4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 4
Stacks fuel upside in FanDuel contests. To that point, colleague Brandon Gdula took a deep dive into hit rates and correlation for stacks. It's worth a read.
Every week, I'll lay out my four favorite stacks in this space. Here are the stacks I'm honing in on this week.
Kansas City Chiefs
Does this stack take a lot of salary? Obviously, yes, it does. Thankfully, I've already covered you with some value plays to target. In fact, one of the highlighted players, Quez Watkins, is a perfect run-back option in a game stack with Mahomes, Hill, and Kelce.
According to our Heat Map, the Kansas City Chiefs have the second-highest implied total at 30.75 points. And even though the Chiefs are 7.0-point favorites, KC's last-ranked defense, per our schedule-adjusted metrics, can provide the incentive to the offense to keep their foot on the gas.
Additionally, this game should be played at a speedy tempo. According to Football Outsiders, the Chiefs are playing at the 10th-fastest situation-neutral pace, and the Philadelphia Eagles are playing faster, ranking fourth.
As for the players themselves, Mahomes is averaging a juicy 313.3 passing yards per game with nine touchdowns and three interceptions this season. He also has a highly concentrated distribution of targets, with Hill and Kelce accounting for more than half of the team's target share -- a 25.7 percent target share for Hill and 24.8 percent target share for Kelce, per Sports Info Solutions.
Hill's racking up air yards in bunches. The speedy wideout's 377 intended air yards are the fourth-most this season. Meanwhile, Kelce's a model of consistency, catching six or more passes and eclipsing 75 receiving yards in all three games in 2021, besting 100 in the last two, and reaching paydirt three times.
numberFire's projections love these three this week. Mahomes ranks as the slate's QB2, Hill is the WR1, and Kelce is the TE1. In addition, their respective value score -- a measure of points per $1,000 of salary -- mirrors their positional ranks. As a result, this is my favorite stack of the week.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams offer a sweet three-person pivot from Kansas City's trio of studs. Stafford is taking to Sean McVay's offense like a fish to water. The strong-armed veteran quarterback is averaging 314.0 passing yards per game with nine touchdowns and just one interception. He's completing a new single-season high 70.2 percent of his passes while leading qualified passers with 10.80 adjusted net passing yards per attempt, per Pro Football Reference.
Stafford's top option in the passing game has been Kupp. And, calling him the top option in this passing game isn't doing justice to his elite start to the year. He's tied for second in targets (33), tied for first in receptions (25), and slots first in both receiving yards (367) and touchdown receptions (five). Sure, volume is king in fantasy, but Kupp's booming in the efficiency department, too. According to Pro Football Focus, among receivers targeted at least 10 times this season, he ranks first with 3.86 yards per route run.
Unfortunately, stacking Stafford and Kupp in a projected shootout against the high-powered offense of the Arizona Cardinals is nearly certain to be chalky. Fortunately, with the Rams boasting an implied total of 29.25 points in a game with a small spread of 4.0 points, and the game possibly cooking at a high-speed tempo, there's meat on the bone for a third person to get theirs in this stack.
Expanding on the pace, the Rams are playing at the fastest situation-neutral pace, and the Cardinals rank 14th. However, the Cardinals played at the fourth-fastest situation neutral pace in 2019, and the fastest pace last year with the same head coach and quarterback combination of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray, so there's a chance they get sucked into a breakneck pace against the Rams this week.
As for my favorite third stacking option, Jefferson fits the bill. Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee, and DeSean Jackson are all likely chalkier options. Meanwhile, Jefferson is second on the team in routes (83). He showcased his big-play ability with a 67-yard touchdown reception in Week 1, and he's been targeted at least three times in all three games, setting a new high this season with six last week.
I can't imagine this game falling short of the lofty expectations for fireworks, so I'm turning to this high-upside stack. Additionally, I suggest running it back with a player or two from the Cardinals to maximize your upside.
The Seattle Seahawks travel to San Francisco for another projected shootout against division-rival San Francisco 49ers. The hosts are 3.0-point favorites, but the Seahawks still have a reasonable implied total of 24.25 points. It initially looked like they'd be without receiver Tyler Lockett, yet he was a full participant in Friday's practice, boding well for his chances of playing. Regardless, Wilson peppers both of his top receivers with targets in bunches, so Metcalf's a great play even if Lockett suits up.
To that point, even with Lockett balling out through two of three games this year, Metcalf's 31.3 percent target share is the fifth-highest mark among all wideouts. He also ranks 18th with 309 intended air yards. Metcalf has snared a touchdown in two of three games, caught at least four passes all three games, and is coming off a season-high 107 receiving yards.
DK's matchup might appear tricky at first blush if looking at San Francisco's fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. However, the 49ers haven't faced the most daunting opposition at the position, taking on the Detroit Lions in Week 1 and the Eagles in Week 2. Last week, Marquez Valdes-Scantling gashed them for three receptions, 59 receiving yards, and a touchdown on only four targets. Meanwhile, Davante Adams cooked them for 12 receptions, 132 receiving yards, and one touchdown. Thus, they essentially flunked their first real test against quality receivers this year. So, I'm loving Metcalf this week.
Wilson's the man slinging the rock Metcalf's direction, and he's maintaining a high level of play in his first year in a new offense. Seattle's quarterback is averaging 298.3 passing yards per game, tossing seven touchdowns, zero interceptions, and efficiently spinning it for 10.47 adjusted net yards per pass attempt. It would have been understandable for him to start the year off slow in a new offense, but he's firing on all cylinders. I'm expecting him to continue cooking this week, making a Wilson-Metcalf stack highly appealing.
Washington Football Team
Heinicke and McLaurin is my favorite contrarian stack this week. And, frankly, there isn't another stack that's threatening their perch. Heinicke's salary is in such close proximity to studs like Stafford and Wilson, I expect the percentage of rosters he's on to be very low, perhaps below five percent. Additionally, the game's total of 47.5 points should throw the masses off the scent.
However, a look under the hood provides optimism for a shootout, so don't be dissuaded from stacking it because of the modest game total. First, the Atlanta Falcons are playing at the 11th-fastest situation-neutral pace and the Washington Football Team ranks ninth. Second, the defenses are below average. Pairing the two is a recipe for a shootout, and when it flies under the radar, that's one to attack in GPPs.
Of course, the players themselves have to have merit for usage for the contrarian move to pay off, and Heinicke and McLaurin have the bona fides to warrant usage. Heinicke is averaging 274.0 passing yards per game and 13.5 rushing yards per game with four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in two starts this season.
Meanwhile, McLaurin is his no-doubt top option. Heinicke's attempted 85 passes this year, directing 25 McLaurin's way, resulting in team-highs in receptions (19), receiving yards (231), and air yards (208). To put his gaudy usage in perspective, McLaurin's 29.4 percent target share on Heinicke's passes would rank ninth for the year. While Curtis Samuel being active for the first time could alter McLaurin's usage a bit, Heinicke should still flood McLaurin with plenty of action.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. 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.