NFL DFS: Paydirt Stacks and Stats Breakdown
Welcome to the stacks breakdown here at Paydirt! This is going to be a weekly article aimed at giving thoughts and notes on the best and worst stacks to focus on for your NFL DFS lineups. We will talk about the sportsbook and vegas information as well as the key pieces of information for the teams in good and bad spots. This article is best used with the projections models here at Paydirt, but it will still be valuable even as a one off piece of content. While the focus is on Draftkings, the content is applicable to Fanduel as well. Costs, Projections, and LevX format will be Draftkings/Fanduel.
- The entire industry will be focused on Buffalo and Kansas City, but the Ravens deserve consideration as an elite pivot with big upside.
- With Zach Wilson back at the helm, the Jets prices are far too low for the upside their condensed offense represents.
- The Jaguars look like a competent offense, but they lack the real upside to win in GPPs.
For conversation and game theory on the slate, jump in the Paydirt discord! Free with this link: https://discord.gg/mQ6u5dfawF
NFL Implied totals and slate outlook
The highest Over/Under on the slate this week is for the BUF/KC game, where it sits at a lofty 54 at time of writing. This is a rematch of one of the best games of the last decade, so it will certainly draw attention. Likewise, Josh Allen is having a monumental year in fantasy and both teams are loaded. Buffalo has a team total as favorites at 28.5 and an implied passing TD expectation of 2.02, both highest on the slate.
On the other hand, the lowest total on the slate goes to LAR/CAR. This isn’t really a surprise at all, with the Rams being 11 point favorites against a pitiful Panthers squad starting a backup QB. The Panthers also had their HC fired this week, so they should be in total disarray. Also of note here are the offensive issues for LAR as they have had serious issues scoring points. Overall the Rams have a healthy team total of 26 while the Panthers sit at a paltry total of 11.
Unlike last week, this slate has all the star QBs available. All of Mahomes, Allen, and Jackson are available and priced right next to one another. It’ll be interesting to see how ownership shakes out with the studs, and it’ll likely open up some beautiful leverage on high ceiling players. For example, if Mahomes and Allen end up 20% owned each, Lamar Jackson makes a terrific pivot at something like 5% owned. More on that later, but rest assured this slate looks awesome from a top down view.
NFL DFS Stacks to prioritize
It's important to figure out the best spots to stack each weak, as correlation plays a large part in the upside of your lineups for NFL DFS. Here are the stacks that project the best in the models here at Paydirt:
Some of the tables used for the stats in this article:
- Aggressive Throw Index: https://paydirtdfs.com/nfl-aggressive-throw-index-league-wide/
- League adjusted pass and rush rates: https://paydirtdfs.com/nfl-pass-and-rush-splits-league-wide/
- League adjusted redzone pass and rush rates: https://paydirtdfs.com/nfl-redzone-pass-and-rush-splits-league-wide/
- NFL Receiver research sheets: https://paydirtdfs.com/nfl-fantasy-receiving-research-sheets/
Buffalo Bills: Expensive but predictable upside
Stack – Josh Allen/Stefon Diggs/Gabe Davis
Cost – $23,100/$25,000
Projection – 75.46/59.47
Josh Allen and company are coming off of a total nuke, where they were the key to winning. Every receiver played a part, with all of Diggs, Davis, and Shakir scoring well and Allen scoring 40+ fantasy points. This week they have another spot dripping with upside against the Chiefs who should be able to match their offensive power. This is a spot you just don’t have to overthink. If you can afford the Bills stacks, you should have exposure to them. Being able to afford them is the only question in the equation.
- Buffalo has the second highest adjusted pass rate in the league at 73.58% and an above average aggressive pass rate at 2.68%.
- Josh Allen has the highest average fantasy points per game in the league at 29.30 while Stefon Diggs has the second highest average fantasy points per game of all WRs at 23.96.
- The main downside here is that the Bills are healthy, meaning the target distribution is much wider than last week and harder to predict.
