NFL Super Wild Card Weekend – SATURDAY Slate – Raiders Bengals, Patriots Bills – Draft Kings DFS Strategy, Plays and More – Real Deal Fantasy HQ

You Can Find Me on Twitter @DelRayBoston

Before I begin I want to say something. I am currently isolating with a family member testing positive for Covid earlier this week. I have no symptoms and thankfully the way our home is arranged, my family member can isolate. However, of anyone in my family this person was the least likely to catch the virus in the eyes of all that we know. This person ALWAYS Masked Up. Even at family functions. Rarely was this person outside of the house without a mask. This person was an eagle regarding social distance, even when outside. No touching, barely a hug to anyone outside the family. This person always was first in the house with new masks, keeping everything clean, even stocking up on at home testing. Tomorrow will be day 5 and I am to test and I am hopeful I will stay negative and everyone in the house, including this person, tests negative. But for anyone out there reading this that has some notion that this thing isn’t real, let me assure you, it is. The agony this person has been in for the last 5 days I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But where it really is real, is for the people around whomever tests positives. The worry and stress over your loved one sick. The added stress of suddenly running a house down a body, while trying to manage care and help safely for everyone. The division of the house where in my case we are down a two rooms – the walls close in a hell of a lot more no matter how big your house is when that happens – believe me.

So listen. I am pleading with everyone out there. If you haven’t gotten vaccinated – get vaccinated. Please. It’s not just for you, it’s not even just for your immediate family. It is for ALL OF US. This person in my life is fully vaxxed and boosted and still got it – so I get the message so many people are saying: Vaccines don’t matter. But they do. I am fully vaxed and boosted and have no symptoms. So is my kid – despite Covid being in my house. And the person that is dealing with it – there is a real chance tomorrow on day 5 they test negative too. That is all because of being vaccinated, I am absolutely 100% certain of it. Do you not recall this time last year people were dealing with symptoms for 2 weeks or longer? Do you think the news is lying when they are reporting the over crowding of hospital beds with over 60% of those cases being non-vaccinated patients? Do you think the NFL players coming back from Covid absences want to suck on oxygen or have their snaps limited because their lungs still haven’t recovered – do you think they are doing that for a show? For god sakes get out of your own head and get vaccinated. For all of us.

And please – FREAKIN’ MASK UP. You think anyone will think less of you because you are wearing a mask in this day and age, anywhere? If they do, then do you really want to hang out with this person? Wearing a mask helps protect you and your loved ones. And one thing I can tell you is available everywhere are the new KN95 and 95 Masks. We just had a box delivered yesterday and we ordered them the night before. The science is saying 45% higher likelihood of preventing Covid than regular hospital masks, cloth masks with filters and yes gators. I am telling you it matters. I promise you it matters. If you can’t find a at home test at the stores – go to a testing sight if you are feeling bad and if you are positive …. ISOLATE. It sucks, yes but for real talk – the way this sh*t goes away is if we ALL do everything we can to limit the exposure until the exposures cease.

BY THE WAY. I am not a celebrity. I am not a talking head on a news show. I don’t get paid to write this every week. I am nobody. I am saying this so you can understand, I am a regular person and I care about the health and safety of everyone, I am passionate about the health and safety of everyone. If I could take the place of my family member right now to deal with the pain they are going through so they instead could be non-symptomatic, you are damn right I would. What I said above comes from my heart and this is not a paid endorsement. It is what I believe and I hope maybe it helps you.

If you are angry I have a soapbox to stand on, that’s fine. Don’t read on then. If you aren’t smart enough to do the above things for yourself and your loved ones, then you probably haven’t been smart enough to listen to anything I have ever written on here for 3 seasons and you probably haven’t won a cent. So if you want to stop reading here, that’s fine – just please take the measures I mentioned above and please do them. For all of us.

If you are still reading here, thank you. Even if only 20 people see this, if each of you can tell 20 people about it and they tell 20 people and so on … it has the chance to effect someone. Thank you.

OK FOOTBALL TIME

This two game slate today for Wild Card Saturday has a lot going for it from a DFS perspective. First Pricing. No player on this slate is over $7,900 on DK. So literally, you can almost play anyone you want in whatever combination you want. It’s kinda incredible. Because of the soft pricing, the notion of CHALK (High Owned) CHEAP PLAYS is also kinda out the window. You can find ways to get different because all of the ownership is on 5 or 6 “stud” players. So I’ll talk game by game, touching on favorite plays, low owned leverage plays and I’ll even mention some showdown strategy too.

