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 12, we are doing a weekly Short Slate Strategy Surveys. Check out our favorite QB stacks, values, contrarian plays, fades, and more for the Sunday 2-game Conference Championship Sunday slate! You can always find all our Daily Fantasy content here!
FAVORITE QB STACK?
Purdy/Aiyuk, CMC, Kittle
1st – Lamar/rotate contrarian Ravens’ pass catchers (Andrews, Likely, Beckham, Algolar)
2nd – Purdy/Aiyuk, CMC, Kittle
FAVORITE GAME STACK?
Lions vs 49ers
Lions vs 49ers
TOP 3 VALUE PLAYS (ANY POSITION)?
George Kittle, Justice Hill, Sam LaPorta
TOP 3 CONTRARIAN PLAYS (ANY POSITION)?
*Note: Ownership tough to judge at this point.
Rotate through Baltimore pass catchers – mainly Mark Andrews, Isaiah Likely, Odell Beckham (usually on max one per lineup)
TOP 3 FADES (20% OWNERSHIP OR HIGHER)? Or Underweight?
*Note: Ownership tough to judge at this point. Not necessarily full fade on small slate, could be underweight stand too.
Zay Flowers, Noah Gray, Rashod Bateman
Zay Flowers, Rashee Rice, Noah Gray
Honestly whatever fits – I can see DST scoring being close like last week so I’m going to rotate and never force a defense in.
OVERALL LINEUP STRATEGY?
Chiefs vs Ravens:
Chiefs- I’ll play a little Patrick Mahomes because despite the tough match-up you have the best QB in the game with plenty of experience in these situations, in likely a trailing game script. Mahomes will not be afraid to use his legs to add 20-40 yards rushing, and maybe a TD if the situation arises. Also, Mahomes could get there by being forced to throw for over 300 yards and 2-3 TDs as well. If you are playing Mahomes the good news is it’s clear who to stack him with in Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice. They should combine for a large percentage of Mahomes targets and first-look reads.
Pacheco will get the majority of the backfield touches and snaps, you can play him in a Mahomes stack, but probably better in non-stacks. As for the rest of the KC weapons they are cheap and can fill line-ups, but they are all thin plays. Originally I had some interest in Noah Gray as a flex-play in 2-TE builds, but it looks like his ownership could be over 20%. Not sure I want to chase that on a guy who might get 4-5 targets at best.
Ravens- Lamar Jackson is my favorite QB on the slate and the one projected to score the highest, but the issue is how do you play him? Between the price and the lack of a clear stacking partner, it makes it tough to know how to build a team with him. Last week Jackson was the clear QB1, but you really didn’t want a stacking option, and you didn’t want a bringback.
That’s probably different this week, but this is not a game that looks enticing to overstack. When I do stack Jackson, I will probably mainly fade Flowers as I just feel that the price is a bit prohibitive given the match-up and inconsistency. Bateman’s ownership is also a bit too high for me to consider using him that much, but may sprinkle him in Lamar stacks given his price. Typically I will focus on the tight ends and Beckham in stacks.
The Ravens TE situation is pretty interesting as Mark Andrews appears back, but at the same time, Likely has been playing pretty well and has been a major end zone target for Jackson. The ownership on both TEs is lower than the starters for the other 3 teams, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see both involved in the offense. I will mainly be playing them with Jackson, but even without I will take some shots in 2 TE builds.
Beckham is coming off a disappointing first playoff game, but that could keep his ownership in check this week. At RB both Edwards and Hill make some sense in the right game script, but Hill will be the only back I’d do in Jackson stacks. Hill I think does fit the DK format better with full PPR. Maybe with the Chiefs pass rush he will see a few more dump off passes this week.
Lions vs 49ers:
Lions- I know he’s likely playing from behind, but I don’t have a lot of interest in Jared Goff here. He’s just unlikely to outscore the other 3 QBs, and he’s only $100 less than Purdy and $600 less than Mahomes. The path for a Goff line-up working out is thin, and it feels like you can just easily capture most of the passing upside by taking a couple of key Lions pieces.
ASB is a target machine, but his price is worth noting. If he doesn’t have a high 20’s point game you really need to compare him vs some of the RBs or TEs that you could play in your Flex spot instead at $1,300-2,500 cheaper. If he’s getting 22 DK points and both Kittle and Kelce are getting 21 DK points, you most likely want a 2 TE build and saving the money.
Sam LaPorta has a tough match-up for sure, but he’s been so good this season and it’s likely that he will remain a focal point in this game, if he’s getting 10+ targets you need to have exposure to him. Among the Lions’ cheaper receivers Reynolds is the safer option, particularly in the red zone, but Jameson Williams is worth shots in large field tournaments where he could have a breakout game.
At running back Gibbs is coming off a big game, and he should be considered the top back option here again. I still think taking shots on Montgomery is worth it, he’s even cheaper this week, and if he gets a TD he can easily be valued enough as an RB2 or even a Flex play.
One very intriguing option is Zach Ertz as the TE2, he was just signed and should be activated ahead of the game. His ownership will come in very low, but you have a veteran guy who has experience playing against this 49ers defense at a cheap price and low ownership. He will only see a handful of targets, but likely will see usage in the red zone.
49ers- Brock Purdy is the best price-per-dollar QB on the slate as we’ve seen his upside this year where he goes off for 300+ yards and 3-5 TDs, he’s now facing a terrible Lions secondary that has gotten shredded for 300+ yards by almost everyone. Purdy could use this game to shake off the rust, and we’ve seen the 49ers not have a problem running up points in a game quickly.
I don’t love that Samuel might be either out or limited, but you still have Aiyuk, Kittle, and of course McCaffrey. Stack Purdy with 2 of those guys and you are likely good to go if this game goes off. I don’t mind Jennings either, especially if Samuel is officially out.
Editor’s note: Written before Samuel ruled in/no designation
Two game short slates have razor thin margins, so I’m looking for any edge possible. With that, my strategy will be fairly straight forward and my player pool will be pretty limited and include most of the chalky studs outside of Rice (tough matchup).
I’m going to focus on Lamar Jackson and Brock Purdy stacks. Though I’ll usually want more players in the Lions/49ers game no matter the stack. I love two-TE builds for this slate.
And my contrarian plays are going to mostly be the Ravens’ pass catchers (Andrews, Likely, or Beckham – usually 1 per lineup). I don’t think Andrews worked his way back to run wind sprints or will be that limited with everything on the line. The Beckham usage last week was a headscratcher, but I don’t think he made sure he was healthy for the postseason to sit on the sidelines. And Likely is so impressive that I feel he still has a role. Maybe this is galaxy brain, but all three of these guys look to be sub 15% owned.
Finally, I’m not going to force any defense plays and play what fits. Should be a fun slate! Good luck everyone!