The Stack: When to Pair a QB and WR from the same team and why
One of the most rewarding things that can happen in DFS is when you pair a quarterback and a wide receiver from the same team and they both play well. Known as stacking, this strategy is risky because you’re using two spots for players from the same offense. Conversely, choosing the right stack could net you as much as 60 points from just those two players.
In this edition of the DK Legends Rookie Playbook we’ll explore the risks and rewards of the WR-QB stack.
When pairing quarterbacks and wide outs for DFS, remember that success is more contingent on the quarterback than the receiver. You don’t want to choose a pairing based on the receiver because if he’s the only good receiver on his team, you’ll lose out on the potential value of the QB’s throws to other receivers.
If you pair up based on the quarterback though, and he plays well, chances are there are a few different receivers and maybe even a versatile running back or tight end to choose from that could also benefit from his success. This is usually a good place to look for a sleeper pick, a less prominent player that could have good stats based on his quarterback’s play.
So start with a quarterback that you like to put up points and try to fit one of his top three receivers within your salary cap. This could also be a tight-end or even a pass-catching running back but the wide receiver stack usually has the highest potential.
As you get more comfortable playing DFS, you’ll probably be compelled to create more than one lineup. Be careful about using the same stacks in different lineups. If it doesn’t work out, you lose two contests instead of one but, on the flip side, if it does work out, you cash out big. It’s a matter of your risk tolerance and confidence in the stack you chose.
Three stacks that I like early this season are in Tampa Bay, Green Bay and Atlanta.
New Orleans Stacks
Jameis Winston, in his third year, should play smarter this year and significantly cut down on his turnovers. He has only played in one game due to Hurricane Irma but he protected the ball in that one game although he averaged just over one interception per game in his first two years. He also has the advantage of having two superstars to throw to. He can lob it high for Mike Evans to out-leap everyone or he can heave it deep for Desean Jackson to run underneath. Adding in rookie tight end OJ Howard’s big play ability once he gets comfortable in the offense and the Buccaneers offense looks pretty good for stacking. I like Winston and Evans together. Jaboo is still affordable in terms of quarterbacks ($7,800 on FanDuel) although Evans is a more expensive guy ($8,500).
Green Bay Stacks
With a healthy receiving corps and time to throw the ball, no one zips the ball like Aaron Rodgers. Beyond just his physical skills, he’s the master of the free play – catching a defense with an extra player on the field or getting someone to jump offsides. He’s thrown 12 free play touchdowns since becoming a starter in 2008, the next closest is Flacco with four, according to Rob Demovsky. His willingness to take these risks and his accuracy and arm strength make him a strong place to start when looking for a stack. I would stack him with RB because his touches out of the backfield and ability to flex out into the slot means that he’ll see a lot of touches and DFS is PPR, points per reception.
Reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan should have another stellar season this year. While his number one target Julio Jones seems like the most reasonable stack here, it’s likely too expensive as both players are near the maximum in DFS. However, Mohamed Sanu, the Falcons’ number two receiver is a great player to stack with Ryan for several reasons. First, defenses have no choice but to key off of Julio; he’s just too good not to. This means that Sanu will find himself in more one-on-one situations. While not the fastest player on the team, Sanu is not only strong but also versatile. Having played quarterback at Rutgers, Sanu’s ability to play out of the backfield as well makes him likely to see more touches. He is 5-for-5 for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns as a passer and, I assure you, there’s no better feeling as a DFS player than when your wide receiver throws a 73 yard touchdown to start the game.
These aren’t the only stacks to look at but they should be good for at least this week and even longer barring major change which, in the NFL, is totally possible. In the next episode of the DK Legends Rookie Playbook, we’ll explore how to find a sleeper – the player that everyone is overlooking that’s poised to have a breakout game. The Pro Lineup Builder is one key to success that you must use… signup today at dklegends.com.
How to build a lineup you don’t regret
Although you’re not stuck with them beyond the weekend, the feeling of choosing the wrong player is one that exists in DFS as well as season-long. While you don’t have to worry about someone else taking the player you want, you do have to want the right players in order to cash out.
Picking players at random can work but for prolonged success, it’s important to closely evaluate every game down to every match up. The secret to winning in DFS is in choosing unpopular or less-heralded players that perform well. Your ability to do this will determine how successful you are in DFS.
