The NFL regular season represents lush rolling hills of fantasy foliage. There are ups and downs, with frothy streams of seasonal and daily options cascading across your computer screen.
There are times when you are graced by showers of daily fantasy cash winnings or head-to-head season-long triumphs, and others when you get tangled in a prickly bush of fantasy torment.
Now, with year-long fantasy seasons over and the sun having set on the NFL regular season, the fantasy options dry up. No longer do you have lavish fantasy hillsides of 12- to 15-game DFS slates. Now we are stuck with just four games for the entire week.
This changes how you want to approach building your daily rosters. These short slates offer fewer options, meaning there will be substantially more overlap in usage rates for certain players. And the need for a contrarian pick or two in your lineup becomes more critical if you want to bank a big tournament win.
Speaking of tournaments, though we like to play some 50/50 and double-up contests (when, essentially, half the field doubles their money) during the regular season to supplement our bankroll for big-money tournaments, those low-yield events fall off the radar.
You can find enough safe players to use when you have a player pool that extends across a dozen or more games, but when there are just four, salary restrictions are going to require the type of wild-card choice that runs counter to 50/50 strategy. So we’re ditching the 50/50s and playing exclusively in tournaments.
This weekend features a couple of options we want to make sure and incorporate in various rosters. We want some heavy investments in the team with the highest Vegas betting line of the week, playing at home, with an adequate pass offense against the NFC playoff team with the worst pass defense. Hence, the best chance for a blowout.
We accomplish this at Yahoo by teaming QB Mitchell Trubisky with pass-catching RB Tarik Cohen. We need a contrarian player, so instead of WR Allen Robinson we go with Taylor Gabriel, who disappeared after a couple of big games early in the season. We also tack on the Bears’ defense.
To counter this, since the Eagles would be playing catch-up in our ideal scenario, we add passing-game options Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz. We pad out the roster with Marlon Mack and Tyler Lockett, neither of whom should be heavily owned. This roster also fades what will be hugely popular RB choices in Ezekiel Elliott and Chris Carson.
Speaking of those two, we do want some exposure. So we build a DraftKings option starting with that RB pair. We also want a piece of the Colts-Texans, so we add QB Andrew Luck, WR T.Y. Hilton, tight end Eric Ebron. On the other side, we use Keke Coutee and Lamar Miller. We throw in Cole Beasley then use the cheapest defense, which happens to be the Colts.
And voila. Hopefully with one of these rosters we have found an oasis in this postseason fantasy desert.