Steven Mullen here this week we are taking a look at player stacking a commonly used tactic in NFL Daily Fantasy(DFS) contests. What is stacking, why stack, who to stack, when to select players to create a stack. Lots of questions surround stacking lets answer them.
1. What is stacking?
Stacking is a DFS tactic used to win in tournaments. You will pair your QB with a couple of his best weapons. This is usually a combination of a QB and his top 2 WR or a QB one of his WRs and a TE. There are also mini stacks that are a QB and one of his weapons. Stacking more then 2 of a QBs pass catching weapons(WR/TE) actually produces a lower then average win %(something I just learned). Looking at a DFS stacking matrix we see how many points on average the top targets score per point scored by their QB from 2013-2017.
2. Why are we using a DFS tactic for BEST BALL?
Best Ball lies somewhere between season long and daily fantasy contests. When you sign up and compete in your Best Ball contests you are likely doing so on a daily fantasy platform such as DRAFT. In traditional season long fantasy you are playing 1 opponent per week. Best Ball lasts all season but is actually a series of 16 multiplayer contests where you are trying to finish 1/10 or 1/12 etc each week. The more weeks you can finish #1 the better chance you have of winning. DFS strategy has proved over years that stacking a QB with his top weapons produces the highest scoring weeks. On average a best ball team will win a 12 man league 8.3% of the time and cash(top 4) 33% of the time. Lets look at how stacks did in 2018. Below shows league win %-cash %. The best win % is 11.98%, 3.68% higher then the 8.3% average, that number might seem small but it's actually a 44% improvement on your win %!!!!!!!! The best cash % is 40.43%, 7.43% higher then average for a 22% improvement.
12 Team Leagues
Average Team 8.3% win%-33% cash%
3. Who should we stack?
Quarterbacks on the best offenses and their top weapons. The most represented stacks in the Best Ball Championships unsurprisingly were the Rams, Chiefs, Colts and Steelers. A few of least Cardinals, Lions, Jets and Bills. In creating stacks and mini stacks the more important a player is to his QB the stronger the stack. Lets look at how WR and TE for the top 2 scoring QBs Mahomes and Ryan scored per QB point. As expected the numbers drop as the players drop in their teams pecking order. Sammy Watkins # is for the 11 games he played in. For the Chiefs the ideal stack was QB-WR1-TE. For the Falcons the ideal stack was QB-WR1-WR2. You should look to stack the best weapons possible and if you miss then go to your next best options.
Tyreek Hill .68/1
Travis Kelce .58/1
Sammy Watkins .28/1
Julio Jones .60/1
Calvin Ridley .40/1
Mohammad Sanu .32/1
Austin Hooper .25/1
4. When should we stack?
We should stack when we are not breaking a tier to do so and aren't taking a player more then 1 round from ADP to do so. Raw points are still more important then stacking. Stacking is a tool to augment your team but it is not as important as getting value in your selections. If I have Juju I will take Big Ben above the other QB's of his tier. I will always select a QB over the other QBs in his tier if I can complete a stack as long as I don't already have a QB with that bye week. If a QB from the tier above like Russel Wilson or Carson Wentz has fallen I will take them over Big Ben in this example. You see now why making your tier rankings is super important. I tend to have slightly larger tiers for best ball then I did for season long. Slightly larger tiers help you with stacking options and also helps diversify your player portfolio.
Good Luck Stacking!!!