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Cheap Quarterback–Wide Receiver Stacks to Consider for Redraft Fantasy Football in 2023

Daniel Jones - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

There are countless strategies to fantasy football and one of them that has grown in popularity, especially in Best Ball leagues is stacking. Stacking is the practice of drafting both the quarterback and their primary pass-catcher from the same team.

This turns a touchdown into 10.5 points without even factoring in whatever yardage the duo might have just scored from. While most fantasy managers are chasing the Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce stack or the Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase stack, and with good reason, there are other, much cheaper options available.

Now, as the old saying goes — you get what you pay for — that holds true here, however that doesn’t mean there aren’t cheap stacks fantasy managers can’t target this fantasy football season.  Let’s identify some to look for and please use promo code "BOOM" for 10% off of any premium purchase.

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Anthony Richardson & Alec Pierce/Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts

Underdog ADP of 99.9 and 157.3/212.7

Before we get too far, these are not in any sort of order. They’re only ranked in regard to the highest ADP of the quarterback stack. This first one undoubtedly takes a bigger leap of faith than most others. That’s because we’re dealing with a rookie quarterback and his rookie receiver or a second-year receiver who put up modest stats in year one. All that said, Anthony Richardson’s upside is tantalizing and it’s hard not to be enamored with it.

In seven games in 2020, Richardson rushed for 401 yards on just 51 attempts, an exciting 7.9 yards per carry average. He also found the end zone three times.

This past season marked the first year he was the Florida Gators’ starting quarterback for the full season. He finished with 654 rushing yards on 103 carries, good for a 6.3-yard per-carry average. This time, he scored nine times rushing the football. This is the kind of upside fantasy managers drool over.

We are talking about one of arguably the greatest and the most-freakiest of athletes the NFL has ever seen. Without question, the freakiest of quarterbacks. The upside is a league-winning player.

Vince Young finished as the QB9 in his rookie season. Cam Newton was QB2 and Robert Griffin III finished as the QB5 in their inaugural NFL seasons. Richardson can do the same thing, in a similar way that Justin Fields took the league by storm last year. This stack is largely based on what Richardson could become.

At this point, Josh Downs and Alec Pierce are cheap enough that you can add either one without much of an investment or you could even add both since it’s unknown at this point who will emerge as the team’s No. 2 receiver behind Michael Pittman Jr.

In Best Ball leagues, Pierce may be the ideal stack with Richardson. That’s because Pierce operated as the team’s downfield threat last season, a role he’ll reprise this year. With Pittman more of a possession receiver and Downs in the slot, Pierce will be used as the team’s field-stretching receiver.

The Colts' offense is likely to be focused on the run game in 2023, with Jonathan Taylor and Richardson, in a similar manner to the Bears’ offense last year. When the Bears did throw it, they often did so via play action and often times attacked the defense downfield. That works well for Pierce and the role he’ll operate in this season. Those deeper targets tend to have a lot more volatility to them because they’re more difficult plays to complete, but if Richardson and Pierce can get on the same page, there could be plenty of boom weeks between these two youngsters.

As for Downs, he might be a better stacking option in typical redraft leagues. That’s because Downs was a target hog in college and could become a favorite for Richardson early with his ability to work closer to the line of scrimmage, giving Richardson a security blanket of sorts.

Downs’ game is likely best suited for full-PPR leagues, but there are concerns as to whether or not he’ll command enough volume in his rookie season in what is likely to be a run-heavy offense with two other young and capable receivers alongside him.


Dak Prescott & Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys

Underdog ADP of 105.9 and 84.0 respectively

This is one of my favorite cheaper stacks fantasy managers can target this season. While Dak Prescott had a down season in 2023, this is almost entirely based on his 15 interceptions. Most of his other numbers, while they might have dipped some, were still very good. First, let’s touch on his interceptions.

Now, how about some of those other numbers? In 2021, when he threw 37 touchdowns, his TD rate was 6.2%. Last year, it fell to 5.8%. Had he had the same attempts in 2022 as he did in 2021, he would’ve had 35 touchdowns as opposed to 37. His 5.8% TD rate last season ranked fourth, tied with Joe Burrow. Dreadful, I know.

His yards per attempt also fell from 7.5 in 2021 when he finished ninth down to 7.3 this past season finishing 12th. Over the 596 attempts he had in 2021, we’re talking about a difference of 119 yards.

His completion percentage fell from 68.8% in 2021 to 66.2%, fourth down to 14th. This was the biggest fall, but overall it truly seems like his high number of interceptions is driving this narrative. Dak was still really good last year and fantasy managers should be expecting a major bounce-back season in 2023.

Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote here at RotoBaller on what to expect from Brandin Cooks this season in Dallas. You can read the full version here. Spoiler alert, I’m very bullish on Cooks this season.

