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DFS Data Dive: Hunting the best stacks of Week 12

Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands off the ball to Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

This analysis of DFS main-slate stacks is a variation of the methodology used in analyses on the single-game DraftKings showdown slates. It uses the combination of current projections, historical game results and similarity algorithms to simulate an upcoming game by looking back at the most similar historical matchups.

I’m taking the same outline and applying it instead to the DFS main slate by projecting the likelihood each team’s QB-WR, RB-DST, QB-WR-TE, QB-RB-WR stacks will be the highest-scoring of the slate. These are some of the most popular stack combinations employed in DFS strategy.

The information below is entirely in the form of plots and tables. If you’d like additional information and analysis on the same methodology broken out by position, please refer to the positional piece that also comes out every week.

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METHODOLOGY

For each game on the DFS Sunday main slate, I looked through thousands of NFL matchups from 2014-2021 and found the closest analogies according to the following parameters: betting spread, over/under, average fantasy points scoring for the top-ranked positional players of both rosters (QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1).

Once I get the 75 most similar matchups for each upcoming game, I simulate the main slate 10,000 times by randomly choosing one of the 75 matchups for each game and then find the highest-scoring QB-WR, RB-DST, QB-WR-TE and QB-RB-WR stacks on the simulated slate.

Every match of historical and current games is not perfect, but the simulation allows us to smooth out the bumps and get a strong picture of how a slate of similar games would have played out.

The last step is totaling up the number of times a particular team shows up as the top stack for each of the three stacks projected and then dividing that number by the total simulations. That number is what I call “highest scoring %” on the y-axis of the plots below labeled by team logo. Below the plots by team, I join the highest projected players that make up the stacks for that team and list their projected fantasy points and salaries for DraftKings and FanDuel.

HOW TO VIEW THE PLOTS

Each plot below has every team on the main slate positioned by the combined salary of the stack and the percentage of time that team’s stack was the highest scorer in the simulations.

One way to look at them is that anything above the dashed horizontal line is a good scoring stack, and anything to the right of the dashed vertical line is a high-priced stack. You should pay most attention to the upper-right (high-scoring and high-priced) and upper-left (high-scoring and low-priced) quadrants. Ideally, you’ll find something in the upper-left that you’re confident in, but often paying up and moving into the upper-right can be beneficial.

QUARTERBACK/WIDE RECEIVER STACK

QB/WR players

Team Highest % Player Pos DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
TB 14.9 Tom Brady QB 24.7 7,600 22.6 8,200
TB 14.9 Chris Godwin WR 16.5 7,000 12.9 7,600
ATL 10.7 Matt Ryan QB 20.7 5,500 19.2 7,100
ATL 10.7 Russell Gage WR 10.9 5,100 8.6 5,700
SF 8.4 Jimmy Garoppolo QB 19.2 5,700 17.8 6,500
SF 8.4 Deebo Samuel WR 20.8 7,900 16.0 8,000
PHI 6.4 Jalen Hurts QB 22.3 7,300 21.0 8,400
PHI 6.4 DeVonta Smith WR 13.9 6,400 11.0 6,400
MIN 6.4 Kirk Cousins QB 18.1 6,300 16.8 7,500
MIN 6.4 Justin Jefferson WR 17.2 8,300 13.6 8,100
LAC 6.1 Justin Herbert QB 22.5 6,600 20.9 7,800
LAC 6.1 Keenan Allen WR 17.1 7,400 13.0 7,000
MIA 5.8 Tua Tagovailoa QB 17.4 5,500 16.4 6,900
MIA 5.8 Jaylen Waddle WR 12.3 5,900 9.4 6,700
DEN 5.6 Teddy Bridgewater QB 19.4 5,300 18.2 7,100
DEN 5.6 Courtland Sutton WR 12.5 5,400 10.1 6,000
LA 5.4 Matthew Stafford QB 17.9 7,100 16.6 7,700
LA 5.4 Cooper Kupp WR 21.6 9,600 16.4 9,500
JAX 5.2 Trevor Lawrence QB 19.2 5,400 17.8 6,700
JAX 5.2 Marvin Jones Jr. WR 13.7 5,300 10.9 5,900
PIT 4.2 Ben Roethlisberger QB 16.0 5,200 14.9 6,600
PIT 4.2 Diontae Johnson WR 15.5 6,600 11.8 7,100
NE 3.4 Mac Jones QB 18.1 5,400 17.0 6,800
NE 3.4 Jakobi Meyers WR 12.5 5,000 9.7 5,700
CIN 3.4 Joe Burrow QB 20.9 6,200 19.4 7,100
CIN 3.4 Ja'Marr Chase WR 18.3 7,300 14.6 7,700
NYG 3.2 Daniel Jones QB 19.4 5,600 18.0 7,000
NYG 3.2 Kenny Golladay WR 11.0 5,100 9.1 5,900
IND 2.8 Carson Wentz QB 17.6 5,800 16.4 7,300
IND 2.8 Michael Pittman Jr. WR 13.5 5,600 10.6 6,600
GB 2.6 Aaron Rodgers QB 19.6 6,900 18.5 7,900
GB 2.6 Davante Adams WR 19.6 8,600 15.1 8,700
HST 2.4 Tyrod Taylor QB 20.5 5,300 19.2 7,400
HST 2.4 Brandin Cooks WR 16.4 5,800 12.8 6,500
CAR 2.0 Cam Newton QB 19.4 5,600 18.2 8,000
CAR 2.0 D.J. Moore WR 17.7 6,200 13.8 6,700
NYJ 1.9 Zach Wilson QB 16.7 5,100 15.7 6,200
NYJ 1.9 Corey Davis WR 12.6 4,800 10.0 6,100
TEN 1.0 Ryan Tannehill QB 17.4 6,100 16.6 7,200
TEN 1.0 A.J. Brown WR 15.4 7,100 12.3 6,800

RUNNING BACK/DST

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