WATCH: Debatable Draft — George Teague makes his Thanksgiving food choices
The second of three Thanksgiving football games! By this time, I likely will be hungry because my family never eats at the expected time and annoyed because I will have explained to my grandma what I do for work for 100th time. This is also the game where I have to explain to my dad I want Cowboys’ players to do well for fantasy purposes even though I grew up as a Giants’ fan. These are some of the players I will be hoping perform well.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS
— The Cowboys have won five of their past six Thursday games.
— The Cowboys have covered the spread in four of their past five games.
— Each of the Bills’ last six games as underdogs have gone UNDER the total points line.
— Amari Cooper has scored at least one touchdown in four of the Cowboys’ past five home games.
— Josh Allen has scored at least one touchdown in three of the Bills’ past four games.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Josh Allen ($10,600) isn’t a guy we normally think of as a safe play. He turns the ball over a lot and is inconsistent with his accuracy. For fantasy purposes, he’s one of the higher floor quarterbacks because of his rushing upside. Allen has scored more than 17 DKFP in 10 of 11 games this season. This is in large part because he has seven rushing touchdowns and 387 yards on the ground. This also gives Allen plenty of upside despite not having thrown for more than 270 yards in any games this season.
In the passing game, Allen’s top target is John Brown ($9,200). Since Brown is dependent on Allen’s passing ability, he’s been a boom-or-bust option for DFS. This makes him a great GPP play and a bit too risky for cash games. We saw the upside of Brown two weeks ago, when he caught a pair of touchdowns and scored 37.7 DKFP. Allen is giving Brown a ton of looks through the air recently, resulting in 29 targets over the past three games.
Devin Singletary ($8,400) is coming off the first 100-yard rushing game of his career. He tallied 106 yards but failed to find the end zone against the Broncos. This is the issue I have with Singletary as a fantasy play. He only has three touchdowns this season because he often cedes red zone work to Allen and the ageless Frank Gore ($3,200). I prefer targeting the Bills’ passing game to the run game.
For cheap,Isaiah McKenzie ($1,000) is a reasonable value play. His price point opens up a ton of salary, and he’s been fairly involved in recent game plans. McKenzie has at least two catches in each of the past six games he’s played, and he’s totaled 13 targets in the last three games. I will be more than happy to get this level of expected involvement for one of the cheapest players in the game.
The Bills’ defense has obvious strengths and weaknesses. Overall, they have a solid unit. They rank ninth overall in DVOA, which includes the fifth ranked pass defense. This has me off of Dak Prescott ($10,800) and Amari Cooper ($8,800). Cooper is a bit too risky for my taste coming off a game without a reception against the Patriots. In the previous game, Cooper had 6.8 DKFP in what should have been a cake matchup against the Lions.
The way we want to attack the Bills’ defense is on the ground. The Bills’ run defense is ranked 26th by DVOA. Looking at the defensive splits of Buffalo, the Cowboys should pound the ball with Ezekiel Elliott ($11,200). This makes Zeke my preferred play for the captain slot at $16,800. We should expect a massive workload for the Cowboys’ bell cow. Elliott has at least 18 touches in nine of his past 10 games after a late start to the season due to his holdout.
Even though Elliott gets most of the workload, there is potential upside for Tony Pollard ($2,600) in this spot. With Dallas favored by 6.5 points, we could see this game get a bit out of hand late. In a situation where the Cowboys hold a big lead late, they could go to Pollard at the end of the game to give Elliott a bit of a break since this game is being played on a short week. Pollard scored 24.8 DKFP in a blowout win over the Dolphins earlier in the season.
Josh Allen turns the ball over and is sometimes prone to taking sacks. This puts the Cowboys’ defense ($4,200) a decent option to save salary with. Rostering them makes most sense when combined with Elliott to maximize correlation. For a contrarian lineup build, playing the defense with both Elliott and Pollard has potential to take down a GPP. Most people won’t be looking to pair both of the Cowboys’ running backs and there is potential for both of them to have solid stat lines if the defense shuts down the Bills.
Despite an 8-3 record for the Bills and a 6-5 record for the Cowboys, Dallas is favored by nearly a touchdown. I think this makes sense, and I can see the Cowboys running away with this game, literally. The weakness of the Bills is their run defense, and Dallas has the personnel with Zeke Elliott to take advantage of that hole. I like the Cowboys to pound the ball on the ground and grind out the clock.
Final Score: Dallas 24, Bills, 17
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.