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FanDuel NFL Lineup Advice: Week 12 (Thursday Slate)

by Elliott Baas | @ElliottBaasBB | Featured Writer
Nov 20, 2018

Drew Brees faces a weak Falcons pass defense and appears to be the top QB option on Thanksgiving

‘Tis the season to pile up fantasy points on FanDuel’s Thanksgiving Day slate. This is a three-game slate that includes all three games being played on Thanksgiving Day. On smaller slates like this one, it is typically a better strategy to play in GPPs and tournaments. Ownership on the chalk gets crazy-high in cash games. It wouldn’t be abnormal for the chalk to have an ownership percentage above 80% on a three-game slate in cash games.


Drew Brees (NO vs. ATL): $9,000
The New Orleans-Atlanta game is going to be the big game in terms of offense on this three-game slate. While the other two games have totals under 46 points, ATL @ NO has a 59.5 O/U. These two teams are both flush with offensive firepower and lacking on the defensive side of the ball. New Orleans is a -13 favorite and the chalk of the day, but that shouldn’t scare us away from Brees.

Atlanta is tied for second-most FanDuel points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks. When they faced the Saints in Week 3, New Orleans hung 43 points on them and Brees threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns. He’s the most expensive option on the slate, but also the clear top option at quarterback.

Running Back

Alvin Kamara (NO vs. ATL): $8,900
The Falcons are just as bad against running backs as they are against quarterbacks. They have allowed the most FanDuel points per game to opposing rushers and the most receptions to opposing running backs. Atlanta has allowed 93 receptions and 815 yards to opposing running backs through the air this season, the most in the league by a significant margin. Kamara racked up 190 totals yards last time these teams played, and he’s the exact type of player that can take advantage of this porous rush defense.

Jordan Howard (CHI @ DET): $6,100
The Lions have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards along with 4.8 yards per carry to opposing ball carriers this season. Howard out-snapped Tarik Cohen 48-30 last week and out-touched Cohen 19-10. When Chicago is in the lead Howard is leaned on, and as -4 road favorites, Chicago should be able to ride Howard heavily in this game. Howard is the perfect RB2 on a small slate like this one.

Wide Receivers

Michael Thomas (NO vs. ATL): $8,800
Thomas was out-shined by Tre’Quan Smith in the Saints’ 48-7 shellacking of the Eagles last week, but Thomas is still Brees’ number one target. Thomas has scored in three straight games and is averaging eight catches and 124.33 yards per game over that stretch. Smith was a non-participant in the Saints’ practice on Monday, and if Smith were out or limited in this game, Thomas could see even more volume. Neither Desmond Trufant or Robert Alford is a match for Thomas, who could really take advantage of Atlanta’s weak secondary.

Kenny Golladay (DET vs. CHI): $7,200
The vaunted Bears defense has a secret, and it’s that they can’t stop wide receivers. The Bears have allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers this season, along with the most receptions. Chicago has faced the sixth-most pass attempts, but their struggles against receivers are the clear weakness of this unit. Their strength is in a trio of elite linebackers and a great rush defense. Golden Tate is gone, and both Marvin Jones and Michael Roberts are banged up. Golladay is the Lions’ undisputed number one receiver and, if nothing else, he should see plenty of volume in this game.

Mohamed Sanu (ATL @ NO): $5,300
Over the last two weeks, Sanu has had more snaps, targets, receptions, and receiving yards than Calvin Ridley. Ridley was also a limited participant in Atlanta’s practice on Monday, and while Ridley will probably play, he may be affected by the thigh injury. Sanu is the veteran number two receiver that the Falcons trust and is $900 cheaper than Ridley. In a potential shootout, we want every piece of this game we can afford, and Sanu is a great value considering the matchup.

Tight End

Trey Burton (CHI @ DET): $6,400
Tight end is normally a pretty tough position to fill, and it’s especially thin on this slate. Burton is coming off a one-catch, nine-yard dud last week, but is still one of the most involved tight ends on this slate. He is averaging 4.6 targets and 42 yards per game this season. It’s a low bar for tight ends indeed. Burton is on a team that is favored, should score multiple touchdowns, and isn’t afraid to use their tight end. That’s all we can really hope for at the position on a three-game slate.


LeGarrette Blount (DET vs. CHI): $4,600
Before vomiting up your turkey, hear this one out. With Kerryon Johnson set to miss this game, the Lions have three active running backs on their roster. Theo Riddick has one carry over the last three weeks and nine carries all season. Zach Zenner has one carry all season and has been active just twice this year. Blount isn’t good, but volume is the name of the game here. He’s in line for double-digit carries and at 6’0″ and 250 pounds he should, in theory, be a decent goal-line back. It’s a bad matchup for a subpar player, but this is as cheap as it gets for starting running backs. On a small slate, Blount will probably have low ownership as well, and if he can fall face-first into the endzone, he’s reached value.


Washington Redskins D/ST (WAS @ DAL): $3,700
This game has a 40.0 O/U, and while Dallas is a -7.5 favorite, it should be a low-scoring, rush-heavy affair on both sides. Washington has put up double-digit points in four of their last five games, and Dallas is a top-five opponent in terms of FanDuel scoring. Dallas has allowed the third-most sacks this season, while Washington has the 10th-most sacks this season. They provide a nice alternative to the high-end defenses on this slate.

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Elliott Baas is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Elliott, check out his archive and follow him @elliottbaasbb.

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