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Fantasy Football: Five intriguing QB/TE stacks to target in 2020

Identifying and targeting high-scoring players is always the goal of a fantasy football player. Possessing the ability to properly assess a team’s situation — including which teammates may work in unison as a pair — can create a marginal difference on a weekly basis but ultimately compounds by season's end. Doubling up on points by way of a stack — such as a quarterback and a tight end — is one of the more underrated and underutilized factors when drafting. Below are some of the most intriguing quarterback and tight end stacks to target in 2020 fantasy football leagues. The most expensive no-brainer options won’t be included on this list.

All average draft position (ADP) info is sourced from BestBall10s drafts dating back to the beginning of July.

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Ryan Tannehill (149.67 ADP) + Jonnu Smith (131.67 ADP)

Tannehill was a revelation for the Tennessee Titans in every way last season. In Weeks 6-17 — when Tannehill was the starter — he ranked fourth in quarterback scoring (234.4 points) and second in points per dropback (0.70) among all quarterbacks. Over that same timeframe, Tannehill ranked 11th in passing yards, third in passing touchdowns, first in yards per attempt (YPA) and third in average depth of target (aDOT) among all quarterbacks with 100-plus pass attempts.

Tannehill’s intrigue doesn’t end there; he's also a threat on the ground, as his 187 rushing yards ranked 10th and his four touchdowns ranked third among all quarterbacks. It’s probably fair to expect a level of regression for both Tannehill and the Titans’ offense as a whole, mostly because his 2019 performance was a career outlier. Tannehill’s current QB20 ADP is intriguing, mostly because the offense the Titans deployed in 2019 proved to be well-suited for his skill set, and the team has surrounded him with a bevy of weapons who produced after the catch.

One of those weapons is the aforementioned Smith. Smith’s current TE17 price tag feels like absolute thievery because he is simply way too productive and talented to be going so low in drafts. Smith was otherworldly in his 2019 production, as evidenced below.

Jonnu Smith statistics and rankings (min. 25 targets) | 2019
Category Number (Rank)
Yards after the catch 282 (9th)
Yards after contact 165 (5th)
Missed tackles forced 14 (3rd)
Explosive pass plays (15-plus yards downfield) 12 (13th)
Receiving yards per reception 12.5 (8th)
YAC per reception 8.1 (2nd)
Yards per route run 1.83 (8th)

Smith was fairly productive in the weeks in which he and Tannehill shared the field (6-17), as he ranked 15th among tight ends in scoring (89.8 points). Despite that decent rank, Smith simply wasn’t used often enough in the Titans’ offense, as his 44 targets ranked 31st among all tight ends. The positive in this situation is Delanie Walker‘s departure — his release frees up another 30 targets. Walker accumulated that workload in only seven games, which should provide enough hope for an increased target share for Smith moving forward.

PFF’s fantasy projections expect the duo to produce — Tannehill is currently ranked as the QB11 and Smith comes in at the TE15 spot. Their schedules won’t make it easy, though. PFF’s strength of schedule (SoS) metric ranks the Titans’ quarterback schedule as the 22nd-easiest and the tight end schedule as the 29th-easiest in 2020.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (234.34 ADP) or Tua Tagovailoa (229.25 ADP) + Mike Gesicki (117.67 ADP)

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