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NFL DFS Stacks for Week 1

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Welcome to the weekly DFS game stacking strategy article. At this point, most DFS regulars understand the concept of stacking; rostering multiple players from the same team on your DFS roster. The idea is to take advantage of positive correlation to maximize your potential ceiling. While this has become more commonplace, using point spreads and projected point totals to stack entire games is less prevalent. That’s what this article will focus on each week.

When game stacking, it’s important to look at the outcomes you expect and tell yourself a story about how it gets there. For each game I’m looking to stack below, I’ll include the point spread, the projected over/under point total, and the implied narrative that gets the game to that outcome. From there, I’ll explore the stacking options that would provide the biggest DFS boost if the narratives come to fruition. Let’s dive in! 

Seahawks (-2.5) at Colts

Over/Under: 49
Narrative: High scoring back and forth 

With the Seahawks favored to win by less than three points, Vegas expects this game to stay close. The spread and point total implies that both teams will score over 23 points, so there should be plenty of fantasy points on both sides.

We could see the Colts get out to an early lead on the back of big runs by Jonathan Taylor, forcing Russell Wilson to start cooking in the fourth quarter. If this happens, it makes all the sense in the world to stack Wilson with DK Metcalf and/or Tyler Lockett and run it back with Taylor. It isn’t a cheap stack, as the Seattle trio alone would take up 36.4% of your salary on DraftKings and 34.2% of it on FanDuel. I prefer the discount you get for Tyler Lockett to save some salary if I’m taking just one Seahawk wideout. 

Of course, both of these teams probably want to establish the run and win on the ground. While I usually don’t prescribe to stacking running backs in the same game, this could be an exception. Taylor and Chris Carson could both see heavy workloads in this game and find the end zone a few times. It’s a riskier stacking option, but it would also result in a unique build.

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Steelers at Bills (-6.5)

Over/Under: 48.5
Narrative: Buffalo wins big

The Bills implied point total is nearly 28 points and if they reach, or exceed, that total Josh Allen will be responsible for the majority, if not all, of their touchdowns. Stacking him with Stefon Diggs is perfectly viable but not necessary as Allen could easily find paydirt with his legs. 

I’d prefer to start with Allen and then run it back with one or two Steeler wideouts. As much as the Steelers would love Najee Harris to be the workhorse, they may resign to airing it out if they fall behind. Diontae Johnson is the most likely of the Pittsburgh trio to be peppered with targets, while Chase Claypool has the most big-play upside. JuJu-Smith Schuster falls somewhere between the other two wideouts. 

Eagles at Falcons (-3.5)

Over/Under: 48.5
Narrative: Poor defense leads to shootout 

The way these two defenses have played in recent years, there could be an abundance of offense in the Mercedez-Benz dome on Sunday. It’s worth considering stacks built around either starting quarterback, depending on what story you want to tell yourself.

If you think the Falcons prevail, which is the way Vegas is leaning, then you’ll want to start with Matt Ryan. He’s the 10th most expensive quarterback on FanDuel and the 13th on DraftKings, so starting with him leaves you with plenty of salary space. Start by using some of that salary to pay up for Calvin Ridley, who could finish as the WR1 this week. If you want to go full game stack, you can also add Kyle Pitts and/or Russell Gage, then run it back with your choice of Eagles wideouts. Devonta Smith should lead Philadelphia in targets, while Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins both have blazing speed and can threaten to take every catch to the house. 

If you think the Eagles pull the upset, you should know they’re going to need a big game from Jalen Hurts to make it happen. He’s more expensive than Ryan but his ceiling is also significantly higher. Like all running quarterbacks, you don’t necessarily need to pair him with a pass-catcher. Pick your favorite Eagle wideout if you please, but make sure to add multiple pass-catchers from the Falcons if you think they’ll be trying to keep up with a big game from Hurts.

Find even more DFS lineup advice on the DFSnDonuts YouTube channel!

Browns at Chiefs (-5.5)

Over/Under: 54.5
Narrative: High-scoring Chiefs win

With the highest predicted point total of the week, there’s a lot to like in this matchup. The obvious stack here is pairing Patrick Mahomes with Tyreek Hill and/or Travis Kelce, though it would be extremely expensive to roster all three of them. They would combine for 49.2% of your salary on DraftKings and 43% of your salary on FanDuel.

A more affordable approach would be rostering Mahomes and taking a shot with Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, or Byron Pringle. Then you could run it back by adding pass-catchers from Cleveland. Jarvis Landry and Kareem Hunt make the most sense if you see the Browns playing from behind, as expected by the point spread. Odell Beckham Jr. or Donovan Peoples-Jones are other options that offer more big-play upside.

If you see the game going the other way and the Browns getting out to an early lead, that would probably mean Cleveland is finding success on the ground. In this case, it would make sense to start with Nick Chubb and run it back with Patrick Mahomes and your choice of Kansas City pass-catchers.

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