Stacking is essential to success in DFS GPPs. The average user who submits a handful of lineups on any one DFS slate doesn’t stack nearly enough in their lineups. The art of stacking is a way to increase variance, which is the only option that offers enough upside to win a GPP tournament.
An overlooked approach is the game-level stack, which takes not only a quarterback and pass-catching option but also runs it back with a pass-catcher or running back from the opposing team.
We see in our introductory article on stacking that if we hit on the correct quarterback and wide receiver to stack, a player from the opposing team is typically going to be worthwhile to pair with this combination to apply more lineup correlation into your roster builds.
This provides inherent upside to our lineups — if we hit on the correct quarterback, two or more additional lineup spots are typically hit on by the simple fact that they are highly correlated to our quarterback play. If your quarterback is a miss, the rest of your lineup is likely in a similar situation, as it is hard to pull off a quality finish in a GPP contest with a dud at the signal-caller position.
Focusing on this approach of identifying quarterbacks who could be hits, we have built a model to project who is most likely to finish as the highest-scoring quarterback on the main slate based on fantasy projections, opponent-adjusted grades and betting market lines. Utilizing correlations for how fantasy points are distributed at the game level, we can then see the correct framework for how to approach roster construction for a game stack.
WEEK 8 REVIEW
The Patrick Mahomes, Demarcus Robinson, Travis Kelce and Denzel Mims stack took home the top two spots of the DraftKings millionaire maker. Mims didn’t provide much but allowed DFS players to jam in high-priced running back options, along with D.K. Metcalf.
The Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Dalvin Cook stack took home the top spot in FanDuel's million-dollar contest, and Metcalf once again was required as the wide receiver option to have in a top-end game stack. Rodgers and Adams were owned together in 6.8% of DraftKings lineups, and pairing Cook dropped this ownership to under 1%.
Our recommended plays said to avoid the Chiefs/Jets stack, which was a miss, but I still think fading a game that can quickly get out of ahead is the correct approach in most weeks. We did identify the Packers/Vikings stack, but with wind playing a crucial role as we approached game time, a move to Dalvin Cook became the optimal path to pair with Rodgers.
Mahomes and Kelce had just under 4% ownership, with the addition of Robinson dropping it below .5%. Mims differentiated these lineups even further despite being over 15% owned in all lineups. There is no greater way to capture upside while providing for unique roster builds than game stacks. It is consistently the best approach to try and take down a big-field GPP tournament.
The mean total for Week 9 has bounced about 1.5 points from last week after 8 out of 13 games went over — even despite the weather concerns. This week, we have the sixth-highest mean total dating back to 2010. Scoring is still up overall on the season, which should cause game-level stack ownership to be spread out. There is no obvious chalk, meaning to load up on a situation if you have a conviction about a certain play or game.
This model was low on Kansas City’s opportunity last weekend, but it still prevailed to be the optimal game stack. We are once again lower on the quarterbacks in the Carolina/Kansas City matchup, according to this model.
There is some deviation when looking at wide receiver opportunities, as Carolina has the second-best odds to produce the top-scoring wide receiver. For this reason, I am looking to fit in a third wide receiver from this matchup in a different game stack — but not necessarily targeting this entire game or the quarterbacks.
The model is low on the Houston at Jacksonville matchup, which makes it a higher total game to avoid this weekend. Let’s dive into the best stacks for Week 9 based on our model predictions for games that could involve the highest-scoring players at each position.
This is the highest total matchup of the week by 2.5 points, which should lead to heightened ownership. The salary of all players involved in this game could be prohibitive if value opportunities don't open up at the running back position like previous weeks. Both offenses rank in the top half of the NFL in our opponent-adjusted grades, with the Seahawks slotting in as our No. 1-ranked offensive unit. Five of seven Seahawks games have gone over, so the expectation of fantasy points has been rewarded.