Since it is Thanksgiving weekend, let me begin today by saying thanks for nothing to the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones crapped the bed last Sunday. Let me follow that up by saying thanks for everything to Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram for saving my weekend by paying big on the Primetime slate. Perhaps most importantly, however, thanks to my wife, for putting up with me working over the holiday.
The Evening Slate:
Houston hosts New England on Sunday. The Patriots get to pick on a Houston defense that has struggled to stop anyone this season. Tom Brady will absolutely eat here (for the first time in a couple of weeks). He has to be QB1 or QB2 on this slate at worst. Deshaun Watson isn’t a bad play most weeks. This week, I don’t trust him here. He will likely finish with around 200-2, and maybe 40 yards on the ground. This has him ranked fourth at the position. Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson are usable here as FLEX options. New England can definitely be beaten on the ground. The Texans are rotten against the run. They are perhaps even worse against pass-catching backs. Both, James White and Sony Michel are in RB2 consideration. Mohamed Sanu should return for this game and Phillip Dorsett (although still in the concussion protocol) are both in play this week at WR3/FLEX. It goes without saying that Julian Edelman is in consideration at WR1 or WR2. We have to assume that Stephon Gilmore will shadow DeAndre Hopkins. This makes him borderline unplayable. Will Fuller is the better play and I like him to post a couple long receptions and a possible long TD. He makes an ok WR3, if you go cheap elsewhere. I wouldn’t go so far as to consider Kenny Stills or Keke Coutee. New England has been susceptible to TE scoring. I like Darren Fells chances of scoring a short TD here. You cannot count on him for big yardage though. Does New England have a TE? Houston has given up a fair amount of TE scores recently too. That said, I think Rob Gronkowski has a higher likelihood of scoring this week off the field then Ben Watson or Matt LaCosse do on the field. If you need to save bucks, consider one of them, but know that you are probably looking at them splitting 3-30-0. Just pay up and play the Patriots’ defense.
Monday night could be fun. Kirk Cousins has historically struggled in primetime, but Seattle’s defense isn’t great. I feel that Cousins and Russell Wilson will get into a bit of a shootout. A lot will depend on whether both teams’ top WRs are good to go. It appears that both Tyler Lockett and Adam Thielen will play. This means that both Cousins and Wilson are playable with Wilson the slight favorite between them. Seattle claims that they will be splitting touches between Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson. This helps neither of them. My money is on Penny getting the first crack following Carson’s fumble troubles last week. Unfortunately for him, Minnesota is hard to run against. I doubt either performs well, and neither will produce the volume to be relied on as anything more than a FLEX. On the other hand, Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook is locked in as the RB1 on this slate. If Lockett plays, he is the clear-cut WR1 on this slate, as Minnesota gets burned regularly by speed WRs. I wouldn’t go too crazy with D.K. Metcalf or Josh Gordon. Each could be a WR3 here, but I feel there are better options in that price range. Adam Thielen will be a decent pivot from Lockett or Edelman. I could see rostering two of them, but I doubt you can afford all three. Stefon Diggs is also in play at WR2, but I feel Thielen is the better option. Neither Olabisi Johnson nor Laquan Treadwell is in play unless Thielen is ruled out. Even then, they would be no better than FLEX plays. Jacob Hollister has a sore foot, but a good matchup. If he can play through the pain, he is the TE2 on this slate. Minnesota has the top TE here in Kyle Rudolph. They also have the #4 TE in Irv Smith. Seattle is awful at covering the position and Minnesota isn’t much better. Either defense could be used to save money, but I still will have more exposure to the Patriots.
The Main Slate:
Quarterback is much juicier this week than last. Pat Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers are the crème de la crème. Sam Darnold, Nick Foles and Carson Wentz are my favorite cheaper pivots. I could see punting with Kyle Allen, Devlin Hodges or Andy Dalton. Mahomes and Rodgers will run me 15% and 13% on DK and 14.5% and 13.5% on FD. Those might end up being a little too high for me. Darnold and Foles will run me only 12.5% on either site. Dalton is the wild card. He could have huge ownership, but at less than 10% of your budget.
