The Thanksgiving holiday is a time for families to spend quality
time together and give thanks, while gorging on turkey and watching
football between tryptophan-educed cat naps. For NFL teams, Thanksgiving
is a time when season starts to heat up and the contenders separate
themselves away from the pretenders. Although I am not a fan of
Bill Belichick and the Patriots, I do agree with him and his philosophy
that the season really begins on Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving holiday is also a critical time for season-long
fantasy owners, as most trade deadlines are expiring around the
end of November, and those owners who are struggling around the
.500 mark are faced with the tough task of winning out in the
remaining few weeks to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Although daily fantasy owners do not have the same constraints
of season-long owners when it comes to making the playoffs, the
fact that there is a limited number of weeks remaining in the
regular season can cause some struggling DFS owners to press to
make up for previous losses.
As a firm believer in playing multiple cash games and a slow
and steady approach to DFS, my advice to those owners looking
for that big score is to keep to your original strategy. Many
of us were burned last weeks by injuries to top plays like Charcandrick
West and Devonta Freeman, and crappy performances from Derek Carr,
Tyrod Taylor and Blake Bortles killed the hopes of many owners
looking for value plays. My plan is to stay the course and continue
building solid rosters of consistent core players and upside guys
with advantageous matchups.
The following is a breakdown of one of my DraftKings lineups
from Week 11. Like many of us, I was burned by Westís injury
and I did not make the last-minute move to add Thomas Rawls. Despite
these critical errors, I was close to earning $100 on my $10 entry.
In my article last
week I wrote about my strategy of using three layered lineups
with three different cost-tier quarterbacks for each roster. For
my cheap quarterback play in Week 11, I chose Tyrod Taylor against
the Patriots in Foxboro, with the hope that he would be able to
have similar success to the 28.8 point game he had against them
My expectations were tempered somewhat because of the fact that
they were playing in New England and Belichick would be able to
make adjustments from the first game. Despite this fact, I had
a feeling Taylorís running ability would open up the field
for a possible two-touchdown performance. Nothing great, but enough
production to give my other high-cost players a chance to put
me in the cash.
With only 9.42 points and zero TDís, Taylor was obviously
a disappointment and one of the three reasons why I did not cash
with this lineup.
West and Julio Jones were my foundation plays this week and the
two players who were added to all three of my rosters. After torching
the Broncos for 31.1 points on the road in Denver, it seemed like
a no-brainer that West would do some damage against a suspect
San Diego defense.
His $4,500 salary and choice matchup made him a trendy pick as
evident of his 63% ownership level. Unfortunately, West left the
game early and Spencer Ware scored two touchdowns in relief. Injuries
are a part of the NFL and something all season-long and DFS owners
must deal with. It just stinks when an injury to your top player
costs you a chance at $100.
I thought about fading Gurley due to the fact that the Ravens
have been solid against the run this year. But I ended up picking
him anyway, primarily because I was able to build the remainder
of my roster with inexpensive players that I thought were great
values, like Danny Amendola and Mike Evans.
Gurley gave me a touchdown, but his fumble and pedestrian yardage
total of 66 yards was not quite what I was expecting from a $7,400
Although I was only 1.7 points away from my weekly goal of averaging
20 points from each of my three wide receivers, I decided to give
myself a C+ because I expected more from Jones and Adams.
As I mentioned earlier, Jones was my foundation pick this week
and a core piece of all of my cash games. His 28 points from 9
catches and 160 yards were great, but I was excepting at least
one score against the Colts.
Adams on the other hand was a complete bust with only three catches
for 36 yards. I decided to ride this target train one more week,
hoping he would continue his pace of averaging 16 targets over
his previous two games. Evidently Rodgers got tired of peppering
Adams and receiving very little production from the second year
Amendola made sense on many levels and was a no-brainer pick
for owners like me looking for cheap targets. At only $4,000 he
was a popular pick for nearly 50% of players last week, and he
came through with 9 grabs for 117 yards. I will continue to look
his way assuming that his knee injury is minor.
Looking forward to week 12, DeAndre Hopkins and his $9,100 salary
against the Saints at home is the clear-cut foundation play. Although
he may set the ownership record for the week, he is about as close
to a sure thing as you can get. You can be certain he will be
one my two foundation picks on all three of my rosters.
Tight End: Eric
Ebron DraftKings points: 0
Grade: F -
I am kicking myself over this pick for the simple fact that I
went against my own philosophy of looking for high-target players
in favor of Ebron, a tight-end who is touchdown dependent. The
tight end position is somewhat touchdown dependent across the
board, but there are some guys who are a lock for at least a few
catches each week.
I went for the home run play in Ebron and he gave me a goose
egg. It will take a heck of a matchup for me to use this guy again.
Evans is a player who continues to be undervalued by the guys
at DraftKings.com, and subsequently, he continues to be a mainstay
in my lineups. He has averaged just over 20 points in each of
his last three games, as Jameis Winston continues to grow as a
Vincent Jackson returned to action and took some of his targets,
but Evans came through with four catches for 63 yards and a score.
Excellent flex production from a wide receiver with a $7,400 salary.
DraftKings points: 6.0
Six points from the most expensive defense playing against Blaine
Gabbert and the 49ers was unacceptable. Despite having one of
the better defenses in the league, the Seahawks have not been
the ball-hawking unit of years past and they have not delivered
many defensive scores.
The exception to this is when they play crappy teams at home
like the Bears (18 points) or poor teams on the road like the
Rams. Considering the fact that they scored 11 point on the road
against San Francisco, it seemed logical they would do even better
at home against an injury depleted Niner offense. My logic was
certainly flawed on this one, as Gabbert and Shawn Draughn managed
to score 13 points against the legion of boom.