First of all, Happy Thanksgiving for 2021- meaning time to watch football and play DraftKings! When it comes to DFS, everyone looks for those slate-breaking players (and if you are not, then you should be!), players who can win you the big bucks if they have a day and lower ownership, even better! This especially matters in tournaments, where you are looking to differentiate from your competition and sometimes even yourself and your other lineups, as opposed to cash games, where you would be after more ‘safer’ lineups to secure a more likely pot of cash.
These articles will highlight those players who I feel can break the week’s slate and players you should be, at the very least, considering, going for position-by-position.
Week Eleven Review
I was pleased with how Week Eleven went, which seemed to be a tough week for most. Unfortunately, my selections in this series of articles did not reflect my success as a whole. The QBs highlighted did not get there, Sanders let me down AGAIN, the defenses were disappointing, and Nico Collins was robbed of a touchdown.
However, there were some highlights. Playing a combined 25% owned of Cousins, Jefferson, Thielen and Adams was laughable, to be honest, and I am glad I called out the Green Bay defense in here as being a unit to target, so I hope I won you some money! The seemingly obvious play of Crowder hit value, Knox had a solid day in his smash spot, and Swift came up as lovely leverage on the field.
Avoiding the DAL/KC match widely was the correct decision, which is why you did not see me feature too many players from either team. Do not get me wrong, I played some of Wilson/Hill in places, but nowhere near as most. When a slate is that dependent on one game, I typically avoid it and hope I can instantly gain 65-70% on the field. It is not a perfect strategy but is there such a thing in DFS? I have been breaking typical traditions that I conduct in DFS over the last few weeks, and it seems to be working. Do not block out players/strategies purely because of traditionalism.
Some of the plays that got me over the line was consuming content other than my own throughout the week. This week it is vital to do this with two slates to manage on our plates. Much like most things, it is crucial to get out of your headspace and listen to others’ opinions and ways of thinking. The content I share is just a handful of insightful listens/reads that assist me in getting to particular results/scenarios.
Consume them and become a better player.
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What a cracker to start Thanksgiving off with! In all seriousness, though, Detroit does bring out one of the best Thanksgiving traditions every year. DFS drafters entering players against Detroit in their lineups!
It is a tradition that rarely misses the mark, whether through QBs and their receivers or the running backs. The latter is where the tradition looks to continue with David Montgomery ($6,000) in prime position to feast on the turkey-equivalent for DraftKings, which is plenty of points! It is well documented that Detroit is not good against running backs, ranking 30th on the season for points per game (30.3) and 31st in the red zone (10.2). This also translates into recent performances (25th in ppg overall and 31st in red zone ppg from Wks 8-11).
D Mont returning to a top 5 opportunity share seems to have gone mostly unnoticed, and I am hoping his lackluster output since returning will put people off playing him, but that is probably wishful thinking.
Outside of D Mont, everything else is a bit of a mess as of writing this. Both QB rooms are up in limbo, with both starters being banged up with injuries, putting a lot of doubt on most of the other starters on either team. The exclusions from that group are DeAndre Swift ($7,300) and Darnell Mooney ($5,700), whose talents shine through no matter the situation thrown at them. Mooney especially will be fascinating to see how he gets on against a defense who has been a top-12 unit against the position, no matter how much you narrow down the scales.
Could I play two running backs from the same game? Probably, and I did last week with Chubb and Swift, and it worked out. Remember I said about breaking down those lineup traditions? Well, except playing players against Detroit!
Las Vegas @Dallas
Now for most people, this is where the slate begins. As a result of that, this game and second games in general on Thanksgiving slates tend to see a lot of traction. People’s attention spans tend to drop after the second game, so this is the game the field mainly targets, regardless of the teams involved.
Funnily enough, this game is probably the most enticing of the three, which I am approaching with a bit of caution.
