Wild Card Weekend DraftKings Value Plays
This is going to be a weird weekend. Playing daily fantasy football during the playoffs is just a step above “Primetime” leagues with just a few games or playing NBA on a night with just a handful of contests.
Here’s my pessimistic and probably wildly unpopular view on playoff daily fantasy: I don’t think it’s beatable. Or, at the very least, I think there are only a handful of people in the world who could be profitable long-term. There are just so few games that variance outweighs the skill to such a degree that I think it’s improbable many players can overcome the rake.
Now, that of course all changes if you can find overlay. Maybe players will think the season is over, or have the same views as me, and leave the sites to leave leagues empty. Who knows?
Otherwise, I think we’re all in –EV territory here. So will I still play? Uh, yeah, probably, because I’m a compulsive fantasy footballer (sounds way better than compulsive gambler or, even worse, an addict).
BUT, I won’t be playing very much money—not near what I did during the regular season—unless there’s overlay. And the money that I put in will be considered for entertainment purposes only.
One of the things I think people forget about using money to play fantasy sports is that it’s fun. Gambling is fun. Don’t let your church group tell you otherwise. Even God is a huge blackjack player. Counts cards and everything. Big-time gambler and he basically has infinite expected value because, you know, omniscience.
So put down your hard-earned money this week, but do so knowing that it’s less of an investment and more just for entertainment. If you’re okay with that—if you’re fine knowing your expectation on each dollar thrown in might be 90 cents instead of $1.05—then you’re good to go.
Wild Card Weekend DraftKings Values
QB Nick Foles vs. NO $9000
If you look at the DraftKings Value Report, you’ll see that there isn’t too much deviation in the quarterback values. Since that’s the case, I’m inclined to look at the Vegas lines and search for a high-scoring game that’s projected to be close. I want a quarterback with upside who will be throwing it all day long.
No game is projected to be within even five points of the New Orleans-Philly matchup. Plus, the Eagles are favored by only a field goal at home, meaning Vegas considers the two teams even. You have to watch the weather, but assuming there isn’t excessive wind or a blizzard, I love Nick Foles and his unbelievable consistency.
RB Donald Brown vs. KC $5100
READ: Jamaal Charles is an outstanding value and almost a must-play this week. In my opinion, you need either Charles or Shady McCoy in every lineup.
I like Brown as a cheaper back because the Chiefs’ run defense isn’t good at all—ranked 25th in the 4for4 Schedule-Adjusted Defense Rankings—but most people will probably fade Brown. The Colts are actually the favorites to take down Kansas City, so Brown is a sneaky candidate to rack up carries and be efficient with them.
Normally, you wouldn’t want Brown and Charles in the same lineup in a tournament. I think you can get away with something like that this week because of the lack of players and the fact that it’s probably a contrarian pairing.
WR T.Y. Hilton vs. KC $6100
Maybe I’m overly bullish on the Colts’ offense this week, but at $6100, Hilton is the sixth-priciest receiver in a Wild Card round that’s extremely thin at the position. Hilton has 24 catches and 34 targets in the past three games alone. You can stack him with Andrew Luck if you’d like to go that direction. The duo should be great playing indoors at home.
TE Jimmy Graham @PHI $7500
Graham is usually tough to afford on DraftKings, but with a lack of legitimate tight end options and a juicy matchup with an Eagles team that’s struggled versus tight ends, Graham is perhaps the top play this week. I think he’s worth the cash in GPPs, especially.