Overall here are your Top 3 Highest RBs and WRs as of 11AM this morning. I won’t mention QB, TE or DST since really, the choices are too limited anyway. I”ll discuss any plays in those positions in each game

Top 3 Owned RBs: Joe Mixon (75%), Devin Singletary (61%), Josh Jacobs (54%). Mixon by the way will be the highest owned player period, on the entire slate.

Top 3 Owned WRs: Tee Higgins (54%), Hunter Renfrow (40%), Ja’Mar Chase (37%). Close 4th is Stefon Diggs at 36%.

In both cases above it is clear that the Patriots will be the leverage play of the day (if they perform in Buffalo) as there is NO Patriot above 22% ownership as of right now and most of them are in single digit ownership as well.

RAIDERS at BENGALS 4:30P

We have two stories here to pay attention to in this game. First – Joe Burrow ($7,300) and Ja’Mar Chase ($7,800) clinched their playoff berth in Weeks 16 & 17 with back to back history making performances – but they sat the final week of the season, along with Joe Mixon ($7,100) and several other offensive starters. Can Burrow do it again? Or did the one week layoff kill the mojo?

The other story is that the Raiders just find a way to win. They changed their destiny down the stretch and last week won an overtime game against the Chargers that was as fun to watch as I am sure it was emotionally and physically draining for the Black & Silver. Can they keep riding this lightning bolt (sorry Chargers fans no pun intended) or did they play “their playoff game” last week, so to speak, and I too physically drained to put on another performance.

Derek Carr ($5,800) As of right now at 20% ownership Carr is a distant 3rd behind Burrow and Allen, but I expect that ownership to go up as the day goes on. First, if you have listened to any DFS Podcast or watched a DFS Video in the last 24 hours you will here the same thing – Love Carr here to be “different”. So that is why I am mentioning him first. The Plus on Carr is the price tag which even with slate with suppressed pricing, $5,800 allows you to do a lot. But for me – he is a mass multi entry play only. Only 5 Times in 18 Games has Carr scored over 19 Fantasy Points and in week 11 against the Bengals, he finished with 10.6. Only 5 Times in 18 Games has Carr thrown for over 300 yards and in week 11 he threw for 215. In seven games this season Carr has thrown 2 touchdown passes (meaning in 11 games he threw for only 1 or fewer) and in 5 of those 7 games he also threw a pick. In fact there are only 5 games this season where Carr didn’t throw an interception (So 13 games he threw one if you are keeping score – including Week 11 against the Bengals). I think Carr is a bit of a trap here but you can’t beat the price. He is a Mass Multi-Entry pick only for me.

Joe Burrow $7,300. Despite 36% ownership if there is a QB in this game I am playing it is Burrow. Over the last 5 games that Burrow has played he has thrown for 1,776 Yards and 3 of those games he finished with a 73% completion rate or higher. In that span he has also throw 12 Touchdowns (including 4 in back to back Week 16 and 17) and only 2 picks. In fact he hasn’t thrown a pick since week 13. Now granted in Week 11 it was one of Burrow’s lowest fantasy scoring weeks at 10.2 Fantasy points – but basing this solely on how he finished his regular season, I think that was an outlier. Again if I am playing a QB in this game, it is Burrow despite the ownership.

Ja’Mar Chase $7,800. I love the Burrow – Chase stack today for a couple reasons. First with Joe Mixon’s ownership at 75% focusing on the Bengals Passing attack is a leverage play. Second, getting Chase at 38% ownership is also a measure of leverage over the 54% owned Tee Higgins – which has to be due to pricing. But history making performances is the name of the game with Chase after his 266 and 3 performance against the Chiefs and no better way to make history than to win in the playoffs. I think Chase comes into this game ready to dominate and I love a player with a Chip on his shoulder. Plus you can only go up from a Week 11 32 yard and 1 performance against this same team.

Darren Waller $5,700. It hasn’t been a “Waller the Baller” kind of year has it. And since he has been back from injury, it hasn’t been very inspiring. Despite this at 52% ownership he is far and away the highest owned tight end and it is all about the matchup. The Bengals rank 26th against Tight Ends and in week 11 he took 8 targets for 7 catches for 116 yards. There will be a lot of Derek Carr – Darren Waller stacks today. There will be a lot of Joe Burrow – Tee Higgins – Darren Waller stacks today. I love the Ja’Mar Chase – Darren Waller stack with or without a matching QB. Play Darren Waller and don’t worry about the ownership. You can get different elsewhere.

