STLCards' NFL DFS Picks - Core Stacks: Week 1

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Week 1

Welcome back, Grinders! The 2022 NFL season is here! I am back with another edition of the Core Stacks series, and we’re going to change up the format a little bit this year with the addition of our handy new stack tool!

If you are new to this article series, check out the introduction below. If you are familiar with it, welcome back for another year!

An Introduction

In case you are new to the NFL DFS space or new to RotoGrinders, this was a new article series that began two years ago. The goal of the article is to detail some of my favorite GPP correlation plays of the week. These could be anything from full game stacks to simple QB/WR combinations to RB/DEF combinations to anything in between. I will include some chalkier builds and some lower owned builds throughout the article, and I will touch on our RotoGrinders projected ownership figures along the way.

You may ask yourself why stacks and correlation plays are so important in NFL DFS. Well, we have seen time and again throughout the years that correlation plays lead to winning tournament lineups.

Scenario #1 – If you roster a quarterback that throws six touchdown passes with four of them going to one wide receiver, you probably aren’t winning a GPP with that quarterback unless you also have him paired with that wide receiver.

Scenario #2 – Running backs and team defenses are also generally positively correlated thanks to game flow. If Team A gets a lead, then Team A will look to run the ball more. Team B will be forced to pass, which adds to the upside of Team A’s defense with increased opportunities for sacks, turnovers, and the like.

Scenario #3 – Game stacks can also work out when you see a 48-41 shootout type of game. The correlations among the different offensive players are often fantastic when you see a game with a ton of points like that. For example, the Browns and Chargers played a 45-42 game last year where Justin Herbert threw for 398 yards and four touchdowns. Mike Williams caught two of them. Austin Ekeler had two rushing touchdowns. Nick Chubb ran for 161 yards and a score. Baker Mayfield threw for 305 yards and 2 TD’s. You get the picture.

With the housekeeping out of the way, let’s check out some stacks that I like for daily fantasy sports lineups for the opening week of the 2022 season!

Core Stack #1 – Justin Herbert + Keenan Allen + Mike Williams

Quick Analysis – If you sort our table above based on leverage (positive numbers in the % difference column), you can see that our models really like the Chargers this week. Even though Justin Herbert is going to be one of the most popular quarterback selections, we still like his prospects of leading a strong game. We currently have his projected ownership on FanDuel at around 9.8%, with simulations suggesting that he ends up on winning rosters more than 12% of the time. There are going to be a lot of shootouts in a loaded AFC West this season, and the LV/LAC game currently sits with a 52 point total. Feel free to fire up Herbert and his receiving weapons here.

Completing The Build – You can turn this into a full game stack build if you desire, as this game has the highest overall total of the week, or you can just run it back with someone like Adams or Waller on the other side. If you do that, you’ll need to find value somewhere, but the good news is that Week 1 offers plenty of strong value options to round out lineups. Wan’Dale Robinson is minimum priced on DraftKings and could fill a surprisingly big role from the get go, while the salary cap isn’t as tough to navigate on FanDuel.

Core Stack #2 – Jonathan Taylor + IND D/ST

Quick AnalysisDFS can be all about game flow at times. This game sets up very well against a Houston team that is once again going to be one of the worst squads in the NFL. Indianapolis is a full road touchdown favorite in this game, and the Texans allowed 142 yards per game on the ground last season. That was the second worst mark in the entire league. It feels like Taylor might go a bit under-owned here, somewhat due to comments about the Colts looking to lighten his workload a bit this year. Don’t listen to the coach speak until we start to see an impact in game action. Taylor is going to get his work, and he is likely going to make it count. Pair him with the Colts defense to get the correlation should Indianapolis play with a lead in this game.

Completing The Build – This correlation works great with a cheap QB/WR combination stack, and you can read more about that in the next stack below. These builds allow you to spend up at RB (possibly even for TWO spend up RB options, which will really differentiate your lineups). I like the idea of a Taylor/Henry or Taylor/Cook build if you can make it work with value plays at the other positions.

