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Correlations are very relevant in NFL DFS, as we like to pair up quarterbacks with their top receiving options. While the running back and defense stack is not as high of an upside stack as using a passing game, it is still viable with the right plays around it, and still brings a small correlation of upside. Game stacks can often be overlooked, but why wouldn't you want exposure to the team trying to keep up or chasing your favorite passing offense? There are ways to be contrarian by still targeting a top offense projected with higher ownership. Shifting from the popular WR1 to a WR2, TE, or even RB is going to help you get exposure at slightly less ownership. WR1, RB1, WR2, and TE1 in that order stand the highest chances of generating the most fantasy points in a stack. This is at least for two man stacks. We will dive into more multiplayer stacks below. Volume, Vegas, opposing defensive stats, pace, and pricing are all calculated into my stacks below. You will find my top, value, contrarian, and game stacks within the article. You can find me on Twitter at @JGuilbault11 to help with the week's slate, or questions/comments about the article.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Implied Total 31.25
Usually I avoid talking about stacks that will be super popular, but Pittsburgh is without James Conner this week, and the passing game should pick up most of the slack against a bad Oakland defense. In prior years we have avoided Ben Roethlisberger on the road, but he is averaging 24.5 fantasy points per game away from home, and 25.9 fantasy points per game at home. The Raiders are allowing 29.6 points per game this season, and 396.6 yards per game. Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster both have seen over 100 target this season. Conner has seen 5.7 targets per game on the season, which will be up for grabs this week. Brown hasn't been quite his usual self, ranking 57th in yards per reception this season, and 65th in yards per target, but he is 12th in air yards, and 5th in yards after the catch. He also has 12 total touchdowns this season. Smith-Schuster on the other hand is averaging 9.3 yards per target, ranking 32nd, and is first yards after catch with 455 yards. He is fourth in red zone receptions, and the touchdown production should really be higher.
Vance McDonald is an interesting piece of this stack, as Oakland allows 12 points per game to opposing tight ends this season, which is the worst among the league. Tight ends have scored nine touchdowns, and gone for 896 yards on 61 catches. McDonald is fourth on the team in targets, and that is behind Conner. While people may take a shot on the cheap running backs filling in for Conner, I like an all out aerial attack in Pittsburgh and roll out some other cheap running backs instead.
Notes: I have already knocked out a popular stack with Pittsburgh, but New Orleans and the Los Angeles Chargers should be popular ones as well. The Saints are an obvious choice against this Bucs defense, although weather could shake things up a bit if it is bad weather. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas are the top options. For the Chargers, they are still without Melvin Gordon, and Justin Jackson flashed potential on limited carries last week. He should see a bigger workload, and is an interesting option to pair with Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen.
Indianapolis Colts - Implied Total 22.25
Houston's defense has stepped up their game over the last few weeks, and this game could have been more interesting if the Colts won last week. Either way the Colts have a must-win game on their hands, and games against Houston have tended to be high scoring over the last few seasons when they've had healthy players. The Colts are averaging 42.3 pass plays per game, which is the fourth most in the league. T.Y. Hilton is top 25 in receptions, receiving yards, air yards, and yards after the catch among wide receivers this season. Houston ranks 24th against WR1s this season, allowing 7.3 attempts per game and 72.4 receiving yards per game. Eric Ebron is in a great spot this week, and with Doyle on the IR we know Ebron is going to be logging heavy snaps and seeing an amount of targets where we can deploy him comfortably. Houston ranks 29th against tight ends, allowing 68 yards per game and 7.5 targets per game. The Texans are allowing the 7th most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, and the 4th most over the last five weeks.
Over Andrew Luck's last three healthy games against Houston, he has produced 39.7, 19.2, and 24.4 fantasy points per game. His attempts have been over 40 in two of the three. With his two main weapons in good spots this week, pairing Luck up with them makes a lot of sense. He is third in the league in attempts, and is averaging 6.7 passing attempts in the red zone this season. Luck floats around the middle of the league in most stats, but he is 6th in fantasy points among quarterbacks this season. The correlation in his game is strong, as Houston has viable WR weapons to add in for a game stack.
Green Bay Packers - Implied Total 27.5
In addition to the great matchup against Atlanta, I am buying into Green Bay coming out this week and tearing it up with Mike McCarthy now fired. Atlanta is allowing 26.3 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs this season, 23.3 fantasy points per game to RBs, and 25.3 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs. Atlanta ranks 28th against WR1s, allowing 69 receiving yards per game. Davante Adams is WR2 on the season, and has dominated targets and touchdowns in Green Bay. Adams has seen 44.6% of the targets inside the red zone, which has led to 11 touchdowns this season. Adams is top ten in receptions, receiving yards, air yards, yards after catch, and red zone receptions. The problem with this stack is using another passing option with Aaron Rodgers, which is if you decide to. Jimmy Graham saw 11 targets, catching eight of them for 50 yards against Arizona last week. Graham's upside is extremely capped if he doesn't find the end zone twice. His price has dropped, and I don't mind using him.
Aaron Jones suffered enough under McCarthy, and he is in a tremendous spot against Atlanta. Over the last five weeks they have allowed 643 rushing yards, and 267 receiving yards to go with five total touchdowns. Jones has been excellent in limited touches this season, averaging 6.1 yards per touch. Jones has jumped to RB16 despite not being used for most of the season. Since Week 19, he is averaging over four targets per game, which is an area he can exploit this defense in.