Yahoo! $500K Sunday Wildcard Baller Strategy

Jan 14, 2022
Yahoo! $500K Sunday Wildcard Baller Strategy

Wild Card Weekend is split into single-day slates and Yahoo is featuring a $500K Baller on the Sunday slate with $100K awarded to first place. The following analysis will offer a game-by-game analysis for the Sunday slate with a slant towards the Baller which has a maximum player pool of 28,000 entries.

Eagles @ Buccaneers (-8.5); O/U 46.0

Chalk Plays

QB Tom Brady, Buccaneers ($35)

RB Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers ($28)

WR Mike Evans, Buccaneers ($26)

Buccaneers Defense ($15)

TE Dallas Goedert ($18)

Despite being the running back on the slate with the highest salary, Leonard Fournette should be among the most popular players at any position. Tampa Bay is a huge favorite and in the three games before his injury, Fournette was averaging 22 touches and 83% of snaps per game. Tampa Bay stacks won’t be the most popular stacks on the slate but Mike Evans is 4for4’s top value at wide receiver. On the other side, Dallas Goedert is the top value on the slate across all positions and Tampa Bay finished the season ranked 24th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to tight ends.

Stacking Options

Since Tom Brady doesn’t run, he is typically a candidate for double stacks but a stack with Brady, Evans and Rob Gronkowski accounts for 46% of a lineup’s salary. Instead of having to hit perfectly with Tampa Bay’s top pass-catching duo, teams that want to stack the Bucs can lean into a more balanced build across all games with a skinny stack of Brady and just one pass-catcher. Another avenue to securing all of Tampa Bay’s scoring is to include Fournette in a stack. Goedert is the most obvious bring-back option as Philadelphia’s primary target and a player that can lower the average salary of a stack.

Contrarian/Leverage Plays

The play that stands out the most as one to separate from the field is to roster Jalen Hurts. With the Buccaneers projected for over 27 points and the Eagles carrying an implied total of just 18.75, most rosters will favor Tampa Bay but Hurts' rushing ability means that Philadelphia doesn’t need to score a ton of points for Hurts to have a tournament-winning fantasy day.

This isn’t the most likely game to shoot out but there’s a strong argument that the night game could be the lowest-scoring contest on the slate. If the afternoon game hits the under, favoring a Tampa Bay onslaught may prove to be a fantastic strategy. On a relatively weak running back slate, including Miles Sanders and Leonard Fournette in the same lineup could be somewhat unique. Furthermore, adding Breshad Perriman to Brady teams will add a layer of differentiation. In Week 18, Perriman played 62% of snaps and saw six targets. With Cyril Grayson questionable and Tyler Johnson mostly playing in the slot, Perriman could line up for most of the snaps on the outside opposite of Evans

49ers @ Cowboys (-3.0); O/U 51.0

Chalk Plays

QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys ($32)

WR Amari Cooper, Cowboys ($20)

WR CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys ($23)

WR Deebo Samuel, 49ers ($36)

TE George Kittle, 49ers ($25)

As the only game on the slate with an over/under above 50 and a spread below 8.5, this will be the most popular game to stack on both sides. That will bump up the rostered rates of the primary pass-catchers on both teams but will also limit how high those rostered rates get. Expect the wide receivers and tight ends listed above to end up in about 30%–35% of lineups.

Stacking Options

With the relatively low salaries of most players in this game, pairing Dak Prescott with at least two pass-catchers and including Deebo Samuel or George Kittle in the stack is not only viable but should be quite common. The secondary receiver that will be brought along the most will likely be Cedrick Wilson but a fair number of stacks will include Brandon Aiyuk as well. Rosters that stack this way but fade Najee Harris can load up on the premier pass-catchers on the slate.

Jimmy Garoppolo won’t be nearly as popular as the top three quarterbacks on the slate but he is 4for4’s second-best value across all positions. With so much attention on this game, pivoting from Prescott to Garoppolo probably won’t be enough to separate from the field on its own, but it is a fantastic way to add flexibility to any roster.

Contrarian/Leverage Plays

Building lineups around a defensive struggle will be contrarian in and of itself. Dallas is a home favorite but should be used in significantly fewer lineups than the Buccaneers or Chiefs defenses. San Francisco allows the highest adjusted sack rate of any offense on this slate and no team forced more turnovers this season than the Cowboys. Pairing either defense with that team’s primary running back is one way to bet against a shootout. Builds that expect a fair amount of scoring but don’t want a chalky build can roster both running backs or build a mini-correlation with a running back and one pass-catcher.

Steelers @ Chiefs (-12.5); O/U 46.0

Chalk Plays

QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs ($37)

RB Darrel Williams, Chiefs ($17)

WR Tyreek Hill, Chiefs ($24)

TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs ($29)

Chiefs Defense ($16)

RB Najee Harris ($27)

WR Diontae Johnson ($21)

Kansas City has the highest implied point total on the slate so combinations of all of their primary players will be in play. Darrel Williams is the top running back value on the slate while Tyreek Hill’s salary is as low as it’s been all season. Both of those players figure to show up prominently even in lineups that don’t stack this game. Diontae Johnson is the natural bring-back in Chiefs' stacks while Harris has the highest touch projection on the slate. As almost two-touchdown underdogs, Harris may need to score at least once to hit value if the Chiefs game script Pittsburgh away from the run.

Stacking Options

Stacks should and will lean heavily towards the Chiefs side of the ball with Steelers players only being included in full game stacks. This is the worst spot to be contrarian at quarterback as Ben Roethlisberger offers almost nothing in the deep game and Kansas City has one of the best pass rushes in the league. Double-stacking Mahomes and his two primary pass-catchers while fading Williams—who could draw the highest rostered rate on the slate—is a strategy that hasn’t worked much with this offense this year but could pay dividends, especially with Travis Kelce priced so much higher than the other tight ends.

Contrarian/Leverage Plays

DFS players that are looking for unique plays in this game can do so with ancillary pass-catchers. On the Chiefs side, Mecole Hardman will lower the average salary of a stack but is one of the few viable sub-10% plays on the slate after securing 26% of targets in Week 18, albeit with Tyreek Hill sidelined for much of the game. For that reason, Hardman makes more sense in lineups alongside Kelce than paired with Hill. Ray-Ray McLoud has over 20% of the Steelers targets in consecutive games and will offer massive leverage as the bring-back option in Chiefs' stacks instead of Harris or Johnson.

No game is a full fade on such a short slate but this contest has the makings of a low-scoring affair. Pittsburgh’s slow tempo typically drags down other teams and only five of their games have hit the over this year. Coupled with the Chiefs stout defense, it’s reasonable that Kansas City covers the spread but does so in a manner that allows the first two games of the day to dominate fantasy scoring. Playing just the Chiefs' defense or even having no players from this game is a lineup strategy worth considering.

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