Mike Johnson (MJohnson86) has racked up nearly $500,000 in DFS profit as an NFL tournament player with success in all styles of contests
The whole idea behind this piece of content is that it is unique. Specific content and strategies for the “non-main slate” contests are very rare in the DFS industry and most players who enter them are casual players or doing so on a whim after their main slate entries had things go wrong, and they want something to root for or to chase their losses during the late games. Edges are getting harder and harder to find in DFS as information gets better, projections get sharper, and the field gets more experienced. These smaller slates present a clear opportunity and advantage for those that focus on them, as most players will just take their thoughts from the main slate and approach these lineups the same way without considering how much having seven to nine fewer games (depending on the week) changes the strategy.
Ownership will be higher for pretty much every player on “short slates,” just because there are fewer players to choose from. This will be especially true for “chalky” players from the main slate. This means getting these players right is even more vital than on the main slate. There are fewer alternatives to choose from so if they have a big game and you aren’t on them it is much harder to find other ways to make up those points. This also means it is easier for lower-owned players to pay off, as there are fewer players at their position that they need to have “fail” for them to be worth the risk.
Correlation is even more important than on the main slate because the useful fantasy games that pay off for the slate are likely to be clumped up from the same games. I always make lineups with a game stack (QB + at least one pass catcher + at least one opponent) and then one or two “mini-correlations” from other games.
The three games on this week’s afternoon slate are ugly, to be kind. All of the game totals are 44 or lower and feature three of the bottom seven DVOA offenses in the league along with a Packers offense that has struggled mightily, and now faces the top defense in the league fresh off their bye. While this “ugliness” makes things hard to project, it also makes the field’s behavior a little more predictable and makes the threshold for a winning lineup likely to be much lower than most weeks. As for how that affects the QB position, we should expect Derek Carr and Dak Prescott to combine for an overwhelming majority of the ownership. Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford may not even be active, and if they are, they have tough matchups and a lot working against them given the injuries they are battling. Sam Ehlinger has been the worst QB in the league the last two weeks and Aaron Rodgers faces the top defense in the league. You can go away from Dak and Carr but it’s still going to take multiple spots going very differently than expectations for that to pay off. Not only would you need one of those QBs to overcome very rough situations but you’d also need Dak AND Carr to fail in very good spots in order to actually benefit. It’s certainly possible on a three-game slate, but a tight needle to thread.
Be sure to check the NFL Edge game breakdowns for deeper dives into these games, but here are some afternoon specific thoughts.