Turkey Day is here yet again and there is plenty of action to be had with the Thanksgiving contests on Fanduel and Draftkings. You have options when it comes to game selection as it looks like there are 3 game, 2 game and Showdown tournaments on each site. Let’s get into the games.
GAME 1: BEARS (-4) @ LIONS
The Chicago Bears will make their way to Detroit on Thursday after a big divisional win against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football. It is worth noting that this will be the second contest between the Bears and Lions this season. The two teams will have met just 10 days ago on Thursday, where the Bears handled the Lions by a score of 34-22.
Mitchell Trubisky ($5,900) has been awesome in his second season with the Bears. The upgraded coaching staff and offensive weapons have done wonders for Trubisky’s fantasy production. He torched the Lions for a whopping 39 Draftkings points last time around. His status for this game against the Lions on Thursday is up in the air right now as he has a shoulder injury. Trubisky is considered day to day, and his status should be monitored up until the game. If he were to miss, we could be potentially be looking at a much different game. UPDATE: Trubisky is considered doubtful. This would make the Chase Daniel ($4,400) the starter for the Bears.
Tarik Cohen ($5,300)looks to have pulled away in the timeshare between him and Jordan Howard ($4,100). Cohen’s superior playmaking ability has made him a much more valuable asset in the Bear’s offensive attack. I don’t see that changing this week against the Lions. The addition of Damon “Snacks” Harrison has bettered the Lions rush defense, so I am not sure how much run Howard will get here anyway. This should leave Cohen’s role in the passing attack safe and secure.
The Bear’s have a slew of receivers that are capable of putting up big numbers. The question is who will it be this week? Allen Robinson ($5,500) put up a monster game last time out against the Lions posting a 34.3 point day. What the box score doesn’t tell you is that shadow corner Darius Slay was unavailable for that last game. This time Robinson won’t be so lucky. The other Bears receivers who have had some spiked weeks this season are Taylor Gabriel ($3,700) and Anthony Miller ($4,400). Miller has been seeing solid targets over the past few weeks and has three touchdowns in the past five games. If you want to go even cheaper though I think Gabriel is a nice option. The Bears looked like they made it a point to get Gabriel more involved this past Sunday after a couple of down weeks. If that trend continues, Gabriel could smash his price with his big play ability.
At tight end, Trey Burton is pretty cheap at ($4,000). If you want to get contrarian by pivoting down from Jordan Reed who will probably be super chalky after his big week, I don’t think Burton is a bad idea. If he is able to haul in a touchdown, he would be well worth his salary.
On the Lions side of the ball, Matthews Stafford ($5,300) will have to face the defensive machine that is the Bears for the second time in three weeks. For me, Stafford’s fantasy production in this one relies on the availability of Marvin Jones Jr. ($5,000). If Jones is unable to go for this contest even after missing this Sunday, then I am not sure how much damage Stafford can do. The only real weapon he will have on offense is Kenny Golladay ($6,400). Golladay is coming off of an awesome game against the Panthers where he posted 28.3 Draftkings points on 14 targets. The volume will be there for Golladay that is for sure, and I am not really concerned whether he can be efficient or not with his targets. If the ball is going his way and his way only, Golladay may be hard to ignore. It is worth noting that Vikings all-star reciever Adam Thielen was held to one of his lowest fantasy outputs this season, while the Bears let his counterpart Stefon Diggs go nuts for 30+ DK points. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Bears tried to take Golladay out of the game and let what’s left of the Lions receiving core (Bruce Ellington ($3,200) and T.J. Jones ($3,300)) try and beat them.
Kerryon Johnson ($5,400) is doubtful for Thursday after spraining his knee this past weekend. This leaves the bulldozing Legarrette Blount ($3,400) and pass catching Theo Riddick ($4,500) to handle the running back duties. I would prefer Riddick especially on a full point PPR site like Draftkings. Riddick quietly has 22 targets over the Lions past three games. The breakout game could be on the horizon.
GAME 2: REDSKINS @ COWBOYS (-7.5)
The Redskins will make their way into Dallas this Thursday with Colt McCoy ($4,700) at the helm. McCoy has not played much for the Redskins in a starter’s role in his Redskins career, but will get a chance to show the league what he has with Alex Smith now on the shelf. He will face a Dallas defense that has been a bit underrated this season. They have played well in back to back weeks now holding both Philadelphia and Atlanta to 20 or fewer points. It is safe to say McCoy and the Redskins will have their work cut out for them.
In the backfield, Adrian Peterson ($5,100) has had a bit of a renaissance season with the Redskins. He has been the workhorse back without Chris Thompson to eat into his carries. The matchup may not be great, but the volume will be there for Peterson. If Peterson gets into the endzone and adds a couple catches, he could end up being an awesome contrarian play at running back.
In the passing game, the Redskins leave a lot to be desired. There really is not a lot to like about a core of receivers led by Josh Doctson ($4,100). With that said, there may be some value here that will allow you to pay up for guys like Ezekiel Elliott or Michael Thomas. Trey Quinn ($3,500) stepped into the slot job for the Redskins this past week and posted a 4 catch, 49 yard day. The Cowboys have been vulnerable in the slot throughout the year so the stars could in fact be aligning for Trey Quinn in this spot.
