Happy wondrous holiday everyone. This is by far one of the best days of the year, and if you’re anything like me, you feel the same.
We have football all day, and get to spend time with family and consume a ton of food and booze. With all of that, we have to remember what the day is all about. Get your lineups in, get your bets in and relax to spend time with your family. I’ll certainly be available all day, but if I take longer to reply than usual, I’m just tied up with the family.
My strategy for this slate is a lot of player props and teasers with some longshot parlays.
On this slate we have two games between out of conference opponents who rarely play each other and we have a divisional game. These games typically result in close scores and Vegas is going to nail these lines. So teasing games for the extra wiggle room is one of my favorite ways to attack primetime games, which all three of these games are considered.
They will also draw you in with generous player prop lines. I use my fantasy analysis and link that over to play props that I feel are favorable lines. I’ll post my leans in this article and a few flat out plays, but you can take my analysis and put that towards some props for yourself.
Again, ask me in chat if you want to pick my brain on where you’re going with a play. We’ll get you to the right angle and earn some money.
Buffalo Bills (7-3) @ Detroit Lions (4-6) (12:30pm) BUF -9.5, O/U 54
The Buffalo Bills will be playing their second game in five days in Detroit to kick off the Thanksgiving slate. The Bills are coming over an easy 31-22 win over the Cleveland Browns while the Lions are coming off of an easy 31-18 win over the New York Giants.
The Bills passing game is healthy and Josh Allen doesn’t seem to be bothered by any elbow issues. The Lions are giving up the most fantasy points in the NFL on a per game basis to the QB position. This coincides with them also giving up the 7th most PPR points per game to the WR position and the 3rd most points to the TE position. This bodes well with nearly every Buffalo Bills pass catcher and this will make Josh Allen and his crew the likely chalk of the slate.
On the ground for the Bills, I expect the load to once again be carried by Devin Singletary. In the Week 11 win over the Browns, Singletary took 72.3% of the RB snaps and handled 54.6% of the carries. He split some shares with James Cook, who had a great game, gaining a career high 86 rushing yards on 11 carries, good for 7.8 YPC. I think this was mainly because of the game script and you can make a case for that same script here in Detroit.
However, that won’t be the route I am going with it. I think the Lions cover here and I like the over so I won’t have any interest in James Cook. I’m also likely to pivot away from Devin Singletary as the Lions rush defense has played much better of late, even holding Saquon Barkley to 22 rushing yards last week on 15 carries.
The Lions passing attack has taken a step back over the last few weeks. Since the Lions have won three straight matchups, Goff has not topped 26 pass attempts or 236 passing yards in any of those contests. I don’t think he’ll have a choice but to air it out in this matchup against this high scoring Buffalo Bills offense. Being 9-point underdogs, the expectation is the Bills will get up early and it will be the Lions playing catchup for the majority of the game. This line’s right up with Amon-Ra St. Brown to smash. To start the season and for the majority of 2021, ARSB lined up mostly in the slot. However, over the last four games, ARSB has played more snaps out wide than he has in the slot. This actually lines up a lot better for him in this matchup as the Bills give up the ninth most fantasy points in the NFL to perimeter WRs as opposed to the eighth fewest to the slot. I don’t think it matters much and Amon-Ra St. Brown is in his own elite category and the Lions are going to find a way to get him the ball. It is nice to see he has an above average matchup though to boot with an excellent game script. Khalil Raymond is the only other Lions’ pass catcher I would entertain in this matchup. I expect the Lions offensive line to hold up enough to let Goff pick apart the Buffalo Bills below average secondary. I won’t have any interest in any of the Lions TE’s, even as longshot dart throws.
The Lions are basically running with a three-headed monster in their backfield. The best way to gauge this backfield moving forward is off of recent usage. In Week 11, Jamaal Williams yet again led the backfield, seeing 32 (47.8%) snaps. This was followed by Justin Jackson with 25 (37.3%) and D’Andre Swift with 21 (31.3%). I do think, dissecting this usage, that a lot is played off the fact the Lions were winning the majority of this game. This led to Justin Jackson seeing more work and the Lions having no reason to push D’Andre Swift. I’m not saying that Swift needs to be in lineups, but with the projected game script according to Vegas, Swift should see an increased workload with the Lions throwing the ball at a higher clip. We know that Swift is going to get the majority of the air work as he has at least three targets in every game he’s played this year. We also know that Jamaal Williams is going to get the majority of the goal line carries as he is up to nine rushing TDs from inside the 5 on the season, with 12 total on the season, but he hasn’t had a target in three games. Justin Jackson is viable as a single game Showdown play only.
