Draftkings Reignmaker Core Strategy: Wildcard Weekend

Jan 14, 2023
Draftkings Reignmaker Core Strategy: Wildcard Weekend

The 2022 regular season of the NFL is behind us, but there are still NFL football games this weekend that will result in stats we can use to play this wild NFT-based fantasy game called Reignmakers Football. Oh, and also playoff football for fans of the game. It's an especially exciting weekend for fans of the Chiefs, Eagles, Bills, 49ers, Bengals, Vikings, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Chargers, Cowboys, Ravens, Giants, Dolphins, and Seahawks teams still in the hunt! For everyone else, you can get an early jump on the 2023 free agent and draft classes. Also, you can check your team's unrestricted free agents, cap space, coaching staff hirings and firings, front office drama, and whether the owner is going to buy a soccer team or get in some sort of legal trouble.

Every week, Matt Price and I come through with strategy articles for Reginmaker Football contests. Well, almost every week; last week, Matt and I took a hiatus in light of Damar Hamlin's on-field medical emergency. Given the outcome was still unknown early in the week, it didn't feel right to treat the situation as just a normal week. Hamlin's continued recovery is an incredibly encouraging outcome, and we're back for another week of contest strategy.

More DraftKings Reignmaker Content!

For the playoffs, 6 players are designated as "SuperStars," and only one SuperStar card is allowed in each contest lineup:

Playoff SuperStar Changes
Playoff SuperStars Removed
QB Josh Allen QB Lamar Jackson
QB Patrick Mahomes QB Joe Burrow
QB Justin Herbert RB Saquon Barkley
QB Jalen Hurts RB Derrick Henry
RB Austin Ekeler RB Nick Chubb
RB Christian McCaffrey WR Tyreek Hill
WR Justin Jefferson WR Davante Adams
WR Cooper Kupp

Core SuperStar Strategy

Through the regular season, the Core Fiat Frenzy contests have stuck to a main slate of games, mostly including all of the Sunday daytime games, but for Christmas week the main slate consisted of all of the Saturday daytime games.

For the playoffs, there are two separate Core Fiat Frenzy contests: one that includes the LAC@JAX and SEA@SF Saturday games, and another that includes the MIA@BUF, BAL@CIN, and NYG@MIN Sunday games.

For the Saturday Fiat Frenzy slate, the only SuperStars are Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler. Between the two, McCaffrey has the easier matchup against a Seahawks defense that ranked 28th in aFPA to RBs in the regular season. That being said, Ekeler is 4for4's top-ranked RB for Wildcard Weekend, just ahead of McCaffrey, and either is in play for this slate. I lean toward McCaffrey ultimately, given San Francisco's 26.5 projected team point total and 10-point spread favor.

For Sunday's Fiat Frenzy, Josh Allen and Justin Jefferson are the SuperStar options. Both are 4for4's top-projected options at their position, but the projection drop-off from Josh Allen to 2nd-ranked Joe Burrow is far more significant than what separates Justin Jefferson from the slate's #2 projected WR option Keenan Allen. Josh Allen is the best SuperStar option here.

Wildcard Weekend Tournament Strategy

RMF Classic - CORE - $30K Fiat Frenzy [$5K to 1st] - Saturday Slate

We've got two separate Fiat Frenzy contests this week, with $30K in prizes for each contest instead of the usual $50K, but the usual $5K payout for 1st place. Let's look at the Saturday Fiat Frenzy first, which includes the SEA@SF game at 4:30 pm EST and the LAC@JAX game at 8:15 pm EST. The payout structure awards $5,000 to first place and payouts down to $5 for 3,041st place, and as of Friday, there are 3,188 entries in the Saturday contest.

Top Options at Each Position

QB: Justin Herbert, LAC

Herbert faces the most welcoming matchup on the Saturday slate with a matchup against a Jaguars defense that allowed the 6th-highest aFPA to QBs during the regular season. Herbert didn't exactly break the scoreboard when the Chargers hosted the Jaguars in Week 3, finishing as the QB22 for the week with 297 passing yards, one touchdown, and an interception. He was also without the services of Keenan Allen at the time, and the Chargers' offense has improved significantly with Allen's return to full health. Herbert has 4for4's highest projection of any QB on the Saturday slate, favored by 2.5 points on the road in the game with the highest projected point total. Both teams project for over 21 points, making this game a good one to focus on.

RB: Christian McCaffrey, SF

McCaffrey is actually the 2nd-highest projected RB on the slate at 4for4 behind Austin Ekeler, but the 49ers are 10-point favorites at home with a projected team point total of 26.5. McCaffrey has scored 117.1 PPR points over the last 5 games to Ekeler's 104.4 points, facing the Seahawks who present a run-funnel defense, ranking 6th in WR aFPA but 28th in RB aFPA. The 49ers run the ball on a larger percentage of plays than all but 4 other teams, and the same remains true when they enter the opponent's red zone, where McCaffrey's earned 38 rushing attempts along with 13 targets.

WR: Keenan Allen, LAC

As mentioned above, Allen's presence is truly the engine of the Chargers' passing offense, and you only have to look at their Week 18 game against the Broncos to see Allen's potential upside. He had 8 receptions on 11 targets for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns, finishing as the WR1 for the week. Allen is projected as Saturday's WR1 at 4for4, and the same favorable game script that applies to Justin Herbert applies to Allen, in a game projected for 46.5 total points.

