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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy - To Stack or Not to Stack

The idea of stacking a quarterback and wide receiver from the same team is nothing new in the world of fantasy football. Daily fantasy players have been employing that strategy on DraftKings and FanDuel for years now to maximize weekly upside and attempt to finish first in guaranteed prize pool tournaments.

The question here is whether stacking a QB1 and his WR1 is a good idea for season-long Fantasy football leagues. Fantasy players are sure to have different viewpoints on stacking, but here I will lay out my personal thoughts on whether it is a sound strategy or not.

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Stacking Players in Fantasy Football Drafts

It is certainly easy to see why there is a draw to stacking. Every fantasy player wants to double up on points when their quarterback throws a touchdown pass to their wide receiver. While this is certainly an alluring option, my feeling has always been that stacking is better left to DFS and is a sub-optimal strategy in season-long leagues.

One thing to keep in mind when considering whether to stack is the inherent difference between trying to take down a large GPP tournament in DFS and trying to beat one of your leaguemates in a head-to-head matchup. In a daily league tournament, you are trying to beat out multiple (sometimes 1,000's) of other competitors. In this situation, taking a QB/WR pair and hoping they connect for multiple touchdowns is one of the best ways to fly up the leaderboard. In order to outscore a large field in tournaments, aiming for extreme upside is the way to go. In a normal season-long league, all you need to do is outscore one team. It doesn't matter what the other teams in your league do in any given week, only the team that you are facing at that particular time. This makes it a wiser move to aim for consistent production across the board from each position. Stacking a QB/WR can be extremely volatile and is not a way to get consistency. This is the main issue I have with stacking in a redraft format.

As mentioned above, the desire to double up on points can be hard to resist. When you start a quarterback/wide receiver tandem that connect for a touchdown pass, it's a pretty great feeling. The problem is, you are making your lineup entirely too dependent on one game and one matchup. Let's say your quarterback plays poorly for whatever reason, if your quarterback has a terrible game, your wide receiver stands very little chance to turn in a useful outing because wide receiver output is so closely tied to quarterback performance. This will cripple your team as it gives you low point totals from two starting spots on your roster.

Before you think I am completely against stacking in redraft leagues, here are a few exceptions where stacking quarterback/wide receiver teammates can be a solid strategy. First off, if you are dealing with one of the top offenses in the league, the riskiness of stacking become reduced. Chances are if you are stacking Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson every week, they are going to help you much more often than they will hurt your team. The other time stacking teammates isn't a bad idea is if you appear to be a big underdog heading into a fantasy matchup. In this situation, stacking up allows you to shoot for a high ceiling in attempts to knock off a favored team. This, of course, counts on the fact you have the personnel on your roster which would allow you to stack.

In all, the thing to aim for in a normal redraft league is putting together a roster of players with consistent floors. While it is fun to post the highest point total of the week, a one-point win shows up the same in the league standings as a 40-point victory. Save the stacking for tournament play in daily leagues while aiming to put together a redraft team stocked with as many difference-making studs as possible.


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