Week 2 Stack Em Up – DraftKings 2018
If you look at most winning lineups at the end of each slate, many if not most of them will have a stack. For those who are not familiar with what stacking means, let’s define what we are calling a stack. Stacking is pairing multiple players from one team. In this instance I will be referring to a quarterback and one of his receivers, tight ends, or running backs. When you pair up a quarterback with one of his pass catchers, you are increasing upside. Generally you want to pair up a signal caller with his primary receiver, but at times, you can change that approach depending on matchups, potential game script, or any other variable that can have an impact on your decision making. Each week I’ll go over some of my favorite stacks and provide you with multiple ways to approach the stack, as well as give you my favorite option. That said, let’s jump right into it and go over my top stacks on the main slate this week.
Game Over/Under: 53.5
Team Implied Points: 29
Ben Roethlisberger $6,900 struggled in the season opener and to a certain extent I am not at all surprised. He was playing on the road, where he tends to struggle a bit more, it was a division game, and the weather was not ideal. This week, however, he finds himself in a great bounce back spot against the Chiefs at home. Kansas City was the third worst in DVOA against the pass last season and surrendered the fourth most passing yards in the league, while giving up 23 passing touchdowns. Things are not much better for this secondary entering this season, they came into the year ranked 28th by PFF and in Week 1 they surrendered 424 passing yards and three passing touchdowns to the Chargers offense. Big Ben is a bit dinged up, but he is expected to be a full-go with no limitations barring any setbacks. If that ends up being the case, he could be in for a nice performance in one of the better matchups of the weekend. This game is at home, where he has played far better throughout his career, which is also something that needs to be considered. Lastly, the Steelers have the highest implied team total of any team on this slate.
Antonio Brown $8,800 caught 9-of-16 targets for 93 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 and this week draws an even better matchup. He is expected to see coverage from Steven Nelson who ranks well below average on PFF and it is a matchup that Brown has a 58 percent advantage rating in, which is tied for the highest for any receiver on the slate. Keenan Allen caught 8-of-11 targets for 108 yards and a touchdown in this same matchup. Brown continues to be one of the more consistent receivers in the league year in and year out, and last week was no different. His 16 targets in Week 1 were the third highest of any receiver in the week, but that went a bit overlooked due to James Conner’s performance. Brown could smash in this spot and makes for an elite stacking option with Big Ben.
JuJu Smith-Schuster $6,400 picked up where he left off last season, catching five of his eight targets for 119 yards. It was good to see that his role on this offense is solidified as he received 20 percent of the target share in the season opener. The one thing that is concerning this week is that his one-on-one matchup is a bit tougher than some may think as he is expected to draw Kendall Fuller in coverage, who is highly rated on PFF. That said, this game could be a shootout and Smith-Schuster has big play potential, with slate breaking upside. Pairing him up with Big Ben or even running a three man stack that includes Smith-Schuster is not that bad of an idea this week.
In the season opener, the Steelers made it a point to feed James Conner $6,700 last week, and he took complete advantage of his opportunities. Conner rushed 31 times for 135 yards and two touchdowns, while adding five receptions for 57 yards. He was peppered with six targets, accounting for 15 percent of the target share for Pittsburgh. Last week the Chiefs allowed 14 receptions for 189 yards and a touchdowns to the Chargers running backs last week, so this is certainly an exploitable matchup for Conner. Considering his usage on this offense and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, plugging Conner into a Steelers stack seems like a viable option.
My favorite option: Roethlisberger/Brown
Game Over/Under: 46
Team Implied Points: 26
Case Keenum $5,800 completed 25-of-39 passes for 329 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions in the season opener against the Seahawks. This week he draws a much better matchup against the 24th ranked secondary according to PFF. The Raiders defense allowed the eighth most passing yards last year and started out this season giving up 233 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Rams run first offense. Keenum chucked up nearly 40 passes in Week 1 and while I am not expecting him to do so in this contest, it is good to know that the Broncos do not mind him throwing the ball. He has two very capable receivers and should have no trouble picking this defense apart.
I was bullish on Emmanuel Sanders $6,200 last week and I am going right back to the well this week. He opened up the season catching 10 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets, scoring 32.5 DKFP. He and Keenum showed great chemistry this preseason and that clearly carried over into the season. I expect Sanders to be Keenum’s go-to receiver this season and the volume to remain consistent each week. The one-on-one matchup is one that favors Sanders as he is expected to see coverage from Leon Hall who grades out well below average n PFF.