Christian McCaffrey’s price doesn’t matter anymore. They could charge you 50% and he still would be worth rostering. I don’t love him to hit 3x, but he is a lock to hit 25 points again. I like both Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb, but don’t love either. I feel Saquan Barkley, at this price, is finally worthy of a roster slot. He will be my favorite RB1. My pivots include: LeVeon Bell, Josh Jacobs and Aaron Jones. RB2 should come down to a choice between Miles Sanders (if Jordan Howard sits) and Jonathan Williams. I’d also consider Ronald Jones or Phillip Lindsay. I could also squeeze one of those four into my FLEX. More likely, I will choose my FLEX from Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Williams or Darrel Williams. Keep your RB1 and RB2 to a total of less than 27% (unless you use C-Mac – then you can go up to 31%). If you pull your FLEX from here, don’t spend more than 10% on either site.
If Tyreek Hill plays, you want him in your lineup. Otherwise, your WR1 should be either Davante Adams or D.J. Moore. In fact, I may use a pair of D.J.’s and pair Moore with Chark. There isn’t anyone else I would pivot to up top. My WR2 might also come from this list: Jamison Crowder, Robert Woods, Tyler Boyd, Darius Slayton (if Golden Tate doesn’t play) and Alshon Jeffery (if he plays). WR3 is going to be Curtis Samuel, Robby Anderson (if I don’t use Crowder), or one of the Jaguars. I see three decent punts to consider: Tim Patrick, Allen Lazard and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Your top two should run you no more than 28% on DK and 25% on FD. Keep your WR3 at 10% or less. I wouldn’t spend more than 10% on either WR3 or FLEX here.
Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz have blow-up spots this week. I probably cannot afford either of them, unless I spend significantly less at another position. Hunter Henry would make a smart pivot, but won’t save you much money. Both, Evan Engram and Gerald Everett have great matchups, but neither is guaranteed to play due to injuries. If neither goes, Tyler Higbee and Kaden Smith make great bargain basement punt plays. If I don’t pay up or go down that punt tunnel, the regular-priced talent that I like best are: Jack Doyle, Ryan Griffin and Greg Olsen. Doyle, who is my favorite play of the week here, will run me just 6.6% on DK or 8.3%.
The Panthers are pricey and I will probably fade them. I prefer Jacksonville or the Chargers. I could also punt completely and go with: Kansas City, Arizona or the Browns. None of those five will run me more than 6.6% on DK and 7.7% on FD.
Here are my recommended lineups.
At DK: $6.1K for Sam Darnold. $7.4K for Saquan Barkley. $10.5K or less for RB2 and FLEX (leaning two of: Miles Sanders, Jonathan Williams, Ronald Jones or Phillip Lindsay). $13.4K for D.J. Chark and D.J. Moore. $5.6K for Jamison Crowder. $3.3K for Jack Doyle. $3.3K for the Jaguars’ defense.
At FD: $8.6K for Pat Mahomes. $7.6K for Barkley. $13K total for RB2 and FLEX. $13.7K total for the D.J.’s. $6.1K or less for WR3 (leaning: Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel or Tyler Boyd). $7.1K for Travis Kelce. $3.9K for the Chargers’ defense.
At Fanball (classic – includes Sun Night): Darnold, Christian McCaffrey, Barkley, Chark, Samuel, Crowder, Kaden Smith (assuming no Evan Engram), M. Sanders (if no Jordan Howard, otherwise Derrius Guice or Ronald Jones), and the Chargers’ defense.
At Fanball (SuperFlex – includes Sun Night): Mahomes, Andy Dalton at SF, Christian McCaffrey, Barkley, Boyd, Darius Slayton (if no Golden Tate, otherwise Allen Lazard), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Kelce, and Guice.
