4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 14
Stacks are usually the backbone of the best FanDuel lineups, especially in tournaments. Brandon Gdula's piece examining hit rates and correlation for stacks is a must-read article whether you're already familiar with stacking or new to the concept.
This piece will lay out my favorite weekly stacks. So, read on to see the stacks I'm firing up this week.
Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings
The Detroit Lions versus Minnesota Vikings have everything you look for in a game stack. First, it's indoors. Second, the pace should be blistering. According to Football Outsiders, the Vikings are playing at the seventh-fastest situation-neutral pace, and the Lions are eighth. Third, the game's total of 51.5 points is five points higher than the second-highest on FanDuel's main slate. The game's spread is only 1.5 points, too.
Gamers can invest in this contest in various ways. However, a stack featuring St. Brown and Cook is my favorite. The only thing that's slowed ARSB this year was an ankle injury and an early exit from a contest after exhibiting ataxia. Otherwise, the Sun God has been a superstar. He's played a full complement of snaps in nine games this year and had 93 targets (30.5 percent target share), 71 receptions, 808 receiving yards, 6 rushes, 83 rushing yards, and six touchdowns.
The matchup is excellent for ARSB to add to his eye-popping stats. According to Football Outsiders, No. 1 wideouts have averaged the second-most receiving yards per game (88.2) against the Vikings. Further, per Pro Football Reference, wideouts have trounced the Vikings for the second-most receptions and nine touchdowns. ARSB should smash the Vikings this week, and we project him as the WR4 and to tally the sixth-highest value score -- the measure of points per $1,000 of FanDuel salary -- among wideouts.
Cook is also a favorite of our projection algorithm, projecting as the RB4 and for the eighth-best value score among running backs. Sadly, he hurt his shoulder in the first meeting against the Lions, undercutting what was shaping up to be an eruption game. Cook rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts, despite having just a 62.69 percent snap share, his third-lowest of the 2022 season. Cook has otherwise been a bell-cow back and played more than 75 percent of snaps in five of six games since Minnesota's bye in Week 7.
Cook turned his workhorse usage into 77.3 rushing yards per game and seven rushing touchdowns. In addition, per PFF, he's 11th in yards after contact per attempt (3.36 YCO/A) and eighth in missed tackles forced (41) out of 53 running backs who've attempted at least 50 rushes this season.
Cook should rumble in the literal dreamiest rushing matchup. According to our team power rankings, the Lions are dead last in rush defense. Running backs have ripped the Lions for 99.5 rushing yards per game, 4.72 yards per carry, and 12 rushing touchdowns. So, the upside is immense for Cook this week.
Buffalo Bills-New York Jets
Cook was featured in 5 NFL FanDuel Value Plays to Target in Week 14. The rationale for using him hasn't changed. However, he might get a boost along the offensive line. Dion Dawkins might return after a one-game absence with an ankle injury. Dawkins is the best lineman on the Buffalo Bills, and the team's left tackle was a full participant in Friday's practice.
Friday injury report pic.twitter.com/dQU8bpfMdg
— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) December 9, 2022
Dawkins' return would provide Cook with a blocking upgrade. However, Dawkins' ability to keep Josh Allen upright to distribute the ball to his pass-catchers might be the most important for the pass-catching rookie running back's outlook.
Wilson is the obvious game-stacking option with Cook. The rookie wideout has transitioned seamlessly to the NFL. Additionally, Wilson's stock skyrocketed when Mike White quarterbacked the New York Jets. Wilson had 23 targets, a 27.1 percent target share, 13 receptions, 257 receiving yards, 296 air yards, and two touchdowns in the previous two games with White as Gang Green's starting quarterback.
The matchup isn't necessarily as bad as meets the eye, either. Buffalo's pass defense is excellent on a macro level. However, No. 1 wideouts have averaged the fifth-most receiving yards per game (80.9) against the Bills. Wilson was successful in the first AFC East matchup against the Bills, recording eight receptions for 92 receiving yards and chipping in a seven-yard rush. The numberFire projection algorithm ranks him as the WR10 on this week's main slate.
Tennessee Titans-Jacksonville Jaguars
Okonkwo hasn't been a high-volume player. Yet, he's made the most of his opportunities this year. According to PFF, he's first in yards per route run (2.75 Y/RR) and in yards after the catch per reception (10.4 YAC/REC) out of 37 tight ends targeted at least 25 times this year. He's also commanded a target on 25 percent of his routes.
Sadly, Treylon Burks is ruled out this week. Okonkwo is an excellent bet to benefit from his fellow rookie's absence this week, though.
Chigoziem Okonkwo saw the largest passing-game boost after the Treylon Burks injury in Week 13.
He posted a 78% route participation.
Hopefully, Burks is well enough to get through protocol, but the median time out is nine days.
Data viz thanks to @reinhardNFLpic.twitter.com/eR61TdUaVf
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) December 7, 2022
Jones is an eye-catching value pick from this game. He was included in 5 NFL FanDuel Value Plays to Target in Week 14. Readers are encouraged to check that piece out for the reasoning behind using the veteran wideout. Since that piece was penned, Jones has been a limited participant in practice all week and is listed as questionable. Trevor Lawrence is also questionable after progressing to limited participation in Friday's practice. Jones is a nifty value pick as long as he and Lawrence play.
Pollard is an electrifying home-run hitter. Per PFF, he's third in yards after contact per attempt (4.07 YCO/A) and 14th in missed tackles forced (32) this season. Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys have come to their senses and continued to feed him the rock, even when Ezekiel Elliott is healthy.
Since Zeke returned in Week 11, the veteran running back has rushed 48 times and scored four touchdowns. However, Pollard hasn't been far behind, toting the rock 45 times. Pollard has turned his backfield split into 231 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Pollard has also carved out a role in the passing attack. In his previous three games, he's had 10 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
Pollard has blow-up potential this week against the lowly Houston Texans. Houston has the ninth-worst rush defense by our metrics. Predictably, running backs have eviscerated them, averaging 144.2 rushing yards per game at 5.1 yards per carry. The Texans are also tied for the most rushing touchdowns allowed (14) to running backs. There's a risk that Zeke steals some goal-line work. Regardless, Pollard's upside is tantalizing.
It's often unwise to pay a high salary for a defense. Defenses are volatile. Yet, the Texans are a joke, and Dallas is a defensive juggernaut. According to Pro Football Reference, the Cowboys are third in yards allowed per play (4.8), tied for second in turnovers forced (21), first in pressure rate (29.3 percent), and first in sacks (48).
The Cowboys are at home and the biggest betting favorites, laying 17.5 points this week. The setup is dreamy. Further, Houston's top wideouts, Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins, are out. This is going to be an ugly contest. As a result, the Cowboys are projected as the top defense and have the second-highest value score.
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.