Yahoo DFS Football: Thanksgiving Picks

Yahoo DFS Football: Thanksgiving Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Football series.

The Thanksgiving Day portion of the Week 12 NFL slate begins Thursday at 12:30 PM Eastern and features two games. The Texans visit the Lions to get things started, followed by the Washington-Dallas NFC East rivalry game, while the Ravens-Steelers matchup originally scheduled for Thursday has been pushed back to Sunday. Nothing goes better with Thanksgiving turkey than a side of victory, and the recommendations below should help you taste that victory, whether you're playing GPP Tournaments or Cash Games. Those players include a pricey quarterback worth paying up for, an elite wide receiver ready to carve up a porous defense, and a low-cost, high-floor tight end.

QUARTERBACK

Deshaun Watson, HOU at DET ($37): Watson should be worth paying up for here, if for no other reason than a lack of appealing alternatives, as Matthew Stafford racked up just 7.62 fantasy points last week while clearly being hampered by a partially torn ligament in his thumb, while Andy Dalton will have to contend with a Washington defense that's allowing a league-low 195.4 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, Watson has reestablished himself as an elite quarterback following a slow start to the season, racking up at least 300 passing yards in five of his last seven games and multiple touchdown passes in seven of the last eight. The mobile quarterback has also been more willing to make plays with his legs recently, rushing for at least 36 yards in each of the past four games after previously failing to reach that mark this season. If your other lineup choices end up making Watson a tad rich for your blood, then swinging the pendulum all the way to the bottom of the price spectrum among quarterbacks makes sense. Alex Smith ($22) has topped 300 passing yards in two of the last three games and draws a favorable matchup against Dallas' league-worst scoring defense (31.8 points allowed per game).

RUNNING BACK

Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. WAS ($32): Dallas will likely lean on Elliott against a Washington defense that's worse than average at stopping the run (120.4 rushing yards allowed per game) and the best in the league against the pass. With injury concerns hampering some of this slate's other top running back options, Elliott should be worth paying up for, especially since he was finally able to build up some momentum with over 100 rushing yards and a receiving touchdown in last week's win over the Vikings.

J.D. McKissic, WAS at DAL ($16): McKissic would gain even more value if Antonio Gibson's ankle injury is severe enough to keep him out, but Washington's receiving back should be a strong choice either way given how effectively McKissic and Gibson have coexisted in recent weeks. McKissic has caught at least six passes in five of the past seven games, and he has been targeted 33 times in three games since Alex Smith took over under center. He has exactly 200 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in the three games with Smith, and McKissic should remain involved as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield against the vulnerable Dallas defense.

WIDE RECEIVER

Will Fuller, HOU at DET ($28): Both Fuller and fellow Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks ($21) should be popular stacking options alongside Watson in Houston's passing game against a Lions defense that has allowed the sixth-most catches (146) and fifth-most yards (1,855) to wide receivers this season. Cooks and Fuller each have 74 catches this season, but the latter has 708 yards and six touchdowns to the former's 634 yards and three touchdowns through 10 games.

Terry McLaurin, WAS at DAL ($27): Assuming he shakes off an ankle injury that popped up early in the week, McLaurin should feast on a vulnerable Dallas defense that has allowed a league-high 19 touchdowns to wide receivers. He has established himself as a bona fide No. 1 wideout in his second season, ranking sixth league-wide in targets (93) and fourth in yards (871). Smith has looked like the best of Washington's quarterback options compared to Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen, so McLaurin has a good chance of repeating if not improving on the seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown he posted on 11 targets against the Cowboys in Week 7 with Allen under center.

Marvin Jones, DET vs. HOU ($16): Jones should remain atop Detroit's wide receiver depth chart with Kenny Golladay (hip) ruled out. The veteran wideout has bounced back after a slow start to the season, with four of his five touchdowns coming in the last four games. Detroit's offense has nowhere to go but up after last week's debacle, and the affordable Jones should lead the way against a Hosuton defense that's still allowing 27.2 points per game despite recent improvements.

TIGHT END

Dalton Schultz, DAL vs. WAS ($13): Grabbing Schultz should allow you to spend big at other positions while still delivering a high floor at the volatile tight end position. He scored his third touchdown of the season last week while catching at least four passes for the seventh time in the past nine games. Tight ends have as many touchdowns (six) this season against Washington as wide receivers, so Schultz should deliver the best bang for the buck in the Cowboys' passing game.

DEFENSE

Houston Texans, HOU at DET ($10): To say it has been a rough year for this unit would be an understatement, but it will be hard to top the value Houston's defense provides at the minimum price against a Lions offense that was shut out by the Panthers last week. Detroit produced just 185 yards of total offense in that one, as Stafford was clearly hampered by his thumb injury and the running game contributed a meager 2.4 yards per attempt. This matchup would become a bit less enticing if starting running back D'Andre Swift (concussion) suits up for the Lions, but a Houston defense that's trending in the right direction with just 18.3 points per game allowed in the last three is a sensible play regardless.

Honorable Mentions

QB: Alex Smith (WAS, $22), Andy Dalton (DAL, $24)

RB: Duke Johnson (HOU, $20), D'Andre Swift (DET, $23)

WR: Amari Cooper (DAL, $16), Keke Coutee (HOU, $12)

TE: Logan Thomas (WAS, $15), T.J. Hockenson (DET, $20)

DST: Washington Football Team (at DAL, $16)

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. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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