Before we hop into my DraftKings NFL Week 12 Thanksgiving picks, my name is Rich Xenos (rxendaddy on DraftKings) and I’ve been playing DFS since 2018. I’ve been a big fan of RSJ since the jump and I am excited to contribute to their DFS coverage.
I typically cover the Roto Street Journal DraftKings Showdown coverage, but with three games on Thursday, it’s best that I’ll cover the entire Thanksgiving slate — even though it’s as bad as political talk at the adult table. CeeDee Lamb and Mark Ingram’s availability will be the two big injuries to monitor, but outside of that, we should be good to go from an injury standpoint. Bring your sit/start questions and crack your first beer with The Wolf and The Truth on Thursday morning at 10:30 AM EST as they preview the Thanksgiving games and Week 12.
Anyway, let’s melt into the couch, eat a ton of food, and win some cash on Thanksgiving.
Dak Prescott ($6,900)
Outside of Josh Allen and Dak Prescott, the Thanksgiving slate is a disaster when it comes to fantasy quarterbacks. The first game will be a good time to talk to your drunk uncle, while the late game could be background noise for an early night’s sleep. However, Dak and the Cowboys should be able to put up some points on a Raiders’ team that’s in a tailspin. Prescott will be without Amari Cooper and potentially CeeDee Lamb, but he still has a weapons cabinet that is envied by most teams in the league. The last time Prescott was held below 10 DK points, he scored over 20. Spend up for Dak at home in a bounce-back game against a below-average secondary.
Derek Carr ($5,900)
With the other two games set to be very blah, the Raiders-Cowboys game appears to be the slate’s only shootout. After starting off hot, Derek Carr cooled off after his head coach was let go and his lid-lifting wideout murdered someone. Still, this game has the highest total (51.5) and Carr has several weapons to put points on the scoreboard. If you want to save some salary and load up elsewhere, Carr is your guy.
Other intriguing salaries: Trevor Siemian ($5,600), Andy Dalton ($5,500)
D’Andre Swift ($7,300)
The talent was never the question for D’Andre Swift. It was his inability to stay on the field. But over the past few weeks, Swift has fully entered workhorse territory as one of the league’s premier backs on a team that loves to pound the rock like it’s 1997 again. Last week, Swift carried the ball 14 times to the tune of 136 yards and a score. The week prior, Swift had 33(!) carries and saw another six targets through the air. Expect the Lions to continue to ride Swift into the ground with either Tim Boyle or Jared Goff under center.
David Montgomery ($6,000)
The Chicago workhorse looks 100 percent again and his Week 11 snap count proves it. David Montgomery played 56 of 59 snaps and handled 15 of the team’s 16 running back touches. This week, Montgomery gets a dreadful Lions’ front-seven. In Week 4, Montgomery totaled a season-high 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. With Andy Dalton under center, it would be smart to project a lot of touches for Montgomery on Thanksgiving.
Mark Ingram ($6,200) OR Tony Jones Jr. ($4,000)
The matchup isn’t ideal, especially if the Bills pour it on early, but it’s hard to pass up a workhorse running back in the FLEX. With Alvin Kamara out, Ingram played 47 of the team’s 65 snaps last week and he’d be in for another bell-cow day even though he only registered one limited practice this week (knee).
On the contrary, Tony Jones Jr. would be a chalky smash play at his bottom of the barrel salary if Ingram were to sit out. Jones would be the only worthy running back on the depth chart (Dwayne Washington is the backup) and he would be in for a true workhorse role. If you want to learn more about Jones’ background, we wrote this earlier this season.
Other intriguing salaries: Tony Pollard ($5,600), Matt Breida ($4,800)
Michael Gallup ($5,900)
The Cowboys’ receiver room is in disarray and Michael Gallup would be the beneficiary of an offense without its top-two wideouts. Even if CeeDee Lamb suits up, Gallup will play just about every snap (played 62 of 65 snaps in Week 11) and should be 1A or 1B on Dak’s target totem pole. Gallup saw 10 targets last week and one could pencil him in for another double-digit target day against a Raiders’ secondary that seems to be getting worse each week.
Darnell Mooney ($5,700)
Justin Fields exited Week 11 and is out for Week 12, meaning Andy Dalton will be under center for the Bears. With Allen Robinson sidelined for the second game in a row, Darnell Mooney will continue duties as the team’s WR1. Mooney saw 16(!) targets last week and finished with five catches for 121 yards and a score. The speedster also connected on a 60-yard bomb from Dalton. Expect a Mooney to beat the Lions’ hapless defense downfield for at least one score on Thursday afternoon.
Cedrick Wilson ($3,500)
With or without Lamb, Wilson is a steal at his sub-4K salary. Coming off a seven-target game with Cooper out of the lineup and Lamb out for roughly half of the snaps, expect Wilson to be one of Dak Prescott’s top targets this week. Out of 66 total snaps in Week 11, Wilson tied Noah Brown with 42 snaps and 31 routes run. But, he out-targeted Brown seven to two. The third-year receiver also saw seven targets against New England in Week 6 (with Gallup out) and has seen 22 targets over his last four games played. Against this declining secondary, fire him up with or without CeeDee in the lineup.
Other intriguing salaries: Hunter Renfrow ($5,600), Emmanuel Sanders ($4,800), Cole Beasley ($4,500),
Darren Waller ($6,400)
The cheap wide receiver options allow us to go big at tight end with Darren Waller. The Cowboys are 25th against tight ends and Waller should continue to ascend after “bouncing back” in Week 11 with seven receptions for 116 yards on eight targets. Although Waller hasn’t found the end zone since Week 4 (wow), there’s a good chance that Derek Carr will look his way in the red zone against a defense that allowed Travis Kelce to reach paydirt last week. Lots of Waller will be the only way that the Raiders could keep up with the Cowboys on the scoreboard.
Dalton Schultz ($5,300)
On the opposing sideline, Dalton Schultz should be the defacto red zone target and potential target leader if Lamb sits out. As noted above, Gallup led the team with 10 targets last week, but Schultz tied for the team lead in catches (six) and led the team with 53 receiving yards. The Cowboys have Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, but they will still lean on their passing game to bury the Raiders. Expect Schultz to be Prescott’s reliable passing option with the surrounding uncertainty.
Other intriguing salaries: Cole Kmet ($3,700)
I put Trevor Siemian in the “intriguing” list above strictly because he’s a fourth-quarter fantasy hero. Per PFF’s passing grade, Siemian ranks DEAD LAST out of 46 quarterbacks between the first and third quarter. Then once the fourth quarter hits, he ranks No. 1 overall. Go figure. I’d bet a few turkey legs that a pissed-off Bills defense will bury Siemian early on.
Yes, Khalil Mack is out for the remainder of the season. But, it won’t matter when the Bears take on the Lions. While the Bears haven’t been able to generate turnovers like in years past, they might have a chance to feast on the pathetic Tim Boyle. Even if it’s Jared Goff under center, this should be a low-scoring, hideous affair that will force you to talk to your family members for a few hours.