Sunday, Jan 29th — Early
Sunday, Jan 29th — Late
Bye Week:
Bears
Bills
Broncos
Browns
Buccaneers
Cardinals
Chargers
Colts
Commanders
Cowboys
Dolphins
Falcons
Giants
Jaguars
Jets
Lions
Packers
Panthers
Patriots
Raiders
Rams
Ravens
Saints
Seahawks
Steelers
Texans
Titans
Vikings

Afternoon-Only 8.22

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 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. 

QB STRATEGY

Quarterback on the Afternoon slate is especially interesting this week with no premium QB options and only one QB who projects for double-digit ownership on the main slate. Sam Ehlinger is the aforementioned QB, but his Draftkings price is $5,000 on the late slate rather than the $4,000 they have him at on the main slate. This brings his “value” back to the pack and introduces a lot of variables. That being said, here’s how I expect things to shake out:

  • Daniel Jones, Malik Willis, Geno Smith, and Ehlinger will all have relatively similar ownership across the board, likely in that order. None should have overly high ownership, but those four should cumulatively take up 70%+ of the QB roster spots.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, and Davis Mills will all come in with 5-10% ownership.
  • Taylor Heinicke will be sub-2%
Defense Strategy
  • Washington and San Francisco will likely be the “chalky” defenses as they are both top-3 in projected ownership on the main slate and relatively inexpensive. Washington could really get up there with fewer people playing Ehlinger as well.
  • Paying up for the Titans or Colts defense will be relatively unique and seems like the optimal approach given the ownership discount and the fact that those defenses are very good and have relatively high ceilings.
  • The Seahawks and Giants defenses are also interesting, with the game featuring QBs who have played well this year but have had very bad games at times in their careers. That game should also have a lot of QB and skill player ownership, which will keep much of the field away from playing the defenses.

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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