Stack Attack: Finding RBs & TEs to Stack With in 2022
Stacking your fantasy roster most commonly occurs with a QB and WR from the same team, giving you a double-punch for every connection your duo makes in the end-zone. While pairing QBs with their favorite receiver (you can find my favorites in Part 1), targeting other positions on your roster to pair can maximize your ceiling from week-to-week.
Aaron Rodgers (QB11, 9.04) & Aaron Jones (RB12, 2.08)
Possibly the best value stack we’ll see in fantasy for 2022 shockingly features the 2021 MVP. Aaron Rodgers is being drafted disrespectfully late as the 12th QB off the board after finishing as QB6 overall in 2021. There may be a bit of player fatigue driving Rodgers’ value down, but that just makes this stack all the easier to nab in your redraft.
Rodgers has one of the highest consistency ratings in the UDK, posting a top-6 finish 37.5% of the time he’s in your lineup since 2019. That’s a higher rate than Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes – all of whom are being drafted before Rodgers.
To add to it, Rodgers isn’t just finishing top-6 but still has the ability to post those top-tier finishes that win you weeks. In 6-point passing TD scoring last season, Rodgers finished with 30 or more points 5 different times.
The biggest knock against Rodgers going into 2022 will be the loss of his favorite target, Davante Adams. Losing an elite target like Adams might spell doom for QBs in fantasy, but that’s where the second part of our stack comes in.
In 2020, Kyle the Borgogian dove deep into where vacated targets on a team tend to go the following year. His data suggested vacated targets from a given team were siphoned the next season to the RB position. The UDK’s opportunity finder shows the Packers lost 44% of 2022’s WR targets this off-season.
In comes Aaron Jones.
|Aaron Jones Receiving Since 2018|
Jones took over the lead back role in mid-season in 2018. The last 3 seasons he’s the only back other than Ezekiel Elliott to post 47 receptions and 2 receiving TDs each year of those years. Assuming that more targets are coming his direction, Jones’ ceiling will be much higher than the back-end RB1 that he’s being drafted as.
The Packers don’t have a well-defined top receiver to start the season with a mix of rookies and a few lizard people (Alan Lazard and Sammy Watkins), so fantasy managers can expect to see Rodgers to Jones be a consistent pairing early and often in their fantasy seasons.
Trey Lance (QB13, 9.09) & Elijah Mitchell (RB24, 5.07)
Change is coming to the QB position in the Bay Area, and it presents a great stacking opportunity with this 49ers duo. To get the most out of a QB-RB stack, having a run-heavy team with a run-centered QB allows fantasy managers to get the most out of that large rushing total.
Lance is going in the 9th round currently, well below similar QBs with rushing upside. Each of the Ballers project Lance for at least 700 rushing yards and 3000 passing yards on the season. In the last 10 years, there have only been 6 players to meet both of those marks and all but one (Jalen Hurts, 2021) finished as the QB-6 or better on the season with 2 separate overall QB-1 finishes. That means if Trey Lance meets what he’s projected by the Ballers to do, he should well out-perform his draft value as the 13th QB off the board.
The other half of this stack comes at a value as well with Elijah Mitchell currently going off the board as the RB24. In 2021 Mitchell came out of nowhere to lead the 49ers backfield and aid fantasy managers with 5 top-12 RB finishes in the 11 games he played. Basically, if he was healthy and on the field, Mitchell was going to be at the minimum a solid RB2 on any lineup with his average weekly fantasy finish as RB18.
Having Mitchell as the 49ers’ feature back was a better shot at having a RB1 finish than starting Joe Mixon, Ezekiel Elliott, Aaron Jones and D’Andre Swift in 2021. All of those players are being drafted at least 2 rounds earlier than Mitchell.
To nail home the argument for this stack, it’s well documented that Kyle Shanahan wants to run the ball early and often. Since Shanahan took over in San Francisco in 2017, the 49ers rank 8th in rushing attempts and 11th in rushing yards. Those rushing numbers are all without the running ability of a player like Trey Lance at QB, so the chances of those numbers going up is pretty high. Think of it as getting Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram in 2019 when they finished as the QB1 and RB8 on the season. Sign me up for a 9th and 5th round pick for those finishes.
