn't a slouch.
According to Pro Football Focus, since Kittle returned from injured reserve in Week 9, Aiyuk has been third on the team in receptions (40) and receiving yards (557), second in targets (59) and receiving touchdowns (four), and first in routes (321). In other words, he's been quite good, averaging slightly more than 55 receiving yards per game. Finally, spinning down from Kittle to AIyuk opens the door to using all four stacks featured in this piece together on the same roster.
The Indianapolis Colts' defense is another play I highlighted in the aforementioned value plays article. I don't have anything to add to my previous analysis. However, now, I can gush about eating the chalk with Taylor as a stacking partner.
According to Pro Football Reference, Taylor is second in rushing yards per game (108.4) and first in rushing touchdowns. Additionally, he averages 2.4 grabs and 22.4 receiving yards per game, scoring two receiving touchdowns. As a result, Taylor is a game-script-proof stud.
However, the underlying numbers paint an even more glowing picture of Taylor's dominance this season. According to Pro Football Focus, among running backs with at least 75 rush attempts this year, Taylor is second in yards after contact per rush attempt (3.82), tied for first in missed tackles forced (58), and first in runs of 10-plus (45) and 15-plus (20) yards. Therefore, he seamlessly blends an elite workload with the ability to hit a home run on any carry.
Our algorithm projects Taylor as the slate's RB1 with the fourth-best point-per-dollar rating at the position. So, I'm all over Taylor in any game type.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
According to our heat map, there are only two games on FanDuel's main slate with an over/under of at least 50.0 points. The Kansas City Chiefs-Cincinnati Bengals bout is one of the two games with an over/under starting with a five, so it stands to reason I'm intrigued by stacking that contest. I think Darrel Williams will be chalky, and running it back with Cinci's pass-catchers will be popular, too.
So let's leverage those expectations by spinning them on their head, using Kelce and Mixon instead.
According to Pro Football Reference, the Bengals allow the seventh-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends. Mark Andrews just pantsed them last week, hauling in eight of 10 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. Kelce's full-season marks (averages of 5.9 receptions and 76.1 receiving yards per game with seven touchdowns) aren't anything to sneeze at, and he erupted for 10 receptions, 191 receiving yards, and two touchdowns in Week 15 before missing Week 16 on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Mixon, meanwhile, is a workhorse who enjoyed a role change last week that -- if it sticks -- elevates his floor and ceiling. Mixon averages 105.6 scrimmage yards, 18.7 rush attempts, and 2.3 receptions per game, scoring 16 total touchdowns. However, Samaje Perine routinely cut into his passing-game work throughout most of this year -- until last week. In Week 16, per Pro Football Focus, Mixon ran 31 routes, compared to only nine for Perine and two for Chris Evans.
I'm willing to take a leap of faith that Cincy coach Zac Taylor will continue leaning on his stud running back in a projected shootout with high stakes -- the Bengals will win the AFC North with a victory. I believe spending a lot of salary on multiple top-tier running backs will be a contrarian move on FanDuel's main slate, possibly making a Taylor-Mixon pairing highly unique in GPPs.
Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
I mentioned only two games having an over/under of more than 50.0 points in the write-up above, and this is the other game under that umbrella. It's sporting the highest over/under on FanDuel's main slate at 51.5 points. Beyond the eye-catching total, the game's pace stands out as dreamy. According to Football Outsiders, the Arizona Cardinals play at the sixth-fastest situation-neutral pace, and the Dallas Cowboys are first.
I'll have multiple irons in the fire in this game. However, Kirk and Gallup are a pair of values, and they fit snuggly under the salary cap stacked with the three previously discussed stacks. In two games since DeAndre Hopkins was ruled out for the Cardinals, Kirk is second in targets (21), tied for first in touchdown receptions (one), and sits in sole first in routes (92), receptions (16), receiving yards (149) and air yards (199).
The matchup is tough from a real-life standpoint, but it's not disastrous for fantasy. Dallas allows the seventh-most receiving yards (2,531) to wideouts at 14.46 yards per reception. In addition, according to Sharp Football Stats, the Cowboys have allowed the sixth-highest average explosive pass rate (10 percent). There are big plays to be had for a field-stretching wideout like Kirk.
Meanwhile, Gallup has a notably lower salary than CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, but he has bested the studly duo in a few categories. Looking at the three wideouts since Week 14, Gallup has been third in targets (16) and receptions (10), but he's been second in receiving yards (145) and routes (115). Also, per Pro Football Focus, he has had the deepest average depth of target (13.9 yards) of the trio in that three-game stretch, creating the potential to amass big plays on a lower volume of work.
As a result, Gallup is an enticing option at a reduced salary from Lamb and Cooper. I will mix and match players from this game when multi-entering contests. Still, I love this duo meshed with the other stacks in this space.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. 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.