Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
Bye Week:

Afternoon-Only 9.23

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
  • Only 10 games on the Main Slate, and the Afternoon Only slate is only three games this week – so chalk will be much heavier and lineups are going to congregate in a big way. Basically, don’t look at your “currently winning” for the Afternoon slate until the 4th quarter because every score, catch, turnover, etc. is going to shift the leaderboards dramatically.
  • I would once again like to suggest the strategy of making “Afternoon Only” lineups and putting them in the Main Slate. This week’s afternoon slate features the premium game from the main slate (DAL at PHI), the Colts game which has been a source of huge fantasy scores the last few weeks, and an NYG at LVR game that features two teams with some star power and full-time guys at low salaries in an underrated matchup.
  • Josh Downs is probably the biggest potential injury situation we should be aware of. He popped up on the injury report Thursday with a groin issue. If he were to miss this game, Alec Pierce and the Colts tight ends gain some intrigue as ways to differentiate.
  • Zack Moss is probably the best play on the slate from a GPP perspective. All six of the “starting” running backs will be 25% owned or more, so there’s not a lot of leverage to gain at the position anywhere else. The Colts running game has an incredible matchup and Moss has had some huge games this year. It’s within his range of possibilities to lead the slate in RB scoring at single-digit ownership, while also freeing up salary to get higher priced wide receivers. Check out my Player Grid for thoughts on why I also think it is viable to play Moss with Jonathan Taylor.
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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