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Best Ball Stacks to Target (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
May 23, 2021

Stacks fuel upside, and hitting on high-scoring stacks can carry you to the top of best ball leagues. I’m enamored with a pair of three-person stacks from two of the best offenses in 2020. The variety of average draft positions (ADP) for the players involved provides gamers flexibility in selecting the full stacks or snagging two-person stacks from the suggestions.

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According to Sharp Football Stats, with a scoring margin between trailing and leading by seven points, the Bills passed at the third-highest rate (63%). Josh Allen thrived in a breakout campaign, running a pass-happy offense, and he benefited immensely from the trade to acquire No. 1 receiver Stefon Diggs. Allen finished second in fantasy points among quarterbacks last year during the fantasy football season (Week 1 through Week 16), per our Fantasy Football Leaders tool.

The third-year signal-caller’s biggest gains came as a passer. Among qualified passers, he ranked sixth in pass attempts (572), fourth in completion percentage (69.2%), fifth in passing touchdowns (37), sixth in passing yards per game (284.0), and fifth in Adjusted Net Yards per Pass Attempt (7.82 ANY/A), per Pro-Football-Reference. He bolsters his upside with excellent rushing numbers, punching in eight touchdowns and averaging 26.3 rushing yards per game. Allen epitomizes the modern-day quarterback, and he profiles as a top-five quarterback even if he suffers from some regression as a passer.

Speaking of his passing, a more normal offseason with Diggs could actually enhance their connection and chemistry. As it stands, Diggs played like an alpha wideout last year, finishing as the WR3 overall in point-per-reception formats (PPR). He led the league in targets (166), receptions (127), and receiving yards (1,535) while tying for 15th in touchdown receptions (eight). According to Sports Info Solutions, he also ranked tied for 11th in target share (24.3%) and fourth in Intended Air Yards (1,668).

Diggs’ volume and gaudy air yards total bode well for continued success. He also has a nine-touchdown season on his ledger. The Bills have nearly all of their key pieces returning on offense, including offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Daboll’s return and the lack of an impact addition to the running back room lead me to believe they’ll continue their aerial assault on the league, and I’m optimistic about their chances of remaining among the game’s elite offenses, which bodes well for Diggs’ touchdown upside extending past the eight he scored last year.

One notable change on offense is the departure of John Brown. The Bills opted to cut him and replace him with veteran Emmanuel Sanders. The veteran is entering his age-34 season following a mediocre 2020 campaign, so he’s not a shoo-in to directly replace Brown. I’m bullish on the odds of second-year receiver Gabriel Davis stepping up as the No. 2 perimeter receiver behind Diggs, with Cole Beasley operating in the slot.

Davis, a fourth-round pick in last year’s NFL Draft, shined as a vertical option. He averaged 17.1 yards per reception, a product of ranking sixth in average depth of target (15.0 yards downfield) among players targeted at least 50 times in 2020, per Sports Info Solutions.

Also, Davis had a nose for the endzone, ranking second on the team with seven touchdown receptions. According to Lineups, he was second on the club in red zone targets with five, hauling in three for scores. His usage in the red zone is promising for continuing to find paydirt.

As is the case with Diggs, there’s room for improved chemistry in his second season playing with Allen. Additionally, Davis has a chance to improve in his second season after getting a taste of playing professionally. He’s one of my favorite mid to late-round targets as a standalone play, and I’ll gladly pair him with Allen in best ball formats.

While my preference is to grab a high-end mobile quarterback in best ball leagues, I won’t reach to do so. Further, Tom Brady’s one of the exceptions I’ll make selecting a pocket passer as my QB1.

From a real-life perspective, his first year with the Buccaneers couldn’t have gone better, culminating with hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. It wasn’t a seamless transition to a new team, though. He had highs in the early season, but he also suffered through lows, bottoming out in a Week 9 trainwreck against the Saints.

After that, he heated up and didn’t look back. From Week 10 through Week 17, excluding Marcus Mariota‘s lone appearance, Brady ranked fourth among quarterbacks in fantasy points per game. He continued his torrid finish in the postseason, tossing 10 touchdowns, averaging 265.3 passing yards per game, and sporting a 7.56 ANY/A (which would have ranked eighth among qualified quarterbacks in the regular season, to provide context).

It’s not unreasonable to expect growth in year two in Bruce Arians’ and Byron Leftwich’s offense with his loaded pass-catching options returning to run it back. Additionally, he’ll have a full season of Antonio Brown in the offense. The veteran wideout made his first appearance in the Week 9 beatdown at the hands of the Saints. However, it’s probably not entirely a coincidence the offense took off after adding him to the mix.

Brady’s willingness to spread the ball around led to a few spike weeks for Brown, even with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans ahead of him in the pecking order. He reached double-digit targets in two of eight regular-season games, with 13 in Week 11 and 15 in Week 17. The latter was a monster 11-138-2 effort against the Falcons.  He also produced a 5-93-1 line in Week 15 and corraled five or more receptions in five games. At a cost outside the top-100 picks, he’s reasonably priced in his role for the Buccaneers.

Rob Gronkowski is a downright steal. He’s arguably the best to ever play his position, and while he’s no longer playing at that level, he still balled out down the stretch in 2020 after a year away from the game in 2019. He likely had some rust to shake off following a one-year absence, and he ranked as TE4 in PPR points per game at tight end from Week 5 through Week 16, as I discussed when touting him as a TE2 with top-five upside back in March.

Gronk doesn’t need a hefty workload to produce value at his modest ADP. His usage is what gets my attention. Among players targeted at least 75 times last year, he had the 29th deepest average depth of target at 10.6 yards downfield.

He also ranked second on the team in red zone targets with a whopping 14 of them, resulting in six receptions, five going for scores. Gronk added a couple of more scores outside the red zone, giving him seven in the regular season. He saved his best for last in the Super Bowl, hauling in six receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns.

This is a highly affordable stack, with Brady the only member of it with a top-100 ADP — and barely within the top 100 at that. The upside’s immense, though.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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