2018 Daily Fantasy: FanDuel NFL Thanksgiving Special Slate - Roto Street Journal
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2018 Daily Fantasy: FanDuel NFL Thanksgiving Special Slate

While we mostly think about Thanksgiving as a time to reconnect with family and friends, and eat a beautiful dinner with all of our loved ones, us fantasy football players know what the true meaning is. Watching football from 12PM-12AM with an adult beverage in hand as the Detroit Lions lose their annual Thanksgiving home game for the seven billionth consecutive year (although they have won 4 in a row since dropping 9 straight, so there is hope!). Yeah the food and company are a welcomed addition to such a great day, but move over grandpa, and stop talking about gardening auntie, cause there is football on.

So, here are the 2018 FanDuel Thanksgiving lineup suggestions. You’ll note a little different format than the usual FanDuel articles given the short slate as I will be suggesting a whole lineup, with an alternative here and there. But as usual, you’ll be in good hands.

Quarterbacks

  • Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints ($9,000) – We are gonna get all chalky up in here. But really, you cannot miss maximum exposure to the Saints and Falcons game on Thursday night. With a projected game total of 59.5 points, the Saints have the highest implied team total (36.5), so Drew Brees logically follows as the best quarterback (and potentially overall) play on Thanksgiving. Over his past three contests, the frontrunner for league MVP has averaged 30.3 FanDuel points, throwing for 11 TDs and adding another score on the ground. His upside in this glorious matchup is limitless as his weapons should run rampant over a horrendous Atlanta defense.

 Matt Ryan ($8,600) also looks primed for a huge day. Sure, we all thought the same about Carson Wentz last week in the Superdome, who ended up throwing for just 156 yards with 0 TDs and 3 picks. But Ryan has been playing as well as any quarterback this year, and should shred the Saints defense as the Falcons play from behind all night.

Running Backs

  • Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints ($8,900) – Even with Mark Ingram getting his share of touches on a weekly basis, Alvin Kamara continues dominating defenses in both the run and pass game. Kamara has totaled 100 yards or scored a touchdown in 7 of his past 8 games, giving him the steady, reliable floor you need in building out a surefire, money winning Thanksgiving lineup. Just last week, the man named below gouged the Atlanta run defense for 122 yards on the ground and 79 through the air.
  • Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($8,700) – While profiling as one of the better run defenses, the Dallas Cowboys will almost assuredly rely on the talents of their workhorse running back Ezekiel Elliott in a game that may decide the NFC East winner. Over his past two weeks (both wins), Elliott has amassed 55 touches for 388 yards and 3 scores. As long as the Cowboys keeping feeding this monster, Elliott will continue being a top end fantasy player every week.
  • Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions ($4,800) – With news of Kerryon Johnson‘s knee injury, the Detroit Lions lack any semblance of a true running back or running game. However, pass catcher extraordinaire Theo Riddick will likely see an increased workload Sunday playing from behind against the Bears. Riddick has caught 18 passes for 126 yards over his past three games, and should provide a solid floor, with huge upside if he can find the end zone.

Adrian Peterson ($6,700) could dominate touches with Washington turning to Colt McCoy in the biggest game of the Redskins season. Ito Smith‘s ($5,100) price makes him a great under the radar play on Thanksgiving as the Falcons could rely more on his pass catching prowess in a game where the Falcons project as double digit road underdogs.

Wide Receivers

  • Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($8,800) – Given the expected game flow against the Saints, I see no less than 40 passes from Matt Ryan. Actually, I am thinking more in the 50-55 region. And with that type of passing volume, one can only except Julio Jones to garner his (un)fair share of looks. After failing to find the end zone his first 7 games, Jones has now scored in each of his past three, while also topping 100 yards in each of those contests as well. The Saints have been burned all year by opposing wide receivers, and Jones is playing on another planet right now.
  • Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears ($5,600) – Scoring in 4 of his past 6 games, Anthony Miller provides that critical cheap price / touchdown upside you need in order to rank near the top of short slate leagues. Although posing a difficult challenge, the Detroit Lions just allowed D.J. Moore to pop off for a 7-157-1 TD line.
  • Trey Quinn, WR, Washington Redskins ($4,800) – Here is where the sneakiness (or stupidity) comes into play. With Colt McCoy under center, the Redskins will likely be playing from behind in Dallas on Thanksgiving. The Redskins lack any true skill position players to be relied upon on a weekly basis, especially in their wide receiving corps. So why not take a flier on Trey Quinn, who caught all four of his targets for 49 yards Week 11? Operating out of the slot, Quinn could be the short passing game security blanket McCoy needs to get his game and the Redskins offense going early.

If you want even more exposure to the Saints and Falcons game, Mohamed Sanu ($5,300) could provide very good return on his price given the potential volume he may receive. With Marvin Jones Jr.‘s status in doubt for Thursday’s game, Bruce Ellington ($5,000) could again garner the attention of Matthew Stafford, who caught 6 of 9 balls for 52 yards just last week. Tre’Quan Smith‘s status in doubt Thursday after missing practice the past two days, so Keith Kirkwood ($5,200) would be an almost mandatory start playing as Brees’ WR2 across Michael Thomas.

Tight End

  • Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons ($5,800) – Austin Hooper‘s volume has been rather impressive recently, garnering at least 8 looks in four of his last six games. Just two weeks ago, Hooper caught 10 of 11 balls and scored a touchdown, so hopefully the Saints blowout allows him to see a similar workload on Thanksgiving.

Jordan Reed ($6,000) gets his bite of the apple (pie) on Thanksgiving against a mediocre Cowboys tight end defense after posting his best game of the year (7-71-1 TD) Week 11.

Defense

  • Detroit Lions DST ($3,400) – It is Thanksgiving in Detroit, something has to go right eventually, correct!?!?! Listen, I am not spending up on a defense and the Detroit Lions DST ranks in the top 10 in sacks. Let’s just hope Mitchell Trubisky falls flat in this one if he plays (shoulder). Otherwise, the Lions are a must start if Chase Daniels gets the nod.

As usual, I recommend against picking highly priced defenses, especially the highest priced one. However, the Dallas Cowboys DST ($4,800) find themselves in a good situation against Colt McCoy in a game where the Redskins have the lowest implied team total Thursday (16.75 points).

And that’s a wrap for this year’s Thanksgiving FanDuel lineup. Remember to always look at the matchups and Vegas totals, which are always telling, and do not be afraid to admit they know more than you, because they usually do. Until next time, good luck and don’t forget to tip me 10% of your earnings. Thanks in advance. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

To contact me with any questions or general fantasy football discussion, please email me at [email protected] or tweet me @AJGamballer.

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