Thanksgiving Fantasy Football Advice
It’s already Thanksgiving week and the fantasy football playoffs are just around the corner. This week could make or break your fantasy season as so many playoff implications come down to the last few weeks before the playoffs. The 2019 Thanksgiving Day slate is a bit underwhelming, but there are plenty of fantasy football options to keep an eye on as you feed your face all day.
Bears @ Lions – 12:30PM EST
Opening Line: Chicago -3 | Over/Under 39
The first game on Thanksgiving day is a classic one, as the Chicago Bears head into Detroit to take on the Lions. While the matchup is favorable for the Bears quarterbacks with the Lions surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Mitch Trubisky will be a low-end fantasy option and one that you should avoid if possible. Last week against the Giants he threw for 278 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown which made for a decent day against New York who has been pretty generous to opposing quarterbacks this year. I’d avoid if possible, but in Superflex and 2QB leagues, he’s not the worst option for Week 12. On DraftKings, Trubisky is the cheapest starting QB at $5,300 making him a solid punt, allowing you to pay up at other positions.
I’d be avoiding Matt Stafford in this matchup, as he is expected to play, he will likely not be 100% even if he does end up playing. If Stafford ends up sitting this one out, Jeff Driskel will step in and is actually more expensive than Trubisky on this slate at $5,500. Either way, I’d be avoiding this situation if possible.
David Montgomery has been disappointing and unreliable this year after being drafted and viewed as one of the top running backs in this class. In three straight weeks, Montgomery has failed to crack double-digit fantasy points in PPR scoring and is the RB27 on the season. That being said, Detroit is currently giving up the most points in the NFL to opposing running backs, putting him in the Flex conversation this week along with Tarik Cohen, who should be started in PPR leagues. If you’re playing on DraftKings this week, Cohen is just $5,000. With the bye weeks no longer being a factor, you can probably get away from starting these guys, but in deeper leagues, they both are low-end options if you’re desperate.
I’d be avoiding all Lions running backs this week, the Bears have been below average at stopping the run, but the Detroit backfield is a mess, led by Bo Scarbrough and J.D. McKissic. Scarbrough has shown flashes and has seen the bulk of the carries over the past two weeks. Last week against the Redskins he saw 18 carries, and the week before he saw 14 and found the end zone. At $4,700 on DraftKings, I’d be avoiding Scarbrough this week. McKissic is cheaper at $3,700 and is more involved in the receiving game. Of the two, I’d be more likely to take a chance on McKissic at his price.
Allen Robinson is in play this week after bouncing back last week putting up 131 yards and a touchdown, catching 6-11 passes. If there’s anyone on this offense that I’m fairly confident in starting this week, it’s Robinson and he comes with WR2 upside. Robinson is the third-highest wide receiver on the Thursday slate on DraftKings at $6,700 which is underwhelming value. The Lions give up the 11th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on the season. Anthony Miller did have a nice game last week, but he’ll need to prove it more before being someone you’re confident in starting. If you’re on DraftKings, Miller is just $3,900 which puts him into play at that value.
As for the Detroit wide receivers, I’d lean towards avoiding both if possible. The Bears give up the 31st fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this year. Marvin Jones is the cheaper of the two at $5,300 on DraftKings, while Kenny Golladay is $6,100. I’m sure one of them could find the end zone, but given the matchup and Stafford’s situation, I’d avoid if possible. Both Jones and Golladay are WR3 options this week and in deeper leagues, aren’t the worst options out there.
The only option that I’d be considering at tight end would be T.J. Hockenson. In season-long leagues, I’d avoid starting him if possible, but in DFS he’s a decent option at $3,400 with a favorable matchup. If you’re looking for a DST to target in this matchup, the Bears are where I’d go. The Lions are more expensive on DraftKings at $2,700 than the Bears at $2,500. However, both are in play given the current quarterback situation in Chicago and Stafford not at 100%.
Bills @ Cowboys – 4:30PM EST
Opening Line: Dallas -6.5 | Over/Under 44.5
Next up is a matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys head back home after a rough loss to the Patriots in New England. The Bills however just beat the Broncos 20-3 in Denver and look to build on their momentum. Both quarterbacks are in play as Dak Prescott and Josh Allen have been great fantasy quarterbacks this year and are top ten in just about any format you play in. Both defenses are fairly tough matchups for opposing quarterbacks, but the volume and way they’ve been playing keeps them both in play. Prescott is the cheaper option on DraftKings at $5,700 and that’s where I’d lean towards.
