Picking productive stacks is a critical aspect of building winning DFS lineups. For those who may not know, a stack is when you roster two or more players on a given team at one time. Conventionally, a stack consists of a team’s Quarterback and a corresponding Wide Receiver. This concept is a primary factor that narrows down which Quarterbacks I will use as the backbone of my DFS entries. As we enter the final week of the regular season, there are a variety of appealing Quarterback and Wide Receiver stacks. Here are the three best stacks of Week 17, based on three price tiers: upper, middle, and low priced.
High Priced Stack
Aaron Rodgers: $8,800 & Jordy Nelson: $8,200
Both of these players are top five in price at their position this week. Thus, lineup construction can be difficult if you want to build around this stack. But, these two are worth the price. Since week 10, no Quarterback has scored more points than Aaron Rodgers, 139.02 to be exact. Yes, Rodgers had two games below 16 points during that stretch. However, one game occurred in a snow storm and in the other, Rodgers suffered from three dropped touchdown passes while hobbling around on one leg. Now that Rodgers is completely healthy and playing indoors against the Lions, I expect him to throw for at least 250 yards and two scores.
Rodgers’ counterpart, Jordy Nelson, has been just as impressive since week 10. While he isn’t the highest scoring Wide Receiver since then, he has scored at least 10 points in every single game. Since week 11, Nelson has been targeted a minimum of seven times in each game, including four games with at least 10 targets. But, what makes Nelson worth every dollar is his red zone usage. According to Pro Football Reference, Nelson leads every player in red zone targets with 43, as 28 of those targets came inside the 20, and 15 targets inside the 10.
The only downside to using this stack is that it prohibits the rest of your lineups. Usually, I want to include one of the following Running Backs in my lineups: Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, or LeSean McCoy. At this point, I haven’t found a combination using this stack and an elite Running Back that I like. If you’ve found one, please let me know.
Middle Priced Stack
Matt Stafford: $8,000 & Golden Tate: $5,700
On paper, this stack doesn’t yield as much upside as Rodgers and Nelson; however, this combination has more advantages when it comes to lineup construction and ownership percentage. It’s no secret that Matt Stafford will have to throw the ball to win. The Lions have a rushing attack that ranks in the bottom third of the NFL, and don’t have a starting caliber NFL Running Back without Theo Riddick. In order to keep pace with the Packers, Stafford will have to throw the ball a minimum of 36 times. This season, when Stafford has at least 36 passing attempts, he’s averaging 17.45 fantasy points per game. Given how inept Green Bay’s pass defense has been, I’d safely bet on Stafford scoring more than that number.
Golden Tate has been a staple play in all of my lineups for the past six weeks. Now, Tate isn’t a top-flight fantasy Wide Receiver; however, he is the number one receiving option on his team. Since week 10, Tate has never been priced higher than $6,600. In fact, in the last three weeks, he hasn’t been priced above $6,300, and this week, is priced below $6,000. Yes, his production hasn’t been consistent. Yes, his ceiling isn’t as high as other number one receivers. However, Tate allows you to roster players like LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Jimmy Graham all in the same lineup.
I think Tate’s ownership will be higher than usual this week because of the low price, but it won’t keep me from rostering him and Stafford this week. This is may favorite of the three stacks, given both players price, production, and roster flexibility.
Low Priced Stack
Blake Bortles: $7,600 & Marqise Lee: $6,300
This isn’t as much about how good these two players are, but rather, how good their matchup is this weekend. Blake Bortles faces a woeful Indianapolis defense on Sunday, who he produced against earlier this year. Like the Lions, the Jaguars also have a bottom-third rushing attack. The only way the Jaguars score points this weekend is through the air, and Bortles is not afraid to throw it, even if it goes to the other team. After riding the Bortles train last week, I’m back again this weekend not only because of the matchup, but because of his workload. Bortles has more than 35 pass attempts in 10 games this season and has never thrown the ball less than 25 times in any game.
Don’t fall into the trap of playing Allen Robinson this weekend after a breakout performance. While Indianapolis is bad, they do have Vontae Davis, who is better than any player in the Titan’s secondary. Davis, who mostly plays on the outside, will guard Allen Robinson and not Marqise Lee. Lee has proven to be Bortles’ most productive receiver. Eight times this season, Robinson was targeted at least ten times, and only four times did he score more than 15 points in those games. Yes, Robinson is more talented than Lee, but we don’t get points for talent. We get points for production, something Robinson has failed to do in the five games before week 16.
Of these stacks, I could see this one winning a FanDuel GPP. Like the Stafford and Tate stack, this lineup gives you tremendous flexibility and a chance to roster low ownership players. I will probably not feature this stack as much as the previous two. However, I will probably regret not playing them more this Sunday.
“From Our Haus to Yours”