Thanksgiving Matchups - Week 12



WAS @ DAL

46 O/U -3 (DAL)

This Thanksgiving divisional game will determine the leader of the NFC East, at least for a few days until the Giants and Eagles get a shot. In a normal division, all these teams would have resigned themselves to their fate, but instead, all four get to pretend they’re worthy of the playoffs for several more weeks. At least this matchup guarantees a win for the division, which have been hard to come by (unless they tie and each get half a win, which would be great for neutral observers).


Cowboys Preview

Through the Air

The Cowboys have been all over the place since Dak Prescott was injured, with Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci, and Garrett Gilbert all getting starts in that time. Those 3 have combined for 1 win in 5 tries. It appears that Andy Dalton will get the start again this week, but that should be limited to the NFL, and not your fantasy team. His main weapons are Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup. Cooper and Lamb are in the WR2/3 range, with Gallup coming in as a deep flex. CeeDee has scored in his last two games, with 7 and 6 targets respectively, and had 11 targets in Dalton’s first start. I would rank Lamb just ahead of Cooper this week. At TE, Dalton Schultz has had a string of low output games, and is completely TD dependent. Washington does allow a decent number of points to TEs, so you may want to consider him as a streamer, but I would hold off, personally.


On the Ground

Ezekiel Elliot is the main man in this backfield, and the Cowboys have shown a willingness to force feed him. Start him up as an RB1, as he has played relatively well with Dalton so far. Tony Pollard is the other guy here, but he’s not worth a start this week even in the deepest of leagues. He may get one big play, but Zeke is the bellcow here.


Washington Football Team Preview

Through the Air

Alex Smith has become the starter after a brutal benching and a brutal injury to the guys ahead of him on the depth chart. He’s yet to prove himself as anything more than a game manager since his return, and you can probably leave him on the waiver wire in most leagues. At WR, the QBs in Washington have only been able to support one relevant WR any given week. Luckily for owners, it is Terry McLaurin every time. He’s a locked-in WR1 start this week, like most weeks. And his production has been dependent on his volume rather than on TDs, which bodes well going forward. Whenever he finds the endzone, it just turns a solid week into a big week. Ignore the other WRs here, as well as Logan Thomas, who is totally the opposite, as a TD dependent TE.


On the Ground

Antonio Gibson has been a solid fantasy option this season, what seems like the first time since Alfred Morris that we’ve had a relevant Washington RB. He’s a RB1 this week, so start him up if you’ve got him. He’s backed up by JD McKissic, who has held his own, with a solid floor most weeks, especially in PPR. He’s a solid flex in PPR leagues, and a deeper flex in standard leagues. You could definitely do worse than McKissic, as he’s been heavily involved in both the passing and rushing offenses.


Extra Points

Both of these defenses are solid starts this week, with both offenses struggling a bit with their backup QBs and being more prone to turnovers. They’re solid streaming options. Greg Zuerlein is also a solid start this week at kicker, although you can pass on Hopkins for Washington.



BAL @ PIT

46 O/U -4 (PIT)

UPDATE: GAME MOVED TO SUNDAY 11/29

I bet when the NFL was putting together the 2020 schedule they thought they would be giving fans a Thanksgiving primetime divisional matchup between the two top dogs in the AFC North and two Super Bowl contenders. Well it’s week 12 The Steelers are 10-0 and are Super Bowl contenders while the Ravens are 6-4 looking like pretenders with a sus Defense who seems to be playing 2 hand touch these days and on top of that are dealing with key offensive players testing positive for COVID. Watch the status of this game as it could be at risk of being moved if more positive tests come in.


Ravens Preview

Through the Air

Former MVP Lamar Jackson’s passing has seemed to regress this season. We always knew he wasn’t going to be an accurate passer but it seems things are getting worse for this offense as his throws are way off target and teammates are beginning to get frustrated i.e Marquise Brown. The only thing “salvaging'' Lamar's season is his ability to run the ball but even that has been limited this season due to teams focusing on the run more. This week is a tough matchup against a top Steelers defense and I am hesitant to trust Lamar this week but managers will probably have no other option. Lamar is a low-end QB2. The only player who seems to still have fantasy relevancy is Mark Andrews who is a TE1 most weeks.


