4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 6
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.
Washington Football Team
If you read my value piece for this week, you probably deduced this was coming. Heinicke and Seals-Jones were included in that piece, and I continue to love them this weekend in all game types. Further, stacking them enhances their ceiling. So instead of rehashing why I'm touting both, I advise reading the linked piece.
Now, let's move on to McLaurin rounding out a three-man stack in a projected shootout. First, the game should be played fast enough to support multiple fantasy contributors from the Washington Football Team. According to Football Outsiders, Washington's playing at the seventh-fastest situation neutral pace, and the Kansas City Chiefs are playing at the 15th-fastest pace. Thus, there should be a bunch of plays run, allowing Heinicke to air it out to his top receiver and pass-catching tight end.
As for McLaurin, he has elite usage. According to Sports Info Solutions, McLaurin ranks eighth in intended air yards (566) and fifth in target share (30.2 percent). In addition, according to Pro Football Focus, out of 69 receivers targeted at least 20 times, McLaurin's 2.14 yards per route run ranks 22nd. Thankfully, elite usage is fueling superb production for the third-year receiver, resulting in per-game averages of 5.8 receptions and 80.0 receiving yards with 3 touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference.
Finally, our projections love McLaurin, providing him the ninth-highest value score -- a measure of points per thousand dollars of salary -- among receivers. I love the affordability and upside of this stack. Still, you can bolster the upside by running it back with a member or two of Kansas City's high-octane offense.
The Baltimore Ravens won in an emotional, frantic comeback fashion on Monday night. Unfortunately, they're on a short week due to playing the Week 5 Monday Night Football Game. Nevertheless, they should be laser-focused in a potential AFC playoff preview against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers -- who just won their own entertaining shootout last week.
Jackson went nuclear Monday. He completed 86.05 percent of his passes on the way to 442 yards and 4 scores, adding 62 yards on 14 rush attempts. The 2019 NFL MVP is balling out at a previously unseen level. He's averaging 303.8 passing yards per game and rushing for 68.2 yards per game. Out of those gaudy numbers, the passing yardage is most eye-catching.
Jackson's thriving with an increase in passing by the Ravens. According to Sharp Football Stats, with an offensive scoring margin ranging from trailing by seven points to leading by seven points, Baltimore is passing at a 52 percent clip, significantly up from 45 percent under those conditions in 2020. Thus, Jackson can support more than one pass-catcher.
Speedy wideout Marquise Brown is breaking out this year. Unfortunately, I don't believe this is a good matchup for him. According to Sharp Football Stats, the Chargers have the sixth-lowest average explosive pass play allowed (seven percent). Therefore, I'm pessimistic about Brown's 13.8-yard average depth of target in 2021, per Sports Info Solutions, succeeding against the Chargers.
Instead, I'm turning to Andrews and Bateman. The stud tight end has a much shallower average depth of target at 9.8 yards. Further, he's among the elite at tight end, ranking third in targets (29), second in receptions and yards per route run (2.37 Y/RR), and first in receiving yards (400), adding 2 touchdowns for good measure. Unsurprisingly, our projections love him, projecting him to score the third-most points at the greatest value score among tight ends.
Finally, adding Bateman is strictly a GPP move if he's activated for his NFL debut. The Ravens invested significant draft capital in him this year, selecting him 27th overall. Bateman contracted COVID-19 and admitted to it impacting how he felt playing last year, helping explain his downturn in production. However, per Sports Reference, he showcased elite ability in his sophomore campaign, hauling in 60 passes for 1,219 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 13 contests. The recent blow-up performances from a fellow first-round rookie receiver who's forthcoming in this piece offer an idea of what could happen if Bateman hits the ground running. Also, Bateman has a potential path to immediate relevancy with Sammy Watkins battling a thigh injury that caused him to leave last week's game and has prevented him from practicing this week.
The Cincinnati Bengals appear to be loosening up the reigns for Burrow lately, and it's at just the right time for a blow-up spot against the Detroit Lions. In Week 1 through Week 3, the Bengals passed at only a 51 percent clip with a scoring margin ranging from trailing by seven points to leading by seven points. Comparatively, in Week 4 through Week 5, that's surged to 64 percent.
