Top game stacks
CIN @ KC
TEN @ PHI
LAC @ LV
Sneaky Stack: NYJ @ MIN
I want to talk about the Jets and Vikings game because this game really intrigues me Sunday. On paper, we really can’t justify stacking a game that involves the Jets defense considering they are a top 5 unit in the NFL. However, this game lines up almost perfectly to end in a shootout. We have the Jets whose offense is starting to click on all cylinders and a QB who can simply just put the ball in his playmakers hands facing a miserable pass defense in the Minnesota Vikings. This within itself indicates points, but this can be neutralized if the defense (NYJ) plays well and can halt the flow of a game with FGs and long, bend don’t break drives. This is where it goes beyond numbers, because Kirk Cousins plays astronomically better during 1 p.m. games than he does at any other times in primetime, enough so where they’re memes made about him. You also have Sauce Gardner on the Jets who is the front runner for DROY and is listed as the best cover corner by PFF so far this season. So, on paper, it seems that the Vikings are going to have a hard time scoring.
So why stack this game? It carries a 43 point total, which isn’t ideal but is going to go mostly under the radar with the QBs and WRs (except Wilson) coming in under 10% rostered. You can mix and match this game with both QBs being the lead for your lineup. Set up Kirk Cousins with Justin Jefferson and TJ Hockenson, coming back with a Jets WR and Tyler Conklin. Or play it vice versa with Mike White at the helm. These pieces are cost efficient enough to where you can game stack here and fill in your gaps with players I’ll list below. Again, this is a game that on paper, doesn’t signify “ceiling” type of players but they’re a lot of external factors and coincidences at play here to push this game into the direction of getting out of control with the scoring.
Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs – $8,300/$9,000)
Patrick Mahomes is going to solidify his place at the top of MVP ballots in this game. From a fantasy football perspective, he is the QB1 so far this season. But from a statistical perspective, he leads the NFL in both passing TDs (29) and yards (3,585), he is fourth in the NFL with a 8.1 YPA, second in TD% with a 6.6 rate, and second with a 77.4 QBR while leading the Chiefs to a 9-2 record. The only player right now you can make an argument for is Tua Tagovailoa, but he has missed time and everyone will point towards Reek and Waddle for Tua. Mahomes is at home facing an average to below average defense with a game total of 53, the highest on the slate by two points (JAX/DET). Last year, the Bengals beat the Chiefs twice to the scores of 34-31 and 27-24, both late in the season. Mahomes isn’t going to let the Chiefs fall to 0-3 against Joe Burrow. It is also worth noting that the Chiefs essentially had two weeks to prepare for this game as they cake walked through the LA Rams in Week 12, a game in which they were 14.5 favorites when the game started.
Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles – $8,000/$8,800)
Jalen Hurts is a flat out baller. He ran for 157 yards on SNF against the Packers, with over 100 before the first quarter even came to a close. The Titans weaknesses match almost perfectly with Hurts to have a blow up spot here. The Titans have a hard time stopping perimeter WRs and that is where Hurts excels throwing the ball along with his rushing. Match that with AJ Brown having a smash spot and a revenge game and things could really get crazy in this game.
Honorable Mention: Kirk Cousins (MIN), Joe Burrow (CIN), Justin Herbert (LAC – If stacking LAC/LV)
Mike White (New York Jets – $5,400/$6,900)
I touched a lot on White above in my brief write up about this game, but the Minnesota Vikings defense is bad. On the season they are giving up the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs and since Week 4, they are third. Last week, Mac Jones tore them apart on Thanksgiving, going 28/39 for 382 yards and two scores which equated to 23.28 fantasy points. Mike White cemented himself as the QB of the New York Jets last week while throwing for 315 yards on 22/28 passing and three scores (24.8 points). White has the weapons to make this another ceiling game and an opposing offense who can push the score up to keep the Jets throwing.
Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns – $8,000/$9,600)
Wait, so, one of the best, if not the best, pure runners in the NFL is going to face off against the conscientious worst rushing defense in the NFL and he is going to be sub 10% rostered on both sites? His pricing is tough to swallow but this matchup is way too juicy to pass up. Chubb is one of the few backs in the NFL with 150+ rushing yards and 3+ TD potential and is facing a team that can’t stop the run to save their life. I think this game is a lot closer than Vegas does with their 7-point spread, but if we side with Vegas, this leads into a very positive game script for one of the best RBs in the NFL against one of the best matchups he’ll see all year.
Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders – $7,900/$9,500)
I’m sure everyone knows about the game Josh Jacobs had last week. He totaled over 300 yards on 38 touches and two scores. This week he gets one of the worst run defenses in the LA Chargers at home. Jacobs leads the NFL in rushing yards, fourth in rushing TDs, eighth in receptions, fifth in receiving yards and the RB2 (22) overall in PPR points per game. The Chargers are giving up the fifth most PPR points per game to opposing backs and a league high 5.6 YPC with the fourth worst rush DVOA. Line up another 20+ performance for Jacobs in an elite matchup. Keep in mind he will be chalk on Draftkings because of his pricing but we can eat that chalk if we pivot elsewhere in our lineups.
Dameon Pierce (Houston Texans – $5,900/$6,500)
Pierce has been downright awful the last two weeks, failing to hit 5 PPR points or 2+ YPC in either contest. Pierce, however, has seen at least three targets in every game since Week 4 except for one. This week he will face off with one of the worst, if not the worst, rush defenses in the NFL. They will be at home in a game in which Deshaun Watson is making his first start in almost two years. There are obviously a lot of external factors at play here but sifting through that, I think Watson is going to be rusty at the minimum in the first half. This indicates to me that this will result in a positive game script for Pierce for the entire game and will result in a 20+ touch game for him.
Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans – $8,100/$8,800)
Even with the addition of Suh, the Eagles haven’t been able to stop the opposing teams RBs the last two weeks. They have given up a total of 205 rushing yards (4.6 YPC), two rushing scores and a total of 58.8 PPR points. This week I expect the Eagles to get Jordan Davis back but he hasn’t played in over a month and typically with larger run stuffers, it takes them a few weeks to get their feet under them.
Brian Robinson (Washington Commanders – $5,300/$6,600)
I know when I’m wrong on a player, and I am turning the corner on Brian Robinson. He looked good against the Texans in Week 12. I know, I know. It’s the Texans. But he looked better than Antonio Gibson for the first time this season and as Robinson is progressing further along in the season, he keeps getting better and better. Last week, he out snapped Gibson 30 to 26 while out gaining him 125 to 54 in yardage. Robinson has seen at least 13 carries in every game of his rookie year except for two, one of which was his first game back from his injury. It is time we start viewing Robinson as the 1A and Gibson as the spell back. In this specific matchup, the bruiser between the tackles back is the one who has had more success against the Giants’ defensive front. Their edge rushers contain well, so the spell backs don’t typically get outside at a high clip where their interior lineman get moved around. The Commanders offensive line has come together as the season has progressed and Robinson has had a ton of success running between the tackles this year. Over his last three games, Robinson has seen almost 20 carries a game while averaging 82.6 rushing yards per game in that span. This is a pure volume play and if Robinson gets his 20 rushes in this one, I think he tops 100 yards with an increased chance of falling into the endzone. I want to also mention that one of the deciding factors is that the Giants refuse to give up receiving work to opposing backs. In my Thanksgiving write up, I mentioned to play Zeke over Pollard and to play the under on Pollard’s receiving. Both Pollard’s unders hit and Zeke out performed Pollard. I see the same in this matchup with Robinson outperforming Gibson.
Honorable Mention: Austin Ekeler (LAC), Aaron Jones (GB)
Jerick McKinnon (Kansas City Chiefs – $4,500/$4,900)
McKinnon tends to show his face in matchups where the Chiefs are expected to pass a lot and possibly play from behind. I expect McKinnon to get 50%+ of the backfield snaps in this game and see upwards of eight targets. If the Chiefs do fall behind, it could grow even beyond that. At his price tag on Draftkings, if McKinnon can catch six balls for 40+ yards and fall into the endzone, he is going to pay off immensely.
AJ Brown (Philadelphia Eagles – $7,800/$8,100)
I really like AJ Brown this week. Revenge game aside, this matchup lines up perfectly for Brown to take advantage of the Tennessee Titans. They are giving up the most PPR points per game to perimeter WRs. Last week Brown was dealing with a sickness, lost 7 pounds and popped a blood vessel in his eye from throwing up too much. He should be almost back to 100% in this matchup and see his normal volume of 8+ targets in this one with the added motivation of facing the Titans.
Christian Kirk (Jacksonville Jaguars – $6,300/$7,500)
Kirk is lining up against the Detroit Lions this week, who give up the most PPR points to opposing slot WRs in the NFL, slightly more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. The two games before last week where he scored 8.1, Kirk scored 31.5 and 21.6 full PPR points. Last week he still saw nine targets and was held in check by Marlon Humphrey while Zay Jones toyed with Marcus Peters of the Baltimore Ravens. The Lions have no one on their roster who can cover Kirk and the volume will be there for Kirk. Since Week 7, Kirk is averaging 9.4 targets per game. With the second highest game total on the slate (51), I fully expect Kirk to see 10+ targets and get plenty of redzone opportunities.
