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Wild Card Round - Daily Fantasy Football Tournament Stacks


Well, here we are: postseason time. The 2017 season opened back in September with 32 NFL teams all vying for Lombardi Trophy, but now in January only 12 remain alive in their pursuit. If your favorite team is among those 12, congratulations! If not, let us help wash away that bitter disappointment with some daily fantasy football.

The goal of this weekly column is to help find the most profitable DFS stacks, while avoiding the duds. Stacking, or pairing multiple players from the same NFL team, is an ideal way to maximize your point production, which is crucial in larger GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments.

With only four games to choose from, pricing becomes less of a concern. You'll want to find a low-owned gem or two, especially for tournaments, but it'll still be important to hit a high-scoring stack to build the foundation of your lineup. With that mind, instead of ranking the stacks from most expensive to least expensive as in the regular season, we've ranked them in order of appeal.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Wild Card Round - Strong DFS Stacks

New Orleans QB Drew Brees and WR Michael Thomas vs. Carolina

In his four career home playoff starts for the Saints, Brees is 4-0 with 10 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. Guess where he's playing this Sunday afternoon? Yup, the Superdome. If history is any indication, Brees is due for another solid performance.

Brees also tossed four touchdowns against zero interceptions in two meetings this season against Carolina, which finished the regular season with the 18th-ranked pass defense. Thomas and standout rookie running back Alvin Kamara are both smart plays with Brees. In fact, playing all three should pay major dividends.

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff and WR Robert Woods vs. Atlanta

The Rams are one of five new playoff teams in the NFC this season, but there's little doubt they're the top feel-good story of that bunch. After a 12-year postseason drought, the Rams are finally back. They'll host the lone returning NFC team from the 2016 playoff field in the first round.

Goff has tossed at least two touchdowns in each of his last five games, a trend that will likely continue against the Falcons. Woods is the receiver with the most upside, but star running back Todd Gurley has nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns through the air in his last two games. Gurley is basically a must-play.

Atlanta QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones at Los Angeles Rams

It's been an up-and-down season for the defending NFC champions, but the Falcons are back in the playoffs. In a matchup with the league's highest-scoring team, we'll find out right away if Atlanta is capable of another deep postseason run.

It's difficult to envision the Falcons defeating the Rams without a big game from Jones, so expect the star wide receiver to get a healthy dose of targets. Ryan hasn't looked like his 2016 MVP form this season, but he's still capable of 300 yards and two-plus touchdowns.

 

Wild Card Round - Riskier DFS Stacks

Kansas City QB Alex Smith and TE Travis Kelce vs. Tennessee

Smith and Kelce have been two of most consistent fantasy producers at their respective positions all season. So why are they now risky against the Titans' 25th-ranked pass defense? Call it a hunch, but this game could be a low-scoring, grind-it-out affair.

The Titans would certainly like the game flow to follow that script. Kelce is still a solid bet for 8-10 targets, 5-7 catches, and perhaps a touchdown. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill offers more upside, due to his big-play potential. But then again, the Chiefs could just go run-heavy with Kareem Hunt and disappoint us all.

Carolina QB Cam Newton and RB Christian McCaffrey at New Orleans

Newton was dreadful in the regular-season finale against Atlanta, finishing just 14-for-34 for 180 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. That kind of production won't get it done against the Saints.

Luckily, McCaffrey should help Newton's cause in this matchup. The dynamic rookie had two of his better games this season against New Orleans (11 receptions, 101 yards in Week 3; six receptions, one touchdown in Week 13). Expect him to be heavily involved in Carolina's passing attack.

Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles and WR Keelan Cole vs. Buffalo

Bortles has been better this season than most people realize, but come on; do you really trust him with the game on the line? Marqise Lee remains a question mark because of an ankle injury, leaving the rookie Cole, Allen Hurns, and Dede Westbrook as the top stacking options.

Buffalo's defense allowed only 14 touchdowns through the air this season, while piling up 18 INTs. In other words, the Jaguars' formula for success is controlling the ball and grinding out possessions with running back Leonard Fournette.

 

Wild Card Round - DFS Stacks to Avoid

Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota and TE Delanie Walker at Kansas City

The Titans will likely try to avoid a shootout with the Chiefs' high-powered offense, so that further lessens the already-low appeal of Mariota. Kansas City finished the regular season ranked 29th in pass defense, so Mariota should be able to move the ball, but not enough to inspire much confidence in a DFS lineup.

Walker headlines an equally inspiring group of pass-catchers that includes Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis, and Eric Decker. Of those three, Davis has the highest upside, but all three carry significantly low floors.

Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor and RB LeSean McCoy at Jacksonville

It. Finally. Happened. Say it with me: the Buffalo Bills have made the playoffs! The last time it happened was 1999. The question now, of course, is how long will the Bills' run last? Buffalo faces a difficult road matchup against another loser-turned-winner in Jacksonville.

The Bills' offense, led Taylor and McCoy, is not optimally built for DFS stacking. A significant portion of Taylor's fantasy value is tied to his rushing ability. McCoy, on the other hand, is a major question mark after suffering an ankle injury last Sunday. They are the Bills' two best offensive weapons, and assuming they both play, you could risk it and roll the dice with them.

 

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