DFS Primer: The Importance of ‘Stacking’
March 30, 2016 | Jason Bales
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Welcome to Spring Training, rookie! This article is intended for novice daily fantasy baseball players. If this does not describe you, this article will probably not be very useful. The information presented throughout this series may be rather obvious for the experienced fantasy player, but, again, this is not the target audience. If you are experienced, feel free to read through this article as a refresher prior to that start of the season, or to hear some opposing opinions regarding previously held game strategy. Now, let’s get you in shape for this fantasy season!
Since this is a very beginner article, we are not going to assume that you understand what the word ‘stacking’ means. What that means is to play multiple players from the same team. For example, playing the catcher, first baseman, second baseman, and outfielders from the Miami Marlins is called ‘stacking’ the Marlins. So, let’s explain a little bit about when you should stack, and why it is important to do so.
Should you stack in 50/50 contests? Tournaments?
Stacking is absolutely essential in 50/50 contests. Let’s think about this logically. It is almost impossible to predict whether or not a specific hitter is going to have a great or horrible day at the plate. Sure, his matchup against a specific pitcher, the ballpark factors, the weather, etc. all go into that prediction, but even the best hitters can still go 0-for-4. That said, what is possible to predict is whether or not a specific team is going to score a lot of runs or not. Vegas needs to be utilized here. If the Boston Red Sox are expected for score around eight or nine runs against the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies are expected to score around four or five runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, it obviously makes more sense to play the Red Sox. That does not mean that playing Ryan Howard and hoping for a home run is a terrible idea, but it does mean that stacking the Red Sox is a more efficient strategy to winning 50/50 contests. Stacking in tournaments is also a solid strategy because it is more likely that stacking will lead to a better fantasy score overall. However, it is possible to not stack in tournaments and win. All this does is increase the upside of the team because every single player on a team is not going to hit well. If you magically pick a team with all the best players from nine different teams, you’ll easily win the tournament. However, if you not so magically pick a team with all the worst players from nine different teams, it is possible that the only players on your team that posted any fantasy points at all were the pitchers (hopefully you spent up at that position like we’ve recommended you do before). All in all, definitely stack in 50/50 contests and stack a majority of the time in tournaments as well, but it is not mandatory.
I am a fan of stacking in all types of leagues. Baseball, by its nature, is a collection of interrelated events. If the leadoff hitter gets on base and the next hitter hits a home run, you get the points from both players. Because hitters are so hard to predict, you are upping your chances of scoring fantasy points by stacking, if you stack the right team. Look for a good offense going against a weak pitcher. The best idea is to look for the best matchup, and possibly highest owned, stack for cash and an under-the-radar stack that will be low owned for GPPs.
I agree with the men above, and I stack in essentially every game I play. There are different ways to stack in different contests, though. If you’re playing in cash games (50/50s and H2H), you’ll want to play somewhat of chalk stacking lineups. What does that mean? Let’s say the Rockies are playing at home and they are projected to score 0.8 runs more than the next highest team by Vegas, you’ll want to stack the Rockies. Sure, they’ll be highly owned, but half of the field cashes, so it doesn’t really matter all that much. I stacked the Rockies at home more than I would like to admit last season, and it worked extremely well in cash games. If you’re in a GPP, you’ll want to stack a team that others likely aren’t thinking about. A couple seasons ago, the Mariners were one of the worst offenses in the MLB, but they had an extremely high Vegas line. I opted to stack them in the $3 league on DraftKings. They scored 10+ runs and players like Endy Chavez scored 20+ fantasy points. Needless to say, I won the entire GPP because they were all owned under 5%. Those are the rules I tend to follow when deciding on what stack I want to use.