A quick note on strategy for Week One:
I firmly believe targeting offensive continuity will be the key to DFS success for the first few weeks of this season. That means building stacks around players who have rapport playing together, offense’s with limited roster turnover, stable offensive lines, and consistent coaching staffs. Obviously, in some spots you will have to take chances on some unknowns to differentiate from the field. Especially in large GPP’s, where rolling the dice on some players is key to landing a top prize. All that being said, the average DFS player will have much more success using established NFL talent to build their core stacks.
Building a stack is a common strategy to use while constructing daily (DFS) lineups. It’s an absolute must in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournaments, as the correlation scoring is crucial to finishing top of the leader board. However, it’s becoming more and more viable as a cash game strategy as well. As DFS grows so much more every season, it’s getting harder and harder to create an edge over the field. Identifying players, games or teams to stack that have nice floors is a great way to create an advantage in cash contests. Let’s take a look at stacking opportunities for this week’s main slate:
Atlanta Falcons vs Seattle Seahawks (game stack)
Pieces from this game will undoubtedly be some of the most popular plays on the slate, and for good reason. The Seahawks travel to Atlanta in what is one of the most pivotal fantasy matchups of the weekend. Both quarterbacks can be started with confidence, but I prefer to lean on Matt Ryan. Year after year, Ryan is toward the top of the league in passing attempts and yardage. Despite their best efforts to change their offensive philosophy, the Falcons inevitably revert to relying on Ryan’s arm to win games. Russell Wilson has a slightly higher ceiling, but his salary cost reflects that. Ryan provides similar upside for a bit of a discount. While Seattle revamped their secondary, they do not have much of a pass-rush which should allow Ryan ample time to find his receiving weapons downfield.
Speaking of those weapons, it will be tough to decide which receivers to set in lineups. Both teams have established veterans and rising young stars that can have huge games. My preferred method is using Calvin Ridley, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett. Julio Jones should certainly be considered, but the bottom line comes down to player salary. Ridley costs significantly less than Jones, and has come into his own as a reliable play maker for the Falcons. He can easily eclipse 100 yards, and the potential for multiple scores is also on the table. Using both of the Seahawks receivers provides a nice opportunity to absorb most of the receiving production in this game. Tyler Lockett has an established rapport with Wilson, especially when the play breaks down and Russell has to scramble. Seattle failed to upgrade their offensive line, so expect this to happen throughout the contest. DK Metcalf flashed game breaking talent in his rookie season, and should improve during his second year. The Falcons simply do not have any defender who can consistently cover him. As long as Metcalf can hang onto the ball when it comes his way, he could have one of the best wide receiver performances of the week.
Chicago Bears (Mitchell Trubisky, Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller)
While the thought of rolling out Mitch Trubisky may be nauseating for some, sharp fantasy players will see the value in this stack. The Bears offense may be lackluster, but it fills all the criteria mention in the introduction. As underwhelming as Trubisky has been through his career, week one provides a real opportunity for a ceiling game. This is mostly because of the extremely positive matchup against the Detroit Lions, whose defensive unit is rebuilding this year. Trubisky’s best statistical performances have come when facing Detroit. In three games against them, he has thrown for 866 yards, nine touchdowns, and boasts a whopping 74% completion rate. That doesn’t even take into account the nice rushing baseline he provides. Trubisky has sneaky athleticism and can make things happen when plays break down.
The Lions traded away Darius Slay over the spring, and have a glaring lack of talent in their secondary. This should pave the way for Allen Robinson to produce at a very high level. Robinson has been a steady force for the Bears when healthy, seeing over 150 targets last season. In both games against the Lions last year, he saw 21 targets. He converted those into 172 yards and one score while battling the aforementioned Slay. Ten to twelve targets Sunday should be expected, with a few coming in the red zone. Anthony Miller has quietly improved in each of his two seasons. Entering his third year, the stage is set for Miller to establish himself as a quality wide receiver opposite of Robinson. Going against soft coverage will give Miller plenty of opportunity to return his affordable salary. Strongly consider using a Lions receiver to complement this Bears stack; Marvin Jones should be the preferred option. He is cheaper than Kenny Golladay and healthy to start the season. Jones is a big play specialist who could easily get behind Chicago’s defense while they are focused on trying to stop Golladay.
This stack is a very affordable option, which will still allow you to fit in some higher priced running backs into your lineup.