Welcome back to our weekly countdown of the best QB-WR stacks! The Week 4 schedule is split between some high-flying matchups (Chiefs-Lions in a dome? Yes please.) and some defensive battles unlikely to reach 40 total scoreboard points (Jaguars-Broncos, Vikings-Bears). Yet, with DFS managers likely to load up on the games that look like shootouts, there are high-value targets all over the place.
The concept behind stacking a QB with his WR is simple; both players benefit from each completion, doubling the benefit of that play for your fantasy lineup. As Adam Levitan pointed out, 79 percent of the lineups that won DraftKings’ Fantasy Football Millionaire contests used a QB stack in their lineup. With the significance of stacking in mind, this article aims to highlight the best stacking options for Sunday’s main slate.
5. Kirk Cousins ($5,000)/ Adam Thielen ($6,600) and Stefon Diggs ($5,500), Vikings at Bears
Though Cousins, Thielen and Diggs all flopped last week, I’m sticking by them again in Week 4. I stand by the process behind that recommendation, and if you look beyond the final DKFP scores, there were several encouraging developments from the Vikings’ passing game in Week 3. Cousins, one of the most accurate QBs in the history of the NFL, ranked third-to-last in completion percentage heading into Week 3. He went out and completed 71% of his passes against the Raiders. Second, the Vikings’ called five passes and two runs on their first drive; on their second drive, it was a two-two split; on their third drive, they called five pass plays and seven run plays, but three of the run plays were in short-yardage situations. After that third drive, they were up 14-0, and the game would never get any closer. Focusing only on the game-end box scores makes it look like the Vikings are an all-run-all-the-time offense, but that’s not what they are actually doing when games are still undecided.
At their current pace, the Vikings on track for just 336 pass attempts this season. The last time a team attempted that few passes was in 1990. That’s just not the way the current NFL works. They’ve won two games by a combined 36 points, and they spent most of those two games in a run-heavy offense focused on killing the clock. In their only close game, they attempted 32 passes – more than they threw in the other two games combined. Well, spoiler alert, the Vikings are not going to build up a three-TD lead on the Bears’ defense before the end of the second quarter.
Thielen and Diggs are two of the most talented receivers in the league. Thielen has the same salary as Juju Smith-Schuster, who is playing with a backup QB and supported by one of the least effective run-games in the league. Diggs costs the same as Nelson Agholor and less than DJ Moore this week. Cousins has the same salary as Marcus Mariota. These are absurd bargains.
4. Patrick Mahomes ($7,500)/Sammy Watkins ($6,700), Chiefs at Lions
Sometimes the best answer is the most obvious one. For years, QBs who can run the ball have been referred to as “the cheat code”. As it turns out, Mahomes is the actual cheat code. Mahomes has three of this seasons’ top 11 DKFP games among QBs. His worst game of the season? 30.3 DKFP, 378 passing yards, three TDs, no interceptions. That was Week 1 against the Jaguars. How do I put this politely… The Lions defense is not quite on the same level as the Jaguars.
Watkins gets the nod as Mahomes’ running mate on the assumption that Lions’ CB Darius Slay (hamstring) is unable to play Sunday. If Slay is active and you have to pick just one, then I’d rather go with either Demarcus Robinson ($5,200) or Mecole Hardman ($5,100), who would face much easier matchups. After Slay, the Lions secondary is pretty underwhelming, and there should be plenty of touchdowns to go around. If you have to pick between Robinson and Hardman, Robinson is probably the better bet. The two have the same number of red-zone targets, but Robinson has played 22 more snaps over the past two games. That said, if Slay is active, I’d be happy to start both Robinson and Hardman.
3. Daniel Jones ($5,300)/Sterling Shepard ($5,800), Giants vs. Washington
You want a steeply discounted stack, but aren’t ready to trust me on the Vikings? Jones posted the second-best QB performance of the season in his Week 3 debut, scoring 39.2 DKFP with 336 passing yards, two passing TDs and two rushing TDs. He obviously won’t be that good every week, but Washington is not going to be the reason he slows down. They rank 27th in defensive DVOA, and they’ve allowed the second-most points this season. They’ve also allowed the fourth-most rushing yards per game, and the Giants are likely to call some designed runs for Jones with Saquon Barkley (ankle) out. Jones averaged 11.2 carries per game in his three years as a starter at Duke. Jones ran four times for 28 yards in Week 3. Perhaps most importantly, every QB that Washington has faced, including Mitchell Trubisky, has scored at least 20 DKFP.
Shepard was Jones’ preferred receiver in Week 3, seeing nine targets for 110 air yards. Both were team-highs. He was also highly efficient, converting those opportunities into seven catches, 100 yards and a TD for 30.1 DKFP. His salary rose, but given the matchup, it probably didn’t rise enough.
2. Matthew Stafford ($5,500)/Kenny Golladay ($5,900), Lions vs. Chiefs
DFS strategy has come a long way, but one of the few strategies that might still be flying under the radar is the correlation between opposing QBs. Eight of the top 25 QB performances so far this season have come from just four games. This matchup has the highest over/under on the slate – 55, per DraftKings Sportsbook, six points higher than the second-highest Washington-Giants matchup. Additionally, the Chiefs’ defense has struggled, allowing Lamar Jackson to score 21.3 DKFP and the combination of Nick Foles and Gardiner Minshew (the former left the game early due to injury) to score a combined 25.6 DKFP. Stafford, for his part, has already had a 31.6 DKFP game this season, and the Lions’ offense has not been nearly as run-heavy as many feared during the offseason.
Marvin Jones Jr. ($5,400) is coming off an excellent game, and is a reasonable option for DFS, but Golladay is still the Lions’ No. 1 option. Golladay and Stafford had trouble connecting in Week 3, but he still saw eight targets. On the season, Golladay dominates Jones and the rest of the Lions’ receivers in targets and air yards, with 25% and 33% of the teams’ totals, respectively.
Editor’s Note: Stafford (hip) was added to the injury report on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
The Cardinals play at the fastest pace this season, which has helped increase opposing teams’ snap counts. Their defense is also very bad, ranking in the bottom eight in points, passing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed. Every QB they have faced has scored at least 25 DKFP, and two have scored more than 30 DKFP. This is a dream matchup for Wilson, who is already averaging 300 passing yards, 2.3 TDs, zero interceptions and 27 rushing yards per game.
A major problem for the Cardinals is that they are without both of their top two CBs, as one is suspended and the other is on IR. Each week they’ve allowed a WR to score at least 16 DKFP, and six WRs have scored in double-digits. Lockett is coming off a 35.4 DKFP performance, yet Week 4 might be his easiest matchup of the season.
If you’re excited about Wilson, but feeling crunched on salary, DK Metcalf ($4,800) is also a great option. His roster rate will probably be down after catching only two passes in Week 3, but Metcalf is still the clear secondary option in Seattle. He’s seen at least six targets in every game, and he leads the team in air yards despite Lockett’s 28-to-19 target advantage. Metcalf is a constant big play threat, but with a more consistent target share than similarly salaried deep-ball options like the Chiefs’ Robinson and Hardman, the Chargers’ Mike Williams ($4,800), or the Texans’ Will Fuller ($4,500).
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is arikleen) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.