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Thanksgiving Day NFL DFS Game by Game Breakdown and Picks

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Welcome into the FREE edition of the Thanksgiving NFL DFS Game by Game Breakdown!

My name is Adam Strangis and I’m here to walk you through the three games as we do every week for the premium RotoCurve NFL package. With a full day of NFL action in front of us, the only thing that goes better with watching football and eating Thanksgiving food is playing a little DFS!

Hopefully I can help guide you to a nice side dish of Thanksgiving #buckies (what we at RotoCurve call money!) and we can be thankful together for family, friends, food and football!


Bears at Lions, O/U of 38.5 (Lions -1)

Bears Breakdown

QB – With this game being the lowest O/U on the slate by a touchdown and the sub-par play of Mitchell Trubisky across the season, he certainly doesn’t look like the most attractive option on the slate. He is the cheapest option among the six starters and if you want to load up on skill players from later games, this could be an option. The Lions give up the eighth-most DK points to the quarterback position which includes the third-most yards and are tied for the third most touchdowns. Despite how poor Trubisky has been this year, he’s serviceable when he’s not being pressured. On 237 drop backs, he has a 67.7% completion rate and a 2:1 TD:INT ratio. Granted, the YPA is only 6.2 but the Lions have the fifth-fewest sacks on the year and that should help Trubisky. I hate to say it, but he is in play to jam in everyone else you like.

RB – We should want to attack the Lions defense on the ground since they are one of the worst teams in the league in defending the running back position. Detroit gives up the second-most DK points, ninth-most rushing yards and third-most receiving yards to the backs. That should lead us to Tarik Cohen ahead of David Montgomery as we’ve started to see a shift in the backfield. In Week 10, these two split the snaps evenly but Montgomery was nursing an ankle injury so that made sense. This past week, Cohen took the snap lead at 51-35 and had 13 touches. Cohen has seen 19 targets over the past three weeks and he’s hit at least 12 DK in those games as well. If playing a Bears running back, Cohen at the cheaper price with a 19% target share on the season is the path to take.

WR – It would make plenty of sense for Darius Slay to shadow Allen Robinson in this game but that might not be something to exactly fear. Slay is being targeted on one of every seven coverage snaps and has given up 317 yards on the season. Robinson is the leading target share player at 26% but checking in as the third-highest salary isn’t ideal. He’s been held hostage by the quarterback and you all you need to do is look at the past month to see the peaks and valleys. Robinson has scored six or fewer DK points twice and 14 or more twice. Boom or bust at its finest.

I’m likely not going to be playing him at the salary and it’s hard to project Taylor Gabriel or Anthony Miller as anything more than a dart. They both have a target share under 14% but Miller would stand out as the better of the two options. He’s seen a whopping 20 targets in the past two weeks and runs the majority of his routes from the slot. Justin Coleman has played the most coverage snaps from the slot and has surrendered 405 yards and five touchdowns.

Update – Gabriel is out and Miller is likely to be very chalky at the price and with the field attempting to fit in the same players

TE – No tight end on the Bears roster is averaging over 2.5 DK points a game and nobody has more than a 4% target share. If you roll the dice with anyone, I guess it’s Ben Braunecker since he had four targets last week and dropped a potential touchdown. There’s every chance he puts out a zero if you play him.

Update – Braunecker is out 

D/ST – The Bears night be fairly popular at just $2,500 and they seem pretty underpriced. This Detroit offense is down their quarterback and starting running back, while the Bears have 26 sacks on the year and 15 turnovers created.

Cash – D/ST, Cohen, Trubisky, Miller

GPP – Robinson, Bears DST

Lions Overview

QB – It doesn’t seem like Matthew Stafford will make it back for this game so it’ll be Jeff Driskel under center for the fourth straight game. This past game represented Driskel’s worst game as the starter results-wise, posting under 16 DK points for the first time. He was dragged down by three interceptions last week because he rushed for 63 yards, the highest of his three games. That’s helped his floor quite a bit since he’s hit at least 37 yards on the ground in all three and he’s totaled 22 rushing attempts so far. The real problem is the Bears are the fifth best team against the QB and if you’re picking between QB’s in this game, Trubisky might get the nod just based on matchup.