Jordan Reed ($4,700) looks like he will be the most owned tight end on this slate after having his best game of the season this past Sunday. It is encouraging to see as we have seen very little production out of a healthy Jordan Reed this year. Maybe he could finally be turning a corner just in time for the second half of the season. If you are into the whole narrative thing, it is worth noting that Reed ripped apart the Cowboys two Thanksgivings ago to the tune of 10 catches, 95 yards and 2 touchdowns.
As far as the home team goes, Dallas is grappling for first place with the Redskins in the NFC East. Dak Prescott ($5,100) looks to finally found his way back into fantasy relevance. He is quietly having a nice season where he is averaging 17.3 DK points per game. Prescott does offer you his rushing upside at a discounted price, but he will have to face a Redskins defense that just held Deshaun Watson to just over 11 DK points.
The Cowboys’ offense has run through Ezekiel Elliott ($8,600) this season and I don’t see that changing anytime in the foreseeable future. Zeke is coming off back to back weeks of almost 40 DK points. Part of the reason for his spike in his production has been his new involvement in the passing game. Zeke has been targeted 15 total times over the past two games. I think it is safe to say the Cowboys view Zeke as a truly two-dimensional player that is both effective in the running and passing game. Zeke is the highest priced back on the slate, but fading his role would be a hard sell for me.
Amari Cooper ($5,700) has been featured in his short stint with the Cowboys. I think there may be a slight ownership discount on Cooper for this slate after he failed this past week as a popular cash play. The matchup might not be ideal, but there are not many places for the ball to go outside of him and Zeke on this offense.
Preseason monster Rico Gathers ($2,500) may also get a shot at fantasy relevance in this game with Geoff Swaim on the shelf. If you are looking for a high upside punt, Gathers could be your guy.
GAME 3: FALCONS @ SAINTS (-13)
The final game of the slate features the second divisional game between the Falcons and Saints. When these two teams met back in week three, they combined for a total of 80 points. I think it is safe to say this is where the majority of the ownership will go on this slate.
Drew Brees ($6,700) and the Saints are coming off a 48-7 thrashing of the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. Their offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders thanks in part to the MVP-level play of Drew Brees. Brees will now get his chance to carve up the sieve that has been the Atlanta Falcons defense this season. If Brees ends up not hitting value, it will probably be because both Mark Ingram ($6,100) and Alvin Kamara ($8,300) took advantage of the best possible matchup for a running back. The Falcons continue to be one of the worst teams in the league at allowing fantasy points to opposing running backs. They were trampled by Zeke this past Sunday and will now have to stop arguably the league’s best running back tandem. Stacking both Kamara and Ingram seems like it could be a sharp strategy.
The Saints passing attack has been incredible season on the backs of Drew Brees and Michael Thomas. Thomas is having the best season of his career, having already eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season. He is coming off of a down week by his standards putting up 19.2 DK points against the Eagles. He will be looking to feast this week against a porous Atlanta secondary that allowed him to post 25+ fantasy points once already this season. The Saints also look like they have a budding star opposite Michael Thomas who goes by the name of Tre’Quan Smith ($4,700). Smith had popped off earlier this season against Washington, and was able to outdo himself this past week against Philadelphia. He led the Saints in receiving with 10 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. If you are going to be contrarian and load up on the earlier games, Smith could be your way to get cheap exposure to the late hammer.
On the Falcons side of the ball, Matt Ryan and the Falcons will look to get back in the win column after a loss to the Cowboys this past Sunday. In Ryan’s first game against New Orleans earlier this season, he posted a monster 43.16 DK point performance. If you expect the Falcons to be behind in this game (and it looks like they probably will be) Ryan should be able to pay off his salary.
At running back, Tevin Coleman ($5,200) has been having a solid season in the absence of Devonta Freeman. He hasn’t had the opportunity to realize his full potential though with Ito Smith ($3,400) eating into a potential full workload. Coleman should be one of the lower owned backs, but I will probably be staying away given the split.
As usual, the Falcons receivers are led by Julio Jones ($8,300) who has actually scored a touchdown in each of his last three games. In the Falcons’ first game against the Saints this season Jones was only able to post 14.1 DK points. Maybe this time around will be a different story, but he will still have his work cut out for him in the matchup against Marshon Lattimore. Calvin Ridley ($5,400) has been mediocre outside of a couple multi-touchdown performances this season. Ironically, one of those games came against the Saints earlier this season where Ridley put up a ridiculous stat line. He finished that game with 7 catches for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has been relatively quiet in the past few weeks, but maybe the matchup against the Saints could be the cure. The third member of the Falcons passing attack is Mohamed Sanu ($4,500). He will likely man his usual position in the slot which has been the most effective way to attack the Saints this season. With Sanu being one of the Falcons’ ancillary receivers he may fly under the radar. Sanu’s ownership discount paired with his matchup could make him one of the best plays on the slate.
Well that’s going to do it for this Thanksgiving breakdown.Hopefully this slate will leave you with plenty more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!