While there is certainly downside in a wide target distribution, it allows lots of flexibility in stacking. For instance, if you can’t afford the Allen/Diggs/Davis stack, you can mix and match plenty of others. You can take any combination of Diggs/Davis/Knox/McKenzie and feel good about it while maintaining upside. You’ll likely have to get creative with your stack to build relative value while affording quality pieces elsewhere, but the price is well worth the upside for this stack.
Seattle Seahawks: Popular value
Stack – Geno Smith/DK Metcalf/Tyler Lockett
Cost – $18,100/$22,300
Projection – 65.54/54.16
After writing about Geno Smith and how we should check our priors before anointing him a good QB, he has repeatedly bitch slapped me and proven me wrong. He has the highest QB rating in the league at 113.15 with Mahomes in second at 110.50. He also has 20 rushing attempts and a rushing TD just to rub in the salt. Moreover, the passing offense is well condensed to Metcalf and Lockett and with Rashaad Penny’s season ending injury they may end up more pass heavy in the redzone as well. Overall, this offense is firing on all cylinders and the pricing has not caught up to the production.
- For whatever reason, Seattle is an underdog here but the Paydirt NFL Game Betting Model (found here) has them as a 3 point favorite and a better team to back.
- As noted above, Metcalf and Lockett have a lock on the production here with a combined 73% of the air yards and 56% of the target distribution.
- If you decide to fade this stack, Ken Walker projects exceptionally well as a direct leverage play to passing stacks and should be one of the lower owned values on the slate.
If there is any downside here it comes on the back of a dropping pass rate. The Seahawks are just league average in both adjusted pass rate and aggressive throw rate, and that can lead to a drop in ceiling. The efficiency has to continue to be elite for an offense to continue to produce at high levels with league average macro rates. That said, the stats point towards the trend continuing so we will trust it. Even if you don’t have full stacks, making sure to have some of Metcalf or Lockett is a good idea this week.
Baltimore Ravens: Underpriced pivot
Stack – Lamar Jackson/Mark Andrews/Devin Duvernay
Cost – $19,800/$22,800
Projection – 55.28/47.68
While the whole industry is focused on Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, we have Lamar Jackson and the ravens as an elite pivot. With no Rashod Bateman last week we saw a skinner target distribution and incredible metrics for Mark Andrews. Likewise, Devin Duvernay stepped up and saw an awesome marketshare and some career high marks. If not for two missed TD throws by Jackson, it could have been a phenomenal performance. However, because of that we will see lowered ownership on an elite option.
- While Josh Allen is the top overall fantasy point per game performer, Lamar Jackson is second at 26.00 with 14 more rushing attempts and better rushing equity in the redzone.
- Kelce and Andrews are identical at 6.5 receptions per game and 70 yards, but Andrews averages 30 more air yards and has a 10% higher marketshare of his team's targets.
- Devin Duvernay had 45% of the air yards and 26% of the targets last week, both marks beating the best games from Bateman this year in those categories.
As always, we want to be looking for ways to pass the field and create relative value in GPPs. This week, one of the more glaringly obvious ways to do that is with Baltimore stacks that indirect leverage the BUF/KC game. It holds an elite QB/TE combo and a high upside offense for around the same cost. If you simply built a KC stack this week with all the popular plays and replaced Mahomes/Kelce with Jackson/Andrews you would have a perfect lineup. In sum, this stack should be in heavy consideration for you in large field contests.
NFL DFS stacks to avoid
While it's important to find the best stacks to use, it's equally as vital to figure out the best stacks to avoid. Here are the stacks with the largest negative LevX (leverage score) based on current ownership projections:
Green Bay Packers: Unclear with low upside
One thing we typically want to avoid in fantasy are uncertainties. Another thing we try to mitigate is exposure to lower ceiling teams. The Packers are, of course, both of these things wrapped up in an ayahuasca scented bow. There is no receiving option on this team with a targetshare over 20% and somehow it’s Randall Cobb with 28% of the air yards on average. The pass rate, redzone pass rate, and aggressive throw rates are all below average. Aaron Rodgers is averaging less fantasy points per game than Jacoby Fucking Brissett. There are hardly any reasons to consider the Packers as a stack.