NFL Week 1 Stack Em Up: DraftKings Plays
The NFL season is finally here, let the DFS action begin! To start the season, there are plenty of contests and prize pools to choose from. We have three games with an implied point total of 50 or more points and there are seven games with an over/under that’s greater than 45 points. This means we could have some offenses posting some serious points in the season opener. That being said, there are certain offenses that are worth targeting, with specific stacks in these offenses that warrant consideration. Let’s take a look at some stacking options for Week 1 and who you should be looking at.
But before we dive in, let’s define what were 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: 51.5
Colts Implied Points: 27.25
This is a game I am targeting on both sides for numerous reasons. To start off, this contest has the highest projected total of Week 1. Neither defense is strong and both offenses can score points. I normally do not like to pay up for quarterback, but this week, Andrew Luck $8,300 is one of my top targets at QB. He offers 300+ yards and three touchdown upside in this matchup. The Lions surrendered 237 passing yards per game and 27 touchdowns in 2015. The last time that these two teams met, the score was 35-33 (Colts won) and Luck threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions. While nearly 400 yards is tough to duplicate, in this matchup he offers that type of upside. I can see a very similar outing from him in the season opener. I would pair him up with Donte Moncrief $6,000, T.Y. Hilton $7,500, Phillip Dorsett $4,500, Frank Gore $5,500, OR Dwayne Allen $3,200. Of the bunch, Moncrief is my favorite option, taking price and upside into consideration. Luck played in seven games last season and Moncrief caught a touchdown pass in five of those game. His matchup is not ideal as he is expected to line up against Darius Slay, but at his bargain price I am definitely going to have my shares. Hilton has a favorable matchup as he is expected to line up against Nevin Lawson. Based on his higher price tag, the ownership will not be as high on him as it is on Moncrief, especially considering some of the other receivers in the $7,000-$7,500 price range.
Philip Dorsett should only be considered as a tournament play as he is not a high volume receiver, but his potential low ownership is intriguing. What he does offer is big play making ability, with the potential for a long touchdown. People have written off Frank Gore, but if you look closely at his numbers, they weren’t awful last season; don’t forget that Luck missed most of the season, and Gore put up solid numbers. His involvement in the passing game shouldn’t be overlooked either; he averaged 3.6 targets per game, catching a total of 34 passes last season, his highest total since 2010. He also accounted for 66.7 of the Colts red zone touches, so it’s obvious that he still has some gas left in the tank and it is best to take advantage of the early in the season. He is reasonably priced in a favorable matchup, and Frank the Tank is still a weapon for the Colts.
Dwayne Allen will likely be popular this week, and rightfully so; he’s dirt cheap and has a very good matchup. Two teams surrendered 12 touchdowns to opposing tight ends, and the Lions were one of them. With Coby Fleener’s departure, Allen has become the primary option at TE for Indianapolis. He poses a big red zone threat in a juicy spot, and don’t forget that Vegas anticipates this game turning into a shootout. Any of these players would make for a great stack with Luck, and don’t be afraid to deploy even 3 Colts in your lineups.
My favorite option: Luck/Moncrief
Game Over/Under: 51.5
Lions Implied Points: 21.75
Like I mentioned above, I want shares of both offenses in this game. Matthew Stafford at $7,200 is a very good play at quarterback this week. Many people are down on him due the team losing Calvin Johnson which is understandable, but they have added several pieces to the offense that can be great weapons for Stafford. The absence of Vontae Davis, arguably their best defensive player ever, from the Colts roster shouldn’t be overlooked, either. The Lions are a pass first offense, and that wont be changing this season- Stafford has attempted over 590 passes in each season since 2011. The question is figuring out who all those passes will be thrown to- Golden Tate, $7,300 and Marvin Jones, $4,600 are the two prime options. Tate averaged eight targets per game last season, which I anticipate being his floor this week. His role should remain similar to what it was last season, if not become larger, and he may get even more red zone looks (he received 20.7% of the teams targets last season). Ownership for Tate should be somewhat low as I expect most people will lean on Jones due to his price. Marvin Jones may not be the possession receiver that Tate is, but he offers more touchdown upside. He was featured in the red zone during the preseason, which is a good indication of what the Lions may have in store for Jones.
Both Jones and Tate will most likely have higher ownership percentages than Theo Riddick at $4,000.I like Riddick as a play for a couple of reasons- first off, his low price of $4k. Secondly, Stafford/ Riddick will not be a popular stack. Riddick is not a household name, but he did average 6.2 targets per game and received the second most targets of all running backs last season. On DraftKings where we get a point per reception, those targets can turn into fantasy points very quickly. Theo accounted for 21.7% of the Lions red zone touches and 15.8% of the red zone targets last season, so he does get his share of red zone work, which should not go overlooked. Keep an eye on Eric Ebron, $3,900, as he has been battling an ankle injury, but is expected to play. Pairing him with Stafford makes sense, but only if he is fully healthy. This game should be a fun, high scoring affair, which is why there are so many stacking options.
