This is a technique that you might already use in your drafts, but in case you haven’t started yet, we present it here for your consideration. Power stacking is the act of drafting a fantasy baseball team that has a few batters that are far better than others at hitting homeruns.
First, look to slugging average to guide you here. Slugging rewards power hitters far more than any other statistic. Numbers like batting average and OPS are good indicators of a player’s general ability, but if you want to know how likely an extra base hit is, slugging is where you should look. The number of homeruns are also helpful, as are doubles, but these are all summed up within the slugging stat itself.
Next, think of creative ways to get more power. For instance, if you draft Miguel Cabrera at third base, you now have first base open, a position that is rich with potential for power. You can draft a player like Joey Votto or Paul Goldschmidt now. Cabrera typically plays at first, but by taking advantage of the rules of your site, you can move players in your roster around even if they are somewhere else in reality.
Now, look to value. You will only be able to get two or three power hitters on your roster, depending upon how you set up your pitching. This is where you will win or lose your league. While focusing on power is a good way to get started, you can’t win on two or three homeruns. You need good pitching and you need cheap players that can provide you with numbers. Look to players with a high number of stolen bases, as well as people that draw walks and can hit singles. Also, find pitchers that can play deep into a game. Getting 7 or 8 innings out of a pitcher is worth a lot of points in some leagues. The problem is that you will not have a lot of money to spend on these positions once you put an emphasis on power. Having a firm grasp on how to evaluate value is a must if you are to be successful with this technique.
Things become further complicated by the fact that power hitters tend to not be as consistent as average hitters. Having 35 to 40 HRs in a season is great, but if that batter is only hitting .240, then you are gambling. No longer are you using power stacking to your advantage, but gambling on a small probability. It would be like walking into a casino and putting your money on black at the roulette wheel. You might win once in a while, but the odds are against you over the long run. It’s not something that you can do and keep the wins coming long term.
To overcome this, look to slugging, but also look for players that are performing exceptionally well. Maybe they are hitting .260 for the season, but over the last month have been hitting .285. This kind of timeframe indicates that the player has improved. A week of improved hitting doesn’t mean much, but when consistency lasts at least a month, then you can be assured that something fundamental about that player has changed. The estimated fantasy points that sites like FanDuel and DraftKings supply you with are helpful, but they will not show you things like this. For this kind of in depth info, you will need to do your own research. This is a necessary part of being successful at power stacking. And when it starts paying off with more in the money finishes, you will be thankful.