NFL DFS Stacks Week 13

·7 min read

This weekly article gets us ready for NFL DFS by considering some of the safest stacks, contrarian stacks, and a mini-stack or two. The premise is based on research showing the degree of correlation between one player’s fantasy output and another in his game. Among the strongest correlations are QB-QB(opponent), QB-WR1, QB-WR2, QB-WR1(opponent), QB-TE, and RB-D/ST. These are for the main slate on Sunday.

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Safe Stacks:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta: Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Leonard Fournette, Cordarrelle Patterson

The Bucs have the highest implied team total of the week, and are the highest scoring team in the league. Atlanta is a great on-paper matchup for all involved and Brady took advantage the first time around, throwing five touchdowns with no mistakes. Evans and Rob Gronkowski each caught two of those, while Chris Godwin caught the other. Fournette was just ok in the Week 2 matchup, rushing for 52 yards and catching four of four targets. Evans is my WR pick this week because he seems to have Atlanta’s number. He has more touchdowns against the Falcons than any other team (10, twice more than he has vs. other division rivals Carolina and New Orleans). Gronk and Godwin are not that far behind if you have a salary or personal preference (though Evans is cheaper than Godwin on FanDuel). Patterson seems to be the only Falcon we can trust this season. You could certainly continue to take GPP shots with Matt Ryan and Kyle Pitts, but I wouldn’t want to headline my cash game lineup with either.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston: Carson Wentz, Michael Pittman, Jonathan Taylor, Brandin Cooks

The Colts are huge favorites over the Texans, and I think it’s reasonable to roster all three of the star skill players. Pittman and Wentz are sorely in need of a friendly matchup-based bounce-back game. This is their shot – Houston ranks 10th vs. QB fourth overall in fantasy points allowed, giving up the fifth-most real points per game. Taylor might break the bank but that’s the only concern with using him. For cash games, I think you can get away with it given Wentz’ and Pittman’s salaries are still low. Brandin Cooks is not practicing with an illness, so his status needs to be monitored, but I am operating on the assumption that he’ll be good to go on Sunday. Like Patterson, Cooks is the only Texan you can trust. His target volume is tied for 11th in the league among WRs, tied with Deebo Samuel. The Colts are also a favorable defense; they rank ninth to WR and eighth overall in fantasy points allowed.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit: Kirk Cousins, Alexander Mattison, Jamaal Williams

The Vikings have yet to officially rule out Dalvin Cook, but that’s where this week is heading. FanDuel and DrafKings have preemptively raised Mattison’s salary, but he’s only $18 on Yahoo. Even at the higher price, he should be worth it. In two games Cook missed this year, Mattison ran 25 and 26 times for over 100 yards each time, along with catching 13 of 15 targets in those games. One was vs. Detroit in Week 5. The volume has been staggering, and this is the Lions we’re now facing. The Lions are the third-best RB matchup in the league. I’m tempted to use just Mattison, because given the failing state of the Lions’ offense this could be a quick blowout, but Kirk Cousins has been pretty steady in all kinds of game flows this season, especially lately. On the Lions’ side, the projected absence of De’Andre Swift makes Jamaal Williams a great value play. The Vikings run defense is susceptible, and Williams’ role in the pass game should keep him busy as the Lions will likely be playing from behind.

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Contrarian Stacks:

Cincinnati Bengals vs. LA Chargers: Joe Mixon, C.J. Uzomah, Mike Williams

This is projected to be a high scoring and competitive game, with the Bengals 3-point home favorites. I’m concerned about Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, given Chase’s recent disappearing act (a lot of double coverage) and the Chargers’ phenomenal secondary, so this stack is a bit unusual in that it lacks a QB. It can pair with the mini-stack idea below, though. Joe Mixon should be able to take advantage of a weak Chargers’ run defense that is giving up the fourth-most fantasy points per game, a number that seems to rise each week. He’s enjoying high volume – 58 carries in the last two games – and has scored at least 25 PPR fantasy points in each of his last four games. Mixon feels like a bargain compared to Jonathan Taylor! I noted in the bargain article that Uzomah fits the bill; he is there when he’s needed and can be a touchdown/end zone magnet in the right matchup. While the Chargers should focus on shutting down Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, Uzomah might be Burrow’s best option more than usual this weekend. Tight end has been a weak spot for LA; they give up the fifth-most fantasy points to the position this season. Pairing the Bengals’ skill players with WR Williams, who has reverted back to boom-or-bust status. At least it’s caused his salary to plummet, right? The 20-plus fantasy point game is still well within his reach, and I think we can expect the Chargers to try to make some big plays to counteract what might be a more methodical, run-heavy approach from Cincinnati.

Miami Dolphins vs. NY Giants: Tua Tagovailoa, Myles Gaskin, Dolphins’ D/ST

Although this game has the lowest point total of the Sunday slate, and the Giants’ defense has shown some opportunistic ability lately, I think Miami might be a sneaky play. I’m taking the approach of rostering QB and RB here, to account for all (most likely) of the offensive touchdowns that might be scored, while not tying myself to any single WR. Jalen Waddle is the obvious choice, but Mack Hollins has been there for some long touchdowns recently, and Albert Wilson is getting ample targets too. Mike Gesicki is also an option here, but not one I’m super excited about. Gaskin is the guy with the good matchup, and Miami has been feeding him. He’s coming off his best game of the season, and hopefully that bodes well for his increased involvement in this favorable matchup too. The Dolphins’ D/ST is affordable on DK and FD, and has been on fire during their four-win streak. They’re averaging about four sacks and 2.5 turnovers per game in the last four games. All in all, this stack saves you a lot of salary cap and allows you to work in the stars of your choice around it.

Mini-Stacks of the week:

Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp

If you want to go light, consider the Rams, who have the second-highest implied team total of the slate (30.25 points). They are the eighth-highest scoring offense in the league, and these two are the main reason why. Jacksonville started the season as an “easy” pass defense, but in their most recent three games have held opponents to fewer than 200 passing yards. Those opponents had no trouble running effectively against Jacksonville, which may have contributed to the switch. The Jaguars’ defense has also been less effective on the road, while Stafford and Kupp are equally good no matter where they’re playing. This is a pricey mini-stack, with

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