Making a Cocktail From the Wild Card DFS Sunday Slate

by Chase Vernon · Strategy
jalen-hurts-fantasy-football

Building the Saturday slate was painful. It reminded me of a bar guest telling me, “I like everything” when asking what spirit they prefer. At first, you feel like you can do anything your heart desires, only to find out they only like vodka when you grab a bottle. Well, the cocktail I’m going to build for the Wild Card DFS Sunday slate will be a little more fun. 

By the way, when it comes to making money on a small slate, there is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping it simple, just like there is nothing wrong with an Old Fashioned. However, the weather in Buffalo somewhat killed my excitement in terms of producing a high-scoring DFS lineup. Regardless, a win is a win. 

As for Sunday, all three games could be high scoring which means we will have some excitement. And what is more fun and satisfying than a Corpse Reviver No. 2?

The Corpse Reviver No. 2

Spreading the Base Out

Unlike the Old Fashioned mention in the Saturday slate, the starting point to the Corpse Reviver No. 2 makes up just 25-percent of the cocktail prior to mixing. We saw the base of our lineup for the Saturday slate absorb 57.8-percent of the salary. Our base for the DFS Wild Card cocktail on Sunday will range from 21-percent of our salary to 39.8-percent.

Jalen Hurts $6,100

Dallas Goedert $4,400

Dak Prescott $6,100

Amari Cooper $5,900

Deebo Samuel $7,900

Just like a London Dry Gin, there is nothing exciting about going with Jalen Hurts or Dak Prescott. Their ownership will likely be aligned with Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. However, the base sets us up for many more magical things to happen inside the stack. 

By choosing to go with Hurts in the Bucs-Eagles game, the pricing opens up more possibilities for players at higher prices on the slate. Meanwhile, stacking Hurts on a skinny stack could allow a consolidation of points in what could be a shootout. When stacking Brady, multiple players could produce at a high level. Trying to guess the variation will typically leave you out more often than it will guide you to success. What makes me think Brady won’t hyper-target one player?

I believe there’s a chance he might. However, Rob Gronkowski will see significant chalk, and creating a variation for him will be difficult in bigger tournaments. Leonard Fournette could see limited snaps coming off IR. Darius Slay has been one of the better corners on the season and will likely line up across from Mike Evans, limiting his upside. Tyler Johnson is one of my favorite plays as the Eagles are susceptible to the slot, but we will talk about him in the next section. 

Meanwhile, if you’re playing this game, the belief must be it is competitive. Unlike the regular season, the Bucs won’t continue to put pressure on a depleted offense if they are up by a significant amount. If they do, they are asking to get critical players injured, which has recently affected their three remaining star players on offense, aside from Brady. So if this game is competitive and high scoring, why not go with the offense with limited options for volume?

Dallas Goedert averages 0.58 (No.2) Fantasy Points per Route Run and 2.17 (No.3) Fantasy Points per Target. Although the Bucs rank No. 17 against opposing tight ends on DraftKings, they haven’t played a decent tight end who lines up as such all year. 

The best tight ends they faced who lineup inline was Dawson Knox (scored 19 points) and Jack Doyle (20.1). If you want to include Hunter Henry (13.2), Tyler Higbee (15), or Zach Ertz (12.9), be my guest. Goedert is going to trump all of those scores this week. 

Onto the Dak Prescott stack, I am firmly on the side with Amari Cooper, but I won’t fade CeeDee Lamb against this terrible 49ers secondary. Since moving Lamb to the outside, he hasn’t been able to earn targets. Lamb hasn’t been able to do anything with the ones he has garnered. Over the past three games, Cooper has doubled his targets, and although they haven’t been accurate, he has still turned in two touchdowns, with double-digit fantasy points in each contest. 

Look for Cooper’s dominance to continue against Ambry Thomas, who allowed two touchdowns in Week 18. 

Balancing the Corpse Reviver Cocktail and the Wild Card DFS Sunday Slate 

Just like with the Wild Card Saturday slate for DFS, this cocktail is made with a multitude of variations, pending your preference. Cocchi Americano or Lillet Blanc? Cointreau or Grand Marnier? At least you don’t have many choices for lemon juice. However, one thing stays the same: equal parts for all three; four, including the gin.

The routes you decide to go should have more influence on your lineup than the base itself. The original single stack was created to keep you competitive; the balancing agents will set the recipe apart. However, we are in the playoffs with three heavily stacked, offensive juggernauts. Getting cute and going with multiple flyers will not work here as it worked for the Old Fashioned. Fire off on those studs and leave enough salary to fill with players who will see multiple opportunities.

Najee Harris $6,600

Damien Williams $5,200

Diontae Johnson $6,700

Tyreek Hill 7,300

CeeDee Lamb$6,300

George Kittle 5,800

Travis Kelce $6,700

Leonard Fournette $5,600

Brandon Aiyuk $5,200

DeVonta Smith $5,400

Rob Gronkowski $6,400

Clyde Edwards-Helaire $5,500

The key to the Corpse Reviver No. 2 standing the test of time is the ability for the recipe to improve without changing the dynamics. The flavors play well together, and the depth of the cocktail has only gotten better. Finding those correlating flavors is just as crucial for the Wild Card DFS Sunday Slate as it is for the cocktail. 

I need to find a runback for my skinny stack, then find the players who compliment in other matchups. Once again, the stack is intended to find consolidated production within a high-scoring game. Therefore, the other players picked should correlate in hopes of maximizing the consolidated output in the other games as well. 

Ben Roethlisberger has a weird thing happen in the playoffs when losing. He gets in the zone and chucks the ball 100 times for limited outputs. Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris should be the primary beneficiaries as they dink and dunk their way to three touchdowns. The Chiefs allow a 6.32 (No.26) DOCE Score to pass-catching running backs, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Harris finish this game north of seven receptions and 60 receiving yards.

Of course, if the Steelers are down, the Chiefs have to be up. Unlike the Bucs, the Chiefs aren’t going to let off the gas, but who’s to say the running backs can’t be productive as well? When Latavius Murray puts up 150 and a touchdown on the rushing, you know something is wrong. Over the past nine games, the Steelers have now allowed 21.9 points per game to running backs on the ground.

As for the other big-name tickets, taking a shot on a select few such as George Kittle and Tyreek Hill are a must. However, the volatility of each one of these players is somewhat concerning. Hill is dealing with an injury, Kittle can give you a doughnut just as easily as he could give you 20, and we don’t know if the Buccaneers will work Leonard Fournette back into the lineup. Of course, you want them in a few of your lineups, but I would be cautious trying to get them in each one. 

Absinthe Rinse

Quez Watkins $3,800

Tyler Johnson $4,000

Derrick Gore $4,000

The Wild Card games seem like a week where some of these players who have been on the cusp of breaking out could actually break the mold for DFS on Sunday. Of course, it doesn’t mean you should load up on these players, but if it improves the flavor, a rinse could be ideal.

Tyler Johnson and Quez Watkins both have favorable matchups. Both are seeing the snaps but get used differently. Regardless, a touchdown for either one of these players could return on the investment. 

As for Derrick Gore, both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams will be playing hurt. If the Chiefs get up by a couple scores, we could see Gore take the game home. Anytime he’s seen a solid workload, he’s outperformed his cost.