WR/TE: Christian Kirk, JAX

We've come a long way from the preseason frequent questioning of Jacksonville's free-agent sigining of Christian Kirk. He's not only the Jaguars' WR1, but you may not have realized he's a PPR WR1 as well, with his regular-season 241.9 fantasy points ranking 12th-most among WRs. Kirk's averaging nearly 8 targets per game, a 23.2% market share of team targets, and his 22 red zone targets are tied with Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, and Amon-Ra St. Brown for 7th-most in the league. The Jaguars play at the 12th-fastest pace and have the 6th-highest passing EPA per play, and Kirk gives you more access to a game with the highest projected point total.

FLEX: Travis Etienne, JAX

Here's even more access to Saturday's most inviting game environment! When you have only two games to choose from in a large-field tournament, high projected game totals are always a good foundation to work from. Etienne projects as the RB3 for the week with 13.8 points, against a Chargers defense ranked lower in RB aFPA (16th) than WR aFPA (10th). Not exactly run-funnel territory, but worth noting. Etienne is adding an average of about 4 PPR fantasy points per game from his work as a receiver, but it's ultimately his rushing totals that make him interesting here. He had the 12-most carries in the league in the regular season, the 5th-most yards per carry among RBs with at least 100 attempts, the 6h-most red zone carries, on a Jaguars team that ranked 13th in explosive rush percentage. Giddy-up.

RMF Classic - CORE - $30K Fiat Frenzy [$5K to 1st] - Sunday Slate

Shifting focus now to the Sunday Fiat Frenzy contest, we've got a slightly larger player pool to choose from. The Sunday slate includes the MIA@BUF game at 1:00pm EST, the NYG@MIN game at 4:30pm EST, and the BAL@CIN game at 8:15pm EST. The payout structure awards $5,000 to first place and payouts down to $5 for 3,041st place, and as of Friday there are 3,563 entries in the Sunday contest.

Top Options at Each Position

QB: Josh Allen, BUF

Allen was a fairly easy choice as the SuperStar du jour for the Sunday slate. 4for4's #1-ranked QB for the week faces a Miami defense that ranks 29th in QB aFPA, and they've allowed opposing QBs to rush for 525 yards, 2nd-most behind the Detroit Lions. Not that 2022 395.5-point-scoring Allen needs a welcoming defense to throw down, but he did throw for a combined 704 yards and 6 TDs in two regular-season games against this Miami pass defense. The Bills pass on the 7th-highest percentage of offensive plays, and at 46 projected points, their home matchup as 9-point favorites against the Dolphins adds another layer of deliciousness. The only risk here is of the game getting out of hand quickly in Buffalo's favor.

RB: Saquon Barkley, NYG

Barkley is finally available as a non-superstar option, and he gets a easy matchup to boot. Minnesota's 24.9 aFPA to RBs is the 8th-highest figure, and they've also allowed the 8th-most receiving yards to RBs. Barkley can certainly handle his targets, and in Week 16 against the Vikings he garnered 10 of them, catching 8 for 49 yards. His receiving stats wwere icing on the cake, the cake being his 84 rushing yards and a TD that led to his RB2 finish for the week. The Giants matchup with the Vikings projects for 48 points, the highest total of the weekend, with the Giants as slight road dogs as -3. A high-scoring close matchup is just the right game environment for Barkley to hit.

WR: Stefon Diggs, BUF

Diggs managed to avoid SuperStar status all season with Josh Allen protecting his status, and he makes the second part of a stack set to pace the field. He's earned a 34.2% market share of Bills targets, which is unsurprising given his 19.8 PPR points per game. Buffalo EPA per play ranks 2nd in the NFL behind the Chiefs, and Diggs' efficiency is a big part of that. Diggs' 7 red zone TDs are also 2nd in the NFL, and he's a good bet to account for a healthy portion of Buffalo's 27.5 projected team total.

WR/TE: Ja'Marr Chase, CIN

Ja'Marr Chase

was the PPR WR11 at the conclusion of the regular season, a remarkable feat when you consider that he only played in 12 games. Every WR above him played in a minimum of 16 games. Here are Chase's target totals over his final 4 regular-season games played in 2022: 15, 13, 11, and 13. Baltimore isn't a pushover when defending WRs, but their 14th-ranked WR aFPA isn't prohibitive either. If you believe in a Bengals run in the 2022/2023 playoffs, Chase is bound to play a big part of the outcome, and it should start this week.

FLEX: Joe Mixon, CIN

Mixon is another arrow in the quiver that helps us access this Ravens at Bengals game, in which Cincinnati is a 5.5-point favorite and is being assigned 24.75 points out of a 44-point projected total score. With Lamar Jackson unable to suit up, it's hard to see the Ravens being able to keep pace with the Bengals offensively, and the 2nd half of this game could very well feature more rushing attempts than the Bengals' 4th-ranked passing percentage would indicate. Mixon's strong involvement in the passing game gives him a high floor in this game, with the Ravens allowing the 7th-most RB receiving yards, and his 50 red zone touches (attempts and receptions combined) offer a high ceiling as well.

Latest Articles
Most Popular