Point/Counterpoint: Week 8 Short Slates
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 8 short slate strategy!
How are you handling short slates this week? I know this sounds generic, but continuing our discussion from the Main slate, I think my plan is to focus on Tua and Cousins stacks for Early Only and pay down at QB for Afternoon Only to get Big Dog, Kupp, etc.
Let’s start with Early Only, who are your favorite stacks and core plays?
It’s definitely weird this week for the short slates. As we talked about there aren’t a lot of quarterbacks I have any real interest in this week, but almost all of them are on the early slate. Hurts should see massive ownership, but he also could get 30+ vs a weak Steelers defense. I will definitely try for a little Hurts exposure. I do see myself mainly playing Tua and Cousins, but I also want to take shots on Jared Goff and Andy Dalton. Goff has struggled against good defenses, but the Dolphins defense hasn’t really lived up to that category. This game could end up being the highest-scoring of the week, and I want to have both sides. By the sounds of it, Dalton has the coaching staff’s trust as the starter. Maybe that changes if he has a couple of really bad games and they go back to Winston, but right now I think Dalton has a decent leash, so to speak. The Raiders’ pass defense has struggled this season, and I see the Saints playing from behind in this contest. That could lead Dalton to another 300+ yard game and multiple TDs. It’s definitely risker, but from a savings and ownership perspective, I’m intrigued.
My core RB group right now looks to be Rhamondre Stevenson, Tony Pollard, and D’Onta Foreman. I’ll probably add in some Alvin Kamara and maybe some Miles Sanders if I’m not using Hurts. Eno Benjamin also will be in play if Conner is out. At receiver, I love all the pay-up options with the exception of Davante Adams since he is dealing with the flu. Probably my favorite though is DeAndre Hopkins and Tyreek Hill. In the mid-tier, Chris Olave and Adam Theilen will be my top options. As for lower options, I might try to take advantage of the Raider’s situation and hope that Mack Hollins or Hunter Renfrow see more involvement. I know he busted last week, but Michael Gallup interests me as well. Outside of that very little excites me in this range.
Do you see anyone I’m really missing?
You covered almost all my core plays for Early Only. Great point about Goff for Early only and a great stack with ASB. Other cheap plays I’m interested in are George Pickens and DJ Moore.
Overall I am very interested in heavily stacking up the Dolphins/Lions, Raiders/Saints, and Cardinals/Vikings games in the early window.
So besides playing a ton of the Big Dog Derrick Henry, what are your strategies for the Afternoon Only slate? Who are your favorite stacks? And will you punt off and play Sam Ehlinger in Afternoon Only? I can’t decide if it’s better or worse to play Ehlinger in the short slate. Thoughts?
With the afternoon slate, it’s tough because I don’t love any of the quarterbacks. Geno Smith might be in an okay spot, but if Kenneth Walker keeps rushing like this, Pete Carroll is just going to feature it more and more. Daniel Jones can maybe get there with his legs, and Davis Mills is facing a terrible Titans secondary, but those spots don’t excite me too much. So in this case I will take a few Sam Ehlinger shots on the afternoon slate.
The issue with the afternoon slate is you can only play 3 RBs, that’s tough when you have Derrick Henry, Walker, and Saquon Barkley all in fantastic spots. To say nothing of the idea of Christian McCaffrey or Jonathan Taylor as relatively low-owned options. CMC seems like he’s in a bad spot, but we are pairing the most explosive RB in the league with the best rushing mind in Kyle Shanahan. I don’t care about the match-up at that point. As for Taylor, with the change at QB you have to think the Colts try to just rely on their star. The Commanders have struggled vs the run this year, and we’ve seen the Jags, Lions, Titans, and Bears find success against them. They bottled up the Eagles, Cowboys, and Packers for the most part, but I think you can make a good case for Taylor.
Wide receiver is basically Cooper Kupp and just fill in two other guys, particularly with Deebo off this slate. Pittman, Aiyuk, Lockett, and Brandin Cooks are all in strong spots (assuming they all play), but I don’t want to play them and miss out on Kupp and the backs. So if I can fit them great, if not I’m not going to worry about it.
Reading your thoughts on the afternoon slate makes me not like much besides the running backs and Kupp. I think I will be building very stars and scrubs lineups for the Afternoon only. I want to prioritize Henry, Kupp, then CMC. You can make it work with either Ehlinger or Heinicke.
The reason I mentioned Heinicke, especially for Afternoon only is none of the QBs are good in this window. So he’s only $1200 more than Ehlinger, I think has a higher chance at scoring more points (even more pts/dollar), and will come at a fraction of the ownership. That’s how I’m going to handle the Afternoon only slate for the most part.
What do you think of these strategies for short slates Week 8 DFS on DraftKings?