I think this game is going to be the chalk. One of my favorite ways to pivot from that chalk is to play Jared Goff over Josh Allen. Goff is going to come in at ¼ the ownership and I think with the cost savings, presents just as much of a value play if this game pops to be over 54 points. The other angle you could take is to play the Bills or Lions DST and pivot from the offensive weapons in this game. With it having a game total of over 10 points more than the other two games, the offenses are going to be popular like I mentioned.
New York Giants (7-3) @ Dallas Cowboys (7-3) (4:30pm) DAL -9, O/U 41.5
I’m honestly surprised this line opened up with the Cowboys being 9-point favorites. It is a mixture of the fact we all just watched the Cowboys demolish the 8-1 Minnesota Vikings and the Giants lose at home to the Detroit Lions. With this game also being at home, it gives the Cowboys the short week nod in this divisional matchup.
This game is going to be a tough one for this New York Giants passing game on paper. They are facing the best defensive line on this slate and are going to have a tough time stopping Mikah Parsons and this Dallas Cowboys relentless defensive front. Daniel Jones is going to be fine because of his rushing abilities and what I think will be a large volume day for him here. The last time these two teams played in Week 3, Jones scored 13.74 fantasy points on 37 passing attempts and had 79 yards rushing on nine attempts. The only pass catcher from that game of relevance that is still healthy is David Sills, who caught two of his four targets for only 20 yards in that game. I think the Giants lean on Slayton and Barkley in this game but their production should be tempered due to this Cowboys defensive unit smothering opposing offenses so far this season. It is worth noting that the Giants have ruled out four offensive lineman in this matchup so they will be outmatched up front from a talent standpoint.
Saquon Barkley has his hands full in this matchup. The Dallas Cowboys are a top-10 unit pretty much everywhere across their defense. They have a top-10 run stuffing DVOA and are only giving up 19.6 PPR points per game to opposing backfields, which is the fourth fewest in the NFL. Barkley comes in as the most expensive back on this slate at $8,800, but should be a good GPP play given that most people will be on the Cowboys DST. In their Week 3 matchup, Barkley ran the ball 14 times for 81 yards and a score and he caught all four of his targets for 45 yards in the air. This was good for 22.6 PPR points and 20.6 points if you’re playing on Fanduel. Anytime you have the homerun ability of Barkley, he is in play for GPPs.
It seems that Dak Prescott is getting his arm in a groove as he torched the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Dak has scored at least 19.2 points in each of his three games since returning from his injury, putting up scores of 25.4, 19.2, and 20.64. He needed only about 2.5 quarters to drop his 20 point performance against the Vikings on the back of 22/25 passing for 276 yards and two scores. In the first matchup against the Giants, Dak missed the game and Cooper Rush ran the offense. He funneled a lot of his targets to Lamb, who caught eight of his 12 targets for 87 yards and a score. Michael Gallup also missed this game and the Cowboys WR2 at the time, Noah Brown, caught five balls for 54 scoreless yards. I think Michael Gallup offers some real GPP appeal with his big play abilities but the volume still flows through CeeDee Lamb.
The Cowboys are going to attack the Giants on the ground in this game. Being 9-point favorites and playing one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, they should have some success. I would immediately say that Tony Pollard is going to be the chalk and a must start but Fanduel has wisely raised his price up to $8,500 while his running mate, Ezekiel Elliott is priced down to $7,000. With Pollard being the darling across the fantasy industry, I still think that Pollard commands higher ownership where Zeke is still in play for GPPs. Zeke still controls almost all of the red zone work and still gets just as much, if not more work on the ground. In their first matchup, both of them played well. Pollard ran the ball 13 times for 105 scoreless yards while Zeke ran the ball 15 times for 73 yards and a score. Neither did much in the air. Last week Pollard did out-snap Zeke 39 to 21 but I think this was because Zeke is coming back off of his injury and the Cowboys knew they were playing on a short week. They dominated from the first drive so there was no reason to force Zeke out there. Even with that much of a gap in snaps, Zeke still carried the ball the same amount of times as Pollard. Most of Pollard’s production came through the air where he caught all six of his targets for 109 yards and two scores. He did however add 80 yards on 15 carries against one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Zeke ran the ball 15 times for 42 yards but was able to score the two TDs. The Giants however have given up the least amount of production through the air to opposing RBs. On the season they have only given up 26 receptions and 263 yards to opposing backs. In this matchup,however, I think you can make a strong argument to start both Pollard and Zeke if you are running the Cowboys DST.
