Football, Learn

3 years ago

Defensive Stacking on Fanteam. Why Use It?

Today we are going to take a closer look at the concept of 'stacking' and how to apply it properly when participating in daily fantasy football contests. We will elaborate on why stacking is such a common strategy in DFS and explain why fielding a lineup with 5 defenders on FanTeam is crucial to your success in GPP tournaments.



At the moment, the predominant strategy in FanTeam’s GPP tournaments is to field a team with 5 defenders. A goalkeeper and a pair of defenders from one team make up the first defensive “stack” and 3 defenders from a different team - the second.

On Fanteam 4 points are awarded to defenders and a goalkeeper for keeping a clean sheet.

If you opt for 5 defenders + a goalkeeper from different teams, hoping to get 24 points for a clean sheet (24 = 6 players x 4 points per clean sheet/per player), you need 6 teams to deliver. That is highly unlikely to happen. Clean sheet odds and some simple math are going to prove that handsomely.

In game week  31 of the English Premier League odds for keeping a clean sheet were as follows:

Let’s consider 6 teams with the best chances of shutting out their opponent in the given gameweek. The chances of all those teams keeping a clean sheet would be (0,51x0,49x0,38x0,37x0,33x0,28)/100 = 0,3%.

If you were to select players from only 2 teams, your chances would have been significantly higher. Let’s pick West Ham and Liverpool. 0,51x0,49= 24,99%. It goes without saying that this is a lot more probable to happen.



With the stacking question out of the way, why would you want to stack your defenders instead of going with 5 midfielders or fielding a 3-4-3 formation, for example? This is due to Fanteam’s dynamic pricing. Players’ values change every week based on the fixture, players’ form, stats and some other parameters which Fanteam, understandably, are not willing to disclose. But based on observations, defenders from a top-6 team are almost always pricey (except when playing against their top-6 rivals). Their counterparts from lesser teams are usually significantly cheaper.

TIP: Single out a few 'undervalued' teams playing at home against an average opponent. Aim to get players with the highest chance for a clean sheet as cheap as possible, so you could invest heavier in attack and midfield.

Yes, those midfielders and forwards can end up with double digit-hauls, especially when you put the captain’s armband on them, but very often you get more bang for your buck with those cheap defensive stacks.

In this particular example, 5 defenders with a cumulative cost of 35,1 million yielded 52 points resulting in a 1,48 point per million spent.  Two midfielders yielded 15 points at the cost of 13,1 million. A good return, but still lower in terms of point per million ratio of 1,15.

Below are a few more screenshots to illustrate my point, depicting the winning teams in game weeks 28, 29 and 30.

Besides, picking midfielders who deliver a ton of points can be a tricky business. Typically, players capable of double digit-hauls are usually worth more than 10 million. Many things need to go your way for your expensive midfielders from different teams (different being the keyword here) to score as many points as your significantly cheaper defensive stacks. Not to mention the fact that defenders whom you have stacked might nick an odd header or an assist every once in a while resulting in even better point\cost output.


What the best do

It comes as no surprise that all winners of the last 5 EPL main events on FanTeam have used this stacking strategy. Below are the screenshots of those winning teams.

Alternative strategies

Although the aforementioned strategy is definitely the most popular on FanTeam at the moment, there are other approaches capable of yielding good returns. Feel free to explore them at will as some players do.


FanTeam had tried to nerf the defender-heavy strategy this year by awarding goalkeepers and defenders only 2 points for 90 minutes played (midfielders and forwards get 3 points). It has lessened the appeal of top-6 teams defensive stacks but stacking cheap defenders with decent clean sheet odds remains the predominant strategy in GPP tournaments on FanTeam for now.

Alexey Bobrov

Alexey Bobrov

Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2500 tournaments played and a 30%+ ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.