Week 1 is here, and it's time to win a few bucks in daily fantasy football -- or at least have fun because that's what really matters, right? OK, it's about winning money, at least in NFL DFS, but to do so, you need the proper strategy. Stacking, or playing teammates together whose point totals are expected to correlate, is the best way to maximize the upside of your lineups, whether playing cash games for a bankroll boost or huge tournaments for one million dollars. DraftKings and FanDuel are the most popular DFS sites, so we'll be discussing their pricing in this article.
Stacks can feature household names and fantasy superstars, or more "run of the mill" players who have great matchups. Below, we dive into some of the top stacks for Week 1. Good luck this week.
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Week 1 NFL DFS Picks: Top cash game stacks for DraftKings, FanDuel
QB Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals @ Titans (DK/FD stack)
The Titans were atrocious against the pass last year, giving up the fifth-most passing yards. While they made additions in the secondary, we're going to assume they're bad until further notice. Both Murray and Hopkins were studs last year in any matchup, and they got a full offseason together for the first time.
While this is obviously an expensive stack, it's well worth the price in cash games. With Murray's rushing ability, you might even get a QB, RB, and WR stat line with this two-man stack.
This matchup could shape up to be high-scoring, so expect Hopkins to be heavily targeted. Hopkins is very likely to go over the 100-yard mark. Murray could go over the 300 passing-yards mark and maybe even 100 rushing yards (getting you a bonus in DK), though that's just getting greedy.
QB Kirk Cousins and WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings @ Bengals (FD/DK)
The Bengals defense lost one of their best players from last year (Carl Lawson), and one of their starting cornerbacks, Trae Waynes (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 1. It's tough to see a path for significantly improved play on that side of the ball, at least early, and Cousins and Jefferson should eat this week in Cincinnati.
Cousins has been an underrated fantasy asset over his career, and we all saw what Justin Jefferson did in his historic rookie season. This stack should yield a nice fantasy outing. The only danger is if the game gets out of hand, The Vikings may turn in over to Dalvin Cook to run out the clock. However, Cincinnati should be better on offense and keep the game competitive.
RB Christian McCaffrey and DEF Carolina Panthers vs. Jets (DK stack)
The Jets are sporting a terrible offense and defense until further notice. We don't need to sell you on why we like Christian McCaffrey, but he is more valuable in DK where the scoring is full-point PPR.
The Panthers' defense was a middle-of-the-pack unit in fantasy last year, but matchups are everything. We've seen rookie QB's have breakout performances in their first NFL games, but we've also seen the flipside more often than not. There's a chance Zach Wilson and co. make us pay, but it's a better bet to predict a struggle early on, especially when the opposing defense is tied to McCaffrey.
Would anyone be surprised if CMC put up 150-plus all-purpose yards and the Panthers' defense created a handful of turnovers? Given the matchup, the Panthers defense is the fourth-most expensive unit on a full Sunday slate, but it's worth the price to complete the stack.
Week 1 DraftKings, FanDuel Picks: Best stacks for daily fantasy football GPPs/tournaments
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, WR Brandon Aiyuk, and TE George Kittle, 49ers @ Lions (DK stack)
Jimmy G is just the 16th-most expensive QB ($5,500) play during the classic Sunday slate. This screams value, as the Lions should have one of the worst (if not the worst) defenses in the entire NFL. Getting a bargain at QB can help you budget for superstar RBs and WRs. Additionally, Aiyuk is a bargain himself due to his 'questionable' injury designation. He is $5,700, 22nd among WRs. Obviously Kittle will be the priciest pick among the three, but he's an entire $2,000 below Travis Kelce at $6,300. With the money you saved at QB and WR, it's more than doable to grab him without sacrificing the rest of your lineup.
This will be one of the few weeks Jimmy G is attractive in DFS, and his price tag isn't unfathomable. Take advantage of the bargains and differentiate your lineups in tournaments.
QB Jalen Hurts, WR DeVonta Smith, TE Dallas Goedert, Eagles @ Falcons (FD stack)
On FanDuel, Hurts is the eighth-most expensive QB at $7,600, which honestly still feels like a bargain in a matchup with the Falcons defense. He has the chance to be the highest-scoring QB this week, even if he isn't very efficient in the passing game. Hurts averaged 25.9 FPPG in the three games he played from start to finish (QB3 Week 14-16). Around 50 rushing yards and a rushing score almost feels imminent and creates a safe fantasy floor but a massive upside.
DeVonta Smith might be the greatest value in all of DFS this week. As the team's No. 1 WR against last year's 32nd-ranked defense in fantasy points allowed to the position, he is just $5,200. He is priced outside the top-50 WRs this week. This will probably be the last time that remains the case. Grab him while you can. Goedert is priced as the fourth-most expensive TE going at $5,900. The Falcons weren't much better against tight ends, ranking 29th against them a season ago.
These stacks are what tournament-winning lineups often look like.
QB Matt Ryan, WR Russell Gage, TE Kyle Pitts, Falcons vs. Eagles (DK Stack)
Calvin Ridley will be a mainstay in DFS lineups this week, so we're going to go in a different direction and chase the full-point PPR upside of Gage and Pitts. Fading a star is always risky, but it's a tournament-winning move if it works.
Ryan is the 12th-most expensive QB, but he's almost a lock for a 300-yard passing outing in this game. If the touchdown looks come Gage's way, he could really outproduce his price. He saw double-digit targets in four games last season, and with Julio Jones gone for good, he screams value. Pitts is priced as the TE8, but he couldn't ask for a much better matchup with the Eagles rankings 27th against tight ends a season ago.