Joe Mixon $7,100. At 75% ownership I can make a strong a case as fading Mixon as I could for playing him. The match up is there, the Raiders rank 30th against running backs giving up 114 yards on the ground. The opportunity is there as Mixon has had double digit carries in every game this season and seen 4 or more targets in 7 games including 6+ in back to back games in Weeks 16 and 17. The issue is the yards and touchdowns. Only 3 times has Mixon had 100 yards on the ground this season and that also hasn’t happened since Week 12. He does have 14 touchdowns on the year on the ground and 3 through the air. It’s a head scratcher for me. I think if you are playing Mixon you are hoping for a multiple touchdown game because I can’t trust the yardage. At 75% ownership you’d be wise if you are multi-entering to have at least a couple lineups without Mixon too as an immense leverage play.

Hunter Renfrow $6,400. The second highest owned WR on the slate Renfrow clearly shined with Waller off the field – but in Week 16 in Wallers Return, Renfrow still managed 76 yards and a score. To me, that is why you are playing Renfrow today – the Touchdown opportunity. 2 last week against the Chargers. 5 in his last 5 games. I also don’t think anyone is mentioning he is also the punt returner and a double stack with the Raiders DST if he runs one back is a definite leverage double point scorer. There will be a lot of Rendfrow run backs on Burrow – Chase or Burrow Higgins Stacks. It will be probably as popular as using Waller as a run back in those stacks. I like a Carr-Renfrow-Waller stack myself, but either way I think Renfrow needs to be in your player pool.

Josh Jacobs $6,600. The second highest owned running back on the slate, yes, but I actually think I prefer Jacobs today. I actually am not basing it off the 132 yard and 1 performance against the Chargers, it was his 129 yard performance against a formidable Denver defense in week 16 that reminded me just who Josh Jacobs was and could be in pivotal games like today’s. So call it a gut – but if the Raiders want to try to slow down Burrow and his receivers the best way to do that is to control the clock and run the ball. With 26 or more rushing attempts in 2 of his last 4, again my gut says the Raiders will go to Jacobs early in this game and lean on him if they are successful. The match up is there too with the Bengals ranked 26th against RBs and allowing over 100 yards on the ground.

Tee Higgins $6,200. There are reasons why Higgins is the highest owned Receiver on the slate. First the $1,600 price break from him to Chase. Second, 3 of his last 5 he has had 100 yards or more receiving including 194 in Week 16 and 138 in week 13. BUT here is my worry. In those other 2 games he saw 5 and 3 targets, finished with 62 and 23 yards and had no touchdowns. In 8 games this season he has finished with 62 or less yards and in 7 games 78 or more. This is a true definition of a Dart Throw not seen since Mike Williams 2021. The Price is driving the ownership and while I will have some shares because – you never know, I much prefer Chase in this matchup. There will be a lot of Burrow – Higgins – Renfrow or Waller stacks today… so if you play Higgins, maybe go Carr – Higgins – Renfrow or Waller, to be different.

OTHER PLAYS IN THIS GAME:

Tyler Boyd $4,600 33% ownership

Zay Jones $4,000 26% ownership

Bengals DST $2,900 36% ownership

Raiders DST $2,500 22% ownership

DART THROWS:

Desean Jackson $3,100 2.8% ownership

Bryan Edwards $3,300 5% ownership

CJ Uzomah $3,500 23% ownership (obviously this is people fading Waller thinking they are sneaky)

If I am playing Showdowns in this game I am focusing on Pass Catchers at Captain. Chase, Renfrow, Waller, Higgins, Boyd primarily. I’m only interested in Burrow at Captain for QB. I think Mixon and Jacobs will be very popular at Captain today as well, so that is why I am most interested in Pass Catchers. I think Double stacking Pass Catcher with QB and Running Back will be my primary build. Don’t ignore the low owned 3rd and 4th receiving options and definitely don’t ignore the Kickers. I am inclined to use the DSTs as well in any lineup with the Running Backs featured prominently.

PATRIOTS at BILLS 8:15PM

The first thing that is a plus on a slate like this is late swap. When you are building your lineup where possible, plug in some plays in this game. If your Bengals – Raiders plays flop you will have some time to make adjustments in your lineup with Pats Bills plays. The second plus in this game is injury news or sudden absences. You will get word of this well in advance of kick off so again if you are paying attention you can make changes accordingly.

