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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.
Los Angeles Chargers - Implied Total 28.75
This game took a different turn with Jimmy G now out for the year, and there is going to be positive game script for Melvin Gordon. The Chargers are -10.5 favorites, and have the highest total on the main slate. Kansas City has the highest overall, but play Monday night. Gordon has seen 22 targets this season, and has record 17 catches. San Francisco ranks 19th in DVOA against pass-catching backs, allowing 61 yards per game and 12.6 passing attempts to them. Gordon has been one of the better scoring backs this season, averaging 0.57 PPS. He is currently third in scoring on the year, and should be heavily used this week. San Francisco has actually done a decent job holding opposing running backs this season, as Kareem Hunt did have two touchdowns, but was held to 44 yards on 18 carries. In fact, nobody has crossed 50 rushing yards against the 49ers this week, but odds are in Gordon's favor to be the first.
The 49ers passing game has been where to attack this season, but with Jimmy G now out, things are going to be a little less pass happy when it comes to opposing offenses. San Francisco has allowed the 8th most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. Philip Rivers is an optional part of the stack this week, but is priced around some other guys in more highly contested shootouts. The 49ers rank 29th in DVOA against the pass. I want some exposure to the passing game, and Keenan Allen is the one to use. The 49ers have allowed the seventh most fantasy points to opposing wideouts on the year. Slot wide receivers like Golden Tate and Adam Thielen have gone over 100 yards against San Francisco already, both drawing over ten targets. Allen has been quiet the last two games, but is in a good rebound spot. Mike Williams has found the end zone in the last two games, but still remains a boom-or-bust option.
The Chargers D/ST is one to consider as well in an onslaught stack against what now turns into a horrendous offense. C.J. Beathard is under center, and it is hard to see him moving the ball. Vegas isn't expecting the same wither, with an implied total under 20. The Chargers defense is missing some key defenders, and it has shown, but even without them this is a get right game for the defense.
Notes: There are a handful of stacks this week to consider, with the Packers, Saints, and Texans being a few others. The Saints stack is pretty straight forward these days with Kamara, Brees, and Thomas. Using Odell Beckham Jr, Sterling Shepard, and Saquon Barkley are guys you can come around with in a game stack. The Packers have a few options to consider, but are more in tournament considerations. Rodgers, Allison, Cobb, Graham, and Adams would be the choices there. Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller, and DeAndre Hopkins will be talked about a bit with the Colts stack below and how you can use them as correlation.
Atlanta Falcons - Implied Total 28
Atlanta is coming off a monster game, and Matt Ryan has been playing out of his mind the last two weeks with nine total touchdowns. This is a potential shootout game with Cincinnati's offense looking good, but also Atlanta's defense just fell to the injury bug making them one of the bottom ten defenses in the league. Both Andrew Luck and Joe Flacco thew for over 300 yards and two touchdowns against this Bengals defense, while Cam Newton had four total touchdowns. The Falcons have the second highest implied total on the main slate, and the total has gone up two points since opening. The Bengals have allowed the 6th most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and that number should drop this week. Ryan is currently tied for fourth among quarterbacks in fantasy points this season. He is still fairly priced around the industry, and has plenty of stacking options to go with him.
Calvin Ridley is coming off a monster week, and the ownership should be much higher given the price didn't rise too much. Cincinnati ranks 20th in DVOA against WR2s this season, and rank 4th against WR1s. That doesn't matter to me much here with Julio Jones. When you look at the track record of wide receivers against Cincy this season, the names are laughable. There is some regression coming moving forward, and this week will be the start. Jones has seen 33 targets through three weeks, with the next closest being Ridley with 17. Both Ridley and Jones are top 15 in points per snap this season.
There have been reports that Devonta Freeman is getting closer to return, but I would still expect Tevin Coleman to be the main back this week. Coleman quieted down this past week, but is in a good spot this week against the Bengals. They rank 27th in DVOA against pass-catching backs, 16th against the run overall. The Bengals have allowed the 11th most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Outside of Christian McCaffrey, the Bengals track record of running backs faced is laughable. I like Coleman this week as a stand alone option, alongside a stackable partner within the offense.
Cincinnati Bengals - Implied Total 23
The Bengals head on the road as a nice value stack this week, or at least an offense to use within correlation with Atlanta's players if you are sticking with that route. The Falcons defense is in shambles with injuries to major key parts. They are a defense I want to target right now. Looking at the passing game, there are two weapons that standout. A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. Both lead the team in targets, and also receiving touchdowns with a combined six. Green is looking likely to play after practicing this week. Atlanta ranks 23rd in DVOA against WR1s and WR2s this season, and somehow 18th against RBs despite them allowing 80 receiving yards per game to them. Giovani Bernard is going to be a popular play this week, and deservingly so. Joe Mixon will likely sit out another week, putting Bernard in a full workload. He had nine targets last week, and double-digit rushing attempts. Atlanta continues to struggle against backs in the passing game, and that is where Bernard will likely make his living this week.
The Falcons have allowed back-to-back 300 yard passing games to opposing quarterbacks, and also 45+ passing attempts. While Cam Newton and Drew Brees are upper level quarterbacks, allowing 300+ to Newton is a bit of a surprise. Andy Dalton comes in this week with eight touchdowns and 860 yards. The four interception game against Carolina last week was not pretty, but the volume and production has been there so far in 2018. With the weapons around him, he is a viable option this week, especially at cheaper price tags.
Indianapolis Colts - Implied Total 24.25
Andrew Luck's arm has some people in a panic, and that is fine. I will take Luck's low ownership this week, and also stack him with some receiving options. This is a game stack to look at, as I want Will Fuller and/or DeAndre Hopkins on the other side of it. Houston ranks 28th in DVOA against the pass, and heading into the year that secondary was not going to improve from last season. While Luck's aDOT is much lower than career norms, the volume is still there. He is top eight in attempts this season, and fifth in overall completions. Houston has been facing miserable wide receiver cores outside of last week, and Indy's is not a good one either, but T.Y. Hilton is worth a look for me here. His aDOT has not fallen off with Luck this season, and he is the clear number one in this offense with 35 targets through three weeks. That is 28% of the targets seen, and Eric Ebron is next in line with 20 targets at 16%. Ebron saw a massive usage last week with Jack Doyle out, and that is the case again this week. The Texans are allowing the 7th most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, and rank 32nd in DVOA. Ebron's price remains similar to last week, and is one of the top values for me on the slate. A Luck-Hilton-Ebron stack is going to be contrarian this week, and in large field GPPs I like it quite a bit. Rounding it out with a Texans player adds to the upside. Even if you are not sold on Luck, getting Hilton or Ebron involved with a Texans stack is a smart way to go about it.