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Good evening Karma nation! Welcome to Wild Card Weekend where it is win or go home. Thankfully, this week we do not have to worry about hindered playing time from star players or resting players.
This week is a little different as we have a three game slate Saturday and three game slate Sunday, so I am giving you both!
OVERWEIGHT: (Josh Allen) ($7,500 DK)
With a threegame slate you are going to have to take stands and you are going to have to make fades. Josh Allen is not one of these fades.
Allen has had an incredible season! He finished the season with 4,544 passing yards (5th), 37 passing touchdowns (5th), and a completion percentage of 69.2% (4th). Allen rushed for a total of 421 rushing yards this season averaging 26.3/game. He has more upside than any QB on the slate. You can count for an additional 2.5-7 fantasy points because of what Allen can do on the ground. Allen leads the QBs in fantasy points by QB this season with 436.1 (based off DraftKings). The next highest is Patrick Mahomes with 409.4.
This season the Colts might be known for having a stout defense, however, this is only true for the first half of the season. The first eight games of the season Indianapolis gave up 20 points per game. The second half of the season the Colts are allowing their opponents to average 25 points per game. Over the last three games the Colts passing defense has allowed an average of 301.3 passing yards and 260 yards from Mike Glennon.
Josh Allen is the highest projected player on this slate and the only reason I am not hitting the lock button is to attempt and gain leverage with a few Tom Brady shares. The Bills offense is second in the league for explosiveness meaning they can score quickly. I am expecting a high scoring game and Allen to lead his team to another explosive victory.
OVERWEIGHT: Wide Receivers
(Stephon Diggs) ($7,700 DK)- This is Josh Allen’s go to receiver. Diggs leads WR in fantasy points in the last three weeks with 87.8. Last three games averaging 122.66 receiving yards/game which is a 28% increase from his season average. With Bills team total at 29 it is hard not to see Diggs get one of those touchdowns.
(Michael Pittman Jr) ($3,500 DK)- This is also a leverage play because majority will probably roster Hilton. Pittman Jr has the best matchup out of the Colts WR. He will be seeing Levi Wallace who is the most targeted cornerback on Bills defense and is allowing most cornerback yards per route on his team with 1.13. Pittman Jr offers speed and size against Levi Wallace at this price I will take some shots.
(Mike Evans) ($6,500 DK)- To be honest you can take Chris Godwin too or you can get real crazy and stack both (if you do this I highly recommend have Brady as QB). While Evans is questionable with a knee injury, I believe he will play. This uncertainty should also keep ownership at bay. When Tampa Bay gets in the red zone Evans has a 30.2% end zone target share. In the last four weeks Evans has led his team averaging 91.8 air yards/ game and 98.3 receiving yards.
Other candidates: (Isaiah McKenzie- if Beasley out), (Gabriel Davis)
OVERWEIGHT: Tight Ends
(Dawson Knox) ($3,200 DK)- This is another leverage play off the chalkier TEs Thomas and Gronkowski. In Dawson’s last 8 games he has averaged 4.6 targets and 27.9 receiving yards. What I found interesting was of Allen’s 37 passing touchdowns 24% of these were to his tight ends. By taking Knox you are creating leverage, rostering the TE with highest team total, and rostering the TE who is going against a defense who has allowed 2nd most fantasy points to tight end (16.65) in the last four weeks.
(Logan Thomas) ($4,900 DK)- The optimizer has Thomas as the highest projected TE. This season Thomas is averaging 6.9 targets/game with 41.9 receiving yards/game. However, the last four weeks Washington has increased his targets 67%. Thomas also leads his team in end zone share percentage getting targeted 36.4% of the time. This season Tampa Bay is allowing 10th most fantasy points to TE allowing 14 fantasy points a game. If you believe Tampa Bay gets out to an early lead this could force Washington’s hand to lean heavily on the pass game.
OVERWEIGHT: Running Backs
(Jonathan Taylor) ($7,900 DK)- I do not know what this man has been eating before games, but he has taken it to the next level. The last four weeks Taylor averaged 140 rushing yards and 1.7 touchdowns per game. The Colts running backs have the 9th highest yards per carry (YPC). The Bills run defense is allowing 119.6 rushing yards/game and has allowed 21 rushing touchdowns (6th most) this season. I like to think of the Bills as a poor mans Chiefs offense. Last year the Colts beat the Chiefs, and this was because they controlled the clock, had a solid run game, and kept a high-powered offense off the field. I expect a similar game plan against the Bills.
Other candidates: (J.D. McKissic), (Nyheim Hines), (Ronald Jones)
FADE/UNDERWEIGHT: SEA/LAR game
We know we have to make stands on a small three game slate and this is where my stand is.
The teams have already faced off twice this season and between both teams in both games totaled 68 points. The Rams lead the league in opponent points per game only allowing 18.5/game. Seattle ranks 15th in this statistic, however, the first half of the season Seattle had one of the worst defenses. If we look at the last 8 games Seattle’s opponents only average 16 points.
If I had to choose a QB it would be Russell Wilson, but against the Rams this season he has a 60% completion percentage, 2 interceptions, and 1 touchdown. Metcalf has also been contained by one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Jalen Ramsey. In both games against the Rams this season he had 8 receptions, 87 yards, and 0 touchdowns.
Vegas has this total at 42 and given the previous matchups I see the under hitting with ease. There will be ownership on the studs of this game, so you automatically gain leverage if this game flops like we are predicting.
Saturday’s Wild Card Weekend seems straight forward to me. I recommend making up a game script in your head and build lineups from that. After all it is a three game slate, so you are going to have to find leverage and get creative. If you eat chalk in one game and it flops, (if you have a lineup that allows it), pivot off of a chalkier player in the next game and go for straight leverage to still give you a fighting chance of cashing. If you have the ability utilize the late swap!
I will have Josh Allen in about 80% of my lineups with a ton of different lineup constructions from that game. Find pieces from the Washington/ Tampa Bay game and roster them. The Seahawks/ Rams game will be what makes or breaks us, and I think history continues to repeat itself and we will see a low scoring game.
As always, the NFL optimizer is a great tool to help increase your bankroll and make you a better player in DFS. I hope this article pointed you in a direction on where to start your builds for this week! If you ever have any questions, feel free to DM me on twitter @party_marty13 or send me a message in the discord chat and I’ll be sure to get back with you ASAP!