Juju Smith-Schuster (Kansas City Chiefs – $5,700/$6,900)
Juju played 38% of the offensive snaps last week after missing Week 11 and leaving early in Week 10. Juju was out with a concussion and I think he could have played every snap in Week 12 but there was really no reason as they dominated the Rams and waltzed through most of the game. In Juju’s last full game, he saw 12 targets and caught 10 of them for 88 scoreless yards. He has seen 8+ targets or 100+ yards in every game he’s played at least 50% of the snaps, except for Week 2. The Bengals give up 20.5 PPR points per game to the slot, which is mainly where Juju lines up. As I mentioned above with Mahomes, I’m attacking the Bengals this week and it is my favorite stack. So if you can afford it, I’d love to line up Mahomes’ top WR weapon with him.
Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals – $5,300/$6,300)
Look, if you want to line up Ja’Marr Chase this week at his cost, or Higgins at his price tag slightly under Chase’s, I get it. They have good matchups too. But this week I am diving right at the Chiefs slot position while saving the salary we need for the rest of our lineups. Boyd is $2,000+ less than both Higgins and Chase while he runs 82% of his routes in the slot. The Chiefs give up the 3rd most PPR points per game to the slot in the NFL with the Lions and Steelers being the only two teams that give up more. In each of the matchups against the Chiefs last year, Boyd saw six targets, bringing in 8 of them for a total of 55 yards and a score. With Chase banged up and having missed the last five games, I think the Bengals will go towards Boyd a little but more often than usual and he tops his six target total that he saw in those two games last year.
Tyreek Hill (Miami Dolphins – $8,800/$9,000)
The 49ers main weak point of their defense is against slot WRs and since Week 7, Reek has been running over 40% of his snaps in the slot. Last week he hit a season high of 54.1% against the Texans whereas Waddle saw 26.2% of the snaps in the slot, which is why I am leaning Reek in this matchup. The 49ers give up the 11th most PPR points per game to the slot and I think Mike McDaniel is going to do everything in his power to maximize his chances to beat his former team. He should pepper Reek in the slot. This play is so far down the list due to Miami being without their two starting tackles. If Tua doesn’t get any time, he won’t have that extra second for Reek to get free in space so this play is a tad more volatile than I’d prefer at his price tag to move him up this list.
Honorable Mention: Keenan Allen (LAC), Tee Higgins (CIN)
NOTE: Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET) can be played on every slate. If you want to play him this week, do it. He barely missed the article.
Corey Davis (New York Jets – $4,100/$5,500)
Corey Davis came back from an injury and played 68.3% of the WR snaps in Week 12. He saw three targets, only catching one of them for nine scoreless yards. This is noteworthy because he both out snapped and out targeted Elijah Moore. The Vikings are giving up the 4th most PPR points to perimeter WRs on the season, which is where Corey Davis mainly lines up. This is a pivot off of Garrett Wilson who will be chalk and costs $1,000+ more on both sites.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (Tennessee Titans – $3,600/$5,400)
This is a rare week where we have three WRs in the value play department on both sites. As I’ve mentioned above, this is one of my favorite games to stack this week. I’m looking to avoid Robert Woods who is going to see a lot of Darius Slay. Why I land on Nick Westbrook-Ikhine is because Nick runs about 75% of his routes in the slot. The Eagles are giving up a league average of 18.8 PPR points per game from the slot but they are among the league leaders in stopping perimeter WRs. The Titans are masterful at focusing on the opposing team’s weaknesses and hammering it home while also staying true to themselves. We’ve seen the ceiling potential from Westbrook-Ikhine who only a few weeks ago lit up the Broncos for 5/119/2 in Week 10. He has also seen 5+ targets in two of his last three games.
Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers – $4,200/$5,400)
Randall Cobb is a player that Aaron Rodgers demanded come back to the Packers during the 2021 offseason. Although the 32 year old’s best years are behind him, he is giving it his all this year. Over Cobb’s last five games played, he has seen at least four targets in four of them. Over that span, he has three games of at least 9.9 full PPR points. This is a game that Aaron Rodgers always brings a little something extra and I think he’ll go to ole faithful. The Bears don’t give up a ton of points to the slot position on paper, but I think a big piece of that is just simply because they are awful across the defense and get smoked every game everywhere.
Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs – $7,900/$8,400)
Look, you can make an argument to fade any player at the prices that Kelce comes in at but when you look harder, Kelce isn’t as expensive as it seems. On the season, Travis Kelce is the TE1. Well, if you were to transfer his PPR PPG over to match him up as a WR, he would be the WR4 on the season behind only Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, and Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is the only one of that trio who is on this slate. Kelce would be priced as the WR5 on both sites in a matchup that has a 53-point total. The last time these teams played, Kelce went for 10/95/1 receiving on 11 targets in a game the Chiefs were winning the majority of the game. In games that have a heightened importance to the Chiefs, they typically bring out their big guns and focus on their elite playmakers, specifically Kelce. As I mentioned two weeks ago with Pat Freiermuth facing this Bengals defense, the Bengals are more susceptible to the TE than their surface statistics show.
George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers – $5,000/$6,200)
This is a prime breakout spot for George Kittle. The Miami Dolphins give up the most fantasy points per game to opposing TEs on this slate and are almost an entire 2 points ahead of the second most, the Detroit Lions. As I mentioned with Tyreek Hill, this matchup between the 49ers and Dolphins is going to be a chess match. I don’t think Shanahan gets too cute with this one and I think he uses his uber talented TE to attack Miami’s weaknesses.
Tyler Conklin (New York Jets – $3,100/$5,000)
The Minnesota Vikings were an overturned call away from giving up two touchdowns to Patriots TE Hunter Henry on Thanksgiving night. The Vikings have now given up 49 receptions on 68 targets (72.1% catch rate) for 546 yards (11.1 YPR) and five TDs. These are all bottom 10 metrics across the league. In this matchup, I think that Mike White and the New York Jets are going to find a lot more success than people think. They will pivot off of this game because the game total is only 43.5 but the Minnesota Vikings have been very, very bad as a pass defense recently. With the Jets likely to be trotting out Bam Knight at RB and be without Michael Carter, I think they pepper Conklin and he sees one of his 6+ target games in this one. Also, it is worth mentioning that Tyler Conklin played the first four seasons of his career in Minnesota so this could technically be classified as a revenge game.
Honorable Mentions: Pat Freiermuth (PIT), Gerald Everett (LAC)
Evan Engram (Jacksonville Jaguars – $3,000/$4,800)
Engram has taken a step back recently but he has a fantastic match up here. Engram has only seen seven targets over the Jaguars last three games while he had at least six in each of his previous four games before that. This matchup is the second best on the slate and I expect Doug Pederson to realize that. The Jaguars QB, Trevor Lawrence, is playing at a high level and is coming off of his best game as a pro. The Lions rush defense has been playing better of late but their pass defense has not. Engram offers great cap relief and a pivot off of Conklin if you want to stack the JAX/DET game.
Green Bay Packers ($3,000/$4,700)
The Packers are the weekly beneficiary of facing the Chicago Bears. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the Bears offensive line is awful and even if Fields plays, he has a bum shoulder which will likely prevent him from rushing like he usually does. Also, even though it is his left shoulder that is messed up, it will still affect his throwing motion and the Packers are one of the better pass defenses in the NFL. I like this play more on Draftkings than Fanduel.
Washington Commanders ($3,300/$4,200)
The Washington Commanders are visiting divisional foe, the New York Giants, in New York on Sunday. Typically I don’t like attacking road teams in divisional matchups but the Commanders match up extremely well against the Giants. The Giants offense runs through Saquon Barkley and that is the Commander’s strength. The Giants offensive line is still projected to be beat up while the Commanders are looking like they should get some snaps from Chase Young. If the Giants are unable to run the ball on Sunday, they are going to be forced to throw to their depleted WR group, manned by only one NFL calibury WR, Darius Slayton.
Denver Broncos ($2,400/$3,700)
The Ravens offense has been playing poorly as of late, averaging only 22 points per game since Week 4. They are unorganized on offense, constantly drawing delay of game flags and they still seem to be running a vanilla offense under Greg Roman. It also came out this week that Roman has one foot out of the door and is a favorite to land the Stanford head coaching gig. Also, Lamar Jackson was limited and left practice early Wednesday with a thigh injury which is a designation the Ravens typically use to cover up a hamstring issue. This could pose a big issue for this offense, especially if they are once again without All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley. The Broncos blitz at the third highest rate in the NFL and can back it up with their elite defensive backfield as one of the best pass defenses in the NFL. The Ravens present little to no threat with their weapons so it could be a long day at the office for this offense if their QB and offensive line is hobbled with an unprepared offensive coordinator.