Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
Bye Week:

Afternoon-Only 7.23

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
  • We once again have four games on the Afternoon slate but the big difference from last week is that these are the four games with the highest totals on the main slate. This situation, specifically, makes it really interesting to consider making lineups using *only* players from the late games and playing them in the main slate. It will have a certain level of natural uniqueness to it, and theoretically, it is attacking the best game environments.
  • The critical components of the slate will be: Kenneth Walker, Cooper Kupp, and the Chargers // Chiefs game. 
  • Walker will be mega-chalk on both the main slate and the afternoon slate but is in an incredible spot. How Walker performs will have an enormous impact on the slate.
  • Kupp has the highest raw point projection and ceiling on the slate, and he’s in a terrific matchup where his team’s backfield is in shambles. His salary makes using him a big decision, as it will be very hard to play Kupp and also build around the LAC // KC game.
  • The LAC // KC game is where it gets really interesting. That game feels a bit easier to avoid on the main slate as the pieces are expensive and there are enough “cheap” games to choose from that at least one of them has a good chance of working out – at least from a price considered standpoint. On the Afternoon slate, however, this game simply going over its game total of 48 (a 50/50 proposition) could make it a must-have (in some form, at least). It’s hard to imagine the Afternoon slate playing out in a way where none of Mahomes // Herbert // Pacheco // Ekeler is on a winning lineup.
  • The DK Metcalf injury situation will have a huge impact on the slate. If Metcalf is out, Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be extremely high owned and all of the expensive pieces mentioned above will also gain steam with easy salary relief available for everyone.
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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