First off, let me say Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families. If you’ve heard my “July 4th>Thanksgiving” take on the podcast, you might think I’m a Turkey Day hater. As much as I think the Thanksgiving meal is overrated, what’s better than gorging yourself, spending time with family, and watching football all day? Let’s jump into the Week 13 Starts and Sits for Thursday.
*Spreads and O/U’s below pulled from DraftKings.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
- DET -1
- O/U 38.5
This may not be the most appealing appetizer, but it’s football nonetheless. The Bears offense showed signs of life last week against a bad Giants defense, and now they get a bad Lions defense. Detroit is a bottom seven defense in almost every metric imaginable, and have given up the 8th most points to quarterbacks, 12th most to receivers, and 2nd most to running backs on a per game basis. The Lions defense has given up fewer than 370 total yards just twice this year. When these two faced off in Week 10, Mitchell Trubisky finished as QB9 with three touchdowns on the day. Over the last three weeks, both Trubisky and Jeff Driskel are putting up QB1 fantasy numbers, ranked 12th and 8th, respectively. While the Bears defense is still one of the top units, it’s not as menacing as it was last year, particularly with the losses of Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan. The Bears have allowed over 100 total rushing yards in back-to-back weeks, with nearly 100 (98) allowed to Detroit three weeks ago. Over Driskel’s three starts, he had his most passing yards against Chicago (269). One key change during the Driskel Era has been with the receivers. Marvin Jones seems to be the receiver of choice for Driskel, as he leads the team in target share, market share of air yards, and fantasy points during this time. Kenny Golladay’s aDOT has gone from 16 the first 8 games to 12 over the last three.
Start: Allen Robinson, Marvin Jones
Sit: David Montgomery (I’m so sorry, sweet prince)
YOLO Play: Anthony Miller – With Taylor Gabriel, Adam Shaheen, and Trey Burton all out, Miller should reap the benefits and continue his recent upward trend. Miller has seen 20 targets the past two weeks, converting those into a scoreless 12-131.
*EDIT: David Blough has been named the starter for Detroit due to a hammy injury for Driskel. This could bump up both Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic in full PPR leagues as true desperation YOLO plays, but I’m downgrading Marvin and Kenny.
Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys
- DAL -7
- O/U 45
We’re getting closer to the main course here. This game is like the crescent rolls that have finished before the turkey is done. You’re gonna eat them because you’re starving, but you aren’t going to fill up on this one. The Bills come into this one ranked 10th in Football Outsider’s Weighted metric and have the looks of a run-funnel defense. They’re currently 5th in pass DVOA and 26th in rush DVOA. In terms of fantasy points allowed per game, the Bills allow the fifth-fewest to receivers and are middle-of-the-pack against running backs, slotting in at 15th overall. Speaking of middle of the road defenses, the Cowboys exemplify that. According to FO’s weighted metric and DVOA, the ‘Boys are sitting at 18th across the board. They’ve done things like held the Patriots under 300 total yards of offense, but also let Sam Darnold rip them up for over 300 passing yards.
Start: Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb
Sit: Amari Cooper, Devin Singletary
YOLO Play: Dawson Knox – The Cowboys have given up the 8th most fantasy points per game to tight ends and Knox has played at least 71% of the snaps in three of the past four weeks.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
- NO -7
- O/U 48.5
The main course. Pile your plate as high as you can, find a seat, and unbuckle those pants. After looking like the Falcons miraculously turned around their defense following their bye week, Jameis Winston hung up 313/3 on them on their way to a 35-22 Bucs win. The Saints, on the other hand, have allowed at least 349 yards of total offense in seven straight weeks. Both teams are in the top-12 for fantasy points allowed per game to quarterbacks and subsequently wide receivers. Let the shootout commence.
Start: Almost everyone
Sit: Atlanta’s running backs
YOLO Play: Russell Gage – Especially watch this one with the health of Julio Jones. Jones was listed as DNP both Monday and Tuesday but participated in today’s walkthrough.
There you have it! The Week 13 Starts and Sits for the Thanksgiving slate. If you’re traveling for the holiday, keep an eye out for the TFA podcast for your traveling pleasure. Also, join us in our Slack community!