FanDuel NFL Lineup Advice: Thanksgiving (2020)
The three-game (hopefully!) NFL slate on Thanksgiving is one of my favorite DFS slates of the year. It allows us to watch every single play of every game and also allows requires us to follow our lineups and consider making late swaps to better position our teams to move up the leaderboard or beat our opponent.
All three games have tight Vegas lines, which opens up a lot of potential game scripts that could be considered when building both Cash and GPP lineups. And let’s not forget the food, oh, the food. Just make sure to time your turkey-induced coma (nap) so that you don’t miss out on potential player swaps between games. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Editor’s note: The game between the Ravens and Steelers has been postponed to Sunday.
Cash Game Core
Deshaun Watson (QB – HOU): $8,700
Quarterback rostership is usually fairly spread out, even on a three-game slate, but that might not be the case this Thanksgiving, with Deshaun Watson ready to gobble up the clicks at quarterback. Watson is by far the most likely to be the top scorer at the position, as the Texans have the highest implied Vegas team total against the Lions. The Lions have allowed 294 passing yards (28th) and 7.98 yards per attempt (29th) over the last five weeks.
Meanwhile, Watson has posted at least 260 passing yards and multiple touchdowns in seven of his last eight games, sans the bad weather game in Cleveland. Weather won’t be an issue in the dome at Detroit, so in cash games, just pour some extra gravy on the chalk and roster Watson while getting some exposure to other quarterbacks in GPP stacks (below).
D’Andre Swift (RB – DET): $7,200
Everybody was ready to plug D’Andre Swift into their lineups last weekend after he emerged for 149 total yards and a score in Week 10, but that excitement was put on hold due to a concussion that forced him to miss the last game. He isn’t out of the woods yet for a Turkey Day return, but he did get in a limited practice on Tuesday, so there is some hope. If Swift gets the green light to play against the Texans, then you have the green light to stuff him into your DFS lineups.
The Texans have struggled to stop the run all season, as they’ve allowed 146 rushing yards (32nd) and 1.2 touchdowns (30th) per game to opposing running backs. If Swift is ruled out, then I’d try to avoid the Lions backfield in cash games. Instead, just pepper in a little bit of Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson in GPPs.
Gus Edwards (RB – BAL): $5,200
As of this writing, there is no guarantee that the Ravens/Steelers tilt on Thursday night will happen, as the Ravens are dealing with a COVID outbreak. That said, if the game does kick-off, we can use the COVID news in Baltimore to our advantage and roster Gus Edwards since J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram are on the COVID list.
Teams have been able to run on the Steelers recently, as running backs have averaged 111.6 yards (26th) per game over the last five weeks on 4.81 YPC (27th). Edwards and the Ravens rushing attack had success against the Steelers in the previous meeting this season, when Edwards had 16 carries for 87 yards and a score.
Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS): $7,900
Despite the quarterback carousel in Washington this season, Terry McLaurin has been as consistent as any wide receiver in the league each week. He has at least seven targets in every game and has posted at least four receptions for more than 60 yards in all but one game this year. Next up, look for McLaurin to feast on the Cowboys secondary that has allowed 179 receiving yards (25th) and 1.9 touchdowns (32nd) per game to wide receivers on 14.1 yards per reception (30th). He put up seven grabs for 90 yards and a score in their first meeting and should be ready to carve up the Cowboys again on Thanksgiving.
Other Cash Options
- Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS): $6,800
- Will Fuller (WR – HOU): $7,400
Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT): $6,800 Chase Claypool (WR – PIT): $6,600
- Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU): $6,500
- Marvin Jones (WR – DET): $6,000
Mark Andrews (TE – BAL): $6,800 Eric Ebron (TE – PIT): $5,700
GPP Stacking Options
Matthew Stafford (QB – DET): $7,200 / Marvin Jones (WR – DET): $6,000 / T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET): $6,000
So much attention in the Texans/Lions matchup will be put on the Texans passing game and the Lions rushing attack (especially if Swift plays) that it opens up the opposite side to be a good, less popular leverage spot. While the Texans have struggled to stop the run, as I outlined above, it’s not like they have shut down opposing passing attacks. They are allowing 8.21 yards per attempt (31st) over the last five weeks, which has included big chunks of yardage to both wide receivers and the tight end position.
With the Lions’ pass-catching options limited if Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola miss another game, the passing tree in Detroit becomes narrow with Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson gobbling up most of the target share. You could even get more unique and bring it back with Duke Johnson on the Texans’ side instead of Watson and the passing game to flip the (game) script.
Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL): $8,000 / WR Marquise Brown (WR – BAL): $5,700
I don’t blame you if you read the two names above and rage quit reading this article. Both have underperformed most of the season, especially Marquise Brown, who has a total of six receptions for 55 yards over this last four games, including a goose egg last week.
Most will say it is time to write him off, but I say it is the perfect time to use him on the primetime stage when the nation is watching. His nickname is “Hollywood,” after all. While the Steelers’ pass defense has been strong this year, their one potential weakness has been the deep ball, as they have allowed 14.1 yards per reception (29th) to wide receivers. If there is one thing Brown can do, it is to burn past the defense and get deep for that one long score that instantly pays off his low salary, which gives Jackson the passing upside to go along with his solid rushing floor. If this one hits, then we all need to give thanks.
Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT): $7,700
- Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL): $8,500
James Conner (RB – PIT): $6,700
- Duke Johnson (RB – HOU): $6,100
- CeeDee Lamb (WR – DAL): $6,200
Willie Snead (WR – BAL): $5,300
- Cam Sims (WR – WAS): $4,800
- Keke Coutee (WR – HOU): $4,500
- Jordan Akins (TE – HOU): $5,200
Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Trade Analyzer – which allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.