My favorite option: Stafford/Jones
Green Bay Packers
Game Over/Under: 48
Packers Implied Points: 26.25
Surprisingly, there hasn’t been much buzz around the Green Bay offense for Week 1, and I am happy about that, given that the Packers have one of the highest implied totals of the slate.
As I mentioned above, I typically shy away from paying up for quarterback, but I think there is merit in paying up this week in tournaments. Aaron Rodgers, $8,500 is the most expensive quarterback on this slate, and because of that, I think he may go under owned. He faces off against the Jaguars who allowed the fourth most passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks last season. Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league right now, and in spots like this he tends to flourish. Much like Andrew Luck, Rodgers offers 300+ yard and three touchdown upside in this game. The player I am most inclined on pairing him up with is Randall Cobb, $7,600. I, along with everyone else, am fully aware his 2015 season was not good by any means, but with Jordy Nelson, $7,700 back on the field, Cobb no longer demands the opposing teams’ best defender in the secondary. In 2014, when both Nelson and Cobb played 16 games, Cobb finished with 91 catches for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was averaging 7.9 targets per game and received 28.7 percent of the Packers red zone targets. That is the kind of season I am expecting from him and it can start as early as Week 1. Most people will find a way to cough up the extra $100 and plug Nelson in, but I will pivot towards Cobb in a really good spot.
If you want to get creative, you can consider Jared Cook, $2,900. Price plays a huge role in the appeal of Cook, but the Packers used him in preseason quite a bit which could be a predictor of how they’ll use him on the field Week 1. Keep in mind, the Jaguars did struggle against TE’s last season, allowing nine touchdowns to the position.
My favorite option: Rodgers/Cobb
Game over/Under: 51
Raiders Implied Points: 25
Another high scoring matchup between the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints offers a lot of pairing options. The Saints are a one-point favorite
against the Raiders in what should be a shootout. Both offenses are stackable here, but I am leaning more towards the Raiders. Derek Carr,$7,300 has a favorable matchup, as the Saints surrendered the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. New Orleans gave up 287 passing yards per game and a league high 45 passing touchdowns. Carr has 300+ passing yard and multiple touchdowns upside in this contest. He should have no issue picking apart this defense. Michael Crabtree at $5,500 is the player I am most interested in stacking up with Carr. It is tough to gauge what the ownership percentage between him and Amari Cooper, $7,200 will be, but my gut says Crabtree will be the higher owned of the two due to his price tag and the success he’s had since landing in Oakland. Crabtree averaged 9.1 targets per game last season, and accounted for 23.2 percent of the Raiders red zone targets. He averaged 15 DraftKings points per game and was much more consistent than his counterpart, Amari Cooper. Crabtree also has the easier matchup of the two receivers as he is expected to line up against P.J. Williams. Carr displayed his confidence in Crabtree last season and I expect that to carry over into this season. This is a favorable spot for Crabtree at a reasonable price.
Cooper is also in play here as he could be lower owned and should be peppered with targets. He averaged 8.1 targets per game last season and I anticipate that he’ll receive more looks in the red zone this season than he did last. The biggest concern with Cooper is the matchup he faces in corner Delvin Breaux. Cooper did struggle last season when facing solid corners, but Cooper is still a great way to differentiate your lineup with Raider receivers. This should be a high scoring affair and targets will be ample.
We can’t talk about the Radiers without mentioning Clive Walford and his $3,000 price tag. He is not a high volume tight end, but he is a big red zone threat and could see a lot of action when the team gets near the goal line. Although he averaged just 3.1 targets per game last season, he averaged he averaged 5.2 targets per game in the last five games. This is a volatile play, but at this price all it takes is one touchdown to pay off his salary.
My favorite option: Carr/Crabtree
Game Over/Under: 44
Packers Implied Points: 25
The Texans open their season at home against the Bears and Brock Osweiller, $6,300 will be under center for the first time in the regular season in a Houston uniform. This is a favorable matchup for Osweiller as he faces a vulnerable secondary. The Bears did not surrender a tone of yardage on a per game basis last season, but did allow 31 passing touchdowns and the seventh most fantasy points per games to opposing quarterbacks. Osweiller started eight games for the Broncos last season and averaged 245.9 passing yards per game and threw 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. He eclipsed 300 passing yards once and had two multiple touchdown games. DeAndre Hopkins $8,800 is the obvious receiver to pair him up with. Although it is their first season playing together, Hopkins is an elite talent and proved last season that he can get it done regardless of who is under center. Hopkins averaged 12 targets per game and accounted for 63 percent of the Texans red zone targets; there is not doubt he is a beast and elite play this week.
Don’t overlook Will Fuller at $3,700. Fuller had a strong camp and preseason, and there was definitely a positive connection between he and his QB. Because we don’t know what type of volume Fuller will see, he is a more volatile play, but he did catch eight passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns during the preseason. Fuller and Osweiller can be a sneaky stack that is very affordable and can provide you a high return on investment. If you go that route, I would suggest you do so in tournaments only.
Good luck to all this week. For any questions or concerns, feel free to hit me up on the Twitter machine: @Armando_Marsal