Point/CounterPoint: DraftKings Wildcard Weekend Strategies

Daily Fantasy

By Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup:


Every week of the season for daily fantasy brings new debates about core plays, fades, game stacks, and more. For fantasy purposes, it is best to read about both sides of the argument and decide which side, data, and analysis YOU agree with.

For the NFL season, our series of Point/Counterpoint will be a back-and-forth discussion between siblings Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup about the slate strategy, stacks, core plays, and fades for that week.

So let’s get to Wildcard Weekend strategy talk!



It’s Super Wildcard Weekend! I’m sad the NFL season is over but very excited for the playoffs! For wildcard weekend, we have 3 close spreads and 3 big spreads. The Bills/Dolphins, Bengals/Ravens, and 49ers/Seahawks all have large spreads. While the Chargers/Jaguars, Giants/Vikings and Cowboys/Buccaneers all have close spreads.
Will that affect your decisions for game stacks or QB stacks? To get us started, which games are your favorite to stack up and who are your favorite QBs wildcard weekend?
Note that the biggest prize pools and tournaments are on the one day slates for Saturday and Sunday. But you can also play the 6 game Saturday – Monday slate. I personal will probably play more Saturday and Sunday only. But there are plenty of options and of course showdowns, tiers, etc!




My favorite game to stack up this weekend is the Chargers/Jaguars. Both teams are pretty healthy among their skill players and have the upside for big games. Also, the defenses on both teams have been exploitable this season. This is the game that I feel the best about not only having multiple pieces from one side but that I also am interested in bringing it back from the other side.

I do worry about some blowout potential from the Bills, Bengals, and 49ers. Though I’m still interested in some offensive players from those teams. We saw the Bills last year in the Wild Card round bury the Patriots, and you absolutely wanted Josh Allen as your QB. The Dolphins and Ravens could be without their top QB, and their number 2 QB is also dealing with an injury. Even in the best-case scenario where their starter is able to play, I still worry about how effective they will be. The Seahawks aren’t dealing with injuries, but in two games vs the 49ers this year they scored a combined 20 points.

The Giants/Vikings game is a bit intriguing as they played a couple weeks ago and we saw 51 total points. Both defenses are weaker, so I can see points being scored again. My issue with the game is that outside of Saquon Barkley I don’t see anyone you must have on the Giants side. As much as I like Barkley, he’s expensive and hasn’t had many massive ceiling games this season. I’d rather spend my salary cap on some top receivers who have had more 25-35 point games.

I’m intrigued by Tampa-Dallas as well. I know the Cowboys are coming off a terrible week 18 performance, but this is one of the best offenses in the league when Dak is at QB. Since Prescott returned week 7 Week 18 is the only game they failed to score at least 24 points. In that stretch they had 4 games of 40 or more points. On the other side we have a Buccaneers team that has vastly underperformed this season, but at the end of the day it is still Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and a host of other weapons. If those Bucs vets are on their game, I absolutely want to target this game as a major shootout spot.


That’s what’s tough about those big spreads, is will the offense pour it on like the Bills last year or will not enough push back limit the favored teams? I still like stacking the Bills, Bengals and 49ers as I think key offensive pieces will get there. It’s just a matter of choosing the right ones.

Since I will be playing the Sat. and Sun. slates separately more often, I’ll mostly play the Bucs/Cowboys in showdown. For full game stacks, I agree the Jaguars/Chargers and Giants/Vikings are the most appealing. We saw that Giants/Vikings game shootout a couple weeks ago. I do like Isaiah Hodgins on the Giants in a potentially negative game script and of course I’m interested in Cousins/Jefferson stacks. Though it being a late afternoon scares me for Cousins. His narrative of choking/poor performances outside of 1 pm EST start times is one of the wildest NFL trends. But he and Jefferson put up great fantasy numbers against these Giants a few weeks ago, so have to hope they do the same if you play them.
What about core pieces that you’ll be overweight on at the RB, WR and TE positions? Who are you highest on for Saturday? What about the Sunday slate?



So for Saturday, I do want to focus on stacking up my running backs. I love both CMC and Ekeler this week, with Travis Etienne as a solid option as well. I just think both McCaffrey and Ekeler have the highest ceilings on the slate.

At wide receiver when I can afford it I will focus on Keenan Allen and Christian Kirk, but I probably will try to pay down some at the position. That is due in part to me wanting to play George Kittle in just about every line-up. Kittle has had a great connection with Brock Purdy and I don’t see that changing in the postseason.

For Sunday I like Saquon Barkley, but I won’t make him a priority. I will probably focus on backs from the Bills/Dolphins game. Jeff Wilson Jr. and James Cook both have great prices, and can put up solid numbers. I’m going to be much more focused at wide receiver having 2 of Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Stephon Diggs, and Tee Higgins in my line-ups. These guys all have the ability to put up 30+ points, so I want exposure for sure. At TE when I can fit Hockenson or Knox I’ll play them, but otherwise I’ll pay down for Hayden Hurst or Bellinger.



I think this makes a ton of sense as far a spending to go RB heavy on Saturday and WR heavy on Sunday. Both have value pieces at WR Saturday and RB Sunday. You could of course flip the build to be unique. But I think I’d rather be unique by overstacking a game or just picking one or two contrarian pieces each day.

I agree with you TE plays and will also spend for Kittle on Saturday as we discussed in stacks.

How about you, do you see any other ways to be contrarian on either short slate that would gain a lot of leverage?


I think the best way to be contrarian is if you have a strong stance of a particular upset, and build a stack around that. Even the most popular plays from teams like say the Giants, Ravens, Dolphins, etc. will typically be the only player from that team in someone’s line-up. If you believe that say the Giants upset the Vikings, don’t just play Saquon Barkley. Add in a receiver or two, or have Daniel Jones as your QB. I’d also suggest that if you believe that there is even a chance of an upset in say the Bills/Dolphins game or Bengals/Ravens game, then I’d make sure to completely fade Buffalo or Cincinnati. If those teams lose in these match-ups it won’t be in a shootout type of game where you still want exposure to the losing team.

The other thing I’d say to keep in mind is stacking rules are different in these 2 or 3-game slates on Sat. and Sunday. Don’t worry so much about playing against your defense, and it’s okay to overstack especially if you believe there is some risk the other game(s) underperform. For example, if you think that the 49ers vs Seahawks could be a 20-7 type of game, but Chargers vs Jaguars will be 35-28, then yeah there is nothing wrong with maybe only having one player from the 49ers and grab everyone else from the 2nd game. The same line of thinking could hold true on the Sunday slate as the Bills and Bengals are likely going against back-up QBs and teams that are missing some key starters. Those games might have a lot less fantasy value than that Vikings vs Giants game.


What do you think of these strategies for Wildcard DFS on DraftKings? Who are your main game stacks and core plays?


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