I’m going to attack this game as I just mentioned with the Cowboys ground attack. I would rather play Tony Pollard on both sites due to ownership (Fanduel) and cost savings (Draftkings). The way that the Cowboys rushing attack and DST are priced, both are values on both sites and none of the trio will end up as chalk. With the ownership that Lamb is going to command and his price tag, I would rather hope and pray his talent doesn’t shine through while the Cowboys just take care of business on the ground.
New England Patriots (6-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (8-2) (8:20pm) MIN -3, O/U 43.5
The New England Patriots are visiting the Minnesota Vikings to cap off the Thanksgiving slate. This game, on paper, should favor the Minnesota Vikings but I am expecting a below average performance from Kirk Cousins. It is well documented his prime time struggles so we should use that to our advantage.
Kirk Cousins has played solid ball this year if you remove the disastrous Week 11 walloping he took from the Dallas Cowboys pass rush. He was only able to complete 12 of 23 passes against that Dallas defense for only 105 scoreless yards. Unfortunately for him, his offensive line doesn’t seem to be getting any healthier on this short week and he is facing the No. 1 Pass DVOA in the NFL this season. The only team in the NFL that has more sacks than the New England Patriots are the Dallas Cowboys. This doesn’t bode well for Justin Jefferson either as the Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL at guarding the opposing teams #1 WR and they give up the 8th fewest (10.4) PPR points per game to perimeter WRs and the lowest on this slate. I’m not optimistic about Kirk Cousins or any of his pass catchers in this matchup.
On the ground, the Vikings may have a little bit more success but I’m not entirely banking on it. Last week, in a game the Vikings scored only three points, Dalvin Cook was still able to get 72 scoreless rushing yards on 11 carries. The Patriots are in the middle of the pack to above average against the run and honestly the Vikings only path to victory would flow through the ground. I still don’t think they’ll have success here and I do think that the Patriots DST is the best DST play on this slate.
Mac Jones is playing better real life football as of late. He doesn’t have a turnover in each of his last two games and has completed 43 of his 57 passes for 393 yards with one score. He has scored 9.68 and 10.14 fantasy points over these two games but I don’t think Bill Belichick cares much for his fantasy output. The VIkings are giving up the eighth most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, so this is a good spot for Mac Jones to continue his consistent play. The Vikings are also giving up the 5th most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs and the 9th most to opposing TEs. This means that all of the Patriots pass catchers are in play. The most obvious play is Jakobi Meyers who has seen 25 targets over his last three games and is clearly the Patriots No. 1 WR. On such a small slate, we need to differentiate and a flier I like that offers cost savings is Nelson Agholor. From the TE position I think both Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry are playable, Henry giving us the better chance for a red zone TD and Jonnu offering more targets over the last three weeks and is more athletic than Henry.
The Patriots are lining up with a tough task in this one against a top notch run defense. The backfield is still dominated by Rhamondre Stevenson who still kept a 77.8% snap share in Week 11 after the return of Damien Harris. He also took 57.7% of the teams rushing attempts in Week 11 and has seen at least six targets in every game over his last four games. From air work alone, Stevenson is averaging 12.43 points per game in full PPR. Again, that is air work alone. And only numbers strictly from his receiving. As much as the Vikings are good at stopping the run, they aren’t good at stopping receiving backs and it is time we start seeing Stevenson as one. The Vikings have given up the tenth most receptions to opposing RBs and the seventh most receiving yards. Pairing the Patriots DST with Stevenson on both formats is a path I like on this holiday slate.
I think the Patriots will go into Minnesota and take this game. I also like stacking up Stevenson with the Patriots DST for the various reasons I just mentioned, but this combo will be the chalk of the slate. Stevenson is a fantastic play on both sites and I am willing to eat 50% ownership on the play. If you do go that route to eat the ownership and pair Stevenson with the Patriots DST, know you are walking in with a 50% Stevenson and a 25% Patriots DST. One way to differentiate is to toss a Patriots TE or Nelson Agholor in the mix with the combo.
