Thanksgiving Day DFS Breakdown (11/23/16)
We will be utilizing our fantasy predictions and expectations to breakdown the Thanksgiving day slate of games for DFS to find the top players and the top value players at each position.
The top quarterback is a pretty simple choice. Roethlisberger has started to turn his season around after a tough start, by his standards. He's only thrown less than 34 passes once all season and has reach 45 twice in the last two games. In a controlled environment, on turf, and against the Colts defense is a dream matchup for Ben and the speedy Pittsburgh offense.
In another controlled environment in Dallas, the Cowboys and Redskins should score a ton of points this week. With the Cowboys lack of front seven players and quite a few injuries in the secondary, the Redskins highly rated offense should have little trouble moving the ball. The same could be said for the Cowboys who have moved the ball on every defense lately. Prescott is a bit too cheap not to play, particularly on DraftKings.
The trust and reliablity in Prescott has ramped up. He's been willing to throw the ball deeper down the field while maintaining little to no interceptions, only throwing two all year. He's thrown for over 300 yards in the last two games and has contributed two or more touchdowns in five straight weeks.
Who else would you expect? The entire Steelers offense now runs through Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The Steelers didn't attempt a rush last week with anyone other than Bell, handing it to him 28 times in the windy Cleveland game. The Steelers will be a bit more likely to throw the ball downfield this week but Bell also threatens there. He's gotten at least six targets in every game he's played this year and at least nine in his last four. Look for him to break a couple big runs and passes against that soft Colts defense.
Theo Riddick is a solid tournament play for the Thanksgiving slate. It's difficult to pass up on guys like Bell and Elliott considering how many players will have them on such a short slate. Nonethless, Riddick is providing a top value play on both DraftKings and FanDuel this week. Riddick had his first game back off of an injury last week where the Lions seemed content using him as their top running back.
Make no mistake, the Lions won't run the ball much, especially against the Vikings front seven. However, that only helps Riddick. He is a serious threat in the passing game. He caught eight passes on ten targets last week for 70 yards. The Vikings defense hasn't fared well against running backs as of late, either. David Johnson had his usually big game in the rushing and passing attack last week. Rob Kelley rushed for 97 yards on 22 carries the week before. Jordan Howard rushed for 153 yards and caught four of four targets two weeks prior.
Another Steelers player is making the top points list, but it is near impossible to fade Antonio Brown this week despite his high price tag. The Steelers really have one reliable receiver left on their roster. In the last few weeks, no one on the Steelers has caught more than four receptions. This leaves almost all the targets left to Brown and Bell. Brown's speed and route-running ability may be the best in the NFL. Now that he'll be on turf this week with a lot of opportunity as the Colts seem to be starting Scott Tolzien at quarterback, he should have another huge game.
This seems as if this is just a Steelers breakdown. As stated above, the lack of receivers leaves a lot on the table for Eli Rogers. If the Colts try to take Brown away, Rogers will become the go to receiver. You shouldn't expect him to have a big game necessarily. Nonetheless, he's a great tournament option. Rogers, who is more of a short, underneath route-runner, cathes a large portion of his targets. You may be resting your tournament chances on whether he can snipe a touchdown from Brown or Bell at some point during the game.
Dak Prescott has made good use of Jason Witten in the passing game. Much like Romo, Dak goes to Witten as his safest option in the medium pasing game. Witten's days of breaking huge passing plays down the seam may be over, but he's going to get a bunch of targets against the Redskins. He's gotten at least seven targets in his last three games and is always a threat in the red zone. In a slate where good tight ends are seemingly hard to come by, Witten is the most reliable option. He isn't very pricey, either.
As the Vikings have cooled off, so has Kyle Rudolph. After starting the season on fire, Rudolph has been nearly non-existant. He's only had one big game in his last six and has massively struggled in others. The return of Stefon Diggs certainly hurt Rudolph to an extent but Diggs has not practiced this week and seems to be banged up if he does play. Rudolph will also have an opportunity to go up against a Lions defense that has allowed completions on 73% of pass attempts. The Lions seem to be taking away the deep passing game as their yards per reception against still ranks fourth in the NFL. This should give Rudolph plenty of opportunity to get open underneath as a fail-safe for Sam Bradford.