Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet: Ranking Players, Pies & More

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet: Ranking Players, Pies & More

Welcome to the 14th annual Thanksgiving Day Cheat Sheet.

For those who are first timers, it's great to have you aboard.

Here's how to set up a one-day fantasy contest with family and friends for the Thanksgiving games:

First, you'll need three to six people — ideally those with whom you're sharing the holiday. But don't let that stop you if your family doesn't want to play. Reach out on social media or target some of your friends to have some fantasy football fun.

Next, be sure to leave enough time for a quick draft that'll end before the Bills-Lions game kicks off. Should you need  to generate a draft order, either roll dice, draw playing cards from a deck or go to Random.org and use the free list randomizer.

Now that you have your competitors set, make some roster requirements and a scoring system, and, based on how many players you have, be sure to add some flex spots to add fun to your one-day league. Maybe start with (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE flex, a kicker and a defense) and add spots if needed. And yes, even if you're anti-kicker, consider using one, as this adds fun on such a short slate. (If you only have three teams, you can add a second QB spot as well).

Recommended scoring system:

20 pass yards = 1 pt
Pass TD = 4 pts
10 rush/rec yards = 1 pt
Reception = 1 pt
Rush/rec TD

Welcome to the 14th annual Thanksgiving Day Cheat Sheet.

For those who are first timers, it's great to have you aboard.

Here's how to set up a one-day fantasy contest with family and friends for the Thanksgiving games:

First, you'll need three to six people — ideally those with whom you're sharing the holiday. But don't let that stop you if your family doesn't want to play. Reach out on social media or target some of your friends to have some fantasy football fun.

Next, be sure to leave enough time for a quick draft that'll end before the Bills-Lions game kicks off. Should you need  to generate a draft order, either roll dice, draw playing cards from a deck or go to Random.org and use the free list randomizer.

Now that you have your competitors set, make some roster requirements and a scoring system, and, based on how many players you have, be sure to add some flex spots to add fun to your one-day league. Maybe start with (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE flex, a kicker and a defense) and add spots if needed. And yes, even if you're anti-kicker, consider using one, as this adds fun on such a short slate. (If you only have three teams, you can add a second QB spot as well).

Recommended scoring system:

20 pass yards = 1 pt
Pass TD = 4 pts
10 rush/rec yards = 1 pt
Reception = 1 pt
Rush/rec TD = 6 pts
2-point Conv = 2 pts
Sack = 1 pt
INT (for defense) = 2 pts
Safety = 2 pts
D/ST TD = 6 pts
FG = 3
PAT = 1

Otherwise, if you're playing with people in one of your fantasy leagues, or if you're playing DFS, consider using the same scoring system to keep the day nice and easy.

How about an entry fee? As we know, having a little skin in the game makes it more fun, but know your audience. If you want to make this an annual tradition, make sure the entry fee is one that keeps people coming back year after year.

Of course, make sure you have an edge. I'll list my Thanksgiving Day cheat sheet below to get you started, and most important, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Game schedule & Vegas Odds

Bills (-9.5) at Lions (o/u 54) — CBS, 12:30 p.m. EST

Giants at Cowboys (-8.5) (o/u 44.5) — FOX, 4:30 p.m. EST

Patriots at Vikings (-3) (o/u 41.5) — NBC, 8:20 p.m. EST

Weather will not be an issue at these three indoor venues.

Implied Totals

Bills - 31.5
Cowboys - 26.5
Vikings - 24.5
Lions - 21.5
Patriots - 21
Giants - 18

Fantasy Points Allowed by Position

The following table is based on full PPR scoring and uses data from the last five weeks exclusively. If using a different scoring system, use the RotoWire Defense vs. Position tool.

 QBRBWRTEK
Bills18.8 (10th)17.0 (12th)22.4 (22nd)4.6 (4th)5.4 (5th)
Lions27.3 (32nd)20.1 (25th)25.1 (28th)10.2 (30th)6.4 (10th)
Giants17.8 (8th)20.2 (26th)17.8 (5th)6.9 (15th)8.6 (27th)
Cowboys17.1 (5th)15.6 (6th)20.8 (16th)4.2 (2nd)7.0 (19th)
Patriots19.3 (14th)12.4 (2nd)17.4 (3rd)8.6 (25th)6.5 (12th)
Vikings23.9 (28th)19.1 (21st)24.7 (27th)8.3 (24th)7.3 (20th)

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

QUARTERBACK

1.  Josh Allen BUF at DET
2.  Dak Prescott DAL vs. NYG
3.  Jared Goff DET vs. BUF
4.  Kirk Cousins MIN vs NE
5.  Daniel Jones NYG at DAL
6.  Mac Jones NE at MIN
7.  Bailey Zappe NE at MIN
8.  Tyrod Taylor NYG at DAL
9.  Cooper Rush DAL vs. NYG
10. Case Keenum BUF at DET
11.  Nate Sudfeld DET vs. BUF
12.  Nick Mullens MIN vs NE

