Daily Games

NFL DFS Stacks Conference Round

by Renee Miller
Updated On: January 28, 2022, 1:13 pm ET

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 two-game slate on Sunday.


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AFC: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Byron Pringle

This is the game for fantasy, and though it is certainly star studded, you can also look here for value. Mahomes is the safest QB and Kelce is the safest TE option, so you probably want to start here for cash game lineups. Nothing against Joe Burrow, who was fantastic in the Week 16 meeting between these teams (440 passing yards, four touchdown passes), but I’m taking the experience of the Chiefs and Mahomes in this one. Burrow is a great GPP option, and I’m hoping for a game like we saw last week in KC – the Chiefs pass defense is certainly susceptible. Enter Chase, who had one of the all-time great WR games against them in Week 16, and has more than held his own in these last two playoff games. He will be the go-to guy for Cincy when they need a big play or a first down. Note that the Chiefs completely shut down Tee Higgins, who was coming off the big game in Baltimore in Week 15 in the first meeting, and they limited Stefon Diggs last week. If they key in on Chase, and succeed in shutting him down (no guarantee there), Higgins and Boyd would stand to benefit. Higgins is one of my favorite GPP differentiators, but Boyd can provide necessary salary relief in any lineup. Boyd broke his touchdown streak last week, but remains a very cheap way to get exposure to a big-play guy with good hands. His target share is fair, so he really needs to score to exceed value, but this is all about price. Pringle is also still cheap, as his three playoff touchdowns scream fluky (one was from Kelce, after all). Still. I can’t say it enough – you have to save somewhere, and touchdown catching wide receivers in a game with a high over/under and competitive history is the best place to do it.


NFC: Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Cooper Kupp, Elijah Mitchell

As noted in the bargain article, Garoppolo is the only QB to offer significant savings. Like enough savings to comfortably fit Kupp in your lineups. I think this game will be lower scoring than the first one, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to target some players with nice salaries and high ceilings. Kupp’s salary isn’t nice, but it is fair, and you should try to roster him in all situations given his target share, sticky hands, and nose/toes for the endzone. Garoppolo has been awful in the playoffs, but he hasn’t been awful all season, and played quite well against the Rams during the two regular season meetings. He’s not likely to throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, but 300 and three is an outcome that wouldn’t surprise me. I suspect the 49ers have been saving some of their playbook for this round, and hopefully the next one, not going out on too many limbs while the previous two games have fallen right to them, with all respect to the outstanding defense. That should mean more Kittle. Few top-tier players have been so volatile or disappointing in the second half of the season. I think we’re looking at double-digit targets for Kittle, and I don’t think he’ll drop many in the pleasant Southern California weather this weekend. Pairing Kittle and Garoppolo is more of a GPP move, but the high usage and consistent production of Kupp and Mitchell provide some high-floor balance to the stack.


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Mini-Stacks of the week:

Joe Mixon and Bengals D/ST

We could also call it contrarian. Running back doesn’t leave a lot of options this week with the multiple committees and injury question marks. Mixon is the sure thing, and even when he isn’t at his best, as he was not against the Raiders in the Wild Card win, he’s still got a higher floor than most everyone else. Mixon was useful in both phases of the game against the Titans, a much better run defense than Kansas City. Though this projects to be a shootout, I like Mixon in both cash game and tournament lineups. The Bengals’ D/ST is just cheap enough to help you upgrade at a key skill position on every site. No one wants to face Mahomes, but I don’t love any of the defenses playing this week. If, like me, you believe that the fantasy point differential between the four units is likely to be small and unpredictable, and need a few extra salary cap dollars to fit Kupp or Burrow, just go bargain bin at defense.