Hopefully your fantasy teams survived a week unfortunately filled with injuries across the National Football League. If not, there’s always daily fantasy, which this article will help with. We focus on quarterbacks and wide recievers on the same team that we can stack in larger daily fantasy tournaments to get leverage on the field. Given the top-heavy prize structure of these tournaments, the goal of this series is to identify contrarian stacks. They may be riskier than the obvious chalk plays, but when they hit, fantasy gamers rostering them will be at a large advantage. Let’s utilize PlayerProfiler’s advanced stats and metrics to discover who to target in Week 3, but first, a quick review of last week.
Week Two Review
Matthew Stafford and Quintez Cephus kicked off our recommendations last week. Both were low-owned (under 3-percent), but neither hit in a big way. Stafford was competing with Kyler Murray in a similar price spot, who was much more popular. Despite the Lions being in comeback mode in the second half, Stafford only threw the ball 33 times and spread it around. Four other Lions saw more targets than Cephus a week after he led the team. He had an efficient day, but fantasy gamers were disappointed in the lack of volume.
The second stack was Tyrod Taylor and Mike Williams. This one never got off the ground with Taylor being mysteriously declared out right before the game. With a rookie QB getting a surprise start minutes before game time, hopefully everyone was able to pivot off Taylor and Williams.
Finally, we had Daniel Jones and Darius Slayton. Hoping for suppressed ownership against the Chicago Bears, Jones was under 1-percent owned, but Slayton was popular. Both turned in dud days even with the Giants trailing all game and forcing Jones into 40 pass attempts. Slayton finished second in targets, but only drew six. Those six then only turned into three receptions for 33 yards. Not a recipe for fantasy success.
Jared Goff & Cooper Kupp
Kicking off Week 3, Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp look to pair up against the Buffalo Bills. Similar to the Giants against the Bears last week, the Bills present an intimidating defensive matchup on the surface. We are counting on that to lower ownership. This game projects to be a high scoring affair in which the Rams are underdogs. Goff will be forced to throw. So far this year, he has been able to pick his spots with the Rams ranking No. 30 with 30.0 Team Pass Plays per Game on average. When he has thrown, he’s been efficient. He has averaged 9.3 (No. 4 among qualified quarterbacks) Yards per Attempt with a 76.9-percent (No. 8) True Completion Rate and a 112.8 (No. 5) True Passer Rating.
Given the expected Game Script, Goff will be forced to throw. When he does, Kupp will be the beneficiary. While there is a revenge game narrative for Robert Woods, he’ll be stuck going against Tre’Davious White on the outside for most of the game. White has covered the slot on a tiny 1.5-percent of his snaps, good for No. 58 in the league. Wide receivers have not yet found success against White this year, evidenced by his +29.9 (No. 8) Coverage Rating, 0.12 (No. 2) Fantasy Points Allowed per Cover Snap and, most worrisome, 3.5 (No. 2) Fantasy Points Allowed per Game.
Kupp, on the other hand, with his 48.7-percent (No. 32) Slot Rate will be schemed to avoid White and instead be matched up with Buffalo’s slot corner Taron Johnson and his 68.7-percent (No. 3) Slot Coverage Rate. Johnson has conceded 10 (No. 20) targets per game, which has led to 16 (No. 59) Fantasy Points Allowed per Game. With Goff and Kupp, we have slight underdogs in a projected high scoring affair who have been efficient to this point with a dream defensive matchup. We get that with low projected ownership and price; Goff is QB19 on DraftKings.
Cam Newton & N’Keal Harry
Cam Newton and N’Keal Harry compose this week’s second stack. We have to pay up for Newton at $6700 (QB5) on DraftKings, but at just $100 under Kyler Murray, expect ownership to be low. Additionally, we can make up those cost savings when pairing him with Harry at only $4200. Julian Edelman generated buzz coming off his big game against the Seahawks on Sunday night, but Harry actually led the team with 12 targets.
Harry has served as Cam’s preferred receiver near the line of scrimmage with a 5.6 (No. 95) Average Target Distance mark. It’s a voluminous role though. Harry’s 29.0-percent Target Share and 37.5-percent Red Zone Target Share both rank No. 7 in the league. Harry has been a contested catch machine, reeling in all five of his contested targets this year. With no tight end of consequence on the roster, he has been the primary receiving option in the red zone.
This game also features a high point total with the Patriots being favored against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders do not pose a threatening matchup for the passing game. Additionally, Newton is rushing the ball at a higher rate than Lamar Jackson last season. Put it all together and we’ve got a team with a high implied points total where we can capture the bulk of the touchdown opportunity for under $11K.
Joe Burrow & A.J. Green
The last stack this week takes more cash to pull off. Joe Burrow and A.J. Green both cost $6K-plus, but that comes in a week with some intriguing cheap RBs available after all the injuries last week. If spending down at RB, the Bengals present an appealing option to pay up. With 51.5 Team Pass Plays per Game, the Bengals lead the league in passing volume. Their opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, checks in right behind them at No. 3 in the league with 46.5 Team Pass Plays per Game. Given the pace these teams play at and their tendency to throw, this game presents sneaky shootout upside.
Despite being a rookie, Burrow fits the mold to power out big time fantasy performances for himself and his teammates. He leads the league in pass attempts, but not just from dinking and dunking like a timid rookie. His 10 (No. 4) Deep Ball Attempts and 759 (No. 3) Air Yards demonstrate his aggressive nature. Throwing the ball deep leads to numerous splash play opportunities per game, which are the lifeblood of slate-breaking performances. That downfield tendency makes his 80.4-percent (No. 8) Catchable Pass Rate all the more impressive. Finally, we’ve seen the Konami Code upside from his time at LSU surface in the league. He ranks top 10 in Carries, Rush Yards, and Red Zone Carries.
It hasn’t materialized in the box score yet, but the volume Green has seen is undeniable. His 22 targets rank No. 4 among qualified wide receivers, while his 338 Air Yards rank No. 1. At age-32, Green leading the league with 271 Unrealized Air Yards may be a sign he has slowed down. Alternatively, it may simply be a patch of bad variance brought on by adjusting to life with a new QB. If the latter is true at all, Green is set up for a massive positive mean reversion. This could be the week.
Call me crazy, but I want to go back to the Daniel Jones–Darius Slayton stack this week. It flopped last week, but they come back against a decimated San Francisco squad with leading receiving weapons Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard out. Block out the noise of last week and run it back with these Giants.