2021 Fantasy Football Stacking Targets

by Joe Bond
2021 Fantasy Football Stacking Targets

For those of you who are unfamiliar with stacking, it is a strategy where you typically pair your quarterback with a wide receiver from the same team. You do this to try and double up points when your quarterback throws to that wideout, especially if they hit for a touchdown. It is a strategy mostly discussed in DFS, but it can be used in season-long too. Below we will get into some 2021 Fantasy Football Stacking Targets.

I mentioned that stacking is used in DFS often. The reason for this is because in a one-week sample you can exploit matchups and target those QB/WR combos that have a huge boom chance.

In season-long you certainly stack, but it is a bit riskier of a strategy than it is in DFS. The reason for this is you are relying on your stack to boom more often than not. Trying to land the boom weeks even in DFS can be difficult enough, in season-long over a 17 game season is very tough. Still, it can be done and very beneficial if you land the right stack.

I'm going to focus on QB/WR stacks. However, I do want to mention stacking QB/RB for a moment. Doing this usually goes against each other, because when the ball gets handed off the quarterback is not getting points. There are a few spots though where this can work. You want to go after those backs who are involved a lot in the passing game. Think Alvin Kamara (although good luck figuring out who the starting quarterback is), Saquon Barkley, Austin Ekeler as elite running back targets. For cheaper/flex backs think the Nyheim Hines and J.D. McKissic types.

2021 Fantasy Football Stacking Targets

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Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams

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Now that Rodgers is back, this is my No. 1 stack to have. Adams has been a top-6 WR each of the last four seasons on a point per game basis. He is my locked in No. 1 WR again now that Rodgers is going to play. The main reason for this is we saw a ridiculous 34.1% target share last season and it was above or just at 30% the last three seasons.

Rodgers is the wild card here. We know how good he was last season throwing for 48 touchdowns. However the seasons before that he 26, 25 and 16 (in only seven games). Those are not the type of numbers we hope to get from Rodgers.

I don't expect Rodgers to have that good of a season again, but not nearly as bad as he was in 2017-2019. Despite this the duo of Adams and Rodgers is elite. The pure number of targets that will go Adams way is almost unmatched.

Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill

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Another elite duo. Mahomes is arguably the best quarterback in the game at the moment. Last season, even with an injury that slowed him down, he threw for almost 5,000 yards and 38 touchdowns.

Tyreek Hill has proven me wrong and I'm finally willing to admit that he is a top receiver target that I want on my teams. For years, I thought Hill was too inconsistent for my liking. His boom weeks were crazy and carrying his overall point total on the season, but he had too many bust games for my liking in season-long.

Last year though him and Mahomes really clicked and Hill was consistent in 86% of his games per Bob Lung's Consistency Guide. The Chiefs offense has been mainly a two target passing offense for years, Hill and Kelce. I don't see that changing this season at all.

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I know I said I would focus on QB/WR stacks, but you can do Mahomes and Kelce too. I'm all in on taking Kelce in the last part of the first-round this season as the value he gives you over other TE not named Waller is crazy.

Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs

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Probably the last of the super-elite stacks that I think you can feel very good about if you land it.

Josh Allen proved everybody wrong last season as he improved his completion percentage by 10 percentage points to get to 69.2% last season. His deep ball is fantastic as well with a 44% completion percentage and he throws is often too 69 times last season.

This feeds right into Diggs skill set. He never got to fully show his deep ball game with Kirk Cousins in Minnesota, but with Allen, it was for sure. He had 107 air yards per game, good for fourth in the NFL last season. Even with the addition of Emmanuel Sanders and an expected reduction in passing attempts for the Bills, the Allen/Diggs combo will be lethal.

Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins

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These are two of the best fantasy players out there and this is as close as you are going to get to the level of the three stacks previously mentioned. Both are top-5 talents at their positions and should finish there, making this a dangerous duo to roster as a stack in season-long. However, there is a lot of risk involved with stacking these two and I'll tell you why.

Murray is an elite fantasy player, but it is mostly due to his legs. Rushing for 819 yards and 11 touchdowns last year was amazing for those who rostered him. This led to him only throwing 26 touchdowns though. This is the negative for the stack.

When stacking you ideally want a lot of touchdowns from the quarterback and you want a lot of those going to the receiver. Hopkins caught just six of them last season, not exactly what you want to see. This also led to him only being 69% consistent last season. Not ideal for a top WR.

