Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Afternoon-Only 5.23

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. The biggest win of my career came on an “Afternoon Only” slate in January of 2021, and I hope to share some of my insights on the format to help you attack this niche corner of NFL DFS.

This Week’s Slate
  • This week’s late slate has four games and three of them are arguably the best game environments on the entire slate. The Jets and Broncos game is probably the least appealing of the four but even that game is interesting considering how awful the Broncos defense has looked this year and the signs of life Zach Wilson has shown.
  • Given the context of the previous point about the best environments, building rosters for the main slate from only late games is a very viable and potentially a very profitable strategy this week. My big win on the late slate in 2021 was a roster that would have won several GPPs on the main slate as well. It was a similar spot to this week with a high percentage of the week’s total games playing late and several of them being appealing matchups. The natural tendency for people building lineups is to “account for” all the top spots, so even though these afternoon games will carry a lot of ownership on the main slate, very few rosters will actually have zero players from the early games, which makes it an underrated way of “getting unique.”
Ownership 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 a 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.
QB Strategy

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