DFS Roundtable: Thanksgiving - Bankroll and Game Selection

What type of strategy (Bankroll and Game Selection) do you incorporate for the 3-game Thanksgiving Day Slate?

With three games on the Thanksgiving Day Slate, what type of strategy do you use for both bankroll management and for game selection? (example: Do you play mainly cash or GPP?)

Phil AlexanderI plan on playing about one-third of my normal main slate action, in terms of both number of lineups and amount of buy-ins. 100% of my entries will be in GPPs, where as usual, I'll be looking for tournament value (I don't play cash games anyway, but I'd be especially leery of them on Thursday if I did, due to the potential for overlap on such a small slate). 

While I'll take at least one poke at a tournament like the $1.5 Million Wishbone Classic on DraftKings, I'm doing so with the same expectation I would when I buy a lotto ticket. This $20 buy-in GPP gives you one chance to win out of 88,000 and pays 10% of the total prize pool to first place, while 24% of the entrants win at least 1.5x their buy-in. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the $100K Three Plate Special costs $9 for three chances to win out of 39,000, and offers a flatter payout structure with 5% ($5,000) to first place and 27.6% of entrants winning at least 1.67x their buy-ins. Less to buy-in, better odds of winning, better odds of cashing, less experienced players -- these are the things to pay attention to when selecting games this week and every other week if you want to build your bankroll.

John Mamula: With a three-game slate, 100% of my entries will also be in GPP tournaments. If I was playing cash games,  I would only play H2H contests and avoid 50-50s due to the overlap with players. With a minimized slate, whether you have/don't have one player can cost you a chance at cashing. 

For GPP contests, I will be playing the same bankroll amount as compared to a normal full-sized slate. In the past, I would always play less whenever I encountered a smaller slate. I have changed my approach over the past year. With NBA DFS, the slate size changes on a nightly basis. Some nights there are 3-4 games on the schedule and some nights there are 11-12 games. Over the past couple of seasons, I have had more GPP success with the smaller slates as compared to the larger slates. 

The key to a smaller slate is to differentiate your lineup from the masses with 2-3 positions. Projected ownership percentages are critical as you need to have a plan where to be overweight and underweight as compared to the field. It's OK to roster some chalk players on a short slate but I would recommend being overweight as compared to the field. 

Justin BonnemaI don’t play cash games on short slates like this, so I will only be targeting GPPs. And honestly, it will be just to have a little bit of fun. I will have one line up the big tournaments offered by FanDuel and DraftKings but not much else. 

Jason Wood: It's the holidays, and the best advice I can give is to have fun. Seriously. A 3-game Thanksgiving slate is not the place to play your normal tactics. Play a smaller amount this week, meaningfully smaller in most cases. Ownership percentages and correlations will be high. I'll be throwing some GPP entries into the mix but will be skipping cash games for the high correlation concerns. 

As to the three games, the Giants are playing a bit better and Washington is close to out of the playoff race. I suspect both teams will play hard and score some points. Of the other two games, I find the lines suspicious. Dallas should be favored over the Chargers, but the line reflects uncertainty over Tyron Smith's status. If he's back, I expect the Cowboys to 25+ fantasy points.

Chris FeeryI only play a small amount of volume on short slates while sticking to GPP only, and I’ll be doing the same here. As a general rule of thumb, I’ll enter one of the larger tourneys with a small entry fee, and complement that with single-entry and low max entry tourneys with an appealing payout structure. I’ll also be sticking to a single bullet that I feel most comfortable with and hoping for the best. I’ll echo Jason’ sentiments: play for fun, and don’t treat is as the end of the world if things go south for your lineups.  

James Brimacombe: I rarely play cash games this late in the season as is, so on a 3-game slate I will avoid cash games altogether. I want to play GPP's and like Jason said have fun and not stress about my lineups. I will look to stack quarterback with running backs and kickers while others are stacking quarterbacks with wide receivers and tight ends. Really just try to mix it up and look for areas that will make my GPP lineups look different than others. As far as game selection goes I think the large GPP's will draw a lot of people in with the big prize pools but there are also lots of options in smaller GPP's that are single entry or limited entry that you can get a little more bang for your buck and might give your shot at a top prize.


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