Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
The best part about playoff DFS is the lack of games. We’re no longer tasked with breaking down upwards of 10 games. Instead, we’re left with some small slates as we have this Saturday and Sunday, with two and three games, and still massive prizes to be handed out. I love small slates (and I’m coming around on Showdowns), because it is an opportunity to wrap my mind around all the players, matchups, and game environments, and feel really good about leaving no stones unturned.
But, let me throw some caution to the wind here: this leads to overthinking. In the same way we will overanalyze a big meeting, an upcoming interaction, or a deadline we have to hit, when the volume of things to consider goes down (and our minds can have more direct focus), anxiety goes up. And when anxiety rises, you guessed it, we desire comfort even more! This is the antithesis of what we want in building GPP lineups, especially on small slates.
By Friday, you’ll likely be able to tell me the final scores in both of the Seahawks and 49ers previous matchups this season. You’ll be able to tell me how Christian McCaffrey fared in those matchups, who was injured for both teams in those games, and how many average points the 49ers have scored in Brock Purdy’s starts this season. You’ll tell your friends how the Chargers run defense is terrible, how Joshua Palmer should be the likely beneficiary if Mike Williams does not play, and why Trevor Lawrence is underrated, having thrown 15 touchdowns to just two interceptions since Week 10. All of these data points will be consumed, and then consumed again, and we’ll all become experts before kickoff. Because with fewer games to care about, we may as well slice and dice these slates up as much as possible with the time we have.
And then on Saturday, and again on Sunday, we’ll see an unlikely outcome. I can’t guarantee it, that would be too easy. But I can say it’s likely we’ll see something unlikely. Maybe it’s the 49ers losing, or simply not covering the spread due to a terrible Purdy performance. Maybe it’s Travis Etienne finally breaking out for 150 rushing yards and leading the Jags to a win. Maybe it’s Brandon Staley actually making calculated decisions that work in a football game. You never know! But what I do know is this . . . the playoffs won’t play out how we think they will. There are always surprises in store for us. That’s why we watch.
So, as you’re building lineups this weekend, my guidance is simple (and the same as always): Let it fly. Shoot from the hip. You have got nothing to lose!