Happy Thanksgiving fellow Sharks and with Thanksgiving we get a nice three game slate. DraftKings has their NFL $1.5M Wishbone Classic and Fanduel has their $1M Thursday Million contest. In addition, there is the 14 game Thursday-Monday slate. The bye weeks are now behind us so we can look forward to full slates again.
This week the highest owned quarterback/receiver combo came through as projected. Brady was the highest owned quarterback scoring 28.56 DK points while connecting with Branden Cooks who scored 29.9 DK points. Rex Burkhead was the second highest owned running back but came up short scoring only 7.7 DK points. It was Dion Lewis who racked up 18.8 DK points at just 4% owned compared to Burkhead who was 28% owned.
The remaining chalk plays continued to disappoint us starting with the Kansas City Chiefs who ended up losing the game to the Giants. Travis Kelce was the only Chief to almost reach value. Kareem Hunt was the highest owned player overall at 39.1% but ended with just 10.7 DK points. That makes 8 games in a row that Hunt has failed to score over 20 points and has scored 10.7 points or less in the last four.
Antonio Brown led the Thursday slate with a 45.4 DK points performance. He gets a great match-up this week against the Packers who are 28th against the pass and allow 35.5 DK points per game. Unfortunately, the Packers vs. Steelers game is Sunday night so will not be part of the main slate for a 2nd week straight.
The majority of lineups contained Tom Brady, Derek Carr or Drew Brees as they combined for 49.4% of entries. The drop of to the next quarterbacks were significant as Kirk Cousins came in at 10.4% owned and then to Ryan Fitzpatrick at 5%. Most people didn’t risk using Nathan Peterman as he came in at .8% owned. He put up -1.96 DK points. That’s on a scoring level with DFS baseball pitchers on a bad start. In the matchup of Brady vs Carr, those who went with Brady won that match-up. The best values were Blaine Gabbert scoring 21.58 DK points and Kirk Cousins scoring 28.98 DK points.
$DPP Value Plays
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (DK: $7,100/$254 DPP — FD: $8,200/$328 DPP)
Cousins is not a cheap value quarterback as he comes in to this Thursday night game as the 3rd highest priced quarterback on DraftKings and 4th on Fanduel. However, he rates as the highest $DPP play on the board. He has four games in his last six with 27 or more DK points. The Giants who held Alex Smith to 8.8 DK points are still ranked 2nd in most DK points allowed with 20.3 points per game. In the Thursday only slate I expect Cousins to be the highest owned since Dak Prescott has been struggling without Ezekiel Elliott and Matthew Stafford has a tough match-up against the Vikings who have held him to 10.07 DK points in the first meeting.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (DK: $6,500/$361 DPP — FD: $7,600/$422 DPP)
Smith is coming off of a bad game but weather played a big role as there were high winds. Smith has five games this year with 19 DK points or more and gets a great match-up against a Bills team that gave up 54 points. Smith will be playing at home and will generate low ownership with Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Cam Newton on the slate.
The chalk plays have been awful the past few week and this week Alvin Kamara was the only running back over 15% owned that had a big game. Kareem Hunt was the highest owned at nearly 40% in tournaments. Chris Thompson was the next highest owned at 30% was on his way to a big game before breaking his leg. The Chargers jumped out to a ridiculous lead early in the game which limited Melvin Gordon to just 14 DK points. He could easily have scored double the points. Even in a blowout, LeSean McCoy put up the most points at the position with 28.6. It is rare to see an offense perform so poorly as well as be behind by so much and have the running back go over 100-yards rushing.
$DPP Value Plays
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (DK: $5,200/$347 DPP — FD: $6,200/$413 DPP)
This is a Thursday slate only play as the Vikings vs Lions are not included in the Thursday-Monday slate on DraftKings and only on the early Thursday slate for Fanduel. Lat week Latavius Murray was the lead back and put up 22.6 DK points compared to McKinnon’s 11 DK points. Its hard to predict which one of these running backs will get the bulk of the carries. Murray is cheap and so I expect the ownership to be higher on him where people will be trying to fit as much value as they can in. In the first game the two backs were a non-factor as Dalvin Cook received the majority of the touches. The Lions give up the 4th most DK points to the position allowing 27.2 DK points per game and have allowed 7 touchdowns rushing in the last 5 games.
Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins (DK: $5,000/$417 DPP — FD: $7,200/$600 DPP)
With Rob Kelly on IR and Chris Thompson breaking his leg, Perine is now the lead running back in Washington. He carried the ball 23 times last week. The most since Week 2 and 3. The price is low given the volume increase and short week of preparation. He will face the Giants who are middle of the pack in run defense and allow 24 DK points per game to the position. The Giants defense have allowed 130-yards or more to running backs over the last three games.