Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Thanksgiving Cash Games!
By Ha Kung Wong Daily Fantasy Football
It’s a time for us to get together with family (whether we want to or not) to celebrate that time when certain Native Americans saved a bunch of sorry Pilgrims who were totally not prepared for “roughing” it and were missing such essentials as, for instance, food. So, in honor of that, we now stuff ourselves silly with turkey, ham and assorted sides with ridiculously high caloric and carbohydrate counts. Oh, and lets not forget the excessive drinking. But most importantly, let’s not forget the most revered of all Thanksgiving traditions — watching the Detroit Lions lose. And I guess there are other NFL games on TV too.
This year, if you haven’t already done so in year’s past, let’s start a new tradition. Daily Fantasy Football on the Thanksgiving NFL slate!! Need some help? No worries! I’ll help you all win CASH in this special 2016 NFL Thanksgiving edition!
Cash Games, for those who don’t know, are essentially the lowest risk games. They include “50/50” games, in which half the entrants win about 1.8x the entry fee, and “Double Ups”, in which slightly less than half the entrants win 2x the entry fee.
Since there’s so many different sites, and I can’t cover them all, I’ve decided to cover just the most popular sites, including Fan Duel, Draft Kings and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy.
First of all, as a general rule for 50/50 Cash Games, there’s a basic target of points per salary cap spent that you’d like to look for:
- For Fan Duel try to target at least 2 fantasy points per $1000 spent.
- For Draft Kings, try to target at least 2.5 fantasy points per $1000 spent.
- For Yahoo! Daily Fantasy, try to target at least 0.6-0.7 fantasy points per $1 spent.
Remember, this article is not focused on GPP (Tournament) Games, JUST Cash Games. Feel free to use a few of these suggested players as a base when constructing a GPP lineup, but you’ll have to take some chances on a few low cost, upside players as well.
So, without further to do, here are my suggestions for the Best Daily Fantasy Football Plays for Cash Games for Week 11 contests, along with they’re prices on Fan Duel (“FD”), Draft Kings (“DK”) and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy (“Y!”).
The biggest question mark over the Thanksgiving slate for QB is whether Andrew Luck will clear his concussion in time to play. As of now, the answer is no. And even if he does, I have a hard time trusting someone who comes off a potential concussion on a short week, so I’m looking elsewhere. I don’t tend to take too many chances at QB for cash games because they’re so important for anchoring your team’s performance, so I’ll give you my two relatively “safe” choices.
Ben Roethlisberger @ IND (FD: $8500 / DK: $7300 / Y!: $36)
- Big Ben has had a few rough games this season, but really fired on all cylinders in Week 10 against the Cowboys for 408 yards and 3 TDs. The Colts have the worst pass defense in the league. Ben disappointed last week with just an empty 167 passing yards, as he continued his “bad road games” streak, but also because the Steelers turned to the ground game against the hapless Browns. Although Indy has a bad run defense, it’s not nearly as bad as its pass defense. And even though Ben will be on the road again, Ben has a history against the Colts. In his last two games against the Colts, Ben has 886 yards, 10 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. That’s not too shabby. This game has a reasonable over/under of 47.5 with the Steelers favored by 8.5. The Colts will be bad with Scott Tolzien under center, but heck, the Steelers defense isn’t going to be stopping anyone, so I think it will be closer than that, allowing Ben to get a full complement of passes in.
Dak Prescott vs. WAS (FD: $8000 / DK: $6300 / Y!: $34)
- Can Dak Prescott be stopped? Well, a healthy Tony Romo couldn’t get in the way, and as thanks, Prescott poured on 301 yards and 3 TDs against a tough Ravens passing defense. Did you realize that Prescott has had multiple TDs in every game since Week 3? And he’s had 3 TDs in 4 of his last 5 games? He’s legit, folks, and he’s playing at home against the division rival Washington Redskins and they’re middle-of-the-road pass defense. Sure, he didn’t score against the Redskins back in Week 2, but that was a heck of a long time ago. This game also has the highest over/under of not only Thanksgiving, but the entire week at 51.5. There will be plenty of scoring to go around, and I think Prescott is good for at least 250 yards and 2 TDs in this one.
As usual, RB is a position where I want some “guaranteed” volume. And by that, I mean we need 12+ touches to even be considered.
Le’Veon Bell @ IND (FD: $9500 / DK: $9000 / Y!: $39)
- Always a crowd pleaser! Bell has had over 100 total yards in 5 of his last 6 games, and TDs in the last 2. He’s 1st in total receptions this year (53) among all RBs and has an appealing matchup against the Colts. Sure, Big Ben might see a bigger share this week, but Bell will certainly hit his 100 yard minimum bolstered by 5-8 receptions.
Ezekiel Elliott vs. WAS (FD: $8600 / DK: $8500 / Y!: $41)
- Elliott has had over 100 total yards in 7 of his last 8 games, and in the one game he came in under 100 total yards, he made up for it with 2 TDs. He has the most carries (223) and the 3rd most rushing TDs (9) of any RB in the NFL. In other words, Elliott is model of consistency at the RB position. The Redskins have a bottom 10 run defense, and I think Elliott is a shoe-in for 80-100 total yards with TD upside.
