Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Our Fantasy EPL 21/22 Draft Kit promises to be the most comprehensive set of pre-season Draft Premier League articles ever produced! This article dives into a strategy that has been proven to win titles and is a favourite of our very own @draftgenie. Here we will dive into the highs and lows of stacking, and when done right how it can win you league titles.
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What is Stacking?
Stacking is when you roster three or more players from the same team in your starting XI. These players could “link-up” in some sort of way and compound the points. If you rostered Kane and Son last season (they linked up for 14 goals), you get the goal and assist points for each. The other way to stack is investing in defenders and a goalkeeper from the same team and hoping for multiple clean sheets from a certain match. Example: rostering Man United defenders and goalkeeper - Maguire, De Gea, and Shaw - and starting them most games.
Stacking, as you can imagine, is high risk, high reward. You have to be careful about the way you construct your team. If done right, you could have gameweeks of over 150 points, helping you sustain a title push. If done poorly, you could be looking at multiple weeks under 70 points. Usually poor scores come from choosing a bottom table or out of form team to stack. The stacking strategy will require constant attention to your team, with regular trades and pickups throughout the season altering the team you may be choosing to stack.
Stacking During the Draft - Premium Assets
Attempting to build a stack during a draft could be complicated, and will require a lot of planning. You should be using your first round pick to target the best asset from the team from which you are planning to stack. Ideally, you will be aiming to build an attacking stack from a team that can score plenty of goals, such as: Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, and Chelsea. Your draft spot will influence which team you should initially target. Having a top 3 pick could allow you to get one of: Bruno, De Bruyne, Salah or Kane. If you are near pick 12, you may look to target the likes of Son, Rashford, Mahrez, or Watkins.
Depending on who you selected with your first pick, you could look to continue your stack or try and draft a few other premium fantasy assets before returning to your “stack team”. If you have planned to have 2-3 stack teams (e.g. Man Utd and Chelsea), you may look to use 2-3 of your first 4 picks to get some of their elite assets.
Stacking During the Draft - Secondary Assets
After the first 5-6 rounds, many of your picks will be punts, safe floor players, or streaming assets. This is the perfect time to target defenders or floor players on the teams you are looking to stack. The elite defenders such as Shaw, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Cancelo may be gone at this point, but that won’t prevent you from adding solid players to your stack.
The strategy here will depend how you want to close out your draft. Option 1 is to pick high upside players from multiple teams, and then 2-3 guaranteed starters from one of your stacks. Option 2 would be to pick a combination of high-upside and floor players only from teams you want to stack this season.
For option 1, my recommendation is to start out with some high upside player plus a defender or two from your stack. Example: maybe you can target a new signing or a player from the championship on a newly promoted team, then proceed to add a DEF2 and MID4 from the teams you want to stack.
For option 2, I recommend starting out adding the top remaining defenders from your stacks, then proceeding to add some high upside/new signings on those teams. Finish off your draft with some guaranteed starters for your stacks, but ones you are willing to drop if they don’t bring in the points, such as Fred, Ruben Dias, or Jordan Henderson.
Now that the draft is complete, if you did it right you should have about 3-5 players from each of the teams you wanted to stack. I recommend focusing heavily on 2-3 teams instead of just 1 team (See Part 2 of this article for experiment results). You will have accumulated assets from teams you aren’t looking to stack, and you probably missed out on at least one of your team’s premium assets. You should now look to start offering trades that include all the assets that don’t belong to the teams you want to stack. It is unlikely that your round 10-12 picks can get you a premium asset that you missed out on such as Robertson, but it could get you closer. It is all about making the smaller trades.
Let’s say you are focused on Spurs and Chelsea this season, and you are looking to target Son, who you just missed out on by one pick. You should see this as one of your “longer term targets”, players that you know you won’t be able to trade in instantly, unless you over-pay. But after a few smaller trades and a down performance or two, the right deal could present itself.
In a typical league that uses FAAB, it is highly recommended you keep at least 5-10% throughout the season for waiver adds from your stacking teams. While I am always a fan of using FAAB in trades, I strongly recommend you keep some of it. Injuries are a common occurrence in this sport, and given the COVID-19 pandemic, you never know who could face longer spells on the sidelines.
So, want to know how all of this works in action? Check out Part 2 of The Stacking Strategy for Genie's real life experiment!!
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