5 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 2
If you're new to daily fantasy football, then you'll have to make some changes to your fantasy football strategy. You don't have "your guys" on a weekly basis -- and you need to adjust to each and every matchup.
A big part of building your roster is weekly quarterback selection. In terms of salary, passers range from the top of the player pool to the bottom, with some replacement-level passers at the same price point as kickers and defenses on FanDuel.
Along with those quarterbacks, though, you have the option of pairing pass-catchers with your signal caller, and per 4for4's Chris Raybon, a quarterback's top receiver has the strongest positive correlation to quarterback success -- and his tight end and second receiver are next in line.
If you're going to stack, though, you need to have a purpose. If you're trying to win a big tournament, you'll want to find a combination that can put up points in bunches -- all while possibly being underowned. Which teammates might fit the bill in Week 2 on FanDuel's main slate, which excludes the Thursday and Monday games?
New England Patriots
This week is really difficult for narrowing down ideal stacks. Primarily, it's because there are so many ways to pair receivers with Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees (my personal favorite tournament quarterback, though stacking him with a single receiver is always tricky). That also means that -- with at least four stud quarterbacks in play -- none will have exorbitant ownership. So paying up for Brady at $9,200 should be viable.
The New Orleans Saints ranked 30th against the pass by our metrics in 2016 and got torched by Sam Bradford and on Monday night. Bradford had a lot of time to throw, too. In Week 1, Brady attempted 15 passes that traveled at least 16 yards downfield, easily leading the league, as only two other passers had more than 8 and none had more than 10.
Hogan was the recipient of four of those deep targets, though he didn't catch any. He should slide into the slot (where he played 54% of his Week 1 snaps) if Danny Amendola can't suit up (he didn't practice Thursday), and that's where Adam Thielen ate up the Saints on Monday for 10 targets, 9 catches, and 157 yards. Hogan actually led New England's receivers in snaps at 90% in the opener and makes for a nice pivot from Brandin Cooks ($7,900) and Rob Gronkowski ($8,100).
A New England stack also lets you throw in some Saints receivers for game-stack purposes in case the game does meet or exceed the total.
Quarterback: Matt Ryan ($8,200)
Wide Receiver: Julio Jones ($8,800)
Yeah, we're going back here this week. This shouldn't be an under-the-radar stack, of course, but they did disappoint in Week 1. Ryan threw 30 times and scored 17.9 FanDuel points, but only 5 of those throws went the way of Jones. None of those targets came on deep throws or in the red zone, prompting head coach Dan Quinn to say, "Usually when there is a quiet game for him, there’s not too much quiet that follows that."
In their regular season matchup with Green Bay in 2016, Jones also saw just 5 targets, but in the NFC Championship, he hung 180 yards and 2 touchdowns on 9 catches (12 targets) against them by way of 3 red zone looks and 4 deep targets. This stack has tournament-winning upside, even if it proves to be the most popular quarterback-receiver pairing of the week.
Another stack with tournament-winning upside can be found in Pittsburgh. The Steelers travel home to face a tough Minnesota defense that just limited Drew Brees to 15.6 FanDuel points in Week 1. The Vikings boasted the third-best pass defense in 2016, by our metrics, too. But this Pittsburgh offense at home is a different animal.
Since 2013, Roethlisberger has averaged 26.0 fantasy points at Heinz Field in 35 home games, compared to 19.4 on the road in 37 games, according to the RotoViz Game Splits App. Even against top-10 pass defenses, he averages north of 23 fantasy points in the past three seasons (just six games, though).
With so many expensive receivers in games with higher totals, Brown at $9,400 could go overlooked because of the matchup. However, ESPN's Mike Clay noted that Xavier Rhodes did not shadow Michael Thomas in Week 1, and ProFootballFocus' Scott Barrett noted that Brown is generally unaffected by top coverage corners anyway. With Pittsburgh's slow start and two firework games, Brown could go underowned in a tough matchup.
This is another stack that didn't pan out in Week 1, but a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers is nearly just as good as Seattle's was in a week ago (Green Bay). Russell Wilson did attempt eight deep passes in Week 1 but completed just two of them; the 49ers ranked 31st in explosive pass plays allowed, per SharpFootballStats, in 2016.
Baldwin played 88% of Seattle's snaps in Week 1 and caught all 4 of his targets for 63 yards. According to the RotoViz Game Splits app, Baldwin has averaged 15.9 FanDuel points at home since the start of 2016, compared to 9.2 on the road. Extending it back another year, he's still at 15.9 FanDuel points at home. Seattle has the fourth-highest implied team total of the week and should go overlooked because of the Week 1 dud and the other games on the docket.
This also plays into a potential game stack with Pierre Garcon (88% of San Francisco's Week 1 snaps, 10 targets, 6 catches, 81 yards in a blowout loss) or Marquise Goodwin (88% of snaps, 6 targets, 3 catches, 21 yards, 2 deep targets, and 1 end zone target from the three-yard line).
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers are underpriced because they played on Monday night. Rivers tallied 18.7 FanDuel points against the Denver Broncos, and the Miami Dolphins are not the Denver Broncos on defense.
The most obvious pairing is with Keenan Allen ($7,100), but he could see elevated ownership as a one-off play because of his cheap price (and the fact that he had 10 targets, 5 catches, and a touchdown in a difficult matchup in Week 1). Don't overlook Williams here in this spot, though. Williams out-snapped Allen 55 to 53 and had 7 targets and 5 catches of his own (resulting in 54 yards compared to 35 for Allen).
Allen saw a deep target and an end zone target, and Travis Benjamin had an end-zone look and two deep targets, as well. Williams saw just one deep pass his way, but he saw 39 deep targets in 2016, the eighth-most in the NFL. Miami has had a long layoff with the Week 1 bye, and the Chargers' implied team total is within a point of Green Bay's and New Orleans' this week.