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Week 12 NFL DFS Thanksgiving Stacking Advice (2020 Fantasy Football)

Nov 25, 2020

While Thanksgiving in 2020 will be unlike any other we have experienced before, there will be one constant: a full day of NFL action. The Turkey Day slate is one of the most-played DFS slates of the entire season. Many casual players decide to dabble with DraftKings or FanDuel on the holiday to pick up extra rooting interests during the two NFL games.

Obviously, the player pool is much more limited in a two-game slate, but let’s examine which games to target and some stacks that can be entered in our DFS lineups. Throughout this piece, I will reference implied team totals, winning probabilities, and game over/unders that are acquired from our consensus odds collected over at BettingPros.

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Games/Teams to Target

  • Houston at Detroit (Over/Under 51.5)
    • Houston Team Total: 27.25
    • Detroit Team Total: 24.25
  • Washington at Dallas (Over/Under 46.0)
    • Dallas Team Total: 24.5
    • Washington Team Total: 21.5

DFS Stacks to Target

All salaries are from FanDuel, but these stacks can be utilized on DraftKings as well.

Deshaun Watson (QB – HOU):$8,700 / Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU)$6,500
If you have been an avid football fan for quite some time, you are used to Detroit playing host for the first game of Turkey Day. We can think back to great performances from Calvin Johnson. Despite bringing in the defensive-minded Matt Patricia to be their head coach, the Lions have struggled to stop teams all year long.

As a result, this contest figures to be the one that is targeted most often in game stacks. There are many directions we can go here, but I’m choosing to highlight the Houston passing game. Opposing running backs have been fired up against the Lions all year long, but their pass defense has been exposed of late as well.

In Week 11, Detroit allowed 258 passing yards to PJ Walker in his NFL debut, despite the Panthers leading for the entire game on their way to a 20-0 shutout of Detroit. The week prior, this Lions defense allowed a career-high 390 passing yards to Alex Smith. Whenever you are allowing a career-high passing yard total to a 36-year-old quarterback, you officially have some problems on defense.

DFS players are going to want to attack the matchup with running back Duke Johnson ($6,100), but the change-of-pace back has been very disappointing despite receiving a full-workload since teammate David Johnson was placed on IR. Instead, I’m choosing to go with the top quarterback on the slate in Deshaun Watson and stack him with Cooks, who has seen eight targets or racked up 80 yards in each of his past six games.

In our lineups with the Houston passing game, we will want to bring-it-back on the Detroit side. Though QB Matthew Stafford ($7,200) is very familiar with playing at home on Thanksgiving, it appears that he will once again be without his top wide receiver Kenny Golladay ($7,000). Therefore, the best play on the Lions side is rookie running back D’Andre Swift ($7,200). The Georgia product was finally given the keys to the Lions backfield before he sat out Week 11 with a concussion. As long as he is cleared before game time, he should be able to have a day against a Houston defense that has donated fantasy points to the running back position all year long.

Alex Smith (QB – WAS):$6,700 / Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS)$7,900
It was fantastic to see the veteran quarterback Alex Smith battle back from a horrific knee injury to even get back onto an NFL field. In his short stint as a starter in 2020, he has managed to break his single-game passing yards record, single-game completions record, and lead Washington to a win. Now, he gets to take on the Cowboys in a Thanksgiving island game spot. What a story.

Smith is the least expensive starting quarterback on the slate, which allows us to have plenty of roster flexibility. The Cowboys have been a great matchup for signal-callers all season long, even allowing 314 passing yards and 3 TDs to quarterback Kirk Cousins in Week 11. The matchup is there for Smith, though running back Antonio Gibson ($6,800) is a great play as well against a weak Dallas defense.

While Smith is the cheapest starting quarterback, his top option Terry McLaurin comes in as the most expensive wide receiver on the Thanksgiving slate. His price-up was deserved, but I fully expect the second-year wide receiver to be worth the investment. Dallas is the second-best fantasy matchup for opposing wide receivers, and McLaurin has seen at least seven targets in games in which Smith was the primary quarterback. The last time these teams faced off back in Week 7, McLaurin hauled in seven of 11 targets for 90 yards and a score.

The Dallas offense looked much better off a bye and with Andy Dalton back at quarterback. This gives more life to the idea that this game could turn into a shootout. While Dalton can help keep the offense afloat, Washington has been terrific against the pass this season. Once again, I’m going to recommend bringing it back with an opposing running back when we are rostering a passing game in our DFS lineups. Running back Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500) looked fresh off the bye, and he has traditionally feasted on Thanksgiving (pun most definitely intended).

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Shane Bryant is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Shane, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @ShaneBryant31.

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