DraftKings

DFS GPP Breakdown: Super Wildcard Weekend

DFS Wildcasrd Weekend

DFS GPP Breakdown: Super Wildcard Weekend

Hey all and welcome to Wildcard Weekend! On DraftKings we have 6!! different slates to choose from:

  • Saturday Only 2 Game Slate
  • Saturday – Monday 6 game Slate
  • Sunday Only 3 Game Slate
  • Saturday – Sunday 4 Game Slate
  • Sunday Afternoon 2 Game Slate
  • Sunday – Monday 2 Game Primetime Slate

I’ll be playing the Saturday – Monday Slate, the Saturday – Sunday 4 gamer, and the Sunday only. While I will still be taking ownership projections into account, some chalk is going to have to be eaten here. There are some other ways to get a little different such as triple stacking, playing a defense against a QB, leaving salary on the table, and playing 2 RBs from the same team to name a few. As opposed to traditional ownership projections that I’ve been providing this season, I’ll be identifying chalk plays, mid-range ownership, pivots, and low ownership prayer(s). In the past I’ve found projections to be much more difficult to accurately project for the playoff rounds, but figuring out where the majority of folks are going to go can still be helpful. Expect player ownership numbers to be higher or lower depending on the slate you are playing.

Let’s get into it!

 

Saturday

Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans

Browns  -2.5

O/U 44.5

Man, it’s a shame we don’t get to see Deshaun Watson in this matchup. C’est la vie. While a huge part of me wants to see Joe Flacco carry this Browns team deep into the playoffs, the simple truth is that given their injury status right now, it’s going to be tough:

  • Their top 3 tackles are all on IR.
  • All star center Ethan Pocic has been limited at practice with a shoulder issue. He should play though.
  • Nick Chubb is not around and both Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong are banged up.
  • Amari Cooper sat out Tuesday and Wednesday practices. He got in a limited practice on Thursday.
  • Myles Garrett is dealing with a shoulder injury and has been a limited participant at practice but went full on Thursday and should play.
  • 4 members of their secondary are banged up as well.

The good thing about this game is that it was played just a few weeks ago. The Texans have turned their run defense from a liability to one of the best in the league. The Browns have also become less of a running offense with Flacco under center. Cooper straight up abused CB Derek Stingley and the Texan secondary in the last matchup, so one would think that Houston could dial up some better defensive coverage this time around. Flacco completed 27 passes on 42 attempts for 368 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. He was sacked but one time. Both he and Amari Cooper have done well against zone coverages this season. Houston employs zone at the NFL’s 8th highest rate, and they have allowed deep pass plays at a top 5 rate over the last 4 weeks. David Njoku saw an average of 10 targets and 93 yards during Weeks 14-17. Houston allowed the 6th most fantasy points to TEs on the year.

One big difference this time around is that CJ Stroud will be playing. The Texans opted to play both Davis Mills and Casey Keenum last time. Dalton Schultz led the way with 8 grabs for 61 yards. Devin Singletary had only 9 carries for 44 yards, but that was largely due to him being game-scripted out. The Browns numbers against all positions are in the top half of the league, but they do have issues with missed tackles against RBs. As I forage through the DFS industry, not many are talking up Nico Collins who nearly reached 200 yards against the Colts. He might be lower owned on the larger slates. Sometimes we get too into the weeds with matchups and fail to recognize the importance someone might have in an offense.

Defensive rookie of the year candidate Will Anderson has helped to provide a serious pass rush for the Texan defense. This is something to think about with him going up against backup LT Geron Christain, a 2018 3rd round draft pick who had 2 of his first 3 seasons end with trips to IR; he’s bounced around the NFL among 5 different franchises, including the Texans.

 

Chalk: Joe Flacco, Amari Cooper, David Njoku, Devin Singletary

Mid: Nico Collins, Dalton Schultz, Noah Brown (if he plays), Browns DST, Jerome Ford, and Texans DST as everywhere I turn people like to point out that Flacco turns the ball over.

Pivots: CJ Stroud, Robert Woods, Elijah Moore

Prayer: Xavier Hutchinson – If Brown doesn’t play, and/or Woods is/gets hurt, then Hutchinson is suddenly WR2.

 

Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs  -4.5

O/U 44

***Weather Advisory***

At the risk of getting on my soapbox about how our culture gets freaked out about weather as it relates to sports, I need to point out that the steady temp of this game is looking like a lovely -6 degrees. Wind chills are going to make it feel as low as -20 as well. While that is not a reason to fully fade any one player or passing attack, the historical data will show that these environments favor ground attacks and defenses. However, historical data has yet to incorporate the advancements in technology that the NFL has to keep players warmer. It also could snow.

