By Steven Van Tassell
To steal a line from Hamlet, that is the question. For the past two weeks, I’ve discussed stacking QBs with WRs or TEs and who the top stacks were in 2020 and might be in 2021. It was presented as a fact that stacking was a good idea and that all Dynasty Owners should try and do so with the players on their roster. However, what does the 2020 Dynasty Owner data say about stacking? Did League Champions and Chase for the Ring contenders stack a QB-WR, a QB-TE, or did they not stack anybody at all?
Lots of fantasy analysts will tell you to stack, or not to stack, and maybe provide examples of when they did one or the other and won a title. Where else but Dynasty Owner are you going to find an analysis of whether or not the people who won their League Championship last season had a stack or not? Nowhere else as none of the other major platforms (ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo!, Sleeper, My Fantasy League, etc.) provide this type of data and analysis about the people and teams playing on their platform. Just Dynasty Owner! It’s another thing that makes Dynasty Owner unique and great.
Dynasty Owner also has the Chase for the Ring and a 25-team Leaderboard that you can check out and see how those teams put together their roster, Starting lineup and Bench. As I’ve written before, our 2020 Chase for the Ring Champion Viktor and his Barbee Kilgore team (League #35395) had a three-player stack from the Kansas City Chiefs with QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce. However, the team that finished second overall (Quaranteed for Greatness) didn’t have a single stack in their starting lineup in the playoffs. They had both Hill and Kelce, but Josh Allen at QB and no other Bills players in their Starting lineup or Bench, not even a kicker.
All stack data are taken from the final two weeks of the 2020 Dynasty Owner playoffs (Weeks 15 and 16). All rosters had been frozen at this point in the season so no players could be added or dropped. The overall level of stacking throughout the season may be understated as teams could have had players on the Practice Squad or Injured Reserve who were part of a stack during the season, but not in Weeks 15 and 16. For example, a team with Amari Cooper or CeeDee Lamb may have stacked those WRs with QB Dak Prescott at the start of the season, but not been counted since Prescott was injured and didn’t play in the Dynasty Owner playoffs. Not all Dynasty Owner leagues are included as some teams have been sold (another way that Dynasty Owner is different) or orphaned and lineups for their playoff games are unavailable.
The Answer to the Question is a Qualified “Yes”
It appears that stacking can help you win your League Championship. Just over half (52%) of all League winners had some type of stack (QB-RB, QB-WR, or QB-TE) in either their Starting lineup or on their Bench during their playoffs, compared to one-third (33%) who did not. One-sixth (16%) of winners’ rosters could not be analyzed. Among the teams in the Top 25 of the Chase for the Ring, a majority (56%) had a stack while just over one-third (36%) did not, with two out of 25 teams (8%) not being able to be analyzed. Among Top 10 Chase teams, the split was 60% with a stack versus 40% without one.
|Any Playoff Stack||% of Teams||% of Top 25||% of Top 10|
As mentioned before, this is a very generous definition of having a “stack”. There are several reasons:
- It includes QB-RB stacks (say QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry from the Tennessee Titans) as well as the more traditional QB-WR and QB-TE stacks talked about in previous articles.
- The team could have utilized a stack in either playoff week, or both, but didn’t have to do it in both playoff weeks.
- The stack could have been spread across the Starting lineup and Bench. Remember that Dynasty Owner scoring includes Bench scoring (20% of points scored by players on your Bench in 2020 count towards your final score with the percentage moving up to 25% in 2021). Bench scoring is another Dynasty Owner innovation that has to be factored into your roster construction and lineup setting calculations.
Even with this generous definition, the percentages aren’t overwhelming in favor of stacking. However, our percentages may be deflated as well if a team drafted a player stack and had that stack early in the season. These stacks could have been derailed by injury (Dak Prescott) or suspension (WR Will Fuller of the Houston Texans), not be used in the playoffs and not included in this analysis.
QB-WR Stacks Were the Most Common
Not surprisingly, the QB-WR stack was the most common type of stack and League Winners finishing in the Chase for the Ring were more likely to employ a QB-WR Starting lineup stack. Overall, 44% of League Winners who had a stack had a QB-WR stack, but the percentage jump up to three-quarters (75%) of Top 25 teams who utilized a stack and four-fifths (80%) of Top 10 teams. Since teams could have had more than one stack, the percentages below exceeded 100%.
|Starting Stack||% of Teams||% of Top 25||% of Top 10|
In fact, Top 25 and Top 10 teams were more likely to have more than one stack. And the data show that the QB-TE Starting lineup stack was more common than the QB-RB stack regardless of the type of League Winner.
In terms of players, the Bills QB-WR stack of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs and the Chiefs QB-WR stack of Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill were the most common ones. Despite the lower salary cost, no League Winners had the Patrick Mahomes-Mecole Hardman stack and only one had Josh Allen and Cole Beasley. No surprise that the Mahomes-Travis Kelce stack was the most common QB-TE stack and the only one fielded by the Chase for the Ring teams who had a QB-TE stack. A solo QB-RB stack of Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers-Aaron Jones was the only one that a Chase team had.
Other Stacking Facts from 2020
While Viktor used a three-player stack to help him win the Ring, it was not a strategy employed by too many League Winners. In fact, only two League Winners had such a stack in their Starting lineup for both weeks of the 2020 playoffs. Probably not coincidentally, both of them were in the Top 10 of the Chase for the Ring. The other team finished 7th (Rimmerworld Smegheads in League #31819) and they had Packers QB Aaron Rodgers along with RB Aaron Jones and WR Davante Adams.
A couple of other League Winners utilized a three-player stack as a Bench stack or a split stack with the players on the same team split between the Starting lineup and the Bench. This was how the 11th place finisher in the Chase, the Swamp Donkeys in League #27448, did it as they had Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams in their Starting lineup plus TE Robert Tonyan on the Bench.
All of the Chase teams utilized their stack in both playoff weeks, indicating the star power of those stacks. In contrast, a few of the regular League Winners did a stack in one week, but not the other one.
Some League Winners had a stack, but of Bench players. In fact, one-fifth (20%) of League Winners had a Bench stack, defined as two players who were both on the Bench, in Week 16, while one in six (17%) had a Bench stack in Week 15. Seven teams had both a Starting lineup stack and a Bench stack in Week 16, as did five teams in Week 15.
There were some split stacks, but not as many as Starting lineup stacks. About one-quarter of League Winners and Top 25 Chase for the Ring teams split a stack between the Starting lineup and the Bench with QB-WR split stack being the most prevalent by far.
It appears that stacking is something that Dynasty Owners should consider based on the results from the 2020 season. Just over half of League Champions and a majority of Chase for the Ring contenders utilized at least one stack in their playoff lineups. The QB-WR stack was most frequent with a skew of more Chase for the Ring teams employing this type of stack. The Bench-only and split stacks were less frequent, but still employed by some League Winners.
With the new salaries in place for the 2021 Dynasty Owner season, the prevalence of some stack may diminish, while other stacks have been formed to take their place based on free agency and the NFL draft. Dynasty Owners who choose to stack and pick the right one (or two) could have an advantage over their rivals in 2021 and find themselves competing for the Ring.
Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you draft your dynasty. We can also provide guidance as you continue to tweak your roster after your rookie or start-up draft is over so you can win your league. My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team are being released on Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out on Mondays, while Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster on Fridays. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern).
Please read all of their articles and follow all three of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful for everyone who has a 2021 start-up draft coming soon, and at least interesting for those of you who have already drafted or have an established team. Maybe it’ll give you and other Dynasty Owners some ideas for potential trades too. Thanks, and have a great day!
Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner