WATCH: MATCHUPS BREAKDOWN – THANKSGIVING DAY
A short three-game slate will take place on Thanksgiving giving us a nice holiday sweat. Let’s get you set for this slate, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Highest Scoring Game
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Projected Point Total – 53 Points
The Colts open the week as three point favorites against the Steelers in this three-game Thanksgiving slate. Ben Roethlisberger struggled again on the road last week, as he posted just 8.7 DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP) against the Cleveland Browns. That performance now leaves Big Ben averaging just 15 DKFP on the road compared to his 30.8 at home. He does have a favorable matchup against the Colts, a team that’s allowing an average of 297 passing yards per game with 19 touchdowns; however, the same could have been said for Ben’s matchup against the Browns.
Andrew Luck is the most expensive quarterback on this short slate, checking in at $7,500. His matchup isn’t the most stellar, as the Steelers have allowed just five touchdowns to wide receivers, which ties them with the Seahawks and Broncos. Luck finally has a healthy crew on his side with all of his receivers at his disposal. One player I think who could potentially fly under the radar is Frank Gore. Gore is averaging 16 touches per game this season, and the Steelers have been getting trampled by opposing running backs.
Lowest Scoring Game
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions
Projected Point Total – 42 Points
The Lions opened as three point favorites in this game that will kick off our Thanksgiving slate. This truly could be a game of defenses, as the Lions have certainly shored up that side of the ball. This is a team that hasn’t allowed more than 20 points since Week 6 and has really shut down opposing wide receivers. Likewise, while the Vikings have allowed 20+ points in five straight games, they are coming off a monster game against the Cardinals that saw them score 20 DKFP on the heels of two defensive touchdowns and four sacks.
Editor’s Note: Stefon Diggs is on the Minnesota injury report, and Head Coach Mike Zimmer stated he’s unsure if Diggs will be able to play Thursday. Be sure to check his status before the game on Thanksgiving Day.
Worst QB Matchups
1. Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings enter this 3-game slate as the toughest team against the quarterback position. Even though they’ve allowed 12 passing touchdowns, the Vikings have grabbed 12 interceptions and held opposing quarterbacks to an average of 226 passing yards per game.
2. Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – Pittsburgh has allowed 12 passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks with an average of 282 passing yards per game.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins – The Redskins have allowed 13 passing touchdowns while grabbing seven interceptions. Opposing quarterbacks are throwing for an average of 271 yards per game.
Best QB Matchups
1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts – The Steelers have the most favorable matchup at the quarterback position against the Colts. Indy has allowed 19 passing touchdowns while only grabbing three interceptions. The 297 passing yards on average by opposing QB’s leads the slate.
2. Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions – With 22 passing touchdowns allowed this season, the Lions are giving up an average of 265 passing yards per game.
3. Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys have allowed 16 passing touchdowns on the season with an average of 272 passing yards per game allowed.
Worst RB Matchups
1. Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – The Vikings aren’t exactly in an ideal spot for their ground game, although they don’t use it much to begin with. Detroit has allowed just one rushing touchdown on the season and gives up an average of 4.3 YPC.
2. Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys have been decent at stopping the run this season, allowing five rushing touchdowns and an average of 4.4 YPC.
3. Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Lions will face a Vikings defense that has allowed only three rushing touchdowns and 4.2 YPC. It should be noted, however, that the Vikings have allowed 47 catches to opposing running backs for 454 yards and three touchdowns.
Best RB Matchups
1. Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers continue to be weak against the ground game, allowing 10 rushing touchdowns and an average of 4.2 YPC.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs Indianapolis Colts – Meanwhile, the Colts haven’t been too strong against the run either. With six rushing touchdowns and an average of 4.4 YPC allowed, they’re second on our list. The Colts have also allowed the most passing touchdowns to running backs with five, further cementing Le’Veon Bell for this slate (not that you really needed another reason).
3. Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins – The Redskins have allowed the most rushing touchdowns on this slate with 11 to go with an average of 4.5 YPC allowed.
Worst WR Matchups
1. Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings continue to dominate opposing wide receivers as we head into Week 12. While they have scored seven touchdowns, opposing wide receivers are averaging just 113 receiving yards per game.
2. Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – Pittsburgh is in good company with how many touchdowns they’ve allowed to opposing wide receivers, tied with the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks with five. With that being said, they are allowing an average of 167 receiving yards per game.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins – The Cowboys will matchup against a Redskins defense that has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing wide receivers while averaging 181 receiving yards per game.
Best WR Matchups
1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts – The Steelers get the best matchup for their wide receivers against the Colts defense. Indy has allowed eight touchdowns to wideouts with an average of 184 receiving yards given up per game.
2. Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – The Lions have been MUCH better against opposing wide receivers, but their early numbers are what continues to haunt them. With 11 passing touchdowns allowed, wide receivers are averaging 164 receiving yards.
3. Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys – With the most touchdowns allowed to opposing wide receivers, the Cowboys are allowing an average of 170 receiving yards per game this season.
Worst TE Matchups
1. Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – In terms of defending against opposing tight ends, none of these teams have been doing that well. Pittsburgh is the best of the bunch, allowing three touchdowns and an average of 55 receiving yards.
2. Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys are next in line as they’ve allowed three touchdowns and an average of 59 yards per game.
3. Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings have been having some issues against tight ends as of late, bumping their season numbers to six touchdowns and 65 receiving yards per game allowed.
Best TE Matchups
1. Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – The Vikings will have the best matchup on this slate for tight ends, going against a Lions defense that has allowed nine touchdowns and 55 receiving yards per game.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts – The Colts are allowing a bunch of yards to opposing tight ends with an average of 71 per game to go with four touchdowns allowed.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins – The Redskins have given up four touchdowns to opposing tight ends with an average of 64 yards surrendered per game.
Last Week’s Leaders
|Name||Team||Last Week’s OPP||Targets|
Lineup Quick Hits
QB To Build Lineups Around…
Kirk Cousins ($5,900) – Many will automatically think Ben Roethlisberger in this spot against the Colts, and I can’t say I don’t hate that idea. But to be honest, Big Ben has really been struggling on the road and only mustered a measly 8.7 DKFP against a pathetic Cleveland Browns defense. Cousins continues to thrive, and his price tag still sits at a very friendly $5,900. Against a Dallas defense that has allowed 16 passing touchdowns and an average of 272 passing yard per game, Cousins is in a prime spot here on Thanksgiving Day. Cousins continues to excel on the road, averaging 328 passing yards with six of his 17 touchdowns.
WR To Pair Him With…
Jamison Crowder ($5,800) – The big play ability of Crowder has made him one of Cousins’ favorite receivers to target. Averaging 6.6 targets per game, Crowder has 100+ receiving yards in three of his last four games with three touchdowns during that span. The Cousins/Crowder stack is only going to run you $11,700, leaving you an average of $5,471 for your remaining players.
The Top RB Will Be…
Le’Veon Bell ($9,000) – It’s the most obvious of obvious plays, but Bell is in yet another great spot. Even with Big Ben struggling on the road, Bell is still averaging 22.9 DKFP in three road games. As I mentioned earlier, the Colts have allowed five touchdowns to running backs out of the backfield, a situation Bell will take advantage of due to the amount of pass routes he has been running. Averaging a whopping 9.2 targets per game, Bell is and will continue to be, one of the most heavily targeted backs in fantasy football.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.