Last year, Twitter was aflame about whether or not correlating Week 17 games was worth it. 2022 showed not only is stacking very important, but players can gain a significant edge by correlating Week 17 games in lineups.
This is important because there are hundreds and hundreds of teams in the Week 17 final, and the heavy money prizes are all up top.
So it makes sense that if there is a lot of scoring in a particular game, lineups that have multiple player options for that big game will have uniqueness that could take them to the top of the prize money.
That being said, we don’t draft in a vacuum.
Best Ball Fantasy Football: Everything You Need to Know
How to Avoid Pitfalls of Stacking:
Stacking and correlation while proven to be helpful on winning teams can also be disastrous for both newer and experienced players if risk is not calculated properly.
Often, the players we want to stack and/or correlate for Week 17 (you can also correlate for the other playoff weeks, but they pale to the need to correlate Week 17) are not sitting near the top of ADP when a drafter is on the clock.
So the question becomes should players reach for stacks and correlations or just stick to value?
Ultimately, the most important thing to consider when drafting is final ADP.
It is impossible to know for sure which players will end up higher in ADP at the end of draft season, but bleeding ADP value to chase stacks and correlations can greatly hurt our chances of gaining final ADP value.
It makes less sense earlier in the draft to drop a tier (almost every site or analyst puts out draft tiers in their rankings) to gain a stack or correlation.
In the first five rounds, I am willing to bump up a player I have lower within a tier to complete a stack and possibly a correlation depending on how far down the tier I have the player.
Once we get past the first five rounds, a small tier drop might make sense depending on the positional build of the team at that point.
Once we get to round 10. Dropping a tier makes sense as long as you are not passing a great value on a player to do so.
Don’t do this blindly on any player, but try to make up for the value you might be losing by reaching above ADP by focusing on talented players who are blocked by another player on the depth chart. Injuries happen, and unlocking a talented player who is also stacked or correlated can be a big win.
Also, consider rookies who might surprise if given a chance.
By doing this, you drop a tier in value but gain both a stack or correlation AND the opportunity to make up that lost value with upside.
How to Choose Week 17 Games to Stack:
There are multiple situations to look for when choosing games to target:
- Games with high-powered offenses
- Games that will likely feature teams with something to play for late in the season
- Games likely to have good weather
- Games likely to feature teams with bad defenses
Last but certainly not least, consider the price of the players on those teams starting with the quarterback. Also, make sure there are cheap upside options that can be added later in the draft.
Week 17 Games to Target for Best Ball Fantasy Football:
- The Kansas City and Cincinnati game features two high-powered offenses and is the clear No. 1 spot. However, it is going to be very hard to differentiate as the field is going to be all over this game, so put extra thought into how you can create uniqueness.
- Detroit at Dallas is a game that covers almost all of the factors we are looking for: good weather, good if not great offenses, defenses that can give up points, and teams where the quarterbacks are drafted late in the single digits with late options to stack and correlate.
- Tennessee at Houston is my sleeper game as we have bad defenses and a lot of cheap players. While these teams likely will not be “playing for something,” they will be playing a lot of talented rookies who will be trying to prove something in good weather.
- Miami at Baltimore gives us two powerhouse offenses. There are weather concerns, but the game is littered with players who can put up a must-have score.
On the podcast this week, we have the winner of Underdog Fantasy’s Best Ball Mania 2 Liam Murphy, and on next week’s pod we will have the winner of Best Ball Mania 1 Justin Herzig.
You can be sure that stacking and correlating and how much value to give up will be a large part of the discussion. Tune in and join me on this journey of learning!
This is part of a best ball strategy series from expert best ball player Tod Burros.