NFL DFS “Box Checkers” Week 12 (Thanksgiving Edition) | Quickly Identify Key Plays at QB, RB, WR, TE, D for Fanduel or Draftkings

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Back by popular demand, NFL DFS Box Checkers shows you to quickly identify key players for this week’s fantasy football slate in minutes.  The DFS Army NFL Research Station is a very powerful suite of statistical analysis with fully customizable, filterable, sortable functionality.  What used to take days or hours now takes mere minutes to discover!  Follow along as @Choppodong rips these core plays to shreds every week in less than 15 minutes…

At the bottom, see a secret video normally only available to our VIPs!  How to setup the optimizer to crush the top 1% and 2% in contests like leagues and microboosters.  As the self-proclaimed “king of the smallaballa,” Chop has uncovered another easy to follow system capable of building bankrolls for anyone struggling on Fanduel or Draftkings.

Week 12 NFL Box Checkers


5 categories lead to making value historically.  Home NFL QBs perform better than road QBs.  Favored teams are implied to score more points, and their QBs do the scoring.  Game totals make sense to follow, the higher the better.  And, efficiency trumps volume!  Volume is nice, but efficient QBs are proven to put up more fantasy points than those banking on volume alone.  To finish, salary.  You can price yourself out of making value unless putting up a true ceiling performance.  In the NFL, we find staying under $8000 in Draftkings salary helps…in fact, the cheaper the better.


Remember, blue is very strong.  Green is pretty strong.  When it comes to checking boxes, we are tracking those typically leading to a DFS NFL player paying off his salary.

Dak leads the way on this 3-game slate, and things are naturally going to be weird.  It’s Thanksgiving Day in the NFL and we just don’t have a ton of choices.  Ownerships should concentrate in obvious spots, which opens leverage for funky game scripts and narratives.

I might stick to the top three, but will prioritize Dak over even Josh Allen mostly because of the lower game total.  But, in MME formats, I’ll have shares of literally everyone.

Running Backs

Once again, home teams matter for RBs, and being favored obviously affects game scripts in a positive way.  High scoring game environments help push those touchdowns around, landing on running backs.  We want volume at all positions not QB.  18 touches (rushes + receptions) is the goal here.  Passing game work gives us safety when the game script flips.  Red Zone work matters…especially inside the 10.  And, salary works here again.  Staying under $8000 like our NFL QBs helps the running backs, too.

NFL DFS RB is often where Box Checkers shines.  These guys are safe enough for a cash game, but you might not use them there if you find 30% or 40% NFL RBs.  They do, however, make sneaky high-quality pivot plays in tourneys or even multipliers and leagues.  My “Ladder System” absolutely feasts off plays like these.

We need to watch the Kamara/Ingram situation, but you can see even how awful the situation is for David Montgomery.  Is he a fade?  No.  He’s a tourney-only play.  As are most of them.  Zeke is about the only “safe” pick….and that’s debatable right now.

Wide Receivers

Home field advantage proves negligible for NFL WRs.  But, being favored is still important to hitting fantasy value.  High totals matter, but when favored, we want team totals over 25 points.  When the dog, we want UNDER 22 points indicating garbage time potential.  Volume matters again. We’d like to see more than 7 targets per game on the average, and we want to see more than about 25% usage in the Red Zone…especially on Fanduel.  Salary is key again, so we stay under $7000 here.  Remember, this position is volatile as hell.  But, we have backtested 250+ contests and found the top 3 Milli-Maker lineups contain someone meeting these criteria almost 60% of the time…..good odds for a crapshoot like WR.

NFL Football

WR is typically our crapshoot position, but occasionally we do get some outstanding plays.  Just not this week.  Holy hell, what a weird week this might be.

Hunter Renfrow is an underdog, but that’s the only box he misses.  Being his team is implied to score under 22 points, he checks off the garbage time box with Darren Waller as a little added security/bonus.  He might be the safest option, but this is never a guarantee he has a good game.

What I want you to notice is with so few teams on this slate, we have THREE Buffalo WRs on the list checking a fair amount of boxes.  That does bring up Josh Allen some. As we parse through the picks, our attractions will ebb and flow…that’s natural.

Also, what will we do with Dak above when Cooper and Lamb are likely less of a factor?  Michael Gallup (and even Cedrick Wilson) come into play some, but are they safe?  No.  As a result, this should be an indirect downgrade to Dak, too.

Another great tool to consult is our coaching NFL Cheatsheets!  If you wind up torn on a couple players, sometimes the words in the blurbs by another coach can help you tip the scale.  In the case of this week, when Box Checkers isn’t helping a lot, those cheatsheets might become more important to your research.

Tight Ends

Here we go with the home and favorite stuff again.  NFL TE depends on it.  We want volume, so focus on 7+ targets again, too.  Red Zone work goes without saying at TE.  And, we’ve discovered they also benefit from closer games, under 7 point spreads.  If favored, you want ITTs over 26 points, and if the dog, under 24 points.  Cheap plays, too!!  On Draftkings, $3000-$5000 seems to be landing in the Milli a ridiculous 68% of the time…..and until week 1 this year, we had no recorded example of an 8k TE appearing in the Milli winner.  That changes with Travis Kelce, and you can speculate all the previous slates he might not have been a part of due to prime time or Monday Night games.  Fact is….the super high-priced TE is rare and likely cost prohibitive most times.  Tend to pay down.

These NFL tight ends are a little more definitive this week.  But, if on a 3-game slate, a random TE grabs a tuddy… might be the best play on the slate.  We just don’t know.  In MME scenarios, cover more bases.  However, in more standard contests, Waller and Hockenson are likely solid plays as usual.  I like the usage returning to Dawson Knox, too… Buffalo a lot of weapons tomorrow.

Remember, these boxes are set up by Shark Autopsy’s analysis of what players typically land in the Milli-Maker lineups, too.  We have our safety plays, but we are also shooting for upside.

Where to Use These DFS Players

Box Checkers players are typically obvious, chalky (see our NFL Chalkboard Tool) and highly owned.  Occasionally, we get some that slip under the radar (see our Leverage Stacks components).

However, these players can be used in ANY format from NFL cash games to big tourneys (or “Ladder Lineups” combining both!).  The key to tourney play is using a core of these players and adding in some other lower owned pieces to give your lineup some uniqueness and creativity with the upside to beat a lot of competitors.  As the DFS NFL world becomes more and more advanced, sometimes simplifying our process actually goes a little against the grain.

Now, How Would You Set Up an NFL Optimizer?

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Box Checkers Setup NFL Week 9

Don’t waste time duplicating the efforts of nerds!  Focus on what matters….setting up optimizers.  Here are two very fast ways that work.

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Plenty of box checkers in Week 8’s gpp winner.  But, what’s up with all the goofy correlation?  I broke the details down for our members in our #beginners-coaching Discord Channel.  If you feel you struggle with stacking, correlation, leverage, and some of the finer points of lineup construction, you are going to want to use that discount above….and get involved.

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Oh, and in case you want to see how these “Ladder Lineups” work out…’s an easy example.  This is what we call a “sweep” in that it cashed everything.  Ladders build bankrolls!!

NFL Ladder