Rob Kelley @ DAL (FD: $5700 / DK: $4300 / Y!: $18)
- No, I’m not kidding. “Fat Rob” (and yes, that IS his actual nickname) has had increasing rush attempts (21, 22, 24) and increasing rush yard totals (87, 97, 137) over the last week, topping it all off with 3 TDs in Week 11. I don’t care that the Cowboys run defense is the 3rd best in the NFL, Kelley is just too hot right now. And it’s clear that Washington trusts him on the goal line. For the price, Kelley is an excellent value.
Remember, in DFS, you not only want yards, you want receptions, though its more valuable in Draft Kings, which is a full PPR, than FanDuel, which is a half PPR. So with that in mind, here’s my thoughts for WR plays.
Antonio Brown @ IND (FD: $8800 / DK: $9200 / Y!: $38)
- Big Ben was shaky when he came back two weeks ago, and Brown still came away with 85 yards and a TD. And when Ben improved in Week 10, so did Brown with 154 yards and a TD. And when Ben had a down Week 11, Brown still got 8 receptions for 76 yards. He’s got a terrific floor and terrific matchup. The only question is if you can afford his price tag.
Donte Moncrief vs. PIT (FD: $6900 / DK: $6400 / Y!: $20)
- If you have the money, feel free to play T.Y. Hilton ($7900 / DK: $7900 / Y!: $27)instead, but I think he’s priced too high for an Scott Tolzien outing, even against a bad Steelers pass defense. So that’s why I’m looking at Moncrief. Moncrief has had a TD in each of his last 3 weeks since coming back from injury, averaging over 7 targets per contest. My only concern is the hamstring injury he’s suddenly sporting, getting him a “questionable” tag for the game. If he plays, he’s one of my favorite value picks, particularly on Yahoo.
Stefon Diggs @ DET (FD: $6600 / DK: $6900 / Y!: $28)
- Prior to Week 11, Diggs has had increasing targets in each of his last 3 games (13, 14 and 15). He had a terrible matchup in Week 11 and ended up with 6 receptions for 37 yards. But he still has the 2nd most receptions per game (7.4) of any WR in the NFL. This is an important matchup for the Vikings and the fate of the NFC North, plus the Lions are the definition of mediocre on defense. I like him for his volume, opportunity and price.
- UPDATE – Looks like that Diggs is now unlikely to play, so I would avoid him.
Even though he is listed as questionable for Thur vs. Detroit, Vikings WR Stefon Diggs is unlikely to play due to knee injury, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2016
- Instead, you’re welcome to pivot to Adam Thielen (FD: $6200 / DK: $4000 / Y!: $13), who is averaging 5.5 targets per game over the last 6 and will be the primary beneficiary if Diggs is absent. In addition, without Diggs, I’d like TE Kyle Rudolph (FD: $5300 / DK: $3700 / Y!: $18) as well, who has the most receiving TDs (5) of any TE in the league, one of which he caught against the Lions 3 weeks ago.
Cole Beasley vs. WAS (FD: $6400 / DK: $5500 / Y!: $18)
- Beasley averages 5 receptions a week over his last 6 games, and has totaled 5 TDs over that span. He has a terrific floor and nice TD upside for a very reasonably price. Some may prefer Dez Bryant ($8000 / DK: $ / Y!: $24) which I’m OK with, but I prefer the price break and volume floor provided by Beasley.
Pierre Garcon @ DAL (FD: $5600 / DK: $3900 / Y!: $18)
- Garcon has quietly had a relatively productive year. He’s had 6 receptions in 4 of his last 5 games, having at least 67 yards in those games. In Week 11, he snagged 6 of 7 for 116 yards and a TD. The Cowboys are favored by 7 points, meaning Washington should have to throw the ball a decent amount to stay competitive. I suspect Garcon will get his customary 6-10 targets and has 100 yard upside, and is a particularly good value on Draft Kings.
Jordan Reed @ DAL (FD: $7400 / DK: $6200 / Y!: $27)
- Reed is tied for the 2nd most receptions (49) of any TE in the league. And as I mentioned above, Washington will have to throw the ball to stay competitive. He grabbed 5 of 6 for 79 yards in Week 11, and I can see him doing around the same with TD upside this week.
Jason Witten vs. WAS (FD: $5600 / DK: $3200 / Y!: $20)
- There’s not a ton of upside here, but Witten is probably has one of the best floors of any TE in the league not named Gronkowski. He’s had at least 4 receptions or a TD in 7 of 10 games this year. And do you know who Reed is tied with in terms of receptions (49)? That’s right, Jason Witten. Plus, Witten has the 3rd most targets (70) of any TE in the league. He’s a great value pick with a solid floor, but better in full PPR leagues like Draft Kings, particularly at his rock bottom DK pricing.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ IND (FD: $4300 / DK: $2800 / Y!: $11)
- There aren’t really any great options in the Thanksgiving slate for defenses. The Minnesota Vikings (FD: $4600 / DK: $3400 / Y!: $18) would be the obvious choice, and I have no problem with that, but other than having the 100 yard pick six and return TD in Week 11, they’ve been among the worst fantasy scoring defenses over the previous 3 games, with only 3 total sacks, an INT and a FR in that span. I’d rather take my chances on the Steelers defense, who also had a breakout performance in Week 11, but will be likely to face Scott Tolzien under center. If Luck decides to play, feel free to pivot to the Vikings.