At Fantasy Draft (includes Sun Night): Dalton, McCaffrey, Barkley, Chark, Boyd, Doyle, Aaron Jones, Guice, and the Browns’ defense.
|Dwayne Haskins Jr.||$4,600||$6,500|
Weekly strategy – Pat Mahomes is gold against a bad Oakland defense. Aaron Rodgers will also be popular facing the equally bad Giants. Lamar Jackson could be a sneaky play, since he has proven capable of doing well against anyone. He may be under-owned due to the matchup. Sam Darnold at a cheaper price is probably my favorite non-Mahomes play. I also like Carson Wentz, Nick Foles and Ryan Tannehill at this price point. I am also fine with punting the position this week. Kyle Allen, Devlin Hodges and Andy Dalton are all possibilities. Dalton should have high ownership because of his price, but the matchup is sweet.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Pat Mahomes, Chiefs vs. OAK ($7400 DK, $8600 FD)
Back in Week 2, Pat Mahomes lit up this defense for 443-4. This was just the first of six games in which Oakland has allowed three or more total TDs to opposing QBs. It was also the first of three 400-yard passing performances against them. With question marks among their RBs, I expect Kansas City to emphasize the pass even more than normal. This should equate to another 350-3 floor.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers @ NYG ($6500 DK, $8100 FD)
The Giants have given up multiple QB Scores in all but two games. One of those games came against Dwayne Haskins in his first career start. Aaron Rodgers has had an underwhelming season, but this matchup should get him right. His best outings of the year have been against suspect secondaries such as: Philadelphia, the Chiefs and the Raiders. I’d reckon the Giants’ secondary is worse than all three of those teams.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens vs. SF ($7000 DK, $8700 FD)
You cannot love the matchup for Lamar Jackson here. That said, Jackson is approaching Christian McCaffrey’ matchup-proof status. Frankly, even if he does mediocre here, he may approach 3x points. You just never know about him because of his ability to destroy the defense with his legs. One thing working for Jackson is that San Fran has struggled the last few weeks against rushing QBs, including big games from Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray (2x).
Sam Darnold, Jets @ CIN ($6100 DK, $7600 FD)
The Bengals are middle-of-the-pack at best against opposing QBs. They have also given up several QB rushing TDs. Over the last three weeks, Sam Darnold is fifth in passing yards, second in passing scores and he has added two rushing TDs. Another three-pack looks safe here, and this game could turn into a sneaky shootout (assuming Andy Dalton isn’t rusty).
Nick Foles, Jaguars vs. TB ($5700 DK, $7500 FD)
Tampa Bay just held Atlanta to 326-1 last week. That is one of their BETTER defensive performances of the year. Nick Foles has been just ‘aight since his return, but this week screams blow up for him. With the Bucs shutting down the rushing game, I expect Foles to target D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley excessively. Foles-Chark is one of my favorite stacks of the week.
Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. NYJ ($4700 DK, $6000 FD)
As I mentioned above, this game could devolve into a shootout. Neither team is very good at playing defense against the pass, but New York is actually pretty good against the run. Before shutting out the Raiders last week, New York had allowed 12 passing TDs over their prior four contests against: Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Gardner Minshew. If they can get it done, Andy Dalton should be able to as well. It all comes down to whether he is rusty, and whether he even cares.
|Todd Gurley II||$6,500||$7,400|
|Melvin Gordon III||$6,400||$7,000|
|Mark Ingram II||$6,000||$7,500|
|Ronald Jones II||$5,100||$6,200|
|Benny Snell Jr.||$4,700||$6,100|
|Jeff Wilson Jr.||$3,600||$5,000|
|Kerrith Whyte Jr.||$3,100||$5,100|
Weekly strategy – Saquan Barkley is the safest play on the docket. I also like Christian McCaffrey because you cannot put a price on his output. Nick Chubb, Josh Jacobs and Aaron Jones are all in play as pivots, since Barkley hasn’t been nearly as reliable as I wish he would be. RB2 options include: Jonathan Williams, Miles Sanders, Ronald Jones and Phillip Lindsay. I also like the idea of using Derrius Guice or Jamaal Williams if you need to save money. The only other punt plays I might consider are: Adrian Peterson, Nyheim Hines, and Darrel Williams (if both Shady McCoy and Damien Williams are out).
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers vs. WAS ($10500 DK, $11000 FD)
At this point, the price doesn’t matter. Christian McCaffrey at worst approaches 30 DFS points every week. Even against the best defenses, and even against crappy game scripts. If you can afford him, just plug and play. I know I won’t completely ignore him against a bad Washington run defense.
