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Before we get into the details, I just wanted to extend a big “THANKS” to all of you who are not only Footballguys, but also supporters of the content that I produce every week. There is literally nothing better about this job than hearing success stories where I (or one of my colleagues) may have steered you in a direction to land a big payday in a DFS contest. Last weekend, when Latavius Murray and Marvin Jones did well at < 5% ownership, I received multiple emails, tweets, and even personal acknowledgments at the Draft Party in Nashville...as I am about to put together this Thanksgiving Day version of “Tips and Picks,” I feel obliged to thank you for all of the sincere support you provide over the NFL season each year.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
GAME STRATEGY: As I said on the Thanksgiving Edition of the PowerGrid, you will need to employ game strategy and combine it with a bit of luck to find yourself at the top of the leaderboards when the tryptophan starts to settle in on Thursday evening. There are three pieces of game strategy that you can think about employing:
Should you roster Melvin Gordon at 70+% ownership? Melvin Gordon is the only high-priced running back on the Thanksgiving Day slate and, for that reason alone, most people will not even think twice about inserting him into their lineups. My suspicion is that he will be viewed as a ‘free square’ on a Bingo board because he probably has the highest floor out of all the running back options on this short bill. That said, there is a real argument to be made for fading Gordon at that lofty ownership level simply because he is capable of having a poor showing, as we have observed on multiple occasions this season; as recent as last week, Gordon had a dream matchup against Buffalo and finished with only 14.0 DraftKings points, a number that would not substantiate his salary or ownership on this slate. If he were to disappoint via injury, usage, or simple dumb luck, those rosters without Gordon would catapult to the top of the leaderboards. It is a risky proposition, but one that would yield a +ROI over the long-term.
Pick your poison. In order to win a GPP on Thanksgiving, you are going to need at least one, possibly two, players who do well, but are also less than 10% owned. Because of the limited player pool, there will be a dozen players or more who are owned in the double-digit levels, which means that the overlap is going to be immense; the only way to differentiate your roster from the masses is to take a chance on a player you believe to be low-owned and in a situation to perform well. A few of my favorite options can be found in the “Picks” section below.
Do not spend all of your salary. Part of the above advice (“Pick your poison”) is to purposefully build diversity into your lineups using players with perceived low ownership. Another way to achieve this goal is to leave a bit of salary on the table; do not be afraid to leave ~ 10-15% ($5,000 to $7,500) of your allocated salary unspent if you like your roster enough. Doing so will ensure that you have a unique roster that is capable of finishing atop a GPP roster. This bit of advice, of course, assumes that the rosters we are describing have enough upside to actually finish at the top of a tournament--do not leave money on the table just to start players who are seeing < 50% of the teams’ offensive snaps.