Ezekiel Elliott is matchup proof and will be started everywhere. He’s the second-most expensive running back on DraftKings at $7,400. Devin Singletary is the only Bills running back I’d start this week and with this matchup, he’s a low-end RB2 or Flex option. You’re probably on the fence about starting Singletary, but with bye weeks and considering he was potentially a waiver wire add, he’s not a must-start option. I like Singletary as a decent RB2 or Flex option this week.
Amari Cooper is just the seventh-most expensive wide receiver on DraftKings this week at $6,000, making him someone that I’ll be targeting heavily. In five games at home this year, he’s had 100+ receiving yards in four of them. He’s also scored five touchdowns over the course of those games, including his 226-yard performance against Green Bay. Both Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb have been consistent this year, I lean Gallup over Cobb, but would put them both in the WR3 and given the matchup you can probably get away with sitting them.
John Brown is the only Bills wide receiver I’ll be interested in starting in season-long leagues, while Cole Beasley is a better DFS option at $4,700 on DraftKings. Brown has quietly had himself a very solid season so far and is the WR15 in PPR formats, making him someone that you can start fairly confidently week in and week out as a Flex option or WR3 with WR2 upside.
The tight end position in this matchup is interesting as the Cowboys are awful against tight ends, while the Bills give up the fewest points in the league to opposing tight ends. This makes Jason Witten someone I’ll be avoiding and if you’re desperate, Dawson Knox could be a sneaky streaming option this week. At just $2,900 on DraftKings, Knox is a cheap and intriguing option on this slate. I’d be avoiding both DSTs in this matchup.
Saints @ Falcons – 8:20PM EST
Opening Line: Saints -6.5 | Over/Under 50
The last matchup on this Thanksgiving slate is definitely the most exciting one for the day. The Saints are coming off a big divisional win over the Panthers, while the struggling Falcons just lost at home to the Buccaneers. Drew Brees will definitely be the better option at quarterback over Matt Ryan, but both are options in season-long leagues. Ryan has been inconsistent, but I’d expect the Falcons get a bit back on track and with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, it’s tough to sit Ryan even after putting up a dud against Tampa Bay. The Falcons give up the sixth-most points to opposing quarterbacks while the Saints give up the 11th-most. With a high scoring matchup likely, both quarterbacks are the most expensive on DraftKings this week with Brees at $6,800 and Ryan at $6,400.
Alvin Kamara is a must-start option and there isn’t much that needs said, especially in a great matchup. Latavius Murray has been moving more towards filling that Mark Ingram role but has been tough to predict. In Week 10 against the Falcons, he had just 19 total yards on seven touches. Murray is a Flex option and has a decent price tag at $5,600 on DraftKings, putting him in play.
The Falcons backfield has been disappointing, to say the least. Brian Hill was expected to step up in Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith’s absences but has been disappointing. However, he has seen 49 total touches since Week 10 where he caught on receiving touchdown. Rookie Qadree Ollison scored a rushing touchdown in each of the last two games and is the cheaper option on DraftKings at $4,100. I’d avoid this backfield entirely in season-long leagues, but both Hill and Ollison are decent cheap options to take a shot on in GPPs this week.
The wide receivers on this slate are the most appealing of these three Thanksgiving matchups. Michael Thomas and Julio Jones are must-start players, even with Jones dealing with a banged-up shoulder. Calvin Ridley is also someone I’m starting as a low-end WR2 this week. He’s put up 228 receiving yards and two touchdowns over the past two weeks on 22 total targets. Ted Ginn and Tre’Quan Smith should only be started in DFS lineups as cheap flyers. Ginn is $3,800 and Smith is $3,500, but both have the chance to break one playoff and score. Ginn has seen much more volume this year and is the somewhat “safer” option of the two. Russell Gage is a nice value at $4,500 on DraftKings and is the clear number three in the passing game while Austin Hooper is out.
As for the tight ends, Jared Cook is someone that will be tough to get away from in season-long leagues the way he’s been playing. He’s scored in each of his last two games and is likely a top ten tight end this week. In DFS, Cook is the most expensive tight end on the slate at $4,800 besides Hooper, who will more than likely remain sidelined. I’d avoid both DSTs if possible, but I prefer the Saints over the Falcons. In season-long leagues, you’re probably better off grabbing another DST off the waiver wire.