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DraftKings Fantasy Football Tournament Picks: NFL Wild Card 2023 Top High-Upside DFS Contrarian Targets

Geoff Ulrich shares his top high-upside targets, stacks and contrarian options for this week’s main fantasy football slate on DraftKings.

Welcome to the weekly tournament plays article for this week’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate. I’m going to focus purely on upside plays, stacks and strategies to help tackle the largest tournaments on the slate. GPPs are not won by using all of the most popular players on the slate, and finding some relatively lower-owned diamonds in the rough will be the goal of this article.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $400K Screen Pass [$100K to 1st] (Sat-Mon)

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (Sat)

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: $2.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semifinal Entry] (Sun)


Game Stack — Full Slate: Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars

Justin Herbert ($6,600) — Keenan Allen ($7,000) — Travis Etienne Jr. ($6,300)

The Chargers face off against a Jaguars team who should push a ton of action toward the pass this week. Jacksonville allowed just 4.2 yards per rush against this year — the seventh-best mark in the league — and was a top 10 team in defensive DVOA standards against the rush as well. Against the pass was a different story, however, as they finished with the third-worst DVOA mark in that area and allowed the sixth-most passing yards against.

That makes this a great spot for Herbert and Allen to go off for a big game, a duo who combined for 44 receptions on 54 targets over the Chargers' last five starts. Herbert may have ended the season with some poor fantasy efforts but most of it stemmed from poor game environments and not bad play. Los Angeles was able to run the ball and had little resistance from either the Colts’ or Rams' offenses, but did drop Herbert back 37 times in Week 18 when down to the Broncos. Given the concerns forming with their own defensive line (Joey Bosa is currently questionable and not 100%), the Chargers will likely have to rely on the arm of Herbert again if they are going to overcome what has been a potent Jaguars offense down the stretch.

As for Allen, his prospects this week were already looking good considering the Jaguars’ pass defense but took another step up when Mike Williams got injured in the season finale. Williams looks like he avoided major injury, but still hasn’t practiced this week and would be limited even if he does suit up. Allen’s in a great spot to push for 10+ targets again against a Jacksonville team that gave up the seventh-most receptions and sixth-most TDs to opposing slot receivers this year.

On the flip side, any big Herbert-Allen performance will almost certainly be fueled by some big plays from Travis Etienne Jr. The Jaguars running back was stuffed last week but led the NFL this season in total rush yards over expected this season. Los Angeles has been atrocious against the rush, allowing 5.4 yards per carry (the worst mark in the league) and just ceded a 15-103-TD game to Latavius Murray, who wasn’t even on an NFL roster to begin the season. Etienne tied for first this season among all RBs with four runs of 40 yards or more.

Both defenses have obvious flaws and there are stout offensive players who can capitalize on both sides. This game could produce some of the biggest fantasy outputs of the weekend and makes for a perfect one to stack both on Saturday’s two-game slate and for full-slate lineups as well.


Sunday Slate — Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins ($7,900)

There’s no doubt that Allen will be a very popular play this week but it’s for good reason. The Dolphins are in shambles right now and will likely be starting third-stringer Skylar Thompson ($4,800) at quarterback. If Miami can’t move the ball, the field position and possession time for Allen is going to be off the charts. The Dolphins also set up as a classic funnel to the pass defense with the fourth-rated rush defense in terms of DVOA (via Football Outsiders) but the 25th-rated pass defense. Miami allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks while also ranking out as the eighth-worst defense in opponent red zone efficiency this year.

Miami allowed Allen to have his way with them the last time these two teams faced off, with the Bills quarterback notching four TDs — all within the 20-yard line of Miami. Blowout concerns in the playoffs aren’t really worth worrying about either. Buffalo may pull Allen if the score gets out of hand but that would be a very late-game move and would likely involve Buffalo already having scored 35+ points. Allen’s in a great spot to push for the highest scorer of the weekend and a player you should not be fearful of paying up for this week.

Running Back

Sunday Slate — Jeff Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills ($5,400)

The Dolphins don’t have much of a chance in this game if they decide to attack the Bills through the air. Thompson has averaged just 4.92 yards per attempt over the last two weeks and doesn’t have the big play capability to hurt an elite Bills secondary. Where they have had success against the Bills in the past, however, is on the ground. Miami’s RBs averaged nearly 8.0 yards per carry against Buffalo in Week 15 and that will likely be a spot they try to attack again in an effort to shelter their weakness at quarterback.

