We have an exciting slate of NFL games on tap for Thanksgiving 2018 that will culminate on Thursday night with Alvin Kamara and the Saints taking on the Atlanta Falcons in the Superdome. In this article, we’ll take a look at the matchups inside of the matchups to find the best options for daily fantasy football lineups for the Thursday DFS slate. I’ll break down each game and point out the players that have the best matchups. I’ll also point out the players with tough matchups and let you know who I think you should play and who I think you should avoid rostering in your daily fantasy football lineups. Finally, I’ll give you my favorite cash game lineup and a GPP lineup for the Thanksgiving DFS slate on Draft Kings.
Thanksgiving Daily Fantasy Football Featuring Alvin Kamara
Thursday Slate Breakdown
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
O/U 44.5 Bears -3.5
Bears implied point total (24)
Looking at this matchup one play jumps out at me, it’s the Bears defense. Matthew Stafford hasn’t thrown as many interceptions this season, mostly because they run the ball a lot due to the emergence of Kerryon Johnson, but this Bears defense is scary good. These two teams just met in a week 10 matchup. In that game, the Bears had six sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery and scored 12 Draft Kings points for the week. Here are the Bears Draft Kings points scored in their last three games,(28, 12, 15). I expect another good game for the Bears defense on Thanksgiving. I’ll be fading most Lions on this slate.
The Bears offense could be a good value on this slate. Mitchell Trubisky is relatively cheap compared to the big name quarterbacks at the top. Trubisky has played great lately and offers a nice floor with his ability to create yards with his legs. If he’s able to get the passing game going, as he has done lately then there could be some good value here. I like Trubisky this week, unfortunately, the Saints-Falcons game offers much more upside. For this reason, Trubisky is more of a GPP option for me this week, albeit a good one.
I like Anthony Miller, Trey Burton, and Tarik Cohen all to provide good value this week. Jordan Howard is also an interesting option at his low price tag (4100 on Draft Kings). If Darius Slay plays for Detroit I will probably avoid Allen Robinson in all but the deepest of GPPs. However, if Slay for some reason were to miss this game like he missed the week 11 game, then Robinson would be a must play. Taylor Gabriel is a Gpp play only.
Lions implied point total (20.5)
Outside of Kenny Golladay, the Lions passing game has mostly struggled ever since Golden Tate got traded to the Eagles. The two bright spots for this offense have been Kerryon Johnson and Kenny Golladay. Golladay has been targeted heavily in the last few games. Last week he made the most of those targets catching eight of 14 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. That was good for 28.3 Draft Kings points. He also scored 19.8 points the week before when facing the Bears. Though this is a tough matchup for Golladay he’s worth a look based off of his potential volume and talent. He could be able to overcome the tough matchups.
The only other player that I feel is expected to get volume and has the talent to overcome this tough matchup is Kerryon Johnson. He’s also worth a look for your lineups, however, he suffered a knee injury in week 11 so his status for the game needs to be monitored closely. Everyone else on the Lions offense are GPP dart material.
I might throw a dart at Bruce Ellington on Draft Kings in some GPP lineups because of his low price. He’s only 3200 and saw nine targets in week 11. Ellington can be used as a GPP dart or a low-cost roster filler in cash lineups to help fit those high priced running backs in. Matt Stafford, Marvin Jones, and Theo Riddick are all GPP darts on this slate as well. Riddick would have little more appeal if Kerryon Johnson were to be ruled out.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
O/U 40.5 Cowboys -8
Cowboys implied point total (24.25)
Though I haven’t checked, this has got to be one of the lowest Vegas points totals of the season so far. Outside of the running backs, there’s not a lot to get excited about here. For me, it’s Ezekiel Elliott and that’s it from this game. Of course, there are always some pivot plays and GPP dart throws so we won’t just completely disregard everyone in this game.
Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper would be a lower ownership stack that could be worth playing in a large GPP tournament lineup. Cooper let a lot of people down in week 11 and will very likely see Josh Norman shadow coverage this week. I’m guessing this will cause many people to stay away. Cole Beasley and Rico Gathers are both low-end options. Gathers will fill in for Geoff Swaim who has already been ruled out. He would be a min-priced TE worth a look as a salary saving option.
Redskins implied point total (16.25)
For the Redskins, it will be Colt McCoy piloting the ship after Alex Smith went down with a horrific leg injury in week 11. McCoy is a bit of an unknown quantity here, however, he has played well in spots in the past. The Dallas defense is good but not great. McCoy does have some sleeper appeal with his low price tag this Thursday but only for GPP tournaments. If I do play McCoy in a lineup I would stack him with Jordan Reed. Reed is really the only dependable target left standing in Washington unless Chris Thompson or Jamison Crowder are able to return. Out of all the Redskins players, the only player that somewhat excites me is Adrian Peterson. His price on Draft Kings (5100)
and his likely heavy rushing volume makes him a good option for Turkey Day DFS. Both, Maurice Harris and Josh Doctson are only worth considering when entering multiple lineups into very large tournaments but my plan I is to stay away from most Redskins players.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
O/U 59 Saints -13
Saints implied point total (36)
Now we’re talking! The Vegas point total on this game is 13 points higher than the next highest projected game total on the day. For me, the play of the week is Alvin Kamara. The Saints are big favorites in this game and the Falcons have given up big points to running backs all season. I plan on stuffing as many players from this game that I can in my DFS lineups.
Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram, and Tre’Quan Smith are all good options. Of course, it is unlikely that all of them go off, so make sure to only roster three or maybe four players from one team max in any one lineup. On a small slate like this, you could even consider rostering Ben Watson in lineups. On a slate like this one where there aren’t any really good tight end options, I typically just pay down and hope to make up the points elsewhere by paying up at other positions. Rostering Watson allows you to do that pay down for tight end and pay up for a running back like Alvin Kamara.
Falcons implied point total (23)
Even though Vegas has the Saints winning by 13 points, the Falcons offense is still very much in play here. I expect them to be aggressive on offense knowing they will have to score a lot of points to try to beat the Saints. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are the obvious options and are a good bet for some production. Austin Hooper and the running backs have the toughest matchups of all the Falcons. Personally, I would fade the Falcons running backs and focus more on the pass catchers for this game.
There’s a good chance that the Falcons will be in catch-up mode in the second half and abandon the run. This game doesn’t set up well for Tevin Coleman or Ito Smith. However, with this being a small slate the running back options are slim so if you’re playing multiple lineups I could see mixing in Coleman to be a bit contrarian. Though it looks dim for the run game Coleman could get in on the passing game. Needing to pass a lot also means that Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu should be in the mix. I like Ridley a bit more than Sanu, he has handled the bigger target share but both are in play Thursday, with Sanu being the sneakier GPP option. Sanu is also the least likely to see coverage from Marshon Lattimore. [Player pricing found at Draft Kings]
Cash Game and GPP Lineups
Matt Ryan 6100
Ezekiel Elliott 8600
Jordan Howard 4100
Julio Jones 8300
Anthony Miller 4400
Tre’Quan Smith 4700
Alvin Kamara 8300
Bears Defense 2900
Total Cost 49,900
Mitch Trubisky 5900
Ezekiel Elliott 8600
Alvin Kamara 8300
Kenny Golladay 6400
Anthony Miller 4400
Mohamed Sanu 4500
Mark Ingram 6100
Saints Defense 2300
Total Cost 49,700
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