The most basic DraftKings NFL strategy is stacking. If you need me to explain what stacking is then you may have come to the wrong place. There are a lot of introductory articles you can read about stacking for free, what we are here to talk about today is a little more intricate. Last preseason I wrote a lot about this topic. I look at single stacks, double stacks, triple stacks. Last NFL season I was more stacked up than Floyd Mayweather heading to a craps table. And it worked to a degree. I wouldn’t say I definitively proved that a quarterback pricing goes up, you should increase the number of players you are stacking with him, but I felt like it was close enough. My favorite go-to stack on DraftKings for NFL DFS was the Quarterback – WR1 – WR2 – Opponent WR because I am a sucker for correlated plays and love a YOLO game stack. Many high stakes regulars also deployed similar tactics to win or attempt to win GPPs. That said there were certainly times as I loaded that combination into an optimizer to fire off some teams that it felt a little too much like a blanket rule I was following. In fact, much of the stacking narrative and articles written seem like a bunch of blanket rules and don’t necessarily take specific circumstances into account. The stacking conversation needs to change.
Correlation and Upside
What we are seeking in stacking is the presence of both correlation – our players’ scores increasing together (ideally at a high rate) – and upside – the ability to achieve a high score. The presence of correlation without upside in a stack presents little value, and the presence of upside with low correlation also does not benefit us in GPPs as part of a stack. The popular industry correlation matrices reference correlation between different positions. This is an elementary approach that doesn’t take into account player level nuance. To illustrate this let us look no further than the proficient pass offenses in Green Bay and New England, where quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are generally going off draft boards as the top players of their position. Many DFS players view the two as similar but the underlying numbers from last season are pretty different.