The bigger issue is that the injury-riddled Dolphins are limping into Arrowhead with guys like Mostert, Achane, Waddle, Hill, Terron Armstead, Xavier Howard, DeShon Elliott, and Jalen Ramsay all dealing with injuries. Most have got in some limited practices, but Howard and Elliott have yet to get on the field. Miami will also be without Bradley Chubb, Jerome Baker, and Jaelen Phillips on defense.

The sample size is big enough now to display that Miami, with Tua at the helm, are really good at beating mediocre teams but struggle against the good ones. While the Chiefs have not looked like their typical selves, the defense has actually been quite good, including in this exact matchup in Germany on November 5th. De’Von Achane did not play that day, but the Dolphins as a team eclipsed 100 yards rushing as Mostert led the way with 85 yards on 12 carries.

Due to the elements, both rushing offenses should be on full display. Isiah Pacheco gets the Dolphins’ 21st-ranked run defense, which as mentioned, is hurting. Pacheco will also get a majority of the work for his team. On the other side, Mostert should play, but he’ll share snaps with Achane who is capable of explosive plays. Should Mostert miss, Achane’s ownership would increase significantly. The Chiefs have been a middle-of-the-road defense in terms of stopping the run.

The Dolphins allowed the 4th most DFS points to TEs this season. Travis Kelce has not looked like his usual self, but the matchup is favorable for what has been Mahomes’ preferred target over the last few years. The 2023 playoffs saw Kelce owned quite highly in every postseason week. He won’t be as highly owned this time around, but he will still be owned.

Since Week 12, Rashee Rice has led the Chiefs with a 27% target share. Rice runs routes on the perimeter and out of the slot, and it’s in the middle of the field where Miami can be had.

 

Chalk: Rashee Rice, Isiah Pacheco, and the Chiefs DST – I’d like KC to be more contrarian but their ability to shut down opposing WR1s is all over the fantasy spaces and the weather is in their favor.

Mid: Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes

Pivots: Any Other Chief WR, De’Von Achane, Raheem Mostert, Jaylen Waddle, Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins DST

Prayer: Cedrick Wilson

 

Where I’m at for the Saturday 2 game slate:

  • I’m going to eat some Flacco chalk but double or triple stack him to get different.
  • Same with CJ Stroud.
  • Tua with Waddle will be much lower owned. That is likely to only be optimal if both Flacco and Stroud fail.
  • Jaylen Waddle will be lower-owned than Hill.
  • I wouldn’t discount Vic Fangio, despite the injuries on defense, from being able to dial up a surprise for the Chiefs. Dolphins DST is quite contrarian. On a 4 game slate, a high single-digit fantasy output could get it done from the DST position.
  • I’ll be monitoring Tyreek’s ownership. Right now he looks around 7-10% for the 6 game slate, so that’s probably something like 20-30% on the 2 gamer.

 

Sunday

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills

Bills  -10

O/U 36

***Weather Advisory***

While it won’t be as cold in Buffalo as it will in Kansas City, these teams will likely be competing in the snow, but more importantly dealing with wind gusts of up to 25 and 30 mph. Winds north of 20 mph can affect the football when it is in the air.

Pittsburgh is likely to be without TJ Watt but they should have Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Bills could be without Gabe Davis as he is dealing with a PCL issue, and CB Rasul Douglas has a knee issue too.

Despite the elements, Josh Allen should still be owned. He is QB1 in fantasy right now. Part of the reason is due to his legs, which he’ll still be capable of using in the elements. The Steelers are a middle of the pack defense against WRs, but they are pretty healthy in the secondary and the weather will factor into Stefon Disggs’ ownership. The Steelers are also 7th worst against the TE position over the last 4 weeks; Dalton Kincaid has been heavily featured of late, and Dawson Knox caught a TD last Sunday night.

James Cook will be in a good situation against a Steelers defense that is 12th worst against the position over the last month. The Bills made Cook a priority after the change at OC, and he’s had some serious production as a result. However, the game may lend itself to more of a ground and pound type of rush attack, which makes Latavius Murray a little interesting as he could get some goal line work.

The Bills defense is 9th in yardage allowed and 4th in points allowed. They have a combined 29 fantasy points in their last 2 games and have been quite good at limiting production pretty much everywhere. The Steelers are only projected to score 13 points, and the elements will be terrible. As such, there will not be much ownership on any Steeler.

 

Chalk: Bills DST, James Cook

Mid: Josh Allen, Khalil Shakir, Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Steelers DST

Pivots: Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis (if he plays), Pat Freiermuth, Dalton Kincaid, George Pickens, Diontae Johnson

Prayer: Latavius Murray and Calvin Austin (one gadget running play that he takes to the end zone might be all it takes)

 

Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys  -7.5

O/U 50.5

Like pretty much all season, Green Bay’s roster has a multitude of injuries. The good news is that most players have logged at least limited practices except AJ Dillon who continues to sit with a neck problem. CB Jaire Alexander got in a limited practice but ended up being a DNP on Thursday. Who ends up playing and who does not is something to monitor. Dallas is looking a little better. However, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and Tyler Smith, all significant members of the Boys’ offensive line, have been limited or non participants at practice. CB Stephon Gilmore got in a limited practice on Thursday as he deals with a shoulder ailment.

