With the annual Thanksgiving football marathon about to get started, DFS outlets are offering a special 3 game only slate similar to the Prime time 2 game packages during the rest of the season. The lower pools level the playing field a little more and make breakout players more important. This is when fades are most important and counter-intuitive decision making can take you to the bank. In the spirit of the game I’m going to offer the logical, match-up based choice and a lesser known but potential game breaker at each position.
I think pretty much everyone and their uncle has Cousins in position to captain this team past the New York Giants and their woeful defense and there’s good reason to feel that way. However, the Giants shut down Alex Smith and the Chiefs’ high powered offense. This might be a case where going against the grain eliminates a large portion of the field out of the gate.
A lot has been said about Case Keenum and his place in the football ranks this season. Some of it was even true. Regardless, Keenum has a hold on the QB spot in Minnesota for now and maximized every start with high quality performances. The Lions have a legitimate defense but the Vikings have something to prove against Detroit in a big game.
Doctson is seeing more targets than earlier in the season as the chemistry between Josh and Kirk seems to be improving. With the loss of Chris Thompson Washington will see an uptick in targets to the next available player. These two effects put Doctson in line for a high number of targets against a suspect defense.
Theilen is breaking records in Minnesota, becoming the frst 1,000 yard receiver since Sidney Rice in 2009. Minnesota hasn’t had such a high powered passing game in years and Theilen has been the main beneficiary of that trend.
Don’t sleep on Keenan Allen, much like the quarterback throwing to him, he’s a talented player on an underrated team. The Chargers have trouble getting out of their own way but that hasn’t stopped Allen from proving he deserves to be respected as a number one receiver. Not expecting another 41 pt performance like he saw against Buffalo but you never know.
Crowder has put up three straight weeks of above average numbers. For a player that doesn’t get a lot of attention, he’s taking advantage of a great opportunity and providing fantasy owners with plenty of dividends. Give him a long look to start on Thursday.
Perine was already making noise, even with Thompson taking a large portion of the targets. Now as the primary back option, Perine will see a heavier workload. He’s not the pass catching back that Thompson was but Washington has answers for that void. In the meantime they need Perine to get going early and keep the defense honest.
The Cowboys haven’t had the feels over an Elliott this bad since ET came out. With Zeke out for the next few weeks Morris is taking advantage of a well constructed O-line to try and fill the void. Hes far from the weapon Zeke is and commands a lower much lower salary cap as a result.
Washington needs someone to take the over third down duties while Thompson heals. A change of pace from Perine and perhaps a pass catching option, Marshall could have a big afternoon in his first significant use this season.
The Washington defense boasts Josh Norman and a handful of effective backs but Engram is basically all Eli has to rely on anyway. The Tight End might be able to take advantage of underneath routes to keep New York in this game past the first quarter.
Anytime Vernon Davis is no the field he’s a start right now. Davis has really stepped into the role left by Reed with yet another unfortunate injury. This isn’t the most under the radar decision but some things don’t have to be difficult.
Defense / Special Teams
The Bills started a rookie quarterback who was nowhere near ready to play in an NFL game but the Chargers stepped up and made the best of the opportunity. With 5 interceptions on the day, Los Angeles gave the Bills fits and served notice about disrespecting a strong squad. Prescott and the Cowboys are still figuring out what their offense is without Elliott which could lead to more opportunities.