On the Dallas side, CeeDee Lamb ($6,900) is looking like he will miss the visit of Vegas, and even if he is available, it will not be a 100% CeeDee which at his price is a no from me. Amari Cooper ($6,000) is also not available for this one either after being placed on the COVID-19 list late last week. So we are down to Michael Gallup ($5,900), Cedrick Wilson ($3,500) and Noah Brown ($3,000) for Dak Prescott ($6,900) to throw the ball to if Lamb is indeed out. Yikes. Double-digit targets for Gallup in Week 11 is promising for his usage in this as the hypothetical WR1, but Wilson is the one who is catching my eye. Seeing 30 of his 31 snaps from the slot in Week 11 and a top 12 slot snap % on the season, Las Vegas looked relatively vulnerable to the position last time out against Cincinnati, and Dak is going to need to look someone’s way. I reckon we could see a double-digit target game for Wilson this time around. Brown is a bit of a wildcard with the lack of clarity on Lamb’s situation.
I do have some interest in playing the Dallas running backs, I am just not sure who yet! The opposite can be said for Schultz ($5,300) however. It just does not feel like the right game for the tight end, and Dallas will win this game with Dak and the wideouts.
I like their enhanced opportunity for more touches with a weakened Dallas offense when it comes to Las Vegas. Derek Carr ($5,900) has not looked too great in this three-game losing streak, throwing four TDs and interceptions, respectively. Carr has seen more of a hit rate on the road, seeing success in tough visits to Pittsburgh and Denver, so I like his chances to Dallas in a primetime game. Carr’s partner in crime, Darren Waller ($6,400), should see set to continue his dominance over the middle of the field, seeing 232 receiving yards and 26 targets since Las Vegas’ bye. The downside? No touchdowns. About time Carr made up for that, don’t you think?
Trevon Diggs on the season has typically been following whoever the opposing team’s WR1 is, and you would have to say Hunter Renfrow ($5,600) falls under that category. Diggs on the year has done a solid job taking these players out of games unless your name is Kennan Allen, so the instant need for Renfrow in my Carr stack is not needed yet. Bryan Edwards ($3,900) is someone I could get more invested in this week. After seeing 83% of snaps in the Week 11 loss to Cincinnati and zero targets, Carr is due to throw Edwards way, and with Diggs likely being occupied by Renfrow, that deep ball to the rookie could be gold.
The Vegas running backs are ones I will be staying away from in general, just not a great spot for them.
Buffalo @New Orleans
Josh Allen ($7,800), despite his struggles in Week 11 against Indianapolis, looks to be a great play here if you are looking to pivot from the perhaps highly-owned Carr. Over the last four weeks (Weeks 8-11), New Orleans have ranked as the worst team against opposing QBs, giving up 26.4 ppg overall and 12.2 ppg in the red zone. It is worth bearing in mind that they have QBs like Jalen Hurts and Ryan Tannehill in that period, who are both known for their prowess in the rushing game, either in general or just the red zone. However, the numbers are still eye-opening to me.
New Orleans has not ranked too highly against wide receivers through that time period, sitting 26th with 29.9 ppg. This bodes well for the likes of Stefon Diggs ($7,900), who has seemed to have a bit of positive regression regarding touchdowns over the past few weeks, seeing three touchdowns over the last two weeks. Outside of Diggs, it is a bit of a guessing game as to who benefits most out of this matchup. Is it finally an Emmanuel Sanders ($4,800) week? It feels like we are chasing a lost cause, but he is bound to have a big game the week I do not play him. Cole Beasley ($4,500) has not seen the looks he was getting from Allen on the football field.
Devin Singletary and Zack Moss is a situation I will be staying away from as it seems to be a non-beneficiary gamble as to who has the most touches.
For New Orleans, the running game is where the plays are at for me, it is just whether Alvin Kamara ($7,800) or Mark Ingram ($6,200) is the correct option to go with. With both backs missing Tuesday’s practice, it is a waiting game to see who is available come Thursday. After a season-high 91.9% snap share last week, Tre’Quan Smith ($4,400) is worth considering as a bring-back in your Allen lineups.
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Image Credit: Mark Konezny – USA TODAY Sports