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.
NFL Implied totals and slate outlook
The highest O/U this week belongs to the KC/ARI game. Meanwhile, the second highest is at 52 between LAC/LV. Both of these games deserve considerable attention, but there is a caveat. Since this is week one, the Vegas info and sportsbook numbers for the NFL are at their weakest point of the season. We know very little about the changes made in the offseason, so it's valuable to be a bit conservative with assumptions. Regardless, the two highest total games are between teams with high octane offenses and strong offensive weapons.
The lowest total belongs to the SF/CHI game at just 40 overall. This is largely due to SF being large favorites while having a run first identity. Granted, both of these teams have rushing QBs so there's a lot of volatility involved. It's worth considering pieces from this game even with the lowest total.
NFL 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:
Baltimore Ravens: Low owned upside
The Ravens are a stack that is typically undervalued for no reason whatsoever. They have one of the highest upside QBs in the league, a top tier player at TE, and their WR1 is almost always priced in the mid tier. Meanwhile, because of their unique gameplan, they are matchup proof. Likewise, the models have them with the highest LevX at 12.42%/9.82%, meaning that they are, on average, 12% less owned than they deserve. With an overall price of $19,400/$22,500, the stack of Lamar Jackson, Rashod Bateman, and Mark Andrews is the fifth most expensive option. However, they have the highest projection in the models. Look to use the Ravens in all formats.
Arizona Cardinals: Popular value
It'll be important to monitor the Cardinals over the next couple of days because their injury report has some key pieces to note. Both Rondale Moore and Zach Ertz are questionable, and DeAndre Hopkins and Antoine Wesley are already out for an extended time. The cardinals may enter Week one with Marquise Brown, AJ Green, and Andy Isabella as their 3-WR set. In this scenario, you'll have a three man stack of Murray, Brown, and Green set at $18,000/$20,800. In sum, this will be a vital spot to get right, as it will produce very popular values. Especially considering this game has the highest O/U, you'll need to focus on the cardinals.
Los Angeles Chargers: Expensive and explosive
The Chargers are the most expensive overall stack on the slate. The combo of Justin Herbert, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen costs a whopping $21,200/$22,400. On the other hand, they are appropriately valued with nearly neutral LevX on both Draftkings and Fanduel. their passing TD projection is 1.98, second highest on the slate. This stack also has a terrific set of gamestack correlations. You can choose from Davante Adams or Darren Waller who both project very well and have strong Top Finish percentiles. In conclusion, you'll need value pieces to make it work, but this is a very strong stack. Look to pair the Chargers with ARI value in smaller field GPPs.
NFL 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:
Cincinnati Bengals: Expensive and overvalued
While the Bengals have strong offensive pieces, they have one of the worst game environments overall. They face a divisional rival, the Steelers, in what generally profiles as a run heavy slog fest. Both of these teams actually have strong running identities and it's possible neither team pushes the envelope. Likewise, the Steelers are starting Mitch Trubisky, who probably sucks, so they may not be able to push the pace even if necessary. The combo of Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Ja'Marr Chase sits at $19,600/$22,900 and projects fine but not great. Overall, when you consider price, projection, environment and ownership, the Bengals are a stack to avoid.