When I first volunteered to discuss the 2020 Fantasy Football Stacks, I thought it would be easy. I'd recommend Tom Brady and his targets, Patrick Mahomes and his targets, maybe Lamar Jackson and his pass-catchers and call it a day. But admittedly I did not think it all the way through because it's not quite that simple.
But let's take a step back first.
Stacking is not a new concept to fantasy football as it has been used in daily fantasy sports for years. However, the concept is beginning to pick up momentum in seasonal fantasy football. We all know there are countless strategies on the best way to draft in fantasy football. Is stacking just a passing fancy (pun intended) or is it a sound strategy?
The idea behind stacking is pretty straightforward. Pair your pass catchers with their quarterback because there is a high correlation of success between the two. If a QB throws at least three touchdowns, for example, there’s a good chance at least one of his WRs has a great game if not both.
Depending on your league's scoring and starting roster size, you could equal your opponents scoring total with just three players! Of course, that's the way it hopefully works out. As I began to dig into the numbers, however, I realized that the odds of having Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill for example was pretty slim. Sure, that stack would win you a lot of games last year. But if you overlay ADP data, the odds of having that combination, especially in a redraft league, was nearly impossible. But were there other options that might have worked?
You're reading this article, aren't you? So of course there were other options! We will look at some of those and with that baseline established, I'll recommend some potential 2020 Fantasy Football Stacks.
2020 Fantasy Football Stacks
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The evidence for stacking
The key to stacking is hitting on the quarterback. Coming into the 2019 season, the Packers were thought to be one of the better teams to stack, led by Aaron Rodgers and his favorite target, Davante Adams. Adams still had a good season. And Rodgers didn't have a terrible season, but he failed to live up to his ADP.
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However, below are three examples that did have some success. I've listed the QB and their total points, their ADP, and ranking. That is then followed by his pass catchers along with the number of points beyond expectation based upon their ADP. Yes, those numbers might shift a little depending on your league's scoring system. However, the takeaway is the trend, as the numbers will remain at least directionally if not proportionally accurate. Here they are:
- Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (457 FFPC Points, ADP of 120, QB9)
- Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys DAL (399.8 FFPC Points, ADP of 151, QB15)
- Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers (388.5 FFPC Points, ADP of 136, QB13)
It is also worth noting that this is not just a one-year aberration.
There were similar success stores in 2018:
- Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams 2018 (373.2 FFPC Points, ADP of 159, QB16)
- Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (482.1 FFPC Points, ADP of 144, QB14)
- Matt Ryan ATL 2018 (417.2 FFPC Points, ADP of 151, QB15)
And just for good measure, a couple of examples from 2017....
- Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs (342.6 FFPC Points, ADP of 217, QB25)
- Tyreek Hill +51 Points
- Travis Kelce +63 Points
- Blake Bortles Jacksonville Jaguars (299.6 FFPC Points, ADP of 259, QB28)
2020 Fantasy Football Stacks: The Key to Drafting Success and Next Steps
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We know that Kansas City is a powerful stack, but they suddenly disappear from 2019 because the expectation and ADP are higher, thereby limiting the profit. Some of that is also because grabbing Kelce, Mahomes, and Hill even in an auction league was nearly impossible. The same is true for this year.
So here's the key: Select at least three pass catchers (TE or WRs) in rounds 1-8 whose QB you would be comfortable selecting in the middle rounds (rounds 9 to 12 typically) at their ADP. You won't have to reach on a QB, as you've already "pre-screened" pass-catchers with QBs you like.
I know, I too like to be flexible and feel a little uncomfortable boxing myself in with ADP like that. Another option is you could select pass-catchers a little bit early (maybe half a round to a full round) who are attached to QBs you are higher on than the market. It's a gamble, but you can also be secure in knowing you have a decent chance of drafting these players with only slight reaches. By limiting your reach to less than a full round, you mitigate much of the risk associated with your QB of choice and potentially being sniped. This leaves you room for upside to complete the stack, all at a reasonable cost.
So this all leads us to the next question--what are some of the potential stacks we might want to consider trying to get this year?
Potential Options for 2020 Fantasy Football Stacks
Danny Dimes and his pass-catchers
It will forever be debated whether or not the Giants reached for Daniel Jones. However, many are expecting a big leap for the second-year signal-caller and he still can be had with an ADP around 105. The beautiful part is that not one of his pass-catchers is likely to go in the first 50 picks of your draft. My favorite is Darius Slayton along with tight end Evan Engram. But Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard can easily be had without reaching.
Of course, I can understand that might make some of you nervous so let's go with someone with a higher floor....
Jimmy G and a Little Kittle
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In this scenario, you are going to have secure the services of George Kittle, which is not the easiest thing to do. The good news is that Jimmy Garappolo doesn't usually go until about the 12th round. You'll then want to add one or two of Garrapolo's receivers, which at the rate they're dropping might be easier than expected. Deebo Samuel is coming off of a foot injury and Brandon Aiyuk is a rookie, but one of them is likely to pay off.
Splash the pot on Teddy B
Teddy Bridgewater's career record against the spread is an insane 31-9 (78%). That is good
— Alex Rollins (@AlexRollinsNFL) August 17, 2020
Don't kid yourself, the Carolina offense is still going to run through Christian McCaffrey. But you can draft Teddy Bridgewater at an ADP of 158 and any two of his top three WRs outside of D.J. Moore in the first ten rounds without even having to spend a top 50 pick. Curtis Samuel is a nice gadget player and Robby Anderson is a speedster added this offseason. Not to mention tight end Ian Thomas is essentially free. There is limited upside to the Carolina passing game, but this might be my favorite affordable stack this season.
2020 Fantasy Football Stacks Final Word
Will any or all of the three stacks above be powerful stacks this upcoming season? I honestly can't say with 100% certainty. Perhaps there is a quarterback and a set of pass catchers you like better? Great! I've laid out the roadmap for you. Now all you gotta do is follow it. Good luck!
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