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SOC All-Star - Lesson 02 - Stacking Strategy: Defense and Keepers

There are two definitive ways to go when putting together your goalkeeper and defense pair into your lineup here at DraftKings: to stack, or not to stack. Both have worked. Both have won GPPs. Knowing when to do it, and when to not, is the key.…

There are two definitive ways to go when putting together your goalkeeper and defense pair into your lineup here at DraftKings: to stack, or not to stack. Both have worked. Both have won GPPs. Knowing when to do it, and when to not, is the key. When creating your defensive stacks, you have two separate options to go with.

Types of Stacks

Option One: The first option would be to use a keeper and both outside backs in your lineup. This strategy would be based on the hopes of a clean sheet plus points accrued from the outside backs (crosses, fouls draw, assists, goals, etc.). With this strategy, it’s also popular to use a third defender in your stack. The third defender, of course, would be at the Flex spot. This has proven to be a rather popular, cost-saving option in tournaments in order to stack the rest of your lineup, especially when you want to use multiple high-priced teammates from the same club.

Option Two: The second option within the stack “camp” would be using a central defender in your stack. Using central defenders will give you salary relief in almost every scenario, but achieving a double digit output for these individuals is based mostly around getting a goal (or an assist) on a dead ball chance (a corner, a free kick, etc.). Some central defenders are known options as goals corers, albeit with relatively small output compared to striker. These central defenders make themselves much more attractive options.

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How to Stack

For a relatively safe way to go, using at least one outside back with a goalkeeper on the same squad, paired with another mid-to-high end outside back makes sense. The floor is higher for most of those players, with a decreased level of variance, as opposed to going lower on the defender rung. Stacking both outside defenders with their goalkeeper is an option, but a) the matchup must be worth it, and b) their collective salaries must make sense in balance with the rest your squad. For example, you want to stack Team A’s options: Keeper A with two outside backs from the same team, which swallow above $16,000 of a $50k cap – over 30% of the total salary. That will leave you looking for value at midfield and attack, both of which have much higher ceilings than defenders. And because of that, you’re likely not going to be able to get the high end choice that could yield 25, 30 points. A pivot to using those kinds of stacks in the back might require you use another defender at your Flex spot, which can, and has, paid off for players in GPPs.

Find the Mismatch

This stacking works best in both the English Premier League and group stages of the Champions League, where you have overwhelming favorites against a much lesser team. This kind of matchup sees a raised probability of both win and clean sheet bonuses. Plus, the outside backs have a much better chance of getting forward into the attack because of lessened defensive duties. At the heart of this tactic you must have players in that stack that a) have the talent attributes to be part of the attack (guys that are good at passing and/or crossing) and b) are part of a team whose tactics have their outside defenders as part of their attack. Most of the world’s best teams have individuals who fit this role, but not all.

Lastly, these stacks must have an increased probability of a clean sheet for both its keepers and defenders. Grab a win and three clean sheets? That’s 20 points before any saves, any crosses, any fouls drawn, or goals or assists. It is very hard to see someone winning a GPP without these bonuses, and picking the right combination, either from one team or from multiple ones, is paramount for success.