Welcome back to this week’s QB WR stacks for GPP tournaments article. The ever-beating drum of the league calendar marches into week 10 after a wild Week 9. Per usual, the goal of this piece is to use the advanced stats and metrics from PlayerProfiler to identify high ceiling plays for daily fantasy football tournaments involving Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers from the same team. Stacking those players increases the positive correlation in the scoring of our lineups. When the QB has a big day, it’s likely his WRs also had big days. That upside is what we’re looking to capture to produce upper tier percentile outcomes in our lineups.
Week 9 Review
This was an odd week. Several large favorites lost, but more than that lost in disappointingly listless fashion. The Bills didn’t find the endzone against the Jaguars, and the Cowboys severely underwhelmed against the Broncos. This created a week where scores too low to min cash in other weeks were taking down tournaments.
It doesn’t feel great when they happen, but weeks like this are what we hope for when focusing on unique plays to find leverage opportunities. We want the chalk to flop knocking out swaths of competitors and giving us a shot if our differentiated lineups hit.
That’s not to say being unique is sufficient for spiking in this environment, just that our odds are increased. The recommendations from last week flopped as well. To start, Tua Tagovailoa sat out with a finger injury. The next stack featured Daniel Jones and Kadarius Toney. With the late breaking Tagovailoa news coupled with Jones being $200 cheaper, I figured he would end up as a popular last minute pivot. He did not, seeing only about 3-percent play. Toney was more popular around 10% though as the lead WR at only $5.2k. The Giants never got it going as Jones finished with 9 points and Toney under 2.
The other play looked to create leverage off of a popular Amari Cooper (and Ezekiel Elliott) with Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb. As mentioned above, the Cowboys were shockingly ineffective all game until a couple late touchdown passes from Dak somewhat salvaged his day. The thesis was maybe the touchdowns go to Lamb rather than Cooper and Elliott. Instead they went to Malik Turner. Lamb did lead the league in Air Yards this week and was a couple near-misses away from a huge day. Dak had a 10-percent roster share while Lamb was at 5-percent.
Week 10 Overview
Wee 10 presents an interesting opportunity. Byes aren’t hitting too hard with three of the four teams having fairly anemic offenses. The primetime games, however, do take some of our favorites off the slate, notably the Ravens, Chiefs, and Rams. That leaves limited options for the $8-9k elite plays. The need for super budget QB punts isn’t as present as other weeks.
Three games feature a total above 50, but only one doesn’t also have a double digit spread. Those blowout projections can lead to divergent popularity. The game with the close spread pits the Vikings against the Chargers in what should be a popular game stack. Justin Herbert stacks appear to garner the higher roster share. Dak Prescott will likely be the other high total QB that sees widespread play.
With several appealing expensive RB plays, including Christian McCaffrey back with a full workload, Jonathan Taylor against the lowly Jaguars, Najee Harris at home vs Detroit, and Dalvin Cook and Austin Ekeler in the aforementioned shootout, structural leverage this week could be found in playing multiple medium to high priced WRs.
Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson
Based on our read of the upcoming week, it is only natural to start with a Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson stack. This is a game we want to chase with a high total between two strong offenses. We expect the Chargers side to be more popular which creates an obvious leverage opportunity to play the Vikings. The secondary benefit here is finding our way into a unique overall roster construction by paying up to $7.7k at WR for Jefferson when much of the field will be dedicating salary to high end RBs.
Outside of the leverage opportunity, this play has the qualities we look for in GPP stacks. Cousins has been throwing more this year with deep shots mixing in. His 302 Attempts rank No. 9 among qualified quarterbacks, and his 36 Deep Ball Attempts rank No. 13. Jefferson has been the primary target with 68 (No. 18) Targets. His usage ramps up in the areas valuable for fantasy: 11 (No. 7) Red Zone Targets and 16 (No. 5) Deep Targets. The combination of low roster share and explosive ceiling make this a perfect GPP play.
Josh Allen and Emmanuel Sanders
The second stack this week focuses on zooming out and avoiding recency bias. The Bills offense has not been good lately. In Josh Allen‘s last two games, he’s been held to an Average Target Distance under 7.0 while never dropping below 8.0 previously. Coming off a loss to Jacksonville and with his price stubbornly holding at $7.9k, he will not be a QB many fantasy gamers want to put in their lineups. That makes him all the more appealing though.
We know he has a higher ceiling than anyone else on this slate, and this week the Bills have a massive 30.5 point implied team total. Between his heavy Red Zone passing (56 Attempts is No. 3) and rushing volume (17 Carries is No. 2), Allen’s touchdown equity is as high as it gets.
share, 478 recyds, 891 air yds, 12.6 PPR/game
I see no indication that Gabe Davis will be fantasy relevant without an injury to 1 of these 3, and I also don't expect Diggs to pull away from Beasley/Sanders when both are healthy
Moving to CAR ⬇️⬇️
— Josh Larky ↗️ (@jlarkytweets) November 10, 2021
Traditionally in this space we’ve always advocated for paying up to pair Allen with Stefon Diggs. Going back to last year, Diggs was a true alpha commanding a much larger target share than any other option in the passing game. Through nine weeks, that hasn’t held this year. Diggs still leads the team, but the gap has narrowed considerably. The prices on DraftKings have not. With Diggs still being a popular option, it seems worthwhile to take the targets per dollar savings and go with Emmanuel Sanders. Cole Beasley is a similarly priced option, but in GPPs I’m defaulting to the player with the larger Average Target Distance in the hopes of spiking some splash plays. Sanders’s 17.5 Average Target Distance leads the league while he’s top ten overall in Air Yards.
Carson Wentz and Michael Pittman
Finally, we’re targeting another of the projected blowouts this week with the Colts against the Jaguars. Where Jonathan Taylor will be popular, pivot to the passing game. Like Daniel Jones last week, the Carson Wentz experience isn’t always pretty (his 20 Interceptable Passes rank No. 4), but the fantasy points don’t care about that. With middling efficiency numbers, Wentz is getting there this year on volume. 300 Attempts rank No. 11 while 38 Deep Ball Attempts rank No. 7 Against a less than imposing secondary, any Game Script-related dip in volume could be offset by a rise in efficiency.
The other reason this stack is so exciting is the rise of alpha Michael Pittman. On 71 (No. 13) Targets, Pittman ranks top 10 in Receptions, Receiving Yards, Completed Air Yards, and Receiving TDs. He had been priced in the mid $5k range and has fluctuated between popular and stone chalk each week. DraftKings finally adjusted his price up to $6.3k which actually is a good thing for GPPs. We have the chance to Buy High on an ascending player whose cost still hasn’t caught up to his production. With the price bump and the blowout matchup, his roster share should be down this week. Jump on it.