On the Ground

Mark Ingram and J.K Dobbins are both on the COVID list after testing positive after Sunday’s game. Now is the time to get on the Gus Bus and see what he really can do in this offense as the lead dog. This week is not an easy test and would temper those expectations but given the volume he should see as being the only RB on Thursday I am trusting him as a RB2.


Steelers Preview

Through the Air

Big Ben is playing pretty good football these days and sits at QB10 currently. The emergence of Chase Claypool and Dionte Johnson has certainly helped Big Ben’s QB1 return on investment. JuJu Smith-Shuster is also there and seems to be drawing most of the defenses attention leaving looks open for the other two. I’m trusting all of these WRs as WR2/3’s this week and all should be started. Any of them have the ability to produce WR1 numbers and this week is not different, the Ravens Secondary is afraid to tackle opposing WRs. I will caution that rain is forecasted on Thursday so this may limit upside but all of these guys including Ben should be started.


On the Ground

James Conner has been a little disappointing this season but is still a RB2 most weeks. His upside is capped because of the number of playmakers on this offense and players like Claypool getting run plays scripted to them. I’m trusting Conner as an RB2 and should be some upside here in this one if the weather takes a turn for the worse and they are forced to lean on the ground game.


Extra Points

The Ravens D/ST is not startable as of late, due to the inability to stop or tackle anyone. The Steelers have too many weapons on offense and are playing too good of football to trust the Ravens. The Steelers D/ST on the other hand is a good start this week. The Ravens offense inability to put up points and turnovers by Lamar should make for a productive outing for this defense.



HOU @ DET

52.5 O/U -2.5 (HOU)

Vegas predicts a high over/under for this matchup which means some exciting things for fantasy purposes. Both teams have terrible pass defenses which will allow for dynamic action on the offense and points to be scored for fantasy!


Houston Texans

Through the Air

The Lions secondary is 25th against the quarterback which means that Deshaun Watson - who would be on an MVP run now if not for a dismal team - should see his share of success. To paint this opportunity clearly for you, Watson under pressure has thrown for 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions but without pressure -- he’s at 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The Detroit Lions present a no-pressure situation for Watson this Thursday. Will Fuller is expected to line up against a second year corner with Detroit struggling in their secondary and this could mean a big day to come for this wideout. It’s also likely Cooks finds some success on Sunday given Cobb’s absence from the field.


On the Ground

David Johnson is on the IR with a concussion and Duke Johnson hasn’t exactly been the ideal backup - but that could change in this juicy matchup against Detroit. No team has allowed more rushing touchdowns (14) or more rushing yards to the opposing running back (123) than Detroit. Now, this scenario is falling to a running back who has failed to pick up more than 15 carries in back to back games but if the volume is there for him this week, he could be in a position to make the most of it.


Detroit Lions

Through the Air

I am going to start this by saying it shouldn’t get worse for the Lions than it was last week, so therein lies some good news. Matthew Stafford is winding down a totally blah season having only put up more than 20 points on three occasions all year, with a thumb-injury that the Lion seems dead-set on playing through. And after putting up ZERO fantasy points last week (ok not zero but like… 7?) Stafford's stock has officially sunk. A few interesting things are poised to happen this week though keeping me interested in what this Lions offense can do for fantasy purposes. First, tight-end TJ Hockenson hauled in the most yards all season last week and the Texans have surrendered the 5th most touchdowns to tight ends. Hockenson could see a strong performance this week and is an advisable start. Next, receiver Kenny Golladay is still questionable after missing time with a hip injury. He is trending in the wrong direction to appear for Thursday’s matchup but it’s worth noting that since Golladay went out, Marvin Jones has been the #7 WR. Of course, this is all quarterback dependent, but if the Lions trust in Stafford, I am going to trust the opportunity the Texans have repeatedly opened up for opposing receivers.


On the Ground

Deandre Swift missed last week with a concussion but returns to face the worst run defense in the NFL. Houston has given up the second most fantasy points to opposing running backs and the pace Swift was clocking before his concussion would indicate he’ll tear right through the Texans.


Extra Points

Both defenses are colossal failures so stay away from them. Ka’imi Fairbairn is a tier two kicker this week with Houston still working hard to win games.