Even last year, while he missed four games, he was on pace for 915 yards and this is despite quarterback play that ranked 31st out of 33 qualifying passers. He was also unhappy with the team after not having been traded last offseason and then not again following the trade deadline. Still, he averaged 7.15 targets per game and was on pace for 122. He was also on pace for 75 catches. That’s not really as bad as it seems considering the quarterback play. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to see what Cooks has provided over the years.

2015 D, Brees 100.6 19.3% 8.1 5.3 71.1 65.1% 13.5 13.2
2016 D, Brees 102.5 17.3% 7.3 4.9 73.3 66.7% 15.0 99.9 12.9 2.05 13.0
2017 T, Brady 102.6 19.4% 7.1 4.1 67.6 57.0% 16.6 113.1 16.0 0.75 1.90 19.1% 11.8
2018 J, Goff 100.7 22.6% 7.7 5.3 80.3 68.9% 15.0 100.5 13.5 1.06 2.16 23.8% 12.7
2019 J, Goff 85.6 12.9% 5.1 3.0 41.6 58.3% 13.8 72.7 14.1 0.35 1.41 17.4% 6.9
2020 D, Watson 112.3 23.9% 7.9 5.4 76.7 68.1% 14.2 90.3 11.4 0.73 2.12 21.9% 12.8
2021 D, Mills 85.2 26.9% 8.3 5.6 64.8 67.6% 11.5 89.3 10.7 0.56 2.15 27.5% 11.7
2022 D, Mills 76.8 21.0% 7.2 4.4 53.8 61.3% 12.3 81.3 11.4 0.69 1.77 235% 9.0

As you can see from the table above, we’re looking at an awfully good receiver. There are two seasons that stick out as obvious outliers and those are 2019 and 2022. If you’ll recall, the 2019 season was the year Cooks struggled with multiple concussions. He missed two games and left early in several more. He ended up playing fewer than 60% of the 14 games he appeared in and was mostly a lost season due to injuries. The 2022 season stands out as one of the worst of his career, but not surprisingly, that also coincides with, by far, the worst quarterback play he’s ever received – the only season where his team’s quarterbacks finished with a quarterback rating below 85 and it was well below that.

Eliminating those two seasons, if we take his worst per-game averages across the board in terms of targets, receptions, and yards, he’d still finish with 121 targets, 70 receptions, and 1,102 yards. Of those six remaining seasons, his worst half-PPR PPG average was 11.7. It really is amazing just how consistently good he’s been despite having to deal with new quarterbacks and new offenses so regularly.

He finished as the WR20 in 2015 in regards to half-PPR PPG average, WR10 (2016), WR14 (2017), WR20 (2018), WR18 (2020), and WR22 (2021). Considering how many teams and different quarterbacks he’s had to catch passes from, he’s been an incredibly consistent fantasy producer.

By stacking these two players fantasy managers have a good chance of drafting a top-12 QB and a top-30 WR with very little investment.


Daniel Jones & Darren Waller, New York Giants

Underdog ADP of 113.7 and 62.0 respectively

This is another one of my favorite stacks that fantasy managers can have relatively cheaply. That’s because with both players we’re drafting the exact archetype of player we should be targeting at their respective positions. Daniel Jones is a running quarterback and Darren Waller is expected to lead the team in targets. That is exactly the kind of player we want at each position.

Daniel Jones finished 2022 as the QB10 in PPG average. He managed this despite throwing for just 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns. However, in his defense, he wasn’t given much to work with in regard to the team’s pass-catchers.

The offense also leaned heavily on their rushing attack. This season, however, will be the second year in Brian Daboll’s system, a year we’ve typically seen ascending offenses take big leaps forward. We saw it in Atlanta with Kyle Shanahan and Matt Ryan. We saw it happen in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur and most recently, it happened just last season with Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts. Fantasy managers shouldn’t be surprised if this Giants offense opens up their playbook a bit in 2023 and makes some big strides.

The team added a plethora of pass-catchers this season, which includes the big addition of Darren Waller. They also added rookie Jalin Hyatt, and veterans Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder. They also retained Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Sterling Shepard. 2022 second-round pick, Wan'Dale Robinson should also be ready to go. That influx of talent should make Jones’ life a lot easier.

As far as Waller, he’s one of the bigger value targets in the young season. I previously did a deep dive into what his trade to the Big Apple means for his fantasy value and you can read it in full, here. In short, however, I expect Waller to have a terrific 2023 campaign and I’m not the only one.

This is what makes this stack so appealing. Fantasy managers are able to cheaply acquire a top-10 rushing quarterback and a tight end who is expected to be in the top-five in targets at a wasteland of a position.

Fantasy managers can realistically expect to maintain relevance at the quarterback position with a minor investment and gain a significant upside over their league at the tight end position with a marginal investment. It’s truly a beautiful, beautiful stacking option.


