We are all looking for an edge when it comes to daily fantasy tournaments. One of the ways we can gain an advantage is to be contrarian with low-ownership plays. Another way we can differentiate our lineups is with stacks, especially with superstacks or megastacks, as only a small amount of players are willing to be so heavily invested in one team, let alone one game.
Looking at this year’s week to week scoring leader data from ESPN, I was able to enumerate which offenses provide successful stacks and which defenses are prone to give up production resulting in successful stacks. I was somewhat surprised by the findings actually.
Before moving forward its important to define a “successful stack”. The criteria for a successful stack for this post is when there is a passer combined with a receiver and/or running back from a single team where each member of the stack scored at least 20 PPR fantasy points.
Top Offensive Stacks of the Season
Cam and his crew have generated six successful stacks amounting to 336.9 fantasy points. That is an average of 56.15 points per game when using a Carolina stack. Much of this has to do with boost that Cam’s rushing production provides, but these numbers should give us some level of comfort when considering stacking Panthers. We must always consider the opponents for context. These performances came against Detroit, New England, Atlanta, Green Bay, Miami, and Philadelphia. As we can see, Carolina has only played against one defense currently in top ten in DVOA: Philadelphia. One of these stacks included three offensive players (vs Green Bay).
Green Bay Packers
We would expect this to occur more often with an Aaron Rodgers led team, but as we all know there was an injury to Rodgers. However, two of six those successful stacks came with Brett Hundley at the helm against Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The context of these outings includes these defenses in addition to the other two Hundley faced: Carolina, Dallas, Chicago, Cincinnati. Again, only one of these stacks came against a top 10 defense in Carolina. We also see QBs with solid capability with their legs; not necessarily something to directly correlate to build a successful stack, but it is interesting. These beneficial stacks included two that contained three team members. Green Bay stacks have generated 346.7 PPR fantasy points or 57.8 average per stack.
For the third most frequent stack we have yet another quarterback who uses his legs to extend plays or move the chains in Russell Wilson. These five performances amounted to 273.3 points for an average of 54.7 points against Giants, Titans, Falcons, Texans, and Redskins. Only Washington is top ten in total defensive DVOA. The stacks from this team have only ever had two players including the quarterbacks. Of course, the definition of successful stack members for the purposes of this post only include those players scoring more than 20 PPR points as an individual.
Worst Defenses Against Stacks
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs defense has allowed five different stacks against them. One Eagles stack in Kansas City succeeded, but the other four were on the road against the Texans, Raiders, Cowboys, and the Jets. A grand total 309.7 points have been scored against the Chiefs by successful stacks for an average of 61.9 PPR points. While this number of performances would make them a solid target, most of these performances (4) occurred before week 10, and it seems that KC has stiffened up a bit. Recently, they have only given up the 9th least points to receivers and less than 17 points on average to passers over the last 4 weeks. Therefore this is a matchup that I wouldn’t stack against unless you are super confident in the stack you are selecting.
Other Defenses to Target
There were many defenses that have been beat up by at least four different stacks over the course of the season. These defenses included Dallas (265.9 total, 66.5 avg), Houston (319.4, 79.9), Miami (226.5,56.6), Oakland(226.4, 56.6), Washington (214.8, 53.7), and Cleveland(239.5, 59.9). These defenses are currently 20th, 23rd, 27th, 32nd, 8th, and 28th in pass defense DVOA and 23rd, 6th, 15th, 18th, 22nd and 1st in rush defense DVOA, respectively.
What Does This Mean?
While this is only an initial look at the data – and perhaps a little late – perhaps this look at the scoring leader information can be useful in combination with other tools we use to decide what stacks are valuable. For example, this weekend’s Sun-Mon slate on Draft Kings includes Christmas Day games which have the Oakland and Houston defenses. Pittsburgh (3 successful stacks this season) plays Houston (most points per successful stack) which appears to be a nice overlap for us. Basically, fire up Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, Smith-Schuster, and Bryant. The Eagles have also produced 3 successful stacks and will face Oakland. The Eagles aren’t as attractive, but they also aren’t as expensive.
On the main slate, Seattle at Dallas is a really attractive matchup with 5 successful stacks from Seattle facing the Dallas defense that has allowed 4 successful stacks. This makes Wilson, Baldwin, Graham very attractive because it has the upside highlighted by this fresh perspective, and it has the possibility of being doubly contrarian. All three of these players have had at least one down week which could have people to fading them this week. This could be a “perfect storm” type of opportunity for us DFS players.
Below is a graphic that provides all of the counts for successful stacks for an against for your lineup considerations.