NBA DFS: Stacking

Stacking is something that is not only encouraged in NFL DFS, but when it comes to tournaments, it seems to be a requirement of many players. In football, we have several direct correlation stacks, such as a quarterback with his wide receiver, where the benefits of stacking are readily evident.

Stacking in NBA DFS, especially compared to the NFL doesn’t receive nearly as much discussion. In this article, we will dive into the advantages and disadvantages of stacking in NBA DFS and whether it’s a viable strategy.

Disadvantages of NBA DFS Stacking

One of the issues with basketball and stacking is that’s it’s tough to see a correlation when you’re selecting players from the same team. It’s also certainly true that one player’s production eats into another’s. Although, this can vary depending on what position they play, the amount of minutes they play, and the coaches rotations.

For instance, when you play a center and power forward on the same team, it’s tough to argue that these two players won’t be “cannibalizing” or eating into each other’s production. When they’re both out on the court, and there is a rebound to be had, they both can’t grab the ball, and there are only so many to go around.

The same can be said for guards. It’s rare that both a starting point guard and shooting guards have games that where they both reach cash game value, but especially tournament value. However, stacking a point guard and his pick n’ roll partner makes a bit more sense. These two positions aren’t negatively correlated, and we’re probably going to get some assists and buckets.

Advantages of NBA DFS Stacking

The jury is still out of the viability of stacking in NBA DFS. As mentioned above, on nights with a lot of games, it’s generally not the way you want to go in your cash games. Tournaments may be a different story. However, it’s important there is no hard and fast rule to stacking in basketball, the jury is still out.

High Totals

Games with extremely high totals are stacking candidates. In cash games, you should be targeting games like this anyway, but fielding a lineup with the majority of players from one team or game may be too risky for cash games.

However, although a blowout could sink your lineup, there may be merit to stacking or mini-stacking a game in cash games. Games with extremely high totals, such as 215 to 220 or greater are games that are most viable for this strategy.

It should be clear that you should be attacking teams that run their offense at a fast pace and play little defense because that much is obvious. Games that have high totals will feature these types of teams, and the oddsmakers are right far more often than any other prediction model.

Injuries

Often a team will have a wave of injuries hit their squad, or a coach may opt to rest their starters, with the latter being somewhat common in the NBA, especially late in the season. There is a lot of value that opens up when this happens.

This makes a team or game stack a much more possible, particularly in situations where the team runs at a high pace and in a contest that should be a close game. Since these players will see a bump in minutes, but not an increase in price, the production they need to “get value” is a lot less than players who have been priced appropriately.

Of course, blowout risk is something to be considered, but due to the lower salary of many of the players that you will be rostering, they may be able to get value in three quarters. This will also allow you to pay up at other positions and fit in several high-priced studs.

Potential Overtime

Overtime is clearly something we can’t predict. Double and triple overtime happens and can’t be predicted either, but they inflate totals and producing some incredible scores for players in those games. If we took away overtime from DFS scoring, well, the skill factor would be increased slightly, but that’s an issue for another article.

When a game goes into overtime that evening, it’s not uncommon to see the teams at the top of major tournaments with players from that game. We can’t possibly begin to consider something like targeting games that have a better chance of going to overtime, but that’s impossible to predict.

However, we can realize how big of an effect overtime has on the fantasy sports of players in the game. A possible overtime is something that adds the value of game stacking, because if you stack a game and it goes to overtime – well, you’ve got yourself GPP winning upside.

Conclusion

Game stacking isn’t something typically recommended for cash games. The risk is usually too high unless the total is extremely high and/or there are a lot of value plays due to an injury or other news. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it’s completely off limits either.

For tournaments, the strategy is one to consider, because the upside is certainly there, especially when we factor in ownership.

For instance, if the Cavaliers face off against the 76ers, most players may look to roster one of Kevin Love, LeBron James or Kyrie Irving, provided they are healthy and are expected see their regular workload.

However, few players, even in tournaments will look to roster two or three of these players, particularly on nights where there is little other value. Fitting one high priced stud in your lineup is hard enough, but fitting two or three can be extremely tough.

There are many nights where two or three of a team’s high-priced players have massive games, where they far exceed their projected points and produce tournament-winning scores. Whether the reason is overtime or only because both players went off, the bottom-line is that this combination usually has low ownership but the upside to take down a five or six-figure payday.