The Power of Player Stacking in DFS Lineups

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: February 2, 2024
The Power of Player Stacking in DFS Lineups

When getting deep into the weeds of DFS, one strategy stands out for its potential to both elevate your game and introduce a layer of complexity that demands attention: player stacking.

While not new, this technique continues to shape the way players approach their lineup construction, offering a blend of risk and reward that can be too tempting to ignore.

Let's break down what player stacking is, explore its benefits, and weigh these against its inherent risks.

Understanding Player Stacking

At its core, player stacking involves selecting multiple players from the same real-world team to fill spots in your DFS lineup. The rationale? Capitalizing on the collective performance of a team's offense or defense, depending on the sport.

For instance, in football, you might pair a quarterback with one of his wide receivers, betting that a strong game from the QB will also mean a high-scoring game for the receiver.

The Benefits: Why It Works

On the surface, it might not seem like a bright idea to bring stacking into your lineup, but this strategy has a few upsides.

Amplifying Point Potential

The primary allure of stacking is the exponential point potential it offers.

When your selected players from the same team perform well, their successes feed into each other, often leading to higher combined points than if you had chosen players from different teams.

Think of it like this. You pick up Lucas Raymond and Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings. The former is the leader in assists, and the latter is the leader in goals. Picking up both of them could mean you rack up double the points whenever Larkin scores.

This synergy is especially powerful in sports with direct interactions between players, such as a quarterback and his receivers in football or a pitcher and his catcher in baseball.

Simplifying Game Day Calculations

Another advantage is the simplification of your game-day calculations.

By betting on the success of one team's offensive unit, you don't need to spread your attention as thin across multiple games.

This focus can make your research more efficient and your viewing experience more streamlined, allowing you to concentrate on the performance of fewer teams.

You get the opportunity to put all of your energy into researching a single team. This doesn't necessarily mean it'll pan out the way you want, but you should have a good idea if your stacking strategy is going to work.

Exploiting Favorable Matchups

Stacking allows savvy DFS players to exploit favorable matchups. When a strong offense goes up against a weak defense, stacking players from that offense could lead to a points bonanza.

This strategy requires diligent research and a keen eye for matchups, but when executed correctly, the rewards can be significant.

The Risks: What to Watch Out For

Sure, stacking sounds great. However, we're always going to be upfront with you on everything, so we should at least let you know the downsides to this strategy.

Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

The risk of significant failure is the flip side of the potential for high rewards.

If the team you've heavily invested in has an off day, which they sometimes do, your entire DFS lineup could suffer.

This "all your eggs in one basket" approach can make or break your game, underscoring the importance of strategic selection and diversification.

Predictability and Popularity

A popular stacking combination can become a double-edged sword.

On one hand, if a widely chosen stack performs well, you'll be in good company.

However, this also means a more significant portion of the field will see similar gains, making it harder to stand out in tournaments. Of course, you want to have some distinction in your lineup for tournaments, and sometimes

balancing popular stacks with unique picks elsewhere in your lineup is crucial to gaining an edge.

The Cost of Commitment

While this one isn't always true, it's worth noting. Stacking often requires a significant portion of your salary cap, mainly if you're targeting star players from the same team.

Take, for example, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, both on Phoenix, and both command pretty high prices. This combination could be lethal in any DFS game but will come at a cost.

This investment can limit your flexibility in filling out the rest of your lineup, potentially leading to weaker spots that opponents could exploit.

Managing your budget becomes even more critical when employing a stacking strategy.

Strategies for Successful Stacking

If you want to be a boss when it comes to stacking, there's a bit more to it than simply picking players from the same team. To maximize the benefits of player stacking while mitigating its risks, consider these strategies our DFS pros put together—

  • Diversify your stacks. Instead of always opting for the most apparent combinations, look for less popular but potentially lucrative stacks. This can help differentiate your lineup in large tournaments.
  • Balance risk and reward. Combine high-risk, high-reward stacks with more stable, predictable picks elsewhere in your lineup to strike a balance.
  • Stay informed. Keep abreast of the latest team news, weather conditions, and matchups. Late-breaking developments can significantly impact the viability of your stacks. This is especially true if you're in a late-swap game.
  • Practice bankroll management. Don't put all your DFS budget into one tournament or lineup. Spread your investment across multiple entries to hedge against the volatility of stacking.

These won't always pan out, but they'll increase your chances considerably.

Ready to Start DFS Stacking Like a Pro?

Player stacking in DFS is a strategy that can dramatically elevate your game when wielded with skill and insight.

Its potential for high rewards makes it an excellent option for players looking to maximize their points on any given day.

However, the risks associated with this strategy cannot be overlooked. By understanding and respecting these risks, maximizing strategic diversification, and staying informed, you can harness the power of player stacking to your advantage.

Whether you're a seasoned DFS player or new to the game, stacking can add an exciting dimension to your lineup construction strategy and potentially put extra cash in your pocket.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.