It is time once again to enjoy a bonus helping of Turkey Day Football. For the abbreviated slate, I have identified my favorite pay to play, fade away, and value play at each position. Don’t worry regular DFS players, we’ll be back Friday with our regular Daily Domination article to help you set your Sunday-Only slate lineups.
Here are my recommendations for this week’s price range targets by position.
At DK: $7.1K for Kirk Cousins; $4.9K for one of: Alfred Morris, Latavius Murray and Orleans Darkwa; $8.1K for Melvin Gordon; $5.4K for Jamison Crowder; $3.2K for Tavarres King; between $6.3K and $7.6K for one of the higher-priced WRs (I’m leaning Stefon Diggs); $11.6K for Evan Engram and whichever Washington tight end starts as your tight end and DK-FLEX; and 2.8K for the Chargers’ Defense (if Tyron Smith doesn’t play) – otherwise $3.3K for Minnesota.
At FD: $8.8K for Cousins; $8.4K for Gordon; $6.5K for your choice of Morris, Murray and Darkwa; somewhere between $7.5K and $8.5K for your WR1; $6.3 for Crowder; $4.8K for King; $6.4K for whichever Washington tight end starts; and up to $10K for your kicker and defense (I’m leaning Minnesota and Matt Prater).
Prices indicated: Red = Tryptophan-inducing, Black = Yummy eats, but no second helpings needed, and Green = Fill up that plate, I’m going to put on my stretchy pants!
Weekly strategy – There are three possible plays: Case Keenum, Eli Manning and my favorite – Kirk Cousins. Unfortunately, none of the three is guaranteed to produce 3x-value. Manning and Keenum are the best bets to dramatically outproduce their salaries, but Cousins may still outproduce them. So, unless you intend to stuff your face with all the expensive WRs, I’d still recommend Cousins here.
Pay to Play
Kirk Cousins, Redskins vs. NYG ($7100 DK, $8800 FD)
Only one team has allowed more passing touchdowns than the Giants. Even factoring in a zero-TD performance by Alex Smith last week, the G-Men have given up 16 passing scores in their last seven games. They are also allowing 307 passing yards per game over that span. Over their last four meetings, Kirk Cousins has only thrown five total touchdowns. That said, he has averaged over 300 passing yards in those four games.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys vs. LAC ($6700 DK, $8900 FD)
This negative ranking is based almost exclusively on whether or not Tyron Smith plays. If he goes, then Dak Prescott gets a bump up to a BLACK grade. Otherwise, I have to assume that Prescott will have another rough go of it. Even if Smith plays, it is not a great matchup for Prescott since the Chargers have allowed zero or one passing touchdown in each of their last five games.
Case Keenum, Vikings @ DET ($5300 DK, $7500 FD)
It was a hard choice between Case Keenum and Eli Manning as the value play this week. I decided to go with Case because he has more weapons to work with. The Lions’ pass defense stats look better than they are because they have faced three straight goofs. Keenum is red-hot right now and Darius Slay cannot cover both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
Weekly strategy – Everyone will have Melvin Gordon in their lineup and rightfully so. If you want to be truly contrarian you can skip him, and go heavier at WR. I will probably do that at least once. Orleans Darkwa, Alfred Morris and Latavius Murray are all solid plays and I will have one of them paired with Gordon in most of my lineups. When I skip Gordon, I’ll roster two of them.
Pay to Play
Melvin Gordon, Chargers @ DAL ($8100 DK, $8400 FD)
Melvin Gordon will be the chalkiest chalk that ever did chalk this week. So, if you want to be the one to fade him, go right ahead. If you do, then you better hit it dead solid perfect. Over the last two weeks, Dallas has allowed 356 combo yards and three scores to opposing running backs. Meanwhile, Gordon has scored in seven of ten games. After this week, you can mark it eight, dude.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings @ DET ($5200 DK, $6200 FD)
I don’t hate Jerick McKinnon this week, but without Haloti Ngata filling the center of the Detroit defensive line, I feel Latavius Murray is the better play this week. Murray is the straight-ahead runner of the two. He will be the one running towards the Ngata-gap, while McKinnon will be bouncing things to the outside. Over their last five games, Detroit has allowed seven running back rushing touchdowns. There may actually be enough for both, but Murray is the better option this week.
Rod Smith, Cowboys vs. LAC ($3400 DK, $5300 FD)
There really isn’t anyone cheap enough for consideration as a true value play this week. Rod Smith is the closest to such a title facing an awful Chargers’ run defense. The Chargers have given up the most running back receptions and the second-most running back receiving yards this season. That is Smith’s role in this offense.
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$5,700||$7,000|
Weekly strategy – I will set my lineup with one high-priced WR (Dez Bryant, Adam Thielen, Keenan Allen, Sterling Shepard or my favorite – Stefon Diggs), paired with either Josh Doctson or Jamison Crowder at WR2, and finally one of: Kenny Golladay, Tavarres King, Roger Lewis or Travis Benjamin.
Pay to Play
Stefon Diggs, Vikings @ DET ($6300 DK, $7500 FD)
Consider this an educated assumption that Darius Slay will choose to shadow Adam Thielen based on Thielen’s recent performances. Detroit doesn’t have any other decent options in their secondary, so whoever doesn’t get to go on the Slay Ride, gets a huge advantage. It also helps that Diggs is cheaper than Thielen. In addition, over three career meetings, Diggs has averaged ten targets, eight receptions, and 95.3 yards per game versus Detroit. If word leaks out that Slay will follow Diggs, then spend a little more for Thielen as your WR1.
Marvin Jones, Lions vs. MIN ($5700 DK, $7000 FD)
Xavier Rhodes will likely shadow Marvin Jones this week. This is the same Rhodes that earlier this year shut down WRs like Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, Michael Thomas…oh yeah and some guy not on their level named Marvin Jones.
Tavarres King, Giants @ WAS ($3200 DK, $4800 FD)
Washington was torched recently by speedy wide receivers. Adam Thielen, Doug Baldwin and Ted Ginn have all produced huge lines against the Skins over the last three weeks. Tavarres King might be faster than all of them. Over the last three weeks, King has fifteen targets. This might be the week he puts those targets towards a larger stat line.
Weekly strategy – Evan Engram and either of the Redskins’ tight ends are the easy play this week. There isn’t really a value here unless you take a desperation shot in the dark on backups like Rhett Ellison, David Morgan or Jeremy Sprinkle. That said, I’m not going to go there, and you should only go there if you like the smell of money burning in your hand.
Pay to Play
Evan Engram, Giants @ WAS ($6100 DK, $7600 FD)
Washington has allowed every team, except two, that they have faced to either top 100 yards and/or score against them with their tight ends. Evan Engram has scored in four of five games and there is a good chance he visits the end zone yet again here. With the Redskins’ tight end du jour as the de facto chalk play, Engram makes a sneaky sexy fade. I’ll have both on DK.
Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. LAC ($4400 DK, $5900 FD)
The Chargers have allowed an average of only 3.7-45 to opposing tight ends. They also have given up only one tight end touchdown all season. Jason Witten isn’t a strong enough option to buck those trends. In his last eight games, Witten has only two games where he has finished with more than four receptions.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings @ DET ($4100 DK, $5800 FD)
This barely qualifies as a value play, but as I mentioned above there isn’t an obvious value play this week. If you want to be contrarian and go against Vernon Davis, Jordan Reed or Evan Engram, at least Kyle Rudolph has a shot at scoring. Detroit has given up three tight end scores, and they have allowed the fifth-most yards to the position.