FantasyDraft NFL: Week 12 Picks
FantasyDraft NFL: Week 12 Picks

This article is part of our FantasyDraft NFL series.

Daily fantasy has made Thanksgiving even more fun in recent years in that you can play DFS solely on Thursday with three games on the slate. Because of that, there are even more players to go through so let's look at the matchups for both Thanksgiving Day and Sunday football.

The game I'm trying to stay away from is Lions-Vikings for a few reasons. The Lions won this game 14-7 in Minnesota back in Week 4. Case Keenum started and had Dalvin Cook for the majority of it before he tore his ACL. In the last three meetings between these teams (and six of the last eight), the total in regulation hasn't surpassed 32 points. The Lions haven't allowed more than 17 points in their last four Thanksgiving games and won this matchup 16-13 last season. Still, with only three games on Thursday, it can't be completely ignored.

Kyle Rudolph ($7,000) is worth a look and whomever Darius Slay doesn't cover. My money is on Stefon Diggs ($12,300) to get better matchups in the secondary after Adam Thielen ($13,700) only had five grabs for 59 yards in the first game. Latavius Murray ($9,000) is worth some consideration but is largely touchdown dependent with four in the last three games. As for the Lions, I wouldn't trust anyone outside of Golden Tate ($12,300) because no one else on the team is consistent.

I'm staying away from the Giants unless Sterling Shepard ($14,500) gets over his migraines. In the last two games since his return from injury, Shepard has 22 targets.

The best idea is to stack up on players from Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington. But with how the Cowboys have looked, I'm not keen on backing anyone for them either, although Alfred Morris ($10,200) should get a heavy workload after logging 17 carries last Sunday. I wouldn't be surprised if Rod Smith ($8,200) was used a bit more, as well. The Cowboys will want to attack a run defense that ranks 22nd (according to Football Outsiders' DVOA), much worse than against the pass (sixth).

The two best bets will be between the Chargers and Redskins, although both are still hard to trust on a weekly basis. Kirk Cousins ($12,900) is my top quarterback only because he's been immune to matchups and, since Chris Thompson just got hurt, Jamison Crowder ($9,600) should be in for another 10 targets after racking up 32 in the last three games. The running back situation isn't great, but most people will likely be on Melvin Gordon ($13,200), though Austin Ekeler ($9,700) could be a nice differential play. Gordon has been beat up all season and the Chargers probably won't overuse him on a short week. The top receiver is Keenan Allen ($13,800) and he'll be the most popular one for good reason after 12 receptions last week.

Hopefully that helps your Thanksgiving go smoothly. And now onto Sunday's plays…

QUARTERBACK

Russell Wilson, SEA at SF ($13,500): I considered cheap QBs like Cam Newton ($12,100) and Matt Ryan ($12,200), but I don't want to play games. The Seahawks scored just 12 points against the 49ers last meeting, yet Wilson still had 15 fantasy points. He's reached at least 25 fantasy points in four of the last five games and his fantasy production doesn't directly correlate to the team's success (see: 17-14 loss to Washington). With Duane Brown in tow, I feel great about Wilson as my quarterback.

RUNNING BACK

Alvin Kamara, NO at LAR ($14,900): I feel like I write about Kamara every week and he continues to produce. He only had 14 touches last week, yet still had a great fantasy performance and has reached 25 points in the last three. That's mainly because of 17 receptions in that period, which is 13 more than Mark Ingram ($14,900) has. The Rams have the No. 1 overall defense per DVOA, but are middle of the road against the run (15th).

Christian McCaffrey, CAR at NYJ ($12,800): I'm not huge on McCaffrey, but he comes at a decent price and has reached at least 10 fantasy points in his last six games. That's because he's basically a receiver for the Panthers and has had fewer than four receptions just once this season. He also has five touchdowns in the last six games and I don't think the Jets will completely stop him.

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Green, CIN vs. CLE ($14,600): The Browns are bad and rank last against No. 1 wide receivers, according to DVOA. I've gone against them a number of times and with how often Green is getting targeted in the red zone (six TDs in eight games), a touchdown is almost a lock. He had five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 meeting and I think that's his floor against this secondary.

Brandin Cooks, NE vs. MIA ($13,000): Lining up with Tom Brady, Cooks has been one of the most consistent receivers this season. His floor is high, having hit at least five receptions and 65 yards in five of the last six games. Against a secondary that ranks 31st against the pass (per DVOA), I'll take the safe play of Cooks and hope he repeats last weekend's performance.

TIGHT END

Austin Traylor, DEN at OAK ($5,000): Who? Yeah, I asked myself that same question. With A.J. Derby gone, Taylor moved into the lineup and played a team-high 53 snaps against the Bengals last week, while Virgil Green was at 41. With those snaps, Taylor managed four grabs for 36 yards. I'm not expecting a breakout, but against the Raiders, it's at least a good spot.

FLEX

Devontae Booker, DEN at OAK ($6,700): Speaking of going against the Raiders, Booker is my value pick of the week. His snap count has increased in each of the last three games, culminating with 48 last week, while C.J. Anderson ($7,500) has had fewer than 30 in each of the last three. Booker's numbers aren't overwhelming, but he had five receptions last week and now faces the Raiders, which have gotten nothing out of their defense in the last four games. Backing two players from the Broncos with Paxton Lynch at quarterback is worrisome, but it's not like he can be worse than Brock Osweiler, right? It's also important to note that Bill Musgrave, the new Broncos offensive coordinator, was with the Raiders last season. If he doesn't know how to beat this defense he could be on the block next.

Jarvis Landry, MIA at NE ($11,800): Landry doesn't have eye-popping numbers, but he's found the end zone in six of the last seven games and has at least five receptions in every game this season. That's good enough in a game the Dolphins will have to pass a ton in. I'm also not sold on the Patriots defense, despite recent success. I said that last week, but the player I backed (Amari Cooper) still ended up getting a touchdown for me.

DEFENSE

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. GB ($7,000): I completely missed on my defense in this spot last week (Cardinals), which I'm still upset about since there were multiple better choices. The Steelers are expensive, but with 14 sacks and seven interceptions in their last four games, it'll be worth it against Brett Hundley.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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