Ben’s NFL Thanksgiving Thoughts
What’s up everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! I, personally, am a huge #TeamThanksgiving person and I love Thanksgiving day DFS, similar to Christmas Day NBA. It’s only a three game slate, but there will be fresh blood in the water with people sitting on their couches playing that typically don’t, and we take any edge possible in DFS. I will be sending out my core plays via DFS Karma, if you are a customer, so I don’t quite want to give away my full lineup thoughts but below I will highlight how I am going to attack this slate. Let’s get it!
With Mitchell Trubisky and Alex Smith both missing this Thursday, the Quarterback pool is automatically watered down. With a huge 59 O/U in New Orleans, the main focus is going to be on Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. Those are obviously my top choices, with Brees sticking out as the clear top overall play given their huge 36 point implied team total. With no Trubisky available to play, the only other QB I would mainly be considering is Colt McCoy. McCoy is not a sexy big-armed Quarterback, but I don’t anticipate this Washington offense taking that big of a step back with McCoy at the helm and he has looked good in recent preseasons. I get the argument for Dak Prescott, but I’d rather take the savings with McCoy in able to get up to an upper tier player with the rest of my roster.
My Pool (In order of preference): Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Colt McCoy
Running Back is especially interesting on Thursday, with a few big names such as Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara, but no Todd Gurley, James Conner, etc. Anyone that reads my content knows the lengths that I will go to play running backs against the Atlanta Falcons, they’ve given up under 20 fantasy points to an opposing running back just once this season. I’m sure that some people will do this, but I think the majority of people will be worried about taking two backs on the same team so my cheat code of this slate is to just jam in both of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. You can still use Zeke should you want, and if you are able to get in Ingram/Kamara/Brees you have locked up exposure to all the Saints points, by far the most elite spot on the slate. As far as cheap running backs, we have Tevin Coleman and Theo Riddick also in play, but they are way behind the three aforementioned backs for me.
My Pool: Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Ezekiel Elliott, Tevin Coleman, Theo Riddick
Outside of Michael Thomas and Julio Jones, we have no elite wideouts on this slate and given the O/U of that game mass ownership is going to be pushed onto them. Of the two, I think I would narrowly prefer Julio Jones when factoring in price, but you can’t go wrong with either. If you go the route of a Brees/Kamara/Ingram stack it would make sense to run it back with Jones who has now scored in three straight weeks. Outside of the top tier, we have Kenny Golladay who is set up for a monster target share with no Marvin Jones once again, and there could be some more emphasis on the passing game against this nasty Bears front and with Kerryon Johnson also sidelined. Alongside Golladay is Calvin Ridley in the mid tier, who posted his best game of his career against this Saints team earlier this season and will benefit from Sean Payton scheming to hold Julio Jones in check. You can also look at Mohamed Sanu, in a similarly good matchup as Ridley. If you are searching for value, the top two are clearly Bruce Ellington and Trey Quinn, especially with Tre’Quan Smith questionable to play. If Smith is in, he is clearly above the aforementioned two, but if he is out, we can certainly bump up both Quinn and Ellington.
My Pool: Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Kenny Golladay, Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu, Trey Quinn, Bruce Ellington, Tre’Quan Smith (Bump up if active)
Per usual, tight end is a wasteland especially on a three game slate. Jordan Reed sticks out as the top option, and I actually anticipate him to provide more value moving forward with McCoy over Smith at QB. He is almost $5,000 though, so I’m not sure if we will be able to fit him outside of tournaments. The top pivot would be Austin Hooper, but I’ve come onto Josh Hill as a sleeper play at minimum price. I’m not very interested in Trey Burton with Chase Daniel at QB, and Austin Hooper’s floor is pretty low. I would love to recommend Rico Gathers here with Geoff Swaim out, but I think that Hill is actually significantly safer than him given Dallas’ inability to properly use Gathers for the entirety of his career. Hill has continually out-targeted Ben Watson in recent weeks and he is very athletic, if he somehow can find the end zone we will be way, way ahead of the field.
My Pool: Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper, Josh Hill