Kyler Murray (QB5, 5.08) & Zach Ertz (TE10, 8.10)
Historically my favorite version of the stack comes with the QB-TE pairing, possibly because it covers both of the onesie positions with one team on a weekly basis.
Kyler Murray was on fire to start 2021, with back-to-back overall QB1 finishes in the first two weeks. As the 5th QB coming off the board currently, Murray represents the mid-round QB with the potential to finish as the top-QB on the season that can win fantasy managers their league.
Despite all the off-season drama surrounding Murray, the Cardinals committed to him long-term with a new contract. In 2021, the Cardinals offense ran the 8th-most plays per game, giving fantasy managers plenty of chances with Murray to maximize their investment.
The biggest selling job in this stack comes with Zach Ertz.
Ertz is listed as one of the Ballers’ values at tight-end for 2022, and rightfully so after his production last season.
After being traded to Arizona prior to Week 7 in 2021, Ertz found new life in the desert finishing as the TE-6 on the season. Ertz did get an uptick in production as the Cardinals starting TE, seeing a 20.5% target share from Week 7 to the end of the season.
The biggest argument for Ertz to start the year is DeAndre Hopkins’ absence for the first 6-games of 2022.
|Ertz Games in 2022 without Hopkins|
Last season when Hopkins wasn’t in the lineup for Arizona, Ertz saw his best weeks with the Cardinals averaging 6 receptions for 60 yards with a TE1 overall week in that stretch. Being able to get Ertz much later than you’d have to go in on one of the top TE options and knowing you’ll see the potential for a large number of targets to start the season, makes stacking Murray and Ertz an appealing duo for 2022.
Derek Carr (QB14, 10.06) & Darren Waller (TE5, 4.07)
Carr has been a streaming option his entire career, with his highest fantasy finishes coming in the last two seasons as the QB13. The Raiders QB started 2021 off red hot with QB 9, 8, and 11 finishes but tough to predict after the Raiders’ 3-0 start.
It’s been well documented the drama that the Raiders navigated last season with John Gruden being fired following Week 4 and Henry Ruggs III leaving the team after Week 7. Still, Carr threw for 4800 yards and 23 TDs without a real top receiver on the roster.
Since his arrival, Darren Waller has been the Raiders’ top target in the passing game. The addition of Davante Adams clearly gives Carr a top-tier option at receiver and his presence is what has many – like Andy who clearly hates him based on his ranking – projecting Waller’s production to fall off a bit in 2022. However, Darren Waller has never played with a true WR-1 lining up alongside him in the Raiders offense.
I’d argue that Waller may actually see more looks his way in 2022 with a true WR-1 on the roster. Waller has only played with a 1,000 receiver once since taking over the starting job in 2019, and we didn’t really get to see what he could do with that type of threat consistently on the field with him due to missing 5 weeks due to injury. What we can presume is that defenses are not going to be able to focus solely on Waller when defending the Raiders’ offense, leaving him with more single coverage opportunities than he’s seen in years past. Waller isn’t just good at getting open against single coverage, he’s great at it.
According to PFF, through Week 10 last season (when Waller got injured and missed 5 full games and the majority of 6) Waller was the best in the league at getting open against single-man coverage. Assuming teams will game plan to primarily stop Davante Adams, Waller should reap the benefits early and often.
If we think Waller and Adams can each continue to be elite producers at their position, the biggest concern then circles back to Carr: Can he sustain two top receiving options for fantasy? Luckily for us, Carr has already shown he can.
In 2016 Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper finished at 11 and 13 in the final WR finishes respectively. Carr was the overall QB13 that season, but had 6 top-6 finishes including a QB-1 finish so there was plenty of upside to “bringing in the Carr”.
Being able to get Carr in the 10th round means you don’t have to fully commit to him starting every week, but since you’re already getting Waller at a value in the 4th, having the option to add in this stack and bolster your fantasy lineup.