I wanted to open up with some quick thoughts on the Thanksgiving Day slate. First of all, I would recommend playing the showdown slates over the Thanksgiving Day slate. It’s more fun to have three different sweats throughout the day than one. You don’t want to be stuck with no more sweats as the day goes on as you hear your uncle’s 12th most amazing story of the day. Additionally, there is just more edge in the showdown slates.
That said it looks like the sites have made the prize pools for the full day slate as the larger contests so if you are playing those a couple of things to keep in mind. Ownerships on three-game slates get a bit out of control so don’t be afraid to fade the chalk. It might seem like certain plays may be guaranteed but if the showdown slates have taught us anything it's that in a small slate chalk busts all the time. You will probably see Michael Thomas as the highest owned player on the whole slate and he is probably the best play. But he won’t be 30% like we see on a normal weekend he will probably be double that. Thomas is one of my favorite DFS players of all time but it is tough to think he succeeds greater than 60% of the time.
Even worse than Thomas you might see players like Jared Cook, Jason Witten, or the Bears defense owned about half the time. These aren’t even slam dunk plays. They are just players that you are going to want to play because the other options don’t feel safe. There is a good chance they will be the highest-scoring players at their positions but they are very unlikely to break the slate. If someone like Dawson Knox scores a TD you are going to be looking good at about a quarter of the ownership.
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:
This article is a little earlier this week to account for the holiday so ownership may change a bit more than normal. Be sure to check our final ownership numbers in case anything has changed significantly.
At quarterback, the chalk player looks to be Patrick Mahomes II. With injuries, byes and primetime games it feels like we’ve barely had a chance to enjoy Mahomes the last couple of months. On top of all that, his main partner in crime Tyreek Hill has been injured in several of his main slate games. Hopefully, Hill will be able to suit up for this one.
We get Mahomes back to the main slate for a great matchup this week against the Raiders. Mahomes didn’t look like himself last week against the Chargers with only 182 passing yards and 59 rushing yards. But he lost Damien Williams and Tyreek Hill early in the game. Coming off a recent injury himself you know Mahomes had to be thinking in the back of his mind that the turf is suspect and he needs to play it safe. One game earlier against the Titans he put up a more Mahomes like score with 446 passing yards and 3 TDs. So I don’t think we need to worry about his health. But watch out for the status of his offensive weapons who are far from safe to suit up.
What we do need to worry about is Lamar Jackson who has a tough matchup against the 49ers. But he scores in a unique fashion, similar to Christian McCaffrey and may be as close to matchup-proof as we have seen in quite some time. If Mahomes ownership stays in the 20% range I will be fading and looking for other options like Jackson at much lower ownership.