Few things provide a better distraction from your family on Thanksgiving than football and fantasy football. Now, imagine gambling on fantasy football in the form of NFL DFS contests — perfect recipe for not paying attention to your grandma. Our Thursday FanDuel tournament lineup can help you do just that. These Thanksgiving daily fantasy football picks aren’t guaranteed to win you money, but they are guaranteed to distract you when your uncle asks questions about your life.
Our primary strategy involves fading two Thanksgiving staples — the Lions and Cowboys. Plenty of people will fade Lions players, but the Cowboys are a much bigger risk. Guys like Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup, and Dak Prescott could easily have big games, but we’re hoping casual fans go overweight on “America’s Team” and we can differentiate our lineup with some other picks.
MORE THURSDAY FANTASY:
DraftKings lineup | DK Showdown picks | Start/Sit
Thanksgiving NFL DFS Lineup: FanDuel tournament picks
QB Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Saints ($7,700). Ryan threw for two touchdowns against the Saints in Week 10, but with just 182 yards, it didn’t seem like he had that big of a day. Then, he failed to notch a score against Tampa’s porous pass defense last week. With Drew Brees ($8,500) being the obvious pay-up pick and Mitchell Trubisky ($6,800) being the obvious matchup-based value pick, we’re hoping Ryan gets lost in the shuffle behind other high-floor options like Dak Prescott ($8,200) and Josh Allen ($7,800). He could easily have the biggest game of the day, and it could be at relatively low ownership, at least as far as three-game slates go. If Julio Jones (shoulder) is out, that would obviously limit Ryan’s upside, but he still has decent enough receivers to pay off (see below).
RB Alvin Kamara, Saints @ Falcons ($8,300). Kamara has been a disappointment lately, failing to dent the end zone in all but one game this year. Yes, you read that right. His perceived ceiling is probably higher than it actually is, so there’s a strong case to be made for fading him. We’re going the other route and paying up for the talent. Kamara is still averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 6.7 receptions per game. If there was ever a time for a vintage Kamara breakout game, why not in the prime-time Thanksgiving spotlight?
WEEK 13 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
RB David Montgomery, Bears @ Lions ($5,900). We’ve been burned by Montgomery in the past, but this matchup and price are too good to ignore. The Lions allow the most FanDuel points to RBs, and Montgomery is priced as an RB8 on a day with just six teams playing. This might be the chalkiest pick of the whole day, but if Montgomery has a huge game, we’ll need him on our squad to cash.
WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons vs. Saints ($6,500). Ridley might also be super chalky, especially if Jones (shoulder) is out, but for now, we’ll stack him with Ryan and fade Jones. Ridley has put up 228 yards and two TDs in the past two games, so owners will be on him, but he’s clearly a talented receiver who’s shown a nose for the end zone — often in garbage time — the past two seasons.
WEEK 13 NON-PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
WR Russell Gage, Falcons vs. Saints ($5,400). Gage is getting talked up this week because of 10-target Week 12. If Jones is out, Gage could also become a chalky pick, but for now, we think he’ll give us enough differentiation to be worth using. The Falcons will likely be throwing a lot against the Saints even if the score is close, as New Orleans has proved tough to run against. With Austin Hooper (knee) still ailing, Gage is the most likely candidate to soak up those extra mid-range targets.
WR Anthony Miller, Bears @ Lions ($5,300). An RB-WR stack doesn’t always correlate, but with just three games on the slate, we’re taking that chance. Miller has seen 20 targets the past two weeks, catching 12 for 131 yards. With Taylor Gabriel (concussion) likely out, Miller will be the unquestioned No. 2 receiver against Detroit’s struggling pass defense. If you add in the Darius Slay-on-Allen Robinson factor, it’s possible Miller will lead the Bears in receiving. Given his WR15 pricing, he’s tough to pass up.
WEEK 13 DFS LINEUPS:
FD Cash | FD GPP | DK Cash | Y! Cash | Y! GPP
TE Dawson Knox, Bills @ Cowboys ($4,500). The Cowboys struggle against TEs (fifth-most FD points allowed), and Knox gets regular playing time. He hasn’t done much with it, but he’s athletic enough to make a big play or score a short TD. That’s all we’re looking for here, as there really aren’t any obvious plays at the position.
FLEX Michael Thomas, Saints @ Falcons ($9,200). Thomas is another player you pretty much have to have. If you fade him and he has a bad game, you’ll be in great shape. Far, far more likely is that he’ll gave a good game, though, and you’ll be mad at yourself for not paying up.
D/ST Chicago Bears @ Lions ($5,000). The Bears D/ST hasn’t been all that good this year, especially in sacks and takeaways. But the Lions will either be playing a gimpy Jeff Driskel (hamstring) or David Blough at QB, so how can we not start the Bears when there are no other obvious choices? Again, this might be too chalky, but hopefully we have enough differentiation with guys like Knox, Miller, and Gage to offset that.