Woof! Week four was rough. It wasn’t just rough for our stacks; it was a low scoring week all around. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones were an utter disappointment as Devonta Freeman once more ran wild, again scoring three touchdowns en route to 35.4 points. AJ Green cooled back down, causing our stack with him and Andy Dalton to flop. Somehow, the Bears’ secondary was able to keep Amari Cooper firmly planted on this earth, scoring only 12.9 points. His quarterback, Derek Carr, didn’t fare much better as they only combined for 25.74 points.
Calling it a bad week is a major understatement.
Again, we hit on our Stack of the Weak. I recommended fading the stack of Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald. The veteran wideout was finally held without a touchdown reception, keeping this stack firmly entrenched in the lower tier of winnings.
Let’s turn it around this week. Remember, these stacks are recommended for guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournaments and won’t necessarily be safe enough to play in cash lineups.
Carson Palmer, QB ARI
Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI
This is a huge change from last week where I suggested avoiding Palmer ($8,100) and Fitzgerald ($7,400). So, what’s different this time around? This week Fitzgerald gets the tasty matchup against Detroit’s Josh Wilson. Wilson is giving up .3 fantasy points per route defended, which is abysmal. Combined with Fitzgerald’s .62 fantasy points per route run, and we are left with Pro Football Focus’s best statistical matchup of the week.
Basically, Fitzgerald should eat up fantasy points with a good chance at ending this week as a top five receiver. He is still priced as a WR2 with 14 other receivers priced higher. To compound this, Detroit is giving up the seventh most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. This is just about as friendly of a matchup as can be found. The only real downside is Arizona is the away team. Ford Field can get a little loud, but this combination should quiet it early.
Note: At this point in time, Jeffery still has the questionable tag. I still had to make mention of the stack since the matchup against Marcus Peters is so advantageous. If Jeffery does not play, Marquess Wilson would be worth a look in this stack.
Andy Dalton, QB CIN
Tyler Eifert, TE CIN
This is the second week in a row having Dalton ($7,300) in the Best Value stack. Tyler Eifert ($5,600) joins him against a Seattle secondary who is allowing the fourteenth highest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. This may not sound inspiring until you look at the lackluster tight ends they’ve played against so far this year. Martellus Bennett ($5,900) is the only one of note, but he had Jimmy Clausen quarterbacking.
This is a good week to use Dalton as a contrarian play against Seattle’s tough defense. I expect many people to stay away since it looks like a difficult matchup on paper. Cincinnati is only a one point favorite at home, so the passing attack should be a big part of the game from start to finish. With the way Dalton has played this year, it’s difficult to not buy in this week.
Stack of the Weak
Joe Flacco, QB BAL
Darren Waller, WR BAL
This is the week of the replacement level wide receiver. Above I listed Norwood in an alternate stack, and now I’m suggesting Darren Waller ($4,500) to pair with Joe Flacco ($7,700). With Steve Smith sitting out, Waller should get the bulk of his routes on the right side of the field against Cleveland’s Joe Haden. The Browns corner has had a rough season thus far, and Waller should look to use his seven-inch height advantage against him.
Flacco comes in this week slightly underpriced against the fifth worst defense against opposing quarterbacks. Coming in as the tenth highest paid quarterback, he has top five upside. This is definitely a risky stack with late round rookie who nearly didn’t make the roster, but it’s the type of budget play which will allow for higher spending in other areas.
Honorable Mention: Rashad Jennings ($6,200) and Giants Defense ($4,300)
Peyton Manning, QB DEN
Owen Daniels, WR DEN
This is the second time Manning ($8,200) has shown up this week. In one slot, I recommend him. In another, I suggest not using him. However, this isn’t a reflection on him at all, but one against using Owen Daniels ($4,900). Denver gets to visit an Oakland team who has already given up six touchdowns to tight ends. To put this into perspective, 14 defenses allowed less in the entire 2014 season.
Oakland is bad against tight ends.
The problem with this matchup isn’t the Oakland defense, it’s Daniels. He has converted his 21 targets into only 61 receiving yards on the year. Yes, it is just that terrible. Norwood has more yardage on only 13 targets. While still not likely to inspire faith in him, playing opposite DJ Hayden should. This is the ideal week for Manning to light up the stat sheet, but I just don’t see Daniels as the best option here. There are plenty of other budget-friendly tight ends to use instead. Demaryius Thomas ($8,600) and Emmanuel Sanders ($7,700) will get a lot of looks, but Daniels is bound for disappointment. Fade Daniels and play Norwood, maybe even throw Sanders in, as well.
Note: Travis Benjamin has been this year’s Eddie Royal – fluking his way into early season touchdowns. This week, he matches up against Lardarius Webb. This should be a come-back-to-earth week for Benjamin.