Mike Johnson (MJohnson86) has racked up nearly $500,000 in DFS profit as an NFL tournament player with success in all styles of contests
Finding an Edge
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.
- Baker Mayfield and Jarrett Stidham will have almost no ownership. Given the other options on the slate, that seems right.
- Aaron Rodgers is likely to be the highest owned QB in the highest projected scoring environment facing the second weakest secondary on the slate.
- A group of four QBs – Justin Herbert, Kirk Cousins, Brock Purdy, and Mike White – are in solid spots at various price points, and should all have double digit ownership but are unlikely to get steamed too hard based on the nature of the slate.
- Geno Smith should be in a tier of his own in the upper single digits of ownership, with a tough matchup and pricing right around several other quarterbacks in better spots, and the added fact that his running back, Kenneth Walker, might have the highest ownership of any running back on the slate.
My guess on final ownership:
- Rodgers – 18-25%
- Herbert, Cousins, Purdy, White – 12-20% each
- Geno Smith – 8-12%
- Mayfield and Stidham – 1-3%
- The 49ers defense will likely be around 50% owned in tournaments but frankly, the spot they are in is so good that it will be somewhat surprising if they don’t put up a double digit score.
- The Chargers defense is an attractive tournament option this week facing a Rams offense that is overmanned but benefitted from facing Nathaniel Hackett’s lame-duck team last week. They are priced high enough to keep their ownership low but have a very high ceiling thanks to their ferocious pass rush and the likelihood of forcing Baker Mayfield to throw the ball often.
- The Raiders defense is the only one on the slate I would say is definitely out of play.
- Both the Vikings and Packers defenses should have a lot of chances to make plays in a potential shootout, the Jets have a great defensive unit and should never be overlooked, and the Seahawks are playing at home against a Jets team that has turned the ball over often at times this year, and the Rams have a great defensive scheme and are still playing hard. My lineups will probably all be using the 49ers and Chargers, but those are the basic arguments for the other options.
HOW I’M APPROACHING EACH GAME
Be sure to check the NFL Edge game breakdowns for deeper dives into these games, but here are some afternoon specific thoughts.
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