Saquan Barkley, Giants vs. GB ($7400 DK, $7600 FD)
Green Bay gives up running back scores way too often. The team has allowed six RB scores over the last four weeks. They have also allowed significant RB receiving yards every week this year. With Golden Tate likely out, I expect Daniel Jones to target Saquan Barkley even more often here. Coming off of back-to-back duds, Barkley will be lesser owned, making this a great GPP play.
Derrick Henry, Titans @ IND ($7600 DK, $8600 FD)
Whereas Barkley has struggled recently, Derrick Henry has been scorching recently. Over the last three weeks, he leads the league in rushing yards and rushing scores. The Colts rushing defense has been very good this year, allowing only three scores on the ground, and only one since Week 2. It will be hard to fade this beast based on his streak, but just don’t be surprised if this is the start of his slowdown.
LeVeon Bell, Jets @ CIN ($7200 DK, $7300 FD)
Cincinnati has allowed 165 combo yards per game and more than one TD per game to opposing RBs. LeVeon Bell’s schedule has started to improve and so have his stats. This game shapes up as a fourth straight plus performance for Bell. If you don’t trust Barkley, I’d be happy to pivot here. Just don’t expect as high of a ceiling.
Miles Sanders, Eagles @ MIA ($5400 DK, $5800 FD)
Once again this comes down to whether Jordan Howard plays. Miles Sanders still doesn’t have that one true standout game, but he did top five yards per carry last week. With more of the Eagles’ wide receivers finally healthy, perhaps Sanders will have more room to run. Miami has allowed every team to face them to post well above 100 total yards with their RBs. If Howard is out, Sanders will get that third century game and score here.
Ronald Jones, Buccaneers @ JAX ($5100 DK, $6200 FD)
Ronald Jones continues to split work with Peyton Barber, but he has been the better back all season. Three scores in the last four games suggest that Tampa is finally starting to realize that. Jacksonville has given up more than 250 combo yards per game and five touchdowns to opposing backs over the last three games. Even if Jones splits that, it is printing money for you.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||$6,700||$7,300|
|DJ Chark Jr.||$6,600||$6,900|
|Paul Richardson Jr.||$3,700||$5,000|
Weekly strategy – Tyreek Hill is golden, assuming he plays. It appears he will, so if you can finagle getting his salary into your lineup you should. Personally, I’d rather save a couple bucks and roster two of: D.J. Moore, D.J. Chark and Davante Adams. You must roster at least one of those four. Other possible options at WR2 include: The Rams, the Jets, the Giants, and Tyler Boyd. Curtis Samuel and the other Jaguars are in play at WR3. I could also see taking a chance on Nelson Agholor or J.J. Arcega-Whiteside of the Eagles. If I really need to save some money, I’d consider Allen Lazard or Tim Patrick.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Tyreek Hill, Chiefs vs. OAK ($8900 DK, $8300 FD)
Tyler Boyd is the only WR1 to not post huge numbers against Oakland this season. In his defense, Ryan Finley was throwing the ball in his general direction. Tyreek Hill missed their early meeting, but Demarcus Robinson started for him and posted 6-172-2. I’m not saying that Tyreek will repeat that feat, but if he is truly healthy (and not just a decoy), 130-1 should be a safe floor.
Davante Adams, Packers @ NYG ($7000 DK, $8000 FD)
The Giants have allowed a WR1 to score at least once in four straight games, and seven times on the year. Davante Adams is the most trustworthy receiver that Aaron Rodgers has to throw to. Since returning in Week 9, Adams has nearly three times as many targets as the next WR option on the Pack. This smells like a big Rodgers game. That means it will be a big game for his top receiving threat.
D.J. Chark, Jaguars vs. TB ($6600 DK, $6900 FD)
D.J. Chark is part of my favorite stack with Nick Foles against a team that is strong against the run, but epically bad against the pass. Chark had a quiet game last week, but he has 21 targets since the return of Foles. To contain this Chark, Tampa is gonna need a bigger boat.
