How to Use Stacking Strategies to Maximize DFS

Stacking isn't for everyone, but if you know what it is and how to use it, you can take your DFS lineup to the next level. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about stacking strategies.
How to Use Stacking Strategies

DFS players are always looking for an edge when it comes to their cash games or tournaments. One of the most talked-about strategies to gain that edge is “stacking.” While it’s not necessarily controversial, there are two camps — those that swear by stacking and those that will never stack. But then there are some that have never heard of it before.

This approach can be a game-changer if used wisely. 

Understanding Stacking

Stacking is a strategy where you pick multiple players from the same team or game in your DFS lineup. Seems simple enough, right?

The idea is to capitalize on the correlation between the performances of these players.

For example, in football, pairing a quarterback with one of his wide receivers can pay off big if they connect for multiple touchdowns. 

Think about it. Most DFS platforms award 1 point per 25 passing yards and 1 point per 10 receiving yards. Then, on top of that, it’s 4 points for passing touchdowns and 6 points for receiving touchdowns. So if you have Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill stacked on your DFS team, and in a single play, Tua hits Tyreek for a 25-yard touchdown in the red zone, that is a quick 13.5 points.

So, it’s easy to see how stacking works.

The Logic Behind the Strategy

Why does stacking work?

The rationale is pretty straightforward. In team sports, players’ performances are often interlinked. In football, a quarterback’s success is a wide receiver’s gain. In baseball, batters hitting back-to-back can both score if one hits a home run. And with hockey and basketball, it’s a no-brainer since assists are half of the game.

You can double down on points when your selected stack performs well by leveraging these connections.

Types of Stacking

Most are familiar with team stacking as it’s the most common tactic, but there are several ways to stack in DFS—

  • Team stacking. Selecting multiple players from the same team. This is great if you’re expecting the team to absolutely dominate the other team.
  • Game stacking involves choosing players from both teams in a game expected to be high-scoring. For example, in a quarterback shootout, or if both teams have poor run defenses, you pick up the RB1 from each team.
  • Positional stacking. Combining players who play different positions but are from the same team, like a quarterback and a tight end in football.

One type isn’t necessarily better than the other. Instead, they’re each a strategy with their own purpose. We’ve used all three types in previous contests and have had success with each.

Pros of Stacking

We’ll start with the pros since that’s what everyone wants to see. There are really two key benefits to stacking—

  • More fantasy points.
  • Simple drafting.

High Reward Potential

The most significant advantage of stacking is the potential for a high reward. After all, that’s why most DFS players stack in the first place.

When your stack performs as hoped, it can lead to a points bonanza. This is especially true in tournaments where taking home the top prize often requires not just good picks but picks that outperform in a big way.

Simplifies Player Selection

Stacking can also simplify the player selection process. Once you’ve decided on a game or team to focus on, you can narrow your choices to players most likely to contribute to a high-scoring affair.

This generally cuts your research time down drastically because these matchups are easier to spot.

Cons of Stacking

While we all love the benefits that come with stacking, we can’t neglect the downsides—

  • Increased risk.
  • Lack of diversity.

Higher Risk

With high reward comes higher risk. That is generally true of all DFS or even sports betting.

If the game or team you’ve stacked from underperforms, it can drag down your entire lineup.

This strategy often puts all your eggs in one basket, making your success heavily dependent on the outcome of a single game.

Popularity Among Players

Stacking is no secret among DFS players, which means you’re often not the only DFS owner using this strategy.

In large tournaments, this can dilute the uniqueness of your lineup, making it harder to stand out from the crowd. Diversity is one of the key components to placing high in massive tournaments.

Real-World Examples

Let’s look at a couple of real-world examples to see stacking in action.

Football: The Mahomes-Kelce Connection

In the 2023 NFL season, the combination of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce was a gold mine for DFS players. Mahomes, who is undoubtedly a future NFL Hall of Famer, targeted Kelce 121 times, which is tremendous for a TE. There’s a lot of confidence between the players. In games where both players excelled, those who stacked Mahomes and Kelce often found themselves at the top of tournament leaderboards.

Baseball: The Dodgers’ Lineup

Shohei Ohtani on the Dodgers Batting

The Los Angeles Dodgers are known for their explosive offense. With the addition of Shohei Ohtani in the #2 spot of their lineup with Mookie Betts batting lead-off and Freeman and Smith right after him, any combination of these batters is going to rack up some runs. They’ll feed off of each other.

DFS players who stack players from the Dodgers’ lineup this year, especially during games against weaker pitching staffs, will frequently reap the benefits of the team’s scoring sprees.

Tips for Successful Stacking

Though it seems like a gold mine for the FPs, don’t jump into the strategy without a bit of foresight.

  • Research is key. Look for matchups where high-scoring games are expected. Weather, team dynamics, and recent performance can all influence the outcome.
  • Don’t overlook the defense. Considering the opposing team’s defense can be just as important in sports like football. Weak defenses can provide a ripe opportunity for your QB/TE/WR stack to explode.
  • Balance is crucial. While stacking can boost your points, remember to balance your lineup with solid players from other games to mitigate risk. A bad game can devastate your FPs for your entire lineup.
  • Use a bonus like a boss. Before you even think about stacking your lineup, be sure to leverage one of the many bonuses the DFS platforms offer. These are some of the best bonuses currently on the market. We’ll keep these updated for you.

Start Stacking Like a Pro

Stacking in DFS is both an art and a science. Sometimes, you have to trust your gut but definitely follow the numbers. Don’t stack just to stack, as it’s not always the appropriate time.

By understanding its nuances and carefully selecting your stacks, you can maximize your chances of DFS success.

Whether you’re aiming for the thrill of a high-risk, high-reward strategy or using stacks as part of a balanced approach, the key is to stay informed and adapt your strategy as you learn.


Matt Brown

Head of Sports Betting and DFS

Matt’s love for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, coupled with a deep understanding of football, hockey, and baseball, shapes his innovative thoughts on Hello Rookie. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and a M.S. in Project Management.

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