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Week 1 DFS GPP Stacks For FanDuel And DraftKings


Hey there RotoBallers! After a long off-season, the big day is finally here as the NFL regular season Week 1 kicks off. You have probably already been tinkering with daily fantasy lineups since prices were released last month but there's always room for more combinations. Get those lineups set on Sunday morning, sit back, and enjoy the glorious return of football!

The goal of this weekly column will be to locate some of the best DFS stacks each week. Stacking, or pairing a quarterback with one of his pass-catchers, is a great way to maximize point scoring. This method is generally viewed as a strategy in tournaments, but I also have no problem using safe, high-floor stacks in cash games, as well. There are plenty of high-scoring games on opening weekend, including the Chiefs-Jaguars (52.0 over/under), Rams-Panthers (50.5), 49ers-Cardinals (49.5), and Lions-Cardinals (47.5).

The top Week 1 DFS stacks will be listed below, loosely sorted by my preference. This article will center on the main slate (1:00 PM and 4:00 PM Sunday) games across both DraftKings and FanDuel. Each stack will reference two pass-catchers along with their quarterback. The pass-catchers will be listed in preferential order but sometimes a three-man stack is in play as full-game stacks led to several wins in the Milly Maker in 2018. If you feel strongly about how an offense will perform in a given week, by all means load up on as many offensive players as you can. All references to team defense DVOA come from Football Outsiders while cornerback and wide receiver matchups and grade references come from Pro Football Focus.

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Week 1 DFS Stacks

Los Angeles Rams @ Carolina Panthers

QB Jared Goff ($6,200 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel)
WR Brandin Cooks ($6,500 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel)
WR Robert Woods ($6,400 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel)

The Rams offense slowed down as the season wore on, punctuated by a disappointing three-point performance against New England in the Super Bowl. Part of the problem was a banged-up Todd Gurley and another issue was the mid-season loss of Cooper Kupp. Kupp appears to be recovered from a November ACL tear, which boosts the entire LA passing game outlook. Jared Goff's squad has the third-highest implied team total in Week 1 as they head to Carolina to take on the Panthers. Carolina ranked just 24th in pass defense DVOA in 2018 and they should have their hands full with an explosive Los Angeles passing attack.

Trying to project which Rams receiver will go off in a given week can be somewhat difficult. With that said, I am refraining from playing Kupp until I've seen a full game out of him. That leaves Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods as the preferred stacking pieces around Goff. Cooks will draw Carolina's top cornerback, but he is also the most explosive receiver on the team, with the opportunity to post game-changing splash plays each and every week.

Woods is also an excellent option, as he should see a much more favorable matchup than Cooks in Week 1. While the Panthers were solid against No. 1 receivers in 2018, they were dead last in the league in DVOA against the opposition's No. 2 option. If Carolina manages to scheme to stop Cooks, Woods has a good chance to run wild against their secondary.

San Francisco 49ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,800 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel)
TE George Kittle ($6,600 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel)
WR Dante Pettis ($5,400 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel)

The Buccaneers employed one of the worst pass defenses in the league in 2018, ranking 30th in DVOA. They did little to bolster the situation this season, while new head coach Bruce Arians' pass-first philosophy will do little to help hide the porous secondary. Garoppolo did not have a great preseason, although he surely had plenty of rust to shake off after missing all but three games last season with an ACL tear. With neither team expected to be very strong on defense this season, this game has very high shootout potential. The 49ers head to Tampa as one-point road dogs in what Vegas has set as the third-highest over/under on the main slate.

The 49ers still don't have an alpha wide receiver, which ensures that star tight end George Kittle will once again fill that role for Kyle Shanahan. Kittle had a massive breakout in 2018 and will run his routes against a Tampa Bay defense that was 28th in the league in pass defense DVOA against the position in 2018.

As mentioned above, the wide receiver pecking order is tough to decipher ahead of the regular-season opener. Pettis has drawn the ire of his head coach this preseason, although some of that surely must be a motivational ploy. As the incumbent No. 1, Pettis should see the majority of the wide receiver targets in Week 1, at least while Deebo Samuel gets acclimated to the NFL game. He is far behind Kittle as a preferred stacking partner this weekend.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers

QB Jameis Winston ($6,600 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel)
WR Mike Evans ($7,900 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel)
WR Chris Godwin ($6,200 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel)

I don't know about you, but one of the main things I am looking forward to seeing in Week 1 is how the Buccaneers offense looks under Bruce Arians. The Bucs are loaded with pass-catchers, which we know is something that Arians can take full advantage of based on his track record in Arizona. While the jury is still out on whether Jameis Winston is a good real-life quarterback, we know how high his upside can be in fantasy. As previously mentioned, the 49ers do not have a strong defense. This matchup of two poor pass defenses from 2018 should yield plenty of fantasy-point goodness in Week 1. The Buccaneers are one-point home favorites with a solid 25.25-point implied team total.

While all of the offseason hype has centered around Chris Godwin, Evans remains the alpha receiver in Tampa until he proves otherwise. While he lacks YAC upside, the 6'5" beast has multi-touchdown potential any time he takes the field. He will likely see a lot of Richard Sherman in Week 1, but Evans got the better of the former Seahawk when the met last season, catching six passes for 116 yards, primarily while in Sherman's coverage.

The hype around Godwin is real as he lines up to make the vaunted third-year leap this season. Despite being buried behind DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries last season, the young wideout rarely failed to disappoint when he did get an opportunity to play a full complement of snaps. It bears noting that the 49ers were very bad against No. 2 receivers in 2018, ranking 26th in DVOA. A Winston-Evans-Godwin-O.J. Howard four-man stack is very much in play for Week 1.

 

Under-owned Week 1 Stack

Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings

QB Matt Ryan ($6,100 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel)
WR Julio Jones ($8,000 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel)
TE Austin Hooper ($3,200 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel)

DFS gamers generally enjoy rostering the Falcons offense, especially when they are at home in the dome facing a weak NFC South defense. Neither of those factors will be in play in Week 1 as the Falcons head to Minnesota to take on a Vikings Defense that has been one of the best in the league over the past few seasons. Those factors should work together to drive down the ownership levels on Ryan and company. Ryan quietly turned in another excellent season in 2018 and has the weapons at his disposal to ensure the Falcons remain a top offense in the league in 2019. The Falcons have a 21.75-point implied team total, which is decent, and head to Minnesota as four-point underdogs. That means we can expect Ryan to throw often in Week 1 if Atlanta does in fact fall behind.

Stacking Julio Jones with Matt Ryan is a no-brainer as he can be safely projected to be one of the top-scoring wide receivers in Week 1. Jones is expected to mostly do battle with the Vikings' Xavier Rhodes, their lockdown cornerback. Of course, Jones is still one of the top wide receivers in the league, which makes who he lines up across less concerning considering how he can dominate anyone.

While some may consider Calvin Ridley as an alternate stacking partner with Ryan, I would instead take a look at Austin Hooper. While the Vikings were excellent at limiting the pass last season, they were not all that great against enemy tight ends. In fact, Minnesota ranked 30th in the league in DVOA when it came to covering opposing tight ends. Hooper is a popular breakout candidate this season who is expected to take a big leap forward after his solid 2018 campaign.

 

Thanks for reading, go win some money this weekend!

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