This article originally appeared on Lucky Trader: DraftKings Diary | Buys, Sells, and What to Look for on DraftKings Reignmakers for Wild Card Weekend
Each week in the DraftKings Diary, Lucky Trader’s Jason Rouslin will walk through his buys, sells and team lookahead to give you insights from an experienced DraftKings Reignmakers player.
Check out Jason’s full portfolio with the Lucky Trader Reignmakers Portfolio Tool.
It’s here! The best time of the year, at least for football fans! Going into the week DraftKings made a few massive changes, the most important being an update to the Superstar status of a group of players. We’ll cover that first before going over a quick slate review from last week and then a deep dive into the strategy I’ll be using for the first week of the playoffs.
Entering the playoffs, all of the following players had their Superstar status removed: Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb, Derrick Henry, Tyreek Hill and Cooper Kupp.
It leaves just six players with Superstar status remaining and certainly opens up the number of lineups that can be created on any given slate. Now that we’ve covered that significant change, let’s dive into how I aim to take advantage of that this week.
Week 18 Diary
Interested in seeing what makes up the 1,500+ NFT card collection? Check it out here!
Week 18 Top Lineup Strategy/Tier & Contest
Contest: RARE | Fiat Frenzy, Main Slate
- QB: Russell Wilson
- RB: Nick Chubb
- WR: Ja’Marr Chase
- WR: Jerry Jeudy
- Flex: Courtland Sutton
Every year the final week of the season is hard to predict, as motivation for teams is often unknown. With that in mind, I set up my portfolio to take advantage of some players I figured would get points, regardless of the team’s motivation.
While it helped yield a solid return for the slate, I still couldn’t find a winning combination. In terms of the best lineup, I decided to try and take advantage of a relatively weak Chargers secondary and used a Denver stack to climb up into the top 30 of the Fiat Frenzy RARE contest. Also, Desmond Ridder ended up paying solid dividends on the slate, as his CORE cards were going for around $2.50 when the slate locked. He provided almost 20 fantasy points, a huge boost on the way to a cashing position.
Overall the slate yielded just shy of $1,500 for a total return of around seven percent for the week. The playoffs will have to provide a little more return if I want to break even on the year.
Week 18 Buys & Sells
Once Miami got out to a lead, and Buffalo was in a good position to win versus New England, I decided to scoop up some Tua Tagovailoa cards in the hope he’d return for the playoffs. Those hopes manifested into a solid return before Wednesday’s announcement that told us Tua would not be available for the Wild Card matchup, sending his cards back down to their lows. Sometimes these gambles pay off nicely, and sometimes they don’t.
A couple of other purchases included some Desmond Ridder cards for the week, as well as the Buffalo running backs Devin Singletary and James Cook and Kansas City Wide Receiver, Mecole Hardman.
Join the DraftKings Discord here for updates on upcoming, live and past drops.
Connect with the Reignmakers Football conversation on Twitter.
Wild Card Weekend Lookahead
This weekend has four notable Reignmakers slates:
- Slate #1: Two-game Saturday Slate
- Slate #2: Deep Roster
- Slate #3: Main Slate Sunday (3 Games)
- Slate #4: Tampa Bay vs. Dallas
Wild Card Weekend Targets & Strategy
The playoffs start with an NFC West matchup when Seattle and San Francisco face off for the third time this season.
For the 49ers, Christian McCaffrey has undoubtedly been the difference maker for the offense, as the team is 10-1 since he joined. Deebo Samuel also got his feet wet last week after returning from injury and should be a bigger part of the offense during this playoff run. It may hurt the production of George Kittle a bit. However, I’m still very comfortable owning multiple shares of his cards going forward, especially with Deep Roster contests still being offered.
Brandon Aiyuk is one that I’m not in a rush to add any more of his cards, owning a few RARE and plenty of CORE, but I would keep an eye on Jauan Jennings. If SF can make a Super Bowl run, he could end up as a dark horse for that game, where you’ll need to build unique lineups.
The defense has also been spectacular during that 11-game stretch, allowing more than 20 points just once in Week 17 to Las Vegas. Playing a D/ST on a main lineup is not typically optimal, but given this is only a two-game slate, it’ll undoubtedly help build a unique lineup. Also, if you want to try and double down on a good performance, you can pair them up in the Deep Roster Format, one at D/ST and one in the flex position.
On the other sideline, expect Geno Smith to have his hands full from the opening snap. To me, there are only three guys in play outside of Smith on this team, and the order in which I’ll be playing them, all things being equal, is Tyler Lockett, Kenneth Walker and DK Metcalf.
We’re in for a fun game on Saturday night. Both teams have a fantastic core set of young and talented players. I suspect we’ll see these two teams develop a bit of a cross-country rivalry over the next 5-10 years, especially if Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence continue progressing as they have in the first few years.
Both teams are strong at the other skill positions on offense and on the defensive side of the ball. Jacksonville’s defense has been getting better as the season has gone along and is really playing well right now, led by rookie Travon Walker, whereas San Diego is just getting healthy, after star pass rusher Joey Bosa returned to the lineup just two weeks ago.
Travis Etienne has shown big play ability, and on top of that, is featured in the passing game quite a bit. His cards are also the cheapest of the four starting running backs on the slate. So if a lineup needs a running back from this slate, I have no issues adding more of his editions and would get a nice bit of utility if Jacksonville can pull off the upset.
One last note on this game, Josh Palmer has been a critical part of LAC this year, given the injuries to both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. With Williams injured, Palmer is a good target, especially if the game ends up being a shootout. Also, using the new non-Superstar status of Herbert to play his lower-level cards in the higher tiers should be a primary focus at that position for this slate.
Now, onto the main slate, Superstar status and injuries will be vital to how the slate plays out. Saquon Barkley, Joe Burrow, and Tyreek Hill’s Superstar demotion leave Justin Jefferson and Josh Allen as the two Superstars for this slate. Finding the right combination of these players will likely lead to success, especially when adding in star receivers Stefon Diggs and Ja’Marr Chase. Therefore, it’ll be about finding those diamond-in-the-rough plays that help separate a lineup from another by just one player, and sometimes all that’s needed.
I’ll target a couple of players in spots where I need a player or want to try and be unique as well. K.J. Osborn and Richie James fit that mold. The pair play against each other and neither team has that good of a defense. While Barkley and Jefferson are a great combo to have, adding in Osborn or James, instead of Dalvin Cook or T.J. Hockenson - is a great way to get unique exposure to the game.
The other important thing to remember is to set lineups to optimize for late swaps. If Allen and Diggs end up having a poor game, make sure that those Chase/Burrow and other cards are in a position to take advantage of those playing in the second game.
Speaking of Buffalo, one more target for this week is Khalil Shakir. Shakir saw 39 percent of the snaps last week his third-highest output of the season. If he sees 40 percent of the snaps in the Super Bowl he can absolutely turn that into solid production, and he likely won’t be super popular in optimal builds.
That’s it for now! Good luck!
Looking for a few more additional tips, check out the rest of the Lucky Trader Reignmakers content!
The DraftKings Marketplace is currently only available in the United States and Canada.
You must be 18+* located in any of the 50 US states or Canada to buy and sell NFTs on DraftKings Marketplace.
*Must be 19+ in Alabama and Nebraska.
*Must be 21+ in Iowa, Louisiana and Massachusetts.
Additional requirements for accessing:
You must have a verified DraftKings account.
Marketplace & Daily Fantasy Sports age and eligibility restrictions apply. Reignmakers contests not available in CT, HI, ID, LA (select parishes), MT, NV, PA, WA, and CA-ONT. See marketplace.draftkings.com or draftkings.com for details.