Update – Driskel is out, and David Blough is starting. I have no interest in basically this entire offense with a third stringer against the Bears. 

RB – Bo Scarbrough might not be anything special, but he benefits from the the most important factor for running backs, touches. In the past two games, he’s logged 32 carries and he’s under $5,000 so he’s really a viable option. Chicago isn’t anything special against the running backs and have allowed 11 total touchdowns, 10 on the ground. I’m not sure he’s going to have a lot of room to run with Driskel at QB because the Bears can in theory clog the lanes, but the price is definitely solid. He also out-snapped JD McKissic 37-17 and McKissic logged only three touches. I think it’s Bo or Bust in this backfield.

WR – Kenny Golladay has seen his production slip a little bit since Driskel has taken over and has not gone over 61 yards or four receptions in any of the three games. If you’re looking for a good aspect of his game Golladay does still have an aDOT of 12 yards so he’s still a downfield threat. It’s just less likely to get a completion with Driskel than Stafford. Marvin Jones actually has had a couple more targets and has been more productive. Since the Bears are a top five team against receivers, Jones might be the better bet. He’s found the end zone twice and he does have 10 completions in the red zone on the year compared to just five for Golladay. I would play Jones ahead of Golladay since the latter is more expensive and will get the bulk of the coverage.

TE – T.J. Hockenson has been tough to peg this year and the past three games have seen a severe downward trend. He only has our receptions in the last three games off of 10 targets and just 53 total yards in that time frame as well. The Bears are in the bottom seven against the tight end but Hockenson doesn’t seem to be in any spot to take advantage of it.

D/ST – Anytime there’s a defense up against Trubisky, they are in play. Unfortunately, the Lions only have four interceptions on the season and only five sacks at home this year. Even the seasonal total is paltry at 23 so I would prefer the Bears unit.

Cash – Scarbrough, Jones

GPP – Golladay, D/ST


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Bills at Cowboys, O/U of 44.5 (Cowboys -7)

Bills Overview

QB – Josh Allen continues to produce a rock-solid floor in almost every single matchup, as the only time he’s been below 17.6 DK points has been the New England game. That can be excused fairly easily and the rest of the matchups haven’t mattered. Even against the Broncos this past week, he produced 20 DK points and the Broncos are the third best team against QB. Since the bye week in Week 6, Allen only has two turnovers in six games compared to 14 total touchdowns. Dallas isn’t a good matchup for Allen as the eighth best against his position but it just hasn’t mattered so far and I don’t think it needs a lot of explaining. I’d prefer either of the last game options ahead of Allen for ceiling but his floor might actually be a little higher than theirs.

RB – Devin Singletary is coming off another game that he touched the ball 16 times or more, which has been the case in three of the past four. When he’s hit a carry threshold of at least 15, the production has been at least 75 yards rushing each time. The Cowboys also allow the fifth most receptions to the backs and Singletary can be productive in that facet of the game even if’s not a huge part with just 17 receptions on the season. He’s still ripping off 7.2 yards per catch so that aspect really is good for him. If You want to play Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott, that third back option comes down to Singletary, Cohen and Scarbrough. My slight lean is Cohen just because the PPR aspect of DK and the extra $800 helps lineup construction. But on other sites, it’s different.

WR – John Brown finally had his streak of at least 50 yards receiving snapped this past week and if not for a 34 yard touchdown reception, his day would have been a disaster. Per PFF, the Cowboys haven’t shadowed anyone with Byron Jones this year, or any other corner for that matter. Even with that knowledge in tow, Dallas is still the fourth best team against the receiver and the no shadow policy is working out just fine for them. I don’t think I’m spending on Brown, but we just saw when he’s taken out of a game plan for the most part that Cole Beasley actually has a little bit of upside. He saw nine targets (third highest on the year) and had six receptions and a touchdown. The price difference is pretty big and I wouldn’t be totally shocked if Beasley put up a similar score or better.

TE – Dawson Knox might be a nice punt even though he’s not super involved in the offense. Unless Austin Hooper makes it back for this one (seems unlikely as of this writing), we don’t have a tight end that is really involved in the offense. Dallas is tied for the fifth most touchdowns at five and the eighth most receptions. That puts Knox in a good spot on paper and you just hope that he gets a handful of targets to get some return.