Since Week 10, Jaylen Reed has averaged 17.4 fantasy points per game. From the slot, Reed will matchup against CB Jourdan Lewis, Pro Football Focus’ 108th CB. Reed and his 20% target share should help in a game where Jordan Love and the Packers are likely going to have to throw to keep up. Out of the other Packer receiving weapons, Doubs has seen less targets against man coverage whereas Dontayvion Wicks has a 20% target share per route run and has demonstrated himself to be a red zone weapon. Christian Watson may or may not play, I’m worried that a deep shot to him is more of a pass to CB DaRon Bland.

The Cowboys have struggled vs. the run lately, allowing an average of 120 rushing yards per game over the last month. The Cowboys have yielded 3 receiving TDs and 3 rushing TDs to RBs in the same time frame. Aaron Jones may have the backfield to himself.

Over the last month Green Bay has been the 7th worst team against the QB position. Dak Prescott is looking like the highest owned QB on any slate.

The Packers defense has been consistently attacked over the middle of the field this season. CeeDee Lamb runs routes out of the slot frequently and will get many an opportunity to expose CB Keisean Nixon who is Pro Football Focus’ 83rd ranked CB.

Tony Pollard is gathering some ownership. I’m not entirely sure why as the Packers are one of the best teams against the run over the last month. That could be because teams are electing to throw on Green Bay and their porous secondary. Either way, the Cowboys sport one of the highest passing volumes in football.

Green Bay’s 40.2% QB pressure rate ranks 6th best and Dallas’ 44.7 % is first. Both QBs should face some pressure on Sunday, especially Dallas if they are missing O-line pieces.

 

Chalk: CeeDee Lamb, Dak Prescott, Aaron Jones, Jake Ferguson

Mid: Brandon Cooks, Jayden Reed, Tony Pollard

Pivots: Jordan Love, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Dontayvion Wicks, Rico Dowdle, Luke Musgrave, Packers DST, Cowboys DST

Prayer: Michael Gallup, Jalen Tolbert, Malik Heath, Bo Melton

 

Los Angeles Rams @ Detroit Lions

Lions  -3

O/U 51.5

I love this matchup. I’m a lover of literature and a sucker for a good story. Everyone is talking about Matt Stafford going back into Detroit and exacting revenge on an organization that did him wrong. Really? I’m not saying that Stafford isn’t motivated in this matchup, but it isn’t like the Lions did him dirty or anything. The Detroit organization drafted and developed him, gave him more money than any person reading this gets, put him in a successful offense, and gave him the blessing of getting out of a bad situation and helped to put him in position to win a Super Bowl. What about the other guy though? I can’t imagine someone who is more incentivized to beat his former team than Jared Goff.

That being said, McVay is probably quite capable of dialing up a solid scheme against his former QB. Regardless, I’m quite excited for this matchup. Between the high total, the matchups, and the narrative(s), ownership on any slate that has this game should gravitate here.

Detroit’s biggest issue is the injury Sam LaPorta incurred in a meaningless week 18 game. He has yet to make the field for a practice session this week. Kalif Raymond has also been sitting out with a knee injury. The Rams are mostly healthy with the biggest notable injury being lineman Joe Noteboom having yet to practice with a toe injury.

The Sam LaPorta injury is both problematic and a great opportunity. If he were to miss, one would think that McVay could key in on Amon-Ra St. Brown and shut him down. At high ownership, that makes the Sun God an interesting fade. On the other hand, the backup Lions TEs don’t suck. Both Brock Wright and James Mitchell are capable NFL players; should LaPorta miss or be limited, Wright should have higher snap and target shares, but Mitchell is the better red zone weapon.

St. Brown’s normal target share is 30%. Los Angeles has leaned heavily on Cover-1 Zone, and Amon-Ra is top 5 in the NFL against such schemes. No LaPorta and no Raymond could push his share higher.

Considering the Rams pass rush with the likes of Aaron Donald, we could see a lot of horizontal offensive plays and quick 3 step drop backs out of Goff. Jahmyr Gibbs could be peppered with targets in such a scheme, but I would also think that the Lions will attempt to use David Montgomery to slow the pace of the game down and keep the likes of Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp off the field.

