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.
Wild Card Round
In a round with so many stout defenses, things are going to be tough to truly stack. Chicago, Baltimore, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Indy all rank inside the top ten in points allowed per game, and then you have Philly and Seattle ranked 11th and 12th. The highest total on the board this week is in Houston, as the Colts come to visit for the third time this season. The first game was a barn burner going for over 60 combined points, while the second game was fairly mellow. This is a game you can stack, but we also have to look at ownership, and it will be high here, but for good reason. You can take something down with the right low ownership picks.
Houston and Indy present a game stack as well as just overall team stacks. We can talk QBs first here, as Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck are both averaging over 20 fantasy points per game in their last seven. I slightly prefer Luck to Watson this week, who has been one of the main reasons for Indy's second half surge. He also gets a very enticing matchup, as Houston allows 1.9 passing touchdowns per game, and the most fantasy points allowed among all the playoff teams on this slate. Watson might have a slightly higher ceiling given the rushing ability. We have seen both of them go off in this matchup before. They also have easy WR1 options to target with DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton. Both of them are averaging the most fantasy points per game over the last seven games, with Amari Cooper coming in third. Houston's secondary is one to target, allowing over 22 fantasy points per game. Hilton has been playing injured, and his last five games have been insane given he is not 100%. Hilton has quite the history against Houston, and has put up over 100 yards in the two meetings this season. Both are averaging right around 9 yards per target, and over 2 fantasy points per target. Eric Ebron is the other piece for Indy as Houston ranks 31st against tight ends, allowing over 60 yards per game.
The running backs in this game are in tough spots. Both could excel in the passing game, given that is an area where both defenses have struggled, but Houston has been the team to allow more rushing touchdowns this season. Miller comes at the discount, but both have a 21 fantasy point ceiling in the last eight games, and a nine fantasy point floor. I wouldn't hesitate to deploy either in a lineup.
As far as other games go, we start to get into the grittier defenses and somewhat lesser offenses when we compare to Colts-Texans. You could look at a Cowboys stack without the fact they are playing the Seahawks, mainly because the usage is high for their big three. Ezekiel Elliot is the most expensive back on the slate this week, and Seattle does allow 18 fantasy points per game to opposing backs this season, which is the second highest on the slate, although that isn't say much. Cooper will have a tougher matchup, but volume is there. The floor isn't, as we have seen it once again over the last few weeks. Seattle will likely try and make others beat them in the passing game, and deploying those names isn't that appealing to me. I rather just go against the grain and take a shot on the Cowboys big three if I am looking to be a bit contrarian.
On the other side of this game, Seattle has some nicely priced pieces, although Dallas' defense has been stout in the second half. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett have been steady the last few weeks, averaging right around 15 fantasy points per game (last 7). Wilson is the other quarterback outside of Watson/Luck to be averaging over 20 fantasy points per game in the last seven, and this stack comes fairly cheap. The heavy ground game could be what derails upside here for both teams so there is some risk.
As far as Sunday games go, Chicago's passing attack seems to be in the best spot. The Eagles secondary has been better of late, but more of an indication of who they are playing. Not that Chicago's passing attack is elite, but there is some potential for low ownership, and to truly take something down you have to go off the rails a bit. Mitchell Trubisky has a 29 fantasy point ceiling in the last eight games, and has some rushing upside as well. Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Tarik Cohen, and Trey Burton are viable stacking partners.