Point/Counterpoint: Week 15 SATURDAY Short Slate

Daily Fantasy

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.

Now we have a Saturday 3-game slate to play! So let’s talk Week 15 Saturday short slate strategy!



We talk about NFL DFS short slates and break down strategies for early only and afternoon only every week. Now we have another ultimate short slate, similar to Thanksgiving. A 3 game Saturday short slate this week!

I’m really looking forward to it! The matchups are Colts/Vikings, Ravens/Browns, and Dolphins/Bills. At first look you’d say, just let me load up on the last game, but there may be some snow and weather to pay attention to in Buffalo. Also, their first matchup in Miami was pretty low scoring, as we know some divisional matchups can be (which we have two on this slate).

So if it’s snowing in Buffalo during the game, how will you handle that game? I know it depends on how much, wind, etc. Also, at this point in the week, who are your core QBs and stacks for this slate?




I do think the weather can be a factor for the Saturday slate, but I don’t want to go overboard with the concern. The Vikings, Dolphins, and Bills are clearly far better offenses than the Colts, Browns, and Ravens. I don’t want to eliminate two of the top options just because of some weather. Yes, snow can be a factor, but so could a Ravens or Browns team that can barely score 20 points.

I do like targeting the Vikings game as Minnesota needs a strong bounce-back game. Cousins, Jefferson, Cook, and Hockenson are all strong plays. On the other side you can pay up for Jonathan Taylor/Michael Pittman, or get some nice savings with Alec Pierce, Parris Campbell, or if you guess the correct Colts TE to use.

The game I want almost no part of is the middle game. Ravens and Browns are two kinda broken offenses. Maybe Mark Andrews has a big game or Nick Chubb breaks the slate, or maybe they both massively underperform their price tag. For me, these are sprinkle plays at best.



I agree that the teams I’m least interested in are the Browns and Ravens and just want to sprinkle pieces from that game. I’ll wait until Saturday morning to see what the weather impacts in Buffalo are looking like. Even if snow and winds aren’t a concern, Tua stacks are going to be very low-owned because of the last two games and the narrative that he can’t play in the cold. I’ll trust the talent and the super sharp head coach to get this offense clicking, provided the weather is manageable.

Matt Ryan is interesting because while he’s been terrible against good defenses that create pressure, he’s actually put up good fantasy numbers against the bad defenses in his division. The Vikings’ defense is similarly bad to the AFC South defenses so targeting Ryan in a dome is interesting. As we saw Thanksgiving night, the Vikings let the one QB that we didn’t think would be fantasy relevant (Mac Jones) put up points.

So my QBs will be Cousins, Ryan, Allen, and Tagovailoa. I’ll use ownership projections to guide where I put the most allocation of for my QB.

As for other core plays, Dalvin Cook has really been struggling this season and feels touchdown dependent so I’m going to be underweight on him. For RBs I like Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb, Raheem Mostert, and JK Dobbins. For receivers, I love prioritizing Justin Jefferson and Tyreek Hill for the studs. But I also want exposure to Pittman, Thielen, Pierce, Waddle, Diggs, and McKenzie. Pierce and McKenzie are my favorite value plays.

At TE, I’m fine punting it off with honestly whoever fits that runs routes. As long as Mark Andrews or TJ Hockenson don’t break the slate and you don’t take a zero at TE, I think you can punt here. I also think if you do play Andrews or Hockenson, you can put them in flex and run 2 TE builds.

What are your thoughts on my core plays? What are your strategies to be unique on this slate?




Overall I see myself using Cousins the most, followed by Allen, then Ryan and Tua. I will avoid both QBs from the middle game. I do see a scenario where Ryan could put up 300 yards and 2-3 TDs at a nice price point. I still would rather have Cousins or Allen as I just feel that the offenses function better and they have strong match-ups. With the Vikings, we haven’t seen a big ceiling from Cousins, but the underlying numbers are there. This is an offense that is 10th in the league in scoring offense facing a defense that is tied for 18th in offensive points allowed. The Colts’ defense has even been worse of late and has typically struggled against top offenses. Overall I want to be way overweight on this Vikings vs Colts game and hope that my additional exposure will make up for the high ownership individual players will have.

For the most part, I’m good with your core plays, Taylor and Dobbins are my favorite backs, but I’m fine with all of those. At receiver, I want exposure to all of the Vikings and Colts options, and will add in Hill, Diggs, Waddle, and DPJ. I probably won’t play McKenzie this week. He doesn’t have a strong role inside the Red zone and with Cole Beasley signing he could take 10-15% of his role. For me, that is enough to ignore him and look elsewhere for value.

I don’t mind 2-TE builds, especially for some value, but I will be well underweight on Mark Andrews. For TEs, Hockenson, Granson/Woods, Knox, and Njoku are the ones I’m interested in.




Agreed with your tight end core plays. I also agree about all the points you make about the Vikings/Colts game. I think one way I’ll try to be unique is to overstack that first game in various different ways. And while I’ll run some Allen and Tua stacks, I’ll do some lineups where I fade everything from that last game but a defense in case the snow makes it really ugly.

Hopefully, these short slate strategies help you get some ideas for Saturday’s 3-game slate! Good luck!


Check out Underdog Fantasy for fun Pick’em games and weekly NFL drafts! Use code: FANSPEAK to get a 100% matching bonus up to $100!



Related Articles

DraftKings Short Slate Survey – Conference Championship

After Steve's massive wins on the Thanksgiving 3-game slate and the Early Only short slate on in Week…

Read More about DraftKings Short Slate Survey – Conference Championship

Divisional Playoffs Short Slate Survey

After Steve's massive wins on the Thanksgiving 3-game slate and the Early Only short slate on in Week…

Read More about Divisional Playoffs Short Slate Survey