Top Stacks for DraftKings Week 1 Contests
For those that haven’t followed our NFL picks over the past three season, we always start with our top 3 or 4 stacks. We then identify which studs we are going to play alongside our stack, and finally what bargain players we will plug in to make it all work. When looking at potential stacks, keep in mind that you all but have to get 20 points out of your quarterback. Less than 10% of winning GPPs lineups over the past two seasons had a quarterback that scored under 20 points, want to eliminate yourself before the games kick off? Start a quarterback with a target value and ceiling under 20 points.
We started with a list of seven stacks that we narrowed down to our top 3 plays for the week 1 DraftKings slate. Our top 7 week one stacks were: Luck/Hilton, Brees/Cooks, Wilson/Baldwin, Roethlisberger/Brown, Stafford/Tate/Jones, Taylor, Watkins, Smith/Maclin, Dak/Dez. Here are the three stacks that really stood out and made their way into the majority of our lineups:
Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks
Combined salary: $15,800
You literally can not miss here. Brees has almost never missed value when facing an out of conference opponent at home. In 4 such games last season, he averaged 36.42 DraftKings PPG. Cooks averaged 25.5 PPG over that same four game stretch. We have heard a good deal of buzz around Carr and Cooper for this week 1 matchup, but there is no way the Raiders stack comes close to outscoring the Saints’.
Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton
Combined salary: $15,800
With all the hype surround Donte Moncrief, and given his $6,000 pricetag, I’m certain he will be the top owned Colts receiver in this matchup, but it’s Hilton that is the much better play here. The Lions were bottom five in the NFL in big plays allowed and passer efficiency rating on balls traveling 20 yards or more… Hilton’s specialty. The Lions will leave Slay on the left side of the defense so there will be no shadowing of either player.
Matthew Stafford and Marvin Jones
Combined salary: $11,800
The Colts defense is as bad as there is in the NFL right now, an already weak secondary will be without Vontae Davis, Patrick Robinson, Clayton Geathers, and Darius Butler. Additionally their pass rush was extremely inconsistent and as a team they finished 22nd in sacks in 2015. If we have learned anything watching Stafford over the past 8 seasons, it’s that he’s literally unstoppable if he gets time to throw. I really don’t think you can go wrong with either Jones or Tate, but given our projections have them about even with Jones slightly more likely to score or break a long touchdown, it just makes sense to go with the cheaper play with the higher ceiling.
Top Overall Plays for the DraftKings Week 1 Slate
DraftKings Salary: $7,800
I don’t love paying up for a running back in this slate, especially one that doesn’t catch the ball a ton (DraftKings full PPR). However, Gurley looks like a 3x lock at $7,800 facing the NFL’s worst fantasy rush defense last season.
DraftKings Salary: $7,300
With a rookie quarterback, and one of the worst defenses in football, the Cowboys will lean heavily on Elliott and their offensive line in this matchup. The Giants have been bottom 10 in rushing YPC and YPG over the past two seasons, and while they improved over the offseason, I think the pace of this game will create enough volume that Elliott will get to 20+ touches and over 100 yards.
Also worth considering: David Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, and Lamar Miller
DraftKings Salary: $9,800
It doesn’t matter who is covering him… end of story. Even at $9,800, AB hit value in 8 of 11 games that Ben started at QB. That gives you a 72.7% chance of you hitting value on 19.6% of your total salary, and a 72.7% chance that AB shuts Josh Norman up for at least a week.
Odell Beckham Jr
DraftKings Salary: $9,300
Given he didn’t sniff value in either game against Dallas last season, we expect OBJ’s ownership % to be way down in week 1. However, this is a defense that will be without any of their top pass rushers, and is a defense that was 30th in the NFL in defending opposing #1 WR’s last season. In 2014, Beckham averaged just under 30 PPG in two meetings with the Cowboys. With McAdoo now calling all the shots in NY, we expect this to be the best Giants passing attack to day, making OBJ a sneaky bet to hit 4x value in week 1.
