Finding The Right DFS Stacks: Week 1

The NFL season, from a DFS perspective, has a life of its own. As we head into Week 1, there are plenty of unknowns. Whether it’s guys on new teams or coaches in new places, there’s uncertainty across most of the slate. The only thing that we can be certain about is that we’re going to need to hit on some stacks if we are going to take down a GPP on Sunday. Each week this column will use the tools here on the site to identify different types of stacks.

Game Stack

It’s hard to avoid the Kansas City Chiefs in DFS. Week 1 of the 2019 season will be no exception. They have the highest implied team total (28) and are facing off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the game with the highest total on the slate (52.5). The Chiefs were first in the league last year in explosive play percentage. Patrick Mahomes ($7,200) excelled in almost every portion of the field, but he fared exceptionally well on targets less than 15 yards. 

In 2018, Sammy Watkins ($5,000) did most of his work on underneath routes. He ran 83% of his routes in the zone where Mahomes did so much of his damage. 

Nobody would disagree with playing Tyreek Hill ($7,600) or Travis Kelce ($7,100), but paying for the most expensive QB and jamming in premier options like Hill and Kelce can cost you at other positions. It wouldn’t be a true game stack if we didn’t run it back with someone from the Jaguars. 

Jacksonville has a new coordinator in town who was literally fired for passing too much. Under John DeFilippo, the Vikings passed on 76% of plays while trailing. If we believe the Chiefs should win this game (which we do) then Nick Foles and company should be slinging it around a bit. My favorite passing option in that game to round out the game stack is Dede Westbrook ($4,800). DeFilippo is on record as saying that Westbrook is the “best route runner he’s ever been around” so it stands to reason that he’ll be targeted heavily. 

Traditional Stack

After a full recovery from shoulder surgery, Cam Newton ($6,500) wound up in a walking boot after the third preseason game. The Carolina Panthers get a Los Angeles Rams team coming east for a 1:00 PM Eastern start time to kick off their season. The reports from the Panthers have all been positive and Newton is a full go for Sunday, a game where Carolina is getting three points.

Last season, under Norv Turner, the offense relied on wide receivers heavily as it fell further behind in games. 

MarginRB Market ShareTE Market ShareWR Market Share
All Plays25%17%58%
Down by 3 or More24%13%63%
Down by 7 or More22%12%66%

Combining Newton with either D.J. Moore ($5,200) or Curtis Samuel ($4,200) makes sense this week. The pricing on DraftKings came out before the Samuel hype train got fully rolling down the tracks so he’s a bargain this week. Newton was more successful targeting Moore last season but with another year together, Samuel’s numbers should rise as well. Remember, these two receivers gained their share of the snaps as Newton was struggling with his shoulder injury down the stretch of the season. 

Carolina is implied for almost 27 points and given the target concentration we’ve seen from Turner’s offense, it’s a wise bet to assume Moore or Samuel will be involved in getting them to that point total.

Cheap Stack 

Stacks are all about finding multiple plays within your lineup that correlate well and raise your ceiling. If those plays allow salary flexibility, even better. Josh Allen ($5,600) was a different QB down the stretch last year. In his final six games, he averaged over 26.5 DraftKings points. About 50% of his DK Scoring came on the ground, but don’t let that fool you. He was much improved as a passer, especially when targeting receivers at least 15 yards downfield. 

Allen and Zay Jones ($3,700) got on the same page at the end of the year in 2018. Over the last five weeks of the season, Jones was targeted 42 times and found the end zone on five occasions. He averaged over 15 DK points during that stretch. With this stack only costing $9,300, you’re left with over $5,800 per roster spot to make the rest of your lineup.