4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 1
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 sitting 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, a quarterback's top receiver has the strongest positive correlation to quarterback success -- while 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 -- especially if that also comes with low ownership percentages. With so many unknown's early in the season, Week 1 can be the best overall time to be contrarian, who fits that mold on Sunday?
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are certain to be one of the most popular teams on the Week 1 main slate, as they're playing at home and own the second-highest implied team total per our heat map (28.25 points). The Patriots are top-five in vacated air yards from last season (per airyards.com), which leaves a huge amount of volume available for both Hogan and Gronkowski -- especially while Julian Edelman serves his suspension. The Patriots also played at a top-five pace last season, opening up plenty of opportunities in the offense.
Hogan was on the field a ton last season, over 75% of the time before he got injured mid-season. Per Rotoworld's Evan Silva, Hogan has a team-high 19 targets from inside the 10-yard line over the last two seasons. Gronk is an absolute monster, and while his reputation speaks for itself it is worth noting that some lofty incentives (such as 18 touchdowns) were added into his contract before the start of the season, so he should be fully motivated to go full-on Gronk here. Brady has put up some truly huge numbers in his first game of the season historically, his averages in those games over the last two seasons is over 25 FanDuel points per game, and this Houston Texans defense ranked bottom-ten by our Net Expected Points (NEP) metrics last season.
If you want to take advantage of the 50.5 over/under and put together a full game stack, you can run it back with either of DeAndre Hopkins ($8,800) or Will Fuller ($6,400) on the other side of the ball as well.
New Orleans Saints
This should be another popular target, with the New Orleans Saints boasting the only implied total higher than New England's (29.50 points). It might not be quite as chalky as you think, however, as Alvin Kamara is projected for monster ownership on the main slate, and the allure of a running back might reduce ownership on the team's passing game. No team allowed more passing yards last season than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4,169 yards), and news just broke that starting Corner Back Brent Grimes is now doubtful for this contest. Fellow numberFire analyst Eli Weiner took a look at why Thomas is primed for positive regression.
Brees himself is a positive regression candidate as well, and it's wise to expect them to be airing the ball out more early on in the season while Mark Ingram is still suspended. This game is primed for offensive fireworks, given the 49.6-point over/under.
The Saints defense led the league in turnovers last season, and took a huge step-forward after drafting Marshon Lattimore. Despite that, a game stack is viable here thanks to that big over/under, and the top partners for the Saints players would be Mike Evans ($7,700) and Peyton Barber ($5,600).
This is one of the most tantalizing spots of the entire slate, with Dalton and a fully-healthy Cincinnati Bengals offense heading into Indy to take on an Indianapolis Colts defense that was bottom-five in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play a year ago. The Colts also allowed top-five marks in passing yards allowed as well as plays of 20-plus yards allowed. Dalton should also have more time to throw this season with some key additions on the offensive line, according to our own Jim Sannes.
The rate at which the Colts allowed splash plays in 2017 is what has me most interested in the now-healthy Ross. This secondary is led by Pierre Desir, and not one member of the starting group runs faster than a 4.50 40 yard dash, per PlayerProfiler.com. Ross owns the fastest 40 yard dash time in NFL combine history, and got loose against this same team in the fourth week of the preseason, dropping a would-be touchdown.
Keenum shocked many last season, taking over the Minnesota Vikings and almost leading them to the Super Bowl while throwing for 3,547 yards on 481 attempts. He had a lot of success throwing to slot receivers last year, with Adam Thielen racking up 1,276 yards on 142 targets while playing 43.1% of his snaps in the slot in 2017, per PlayerProfiler.
Sanders will likely play a lot more in the slot now that the Broncos drafted Courtland Sutton. Per Scott Barrett of ProFootballFocus, Sanders ran 63.9% of his routes from the slot in the preseason, compared to only 27.5% in 2017. Sanders also saw over 40% of the Broncos targets with Keenum at the helm in the preseason, and he should see plenty of volume this season.
This isn't the same top-flight Seattle Seahawks we have been accustomed to over the years. Richard Sherman, Sheldon Richardson and Michael Bennett are all out of town, and with Earl Thomas reporting on Wednesday, it is unclear whether or not he will play in this game. As a home favorite, the Keenum/Sanders combo provides a solid floor at a cheap price allowing you to jam in a few of the high-dollar studs on Sunday.
Ben Hossler is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ben Hossler also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username oatw. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.