D.J. Moore, Panthers vs. WAS ($6800 DK, $6800 FD)
Since Week 9, D.J. Moore leads all WRs in targets and receiving yards. He also ranks second in receptions. He only has two scores over that stretch, but they both came last week. So, he is trending up from a scoring standpoint. Washington has struggled against similar receivers all year. I expect Moore to approach the #1 spot overall this week.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals vs. NYJ ($5500 DK, $6000 FD)
Andy Dalton is back. While he was gone, Tyler Boyd did reasonable with the refuse he had throwing him the ball. Dalton isn’t great, but at least he is capable. New York slowed down Oakland and Washington the last two weeks, but prior to that they allowed ten WR touchdowns over their prior three games.
Jamison Crowder, Jets @ CIN ($5600 DK, $6300 FD)
Cincinnati has allowed big games to the WR position all season. Including several big games by “possession” WRs. Jamison Crowder is potentially in for a big PPR week, and he might be under-owned due to a poor Week 12. This game will end up being high-scoring, so I want multiple pieces of the Jets’ offense. If I can’t afford to slide Crowder in at WR3, I might use Robby Anderson or Demaryius Thomas. I could also throw Ryan Griffin into my stack here too.
Weekly strategy – Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz have juicy matchups, but their prices may make it hard to play them. The same goes for Hunter Henry and George Kittle. Gerald Everett gets the Arizona FREE SPACE, but he is also dinged up. If he goes, it would be hard to fade him. If he looks limited or out, I’d easily consider his backup Tyler Higbee. That said, my favorite plays this week are Jack Doyle, Jonnu Smith and Ryan Griffin. If you need to save money, consider rostering Kaden Smith. He may be the last man standing in NY with Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison both on the wrong side of questionable.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. OAK ($7200 DK, $7100 FD)
Oakland has been disinterested in covering TEs recently. Only Arizona has allowed more TE touchdowns this year, and they have given up multiple TE scores in two different games. Some of the shine may leave Travis Kelce this week if Tyreek Hill plays (as expected), but even with Hill on the field Kelce will have little trouble exploiting this mismatch. Back in Week 2 (without Hill on the field), Kelce posted 7-107-1. Expect something similar either way here.
Zach Ertz, Eagles @ MIA ($6700 DK, $6900 FD)
Miami has allowed TE scores in two of their last three games. Meanwhile, Zach Ertz has been forced to haul in 30 of 36 targets over the last three games, since the Eagles had no one else to throw to. With some of the WRs back, Ertz’ target share may dip, but he is still an easy play here (if you can afford him).
Gerald Everett, Rams @ ARI ($4600 DK, $6300 FD)
Gerald Everett is fighting a knee injury. He played through it last week, but his numbers suffered because of it. Fortunately for Everett, he plays the Cardinals this week. Even at 50%, he could top 100 yards against these chumps. Of course, if Everett is downgraded, Tyler Higbee should be a SMASH LOCK in all of your lineups. Even if Everett plays, I still might use Higbee to save cash.
George Kittle, Niners @ BAL ($6100 DK, $7000 FD)
This isn’t a great matchup for George Kittle. That shouldn’t discourage you too much, since he is capable of balling out against any team. If Emmanuel Sanders is limited again this week, Kittle may see even more looks. I’m not going to go crazy to fit him into my lineup, but if I have some space to work with and want exposure to this game, I’ll use him.
Jack Doyle, Colts vs. TEN ($3300 DK, $5000 FD)
The Titans have given up huge games this year to premium TEs such as: Travis Kelce, Austin Hooper and Hunter Henry. They have also given up decent days to other TEs. Back in Week 2, Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron combined for 5-46-1. Ebron is done for the year, so Doyle will receive a heightened target share. With T.Y. Hilton possibly out as well, Doyle could go off here!
Ryan Griffin, Jets @ CIN ($4300 DK, $5600 FD)
Another portion of my potential Versus-CIN stack is Ryan Griffin. The Bengals have allowed three of their last six opponents to top 85 TE receiving yards. Griffin didn’t have a lot of yards last week, but he did score for the fifth time in his last seven games. At this price, he may be the second-best value on the slate.