Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends out there. As is the tradition, we have a full day of football on tap with three games starting at 12:30 p.m. ET so let’s jump in and take a look at some of the top players to build around for daily fantasy.
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Drew Brees(DK - $6,700 FD - $9,000)
Let’s jump right to the third game of this slate that also happens to be the highest projected scoring game of the day with a 60 Vegas Total. The Saints open as huge 13 point home favorites and while you may think that might hurt Brees’ game script consider the Saints jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and 24-7 halftime lead against the Eagles and still threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns. It was the fifth time throwing for 300+ yards in 10 games this season and despite throwing for less than 250 yards four times still sits 6th in the league in passing yards on the season. He now gets another elite matchup against a Falcons team that has allowed the fourth most yards through the air(284.1 per game) and second-most fantasy points to QB’s. This game has all the making of a shootout which does bring Matt Ryan into play as well but consider the Saints defense has improved lately holding Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz to just 156 and 153 passing yards respectively for a combined one touchdown and five interceptions. I will gladly pay up and take Brees at home as my top quarterback in all formats.
Mitchell Trubisky(DK - $5,600 FD - $7,600)
If you are looking to go the value route in GPP formats, consider Mitchell Trubisky. He will definitely be lower owned under-performing for fantasy in two of his last three games but has shown a ton of upside. Last time out vs. the Lions in Week 10 Trubisky completed 23 of 30 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns while also running in a touchdown. It was the fifth time he has exceeded 20 fantasy points and the sixth time he has thrown for multiple touchdowns. On top of that, he adds running upside with 40 or more rushing yards in five of his last seven games. The Lions do rank 13th in passing yards per game given up but rank 31st in DVOA vs. the pass and have given up the 10th most fantasy points to QB’s. The only concern here for me is that he is not be practicing as of Tuesday with a shoulder injury but is expected to play. Stay tuned for further injury news before locking your lineups but if he starts, he is an excellent PTS/$ value for GPP’s.
Also Consider: Colt McCoy(WSH) if you want to completely punt the position. He did show he is capable stepping in for the injured Alex Smith rushing for 35 yards and throwing for a touchdown on Sunday.
Running Back Targets
Ezekiel Elliott(DK - $8,600 FD - $8,700)
From an ownership standpoint, Kamara and Ingram will most likely be very popular on this small three-game slate as they face the Falcons who are terrible against running backs. Don’t get me wrong, I will have plenty of exposure to both today but to separate ourselves from the field we need to sometimes pivot. One of those pivots for me is Zeke who gets a much worse matchup against a Redskins team that has allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game(95.7). What I like about Zek, however, is that he is an elite pass catcher and is averaging 6.7 targets per game over his last four and in that time has seen a whopping 92% RB touch share while Kamara and Ingram have split touches. Zeke is also coming off two monster games where he has rushed for 100+ yards and has scored 30+ fantasy points in both.
Theo Riddick(DK - $4,500 FD - $4,800)
On this three-game slate, value plays will be vital to get exposure to the Saints/Falcons game with it’s 60 Over/Under. One of the first places I am turning this week is Theo Riddick after starter Kerryon Johnson suffered a knee injury in the second half on Sunday and is doubtful to play Thursday. Blount and/or Zenner will likely the majority of the carries but Riddick was already heavily involved in the passing game with 7+ targets in three straight weeks and is averaging 6.5 targets per game on the season. He has also been productive with those targets catching 79% of them for 264 yards. The Bears are four-point favorites in this game which also helps the game script for Riddick as the Lions will likely be turning to the pass early and often. At his price, Riddick is a terrific play in all formats.
Also consider: Jordan Howard(CHI)
Wide Receiver Targets
Julio Jones(DK - $8,300 FD - $8,800)
Both Michael Thomas and Julio Jones are elite plays in this projected shootout but I slightly lean Jones as the Falcons are huge underdogs(+13) and will likely have to turn to a heavy pass gameplan early. He has been terrific all season sitting at the top of the league in yards but got the label as a WR that couldn’t score touchdowns. Well, he has shaken that label like a dog shaking water off its back. Julio has now scored touchdowns in three straight weeks and has tallied 100+ yards in five straight. He now faces a Saints team who I did mention has been better against the pass lately but still ranks 27th allowing 280.3 passing yards per game and the most fantasy points per game to wideouts. In my Julio lineups, I will be running that stack back with Kamara or Ingram to fit the game script scenario.
Anthony Miller(DK - $5,800 FD - $6,400)
The Bears brought in Allen Robinson in the offseason but lately it has been rookie wideout, Anthony Miller, who has been trending in a big way lately. He started out the season with a shoulder injury but is finally healthy and performing in a big way with touchdowns in back to back games and has scored in four of his last six games. The targets haven’t exactly been there as he is averaging just 5.5 over those six games but that should start to go up moving forward and especially in this game. The Lions are likely to us Darius Slay in a shadow coverage role against Allen Robinson while Miller will likely see a ton of Teez Tabor in the slot and he has allowed over a 80% catch rate and 350+yards on the season. At his price, fire up Miller in all formats on Thursday.
Also Consider: Amari Cooper(DAL) in GPP formats
Tight End Target
Trey Burton(DK - $3,800 FD - $5,400)
The tight end position makes me nauseated on weekly basis and this small slate is even worse. None of these tight ends qualify as elite options and neither of these teams has been terrible against the position so let’s go with the cheapest option of the Top 3(on DraftKings). Burton had big expectations coming into this season and while he has been inconsistent, he has flashed upside and has tallied double-digit fantasy points in 60% of his games. Detroit hasn’t given up a ton of yardage to the position but have given up five touchdowns(5th most). Take the discount on DraftKings and move on.
Also Consider: Austin Hooper(ATL) in the highest projected scoring game of the day, especially on FanDuel where he is the lowest priced of the Top 3 options.
Chicago Bears(DK - $2,900 FD - $4,700)
Before seeing salaries for this slate, there is no way I would have imagined the Bears not being the top priced defense. Well, here we are and they are cheaper than the Cowboys making the decision simple for me today. They will be chalk but do rank 5th overall with 32 sacks on the season and 1st overall with 27 takeaways(18 interceptions, 9 fumble recoveries).
Also Consider: Dallas Cowboys as a pivot off the Bears