Now, Burrow's positioned to carve up the Lions. Detroit ranks eighth-worst pass defense in our power rankings. Further, the Lions are ceding explosive passing plays at a drool-inducing rate. Their 15 percent average explosive pass rate allowed in 2021 is the highest mark in the NFL. Unsurprisingly, as the following tweet illustrates, the Lions are getting destroyed on a per-pass basis.
Fantasy points per pass attempt allowed to quarterbacks (rushing excluded)
IND - 0.73 (30th in FP vs QBs)
DET - 0.61 (11th)
KC - 0.59 (32nd)
WAS - 0.59 (31st)
MIA - 0.56 (27th)
BUF - 0.28 (1st)
NO - 0.33 (3rd)
DEN - 0.36 (2nd)
LV - 0.37 (7th)
CIN - 0.38 (12th)
— TJ Hernandez (@TJHernandez) October 13, 2021
Beyond the tantalizing matchup, Burrow is earning consideration with stellar play lately. Over the last two weeks, he's averaging over 300 passing yards with a pair of touchdown tosses per game. So in this matchup, I don't expect him to slow down.
Meanwhile, Chase is erasing the memory of a disastrous preseason by making a seamless transition to the NFL after opting out of last year's college football season. According to Pro Football Reference, he ranks seventh with 91.2 receiving yards per game. Additionally, he ranks ninth in intended air yards (559) and is tied for the second-deepest average depth of target (16.0) among players targeted at least 20 times in 2021.
I'm salivating at the thought of using these two against the Lions. If you're looking to bring it back the other way, I'm considering D'Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown. However, I'm fading T.J. Hockenson while he battles through injury.
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
We have five weeks in the books, and we've reached the first byes of the year. As a result, now is as good of a time as any to roll out a game stack for the first time in 2021. Instead of stacking teammates, I'm banking on game-script correlation for this stack. Expanding upon game-script correlation, I'm counting on the 10.0-point favored Los Angeles Rams leaning on workhorse Henderson and the New York Giants to air it out in comeback mode.
According to our snap counts, Henderson has played at least 59.7 percent of snaps all four games he's been healthy. He's averaging 15 rush attempts for 73.5 rushing yards per game, adding 2.5 receptions for 22.5 receiving yards per game, scoring three touchdowns to boot. He also does a fabulous job of ripping off chunk yards. Pro Football Focus says his nine runs for 10-plus yards are tied for the seventh most, despite missing a game.
Henderson's big-play ability gets a boost in this matchup. According to Pro Football Reference, Big Blue has yielded the third-most rushing yards (615) to running backs at a blistering 4.84 yards per rush attempt. Additionally, the G-Men rank as the fifth-worst run defense in our power rankings. Therefore, I like Henderson's odds of steamrolling the host Giants.
Opposing Henderson in a projected negative game script is Toney. The electric rookie is nursing an injury, but he was a limited participant in Thursday's practice. Starting quarterback Daniel Jones is also seemingly trending in the right direction as he works his way back from a concussion. Regardless, if he's out, Toney is an excellent option with Mike Glennon as well. In relief of Jones last week, Glennon threw 25 passes, completing six of eight targets to Toney for 109 yards.
Overall, Toney snared 10 of 13 targets for 189 yards and rushed once for 7 yards in an eye-popping performance last week. The week before, he was rock-solid, too, hauling in 6 of 9 targets for 78 yards and rushing once for a yard. Encouragingly, as JJ Zachariason pointed out earlier this week on the 15 Transactions for Week 6 podcast, Toney has shown an ability to win from the slot and aligned wide.
The first-round pick's versatility alleviates some of my concerns about a likely returning Sterling Shepard reclaiming slot duties, as Toney can continue to play on the outside with Kenny Golladay among the players who didn't practice Thursday. In addition, do-it-all back Saquon Barkley didn't practice yesterday, either, and he's likely to be out. In other words, the Giants have a need for explosiveness in the offense, and Toney is a player who can provide it.
Revisiting Henderson, I love him in all game types. However, adding Toney is a correlation play that's appealing in GPPs.
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.