Football is back, which means fantasy football strategies are being formulated with one goal in mind, to win it all. If you’ve played in PPR leagues you know that stacks are the holy grail of season-long fantasy draft strategies.
If you’ve been living under a rock and have no idea of what stacks are, let me simplify it for you. Stacking is when you draft two players on the same team whose production is inherently tied to each other.
For instance, drafting a starting quarterback and the star wide receiver on the same team is a stack. The production of the wide receiver is inherently tied to the production of the quarterback. It’s a high risk, high reward strategy, but when you are lucky enough to draft a reliable stack, you will find yourself in the playoffs fighting for a spot at the big dance.
What other stacks will increase your odds of winning? My favorite go-to secondary stacks are QB x RB, QB x TE, DST x K, and last but certainly not least, DST x RB. I love DST x RB stacks because they are often overlooked and undervalued. But when you break it down, you’ll see a different story.
A shutdown defense & special teams unit stacked with a power running back will set you apart from the competition, especially in the 4th quarter. A “3 and out” defense opens up more opportunities for the offense, who, if they have a solid lead, will undoubtedly run the football to manage the clock, meaning more stats for the running back. Add in a few defensive turnovers or late quarter rushing touchdowns and that Super Bowl trophy will be within arms reach.
What other criteria should you keep in mind when targeting a stack? Here are some of my favorites.
Volume: Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey stacked me right to the super bowl last year in one of my leagues. It wasn’t the most sought after stack, but there were a few team disadvantages that lead to my decision....
A) The defense was sketchy,
B) The offensive line was super sketchy,
C) Cam was favoring his shoulder and mid range pass attempts.....
Which meant Cam would be throwing a lot while on the run, with McCaffrey being a majority recipient of those dump off targets. Understanding the week to week volume loads within a stack is all about situations and scenarios. Which goes to my next factor...
Gameplay & Matchups: If you’re not expecting Julio Jones and Matt Ryan to connect at least 8 times for over 450 combined total yards and a touchdown or two in week 3 vs the Colts, you’ve already lost this season. Add gameplay and matchups to your strategy, it might also turn those highly sought after players into the players to avoid.
Floor/Ceiling Model: Speaking of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, in terms of stacking, implementing a floor/ceiling model into your draft strategy will help you hone in on the players who are consistent producers with a decent ceiling. A Matt Ryan & Julio Jones stack in this case would make for an unattractive marriage. Watching Julio Jones finish a game with 2 receptions for 35 yards should be downright illegal. Then you take him out of your starting lineup and he has 300 receiving yards the very next week. A floor/consistency model will help you avoid him and the emotional roller coaster all together.
Note: Consistency gets you to the playoffs. Ceilings get you to pay-dirt.
In all, stacks are a high risk, high reward strategy. But if your league is deep, it might be the only thing that will get you over the .500 winning pct hump, or the always unfair tie breaker rules in your division.
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Your favorite fantasy specialist,
Jami Hightower | H2EG Sports