After a dramatic offseason like none other, Week 1 is in the books. We now shift our focus to Week 2 as we reacclimate to the weekly in-season fantasy football cycle. If you missed it, I described the aim for this series in last week’s article. We are looking to utilize PlayerProfiler’s advanced stats and metrics to identify high-leverage stacking opportunities using a QB and at least one WR from the same team.
Week 1 Review
Last week, we highlighted three QB-WR stacks to target in daily fantasy games. The Carson Wentz and DeSean Jackson pairing was the chalkiest with both being hyped up across fantasy space. That manifested in huge ownership, around 20-percent of the field, for Jackson in many DraftKings contests. Unfortunately, that stack busted as Wentz struggled all day being chased by Washington’s pass rush.
The other two stacks were fairly low owned, sub-10-percent for each player, but without any major hits. Teddy Bridgewater had a fine day. He hit 3x, which is when his DK points (19.4) were higher than three times his salary in thousands (5.9). Despite leading the team in targets, D.J. Moore did not have an efficient day. He finished with only 9.4 DK points and was left watching as his new teammate Robby Anderson was the one breaking off a long TD reception.
In what was the most contrarian play of the week, Kyler Murray passed and rushed his way to a huge 27.3 DK points. Similarly to Bridgewater in Carolina, that production did not carry over to the WR suggested here. Christian Kirk finished with a brutal 1.0 fantasy points while teammate DeAndre Hopkins had a monster day in his first game with Arizona. Doubting Hopkins’s ability to command targets in spite of a lack of QB familiarity proved fatal last week.
Matthew Stafford & Quintez Cephus
Week 1 showed us that in Kenny Golladay‘s absence, Quintez Cephus will be heavily involved and the possible target leader in the Detroit Lions offense. Last week, the rookie led the team with 10 targets. That only turned into three receptions for 43 yards, but we’re not here to chase one week’s efficiency. We crave volume. The 96 (No. 4 among qualified wide receivers) Unrealized Air Yards means there was plenty of ceiling with an uptick in efficiency for the rookie.
With Golladay ruled out again, the Lions facing a burnable Packers defense in Week 2. Only priced at $3800 on DraftKings, Cephus is close to a free square this week. This is about stacking though, so the QB matters too. Last week was encouraging for Matthew Stafford. While missing his top target and facing mostly positive Game Script (Detroit’s +5.53 mark ranked No. 5 in the league in Week 1), he still dished out 42 (No. 6) pass attempts. Combine that passing volume with his 8.8 (No. 6) Air Yards per Attempt and we have a QB ready to put up massive numbers.
Tyrod Taylor & Mike Williams
Another case where we want to avoid looking at the raw production totals from last week when searching for stacks this week. Tyrod Taylor recorded only nine Week 1 fantasy points with only 30 (No. 25) pass attempts. However, not all attempts are the same. Taylor was chucking it last week. His six Deep Ball Attempts ranked No. 6 in the league while his 11.1 Air Yards per Attempt ranked second. He didn’t throw a lot, but when he did, they were the kind of throws that lead to big fantasy point totals. We just said not to chase efficiency from Week 1, but it is reassuring to see that Taylor’s accuracy has not faded, posting a league-best 66.7-percent Catchable Pass Rate. Don’t forget about his Konami Code appeal either.
That kind of QB usage lines up perfectly with the skills Mike Williams possesses. Williams led the league last year with 17.4 yards of Average Target Distance and was top ten in Deep Targets, Yards per Target, and Yards per Reception. It continued last week, with Williams leading the Chargers with nine targets and 17.3 Yards per Reception.
This week, the Chargers face the fearsome Kansas City Chiefs. Given the offense they’ll be going against, they will have no choice but to unleash Taylor given the likelihood that they face negative Game Script. With Taylor costing only $5300 (QB23) and Williams at only $4200 (tied for WR60 and $1500 cheaper than Keenan Allen), this stack presents maximum upside while unlocking salary for a loaded RB corps.
Daniel Jones & Darius Slayton
Given the intimidating defensive matchup the Chicago Bears pose, expect ownership for New York Giants players to be underweight. Stacking Daniel Jones with Darius Slayton provides a solid contrarian option for GPPs. Slayton was everywhere on Monday night, catching six of nine targets for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He was the favorite target of Jones and by far the most effective, evidenced by his 17.0 Yards per Reception and 104 (No. 4) Air Yards. The intermediate-to-deep targets provided multiple splash play opportunities throughout the game. With game-breaking 4.39 (95th-percentile) speed, Slayton is always a threat to take a target to the house despite the difficulty of a matchup.
Coming off a solid game against the fearsome Steelers defense, Daniel Jones complements Slayton for the contrarian stack move. His 41 (No. 8) Attempts, 10 (No. 4) Red Zone Attempts, and 44 (No. 5) Team Pass Plays per Game show the volume will be there, especially in a game where the Giants are five-point underdogs. Despite the rush disrupting Saquon Barkley in the backfield multiple times, the O-line held up in pass protection, giving Jones an 83.3-percent (No. 12) Protection Rate. If that holds, that can nullify the true strength of the Bears defense and set up Jones to pick apart the less frightening secondary.
As The Podfather would say, “Just say no to fantasy PTSD” and go right back to the Kyler Murray and Christian Kirk stack. They get a huge upgrade in matchup going from San Francisco to Washington, and Kirk is all the way down at $4300 while Kyler stubbornly holds outside the top ten QBs at $6100.