STLCards' NFL DFS Picks - Core Stacks: Conference Championships

Stacking in daily fantasy football can be the key to winning a large-field tournament. In this space, GPP master Justin “STLCardinals84” will detail his favorite correlations to help you optimize your DFS lineups.

Conference Championships

Welcome back, Grinders! This will be the final core stacks article of the year. Thanks for checking this piece out throughout the season. I hope it helped you as you built your GPP rosters throughout the season.

Let’s try to end the year on a high note by checking out some stacks that I like for daily fantasy sports lineups for the Conference Championship Round! I will also touch on some single game strategy for the Showdown slates as well.


Core Stack #1 – Damien Williams + A.J. Brown

I absolutely love this pairing for Conference Championship week. While the Titans have thrown the ball as little as possible over their first two playoff games, I don’t expect game flow to be as favorable in this contest. That means that they will need to use the right arm of Ryan Tannehill more than they have against the Patriots and Ravens. Those first two playoff matchups were nightmare draws for A.J. Brown. He was incredible over the last half of the regular season, but his production was over-shadowed by the even more incredible performance by Derrick Henry. Brown has largely been a non-factor in the playoffs with Henry dominating the offense, but the first two matchups were against the two best secondaries in the NFL. This is a great bounce-back spot for Brown in a game where the Titans will likely have to take to the air a little more. It’s the right time to buy low.

If we presume that the Chiefs will be able to play with a lead this week, Damien Williams should be looking at 20 touches in this game. He didn’t do much in the first half last week with the Chiefs falling behind 24-0 early, but he still ended up with 14 total touches and three scores by the time the game was over. The Brown/Williams pairing is a nice way to get potential game flow correlation with this one, particularly if you are looking to make a bold stand by fading or going underweight on Derrick Henry.

Core Stack #2 – Jimmy Garoppolo + Emmanuel Sanders

This is a game where we need to potentially embrace some variance. The Packers got obliterated in the first head-to-head meeting between these teams, and the 49ers only threw the ball 20 times in that game. The 49ers also went with a run-heavy approach in last week’s relatively easy win over the Vikings. We know that San Francisco will run the ball whenever they can, particularly if they are playing with a lead. In GPP formats, though, I like the idea of potentially looking to the passing game this weekend. You need to be different to win tournaments on a two game slate, and playing Garoppolo and Sanders is one way to do that. Sanders is a veteran that the 49ers acquired for games like this, and we saw him pop for two big games during the regular season — including one in a key matchup against the Saints. George Kittle is banged up, and that could lead to a few more targets heading Sanders’ way. This is particularly true if the Packers scheme to take away Kittle a little more after he had a big game in the first meeting.

You could make the same logical case for Deebo Samuel if you prefer him over Sanders, but Sanders is my choice. I don’t think you need to go Garoppolo + Sanders + Samuel given the limited passing volume that this team often has.

TEN/KC Showdown Strategy

I have been as impressed as anyone with the run that Derrick Henry has had over the past two months. This is a great matchup for him against a Kansas City rush defense that has often been porous throughout the season. However, I have my concerns about game flow in this contest. The Chiefs got off to a ridiculously sluggish start against the Texans in the Divisional Round. I don’t expect that to happen again. Should the Chiefs happen to get out to a fairly healthy lead in this game, the Titans may have to throw the ball more than they really want to. It’s a risk/reward play based on game flow, but I think there’s merit to going underweight on Henry in single game formats. The swerve would be to get exposure to the TEN passing game and the KC running game, as I discussed above. Alternatively, the Kansas City defense could be a value play on DraftKings if you think that the playoff pressure will get to Ryan Tannehill.

GB/SF Showdown Strategy

This is a really intriguing game. It is a rematch of a Sunday Night tilt that was played back in Week 12, a game that was dominated by San Francisco in a 37-8 thrashing. While the 49ers are a great team, they are often frustrating targets in DFS. The coaching staff almost always goes with a “hot hand” approach at running back, and their passing game production is inconsistent outside of George Kittle (who is banged up right now). This does provide us with opportunity in Showdown formats. It stands to reason that the Green Bay side of this game might actually be the higher owned side, simply because we have a better idea of where production will come from. I will absolutely get exposure to guys like Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert in this game. It was Coleman who trolled the DFS world with a big game last week, but Mostert has had flashes of his own. Take advantage of the unpredictability with your GPP builds. The same goes with the Green Bay passing game. Basically no wide receivers caught passes outside of Davante Adams a week ago, but the likes of Lazard and Allison could be more involved this week. This is a game where I will be embracing variance. I do think it will be a much more competitive contest this time around.

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