Week 18 Saturday ONLY – DFS Short Slate Survey
After Steve’s massive wins on the Thanksgiving 3-game slate and the Early Only short slate on in Week 12, we are doing a weekly Short Slate Strategy Surveys. Check out our favorite QB stacks, values, contrarian plays, fades, and more for the Saturday ONLY Week 18 slate! You can always find all our Daily Fantasy content here!
Check out our Short Slate Show on Fanspeak Network for more details on the Saturday ONLY slate!
FAVORITE QB STACK?
Love Rudolph/Pickens as contrarian stack too!
FAVORITE GAME STACK?
TOP 3 VALUE PLAYS (ANY POSITION)?
Charlie Kolar, Robert Woods, John Metchie
Charlie Kolar, one cheap Texans receiver (rotating Woods, Metchie, and Hutchinson), and one cheap Ravens receiver (Wallace, Duverney, Algohar)
TOP 3 CONTRARIAN PLAYS (ANY POSITION)?
*Note: Ownership tough to judge at this point for Saturday Only.
Mason Rudolph, Charlie Kolar, Xavier Hutchinson
TOP 3 FADES (20% OWNERSHIP OR HIGHER)? Or Underweight?
*Note: Ownership tough to judge at this point for Saturday Only. Not necessarily full fade on small slate, could be underweight stand too.
Josh Downs, Melvin Gordon, Ravens’ defense
Josh Downs, Melvin Gordon, Tyler Huntley
OVERALL LINEUP STRATEGY FOR EARLY ONLY?
For this two-game slate, I think it’s the tale of two games. The first one has still a bit of unknowns as to who is sitting, and what the weather will be. The second one is in a dome, and both teams are pretty clear on who will be active and available for this game. But both games offer plenty of avenues to find DFS value and ceilings. Here is how I’m going to approach each team on the slate:
Baltimore doesn’t have anything to play for so they are going to be sitting most of their key players. I think Tyler Huntley can be a little contrarian as an option, who maybe gets there with his legs and a cheap pass catcher. Overall though I don’t want to play too many Ravens. Melvin Gordon figures to get most of the backfield work, but that’s not too appealing, especially if say Dalvin Cook gets activated.
At WR we know a couple of guys are definitely sitting (Beckham, and Flowers), and wouldn’t be shocked if one or two others do as well. Maybe a Duvernay or Wallace are fine, but it’s not a necessary way to go. Assuming Likely sits at TE, Charlie Kolar at $2,500 is a good play. Huntley has relied on the TE spot in the past. I also don’t want to play the Ravens defense. In addition to likely missing a couple key players, the Steelers have everything to play for.
The weather is a bit questionable, and the Ravens defense is going to still be good, even missing a few guys, but I’m fine playing multiple Steelers. All the key Pittsburgh players should be in play. Both Harris and Warren can be used, even in the same line-up. Rudolph and Pickens, Johnson, and Friermuth if you think they can attack the Ravens’ thinner secondary are worth it as well.
The prices on the Steelers are still more reflective of their overall season production vs the past 2 weeks, and going against a tough Ravens defense. Are there still some ways that some or all of these guys fail? Absolutely, we are relying on Mason Rudolph here in a rivalry game. Overall though the motivation of Pittsburgh and the way they have played the past two weeks, has to count for something. Also, sign me up for the Pittsburgh defense. They gave Lamar Jackson major problems, they can dominate this match-up.
The Colts offense has two key weapons in Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor. Both are expensive, but both are well worth having a high exposure to as they soak up so much usage on this team. Zack Moss is back this week so he may take an extra carry or two from Taylor, but JT can still be a 2 TD, 100-yard type guy. Pittman should see 10-15 targets, and could easily eclipse the 100-yard mark, especially if they are behind.
Gardner Minshew has done a good real-life job, but has been a very inconsistent fantasy option. Maybe you luck into him rushing for TD, or throwing for more yards/TDs than normal. Otherwise, it seems unlikely he cracks 18 points. That makes it tough to use him, since it’s not as if there is a major savings or ownership leverage.
As for the Colts’ other options, Downs and Pierce are much thinner plays. Pierce has at least the big play ability that maybe he gets there on just a couple targets. Downs hasn’t had a 10 point DK game since week 8. Moss could be a super contrarian RB option. If for some reason Taylor got hurt, or just the catches/TDs went Moss’ way he could be a great low-owned option.
At TE Indy still uses multiple TEs, but Granson and Mallory both get the most looks. They are cheap that you can take a shot and hope they get in the end zone with a couple of other catches. If the TE production isn’t high on other teams that could be enough to make them TE 1. You can play the Colts’ defense, but the Texans’ offense is definitely the most potent on the slate.
The Texans are the team I want to stack up the most. Stroud and Collins are the QB/WR stack that I want to be way overweight on despite the high ownership. With Noah Brown out, the rest of the Texans receivers are a bit more uncertain. Robert Woods is questionable, but will likely play. He’s a solid value at $3,800.
Both John Metchie and Xavier Hutchinson are $3,000 and will see a good bit of snaps/routes. One of them could be fantasy viable and give you the savings to help fit in everything else you want. The question is do you pay for the greater certainty of Woods, or is that extra $800 important for one of these two? Honestly, it’s tough to say, Woods hasn’t shown a ceiling this year, but he’s been out there and has the most experience in general and with Stroud. But if that extra $800 matters, it could just take one catch for a TD to allow the other receivers to pay off.
As for the rest of the Texans, Devin Singletary is actually my favorite running back on the slate. The Colts have been awful against backs this year, and Singletary has shown himself to be a pretty good feature back, of late. He can get 3-5 targets as well, and pair nicely with Stroud and Collins to capture basically all of Houston’s offense. Dalton Schultz is the top TE on the slate, and could even see more targets with Noah Brown out. Maybe with a weak TE group, he has a 15-20 point day that doubles or triples the rest of the field. Defensively the Texans are in play as well, but they could be missing a couple of guys.