Core Stack #3 – Trevor Lawrence + Christian Kirk

Quick Analysis – Many people like to try to find low owned gems when building GPP rosters. This could qualify as either that, or a complete bust. I am all about the cheap QB/WR combinations in Week 1. This one feels gross, but I do think there is potential for Jacksonville to improve this year. They have made some changes at receiver, and anything is an upgrade from what they have thrown out there in recent seasons. I like the Lawrence to Kirk combination here in a game that could be a sneaky shootout between the Jags and Commanders. This stack allows you to fill up the rest of your lineup with studs, and it could be a difference maker in GPP builds. Washington allowed the fourth most passing yards per game a year ago, too.

Completing The Build – This stack will give you the salary flexibility to spend up at a lot of other positions. You can get a Taylor or a Henry as your RB1 with a Lawrence/Kirk build. You can spend up for Kelce at tight end. You can really give yourself explosive upside at those positions, and if Lawrence and Kirk happen to connect for a couple of touchdowns, you’re potentially on the way to a strong GPP finish.

Core Stack #4 – Packers / Vikings Game Stacks

Quick Analysis – The Raiders / Chargers game is going to be by far the most popular game stack this week. If you’re looking for a sneakier game that could shoot out, let’s head to Minnesota. We know who is going to get the ball on the Minnesota side. Dalvin Cook is a top five running back in the NFL. Justin Jefferson is ascending to elite WR status. Kirk Cousins is getting some buzz as the season starts. The bigger question is how to handle things with Green Bay. How will they split carries between Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon? Who is going to soak up all the targets that Davante Adams took to Las Vegas? That is going to make people shy away from the Packers, but there’s upside here in a game that should be competitive and somewhat high scoring. Romeo Doubs had an impressive preseason. Allen Lazard is the safest bet for production. You can mix and match these Green Bay weapons along with the safer Minnesota options and potentially strike gold if you pick the right Green Bay plays.

Completing The Build – Neither of these teams has elite talent at tight end, so I would probably exclude the tight ends from my stacks and play an upside option at the position. This is especially true when you consider that Irv Smith is going to be a popular punt. Leave him out of your stacks to help differentiate your builds. On a points per dollar basis, Kyle Pitts is my favorite play at tight end. He is a matchup nightmare for opponents, and Atlanta lacks talent at the wide receiver spots.

Other Potential Low Owned Options To Consider

Miles Sanders – Here we go again. Sanders has failed the DFS community as chalk approximately 586 times, but the time to target him is when nobody is thinking about it. Early projections have him at 3-5% ownership. Will he get the touches this year? Camp reports seem to indicate that he will. He’s worth a look as a low owned dart in Week 1.

DJ Moore – A new quarterback certainly can’t hurt. He showed flashes of upside at times last year, and we know the targets will be there. How about a big performance in that immediate Baker Mayfield revenge game?

Mark Andrews – Everyone will go to Kelce and Pitts at the top of tight end this week, but don’t sleep on Andrews. He put up massive numbers a year ago, and the Ravens have next to nothing in the way of proven receiver options. A favorable matchup against the Jets awaits.

Good luck this week! NFL is back!

Image Credit: Imagn

This DFS content is a part of our Premium Content Schedule and designed to help you build better lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo!, SuperDraft, and other daily fantasy contest providers. Access NFL Projections, Expert Rankings, Projected Ownership, NFL DFS Picks, and other Data Tools using this content hub. For our world-class optimizer that offers a suite of tools and information designed to help you crush the competition, please head to LineupHQ!

Week 1

Welcome back, Grinders! The 2022 NFL season is here! I am back with another edition of the Core Stacks series, and we’re going to change up the format a little bit this year with the addition of our handy new stack tool!

If you are new to this article series, check out the introduction below. If you are familiar with it, welcome back for another year!

An Introduction

In case you are new to the NFL DFS space or new to RotoGrinders, this was a new article series that began two years ago. The goal of the article is to detail some of my favorite GPP correlation plays of the week. These could be anything from full game stacks to simple QB/WR combinations to RB/DEF combinations to anything in between. I will include some chalkier builds and some lower owned builds throughout the article, and I will touch on our RotoGrinders projected ownership figures along the way.

About the Author

  • Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84)

  • Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds.

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