3 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in the Wild Card Round
When I was in second grade, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. There was no convincing me otherwise.
I wanted to be a crew chief in NASCAR. The crew chief is basically the head coach of each car, sitting up on a big tool box and getting glory for a victory without having to pee your pants because you're stuck in a car for four hours. I figured this would allow me to get the excitement of one of my favorite sports and allot me enough income to have a bowling alley alongside the pool in my basement.
Fast forward to now, and there ain't no bowling alley underneath me. I'm hoping to just find the tool box instead of sitting on it, and the only pool is the leaky washing machine that costs two dollars per load.
This isn't a complaint by any means. I get to chill here and talk to you all each week about fantasy football, and it's hard to get much better than that. It's just that the eight-year-old version of me probably didn't have this route in the gameplan.
Reality is sometimes different than what older versions of us would want it to be. That doesn't mean that reality is disappointing; it just means we have to shift expectations based on how circumstances sit at that specific time.
We're going to run into this issue during the wild card round for daily fantasy football. For the entire regular season, we've grown used to having 11 to 15 games on the main slate, giving us our pick of the litter when it comes to our rosters. We had the luxury of selecting players who had great workloads on high-powered teams who were also in plus matchups. In the playoffs, we still get the benefit of the high-powered offenses, but the defenses are better, and some of our staple workhorses are on their couches.
But as with life, this doesn't mean that it's all doom and gloom. When you look at this weekend's slate, there are some super fun games on the schedule, and they come with exciting ways to attack them. It's just different from what we had before.
As such, we're going to dissect the best matchups on the board for this week from a DFS perspective while keeping in mind that our pickings are a bit slimmer than usual. In order to identify these matchups, we'll be leaning on numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP), our schedule-adjusted metric that tracks the efficiency of both teams and players. NEP measures the expected points added or subtracted on each play of the season, quantifying the massive difference between a three-yard completion on 3rd and 2 and a three-yard completion on 3rd and 4.
For this weekend, FanDuel is offering up three separate slates with the "main" slates being two-game offerings on both Saturday and Sunday. There are also contests that cover both days. We'll be touching on all three of those offerings within the piece, starting with the games on the Saturday-only slate.
It may not be what we're used to, but this wild card slate still has plenty to offer. Which matchups should we be looking to exploit in the opening round of the playoffs? Let's check it out.