This will be a rubber match this year with the Pats and Bills at 1 win each in their first two meetings. The Bills are heavily favored tonight as now back to back AFC East Champs and at home but there is something to note that is pretty major. Currently it is 8 Degrees in Buffalo and at kickoff it is expected to be 7 with it expected to be 6 by the time the 3rd quarter starts and 5 by the time the 4th quarter starts. Wind won’t be a factor like it was the last time these two teams played in Buffalo but the cold will be. I am not talking about the narrative that Josh Allen stinks in the cold. I am talking about physics. Freezing temperatures cause the ball to not sail through the air, causes hands to freeze which makes drops and fumbles more likely, it causes kicks to go shorter distances. Could this game surprise me and reach 50+ total points? Sure … but I think this will be a low scoring slug fest between rivals with the weather being a big factor in that.

Mac Jones $5,300. The least owned of the 4 starters at only 6%, it is clear there is no faith in Jones or the Patriots Passing game from the DFS Faithful. But I am not being a homer when I say I love the play, not only because of the ownership. Sure could Mac shock the world and throw for 300+ yards and 4 Touchdowns? Sure anything can happen – but it is more so the comp to the much higher owned Derek Carr that interests me. For $500 less than Carr, Jones has had only one less game of 19 points or higher than Carr. For $500 less he also has 7 more Touchdown Passes than Carr in 7 games of 2 or more touchdowns like Carr has. Interestingly he has almost the identical amount of interceptions as Carr has. All of this for roughly 1/8th the ownership and $500 in savings. True, his two games against Buffalo have been his two lowest fantasy point totals of the season BUT they also represent his two lowest pass attempts of the season. A total of 18 in 2 games where he has averaged 25.5 attempts all season long. What if the Pats flip the script on everyone and Throw First tonight? Hey it could happen. But for largely the same statistical Quaterback as Carr at an 1/8th of the ownership – I think Mac Jones is in play.

Josh Allen $7,900 at 38% ownership Allen will be the highest owned QB on the slate. Is it true that Josh Allen plays poorly in Cold Weather? I won’t go into the details but yes, historically the cold has not been his friend. The difference between all of those other Cold Weather games you will see and tonight? None of those games were playoff games and only one other was even at home in prime time. In the wind game the Patriots dominated the run game and won and Josh Allen looked all out of sorts. In game 2 between these two the plan was simple and it worked. Score More Points and as much as it takes to force the Patriots to throw. In that game he threw the ball 47 times, with 30 completions 314 yards and 3 Touchdown Passes. Do I expect the Patriots to allow Josh Allen to do that again? No. But where the Patriots have struggled FOREVER is against mobile quarterbacks and in 3 of Allen’s last 5 he has run the ball 12 or more times. In week 14 against Tampa Bay (a notorious run stopper) Allen scrambled 12 times for 109 yards and had a score. In Week 17 against Atlanta he took 15 carries for 81 yards and 2 scores. In a cold weather game – I think Allen’s running ability is the X Factor and he is my #2 QB behind Burrow. Also I love him at Captain in Showdowns and MVP on FanDuel Single Game contests as well.

Stefon Diggs $7,500. The fourth highest owned receiver I think many people will believe the adage the Patriots try and take away what teams do best. Well in this case, I think that thing the Pats will try and take away is Josh Allen. Why? Well because in Week 16 against this team Diggs took 7 Catches on 13 Targets for 85 yards and a score Diggs is arguably the most complete route runner in the game and even if it is dink and dunks for 10 yards a pop in the cold, he’s going to get the targets and likely he is going to get the yards. Honestly, he is my favorite WR play on the slate behind Ja’Mar Chase and here is a lineup that I am playing that exemplifies the soft pricing and being able to get both Diggs and Chase in a lineup:

QB Mac Jones

RB Damien Harris

RB Devin Singletary

WR Kendrick Bourne

WR Ja’Mar Chase

WR Stefon Diggs

TE: Darren Waller

FL: Zay Jones

DST: Patriots

Damien Harris $6,400 at 29% ownership, Harris is a carrying a Q tag but is expected to suit up. In Both games against Buffalo this season he has gone over 100 yards on the ground and has scored 4 touchdowns (one in Week 13 and three in week 16). The Patriots have shown they will run the ball in neutral or losing scenarios and Harris is the guy. In cold weather, I like the run games here and as noted it is why I like Josh Allen so much. I think you have to have Damien Harris in your player pool.

