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2021 Fantasy Football: Cheap best ball stacks to target

Before taking part in more best ball drafts, take a peek at three cheap stacks that could produce bounteous results in 2021.

Jacksonville Jaguars Mandatory Minicamp Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Best ball formats have become popular in fantasy football, eliminating the rigors of setting lineups every week. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the idea of waking up early on Sunday mornings to decipher who I should start in my lineups. But for best ball, it is nice to know that it mainly relies on how well you drafted, inserting the highest-scoring players at each position every week to determine your performance.

When it comes to best ball leagues, stacking offenses has proven to be a fruitful strategy. Stacking is when you take players from the same team — typically beginning with their quarterback — and draft them on the same roster. Getting multiple players from the same offense tends to give you the highest upside since all of them can accumulate points together. With best-ball drafts being the talk of the town at this time of year, using FantasyPros’ ADP consensus for best-ball leagues, I highlighted a few cheap stacks that are worth targeting. Instead of listing the obvious choices, I elected to use stacks that don’t have any players that have an ADP above 100, aiding those that could use some help later in drafts.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence (ADP 116, QB16), Laviska Shenault (ADP 104, WR43), Marvin Jones Jr. (ADP 138, WR55)

Coming into the NFL, Trevor Lawrence was arguably the most highly-touted prospect we’ve seen since Andrew Luck. Lawrence was remarkable at Clemson and he didn’t experience much losing as his only two collegiate losses were in the last two National Championship games. All of that will change this year as Lawrence is now the hopeful franchise quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Seeing that Jacksonville’s defense was ranked 31st in DVOA in 2020 and they didn’t do much to improve, Lawrence could be playing from behind often. Even though he’ll experience the usual growing pains for a rookie signal-caller, Lawrence could be set up for success in fantasy football due to the arsenal of wide receivers he’ll have at his disposal in the upcoming season.

While I’m a fan of D.J. Chark (ADP 73, WR32), and I’m a firm believer that the Jaguars can support three fantasy-relevant wideouts, Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones Jr. present fantastic value at the position. Shenault showed as a rookie last season that he is more than just an offensive weapon, hauling in 58 passes for 600 receiving yards while catching five touchdowns. As a rookie, Shenault averaged 1.99 fantasy points per target, which was 26th among wide receivers a season ago. With Lawrence now operating Jacksonville’s aerial attack, Shenault should flourish as a pass-catcher in his sophomore campaign. Jones has long been an underrated wideout in the NFL, doing most of his damage down the field in his recent years with the Detroit Lions. Last season, Jones produced a 72.7% contested catch rate (fifth-best among wide receivers), making him a perfect wideout for Lawrence to target. If you’re comfortable with leaning on a rookie quarterback that will play for a losing team, then the Jaguars have an affordable best-ball stack to target.

NFL: MAY 27 Colts OTA Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts

Carson Wentz (ADP 124, QB17), Michael Pittman Jr. (ADP 108, WR45), T.Y. Hilton (ADP 135, WR53), Parris Campbell (ADP 187, WR69)

One of the biggest storylines of last season was the ongoing saga between the Philadelphia Eagles and Carson Wentz. The Eagles took Jalen Hurts early in the 2020 NFL Draft, and with Wentz performing woefully, Philadelphia benched him in favor of Hurts later in the season. Following his dilemma with the Eagles, Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, reuniting him with Frank Reich. There are no excuses for Wentz not to succeed as he has a stout offensive line, a deep running back group, and an assortment of pass-catching options available. If Reich isn’t able to get Wentz’s confidence back in 2021, then it’s safe to say that Wentz will never be the same again. By trusting in Reich and the supporting cast on the Colts, Wentz is a decent value as QB17 on average in best-ball leagues.

T.Y. Hilton elected to re-sign with Indianapolis this offseason and I wouldn’t give up on the veteran wideout just yet. Even though his production has dipped in recent seasons, he’s still an effective player when he’s on the field. The former third-round pick out of Florida International finished with 31.8% of Indianapolis’ air yards in 2020, showing that he can still do damage in the deep game. Going from an aging Philip Rivers to Wentz could very well allow Hilton to have more opportunities down the field. The same can be said for Michael Pittman Jr., who is expected to garner an expanded role with the Colts in 2021. The second-year wideout out of USC posted 7.3 yards after the catch per reception (the most among wide receivers who saw greater than 50 targets). With Pittman’s 6-foot-4 frame, he’s primed for a breakout season in 2021 if Wentz can perform adequately. Looking at the offense of the Colts, Parris Campbell is a low-risk, high-reward option. The low-risk isn’t due to injuries, as he’s missed 23 games in his first two seasons, but rather his price of WR69 in best-ball formats. Campbell is capable of having explosive weeks in fantasy football if he can remain healthy, making him worth stacking with Wentz later in drafts.

Chicago Bears

Justin Fields (ADP 145, QB23), Darnell Mooney (ADP 126, WR50), Cole Kmet (ADP 158, TE22)

Smart people tend to chase upside in fantasy football and there aren’t many stacks that could present more upside than the Chicago Bears. Matt Nagy continues to utter that Andy Dalton is the current starting quarterback of the Bears. While he knows that things could change between now and the start of the season, Nagy doesn't want to make a definitive choice. But let’s be real. Chicago didn’t take Justin Fields early in the 2021 NFL Draft for him to redshirt his rookie season. It’s clear that the Bears don’t want to throw Fields to the wolves in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams — who have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey — on Sunday Night Football. That being said, I don’t believe it will take long for Nagy to bench Dalton in favor of Fields. And once Fields is inserted into the starting lineup, he could become a league-winning quarterback in fantasy football. The rushing upside he brings, along with his pristine arm talent, makes him well worth the consideration in drafts.

Allen Robinson (ADP 34, WR12) still seems undervalued despite being taken in the early rounds of drafts. Throughout his career, Robinson has been one of the most reliable wide receivers in fantasy football, even with lackluster play under center. While he has yet to throw a pass in the NFL, Fields is already arguably the best quarterback Robinson has played with. Argue with a wall. Besides Robinson, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet are both able to be had at extremely discounted prices compared to where their ceilings are in 2021. Mooney was among a small group of rookie wideouts — who saw 50+ targets — a season ago that had an 11.5+ aDOT and a drop percentage of under five percent. The only other two rookie wide receivers to achieve the feat alongside Mooney were Gabriel Davis and Jalen Reagor. It’s evident that the Bears want Mooney to be their No. 2 option alongside Robinson, which makes me curious as to why his ADP is WR50, especially when Fields will be starting at some point. For Kmet, while he isn’t the most talented tight end, he’s projected to see an uptick in playing time in his second year in the league. There is the chance that Jimmy Graham could cause chaos for Kmet fans, but with him being taken as TE22, there isn’t much risk in adding Kmet to Chicago’s offensive stack.