For Daily Fantasy Football (DFS) participants the Week 12 NFL slate begins with a solid, three-course meal of games on Thanksgiving day. If you are like me you will be watching, eating (and probably sleeping) through some of these games. Why not watch your seasonal leagues’ stat trackers and try to win some money in DFS as well?
This post is solely for the three Thursday games, but if you want to use some of these plays for the entire Week 12 slate feel free. I will be writing up another article that will cover the remaining games, but a thought a holiday treat for our loyal followers was in order. this special post. Enjoy and let’s head into Black Friday with some extra cash!!
As always any questions, arguments, or glowing praise can be sent to me via Twitter @fantsychillpony.
Thanksgiving Thursday Core Plays
These will be my top plays for the Thursday-only slate. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups of mine as possible. If I can, I will use three or all four in one lineup. A reminder that for cash games going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. If you go value at quarterback he MUST meet value for your loaded lineup to be worth it.
QB: Kirk Cousins, Washington vs. New York Giants ($8,800 FanDuel/$7,600 DraftKings)
Cousins is facing the hapless Giants team this Thanksgiving and because that I like him the most of the turkey day quarterbacks. The Giants are ranked 29th in the NFL against the pass and 30th against the run. Cousins has produced 29 or more fantasy points over the last two weeks in what most consider more difficult matchups, especially two weeks ago vs. Minnesota. The loss of Chris Thompson could hurt Cousins, but with capable receivers and tight ends he is in a great spot.
RB: Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys ($8,400 FanDuel/$8,100 DraftKings)
Volume is not necessarily an issue for Gordon (above, right), and he has a real knack for finding the end zone. He got bottled up vs. Jacksonville in Week 9 with 27 rushing yards on 16 attempts, but he still found a way to post five catches get to 9.2 fantasy points. Then he bounced back this past Sunday with 80 rushing yards and a TD on 20 carries. The Cowboys aren’t terrible on defense but are a little banged up and have been vulnerable against the run. If the Chargers can take an early lead, Gordon will be a big part of the game plan, especially in the red zone.
WR: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions ($8,300 FanDuel/$7,600 DraftKings)
Thielen’s magical season continued in Week 10 when he broke off a big touchdown run with a textbook catch-and- go route. Thielen is looking legit each and every week and I am leaning towards using him over Stefon Diggs because of the Darius Slay factor. I will have both of the league's top 15 receivers in many lineups on Thursday however. With 98, 166, and 123 yards over his last games Thielen is a target fiend and it will certainly continue on Thanksgiving in Detroit.
WR: Jamison Crowder, Washington vs. New York Giants ($6,300 FanDuel/$5,400 DraftKings)
Crowder has emerged as Kirk Cousins’ top target with 8, 13 and 11 passes thrown his way over his last three games. Enter a division rival and as stated above one of the worst defenses in the league and Crowder should be a safe option for 3X value with a higher ceiling. His production (25.5, 12.1 and 14.6 fantasy points) are fine performances for a receiver at his cost over the past three games, and as I stated in a drool-worthy matchup.
TE: Evan Engram, New York Giants at Washington ($7,600 FanDuel/$6,100 DraftKings)
Engram has been having a fantastic rookie season. A terrible outing from the Giants as a whole last week left Engram with 1.9 DraftKings points, his first non-double-digit performance in four weeks. It also broke a streak of a touchdown in four straight games. Washington is not terrible against tight ends, but Engram should bounce back fine and meet value. If you don’t want to pay up for him strongly consider Kyle Rudolph ($5,800 FanDuel/ $4,100 DraftKings).
Value Plays for Thanksgiving Day
QB: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys ($7,600 FanDuel/$6,100 DraftKings)
Rivers has scored 15 or more DraftKings points in five of his last seven games. The potential for a very big week is here even on short rest on the road in Dallas. The Cowboys’ secondary is not among the strongest units in the league and Dallas’ defense is banged up elsewhere. Rivers used Keenan Allen to the fullest last week, and should be leaning on him once again Thursday. Rivers has been sharp, and again is a safe play with high ceiling.
RB: Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys($5,800 FanDuel/$4,200 DraftKings)
My trademark value play filled with risk is here in Ekeler. I will have both Chargers backs in several lineups though simply due to volume and the upward trend of Ekeler over the past four weeks, with the exception being the Week 8 game in New England. Ekeler has scored four total touchdowns over three of the last four games and appears to be one of Rivers’s favorite new weapons when Gordon is not in the game. The Chargers’ RB tandem could cover all bases at a fair cost this week.
WR: Ryan Grant, Washington vs. New York Giants ($5,200 FanDuel/$3,700 DraftKings)
Grant is cheap and targeted enough to meet value on most weeks. He is listed as questionable, which is concerning, but it sounds as if he should be fine to play Thursday. That big red “Q” only helps keep his ownership low, so for a cheap GPP dart you could certainly do worse in a game where Kirk Cousins and Washington will probably be throwing plenty.
— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.