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NFL DFS: Paydirt Stacks and Stats Breakdown Week 9

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.

Main points:

  • There are no major sticking points in terms of over/unders, so utilizing strong passing games and narrow target trees like The Dolphins' is going to be important.
  • The Rams have been an underwhelming team most of the year, but their base rates and target tree speak to accessible upside.
  • People may be overexposed to a player on the Falcons, which could be bad news considering they go out of their way to establish the run.

For conversation and game theory on the slate, jump in the Paydirt discord! Free with this link:

NFL Implied totals and slate outlook

The highest over/under on this slate goes to the Cardinals vs. Seahawks game. The game currently has a total of 50 as well as the highest projected play count at 128. Arizona has looked considerably better in the last couple of games since Hopkins rejoined the team. The Seahawks on the other hand have scored 27+ points in all but two games this year. Granted, one of those games did come against the Cardinals, for those that take second meetings into account. Regardless, this offense has a lot of good pieces to focus on for DFS and betting.

The lowest OU on this slate goes to the Patriots vs. Colts and sits at just 39. This is mostly a testament to a couple things. First off, both the Patriots and Colts have shaky or unproven QBs leading the way. Likewise, both teams focus heavily on the running game, which reduces the amount of plays and scoring opportunities. It’s a pretty quintessential battle in the trenches. It’s worth noting, however, that both teams will likely have more condensed backfields this week with Damien Harris and Jonathan Taylor not slated to be active.

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:

Miami Dolphins: Expensive but worth it

Stack – Tua Tagovailoa/Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle
Cost – $22,600/$24,900
Projection – 56.82/49.38

There is no offense in the league with a tighter target tree than that of the Miami Dolphins. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combine for around 55% of the total targets and 65% of the teams air yards. Likewise, they are averaging 210 receiving yards per game as a duo on 13 receptions per game. Miami has an above average aggressive throw index at 2.05% above league average as well as sporting a 66% adjusted pass rate. Overall, this team is the perfect stack every week so long as you can afford to do it.

The projections here make Tyreek and Waddle priorities, but not necessarily Jaylen Waddle. This is because Waddle replies heavily on touchdowns to reach his ceiling, and we know that touchdowns can be highly variable. Another perk to this stack is that Darnell Mooney looks like a quality runback with a low price for his upside. While Mooney is held back by the Bears offense, his 27%/40% target/air yards share is on par with guys like Ja’Marr Chase and Chris Olave.

If you have value plays you are confident in, this is the stack to utilize.

Los Angeles Rams: Undervalued with upside

Stack – Matthew Stafford/Cooper Kupp/Tyler Higbee
Cost – $18,200/$21,800
Projection – 52.18/42.02

The Rams have certainly been a disappointment this year, and that’s for good reason. They have scored 10 or fewer points in four of their games and 20+ in just three. However, there is still a lot of upside to be had. Cooper Kupp still demands an elite role, averaging 23 fantasy points with 9 receptions and 98 yards per game. Kupp and Tyler Higbee combine for 55% of the targets for the team along with 2.5 redzone targets per contest. When this offense finds success, it’s likely to come through these two. 

When you consider the base rates things look good as well. The Rams have the fifth highest adjusted pass rate in the league at 68.5%. Their opponent, the Bucs, has the third highest at 72.38%. With so many passing plays projected out, there should be a lot of opportunities for both sides to have explosive plays. It makes for a terrific gamestacking environment. The main downside is a lack of aggressiveness, as the Rams have an aggressive throw index of 4.87% below league average with an average air yards of just 5.40 per pass attempt.

There’s a reason this stack will be low owned, but we know what the Rams are capable of. Stacking them when others are worried about the upside is exactly the right move.

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 stack(s) with the largest negative LevX (leverage score) based on current ownership projections:

Atlanta Falcons: Fade bad teams off good weeks

The Falcons and Panthers hit their respective ceiling outcomes last week, and it seems people may chase. Kyle Pitts currently projects for the most ownership on the slate at his position at just under 20%. While people won’t necessarily be pairing him with Mariota, it still relies on Mariota and the Falcons to win GPPs. We have seen the Falcons run the ball down three scores and not give it a second thought. They have by far the lowest adjusted pass rate on the slate at 43.41% and have a passing touchdown expectation of just .59. If you can gain leverage fading one of the run heaviest teams in the league, it’s probably a good idea to do so.

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