Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Power Stack, a Footballguys DFS Referendum

I recently asked my fellow Daily Footballguys for their opinions on multi-stacking teammates in tournaments. It struck me because I see a few reasonable Week 4 options to do it, like in Green Bay, where Randall Cobb and James Jones are likely to just dominate the Packers passing game. I got a solid battery of responses on the effectiveness of the "power stack" and when it's typically best to be rolled out, and I wanted to share it with you guys before lineup lock today:

Justin Howe: Who among you likes (or is generally willing) to double-stack two high-usage wideouts? Something like Rodgers-Cobb-Jones (with Davante Adams out), or Manning-Thomas-Sanders, guys likely to double-team and dominate an entire pass game? Or do you find yourselves shying away from it due to the negative correlation and riding just one of them?

Justin Bonnema: I don't mind rolling with a power stack when the situation is right. You just have to be timely. Brady/Gronk/Edelman in Week 2, for example, would have been killer. Early last year, Manning/Thomas/Thomas, or Manning/Thomas/Manny was solid. But man when those lineups tank, they tank.

Alessandro Miglio: I like it when the market share is high for the pair. Cobb-Jones with Rodgers qualifies with Adams dinged and the tight end not a big component of the offense. Gronkowski-Edelman is the same way. Peyton-Sanders-Thomas similar. I am selective with triple stacks but they’re worthwhile.

Matt Harmon: The Palmer/Fitz/Brown stack has been rather profitable for me this year so far, even with Brown rarely pulling his weight. I do it more to differentiate my lineup when I want to use a popular player(s). I'll infuse Michael Crabtree into more than a few Carr/Cooper stacks this weekend, and might do a few of just Carr/Crabtree as well.

Chad Parsons: Arizona is another one. Only a huge game from Michael Floyd or Darren Fells really affects it. It's almost betting against the other receiving options on the team as much as banking on the two receivers of choice.

Steve Buzzard: I think the double stack is especially good for the more expensive quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, because if you think about the points they need to amass to win a GPP, it is typically going to be insanely high. In order to score that high amount of points they will often need to receivers to have great games; hence, I tend to double-stack them more often.

Jeff Pasquino: The double stack is good for leagues and smaller GPPs.  It is a rare situation where all three can hit 5x value (the target for a big GPP).

On DraftKings, I want at least 4x value, and probably 5x within reach. If I can get two receivers (even better, a TE and a WR) for $10-11K. To get 60 points from these two I need a similar line (15-200-2 with one bonus) to get 50 points.

Another reason to consider it is when there are 2 receivers on a team and virtually nothing else. Remember last November, when Denver had only Thomas and C.J. Anderson and virtually nothing else? That's a reasonable target for a triple-stack.

So the bottom line for me – triple-stacks need to be cheap on DK and within a 5x realistic attainability range, which likely keeps my 2 receivers at $10K or less.

Dan Hindery: I’ve written about this in the past a couple times in the context of reviewing Millionaire, but my take is that if you’re in a very large GPP and paying up for one of the top three quarterbacks, most weeks you'll need 4+ passing touchdowns from your guy to finish at or near the very top.

If that’s your realistic goal and you assume your lineup is nearly worthless without four TDs from your QB, then it makes plenty of sense to double-stack. Especially if you can get a secondary target that is relatively cheap. 

Off the top of my head, there were at least two or three double-stacks that won the million dollars last year. One was Rodgers-Cobb-Nelson. One was Romo-Bryant-Witten. I think there may have also been one with Manning-Julius Thomas-Demaryius Thomas but I would have to look it up to confirm.

Already this season, we’ve seen some double stacks that had top 20 finishes on DK. Brady-Gronk-Edelman carried multiple guys to top 20 finishes. Rodgers-Cobb-Jones last Monday earned a top 20 finish. 

Justin Howe: I've spent awhile looking into it tonight, and I'm not sure if what I've landed on is my actual take yet, or just the devil's advocate viewpoint against some sound reasoning from this thread. But here's what I think I think.

All told, I think it's a bigger risk than it seems. You're effectively predicting the top two options in a passing game, of course, which is doable in a few offenses. But it just seems the combo of rarity (few offenses fit the profile) and variance probability (a third option asserts himself and/or vultures a TD or two) should give us pause. Even in a confident match like Rodgers-Cobb-Jones, doesn't it feel like there's a decent enough chance that the Packers go Lacy-heavy, or Richard Rodgers steals a TD, or Ty Montgomery steals enough from Jones to make him remain a role player? Palmer-Fitzgerald-Brown seems solid and predictable, but isn't there a solid chance the Cards keep running in the red zone, or some other happening that prevents all three from going off? Which they have to do; as Jeff pointed out, what are the realistic odds that all three post 4x or 5x value simultaneously?

Dan Hindery: I think if you’re trying to win the whole thing in a large field GPP it makes sense... 

Is it likely that Rodgers throws five TD passes this weekend and four of them go to Cobb or Jones? Nope. Definitely not.

But it’s also not likely that I put together a million dollar lineup either. I think sometimes we start thinking of this stuff in terms of what is most likely to happen, when really in these types of scenarios, we should be asking if there’s a 1% chance. And if there is, it’s a smart play. 

I still think that when you start looking at the numbers, the odds of you hitting that one-in-500,000 lineup are higher if you stack a pair of WRs with a QB and hope that (1) your QB goes off for his best game of the season, and (2) you picked the right two targets. If so, you are well on your way. And it’s really not that rare. One of the top 20 lineups last week had Andy Dalton paired with A.J. Green and Marvin Jones. Dalton threw three TDs. All three went to his top two WRs. And then the guy had plenty of cash leftover for some chalk plays like Julio Jones, Adrian Peterson, Devonta Freeman, etc. and he turned his $27 into $200,000.

B.J. VanderWoude: I had a nice payday last year on the strength of a Rodgers-Nelson-Cobb stack. It is a high floor strategy that usually hits value, but definitely lowers your ceiling slightly for all but the biggest games. While it may be able to find a player to outscore James Jones at his salary, I play it with the total three scores in mind. That’s a long-winded way of calling it a hedge with upside.  I really can't remember it ever bombing my lineups other than an ill-advised attempt with Stafford-Johnson-Tate.  

I like throwing in a pass-catching back that gets some burn in the red zone. Danny Woodhead and Darren Sproles come to mind. Dion Lewis this year, or Pierre Thomas over the last couple years too.

Justin Howe: All told, I guess I agree with Dan here: if you’re trying to just place solidly in a smaller GPP, it might reduce your floor too much to be reliable. If you’re wanting to stab at a few high-stakes tournaments and know you’ll need well over 200 points to succeed, it’s a dynamic and even sensible strategy. It’s the only strategy, really, as any high-scoring QB you’d roster will already have you halfway to nailing it.

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