Point/Counterpoint: Week 7 Short Slate Strategies
By Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup:
We both like to play Short Slate in NFL daily fantasy. The Early Only and Afternoon Only slates give you opportunities to play differently than you play on the Main slate.
I use it as an opportunity to do the following:
-Hedge – get exposure to players I didn’t play in the Main slate
-Be Contrarian – stack up a game that people aren’t stacking as much
-Differently lineup construction – short slates you can do different lineup constructions than I typically would on Main. Whether it’s stars and scrubs, overstack a game, or play 2 TEs, it’s an opportunity to be unique with your lineup build.
So let’s talk Week 7 short slate strategy!
How are you handling the short slates this week? I don’t have an extreme take like I did last week (being creative around the high-owned Chiefs/Bills game).
I will probably use both short slates to hedge and get exposure to players I don’t play as much in the Main slate. I’ll also look for spots that could be under-owned on the short slate. Other short slate strategies I’ll be considering is onslaughting a favorite, like the Bucs. Or over-stacking a game with a high total.
Before we get into specific stacks and core players, does any one strategy stick out to you for early only and/or afternoon only?
I believe this is the smallest early slate we’ve seen with just 7 games, so things should be even more condensed than usual. I don’t really see the need to get cute here so I will probably just be playing the stacks I would play in the main slate. I think I will just really double down for this situation. When it comes to some extra RB, WR, and TEs, I might have a little more interest in a couple of guys, but I probably won’t expand my player pool by that much.
The afternoon slate I think is a bit different. There was really only one game (Chargers-Seahawks) that I have any real interest in playing for the main slate. I wasn’t even high on a lot of individual pieces at their price in the other games due to their match-ups. So I definitely see myself trying some different builds here, and getting exposure to a few guys that I probably won’t play in the main slate at all. I will also overstack that Chargers-Seahawks game as well in a couple of lineups, just in case that is the only game that shoots out.
That’s a great point about the early slate being smaller. And I like really stacking up the Chargers/Seahawks game in the afternoon-only slate. Honestly, that’s how I’ll get a lot of exposure to that game.
So what core plays are you most prioritizing for the Early Only slate?
For Early only, I plan on only playing Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, Joe Burrow, and a little Matt Ryan stacks. Right now I’m planning on Jackson being my highest-owned QB in the early slate. I just see the Ravens coming out firing in this match-up, and I don’t see any way the Browns’ defense will be able to contain Jackson.
At RB Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, and Aaron Jones will be the three $7K or above backs that use. Probably will try to fit Henry and Jones in a bit more, as I don’t plan on utilizing them as much in the main slate. I’ll mix in some Zeke and Pollard from Dallas, Travis Etienne, and some Kareem Hunt. But I will probably be overweight on Kenyan Drake with JK Dobbins out. I also plan on fading the Hubbard/Foreman tandem in Carolina. I think people will try to make these backs work given the price, but I just don’t see either one succeeding in this match-up.
For WR I definitely like the stacking partners from the QBs I mentioned so Chase, Pittman, Higgins, Lamb, Gallup, and Alec Pierce are going to be in a number of my line-ups. Even when I use them as a one-off or mini-stack. Outside of that group, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Amari Cooper, Allen Lazard, and Chris Godwin/Mike Evans. I am struggling to find value WRs outside of Pierce.
Tight end is going to be a lot of Mark Andrews exposure (assuming he is playing). He’s just too good and the match-up is just perfect. He could double the rest of the TE field and outscore a fair number of higher-end receivers. After him, I will probably go cheap with a couple of rookies in Cade Otton and Cole Turner. Both have the chance to be the top TE due to injuries, and are cheap enough to allow you to fit a lot into your line-up. I’ll probably sprinkle in a little Dalton Schultz, Robert Tonyan, and Hayden Hurst as well.
I agree with pretty much all these Early only core plays. A couple of other concepts I might do just for the Early only slate is run a lineup with a Bucs onslaught or definitely a couple of Brady double-stacks. Because I’ll have more Fournette in the Main slate. I know you’ll disagree with this, but I’ll also run a cheap Heinicke stack. You can play him with McLaurin, Cole Turner, or both and have a ton of salary to load up the studs. You can run it back with Aaron Jones, Allen Lazard, or Robert Tonyan. I know Heinicke isn’t going to outscore the other QBs. But he’s scrappy and he scrambles, which helps. He also has familiarity with the offense and with McLaurin. If he could give me 20 points, then I can have a true stars and scrubs build virtually un-owned from the Washington side.
So who are your core plays for the Afternoon only slate?
For me, I’m just going all in on the Chargers-Seahawks game for the late slate. Herbert may be in 75% of my line-ups, and sometimes I’ll pair him with Ekeler as well to just overstack this game. I love all the key pieces on both teams, but obviously, trust the Chargers more from a talent standpoint. The only key piece I want from the other games is Josh Jacobs. I will try to play some Breece Hall, and some Devante Adams and Deebo Samuel, but I’m not going to prioritize them. Do you see any strong value plays from these games?
I will stack up that game too, but I also may stack up the Raiders/Texans game (more the Raiders side). And I’ll use afternoon only as a way to get some exposure to the Chiefs/49ers game since I don’t think I’ll play a lot of those players on the Main slate.
The only value I like is the tight ends, either Foster Moreau from the Raiders or Greg Dulcich from the Broncos. You could get wild and play the new Broncos’ starting QB Brett Rypien this week for value and ownership leverage. Sometimes those new starters put up a sneaky good first game. I may do that once just to go totally off the board.
What do you think of these strategies for short slates Week 7 DFS on DraftKings?