Demaryius Thomas $5,600 quietly had a productive performance in Week 1, catching 6-of-10 targets for 63 yards and a touchdown, but somehow his prices decreased in a far better matchup. Although Sanders received one more target last week, Thomas still got peppered by double-digit targets, accounting for 26 percent of the target share. He has a 23 percent advantage rating against Rashaan Melvin who is expected to lineup across from him in this contest. I like the upside at this price for Thomas and think he will be lower owned than Sanders in Broncos stacks this weekend, so I am leaning on him a bit more this week, but either option is viable and both receivers on this offense are firmly in play.
My favorite option: Keenum/Thomas
Game Over/Under: 47.5
Team Implied Points: 26.5
Alex Smith $6,000 had a solid regular season debut with his new team tossing two touchdowns and 255 passing yards against the Cardinals. This week he draws a juicy matchup against the 32nd ranked secondary according to PFF. Last season, the Colts surrendered the sixth most passing yards and ranked sixth worst in DVOA against the pass. To start off this season, they yielded 243 passing yards to the Bengals. The Colts are also vulnerable against the run, which does concern me for Smith, but even in a game where the Redskins were playing with a lead last week, he attempted 30 passes. There is no reason to believe why he can’t pick this defense apart.
Jordan Reed $5,000 remains reasonably priced considering his upside and his potential. He caught four passes for 48 yards and a score last week, accounting for 17 percent of the target share. This is a matchup that Reed should exploit and have success in. Bengals tight ends caught all five of their targets for 57 yards against Indianapolis. So long as Reed is healthy and fairly priced, he has to be considered a strong option, but even more so against arguably the worst defense in the league.
I am a bit surprised by the performance Jamison Crowder $4,900 had in Week 1. I was truly expecting more targets thrown his way, but then again, they were playing with a huge lead and that matchup was not great. That said, this week he does get a very good matchup against Kenny Moore II, who Crowder has a 25 percent advantage rating against according to PFF. The Colts secondary ranked dead last heading into the season by PFF. Last year they surrendered the fifth most receiving yards to wide outs and they started out this season giving up 121 yards and two touchdowns to the Bengals receivers. Crowder was targeted just four times last week and he caught three of those targets for 32 yards. I will go ahead and chalk last week up as an outlier game and expect more volume out of him starting this week. If there is a matchup to exploit, it is this one.
Chris Thompson $5,900 was heavily involved in the passing game out of the backfield in a game script that really did not call for that, which is something that cannot go overlooked. He was peppered with seven targets, catching six of them for 63 yards and a score. He also carried the ball five times for 65 yards and this week’s matchup is far more enticing, so another productive outing is certainly possible. The Colts surrendered six receptions for 65 yards in their first game of the season to the Bengals backs and they are also susceptible to yards on the ground. Smith likes to check it down, we saw him do it last year in Kansas City, so Thompson should be a busy back when it comes to targets. In a matchup like the one at hand, a ceiling game is not out of reach for Thompson.
My Favorite Option: Smith/Reed
Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in the season opener, but he did face a tough defense in the Vikings and was on the road. This week that changes as he plays at home at gets a nice matchup against the Lions. I really like the idea of stacking him with George Kittle this week in a favorable matchup and getting Garoppolo at a very low ownership.
Tom Brady has a very tough matchup this week against the best pass defense in the league. That said, it is Tom freaking Brady we are talking about and his price is just way too cheap at $6,500. For tournaments he makes for an interesting play at a potential low ownership. You can stack him up with Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, or James White if you are going in this direction. Going back to last season, Hogan played out of the slot in 47 percent of the snaps and Jalen Ramsey covered out of the slot in just nine percent of the snaps, so he should not see much of Ramsey.
The Saints and Browns game is an interesting one to me, because it could potentially be a game stack. The issue I am having is figuring out if last week’s performance for the Saints defense is real or not. That said, I think the trio in New Orleans of Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara again are a very strong stack just like I thought they were last week. I also like the idea of running it back with Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, or David Njoku. This game script should call for the Browns to be tossing the ball a ton, making them an appealing stack.
Good luck to all this week. If you have any questions, you can always find me on the Twitter machine @Armando_Marsal