D/ST – Even though I think the Buffalo defense is one of the best in the league, I can’t say I love them as a unit this week. Dallas has only given up 12 sacks, the fewest in the league and while they have turned the ball over 14 times, Dallas is sixth in points per game. I think it would be better to find $300 for the Bears, but the Bills are a GPP option.

Cash – Allen, Singletary, Beasley

GPP – Brown, D/ST, Knox as a punt

Cowboys Overview

QB – This five day stretch is going to be tough for Dak Prescott. He has to go from New England in the rain and the best defense in football to just three days off to deal with another great unit in the Bills. They are the third-best team in terms of defending quarterbacks and have only allowed seven touchdowns, while picking off seven interceptions. They have also given up the third-fewest passing yards so there’s no doubt that it’s a difficult spot for Prescott. He is under $6,000 which is awfully tempting but I think I side with the Bills here and he’s going to be just a GPP option for me. I do think his floor is roughly 15 DK so he’s not going to be a disaster I don’t think.

RB – It almost doesn’t matter if you think Ezekiel Elliott is going to play well in this one if you’re playing cash on this slate. He’s under $8,000 and he’s just going to be wildly popular. It doesn’t exactly feel like it but he’s the RB8 in PPR settings and averages well over 20 touches per game. Buffalo has allowed 1,431 total yards and 10 touchdowns to running backs this year and Zeke will have the vast majority of the running back production for this team. On a short slate, he’s going to be a top-three player in terms of ownership and it’s going to be best to ride with the chalk.

WR – The Bills have started to use Tre White in shadow coverage lately and I think that will continue this week in Dallas. White has 416 coverage snaps to his credit and he’s given up a passer rating of just 51.1 and has four interceptions to zero touchdowns. Cooper is averaging almost 30 DK at home and while I don’t think he gets shutout like he did in New England, I would play Michael Gallup instead. Gallup is only six targets behind Cooper for the team lead despite playing two fewer games, which says quite a bit. The aDOT is only 1.2 yards behind Cooper at 12 yards and if he’s avoiding White, Gallup should be set up for success. Just like his teammates, Cooper has a depressed price but I think I’m looking elsewhere.

TE – I’m not sure it’s a great thing for Jason Witten to be on the field as much as he is, but he has a 14.8% target share and the 77.5% snap share has to be noted. The issue with Witten is he’s got the toughest matchup in the league in front of him this week. Buffalo has only allowed 32 receptions through 11 games and only one touchdown, both the best marks in the league or tied for it. Witten is not someone I’m using.

D/ST – Dallas is the second highest option and I think they’re almost a luxury. We talked about how much better Josh Allen has been with the turnovers lately and Buffalo has only allowed 24 sacks on the season. With the seemingly limited splash play potential, I’ll just pay for a cheaper defense.

Cash – Zeke, Gallup

GPP – Cooper, Dak, Witten, D/ST

 

Saints at Falcons, O/U of 49.5 (Saints -6.5)

Saints Overview

QB – Drew Brees is the highest-priced quarterback and that should come as no real surprise. These two teams did just see each other three weeks ago and the Saints are going to be looking for revenge after the Falcons defense worked them over in New Orleans. Since that game, Brees has thrown for six touchdowns and 539 yards, posting at least 21 DK in each game. Jameis Winston just threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns against this Falcons defense, which has generally been horrendous to the quarterback this year. They are bottom five in DK points allowed and in passing touchdowns allowed, so I would be very surprised if the Falcons shut Brees out again. The biggest question on the slate is will you be able to fit Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Zeke and Brees comfortably? There’s nothing wrong with Brees and the odds are he could end as the highest-scoring QB on the day.

RB – It was a tilting day to be a Kamara owner on Sunday but he still wound up with 20 touches and 46 snaps to 25 for Latavius Murray. I’ve pointed out in the past that Atlanta is pretty good as far as allowing receptions to the backs now, which is a big shift for them. They’re just slightly better than average after being the stone wort for multiple years, but we’re also talking about Alvin Kamara. He’s near impossible to stop out of the backfield as far as receiving. Murray only got seven touches (all rushing attempts) last game and I don’t think he’s an optimal play given the price tag this week.