Over the last 4 weeks, the Lions have been 5th worst against QBs, and 2nd worst against WRs. It’s going to be quite tough for Detroit to stop both Kupp and Nacua. The likelihood that one of them ending up in the optimal lineup is high. Demarcus Robinson has been vulturing TDs, however, and he actually looks like a popular play at only $3600 on DraftKings.

Undrafted in seasonal leagues, Kyren Williams may be the highest-owned RB on any slate involving this game. Since his return from injury, he has averaged 26 touches a game; that’s tough to ignore. Detroit has been the 2nd best team against the run over the last month, so it could be more of a challenge for Williams to have a ceiling game and make the optimal lineup. However, those month of games were against Minnesota, Dallas, Minnesota again, and Denver; 3 high volume passing attacks and a team with like 22 backs.

 

Chalk: Kyren Williams, Amon-Ra, Puka Nacua, Demarcus Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, Matt Stafford, Jared Goff

Mid: David Montgomery, Cooper Kupp

Pivots: Sam LaPorta (if he plays), Brock Wright, Josh Reynolds, Jameson Williams, both DSTs.

Prayer: James Mitchell, Tyler Higbee, Tutu Atwell

 

Where I’m at for the 3 game slate:

  • Dak Prescott is going to be chalk, so I want to get to Jordan Love and 2 of his pass catchers in a possible trailing game script. McCarthy has blown opportunities like this before, specifically when he was coach of Green Bay. Losing to a first year QB of the team he used to coach would be such a chef’s kiss.
  • It initially looked like Allen would come in as QB2 in terms of ownership on both this 3 game slate and the larger ones, but I suspect that will change as YouTube and Spotify aficionados take to the airwaves to point out the weather issues. Stafford and Goff will likely gather more ownership than Allen because of the high over/under.
  • CeeDee Lamb should be the highest owned player on any slate with his name in it. He’s hard to ignore considering the matchup and his role in the offense. Should something strange happen….an injury, DC Joe Barry employing double or triple coverage on him, Dallas coaches getting cute, etc, then it’s the best fade in terms of leveraging the field.
  • If his ownership stays high, Williams is where I may fade to get leverage on the field.

 

Monday

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Eagles  -3

O/U 44

The Bucs come into this one mostly healthy, but Baker Mayfield sat out of Thursday’s practice as he is working through an ankle issue. The man has re-earned my respect now that he isn’t appearing in Progressive commercials and is focused on football. He has also earned the respect of his teammates as he keeps playing through various injuries. Though he sat out Thursday, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t suit up. The Eagles are not healthy. AJ Brown has yet to participate in practice after MetLife stadium claimed his knee, Jalen Hurts has a finger issue but will play, and both starting free safeties may miss.

Philadelphia has been the 5th worst team against RBs over the last 4 weeks, and their struggles against the passing game are also well documented. Nick Sirianni really needs to come up with something here otherwise him being unemployed on Tuesday is in the conversation.

No team in football has been worse than Tampa against the TE spot over the last month. Dallas Goedert may also be in line for more targets if AJ Brown can’t go or is limited. Tampa has also been yielding production to the QB spot, and Hurts may need to use his legs a little more in this one; he also vultures 1 to 2 yard TDs. The Bucs are middle of the pack against WRs. DeVonta Smith logged a full practice on Thursday, so at least he looks good to go. With Vita Vea healthy, the Bucs are stout against the run. It will be tough for Swift to be optimal.

One good advantage that this game presents in that ownership will be depressed on the 6 game slate. Many won’t wait for the last game on a 6 game slate that spans multiple days.

 

Chalk: Rachaad White

Mid: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, AJ Brown (if he plays), Dallas Goedert, Jalen Hurts, DeVonta Smith

Pivots: D’Andre Swift, Quez Watkins, Julio Jones, both DSTs, Cade Otton, Baker Mayfield – despite the good matchup on paper, Baker has now failed in multiple good matchups on paper with both the Bucs season and Baker’s incentives on the line.

Prayer: Kenneth Gainwell and Olamide Zaccheaus

 

Where I am at for the 6 game slate:

First and foremost, when it comes to this 6 game slate, I would argue heavily to utilize late swap. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically putting yourself in position to make changes as the slate evolves. Depending on how the first half of games go, many players will stop paying attention, outright quit, or play heavy chalk in later games that they should not. If early chalk hits, then pivoting to players who are lesser owned in later matchups may be the move.

Otherwise:

  • At QB I’m using Flacco, Stroud, Stafford, Goff, and Love.
  • I want a player from the Bucs v Eagles game in my flex spot.
  • I want to make sure I have at least one other player from the back 2 games in my lineups.
  • CeeDee Lamb is real hard to resist. IMO he’s the best chalk on any of the slates.

 

Thanks for checking out the DFS Wildcard Weekend breakdown. Follow me on Twitter/X at @Borisnow00 and Join the free Discord!

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