Stack Attack: Three QB-WR Duos to Target in 2022 (Fantasy Football)
Year after year fantasy managers look for any strategy possible to get an advantage heading into their fantasy season. One of my favorite and most often implemented practices revolves around “stacking” players together for the ultimate boom for my buck.
Last off-season, Matt DiSorbo broke down the advantages (and disadvantages) of stacking with your fantasy roster. In general, stacking gives greater chances for higher ceilings when you’re looking at a QB-WR combo.
When you’re putting together your draft day strategy, there are a different stacking targets to keep in mind based on how the draft falls to you.
Here’s a trio of QB-WR stacks to target in your upcoming redraft leagues.
Russell Wilson (QB9, 7.11) & Courtland Sutton (WR20, 5.05)
One of the more popular QB-WR stacks to target this draft season will be in Denver with Russell Wilson and Courtland Sutton. The biggest draw to this stack is that Wilson feels like a steal going in the 7th-round as the QB9 off the board. Prior to 2021 which was clearly derailed by his hand injury, Wilson finished as a QB1 every single year of his career. That includes four top-4 finishes since 2014.
A change of scenery (and getting to cook out of something other than a peach cobbler book) should be a recipe for a tasty 2022 for Wilson. The biggest question for fantasy managers will be deciding which Bronco receiver to bet on.
After the Fireball Jones injury, Courtland Sutton should be in line to lead the way on the outside for the Broncos in 2022. Sutton is the only receiver in Denver we’ve actually seen produce after his WR19 finish in 2019. We saw his ability to put in legitimate WR-1 production in 2022 when he logged 3 top-12 WR weeks with suspect QB play. Sutton will also be heading into his second season removed from his ACL injury in 2020, something The Fantasy PT, Matthew Betz, took a deep dive into regarding RBs specifically. The study finds that generally, players coming off an ACL injury perform better in the second season post-surgery, so another top-20 WR season could be in the cards for Sutton.
The best stacks typically need a pair of players that managers can get at a decent value. Wilson and Sutton both stand a good chance of outperforming their current ADP and can provide some boom week when they connect at a high rate.
Kirk Cousins (QB15, 11.02) & Justin Jefferson (WR2, 1.06)
This is a pairing that can’t be planned for unless you’re sitting near the top of the draft, but it’s my favorite kind of stack to target.
Jefferson has a chance to be the top WR in fantasy in 2022. In fact, The Fantasy Hitman has him projected as just that in the UDK. In 2022, Jefferson saw 28.9% of the Vikings’ targets – the third most of any receiver in football, so fantasy managers know the opportunities will be there when they spend a high-value pick on him.
The question of this stack comes with Kirk Cousins. For the past several years Cousins has been seen as a streaming option despite finishing as the QB-11 for two straight seasons. The important fact to remember for this stacking option is the high-end finishes we’ve seen Cousins and Jefferson put up in the past.
Since 2020, Cousins and Jefferson have played 33 games together. In that stretch, Jefferson has been a top-12 WR 11 times while Captain Kirk has finished as a top-7 QB in those same weeks 7 times. While you’re not aiming for your starting QB to finish number 7 on the week, being able to nab Cousins in the 11th-round along with Jefferson’s huge weeks will make the mid-QB1 finishes worth the risk.
Jalen Hurts (QB7, 6.06) & DeVonta Smith (WR37, 8.02)
My personal favorite stack to target for redraft this season is in Philadelphia with perhaps two of the best values for 2022.
Jalen Hurts has a chance to show he is more than a run-first QB that can occasionally throw the ball well. Of course, adding an elite talent at WR in A.J. Brown can make Hurts’ job easier in the passing game without having to show a ton of improvement as a passer.
It’s well known what Hurts can do on the ground as a high-end rushing threat. In 2021, Hurts tallied 10 rushing TDs – a feat that’s only been done by QBs 3 times since 2011 (Cam Newton in 2011 & 2015, Kyler Murray in 2020). Getting Hurts as the QB7 off the board feels like great value for someone who Jason projects as a top-5 QB.
While Devonta Smith didn’t have the same gigantic rookie seasons as fellow 2021 draft classmates Ja’Marr Chase or Jalen Waddle, Smith’s rookie campaign shouldn’t be treated as a disappointment. As a rookie, Smith saw the 6th-highest average depth of target in the league, which turned into the 5th-most deep receptions of over 20 yards downfield, according to PFF.
A.J. Brown‘s addition should also aid the Eagles’ second-year receiver. It’s easy to remember the Eagles’ offense for their commitment to the running game over the back-end of the season but Hurts threw the ball an average of 38 times through the first five weeks of 2021, the passing volume is there. In fact, when Smith saw a piece of that volume, he produced.
|DeVonta Smith 4+ Reception Games in 2021|
|Receptions||Yards||TDs||WR Fantasy Finish|
Smith had 4 or more receptions 7 different weeks as a rookie, resulting in an average fantasy finish as WR-19. While those numbers aren’t legendary, when you consider that Smith is coming off the board as WR-37, the value is worth the wait.