Every Friday, this article provides 7-10 FanDuel stacks for tournament play. We'll discuss twists that make highly-owned stacks more viable, unearth less common stacks for top-heavy contests, and create strong lineup anchors with defensive stacks.
Eight of the 15 favorites are spotting more than five points this week. That creates a lot of chalk plays. You can either embrace the chalk, thinking that there are so many good values that they'll be spread thinner than usual. Or you can dig really deep into the underdogs to mine garbage time heroes. There are so many great values out there, that I wouldn't be shy about playing more of the obvious plays unless you're in a really top-heavy GPP.
Highly-Owned Stacks (with a Twist)
Aaron Rodgers ($9,200) + Randall Cobb ($8,200) = $17,400
The Packers' top duo will be the highest owned stack of the week. They come at a hefty price tag, but the sportsbooks project Green Bay to score a week-high 29 points in San Francisco. If you can find value and differentiation elsewhere in your lineup, this pair won't do you wrong.
Twist: These twists aren't especially sneaky, but they'll save you some cash. Swap Cobb for James Jones ($6,000) to save $2,200. He's fairly touchdown-dependent, but that's fine for tourneys. If you want to go more out on a limb, save another $1,300 by using Ty Montgomery ($4,700). Montgomery will see work in three-receiver sets with Davante Adams unlikely to play.
Derek Carr ($7,000) + Amari Cooper ($7,200) = $14,200
Carr is coming off of back-to-back 300-yard, multi-touchdown performances for the first time in his career. Cooper has 11 targets and over 100 receiving yards in his last two games. The Bears have allowed eight passing touchdowns this season, which is the second-most in the league.
Twist: Carr has targeted Michael Crabtree ($5,800) more than Cooper this year, making him a viable Raiders stack alternative with upside if you want to use the $1,400 savings elsewhere.
Philip Rivers ($7,400) + Keenan Allen ($7,700) = $15,100
San Diego is a 7.5-point favorite with the Browns coming to town on Sunday. Allen is squarely on the FanDuel radar after scoring 31.3 fantasy points last week. But maybe a few owners shy away from Rivers after he was sidelined for the final few plays last week. He claims he just got the wind knocked out him. He should be fine to play in this week's trouncing of the Browns.
Twist: You could swap Allen for Stevie Johnson ($5,800) to save $1,900, but I'd stick with Allen if you stack the Chargers' passing game.
Alex Smith ($6,500) + Jeremy Maclin ($6,500) = $13,000
Maclin's first big game as a Chief came in primetime after this week's salaries were released. There's tons of value to be had here, and lots of people will be on it. The cold water you could throw on stacking Chiefs is they're only predicted to score 20 points at Cincinnati. But at this price, they're hard to ignore.
Twist: Don't feel like you have to put a twist on this stack, but Travis Kelce ($6,400) offers a similarly-priced alternative if you want to reserve your third receiver spot for someone else. Kelce will also be highly owned.
Less Common Stacks
Tyrod Taylor ($7,600) + Percy Harvin ($5,700) = $13,300
I'm using Taylor all over cash games and tournaments this week. I prefer him over the more expensive Cam Newton ($8,300). Pairing him with Harvin is a bit more gutsy. With Sammy Watkins likely out for this game, Harvin should be the primary target.
Blake Bortles ($6,800) + Allen Hurns ($5,300) = $12,100
I'm going back to the well on this one. Allen Robinson ($6,500) got bottled up my the Patriots last week, and Hurns got loose for a big play. This week Robinson faces pro-bowl cornerback Vontae Davis. Hurns will have the bigger day, and as nine-point underdogs to the Colts, Jacksonville will lean heavily on their passing game again.
San Diego Chargers ($4,400) + Melvin Gordon III ($6,800) = $11,200
As eight-point favorites against Cleveland's league-worst rush defense, this is the week that Gordon finally gets into the end zone. The value here as the cheapest stack in this article is too good to pass up.
Green Bay Packers ($4,700) + Eddie Lacy ($7,800) = $12,500
The heavily-favored Packers should be able to grind out the clock against a Niners team in disarray. Don't let last week's lighter usage of Lacy scare you off. He's been practicing in full this week and should see his normal workload again.
Oakland Raiders ($4,500) + Latavius Murray ($7,500) = $12,000
Only three teams have allowed more rushing yards than the Browns. Murray has scored in back-to-back weeks and should have no problem manhandling the Browns in San Diego.
Austin Lee broke his collar bone at birth, once won a knot-tying competition, and loved scaling magnolia trees as a young lad. For more of his DFS insights, watch The Footballguys Daily Fantasy Hour presented by Rotogrinders on Wednesdays at 9:30pm ET or listen to The Audible's FanDuel podcast on Friday mornings. Feel free to hit him up for advice on Twitter.