The additions of James Conner and Rondale Moore will have an impact on both of these two as well. We are likely to see fewer Red Zone runs for Murray, lowering his rushing TD total. Also, we should expect fewer targets for Hopkins with Moore there. He will still have a lot, but don't think we see 160 again.

It is still a fine stack to have, but with the price you will have to pay for both of these, I personally will pass.

Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen

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Justin Herbert shocked everybody last season finishing QB9 in just 15 games. He was amazing throwing for 31 touchdowns and adding five more on the ground.

Keenan Allen is the favorite target as it was for many years with Philip Rivers and that won't change this season. Allen had a team-high 147 targets, catching 100 of them. This was just in 14 games as well.

The only negative for Allen is the lack of touchdowns, last year he had a career-high with eight. This somewhat limits the boom days of this stack.

If he can build on that in Herbert's second year, then Allen is going to be a crazy good and his boom games will increase. Still, though the volume Allen gets keeps his floor really high and makes this a very valuable stack to have.

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Russell Wilson and D.K. Metcalf

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We're getting into the territory where the boom weeks will be there, but they are going to be further apart than others making it harder to stack these players.

That said Wilson and Metcalf can legit win you weeks by themselves. As we saw in the first nine weeks of the season these two were unstoppable. After that, it slowed down considerably and that is something you need to consider when drafting both of them.

More positives though for this stack is Metcalf was second in air yards which is only going to help his possibility of boom weeks. Wilson has been one of the best deep balls in the game and he isn't afraid to let it loose, especially now that he has Metcalf. You're drafting them hoping they can connect on at least one of those a game.

Tom Brady and Mike Evans/Chris Godwin

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I combined both of these receivers with Brady because they can both crush. Brady threw his second-most touchdowns in his career last season with 40. He also didn't really start the season off all that strong with just four of his first nine games with 20+ fantasy points. He then proceeded to finish with five in the last seven games. With a full off-season with the Bucs I expect more of the good than bad from Brady.

Both Evans and Godwin are solid targets for a stack. Both can easily get to double-digit touchdowns and both should see over 100 targets each.

The only issue is they can cancel each other out some weeks so they might alternate boom/bust weeks limiting the upside of either stack.

Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown

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I wasn't going to include this one but figured I'd get a lot of comments about why I didn't. I'll let you decide if you want to stack these two or not.

Pros: Tannehill is a very efficient quarterback that is great working off the run game that is elite with Derrick Henry. A.J. Brown is great at getting separation and making contested catches. When these two connect it usually goes for lots of yardage and plenty of touchdowns (11 in 14 games last season). Julio Jones will help limit the number of double-teams Brown will see making him possibly even better.

Cons: Julio Jones comes in and is a huge upgrade to Corey Davis. With a low-volume passing game already, this will limit the opportunities for Brown. Both Tannehill and Brown will need to continue a high touchdown rate to keep his value up and be consistent enough to want to stack these two in season-long.

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I can see the argument both ways and I've got teams already that have them and some where I drafted one but didn't pull the trigger on the stack.

Matthew Stafford and Robert Woods

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I expect bit things from Robert Woods this season. Moving to Stafford from Jared Goff is a pretty big upgrade. If McVay was able to get the kind of seasons he did out of Goff, the sky is the limit with Stafford.

Woods should be the primary benefactor from Stafford being there as he is the better deep ball threat in the offense. Woods was never able to take full advantage of his talent with Goff because he is terrible at throwing the deep ball. With Stafford there he should be able to pull down more of these passes.

Also, good news is this is a fairly cheap stack to get. Woods' ADP is around WR20 and Stafford is QB11.

Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson

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Where I don't love Kirk Cousins you can do much worse at quarterback than him. It might surprise you to know that Cousins finished QB11 last season, yet he is being drafted at QB18. I get it you don't want safe at quarterback you want the upside play and Cousins does not give it to you. This is due to the run-first offense he is in. However, if you stack him with Jefferson it really could work out well for you.

Jefferson was straight-up amazing last season. He finished as WR6 in half-PPR leagues, and that was after barely being used the first two weeks of the season. If you start counting from Week 3, when he was utilized, he finished WR4.

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We all know Jefferson is elite and can put up WR1 numbers, the question is do you trust Cousins enough to use him in a stack. I'll say this, he isn't my first target, but if quarterbacks go faster in my draft then I'm expecting, then I'm fine using Cousins, especially if I already drafted Jefferson. In Cousins' last 11 games, he scored over 20 points in eight of them. You can win with that.

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