DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports)

DraftKings Thanksgiving Slate Plays and Strategy

Pat James highlights cash game plays and ideas for creating contrarian GPP lineups for the DraftKings Thanksgiving Slate.

Thanksgiving Slate Strategy

  • Enter your optimal lineup into cash games. Create your cash game lineup as you would on a full slate, by maximizing point per dollar projections. Play the obvious studs and values without putting much thought into ownership.
  • In tournaments, focus on a narrow pool of players. Attempting to “cover all the bases,” by getting a piece of all the players on the slate is sub-optimal. Choose a narrow core of players and rotate in supplementary pieces when building multiple lineups.
  • Correctly fading a highly owned player is magnified. Correctly fading or being underweight on a chalky player on a short slate creates massive leverage. Mainly because the ownership percentages are inflated. On the most recent primetime slate, fading Zach Ertz at 70-plus percent ownership was crucial. By the same token, if you fade a player that is highly owned who subsequently has a monster fantasy day, you’re drawing dead. However, winning a tournament on a short slate requires these tough decisions.
  • Utilize a game stack. Pegging the game that will shootout on a short slate and rostering multiple players from that game uses correlation to limit the amount of independent outcomes you need to have correct. Even better if you think Vegas could be wrong about one of the lower total games on the slate.
  • Leave some salary on the table. An easy way to be contrarian is to not max out the salary cap. This strategy is helpful for me especially because I don’t have an inherently contrarian DFS mind.
  • Utilize late swap. If the tryptophan doesn’t have you comatosed after the first two games, use late swap to move on to lightly owned players. This is something you should always do, but on a short slate it could vault you from last to cashing with the right move. Your low scoring teams aren’t going to move up the leaderboard with players that are 80 percent owned. It may feel uncomfortable to swap from Jamison Crowder to Roger Lewis, but it’s your only shot.
 

Cash Game Breakdown

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