The top player stacks for Week 14 in daily fantasy
It’s Week 14 and that means you’re either in the fantasy playoffs are out. Fear not — even if you were eliminated from your season-long leagues in Week 13, there’s always daily fantasy. Today, we’re going to try to find you the single best stack to use on each of the big three daily fantasy websites.
When searching for these stacks, we factor in price, value, upside and ownership. You don’t want to run out a stack that most of the field is playing — that’s a recipe for disaster, or at least unexciting production, in large-field tournaments. Our goal is to find you a stack that you can feel confident using, but also one that will allow to take a more contrarian approach to DFS tournaments.
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Kirk Cousins, QB; DeSean Jackson, WR (Redskins vs. Eagles)
DFS pricing hasn’t caught up to the fact that the Eagles pass defense has fallen apart. Local media is questioning their best player (Fletcher Cox) for taking off plays, their secondary has turned into one of the least-productive units in the NFL, and their pass rush is not getting there outside of Brandon Graham. The Eagles have become one of the five or six defenses we want to target every week, but what makes them a top defense to target in Week 14 is their opponents.
Cousins is just the 17th-most-expensive quarterback on FanDuel this week. We’re talking about back-end QB2 range for a quarterback who has been on fire. Over Cousins’ past six games, he has scored the second-most fantasy points of any quarterback in the NFL — only Aaron Rodgers has scored more. You complete this cheap stack by throwing in a volatile but high-upside play like Jackson. By now, you don’t need any fancy stats thrown at you to describe Jackson; he is what he is. But how about this? There are 44 wide receivers who are more expensive than him on FanDuel. Can you name 44 wide receivers you’d rather have than Jackson in any DFS tournament from this point on? You won’t be able to name more than 15-20 you’d rather have going up against the Eagles secondary.
The Eagles have our 23rd-”best” pass-coverage grade this season, but their two best players in coverage have been linebackers Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham. If you take those two players away, and focus only on the secondary, the Eagles would be one of the two or three worst teams in pass coverage. The Eagles have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2016 and that number has been a lot higher in recent weeks as the defense has collapsed around them.
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By utilizing this cheap stack, you’re not only locking in the necessary upside to win a tournament, but you’re also creating room to roster some of the top running backs like David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell. You can also grab players like LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte or Jordan Howard, who may be in a pricing tier below but have great matchups. The Cousins-Jackson stack is exactly what we’re looking for in tournaments and it’s the stack I’m most excited for in Week 14 from a value standpoint.
Eli Manning, QB; Odell Beckham Jr., WR (Giants vs. Cowboys)
We’re headed right back to the NFC East for our second stack. DraftKings seemed to be harping on one recent performances when creating the price point for Manning this week. Manning is just the 21st-most-expensive quarterback on DraftKings. Meanwhile, entering Week 13 against the Steelers, Manning had thrown for 12 touchdowns over his past four games against defenses that had a lot more talent than the Cowboys. Manning also already threw for three touchdowns during his first game against the Cowboys earlier this season.
Someone is going to have to explain to me why FanDuel has 20 quarterbacks priced higher than Manning in a home game against a team he’s already found success against this season. Don’t forget one key fact on why it’s so important for Manning to be playing at home — the crowd. On third downs, he can hear the calls and on the early downs he can run more no-huddle offense. The Giants run their offense at a much faster pace at home and that gives fantasy owners more total volume — this is always a good thing. Everyone likes to talk about Ben Roethlisberger’s home/road splits, but let’s look at Manning’s numbers. In an equal amount of home and road games this season, Manning has a whopping 981 more passing yards and four more passing touchdown at home versus on the road.
As for the actual matchup, the one way to slow down Manning and the passing game is to get pressure on him early and often. This something the Cowboys have no chance of doing. The Cowboys have the 31st-”best” pass rush of all 32 teams. They’ve been at or near the bottom of our metrics all season long.
As for Beckham’s individual matchup, look no further than the Cowboys’ starting outside cornerbacks as proof that he’s going to have it easy. On one side, cornerback Brandon Carr is having his best season with the Cowboys, but that’s because they flipped him to right cornerback where he has played almost every snap this season. All the Giants have to do is flip Beckham to right wide receiver and he’ll draw struggling cornerback Anthony Brown in coverage. If they Beckham into the slot, as we’ve seen in recent weeks, he’ll draw Orlando Scandrick — he hasn’t been the same defender after racking up the injuries.
Andy Dalton, QB; Tyler Eifert, TE (Bengals vs. Browns)
If you’re not stacking against the Browns, then you’re simply not doing it right. We’ve seen everyone from Ryan Tannehill to Andy Dalton (first time around) rip up the Browns for 20-plus fantasy points at the quarterback position. Let’s start things off by looking at the pricing. Dalton is just the 11th-most-expensive quarterback on Yahoo this week. Tyler Eifert is the third-most-expensive tight end. This stack is by no means a bargain, but considering the rest of the matchups we have to work with this week, it is a great opportunity to grab value — the matchup is the reason why.
The Browns have been specifically burned by No. 1 wide receivers and tight ends this season. The issue is not scheme or effort, it’s just a matter of talent. The Browns don’t have any. They haven’t drafted well on the defensive side of the ball in years and they’ve been investing on the offense at the same time. The result is a Browns defense ranks 26th-”best” in pass rush and 26th-”best” in pass coverage.
The Browns have been especially bad against opposing tight ends. They simply don’t have the players at linebacker or safety capable of keeping up with opposing tight ends — especially the more talented ones like Eifert. The Browns have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, but just the 24th-most to opposing wide receivers. With A.J. Green out, Dalton is going to look to feature Eifert early and often. This stack has the potential to really explode.