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.
Kansas City Chiefs - Implied Total 30.75
The Chiefs have the highest implied team total on the board this week, which makes sense after thrashing Pittsburgh for 40+ points on the road. They return home for the first home game of the year, and the second coming of Jesus, Patrick Mahomes, has been excellent through two weeks. The Chiefs are looking to load up again this week, and in the DFS world you have plenty of options to go with. Mahomes is now priced up as one of the top quarterbacks in the league, as he should be. I am curious to see if ownership reflects the new shiny price tag. So far San Francisco ranks 22nd in DVOA against the pass, and have allowed 23 fantasy points to Kirk Cousins and 30.2 fantasy points to Matthew Stafford. Mahomes is tied with Deshaun Watson for highest average depth of target this season, and has a ridiculous 1.1 fantasy points per drop back. San Francisco has allowed five out of six wide receivers that saw a target score double-digit fantasy point games, with Laquon Treadwell being the exception. Richard Sherman is dealing with a heel injury, not that this really dictates much, but he is expected to play. Sherman is someone to actively target, as he is nothing but name value these days.
When looking at targets, Travis Kelce has 18 of them, which is over 30% of the share. Tyreek Hill has 14 (25%), and Sammy Watkins is at 23% with 13. Watkins is coming off a solid week, posting a 6-100-0 line. Hill found the end zone with a 5-90-1 line. Kelce was the big winner with a 7-109-2 line, and gets the best matchup of the first three games. The 49ers have allowed touchdowns to Kyle Rudolph and Michael Roberts, and while they have only been targeted against with tight ends six times, they have allowed five catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns. San Francisco currently ranks 32nd in DVOA against tight ends, and now they will face a high volume one in Kelce this week. Hill has been dominating through two weeks, and he ranks inside the top 20 in aDOT and catch rate. Hill is also averaging 18.5 yards per target this season. Going up against a pedestrian San Francisco defense, sign me up. Even Watkins is in play if you are looking for the onslaught or pivot away from Hill/Kelce. Watkins will be the lower owned of the three, and currently is ahead of some notable wideouts in points per snap.
San Francisco 49ers - Implied Total 24.25
San Francisco on the other side of this game is going to be interesting, because we are fascinated with the Chiefs offense right now, but their defense has allowed over 30 points per game to start the season. Eric Berry is likely missing again, and that is a huge bump for a guy like George Kittle. I actually like him in a stack with Kelce given the new FLEX spot, and two tight ends is always contrarian. Kansas City ranks 31st in DVOA against tight ends, which came mostly off last week allowing 138 yards to Jesse James. Los Angeles trotting out Virgil Green and Antonio Gates isn't going to do much against anyone. For tight ends with ten or more targets, Kittle ranks 6th in aDOT. He is also fifth in overall targets among tight ends this season. Marquise Goodwin is questionable again this week, and I would be surprised if he found his way into the game. Pierre Garcon has yet to make an impact, catching just six of his 11 targets, but he does come in second on the team in targets. Kansas City ranks 29th in DVOA against the pass, and we have been talking about their downgraded defense all offseason, and leading up to the year. The Chiefs have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, and while their two matchups this season were against top end offenses, the weakness is going to be there all year.
Garcon is going to be part of this stack, but also one to consider within a game stack as well if you are going heavy on the Chiefs. Five wideouts have surpassed 75 yards through the air to start the season. I don't have a ton of interest in the rest of the pass-catching options like Dante Pettis. If Goodwin plays it definitely downgrades, but Garcon and Kittle are still guys to consider. Jimmy Garoppolo bounced back against the Lions after a tough matchup against Minnesota in Week 1. He had a quiet game in terms of yards throwing for 206, but completed nearly 70% of his passes, and threw for two touchdowns. Quarterbacks have thrown for 876 yards and six touchdowns against the Chiefs, and game script has been excellent for opposing teams. That should be the case again this week. This game is going to be popular, but SF will come in lower owned and can be used as correlation with the high scoring Chiefs.
Houston Texans - Implied Total 24.25
Houston isn't going to sneak by anyone anymore this week, as the Giants are missing a few key defenders. The Texans are fully healthy with Will Fuller back, which gives Deshaun Watson another weapon at his disposal. I can't get behind the running backs here in Houston, as my interest sits within the passing attack. Watson bounced back last week against Tennessee, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 44 yards. The Giants defense has yet to face a passing attack that wants to go through the air. They faced Blake Bortles (with Leonard Fournette) and Dak Prescott. This week is much different from the first two. Watson is tied with Mahomes in aDOT, and is third among quarterbacks in rushing yards. Watson is $1,200 cheaper than Mahomes on FanDuel, and $900 less on DraftKings.
Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins are both listed as questionable this week, but news suggests they are limited due to precautionary reasons and will be a full go. Fuller has been a machine with Watson under center, but it is also a rather small sample size. You have probably seen this tossed out around the industry already, but he has scored 22 fantasy points and averaged 1.6 touchdowns per game in five games with Watson. He has averaged 7.5 fantasy points and .1 touchdowns without. The targets have been about the same per game. Hopkins gets a bump as well averaging 0.89 touchdowns per game with Watson, and six more fantasy points per game compared to him without.
Minnesota Vikings - Implied Total 28.5
Despite having a four touchdown home total, playing the Bills at home, and spending some cash on Kirk Cousins, I believe the passing game will be pretty low-owned this week. Buffalo has allowed six total touchdowns to Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco through two games, who posted around 24-25 fantasy points. Cousins is quietly 7th in fantasy points per drop back this season, and is tied for third overall in fantasy points among quarterbacks. The Bills defense ranks 32nd in DVOA against the pass, and 19th against the run. Latavius Murray is going to be a popular value back this week with Dalvin Cook ruled out. The Bills have allowed the third most fantasy points per game to opposing backs so far this season, continuing the downward trend that started last season. Murray is a fine play within this matchup, and seeing 15+ touches with a team favored by over two touchdowns.
Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are coming off strong games combining for over 200 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Kyle Rudolph made some noise last week, after a quiet volume game in Week 1. Thielen leads the Vikings in targets with 25, completing 18 of them. Diggs has 23% of the targets, and has the three receiving touchdowns that edges out the others. An overlooked part of Cook's absence this week is his 12 targets in the passing game go missing. That is 14% that could shift elsewhere, and Murray is not known for his work in the passing game. Minnesota should be trying to avoid Tre'Davious White with Diggs and Thielen for the most part, who is the better corner of this group. Rafael Bush and Phillip Gaines both have allowed over 0.35 fantasy points per route run against. Buffalo has also not faced a legit tight end yet this season, and Rudolph gets the Bills who rank 24th in DVOA against tight ends. With so many passing games in play this week, and Murray just likely going to be the exposure for many here, I am betting the passing game goes under-owned.