Winning The DFS Football Million By Stacking
In case you missed the initial offseason DFS Football strategy piece, last week, I broke down the merits of paying for the top end quarterbacks. After my experience with high priced pitchers and their scoring less in DFS Baseball, I was surprised to see the numbers suggest that high priced quarterbacks are the better strategy.
With that in mind, and even when it comes to mid-priced quarterbacks, let’s talk about the strategy of pairing quarterbacks with their teammates.
As with DFS Baseball, you can use stacking to increase your odds at hitting it big (no pun intended). Again as with baseball, while your odds of “going big” increase, so does your risk of not cashing at all. Huh? How does that make any sense. Well, I’ll explain.
Stacking doesn’t help you consistently cash out. It gives you a better chance to win a GPP. You can still stack in cash games (50/50s, etc.) but whether it’s baseball or football, you don’t want to invest too heavily in one team in that format. How many times have the Blue Jays bats been the best play and #cantpredictbaseball hits us only to have them get shut out? Or, we watch the Rockies go scoreless at home. How about when Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton should run rough shot over someone, then #anygivenSunday strikes and instead, the DST scores twice, Luck only has one touchdown and the third string running back gets the backfield score? Or, somehow the Packers only score 10 points!
It’s sports. No matter how much we try, you just can’t predict the outcomes. You can make educated plays; it’s how we win in DFS and seasonal leagues, but no one is perfect or even close to it. So, if you load up on Rockies in baseball or Luck, Frank Gore, Hilton and Coby Fleener in football and those teams score a ton, you’re golden and headed towards a huge day. However, if the team has an off day, you’ve now hurt yourself at multiple positions. That’s why in cash games, it’s better to spread your risk across multiple teams, as you don’t need to hit it big to cash. However, in GPP, a cash game score likely won’t result in a winning total. Think of it in seasonal league terms. No one wants to draft a QB, RB and two WRs from the same team. Even the “Greatest Show on Turf” wouldn’t have won you a championship filling those positions (probably came dang near close though). With stacking, you’re going for that big score potential versus the safer upside of a cash game lineup. Got it?
Now back to the stacking for 2015. It’s really as simple as it sounds. If you are playing in a GPP – maybe, you want to win that Millionaire Maker – it behooves you to find your favorite matchup and use the team’s quarterback and at least one receiver. Think of it this way. If you believe Eli Manning will go off and throw for 325 yards and four touchdowns, those numbers have to go somewhere, and the odds are sky high that a receiver will see a lot of that. In fact, with numbers that good, you can bet that a second receiver and either a third receiver, the tight end and/or the pass-catching option at running back is going to do well too. If Odell Beckham registers 125 yards and a score, Rueben Randle 80 and a touchdown, Larry Donnell 60 and a TD and we’ll even assume the fourth touchdown went elsewhere, you could still probably cakewalk at the other positions on your way to a GPP cash out. That’s 107.5 points on DraftKings between those four players and 101.5 on FanDuel. As you can tell though, to circle back, if the Giants get shut down, you’re not cashing anything… not even in a 50/50 if you used all four guys.
The best part about stacking a quarterback with his teammates is that you also increase the likelihood of having an original lineup. In order to stack four players, you can’t go with the biggest names and have enough salary left for your team. For instance, I doubt you’d ever be able to afford Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy on the same squad. And even if you did, you’d have to go so dirt cheap at the other positions that no one else would have the same players. More realistically though, you look for those big stacks in those mid-tiers quarterbacks and hope they put up a Rodgers-like day. Think about Ben Roethlisberger and his back-to-back six-TD games. Or how about when Matt Ryan went crazy against the Packers with Julio Jones having a record day and both Roddy White and Harry Douglas scoring. Or Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith, Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken against the Bucs? You get the picture.
The one exception where you may want to limit stacking to a QB and just one or max two players is in some of the large field tournaments where field size is gargantuan (think 10,000-plus entrants). In these tournaments, you need unlimited upside. While there’s high upside and correlation between stacking teammates, you do actually limit yourself with each extra player that you add. Simply put, aside from the QB-WR combo, only one player can score at a time. So, in gigantic field sized, you might be better off pairing Eli Manning with Odell Beckham only and hoping that combination hooks up for three scores. If that happens, Rueben Randle’s upside is likely limited (unless Eli is throwing for 5-plus TDs), and it’s better to take a WR from a different team who can also score three times. In regular sized fields, I wouldn’t overthink stacking, but the larger they get the more perfect you have to be, which is when you want to be more cognizant about going overboard stacking a single team.
With only a handful of games to cash big in DFS Football, unlike baseball, you need to exploit the opportunities for the biggest score… and that comes by teaming your quarterback with several of his running mates.