One thing we haven’t talked about this year yet are the single game, “showdown” slates. But they have quickly become some of the most popular contests on both Fanduel and Draftkings. They are popular with the casual players and pros alike thanks to the huge prize pools they are generating. They have driven some of the best conversations this year with friends and Footballguys staff members. Winning a couple of GPPs along the way has helped as well.
For those that don’t know what these single-game slates are you build a team of 5 or 6 players, depending on the site, with the same rules that you would in other contests. You get a specific allocation of money to spend on the players you want to roster and if you outscore all other rosters you can win the tournament. The two major differences are there are no roster requirements. For example, you could roster two kickers if you would like. The other is you can choose one player where their points are multiplied by 1.5.
The game is simple since you are only dealing with a single game and a handful of players that are really in play each game. It’s easy to build lineups. You can make a couple in a matter of minutes. The best thing is you are always part of the action. Most of the game you are a big play or two away from making a huge jump up the standings and fortunes turn quickly. For me, it is probably one of my favorite game types these days and if you haven’t given it a try, I would recommend doing so for the SNF or MNF game!
How to play the chalk
One of the biggest decisions each week is how to handle the chalk on the slate. The chalkiest players are typically the ‘best’ plays on the slate if you are trying to maximize your total points produced. However, if you are looking to win a big tournament you can gain a lot of ground on your competition if you choose a player that outperforms there. If that player is in a lot of lineups you can pass a lot at one time. Balancing scoring the most points and playing against your competition is the toughest part of DFS. In this section, we talk about how to handle the toughest decision of the week. What to do with the chalk:
Lamar Jackson looks to be one of the chalkiest quarterbacks again this week. This even though both sites have aggressively priced him up this week and he is priced in a tier of his own. This higher pricing hasn’t deterred the public from wanting him in their lineups. Who can blame them as Jackson has now scored over 25 points in all but two games and 30 4 times! Every week there always seems to be a concern about if you should play Jackson. Last week it was the big point spread. I was worried that he might not run as much late in the game. In fact, he only played 77% of the snaps. But he had already scored 33 points, including 7 carries for 65 yards and a TD before being taken out. Earlier in the year, it was hard to stack him with anyone. But it turns out he has some options with Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown, etc. all proving to be legitimate threats. He also runs more than enough to be a running back score on his own. So, you can just stack him with himself.
The question this week is it worth it to pay the highest price on the slate against an average defense like the Texans when we can play quarterbacks against our favorite defenses like the Buccaneers, Bengals, or Falcons. In this case, I think it absolutely makes sense. Jackson has been too good for too long to ignore. The Texans and DeShaun Watson will likely be able to keep the game close so Jackson will have to work hard all game and this game has the potential to shoot out. I don’t think I would play Jackson if I was building one lineup but he is probably one of my top exposures for the week.