Stacking is a common strategy used in daily fantasy football. If you’re a newbie to DFS, here’s how it works:
1) You pair a QB with one or two of his receiving options, WR or TE. 2) When the QB throws a touchdown to one of these receivers, you’ll be credited with the passing touchdown, receiving touchdown, passing yards, and receiving yards from this play.
When deploying this strategy, you’ll obviously want to find QBs and WRs who are capable of a breakout game. Sometimes it’s best to take the path of least resistance by finding bad defenses to pick on. Laying even the best QB-receiver combo against, say, the Broncos, who have the highest-rated secondary in the NFL headed into 2021, wouldn’t make a ton of sense.
In this article, we’ll outline eight teams that should give up plenty of fantasy points through the air. Make sure to keep this list handy when creating DFS stacks early in the season. Cheatsheet!
- Secondary Rank: 32/32
- D-Line Rank: 31/32
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The Falcons routinely found themselves in shootouts last season, and that will carry into 2021.
Atlanta has the worst secondary and second-worst defensive line according to Pro Football Focus. They allowed the most passing yards last season while ranking 26th in sack rate. Combining a poor secondary with no pressure on the QB is a recipe for disaster. It’s also an opportunity for us to stack QB/WR/TE combinations in daily fantasy.
This isn’t rocket science. Bet the Stack that’s taking on the lousy defenses.
- Secondary Rank: 31/32
- D-Line Rank: 27/32
The Cowboys represent another generous pass defense that isn’t expected to improve too much in 2021. Pro Football Focus grades them with the second-worst secondary and fifth-worst defensive line.
Dallas ranked middle-of-the-pack in sack rate last season, and they should be able to generate a fair amount of pressure on opposing QBs. However, there’s a good chance the Cowboys will score some points themselves, putting opponents into passing situations while trying to keep pace from behind. Remember, sometimes the good teams that often get big leads in games end up yielding big passing yards because the other team is constantly throwing trying to catch up.
So, look for teams that will score points but also have second-rate defensive secondaries as great opportunities to stack against.
- Secondary Rank: 30/32
- D-Line Rank: 24/32
The Lions will be bad this season. I don’t think I’m ruffling any feathers by saying that. Michigan is a land of realists. Most sportsbooks have their win total listed around 4.5. That’s a 4-13 or 5-12 baseline projection. They won’t see a ton of action on any upside.
Detroit is certainly in transition at the moment. Their secondary and defensive line both rank in the bottom ten from a player grade standpoint. They allowed the second-most passing yards per contest last season. However, their new coaching staff may try to shorten games in order to protect that defense. There’s also some question surrounding game flow, as opponents will have less incentive to pass if leading by double-digits in the second half.
- Secondary Rank: 21/32
- D-Line Rank: 23/32
Teams like the Cowboys and Titans tick all the boxes for us. They both have quality offenses that can score quickly, putting opponents into passing situations in order to keep up.
Both of them also have suspect defenses that can give it back in a hurry. The Titans ran into that several times last year, giving up the fifth-most passing yards. Tennessee also had a tough time creating pressure on opposing QBs, holding the fourth-lowest sack rate in the NFL.
Put it all together, and you have an excellent stacking situation for opponents. Remember, none of these points are tied to who wins the actual game. The Titans will have a decent season, even as they surrender tons of fantasy points.
Las Vegas Raiders
- Secondary Rank: 29/32
- D-Line Rank: 26/32
The Raiders and Lions are essentially in the same situation. Both of them have bad passing defenses, but neither has a capable offense to force their opponent to keep throwing. Las Vegas has more potential in that regard, but they’ll need to prove it in 2021 and needs Ruggs III to step up some more.
As you can tell with the secondary and defensive line rankings, the Raiders can be beaten through the air. They allowed the eighth-most passing yards in 2021. If their offense can find any sort of footing this season, then perhaps shootout situations will arise. Those are gold mines in daily fantasy football. Gimme a 35-31 game and I’ll show you fantasy points!
- Secondary Rank: 27/32
- D-Line Rank: 30/32
Let’s lump the Jaguars into that group with the Raiders and Lions. We don’t really know what Jacksonville will look like under Urban Meyer, but there are certainly some questions on defense.
The Jaguars allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to QBs last season. That came despite them trailing late in almost every game, taking the script away from opposing signal-callers. If their offense can be a little more competitive, we could see some back-and-forth games worth pursuing in DFS. I’m expecting that to be the case with Urban Meyer calling the shots and QB Trevor Lawrence leading the way.
- Secondary Rank: 26/32
- D-Line Rank: 29/32
Of all these stacking situations, the Falcons, Cowboys, Titans, and Seahawks represent the best. I’ve said it multiple times throughout this article, but that stems from their ability to score points and force opponents into passing situations.
The Seahawks played that role to perfection in 2020, as they allowed the third-most passing yards in the NFL. They also gave up the third-most fantasy points to opposing WRs, only trailing Tennessee and Atlanta in that regard.
While Seattle has an outstanding linebacker corps, they are still vulnerable in the secondary. Don’t be afraid to continue stacking against them in 2021. They play their NFC West teams six times.
- The Houston Texans will have a tough time defending anyone this season. Pro Football Focus has ranked their defensive line as the worst in the NFL, and their secondary is bottom ten. The same issue that arose with the Lions, Raiders, and Jaguars speaks true for Houston. Will their offense score enough points to force opponents into passing situations? One might want to ask Deshaun Watson’s attorney for the low-down.
- Let’s pivot in a different direction for a moment. The Cleveland Browns have a loaded defense across the board. However, we can still stack against them in certain situations. Despite having a stellar defense, Cleveland gave up the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs last season. They also allowed the third-most fantasy points to TEs. That could be an interesting DFS tournament stack with payoff potential.
- Finally, we have the New York Jets. New York allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to QBs last season. They also coughed up the sixth-most points to WRs and most production to TEs. Pro Football Focus has their secondary ranked 28th heading into the season. I’ll definitely be looking to build some stacks against the Jets, starting with the Panthers in Week 1.