January 13, 2023, 1:52 pm
It is playoff time! All the matchups are set and we have three days worth of action for super wild card weekend. DraftKings has lots of different ways to get into the action this week and it is important to keep in mind what contest you are playing when constructing lineups this weekend. There is a 2-game Saturday slate, a 3-game Sunday slate (which has the most robust tournament selection) and a 6-game Saturday-Monday slate. Showdown contests are also available for each game, but have featured tournaments for all of the prime-time games. To no surprise, DraftKings is leaning into the Monday night contest between the Cowboys and Bucs and offering their best showdown tournaments for that game.
For the purposes of this article, we will be looking at everything as if we were entering the Saturday-Monday 6-game contests. We are still going to look at a couple contrarian stack ideas to try and separate our lineups from the rest of the field. Before we get into the stacks, here are a few things to remember while building lineups this weekend:
- If you are using a site that offers ownership projections on their own or as part of an optimizer, be sure you are looking at the right settings. Ownership projections will vary greatly depending on the slate you are playing. For example, Josh Allen ($7,900) will probably get a 15-20% ownership increase on the Sunday only slate compared to the full 6-game schedule. This is obviously because the Sunday option has fewer games and more condensed ownership.
- If you are looking for leverage-based ownership, think about it in the context of what contest you are playing. Mike Fiddle (follow him on twitter @mfiddle14) put it best on our DFS pod earlier in the week. He mentioned if you are going to use someone like Brock Purdy ($5,300), make sure you are doing it in the 6-game contests so you get the leverage of pivoting away from a more popular option in Daniel Jones ($5,600) in the same price range. This logic doesn’t apply if you do the Saturday only games.
Follow me on Twitter @mlafem10 for additional thoughts and I’ll be happy to help out with any lineup questions you have. Let’s make some money!
Wild Card Weekend Thrive Props
Thrive Contest Plays for each Day
Keenan Allen 63.5 Rec YDS MORE (90 PTS) – More on this play below, but I love Allen this week. Mike Williams is out and Allen has gone over this number in all but three games he has played this year.
Devin Singletary 54.5 Rush YDS LESS (90 PTS) – James Cook has closed the gap on Singletary in recent weeks. Singletary has gone under this number in four of his past five starts and isn’t getting the volume to get there. Could he have a super efficient day on the ground and beat this number on ten carries? I’m not willing to bet he does against a decent Miami run defense.
Dalton Schultz 38.5 Rec YDS MORE (95 PTS) – This is just a volume-based play for me. Schultz has seen double-digit targets in back-to-back games. Even with the emergence of T.Y. Hilton in the offense and Michael Gallup getting healthier and healthier, Schultz is the guy in the middle of the field for Dak. The Buccaneers have been vulnerable to the TE position all year and Dak should lean on one of his most trusted targets to get the job done Monday night.
Contrarian Stack Ideas
QB: Tom Brady WR: Mike Evans/ TE: Dalton Schultz
Total Salary: $17,000 Remaining Salary: $33,000
Brady ($5,800) didn’t have the season those who drafted him in season-long leagues were hoping for. Signs of life came to fruition in Week 17 when Brady carved up the Panthers for over 400 yards and three touchdowns (40.7 points). This tells me the potential is still there and, in a tournament, we are playing for ceilings. At first glance you may look and think the Dallas defense should be able to tee off against the poor blocking of Tampa’s offensive line, but I’m skeptical that’s how it will play out. Dallas is bottom five in fantasy points allowed to the QB the last four weeks and the secondary is to blame. Brady will be ready to get the ball out quickly and often, with big play opportunities to be had.
Mike Evans ($6,900) is certainly in contention for biggest bust of the year in season-long league awards. Luckily for us, we get to make our decisions on a week-to-week basis and this week sets up well for Evans. Godwin ($6,400) is certainly a good option as well as he is the favorite to get more targets than Evans, but he lacks the big play ability we are looking for in tournaments averaging a career-low in yards per reception at 9.8. Evans on the other hand, averages nearly 15 yards per catch and goes up against a Dallas secondary that is prone to big plays that takes a lot of gambles to create turnovers. Repeating his Week 17 performance of 10/207/3 is unlikely, but I like the odds of Evans having a big game on Monday night.
Dalton Schultz ($4,300) is a great bring-back option this week. One of the weaknesses of the Bucs defense this year has been against the TE (bottom-10 in the league in fantasy points against at the position) and Schultz has proven to be a reliable target for Prescott ($6,000). Schultz peppered the Bucs in their Week 1 matchup for 7/62/0 and a similar outcome should be expected this week. I think adding Lamb ($7,700) as a second bring-back in this game is a real fun way to get exposure to this game where I expect a lot of points to be scored.
QB: Joe Burrow WR: Ja’Marr Chase TE: Hayden Hurst
Total Salary: $18,000 Remaining Salary: $32,000
It’s playoff time, which means it’s Joe Burrow ($6,900) time. Right now I have him projected to score the second-most points at the QB position this weekend, but 5th or 6th in ownership. The low total of this game (40.5) is something we normally like to avoid in DFS, but if you are of the mindset the Bengals handle business this week, someone is going to have to score the points. Some may point to the fact the Bengals only put up 257 yards in offense against this same Baltimore defense last week in a game they were trying to win. This is a case where I suspect the Bengals dialed things back with a potential rematch against the Ravens this week looming. Burrow doesn’t posses the rushing upside most high-end fantasy QBs demonstrate, but he has time and again shown the ability to have spike performances and hit the 300-yard boost with multiple touchdowns. The Bengals have gotten uber aggressive throwing the ball as the season has gone on and there is no reason to believe that stops now.
Ja’Marr Chase ($8,000) is the obvious go-to guy for Burrow. While the Ravens defense is certainly no slouch, they still ranked 22nd in the league in fantasy points to opposing WRs for the year and currently have their top two corners (Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey) logging limited practices this week. While I expect them to play, Chase is certainly capable of taking advantage of this banged up secondary and connect with Burrow early and often in this primetime contest.
Hayden Hurst ($3,100) isn’t the sexiest name to click when filling out your roster, but the argument for playing him is the same for playing Dawson Knox ($4,000). You get exposure to this high-octane Bengals passing game at a cheap price with a guy who routinely logs 60-70% of the offensive snaps per footballoutsiders.com. We don’t need much for Hurst to pay off this price tag and provide value for higher-priced options in our lineup.
Bonus: Favorite Mini Stack
WR: Keenan Allen/ RB: Travis Etienne
Keenan Allen ($7,000) is a target monster and Mike Williams is out this game because Brandon Staley is a donk. A reasonable mind would expect the Chargers to attack the Jaguars through the air against their 30th ranked DVOA pass defense and avoid their fairly stout rush defense that ranks 11th in DVOA. Allen has seen double-digit targets in four of his last six games (one of the two single-digit efforts was nine targets) and I like it to be five of seven after Saturday night. Etienne ($6,300) is too cheap considering his elite role in Jacksonville’s offense. He has even begun to sprinkle in more passing game work the last few weeks which is a welcome site. The Chargers struggle against the run (22nd in DVOA against the run) and the game projects to be competitive throughout, so the work should be there for the second-year man out of Clemson. Both these plays illustrate a major component of fantasy which is “volume is king”.
Position Player Name DK Salary QB Tom Brady $5,800 RB Travis Etienne $6,300 RB WR Keenan Allen $7,000 WR Mike Evans $6,900 WR TE Dalton Schultz $4,300 FLEX DST REMAINING BUDGET $19,700 for 4 plays