Fantasy Football Smash City: Thanksgiving Edition (Week 12)
The premise behind this article is simple. Identifying fantasy football smash plays – guys that you are either usually starting or are on the FLEX fringe that have massive boom/upside potential above expectation – for the upcoming week. Specifically for this piece, my focus will be on players playing on Thursday’s 3-game slate.
Embrace these guys, and don’t be afraid to start them over another “safer” option – preferably a higher-ranked option – from my Week 12 fantasy football rankings.
Batter up. Thanksgiving Football is here.
Fantasy Football Smash City: Week 12
- In this same matchup back in Week 3, Tony Pollard rushed 13 times for 105 yards.
- Both Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott had 15 carries in Week 11. Pollard rushed for 80 yards (5.3 yards per carry, 54% snap share), Zeke rushed for 42 yards (2.8 yards per carry, 29% snap share).
- Zeke, of course, got two red-zone TDs despite both RBs seeing two carries from inside the 10-yard line.
- But Pollard at least got the receiving usage – catching all 6 of his targets for 109 yards and two TDs. He ran a route on 64% of dropbacks versus Elliott’s 18%.
- Regardless of how the backfield shakes out from a carry standpoint, Pollard will always be the one used as a receiver.
- New York ranks dead-last in yards per reception to opposing RBs this season (10.1)
- Big Blue has also allowed the 6th-highest percentage of rushing TDs.
- Dallas has been more of a run-first team since Dak Prescott returned.
- Over the last four games, they are at -3% in pass rate over expectation.
- Buffalo has allowed over 320 passing yards in back-to-back weeks on defense.
- As a result, no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing WRs.
- Over the last four weeks, Amon-Ra St. Brown is averaging a 34% target share, 7 catches and 80 receiving yards per game.
- The Bills defense also has allowed nearly twice as many passing TDs on the road this season versus home (0.8 vs 1.5).
- The Lions are tied for second in passing TDs per game at home (2.6) and dead last in that category on the road (0.4).
- The Lions’ improved run defense has not translated into their secondary.
- Since Week 8, only the Minnesota Vikings are allowing more fantasy points per game to WRs.
- Specifically, Detroit has been decimated by guys from the slot – allowing 21 fantasy points per game. They rank 5th-best versus WRs on the perimeter.
- The strong boundary defense is a credit to No. 1 cornerback, Jeff Okudah. However, he is sidelined with a concussion. In a short week, I doubt he will play.
- That means it’s wheels up for all Buffalo WRs including Gabriel Davis.
- Over his last two games, Davis has posted a 26% target share and a team-high 44% air yards share.
- The Lions defense has allowed the league’s highest average depth of target (9.3) and yards per attempt (8.1, tied with Minnesota).
- The Vikings defense ranks last in yards per attempt (8.1) and 31st in passing yards allowed per game.
- They are also allowing the league’s second-highest completion rate.
- Their primary slot cornerback – Chandon Sullivan – has allowed a league-high 40 catches for 513 receiving yards while in coverage this season.
- Jakobi Meyers leads the Patriots with a 26% target share in Mac Jones‘ last three starts, averaging 7.3 catches for 70 receiving yards.
- The Patriots quarterback also has a 73% completion rate (4th) since Week 8.
- The Lions have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to TEs this season
- Dawson Knox led the Bills with 7 targets (tying Gabriel Davis with a 28% target share), catching all 7 for 70 yards while running a route on 83% of dropbacks in Week 11. Elite tight end usage for two straight weeks.
- Additionally, he has garnered a 20% target share averaging just over 60 receiving yards per game.
- Start him across all formats as a fantasy TE1.
- The Giants are allowing the fifth-most receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends.
- In five games with Dak Prescott, Dalton Schultz has a 20.5% target share.
- He’s averaged 5.4 receptions, 6.8 targets and 52.2 receiving yards.
- Schultz also leads Dallas in red-zone targets (8) and targets inside the 10-yard line (5)
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