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DFS Data Dive: Hunting the best stacks of Week 13

Paradise, Nevada, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) dives into the end zone to score a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-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 11.5 Tom Brady QB 27.7 7,200 25.4 8,100
TB 11.5 Chris Godwin WR 17.7 6,600 13.9 7,600
BLT 8.0 Lamar Jackson QB 24.5 7,800 22.9 8,500
BLT 8.0 Marquise Brown WR 13.2 6,500 10.5 7,100
PHI 7.2 Jalen Hurts QB 23.8 7,000 22.4 8,000
PHI 7.2 DeVonta Smith WR 14.5 6,100 11.5 6,300
CIN 7.2 Joe Burrow QB 21.1 6,300 19.6 7,400
CIN 7.2 Ja'Marr Chase WR 18.5 7,000 14.7 7,500
LA 7.1 Matthew Stafford QB 22.7 7,300 20.9 7,800
LA 7.1 Cooper Kupp WR 25.2 9,000 19.2 9,000
LAC 5.7 Justin Herbert QB 20.9 6,700 19.5 8,200
LAC 5.7 Keenan Allen WR 16.2 7,500 12.3 7,300
MIN 5.5 Kirk Cousins QB 22.6 6,500 21.1 7,700
MIN 5.5 Justin Jefferson WR 20.5 8,200 16.3 8,000
LV 5.5 Derek Carr QB 20.7 6,000 19.2 7,500
LV 5.5 Hunter Renfrow WR 14.8 5,800 11.5 6,400
ATL 5.4 Matt Ryan QB 19.5 5,600 17.9 6,800
ATL 5.4 Russell Gage WR 10.8 5,300 8.4 5,900
SF 4.5 Jimmy Garoppolo QB 18.5 5,700 17.3 6,600
SF 4.5 Brandon Aiyuk WR 16.2 5,600 12.9 7,000
IND 4.2 Carson Wentz QB 19.2 6,100 18.0 7,500
IND 4.2 Michael Pittman Jr. WR 13.7 5,700 10.9 6,800
PIT 3.8 Ben Roethlisberger QB 14.5 5,000 13.5 6,500
PIT 3.8 Diontae Johnson WR 14.2 6,800 10.9 7,200
ARZ 3.5 Kyler Murray QB 22.4 7,500 21.3 8,300
ARZ 3.5 DeAndre Hopkins WR 12.9 6,200 10.2 7,200
DET 3.3 Jared Goff QB 17.0 5,200 15.7 6,400
DET 3.3 Josh Reynolds WR 11.4 3,400 9.0 5,100
SEA 3.2 Russell Wilson QB 20.9 6,400 19.6 7,300
SEA 3.2 D.K. Metcalf WR 16.9 6,700 13.5 7,300
WAS 3.0 Taylor Heinicke QB 20.1 5,600 18.8 7,100
WAS 3.0 Terry McLaurin WR 18.6 7,400 14.4 7,200
MIA 2.8 Tua Tagovailoa QB 18.3 5,500 17.3 6,900
MIA 2.8 Jaylen Waddle WR 13.1 6,400 10.1 6,900
JAX 2.6 Trevor Lawrence QB 16.5 5,100 15.4 6,700
JAX 2.6 Marvin Jones Jr. WR 12.6 4,700 10.0 5,600
NYJ 2.6 Zach Wilson QB 14.4 5,200 13.6 6,300
NYJ 2.6 Elijah Moore WR 11.8 5,500 9.3 6,100
NYG 1.9 Mike Glennon QB 18.9 4,000 17.5 6,100
NYG 1.9 Kenny Golladay WR 12.3 5,000 10.1 5,800
CHI 1.8 Justin Fields QB 17.8 5,000 16.7 6,600
CHI 1.8 Darnell Mooney WR 13.0 5,600 10.2 6,700
HST 1.3 Tyrod Taylor QB 18.4 5,300 17.2 7,000
HST 1.3 Brandin Cooks WR 15.7 5,900 12.2 6,700

RUNNING BACK/DST

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