Russell Wilson & Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

Underdog ADP of 135.9 and 92.3 respectively

I get it. Y’all probably are not too keen to jump back onto the Russell Wilson train. Or the Courtland Sutton one for that matter, but if you’re looking for a cheap QB-WR stack, this one certainly qualifies.

Wilson has been one of the very best quarterbacks in the NFL ever since he made his debut in 2012. Prior to 2022, he’s had four top-10 finishes and four top-5 finishes in 10 seasons. He is just one of five active quarterbacks with a QB rating higher than 100 since 2012 with at least 10 games started. Folks, that is really, really good. So, the question is, did Wilson fall off a cliff or did he have a terrible season with a new coach, on a new team, in a new city on an offense that suffered several injuries throughout its lineup with bad coaching on top of it all?

The team’s starting running back, Javonte Williams played just 12% of the team’s snaps. Courtland Sutton, 77%. Jerry Jeudy, 62%. Tim Patrick, 0%. Starting tight end, Greg Dulcich, 43%. Starting left tackle, Garett Bolles, 29%. That is a land mine! Add in the atrocious coaching from Nathaniel Hackett who got kicked to the curb after one season and there are more than enough, completely justifiable reasons for why Wilson struggled last season.

Enter new head coach and offensive guru Sean Payton and new right tackle, Mike McGlinchey, along with the injured starters who will return in 2023 and there is a lot of reason for optimism.

As for Sutton, fantasy managers are being much too hard on him. 2021 was his first season back following a torn ACL he suffered early in the 2020 campaign. He finished with a modest stat line of 98 targets, 58 receptions, 776 yards, and two touchdowns. Not terrible all things considered, but definitely not ideal.

However, the Broncos’ offense was terrible that season. They finished 23rd in points, as well as 24th in pass attempts, 19th in passing yards, and 25th in passing touchdowns. While you could argue that Sutton didn’t help, he also didn’t get much help either. In any case, it certainly wasn’t a fantasy-friendly situation.

This brings us to his 2022 season when he finished with 109 targets, 64 receptions, 829 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Most are disappointed with that stat line, however, he missed two games and played just 40% of the snaps in a third game where he failed to earn a target on any of the only 10 routes he ran before getting injured.

If we look at his per-game averages over 14 games, he was on pace for 132 targets, 78 receptions, and 1,006 yards. Would a 2022 campaign stat line like that change your mind about Sutton? He’s one of the best touchdown progressive candidates among receivers this season. You can read more about Sutton’s touchdown progression candidacy and other such receivers here.

Looking at the 14 games where Sutton played 50% or more of his team’s snaps, he finished 21st in target share at 23.6%. He also finished 24th in targets per game, 29th in receptions, and 28th in receiving yards. He did that all on one of the league’s worst offenses.

If Sean Payton can get Wilson back to his former self or even something similar, Sutton could really be one of the better steals of the fantasy football season, making this duo one of the cheaper QB-WR stacks with some serious upside.

It's worth mentioning Jeudy (hamstring) could miss a few games to start the 2023 campaign.


Derek Carr & Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

Underdog ADP of 146.9 and 95.2 respectively

If I was asking you to take a leap of faith on the last one, you’re surely going to be thinking I’m asking too much here. Keep in mind, however, both of these players are incredibly cheap.

Michael Thomas hasn’t played more than eight games since 2019. This is the biggest knock on him and to be fair, it’s a huge one. We’re talking about three years of missed time where he’s played in just 10 games total. If you’re not concerned about that, you’re not being honest or incredibly optimistic, but the cost is cheap. Fantasy managers can draft him at the back of round seven.

Fortunately, despite the small sample size in 2022, Thomas was still really good. He averaged 14.4 half-PPR PPG, which was the ninth-best among receivers. Full disclosure, he scored 18 of his 43.1 points via touchdowns. However, that isn’t all noise. He did have three targets inside the 10-yard line, so he had excellent utilization in the contests he played in.

He also averaged 7.3 targets (25th among WRs), 5.3 receptions (15th), 57.0 yards (31st), and 79 air yards per game (24th). Considering the layoff, he was still on pace for 124 targets, 90 receptions, and 969 yards. Maybe, just maybe he stays healthy this season.

Carr can be had in the 12th round, making him very easy to acquire. The offensive structure in New Orleans could allow him to be successful right away too. They’ve got an excellent offensive line, which should give him plenty of time to stand in the pocket. A backfield consisting of Jamaal Williams and Alvin Kamara should help keep the team moving the chains and defenses honest. Kamara is also one of the best pass-catchers out of the backfield.

At receiver, he’ll be throwing to 2022’s star rookie Chris Olave. He also has Rashid Shaheed and tight end Juwan Johnson. There are plenty of weapons here at his disposal where Carr could operate as a solid QB2 in fantasy.

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