RUNNING BACK

1. Saquon Barkley NYG at DAL
2. Tony Pollard DAL vs. NYG
3. Dalvin Cook MIN vs NE
4. Rhamondre Stevenson NE at MIN
5. Ezekiel Elliott DAL vs. NYG
6. Jamaal Williams DET vs. BUF
7. Devin Singletary BUF at DET
8. D'Andre Swift DET vs. BUF
9. Damien Harris NE at MIN
10. James Cook BUF at DET
11. Alexander Mattison MIN vs NE
12. Justin Jackson DET vs. BUF
13. Matt Breida NYG at DAL
14. Nyheim Hines BUF at DET
15. Malik Davis DAL vs. NYG
16. Gary Brightwell NYG at DAL
17. Pierre Strong NE at MIN
18. Kene Nwangwu MIN vs NE

WIDE RECEIVER

1. Stefon Diggs BUF at DET
2. Justin Jefferson MIN vs NE
3. CeeDee Lamb DAL vs. NYG
4. Gabe Davis BUF at DET
5. Amon-Ra St. Brown DET vs. BUF
6. Jakobi Meyers NE at MIN
7. Adam Thielen MIN vs NE
8. Darius Slayton NYG at DAL
9. Kalif Raymond DET vs. BUF
10. Isaiah McKenzie BUF at DET
11. Michael Gallup DAL vs. NYG
12. DeVante Parker NE at MIN
13. K.J. Osborn MIN vs NE
14. DJ Chark DET vs. BUF
15. Noah Brown DAL vs. NYG
16. Josh Reynolds DET vs. BUF (questionable - back)
17. Isaiah Hodgins NYG at DAL
18. Kendrick Bourne NE at MIN
19. Tyquan Thornton NE at MIN
20. Kenny Golladay NYG at DAL
21. Nelson Agholor NE at MIN
22. Marcus Johnson NYG at DAL
23. Richie James NYG at DAL
24. Tom Kennedy DET vs. BUF
25. Khalil Shakir BUF at DET
26. Jalen Tolbert DAL vs. NYG
27. David Sills NYG at DAL
28. Jalen Reagor MIN vs NE

TIGHT END

1. T.J. Hockenson MIN vs NE
2. Dalton Schultz DAL vs. NYG
3.  Dawson Knox BUF at DET
4. Jonnu Smith NE at MIN
5. Hunter Henry NE at MIN
6. Brock Wright DET vs. BUF
7. Lawrence Cager NYG at DAL
8. James Mitchell DET vs. BUF 

9. Tanner Hudson NYG at DAL
10. Peyton Hendershot DAL vs. NYG
11. Jake Ferguson DAL vs. NYG
12. Johnny Mundt MIN vs NE
13. Quintin Morris BUF at DET

DEFENSE

1. Cowboys (vs. Giants) 
2. Bills (at Lions)
3. Vikings (vs. Patriots)
4. Patriots (at Vikings)
5. Giants (at Cowboys)
6. Lions (vs.Bills)

KICKER

1. Brett Maher DAL vs. NYG
2. Tyler Bass BUF at DET
3. Nick Folk NE at MIN
4. Greg Joseph MIN vs NE
5. Michael Badgley DET vs. BUF
6. Graham Gano NYG at DAL

Side Dish Rankings

Like Bill Belichick picking just the right defensive approach to stymie an inexperienced QB, don't fail to "do your job" when realizing that side dishes must be carefully chosen for the perfect meal. Each side has a role in the grand scheme, so plan this part of the feast with the highest level of discretion.

1. Stuffing 
2. Cheesy Corn Casserole
3. Sweet Potato Casserole
4. Cranberry Walnut Relish
5. Mac and Cheese
6. Mashed Potatoes 
7. Maple Glazed Carrots
8. Green Bean Casserole

Pie Rankings

Like running into a stacked box at the goal line, after eating all that food, we've got to plow through the pain and into the nirvana that eating the perfect pie brings.

1. Pumpkin
2. Pecan
3. Banana Cream
4. Coconut Cream
5. Apple
6. French Silk
7. Blueberry
8. Brownie 
9. Sweet Potato
10. Triple Berry

Beer Rankings

Maybe your family brings a lot of drama or stress to the feast. Let's bring some beer to the rescue. Maybe not the mass-produced common beers. It is the holiday season after all! Enjoy the great taste and let some of the stress slip away while your fantasy team is piling up the points.

1. Old Fezziwig by Samuel Adams
2. Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island Beer Co.
3. Pastry Mode by Moska Brewing Co.
4. Ghost in the Machine by Parish Brewing Co.
5. Not Your Kind of People by Anchorage Brewing Co.
6. For TWCP by Side Project Brewing
7. Queen Julius by Tree House Brewing Co.
8. Loose Candies by More Brewing Co.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Let me know in the comments where I went wrong.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Coventry
Coventry covers football for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.
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