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Stacks to target with late-round quarterbacks in 2021 fantasy football drafts

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) reacts after a first down against the Washington Football Team during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Stacking in fantasy football drafts is commonplace these days. We have tons of information available that leads us to believe stacks are valuable in best ball leagues — and, most likely, all fantasy formats. Having two or more players correlated for weekly fantasy production will raise your weekly ceiling thanks to variance, which is good.

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Targeting late-round quarterbacks is a proven successful strategy in redraft fantasy football leagues. Using this concept, we will pair a cheap quarterback with a high-priced wide receiver or tight end. The idea here is that it is more difficult to land the big-name skill player, so once you get them early, you can pair them with that team’s quarterback for cheap.

The following stacks are for 1QB leagues and use only quarterbacks outside the top 12 in ADP — i.e., a late-round quarterback.

Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns

This stack takes advantage of two players who are likely being drafted lower than they'll finish in 2021, provided they stay healthy.

Beckham is currently being drafted in the late fifth or early fifth-to-sixth round for redraft leagues. As the 28th wide receiver off the boards, the upside case for Beckham vastly outweighs the downside. Even during his past two disappointing seasons, he finished as WR35 and WR37 in fantasy points per game — the downside case here is still a flex play. The upside is a 79th percentile average depth of target and a 75th percentile yards per route run mark across 2019 and 2020. The only missing component is volume.

Jul 28, 2021; Berea, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) catches a pass during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Beckham missed the end of last season due to an ACL tear but has been active for the entirety of training camp. He seems to be full-go for the 2021 season.

On the back end, it should be a cakewalk to nab Mayfield in the double-digit rounds without much competition. Mayfield doesn’t have the flashy appeal of rookies Trey Lance or Justin Fields, but he provides efficiency and untapped passing touchdown potential. In 2020, the Browns had the fifth-most rushing touchdowns in the league — a number that could regress due to the variance involved with rushing metrics.

From Week 11 to Week 16 last year, Mayfield was the QB9 in fantasy points scored. Even better, he posted the third-highest passing grade among all quarterbacks during this stretch. It was easily his best stretch of football to date, even without Beckham in the lineup. If Mayfield can finally click with Beckham this season, there are going to be fantasy fireworks.

Joe Burrow and Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

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