Three Affordable QB/WR Stacks To Jump All Over (Fantasy Football)
The value of the “stack” has long been highlighted thanks to the weekly upside it can produce if your passing pairing turns in a big day. Stacks first gained popularity in DFS tournaments thanks to the top-heavy prize packages awarded, making it an absolute necessity for top one-percentile finishes, no matter how slim the odds of a lineup actually getting there were.
Of course, we’ll be all over the DFS analysis again this season so make sure you purchase your DFS Pass now! Yes, this is a shameless plug and I will not apologize!
However, the game done changed. Best Ball is so hot right now and new and exciting sites and apps, such as Underdog Fantasy and Drafters, are popping up all over the place. Even better, they’re offering “DFS Tournament style” Best Ball tournaments where champions will not only be crowned, but bank accounts will largely be boosted as well.
So I’m here to help. Let’s look at three extremely affordable QB/WR stacks that offer extreme tournament-winning upside should they hit their top one-percentile probability. (ADP Data is gathered from over 100 FFPC Classic Best Ball Drafts over the past two weeks).
For more on BestBall stacking strategy, listen to the latest Footballers DFS podcast where hosts Kyle Borgognoni & Matthew Betz highlight their favorite bargain stacks.
Teddy Bridgewater (ADP QB22/146.4 overall) & Curtis Samuel (WR56/170 overall)
This stack is the main motivation behind this piece. Carolina’s defense is set to be historically bad. And I mean…historically bad. Last season, they already ranked 23rd in yards per game allowed, 31st in points per game allowed, and 25th in overall defensive DVOA. They then lost Luke Kuechly, James Bradberry, Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Mario Addison, Bruce Irvin, and Vernon Butler in Free Agency. I mean you can’t even make this stuff up.
They hardly made any significant defensive additions in Free Agency which explains why they went defense with all seven of their 2020 Draft Picks. Yes, all seven. That tells us the organization themselves understands just how bad their defense is as well. And I’ll be the 17,869th person to say it, unfortunately, due to the COVID shortened offseason, I have major doubts these rookies are going to be able to make much of a difference this season.
That’s literally incredible because favorable passing game scripts are what fantasy football dreams are made of. This Panthers offense will constantly have their foot on the gas pedal in order to compete because their own defense is going to allow for no other options. Enter Teddy Bridgewater.
Only 27 years old, Bridgewater is a former 2014 first-round pick who threw for 9,817 yards and 72 TDs in only three seasons at Louisville. Teddy only left the spotlight temporarily due to a horrific injury, not due to poor play. And he’s coming back with a vengeance. In fact, he already kind of has. Bridgewater went 5-0 with the Saints covering for an injured Drew Brees last season, throwing for 241 yards and 1.8 TDs per game.
Now paired with an exciting young coaching staff in Head Coach Matt Rhule and Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady, the stars have aligned for Teddy. The time to put your faith in him is now. Right now. Teddy is the late-round Quarterback target this season according to, well, me.
Stack Teddy with Curtis Samuel. Samuel is an electric athlete who ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine (100th-percentile) and also has a 91st-percentile Speed Score according to Player Profiler. Samuel started to come on strong late in his rookie year before a nasty ankle injury cut it short. He’s bounced back admirably, posting 494 receiving yards in 2018 and 627 last season. And as a sign of things to come, Samuel turned 19 carries into 130 rushing yards and a TD in 2019.
Why is his rushing upside relevant? That’s exactly the dynamic dual-threat player he is. Samuel was essentially a one-hit-wonder in the receiving game in college, totaling 1,249 receiving yards in his three years at Ohio State and racking up 865 of those yards in his final year. But it’s essential to note Samuel actually had more rushing yards at Ohio State, compiling 1,286 total yards on the ground and adding 771 of them in his final year.
Put plain and simply, Samuel is a playmaker and paired with the right coaching staff, his upside is through the roof. I’m getting pumped up just sitting in my recliner as I write this thinking about it because I believe the single most important news item this offseason could provide may have already happened. Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady had this to say about Samuel: “Curtis is a playmaker. He fits the mold of what we’re looking for in this type of offense, a guy that you can utilize all around the field and get the ball in the hands and good things happen. We’re getting the ball in space and I’m excited for him to take the next leap.”
That sounds like a young and intuitive coach that understands exactly what he has in Samuel and one that’s going to use him as a consistent dual-threat. Don’t be fashionably late to this party. Get in on the fun now. Almost every year we see an affordable young WR exceed expectations by taking a major leap. Curtis Samuel is the late-round WR I’m putting my stamp on this year. He’s “My Guy.”
Cam Newton (QB17/129.5 overall) and N’Keal Harry (WR57/171.6 overall)
Cam is only 31 years old, passed his physical in July, and only has to beat out Jarrett Stidham for the starting job. There is absolutely risk Newton gets cut during training camp or gets injured again. That needs to be said. But the upside largely outweighs the downside, especially in the context of competing in large-field tournaments as highlighted in the introduction.