WR – For those of you who are reading this for the first time, I’ve mentioned this the past few weeks. Michael Thomas is the second-most consistent skill position player for fantasy on a points par game basis. He’s averaging 23.9 PPR points per game and the only player with more is Christian McCaffrey. Thomas has actually now edged out Dalvin Cook in that respect and he’s just an absolute monster. It seems weird to see a receiver priced so highly but he deserves it and I’m going to be very heavy on him in this one.

Even when the Falcons only allowed nine points in the first meeting, Thomas scored over 31 DK points. The secondary receivers are a dart throw but I kind of like Tre’Quan Smith here. He played 46 snaps this past week and comes dirt cheap, with the chance to have a bigger game. It’s been a rough, injury filled season but he was a higher pick and the defense he’s up against is very poor. Ted Ginn is an option as well with five targets the week before, and both are GPP only. Smith is likely to be very low-owned even on a three game slate.

TE – Jared Cook could be chalk at the tight end position since he’s come alive this past month, having scored more than 11.3 DK points in each of the past four games. The targets have been all over the board at eight, two, 10 and three in those games, so he might not be as safe as he appears. It’s also interesting to note the Falcons have been solid to tight ends so far this year, only allowing four touchdowns and just 47 receptions. Cook might make a very strategic fade if everyone is going to flock to him.

D/ST – I’m not on the Saints with the price and they’re on the road, but they have some chances to rack up some points here. Atlanta has allowed 31 sacks and constant pressure, not to mention 18 turnovers in just 11 games. We saw last week that the Falcons can struggle against any defense and the Saints have some talent on that side of the ball.

Cash – Thomas, Kamara, Brees

GPP – Cook, Smith, Ginn, D/ST

Falcons Overview

QB – I definitely still have a bad taste in my mouth from Sunday when Matt Ryan fell flat on his face in one of the best possible matchups for a QB. I suppose it’s not all his fault as he’s being pressured on roughly 39% of his drop backs and like many quarterbacks, the performance drops significantly in that scenario. His completion rate drops to 53.6% and the YPA goes down to 6.6 yards with only a 6:5 TD:INT ratio. New Orleans is tied for the eighth most sacks in the league so while Ryan is always a threat to throw for 300+ yards like he did all the time at the start of the year, shoddy offensive line play and losing weapons around him are dragging him down. I believe Allen to be the safer option on this slate.

RB – This is one spot that I really am not that interested in. Devonta Freeman may be back for the tilt against the Saints. The problem is, he’s been very underwhelming so far this season when healthy and the Saints are tough on running backs, only allowing the sixth-fewest DK points on the year. Even if Freeman is back, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him split some work with the gaggle of options like Brian Hill or Qadree Ollison since he’s missed the past couple of weeks. Freeman does have some receiving upside but so does Cohen for $100 less.

WR – It really felt miserable watching Julio Jones struggle this past Sunday in the best matchup he could ask for, but he’s also quite cheap by his standards and we’ll see if Marshon Lattimore can make it back to the field for this one. Jones only went 3/79 on nine targets the first go around between these two teams and is my last option as far as priority  among the skill players in his pricing tier. Calvin Ridley has been tearing it up the past two games with an average of 11 targets and seven receptions per, with a touchdown in each one. He feels expensive for a second fiddle in a passing game but the massive influx in targets coincided with the loss of Austin Hooper, his price is fair and he’s shown game breaking ability when he gets the work. Lastly, we can look to Russell Gage as a possible cheaper lineup filler as he’s running the majority of his routes in the slate and gets PJ Williams, who has allowed a 112.9 passer rating and a touchdown so far this year.

Update – I lean that Julio is at least active, and this game being late makes life tough. If Marshon Lattimore is active and Julio plays, I’d want Ridley more. If Julio is out, I’d be skittish on Ridley.

TE – If Hooper isn’t back, I’ll have no interest as no tight end has gotten more than two targets in the games that he has missed.

D/ST – I jus don’t expect the Falcons to keep repeating decent fantasy performances, especially since Brees has seen them recently and the Saints have some of the best turnover numbers in football.

Cash – Julio, Ridley, Ryan, Gage

GPP – D/ST

 

Core 4 

Kamara, Thomas, Zeke, Miller