4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 5
We’re already a quarter of the way through the 2019 NFL season, but it feels like the season just started yesterday.
We’ve seen a mix of everything from high-scoring games, low-scoring games, breakout players and underperforming players. It all helps us get a better understanding of how to analyze each team and player. As we approach each new week of this season, we’re given more data and metrics to help make our fantasy football and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) roster decisions.
In this article, I will reflect my favorite DFS stacks for this week. These decisions are made by using player projections, Vegas implied team totals and player ownership projections.
The first stack that I want to attack this week is with the Houston Texans. They’re currently implied to score 27.0 points against the Atlanta Falcons, the third-highest implied total on the FanDuel main slate. Texans quarterback, Deshaun Watson should have his way with this Falcons defense, who has allowed a 0.28 Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play this season -- the sixth-worst across the league. We have Watson projected to be the highest-scoring quarterback this week.
Stack up Watson with two of his wide receivers this week -- DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Per PFF’s wide receiver/cornerback matchup chart, both Hopkins and Fuller have positive advantages against the Falcons' cornerbacks. Hopkins is set to match up against Isaiah Oliver and currently has a 15% advantage over him, according to PFF. Fuller is set to match up against Desmond Trufant and has a 4% advantage over him. This matchup advantage considers all projected coverage, not just primary coverage, as neither receiver is expected to see shadow coverage in this game.
Per our projections, Hopkins is currently expected to log 9.79 targets with 0.69 touchdowns. That projects him as the second-highest scoring wide receiver on the main slate. Fuller is projected to see only 5.90 targets with 0.38 touchdowns in this game, but he does ranks sixth across the league in Average Targeted Air Yards (16.8). A blow-up game is coming soon for Fuller, and he has a great matchup against the Falcons to do it this week.
The team implied to score the most points in Week 5 is the Philadelphia Eagles. They’re set to face the New York Jets at home, and Philly sports an implied team total of 29.0 points. The Eagles will find most of their success through the air in this game, as the Jets' defense has been stout against the run this season (fourth-best, per our numbers).
This bodes well for an Eagles team that has scored nine touchdowns via the pass this season, compared to five rushing touchdowns scored. Wentz has averaged 36.25 passing attempts per game this year, which is right around where we have him projected this week (34.26). Wentz is also projected to be the second-best point-per-dollar value play at quarterback this week. Fire him up against the Jets.
Alshon Jeffery is a great stacking partner with Wentz. Jeffery has the best matchup of any Eagles receiver as he’s expected to line up against Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts. Throughout the Jets' first three games this season, Roberts has been targeted 28 times by opposing offenses, the most among any Jets cornerback. Of those 28 targets, he’s allowed 18 receptions, 208 receiving yards and two touchdowns to opposing receivers. Per PFF’s cornerback player grades, Roberts is currently graded as the 98 of 104 qualified cornerbacks in 2019. Jeffery should have his way with Roberts.
One of the more contrarian stacks you can find this week is with the Chicago Bears, particularly with running back Tarik Cohen stacked up with the Chicago D/ST, who are heading to London this week to face the Oakland Raiders.
This will be the first time Khalil Mack has played his former team since being traded to the Bears at the beginning of the 2018 season. If you believe in the “revenge game” narrative, you won’t be able to find one better than this. The Bears' defense is currently projected to allow 17.75 points to the Raiders - the third lowest on the main slate. They enter this game with 17 sacks on the season, the third most across the league. They will cause problems for a Raiders offense that has averaged just 19.8 points per game this season.
I like stacking Cohen with the Bears D/ST this week but not in the usual running back-defense stack way. Usually, you’re looking to stack a bell-cow running back with his team's defense, and Cohen is not considered a bell-cow. He has, however, been particularly good when the Bears roll out Chase Daniel as their starting quarterback, which they plan to do this week. In Daniel's two games as a starter in 2018, Cohen saw 22 targets, 201 receiving yards and one touchdown.
That trend continued last week when Daniel entered the game midway through the first quarter, after Bears starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky left the game with a shoulder injury. Cohen finished last week’s game with the Bears’ lone touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings, which happened to be a 10-yard pass from Daniel.
Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals
The final stack I like in Week 5 is a game stack between the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals. You can run this game stack in a number of ways, but my favorite way is with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray stacked up with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and then running it back with Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon.
I’ve been on the Murray train all season so far, and while he’s played fairly well, we have not seen him hit his DFS ceiling. He’ll have his best chance to do that this week against a Bengals defense that ranks 31st in passing defense and 23rd in rushing defense, per our metrics. I mention the rushing defense because a large part of any Murray ceiling score will come from him rushing the ball -- like the way we’ve seen Lamar Jackson hit his upside score this season.
We currently have Murray projected to score the sixth most FanDuel points this week, with an implied rushing total of 22.27 yards. Should this game get out of hand and turn into a shootout, Murray has the potential to double or triple those rushing numbers.
I like stacking Murray with Fitzgerald this week. Fitzgerald has been Murray’s number one target throughout the first four weeks of the campaign, leading the team with a 27.66 percent share of the team’s air yards. He’ll likely see an increase in both targets and air yards this week should Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk miss this game (Kirk has not practiced this week and is currently listed as questionable). Per our projections, Fitzgerald is also projected to have be third-best point-per-dollar value at receiver.
Running this stack back with Mixon makes a lot of sense. While Mixon hasn’t had the best of opportunities to start this season, he has the potential for a breakout game against the Cardinals. The Arizona defense is the fifth-worst D against the run. In their last two games, the Cardinals have allowed a combined total of 257 rushing yards between running backs Christian McCaffrey and Chris Carson.
We currently have Mixon projected for 16.24 rushing attempts, 71.23 rushing yards and 0.60 rushing touchdowns. He’ll have every opportunity to go beyond those numbers this week against an abysmal Cardinals rush defense.
Griffin Swanson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Griffin Swanson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username GriffDogg_. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. (edited)