DraftKings Salary: $6,900
Thank god for exposure tools, or Watkins would be in 90% of my week 1 lineups… The Ravens secondary is improving, but is clearly still in the bottom quarter in the NFL. They allowed an opponent passer rating of 99.6 last season, with a 30/6 TD/Int ratio. While the Bills will want to run on the Ravens, I just don’t see it happening against this defense. They also want to get Watkins the ball more, so if they are forced to throw and Watkins gets 10+ targets, it’s over. In the four games he went over 10 targets last season, Watkins averaged over 30 DraftKings PPG. I think he’s going over 30 again here.
Also worth considering: Having some exposure to other high ceiling receivers in this slate: Julio, Hopkins, Dez, Allen, Evans
DraftKings Salary: $6,600
After doing months of season-long draft prep articles warning against drafting a fragile little princess that just got paid, it feels odd jumping on him for the week one slate. However, as long as he and Cousins are healthy Reed is an absolute lock. Always has been and always will be. Reed averaged over 21 ppg in the 9 times he faced an out of conference opponent.
DraftKings Salary: $5,000
Kelce, Jeremy Maclin, and Alex Smith looked better than ever this preseason, and with a banged up stable of running backs, we think they are all in line for monster week one performances. Particularly Kelce, who will face a Chargers defense that boasts solid corners, but lost Eric Weddle in the offseason. Given the strength of this defense is their corners, I expect Kelce to be the focus of the Chiefs passing attack and to have a career game here.
Top Bargain Plays for the DraftKings Week 1 Slate
DraftKings Salary: $5,700
Our three value running back plays are all number ones in top five matchups. Mathews is one of the better running backs in the NFL as long as he can stay healthy. He’s explosive, can catch the ball, has great vision, and will put up monster numbers in Pederson’s offense. We are expecting a monster week one performance against the Browns.
DraftKings Salary: $5,400
Jennings is not only the 1st and 2nd down back, but with Williams gone, he’s the unquestioned goal line back as well. Facing a Dallas defense that gave up a bunch of points last season, and is missing a lot of key players, this is one of the few weeks that Jennings will be a solid value play behind the struggling Giants offensive line.
DraftKings Salary: $4,900
We have been hearing the word breakout in reference to Abdullah and Ebron from the Lions beat reporters throughout the offseason and camp. Similar to Elliott, he played just a couple of series this preseason, but looked explosive in his limited work. What was perhaps just as promising was seeing him stay on the field for the majority of third downs. If he can steal some passing down work away from Riddick, it will just push his stock even higher. Again, the Colts defense is hurting and this is the week one game we see as a shoot out.
DraftKings Salary: $5,400
Wheaton is not only underpriced on DraftKings, but under valued across fantasy football. He will always draw a favorable matchup with AB on the other side of the field, and given Heath Miller and Martavis Bryant’s touches are up for grabs, he should see a big uptick in targets in 2016. Look for Wheaton to build on his strong finish from last season, where he averaged over 17 PPG over the final 6 games of the regular season.
DraftKings Salary: $4,600
We already broke down the reasons for loving Jones in this Week 1 matchup. He’s easily the safest wide receiver play under $5,000 in this slate.
DraftKings Salary: $4,200
After watching the Ravens complete preseason, and hearing everything that came out of their camp, I don’t see any way Wallace isn’t the Ravens clear number one in 2016. In his sole quarter with Flacco, Wallace saw 6 targets, including a go route that Flacco just barely missed him on that would have gone for a long touchdown. The number one receiver, with Flacco at QB, and Marc Trestman calling the plays, this will be a rebound year for Wallace who is drastically underpriced at $4,200.
DraftKings Salary: $4,000
My favorite and most volatile sleeper receiver play for week 1. I think there is a good chance Patton sees double-digit targets on Monday night. He will start opposite Torrey Smith, who Kelly clearly doesn’t see as a possession receiver. Big opportunity, volume in an uptempo offense, and Kelly has put a slot receiver in the top 20 fantasy receiver rankings each of the past three seasons.