NFL Rank in PPR PPG Allowed Per Position:
- DET (23.4)
- MIN (19.6)
- NE (17)
- NYG (15.8)
- DAL (14.4)
- BUF (13.2)
- DET (24.1)
- BUF (22.1)
- MIN (20.2)
- NYG (19.8)
- DAL (19.6)
- NE (17.4)
- MIN (16.5)
- BUF (15.7)
- DAL (14.5)
- NYG (13.9)
- DET (11.5)
- NE (10.4)
- MIN (23.1)
- DET (22.9)
- DAL (18.4)
- NE (18.2)
- BUF (16.8)
- NYG (14.8)
- DET (16.5)
- NE (13.9)
- MIN (13.3)
- NYG (13.1)
- BUF (10)
- DAL (9)
Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills – $8,000/$9,500)
Jared Goff (Detroit Lions – $5,200/$6,900)
Mac Jones (New England Patriots – $5,100/$6,500)
Rhamondre Stevenson (New England Patriots – $6,400/$7,200)
Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys – $5,800/$7,300)
Tony Pollard (Dallas Cowboys – $6,600/$8,500)
D’Andre Swift (Detroit Lions – $5,600/$6,200)
Saquon Barkley (New York Giants – $8,000/$8,800)
James Cook (Buffalo Bills – $4,400/$5,500)
Justin Jackson (Detroit Lions – $4,100/$5,200)
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Detroit Lions – $6,600/$7,600)
Gabe Davis (Buffalo Bills – $5,300/$7,200)
Stefon Diggs (Buffalo Bills – $8,000/$9,300)
Jakobi Meyers (New England Patriots ($5,100/$6,700)
Isaiah McKenzie (Buffalo Bills – $4,000/$5,200)
Nelson Agholor (New England Patriots – $3,100/$5,100)
Khalil Raymond (Detroit Lions – $4,100/$5,500)
Dalton Schultz (Dallas Cowboys – $3,800/$5,800)
Dawson Knox (Buffalo Bills – $3,500/$5,500)
Hunter Henry (New England Patriots – $3,100/$4,900)
Jonnu Smith (New England Patriots – $3,000/$4,700)
Lawrence Cager (New York Giants – $2,700/$4,800)
Dallas Cowboys (3,700$/5,000)
New England Patriots ($3,000/$4,200)
Detroit Lions ($2,100/$3,200)
Here are some of my favorite bets from the slate. The four game lines that I am listing are mostly for a super teaser as I mentioned below but I am personally playing them straight up as well. I’ll also have player props that I like and are specifically for my favorite DFS plays. I am going to personally be playing aggressive on this slate but pick and choose which props you like best. As I mentioned earlier, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to sit back and have some fun. So ask me in chat if you have any questions with some of these bets or if you need clarity on a bet you want to place. I’m here to have fun and win some money.
Super Teaser Lines
BUF/DET over 54
NE/MIN under 43.5
Jared Goff over 1.5 Passing TDs (+110)
Jared Goff over 248.5 Passing Yards (-105)
Amon-Ra St. Brown 1+ TD (+140)
Amon-Ra St. Brown over 7.5 Receptions (+115)
Amon-Ra St. Brown over 74.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
D’Andre Swift Receptions
Dawson Knox TD (+200)
Ezeikel Elliott over 43.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
Ezekiel Elliot 1+ TD (+100)
Pollard under 19.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
Schultz over 3.5 Receptions (-140)
Barkley over 20.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
Rhamondre Stevenson 1+ TD (+105)
Rhamondre Stevenson over 3.5 Receptions (-160)
Goff over 249.5 Passing Yards
Amon-Ra St. Brown over 79.5 Receiving Yards
Amon-Ra St. Brown 1+ TD
Dawson Knox 1+ TD
Goff over 2.5 Passing TDs
Amon-Ra St. Brown over 99.5 Receiving Yards
Amon-Ra St. Brown 1+ TD
Dawson Knox 1+ TD
Goff over 3.5 Passing TDs
Goff over 299.5 Passing Yards
Amon-Ra St. Brown over 99.5 Receiving Yards
Amon-Ra St. Brown over 8.5 Receptions
Amon-Ra St. Brown 2+ TDs