Review every matchup
Go game by game and look for matchups that you like. Ignore their value in DFS for now, look for pairings that will get you points. A few combinations to look for are
- Backup defenders against a top tier offense
- Quarterbacks playing in their hometown
- Above average defenses against inexperienced QBs
- Athletic tight ends against young safeties
Rank your players
With the first being the matchup you think is going to perform best, rank the players you’ve chosen by position. Still not looking at FanDuel and DraftKings values is important because these steps are designed to make sure that you pick players that you like and are confident will play well. This doesn’t mean that the players you pick are guaranteed to do well but rather you can live with their performance because you’ve done the necessary research. This also means that it’s possible to have a fringe or complementary player ranked higher than a superstar. Keep your rankings list, we’re not done with it even though we’re moving on for now.
Build your lineup from rankings.
When building your lineup, try to include your high ranking players as much as possible. If you always rank the superstars highest based on reputation, you’ll only be able to fit a couple under your salary cap so make sure to comb the depth charts in search of your affordable sleeper.
Review and hone your skills.
After the week is over, review your ranking list and see how you did. The goal is to refine a skill that makes you better able to see advantageous matchups. In reviewing your rankings, you ideally want your highest ranked players to perform the best on the list – that’s validation of your ranking abilities. If they’re not, evaluate whether they underperformed or if you just picked a bad matchup. Take those lessons and apply them to your strategy the following week when you look through matchups in Step 1.
Following this formula, you should improve week over week even if the progress is incremental. DFS is a skill, one that some have improved upon for a few years so be patient and embrace this process of getting in the DFS cash. In the next edition of the DK Legends Rookie Playbook, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of pairing a quarterback and receiver in the same lineup.
Previous DK Legends Rookie Playbook articles:
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DFS Rookie Playbook
Am I doing this right..? DFS Basics Explained
Chances are you probably have seen a FanDuel commercial or heard about the DraftKings $1 billion contest and wondered what it was and how it’s different from when all your friends get together and have a draft. Look no further. Here at DK Legends, we want everyone to flourish so for the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing the insights on playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the Rookie Playbook.
What is DFS, you ask? The concept of DFS is that rather than a fantasy team owner being a General Manager that’s beholden to the same roster week after week, the team owner can choose different players each week, based on the perceived likelihood of them performing well statistically.
The two DFS sites are FanDuel and DraftKings
They both have the same concept with slightly different rules. They begin with a lobby of contests to join. There are different types of contests to choose from: tournaments, multipliers, standard groups, head to head and 50/50s. Here’s what all that means:
The majority of the contests are classic. These competitions have a maximum for how many people can participate and the rules and prizes specifically state which ranks get payouts and how much. Some have low caps, in the tens, and others have thousands.
These contests have high participation totals and big payouts. Usually with hundreds of thousands of entrants, tournaments pay out roughly the top 8% of participating lineups.
These contests are usually a couple hundred participants but can be much larger and the rules state that the top 10% or so will all multiply the entrance fee. For example, if you enter a “Triple Up” contest for $5 and get in the top 10%, you would have $15 added to your account balance. The highest multiplier I’ve seen is “Quintuple Up” and those rooms fill up quickly.
Head to Head
This is pretty much what it sounds like: You and another person join a contest together and the player with the best lineup doubles up. I wouldn’t recommend this one to a beginner unless you know the other person as at your same skill level.
In 50/50 contests the top half of participating lineups receive a payout. The prizes are usually lower, slightly above the entry fee, but these can be good for gaining confidence and easing into the DFS arena.
Once you’ve chosen a contest to enter, you’ll create your lineup next. You start with $50,000 on DraftKings and $60,000 on FanDuel. This is our salary cap. Every player is listed with a dollar value next to them. This is how much of our salary cap will be used to add that player to your lineup. The better players are obviously more expensive.
You’ll add 2 RBs, 3 WRs and one each of QBs, TEs, Ks and a defense but you must stay under the salary cap. It’s okay if you have funds remaining but you cannot enter the contest with a negative salary cap.
Once comfortable with your lineup, submit it. If you decide to make changes to your lineup, you’ll have until kickoff of the first game to change it.
On game day, keep an eye on the ticker or setup alerts to be notified when your DFS players do well. Once the contests have begun, you’ll see a percentage next to his name. This represents the percentage of people in that contest that also have that same player. The goal is for as many players with low usage percentages to perform well as possible; this ensures that your team accrues points when most others you’re competing against aren’t.
And that’s the gist of it. There’s levels and nuance but this should get you started. In the next edition of the DK Legends Rookie Playbook, I’ll show you how to make sure you build a lineup that you’re happy with. Please see a related article.
For more updates, follow me online @kyle_battle.