Week 1 Stack Em Up – DraftKings
The regular season has finally arrived! There are three games with an implied total of over 50 points and several games with a 48 point over/under. These potential high scoring contests are where I will be looking into creating some of my stacks this week. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into it.
For those who are not familiar with what stacking means, let’s define what we are calling a stack.
Stacking is pairing multiple players from one team. In this instance I will be referring to a quarterback and one of his receivers, tight ends, or running backs.
Game Over/Under: 50.5
Raiders Implied Points: 24.5
Derek Carr $6,700 is someone I am keen on this season and I expect him to start off the year with a really nice performance against a subpar defense. The Titans surrendered 284.3 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks last season, to go along with 24 passing touchdowns. Carr faced off against them in Week 3 last year and threw for 249 yards and one touchdown, scoring just 12.86 DK points. That was not one of his better outings last year, but Carr did display his ability to score over 20 fantasy points many times last season and showcased his 30+ fantasy point upside. Vegas expects this game to be high-scoring and close as the spread is currently 2.5 points. His price is also on the expensive side this week which could potentially keep his ownership down. In this matchup, I like both his upside and floor.
Amari Cooper $7,200 and Michael Crabtree $6,000, are both fine options to pair up with Carr. I am expecting big things out of Cooper this season and I think it starts this week. This is a good matchup for him as the Titans struggled against opposing wide receivers, yielding 190.8 receiving yards and 15.2 receptions per game. In addition, they surrendered 17 touchdowns and over 40 fantasy points per game to the position. Cooper’s only issue in his young career has been the lack of red zone targets, but they nearly doubled from his rookie to his sophomore season. The Titans defense is far superior against the run than they are against the pass, so I anticipate the Raiders will expose them for that. Crabtree is also in play here if you want to save some money. He was tied in fourth last season amongst all pass catchers with 21 red zone targets. In Week 3 last year, he had very nice performance against the Titans, catching eight passes for 102 yards and scored 21.2 DK points despite not scoring a touchdown. Crabtree is a good combination of consistency and upside. He is firmly in play in this matchup.
My favorite option: Carr/Cooper
Game Over/Under: 50.5
Raiders Implied Points: 28.75
Matt Ryan $6,900 and the Falcons head to Chicago to take on the Bears, a defense that allowed 239.3 passing yards per game and 26 total touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. Ryan is coming off of a career year, throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and 38 touchdowns, averaging 24.8 DK points per game. He displayed tremendous upside, scoring over 30 DK points multiple times last season. He is on the road with a high implied total and is a favorite, which is a situation I like targeting for this position. There is no reason to believe that he cannot carve up this defense and pick up right where he left off last season.
The player I will be using in this stack is none other than Julio Jones $8,500. Last season, Jones accounted for 22 percent of Ryan’s targets and 24 percent of his touchdowns. He gets a nice matchup against a Bears defense that allowed 169.5 receiving yards per game to opposing receivers and gave up 14 touchdowns. In addition, receivers averaged 13.3 receptions and over 35 fantasy points per game against the Bears. Jones offers an insanely high ceiling and should be able to do plenty of damage in this very appealing matchup.
My favorite option: Ryan/Jones
Game Over/Under: 48
Raiders Implied Points: 24.75
Carson Palmer $6,000 let me down several times last season, but that will not stop me from targeting him in the season opener. He faces off against the Lions who allowed 257.9 passing yards per game last season and 32 passing touchdowns. The last time he faced off against them was in 2015. In that game he threw for 161 yards and three touchdowns. In 13 career indoor games, Palmer has averaged 251.2 passing yards per game and has tossed 23 touchdowns, with a 94.1 QB rate. Palmer is underpriced and will likely go overlooked despite the favorable situation. He should not struggle in this matchup and should finish with a nice stat line at the end of the day.
You can pair him up with multiple players on this offense, one of them being Larry Fitzgerald $5,900. Last season, Fitz accounted for 25 percent of Palmer’s targets and 25 percent of the team’s red zone targets (20 red zone targets). The matchup is one that favors him as the Lions surrendered 14.1 receptions and 162 receiving yards per game to receivers, as well as 20 touchdowns. Despite getting older, Fitz still provides upside and proved it multiple times last season as he eclipsed 20 fantasy points in three games and scored in single digits just three times all season. I like targeting him early in the season before he starts to get fatigued later in season and at this price, I am very intrigued.
John Brown $4,800 is also an option here and comes at a reasonable price. He missed most of the preseason with a quadriceps injury, but in the only game he played he scored twice on two receptions. He can be hit or miss, making him a GPP play only for me, but he also possesses the ability to make big plays and can be a difference maker in your lineups. At this price, he can also smash value with one big play.
You cannot write about the Cardinals and not include David Johnson $9,400. I understand that the correlation between a running back and a quarterback is not all that great, but Johnson accounted for 20 percent of Palmer’s targets. He had 80 receptions for 879 yards and four touchdowns, so it is clear he was very involved in the pass game. Players like Johnson are exceptions to the rule, making him a stackable option with Palmer for those looking for differentiation with a Cardinals stack.
My favorite option: Palmer/Fitzgerald
There are weeks where I like a quarterback and do not necessarily feel that it is a must to pair him up with one of his pass catchers and this is one of those weeks as I like the idea of playing Aaron Rodgers $7,000 against the Seahawks. This is a spot where I think he goes overlooked because people see Seattle and automatically steer away. That can be a big mistake as Rodgers has done fairly well against them in recent years. In his last two meetings against them (2015 & 2016), Rodgers has completed 43-of-56 pass attempts for 495 yards and five passing touchdowns, scoring over 20 fantasy points in each of those contests. There are many weapons on this offense and he could spread the ball, making it difficult for the opposing defense to slow him down. This game has a 50.5 over/under and the Packers have a 26.75 implied total.