And I just think the odds are not only in his favor he’s the Patriots Week 1 starter, but that he excels in the role as well. Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels are the league’s best Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator duo and they’ve proven consistently for years they not only know how to uniquely attack opposing defenses, but they know how to maximize their own player’s strengths as well.
Belichick has been the Head Coach in New England for 20 seasons now and his offenses have finished in the top-13 in the league in rushing attempts in 15 of those 20 seasons. To be fair, his offenses have also finished top-12 in the league in passing attempts 16 of those 20 seasons. And to be quite honest, I’m not sure how this is even possible.
That’s the point though right? Belichick is the greatest coach of all time and he will not be losing any sleep at night designing gameplans that not only fit Cam Newton‘s strengths but that simultaneously attack the weaknesses of specific defensive opponents as well. Cam already has five top-four QB fantasy finishes in eight healthy seasons under his belt. Not investing in his upside, in at least some of your drafts, is just inexcusable.
Stack Cam with N’Keal Harry. Harry was drafted in the first round by New England in 2019 after totaling 2,889 receiving yards and 25 total TDs over three seasons at Arizona State and posting a 90th-percentile Speed Score and 78th-percentile Burst Score according to Player Profiler. Harry checks off all three boxes of draft capital, college production, and athleticism for his size at 6′ 2″ and 228 pounds. Speaking of that size, Cam Newton has a history of finding success with similar-sized players such as Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess.
Harry’s rookie year was limited after being placed on injured reserve before the season due to an ankle injury. He wasn’t active for a game until Week 11 and caught 12 passes for 105 yards and two TDs over seven games to end the year. So while disappointing, we should be embracing that lackluster rookie season thanks to the value it’s providing heading into 2020.
Harry is in great shape to make a major sophomore leap, with only 34-year old Julian Edelman and soon-to-be 31-year old Mohamed Sanu as his only major competition for targets at the WR position. Both Edelman and Sanu are best suited for the slot, leaving Harry with very little competition on the outside. Plus, the Patriots don’t have any TEs on their roster they can currently rely on.
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB21/141.9 overall), Brandon Aiyuk (WR61/181.2 overall), and Jalen Hurd (WR80/258.8 overall)
Investing in San Francisco is the perfect combination of smart and fun because it allows you to rock with the play-calling legend, Kyle Shanahan. And due to how run-heavy the 49ers were to finish the 2019 season, recency bias is leaving meat on the bone here. So let’s take advantage. Out of qualifying starters (At least eight games played), Jimmy Garoppolo only ranked 17th in passing yards per game (248.6) but he ranked tied for tenth in pass TDs per game (1.7).
All the stars aligned for the 2019 49ers as they were just minutes away from a Super Bowl victory, thanks in large part to their dominating defense. They ranked second in yards per game allowed, eighth in points per game allowed, and second in overall defensive DVOA. Their defense is still incredible but even minor regression could open things up a bit more for Garoppolo and the 49ers’ passing offense.
With a full season now under Garoppolo’s belt after his 2018 ACL tear, there’s upside here thanks to weapons that include George Kittle, Deebo Samuel when he returns from injury, reliable Kendrick Bourne, and two other exciting young players we’re highlighting today: Brandon Aiyuk and Jalen Hurd.
Brandon Aiyuk projects as the biggest beneficiary of Deebo Samuel‘s fractured foot. Aiyuk was selected in the first round this year after totaling 1,192 receiving yards on only 65 catches as senior last season at Arizona State. In fact, Aiyuk averaged 9.9 yards after the catch in his career at Arizona State, which ranked first in the entire 2020 draft class. And the 49ers were effusive with their praise stating they almost drafted Aiyuk at pick 13 overall and that they viewed him as their favorite WR in the entire draft. Regardless if those statements were 100% true or not, they tell us the team is bought in.
And Jalen Hurd is just too intriguing not to discuss. Like we discussed with Curtis Samuel, Jalen Hurd brings similar dual-threat upside to the table. As a freshman and sophomore at Tennessee, Hurd totaled 2,184 rushing yards against SEC competition. Yes, you read that correctly, rushing yards! He then finished his career at Baylor, posting 946 receiving yards as a senior.
Hurd missed his rookie season in 2019 due to a broken back, but not before he posted three catches for 31 yards and two TDs in one preseason game last August. If I was only allowed to choose one coach to maximize the skillset of a dual-threat playmaker like Hurd, it would be Kyle Shanahan. It would be silly not to shoot for upside here, especially at his WR80 price tag.
John’s comment did not age well.
Sam Darnold and Jamison Crowder!!! Darnold was solid after he recovered from mono and got any protection. Jets have an improved offensive line and Crowder and Darnold have always had a connection. The Jets defense took a hit with Adams and Moseley not on the team this year, meaning there will probably be more pass attempts needed.