5 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 12
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 12 on FanDuel's main slate, which excludes the Thursday and Monday games?
New England Patriots
So, this stack paid off last week, but as 17-point favorites, the New England Patriots could go a bit overlooked. The conventional wisdom would be that the Pats milk the clock and limit Brady's production in this game.
However, per Sharp Football Stats, the Pats throw 55% of the time while ahead, tied for second in the league. Basically, any way you slice it -- ahead at all, ahead by 7, ahead by 13, ahead by 7 in the second half even -- they're one of the two or three pass-heaviest teams in the league. Plus, per the Rotoviz Game Splits App, Brady has averaged 25.1 fantasy points in 48 games since 2012 when favored by at least 7 points, and as a 13-point favorite or more, he's averaged 24.1 fantasy points and 38.7 pass attempts. The Miami Dolphins rank 30th against the pass by our metrics, so we can expect New England, always attacking the weakest point of their opponent, to lean on the pass yet again here, giving Brady a high floor and ceiling.
And going back to Cooks makes sense: it's not just point chasing. In two games without Chris Hogan, Cooks has drawn 27% of Brady's targets and 54% of their air yards, per AirYards.com. For context, Antonio Brown leads the league with a 46% air yards market share on the full season. Cooks gets a matchup against a secondary allowing the 31st-most receiving FanDuel points per target, as well. Market shares are always tough to predict for this offense, but Cooks is locked in without Hogan, and history says that we shouldn't be scared about the huge spread in New England's favor.
New Orleans Saints
This is like a weekly tradition for this article, but at some point, this pairing has to click. The added bonus here is that -- even when it doesn't pan out -- your stacks don't ruin you. Thomas hasn't scored a touchdown since the team's Week 5 bye but has a 47% air yards market share and 30% of the overall targets since then. He's also failed to hit 10 FanDuel points just once after the opening week of action. The Los Angeles Rams do rank ninth against the pass since Week 6, by our metrics, and his lack of touchdowns make him an unlikely candidate to be prohibitively popular.
Brees' price is low enough where he can really exceed value if things go in his favor in the touchdown column. Brees has accounted for 104.53 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP), just one of two scores in the league above 86.52. That means that the touchdowns should come -- I know, I know. But the Rams are 2.5-point favorites in a game with a total of 53, highest of the slate. It should be close, and the Saints may need to throw a bit extra. When this stack does hit, you'll want some shares.
Dalton has notoriously struggled against "common" opponents in recent seasons, but he's had success against the Cleveland Browns. In his past five games against Cleveland, Dalton has averaged 27.7 fantasy points, 245.6 passing yards, 2.6 passing touchdowns, and no picks. Out of that split since 2015, he's averaged 19.73 fantasy points. The Browns rank 27th against the pass this season but are 13th since Week 6, per our metrics, yet that worry is mitigated by the fact that ownership on Dalton is almost never high.
Green, conversely, will likely be popular, but the stack gives you a more unique way to access Green, who draws a matchup with the 26th-ranked pass defense in terms of FanDuel points per target to wide receivers. Green has also accounted for 42% of the Cincinnati Bengals' air yards this season and 28% of their targets. Both are elite marks. Green hauled in 5 of 7 targets for 63 yards and a touchdown against the Browns earlier this season. His prior two outings against them include an 8 of 8 game for 169 yards and a score as well as 5 for 6 for 128 and a touchdown. That doesn't necessarily account for the fact that he'll face off with Jason McCourty on every snap, but if we're banking on production from Dalton, Green will have to produce.
Time to get strange. Moore may not even start, but Jay Cutler is in concussion protocol, so we'll proceed as if Moore is the starter. Moore threw for 282 yards on 28 attempts in relief duty last week, and he's minimum salary for a quarterback. The Patriots have limited opposing quarterbacks to just 12.6 points per game over the past three, but Moore doesn't need to do too much more than that to help your lineup unlock upside through other positions (such as an Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, and Julio Jones, who stacks well with Matt Ryan).
The added benefit of considering Moore is that he favors Stills a lot. This season, Stills has been targeted on 23.7% of Moore's 93 passes, and Stills accounted for 40.0% of Moore's passing yards. Plus, on deep passes (those traveling at least 16 yards downfield), they've connected 6 of 9 times for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stills actually has accounted for all three of Moore's touchdowns this season. The Dolphins should need to throw while trailing, and the Patriots, while trending up defensively, have allowed 37 completions on deep passes, second-most in the NFL.
If Cutler starts, stacking Cutler with Jarvis Landry ($7,100) is the preferred option.
Staying in the weird realm, Lynch targeted Sanders on 29 of 83 attempts (34.9%) and on 8 of his 14 deep passes (57.1%). Their average depth of target was 14.3 yards downfield, per FantasyADHD.com, two full yards deeper than Sanders' usual average. They face the Oakland Raiders, who are 32nd against the pass this season and also still last from Week 6 onward. They rank 30th in FanDuel points per target to wide receivers and 31st against quarterbacks on a per-attempt basis.
To make you a little less nervous (if that's possible), Lynch ran a lot in college and has a promising athletic profile. It's a cake matchup, and these prices are so low that you don't need massive games from them. It'll give you a unique way to stack up on the plethora of enticing games on tap for the Week 12 slate, too.