Devin Singletary $5,800. At 61% ownership Singletary is the 2nd highest owned running back on the slate behind only Joe Mixon. In 3 of his last 5 he has finished with 86 or more yards on the ground and 5 touchdowns. He’s also had multiple targets in 3 of his last 5 and he even caught a Touchdown pass against the Jets in Week 18. The Patriots are allowing 123+ yards on the ground and in a cold weather game I think Buffalo leans on the run a bit more than usual – especially if they take an early lead. I think I prefer Harris in this game – but as you can tell from the lineup above I will have plenty of Singletary in my lineups tonight.

Gabriel Davis $3,900 at 34% ownership it isn’t the old low owned dart throw Gabe Davis that we are used to but I think I need to highlight him here. Granted Manny Sanders is back, likely to a full snap share – so it remains to be seen if that effects Davis here BUT in 3 of the last 5 Games Davis has out targeted Cole Beasley by 4 or more looks from Allen and with a whopping 14 targets in Week 18 he was the most targeted of all Bill’s Wide Receivers. Sanders has seen 8 targets only once this season while Davis has seen 8 or more 3 times. So for me I think it’s Davis who is the #2 in this offense and he is in play for me in Lineups I am not using Diggs in.

Kendrick Bourne $4,400. I love the sub 10% ownership on Bourne tonight. There is no question Bourne is the big play threat in this offense and due to that if I like Mac Jones I have to like Kendrick Bourne. He has seen 4 or more targets in 9 games since Week 6 and has gone 75 or more yards 4 times this season and on a team that runs on first and second down at the highest rate in the league, that is saying something. He has been on a serious TD Drought having last scored one in Week 12 where he had 2. I like him to break that drought tonight. I think he makes an excellent contrarian run back in Bills stacks and I obviously don’t mind the Mac Jones-Kendrick Bourne stack either.

Jakobi Meyers $5,000 one of the reasons I mentioned Bourne first is the ownership on Meyers at near 27%. That signals to me that most players are running Bill’s stacks back with Meyers and/or stacking Mac Jones with Meyers. So I like the contrarian nature of using Bourne in that spot at Half the Ownership. Meyers is also Questionable and if he is ruled out, I would expect Bourne’s ownership to jump. There is no question though who the #1 WR is on this team. 6 or more targets in all but 3 games this year and 8 or more in 10. Meyers has gone for 70 or more yards 5 times and again that is saying something on the run first Patriots offense. The one thing that worries me is the lack of touchdowns. He has only 2 on the season. While I prefer Bourne tonight, I think you should have Jakobi in your player pool – if he plays.

I also will be mainly pulling my defenses from this game. First in a 2 game slate it is always advisable to play the later game defense in case the first game becomes a shoot out – you never want to carry a 0 at DST into the second game. But also in single digit temperature and both teams used to playing in the cold this game has the makings of a low scoring affair where either Defense is viable in DFS. The Bills are $3,200 at 30% ownership. The Patriots are $2,700 at 10% ownership.

OTHER PLAYS IN THIS GAME

Rhamondre Stevenson $5,100 – 13% owned

Cole Beasley $4,200 – 30% owned

Hunter Henry $4,500 – 16% owned

Dawson Knox $5,100 – 11% owned

Jonuu Smith $2,700 – 3% owned

Emmanuel Sanders $4,300 – 5% owned

DART THROWS IN THIS GAME:

Nelson Agholor $3,500 – 1% owned

Zach Moss $4,500 – 2% owned

Brandon Bolden $4,800 – 3% owned

Isiah McKenzie $3,400 – 2% owned

If I am playing Showdowns tonight my favorite captains are Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Damien Harris, Kendrick Bourne or the Defenses and Kickers. I think when you are building lineups I would build around 3 central stories 1. Josh Allen and the Bills go guns a-blazin and throw and score at will. 2. the Patriots Run First Game Plan dominates the game or 3. this is a low scoring game where defenses and kickers matter heavily. Bourne I like as the low owned Wild Card. Stacking wise I am looking at 4-2 builds with either side (4 from one team, 2 from the other).

GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!

And Check back later this weekend!

Tomorrow AM: Wild Card Sunday DFS Preview

Monday Afternoon: MNF DFS Preview

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