NFL DFS: DraftKings Week 12 Thanksgiving Slate
The Week 12 NFL DFS Thanksgiving action on Draftkings kicks off with a traditional three-game slate. There’s already been some controversy with Ravens players testing positive (more on the impact of that later) but I’m presuming that the Ravens and Steelers game will go ahead.
As there are only six teams on this slate, it’s crucial to make your lineups as different from the field as possible in tournaments. The easiest way to do this is to not spend your whole $50k budget. Don’t be afraid to leave even a couple of thousand on the table. There are value options that allow you to construct viable rosters for less than you would normally spend.
These are my personal opinions on the games and strategies at the time of writing this. I may employ different players and strategies than above if later or further information makes me re-evaluate my opinions. If you want to learn more about how I construct my lineups and look for leverage plays, please click here.
Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions
Houston is the most exciting team on this slate for me fantasy-wise which puts me in a quandary as I don’t want to use up all my players in the first game. Detroit gives up the most fantasy points to running backs which is going to make Duke Johnson ($5.7k) a popular play but does anyone have any faith in him anymore? Another single digit performance against the Patriots puts to bed the ‘Free Duke’ debate once and for all for me. As it’s only a three-game slate, if you’re playing multiple lineups, you should stick him in one but you’ll feel dirty doing so.
In the passing game, Randall Cobb is already ruled out and Kenny Stills is looking very unlikely to play. So a concentrated target tree becomes even more focused on Fuller ($6.4k) and Cooks ($5.3k). Jordan Akins ($2.9k) finally turned up with 6 targets and 13.3 fpts. He now faces a Lions D who is in the top 12 for points given up to tight ends. If you want to differentiate your lineup and save some money, Akins is a good option.
The Texans D are as forgiving as the Lions so there should be good fantasy options on the Lions. However, there are injuries to navigate before Thursday which will influence which way to go. If D’Andre Swift ($6.5k) is back he’s a must-start against the terrible Texans run defense. Otherwise, the touches are too spread out to make anyone fantasy relevant.
Kenny Golladay ($6k) hasn’t played for 3 weeks and in his absence, the Marvins (Hall and Jones), haven’t really taken advantage. However, the targets have to go somewhere, and I prefer Marvin Jones ($5.5k) in this matchup. Tight end TJ Hockenson at $4.7k flatters to deceive as ever. His fantasy reputation is far better than his production and he’s not an option for me.
Washington Football Team @ Dallas Cowboys
Washington Football Team
The obvious place for Washington to attack the Cowboys is through the air as they now give up the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Terry McLaurin ($7k) is a must-play on this slate. He’s been QB proof and consistently scored all through the season so his 13.4 fpts against the Bengals was disappointing. He’ll be back to his high scoring ways on Thanksgiving. If you want a really cheap receiver, I like both the Sims for their price. They have big-play ability and even though you wouldn’t touch them on a full slate, they’re a decent way to differentiate your lineup. Steven Sims ($3.2k) has been more consistent than Cam Sims ($3.3k) over the past couple of weeks.
Both Antonio Gibson ($6k) and JD McKissic ($5.1k) are viable options. Gibson has been a revelation and has been so consistent over the past 4 games. McKissic only had 5 targets on Sunday after 29 over the previous two weeks. Both the backs are heavily involved in the offensive gameplan and if you want to be extremely contrarian, play them both in a lineup.
Statistically, the Washington defense doesn’t give up many fantasy points to any position other than tight end. Enter Dalton Schultz ($3.8k). He’s averaged 7 targets a game over the last three and I think he’s a great leverage play off Mark Andrews, who I expect to be the most owned TE. Cooper ($5.7k) and Lamb ($5.4k) both look better with Andy Dalton behind center but this is a tough defense to score fantasy points against.
Ezekiel Elliott ($6.k) made himself fantasy relevant again against the Vikings with a 22.4 fpts game. He’s the only true bellcow on the slate and therefore will be very popular. Tony Pollard ($4k) needed a long touchdown to hit value last week and isn’t a play for me.
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Everything is up in the air with the positive covid tests but as I write this, both JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram are out for Thursday night. This more than likely means that Gus Edwards ($4k) stumbles into the starting role in the Ravens backfield. Before anyone gets too excited, he is facing a Steelers defense which gives up the least fantasy points to the position. Let everyone else play him, I think there are better options on this slate. Lamar Jackson ($6.8k) has been very disappointing this season but I think he still has a big score in him. I’m just not sure it will be in this game.
Mark Andrews ($5.2k) continues to be the best pass-catching option on the Ravens and is the most expensive TE on the slate. Marquise Brown ($4.7k) has been awful this year and has been outscored by Willie Snead (4.3k) in the past few weeks. If you are feeling particularly brave, Dez Bryant ($3.6k) garnered 5 targets in week 11. However, no pieces of the Baltimore offense are good options against this stingy Pittsburgh team.
The Steelers have so many options in the passing game and the trio of Diontae Johnson ($6.2k), Chase Claypool ($6.1k), and JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5.9k) are all in play on this slate. If you are playing multiple lineups, find a way to fit in different combinations. If I could only pick one it would probably be JuJu as I think he will be the least owned. Eric Ebron ($4.1k) is still getting targeted in the redzone and he’s one of the better options at tight end.
The Pittsburgh running game has kind of lost its way as the passing game has been so effective. James Connor ($6.2k) had 16 touches at the weekend but he also had a touchdown vultured by Benny Snell ($4k). If it looks like Connor will be low-owned, I’ll play him in some lineups.
Feature Image Credit: USA Today Sports