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Maximizing Your Potential in Multi-Lineup Contests (Fantasy Football)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
May 27, 2019

DFS stacks, like Drew Brees and Michael Thomas against a poor pass defense, can increase your ceiling

Winning a multi-entry GPP with a single bullet is exceptionally difficult. That’s not to say it’s easy to win one with multiple entries, but using multiple entries obviously enhances the likelihood of a win or big cash. Gamers with smaller bankrolls shouldn’t feel dissuaded from entering multi-entry GPPs, but they should be realistic and consider foregoing using one lineup or a small handful of lineups in higher-priced entry GPPs with massive first-place prize money in favor of jamming many entries into the micro-stakes GPPs with smaller top prizes. This piece isn’t specifically about bankroll management — there’s a piece focused on that — but that should be a consideration for determining which multi-entry GPP is right for you.

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After locking in on the multi-entry GPP (or GPPs) that are right for you, the focus turns to the strategy involved in cashing big. Strategy can change a bit from week to week. For instance, some weeks, a handful of one-off plays make up your core. On other weeks, a specific stack (or stacks) become your core. The one constant is having a core collection of players to build rosters around. A tightly clustered core adds to volatility by lowering the floor, but it’s offset by enhancing the ceiling.

For instance, if one or more of your core players leave a contest early with an injury or simply turns in a dud performance, you’re likely to miss cashing entirely or miss cashing big with all of your rosters (more on that to come). However, if your core delivers the goods, by mixing and matching the one-offs or stacks around your core, you’ll give yourself the opportunity for multiple high-finishing rosters or even a GPP-winning roster.

Stacking

Stacks are essentially always the backbone of winning NFL GPP lineups due to the importance of correlation. Expanding on that, when a quarterback completes a touchdown to a receiver, running back, or tight end, and you’re rostering the QB and the recipient of the TD, you’re doubling up on the points from the touchdown and yardage. Because of the importance of stacks fueling ceiling, a stack or a few stacks will often comprise your weekly core.

You say the Saints are at home against a bad defense? Well, Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara might be some of your top plays that week and comprise part of your core. Perhaps they’re playing the Falcons and the game’s over/under total is the highest on the slate, maybe you’ll want to include Julio Jones and/or Devonta Freeman to your core. Your core players won’t necessarily be on all of your rosters, but they’ll be on the majority of them. Continuing to use this example, you could conceivably swap in Matt Ryan for Brees on a few of your rosters to slightly hedge on Brees having a bad game or leaving hurt while still trusting your analysis of the game being a fantasy-friendly shootout.

Stacks aren’t just limited to quarterbacks and their pass-catching complements. A running back and defense/special teams (D/ST) pairing can make for a strong correlation play as well, with the running back contributing to and protecting a large lead, while the defense racks up sacks and turnovers thanks to the large spread creating predictable passing situations for the trailing opposition. It’s possible to have a core with a QB/WR, QB/WR/WR, QB/RB/WR, QB/WR/TE, etc. as well as an RB and D/ST from a different contest.

One-off plays

A stack doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of your core, though. It’s possible a running back with a dreamy matchup is your favorite play, but his D/ST is a bad stack partner. You also love a tight end in a drool-inducing matchup, but his quarterback has a limited ceiling compared to others you’re locked in on. Oh, and a slot receiver who’s facing a defense that’s getting flamed weekly by slot wideouts is also among your favorite plays.

Right there you have three one-off plays you’re completely enamored with. They’ll be on the majority of your rosters, but they won’t be on all of them since you’re entering 20 lineups and an injury or clunker from any member of the trio would derail all of your rosters. In addition to the trio you love, there are a few stacks you like.

Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have a plus matchup and palatable salaries, but you also like Ryan Fitzpatrick filling in for an injured Josh Rosen as well as field-stretcher Kenny Stills. As an added bonus, Fitz and Stills are much cheaper than Dalton and Green, so you can squeeze in another stud receiver or running back with the former stack. No problem, you can use both stacks on various rosters around your core trio.

Contrarian plays

The overriding focus for multi-entering GPPs should be identifying a core of players who you use on the majority of rosters. However, another consideration for multiple entries is sprinkling in contrarian plays to differentiate from the pack. This is an especially good idea if your core players are projected to be chalky (i.e. high-owned players).

While you’ll use your core plays on most of your rosters, you’ll want to limit usage of your contrarian picks to only a few rosters. Contrarian selections have warts that make them risky, hence the projected low ownership for them, and that’s why you’ll want to avoid overexposure to them. At the same time, mixing in low-ownership picks gives you the potential for a big edge if they have an explosive performance.

By using multiple entries in multi-entry GPPs, you’ll have the chance to take some necessary risks for chasing a big cashout. Using the highlighted strategy for multi-entry GPPs will result in some dud weeks, but that’s the nature of playing in GPPs. Ultimately, a few decent weeks can ease the pain, and a big week can make the dud weeks well worth riding out.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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