This article is part of our Moving the Chains series.
Black Friday is overrated.
You won't find me waiting in any lines Thursday night, or tearing through a store early Friday morning trying to save money on a new TV.
I'd rather spend my time with family over the holiday weekend.
What I have found in recent years, is that my family really enjoys fantasy football on Thanksgiving.
The three-game schedule is ideal for small one-day leagues.
It all started a few years back when RotoWire staffers hanging around town for the holiday assembled for a Thanksgiving dinner. We decided to make things interesting. Rather than watch the Lions get blown out, Dallas disappoint (again), and curse our TV provider for refusing to pick up the NFL Network (we still curse our provider, but at least they've added NFL Network in the years since), we decided to increase our stake in the action by having a one-day fantasy league to cover the three games on the slate.
Now, it's an annual tradition and I've created the fifth annual RotoWire Thanksgiving Day Value Meter.
Find a few of your favorite friends or relatives that you'll be spending the holiday with. Before the start of the Green Bay-Detroit game, figure out a draft order and set up a three-to-six-team fantasy league just for the three games on Thursday. Keep it simple: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE flex, 1 K, 1 D/ST and use a very basic scoring system as well (20 pass yards = 1 pt, Pass TD = 4 pts, 10 rush/rec yards = 1 pt, Rush/Rec TD = 6 pts, FG = 3 pts, PAT = 1 pt, 2 pt Conv = 2 pts. For your team D, go with 1 pt for sacks, 2 pts for INT, 2 for safeties and 6 pts for a TD – including kickoff/punt returns).
**Hint: Add a second flex that allows the use of another quarterback if you have a three- or four-team league. I also recommend using PPR in those small scenarios as well.
Even if you're just playing for a small prize (i.e. $10/entry, winner take all; last place drives grandma home, last place gets force-fed the sweet potato pie that nobody wants), there's something to be said for having that extra little investment in games that you may otherwise find meaningless.
Below, I've compiled the initial set of rankings for the Thanksgiving Day games. An update will be made to the rankings Wednesday if unexpected information comes from the official injury reports.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. - DVR
1. DeMarco Murray, v. OAK
2. Reggie Bush, v. GB
3. Eddie Lacy, @ DET
4. Rashad Jennings, @ DAL
5. Le'Veon Bell, @ BAL
6. Ray Rice, v. PIT
7. Joique Bell, v. GB
8. Darren McFadden, @ DAL
9. Bernard Pierce, v. PIT
10. James Starks, @ DET
11. Jonathan Dwyer, @ BAL
12. Marcel Reece, @ DAL
13. Lance Dunbar, v. OAK
1. Calvin Johnson, v. GB
2. Dez Bryant, v. OAK
3. Antonio Brown, @ BAL
4. Jordy Nelson, @ DET
5. Torrey Smith, v. PIT
6. Rod Streater, @ DAL
7. Nate Burleson, v. GB
8. Jarrett Boykin, @ DET
9. Emmanuel Sanders, @ BAL
10. Marlon Brown, v. PIT
11. James Jones, @ DET
12. Andre Holmes, @ DAL
13. Jacoby Jones, @ PIT
14. Jerricho Cotchery, @ BAL
15. Miles Austin, v. OAK
16. Kris Durham, v. GB
17. Terrance Williams, v. OAK
18. Cole Beasley, v. OAK
4. Green Bay
Fantasy Points Allowed (per game) To Opposition (Season)
|Green Bay||18.6 (12th)||17.8 (15th)||23.7 (14th)||9.1 (10th)||4.7 (23rd)|
|Detroit||18.7 (11th)||14.8 (26th)||29.4 (2nd)||6.5 (26th)||4.4 (27th)|
|Oakland||19.6 (10th)||16.1 (21st)||27.0 (5th)||8.8 (12th)||6.7 (6th)|
|Dallas||22.8 (1st)||24.3 (1st)||24.7 (12th)||9.9 (7th)||3.5 (32nd)|
|Pittsburgh||15.7 (24th)||19.4 (10th)||20.7 (21st)||6.9 (22nd)||6.3 (10th)|
|Baltimore||16.0 (22nd)||13.0 (30th)||22.3 (16th)||8.3 (15th)||6.2 (12th)|
Fantasy Points Allowed (per game) To Opposition (Last Five Weeks)
|Green Bay||17.5 (16th)||23.1 (6th)||22.9 (14th)||5.2 (27th)||5.6 (13th)|
|Detroit||22.1 (3rd)||8.5 (31st)||35.4 (1st)||5.0 (29th)||6.0 (12th)|
|Oakland||21.4 (6th)||15.1 (23rd)||31.4 (3rd)||11.3 (5th)||5.2 (18th)|
|Dallas||23.9 (1st)||35.9 (1st)||27.2 (7th)||7.9 (16th)||3.0 (32nd)|
|Pittsburgh||20.1 (11th)||19.7 (14th)||25.5 (10th)||8.4 (11th)||4.2 (21st)|
|Baltimore||14.4 (22nd)||14.4 (25th)||19.9 (20th)||5.4 (26th)||7.8 (8th)|