With Raheem Mostert looking seriously doubtful (broken thumb) for this week, the backfield may belong to Jeff Wilson Jr. who rushed for 72 yards on 16 carries last week against a solid Jets defensive line. Miami isn’t in a scenario this week to simply give up on the run if they get behind early, so Wilson could get carries late into this game. It’s a play that comes with obvious risk but also has underrated upside given the injury situation. Look to Wilson as a solid contrarian play that works well with any Josh Allen ($7,900) stack.

Wide Receiver

Sunday Slate — Richie James Jr, New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings ($3,900)

The Vikings allowed the second-most fantasy points and most yards and receptions to opposing wide receivers this year. That makes this yet another potential breakout spot for Richie James Jr., who was a near-every-down player for the Giants down the stretch and averaged nine targets over his last two games.

James’ role in the slot should be crucial this week just given that the Vikings' coverage is still at least somewhat decent on the outside with Patrick Peterson. James didn’t score in the first game against Minnesota but did see at least one red zone target in six of his last seven games of the year. Considering the potentcy of the Vikings' offense, we will likely see Daniel Jones forced to drop back 40+ times this week which would put James in a spot to potentially break out. The name may not be sexy, but James has the kind of slate-breaking upside we usually see from WRs priced over $6,000 and is one of the best values to target on this slate.

Tight End:

Saturday Slate — Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars ($3,800)

As mentioned above, this game sets up as a potentially pass-heavy week for the Chargers' offense. The Jaguars are solid against the run, but certainly have had coverage issues this year and have been beaten for some big games by opposing TEs. Even last week, they allowed seven catches to the Titans’ TE crew, which averaged 11.1 yards per catch between them. Everett’s 16 red zone targets this year tie for the team lead and his quarterback has also thrown a TD pass to a TE three times over the last two games. Using him as part of a Chargers’ heavy stack, or just a one-off play on the full slate is more than reasonable this week.

Full Slate — Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,300)

The Buccaneers have allowed the fifth-most TD receptions to the TE position this year. Tampa Bay hasn’t just been allowing receptions and TDs to elite tight ends either as their final five games of the year saw them yield 30+ yards and a TD in a game to such luminaries as Tommy Tremble, Mitchell Wilcox and MyCole Pruitt. Schultz plays a far bigger role for Dallas than any of those aforementioned players and also saw nine targets in the Cowboys' Week 1 matchup against Tampa when he posted 7 receptions for 62 yards. The Cowboys TE should be in a great spot to get some red zone targets this week considering the Bucs' defensive line is still tough against the run. He makes for a solid upside and nice anytime TD bet on the DraftKings Sportsbook as well.

Defense/Special Teams

Full Slate — Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($3,400)

The Cowboys should be under-owned on the main slate this week given they’ll be facing the best playoff quarterback of all time. Tom Brady has not had a good season by any standard, however, and will be facing a Cowboys defense that ranked third in sacks per game and pressure rate this year. Dallas averaged a stout 10.0 DKFP on the road this season and will be facing a Tampa Bay offense that ranked just 22nd in red zone efficiency. Look for Dallas to hold Tampa under 20 points and potentially grab an INT or two late in the game. It’s a great spot to roster a low-sentiment DST that is coming off a meaningless Week 18 loss.

Sunday Slate — Baltimore Ravens ($2,500) at Cincinnati Bengals

If you’re looking for a solid low-owned play this Sunday there’s no harm in taking the Ravens in this divisional match-up. Baltimore’s defensive line is still one of the best in the league and allowed just 3.9 yards per carry this season while also ranking ninth in sack rate. If the Bengals are to be beaten it will almost certainly be due to them being dominated in the trenches, much like they were against the Browns in Week 8 (which was their last loss) — a game in which they allowed Joe Burrow ($6,900) to get sacked five times. The Ravens DST is a high-risk play but if the Bengals' highly-owned offensive players bust, lineups using the cheap Ravens DST will be in a great spot to profit.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $400K Screen Pass [$100K to 1st] (Sat-Mon)

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (Sat)

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: $2.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semifinal Entry] (Sun)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.