NFL DFS GPP Strategy Guide: Stacking, Contrarian Theory, and MME Tools
We’ve written a lot about DFS tournament strategy topics over the years and will cover tournament thoughts weekly in our writeups. For new players, there is nothing more exciting than the ability to turn $20 into $1M and there is no time that provides that opportunity as frequently as with NFL DFS contests. For the mid-stakes grinders, no sports brings in an influx of less experienced players and offers the contest diversity to reward skill and provide room to grow your bankroll, and for the high-stakes pros nailing just one single NFL week can make an entire year.
While cash games are still a popular and liquid NFL DFS market for regular players, playing DFS tournaments has become the mainstream game of choice. In this article, we will do our best to lay out a framework that you can follow and cheat sheet for guiding your tournament strategy week to week. This article will lean on data to guide your roster construction, both new and summarizing pieces we’ve previously written, but it won’t provide an answer key. It’s not that we are holding back, it is just that the answer key doesn’t exist.
Every NFL DFS slate is its own game containing complex twists and unknown variables involving the players, the information, the actions available and the outcomes. But we will provide a framework for helping you understand the rules and tools at your disposal and cover topics such as:
- Basic Stacking
- Stacking by QB Archetype
- Stacking by QB Price Point
- Game Stacking
- Showdown Stacking
- Stacking on FD Versus DK
Unless this is your first year of NFL DFS, you likely have at least a basic understanding of what “stacking” is. If you are new to NFL DFS, the concept of stacking means playing multiple players together whose performance correlates with each other. The most common stack is pairing up a quarterback (QB) with a wide receiver (WR) or tight end (TE) from the same offense. To win a guaranteed prize pool tournament (or “GPP”) it will be important that we hit on every player on our roster. Stacking increases the ability that getting one position right (the QB) will lead to us having a higher probability of getting additional positions right.
Our optimizer settings cover the basic stacking features, letting you easily configure stacks of QB + X. That X can include either players from his team or opponents (more on that later). You might think you are stacking, but chances are you still aren’t stacking enough.
In 2016, I made a strong recommendation to DailyRoto users to begin leveraging 3-man stacks or pairing a quarterback up with not just one but two passing options. My research found that 3-man stacks were twice as likely to hit as 2-man stacks and choosing “the right” uncorrelated wide receiver.