One of the marquee days of the NFL season is upon us: DFS Thanksgiving football. With three games on the docket, there are plenty of players that can help your team get out to an early lead or lead you to a victory in a Thursday-exclusive matchup. With so many question marks surrounding Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings along with Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and the New York Giants, just to name a few, who are some of the players you can trust? Who are some that you should stay away from like it’s dry turkey? The Desai Guys Football Forum has those answers for you right here.
Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. EST kickoff
Best Value Pick: Gabriel Davis (BUF), WR – $5,300
Davis is certainly a risky receiver to go with as his target share is inconsistent from week to week and his production is largely touchdown-dependent. However, this is a matchup that should be kind to him.
The Lions pass defense is ranked 28th in fantasy and with the Bills seemingly back on track, at least offensively, there is very little reason to expect a lot of points not to be scored in this game.
It’s also worth noting that Davis has had 17 targets over his last two games. He’s also had over 150 yards and a touchdown in the last two games off those targets. For the third-most expensive receiver in this game, he has the potential to be the top point-getter at the position.
Worst Value Pick: D’Andre Swift (DET), RB – $5,600
How Swift is still valued above $5,000 is absolutely baffling. Perhaps it was his single touchdown last week that “saved” his value in this game but don’t fall for the trick. For one reason or another, Swift has become an afterthought in the Lions backfield with even Justin Jackson out-carrying him. Perhaps Detroit is simply attempting to ease Swift back into the starting role but until we get to see even a whiff of that plan coming to fruition, there are plenty of other running backs you can trust more for around the same price on this holiday.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. EST kickoff
Best Value Pick: Ezekiel Elliott (DAL), RB – $5,800
I know this may seem like an asinine take right off the bat but hear me out first. Yes, the Cowboys timeshare in the backfield is pretty unclear but unlike the Lions, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Zeke and Tony Pollard had a near-even split in carries last week with Elliott doing most of his damage in goal-line situations and Pollard absolutely dominating his role in the passing game. While it is always possible for Zeke to be shut out of his role, I think the Cowboys are going to continue to lean on him as their short-yardage back, opening up plenty of touchdown opportunities for both him and Pollard, the latter who is rightfully being used to stretch the field.
The Giants also allowed Zeke to score 14.5 points against them in their first matchup in Week Three.
Worst Value Pick: Lawrence Cager, (NYG) TE – $2,700
Obviously with that low a price, this isn’t so much an expression of doubt with Cager but rather all the Giants tight ends in general. With Daniel Bellinger already being ruled out of this game, that leaves Daniel Jones with Cager, Tanner Hudson, and Chris Myarick as his remaining tight ends.
While it stands to reason that Cager will see the majority of snaps as the starter, that is hardly a sure thing. Not to mention that the Cowboys are fifth in defense against the position so while this certainly bodes well for the Giants receivers, who will see an increase in targets, it’s not worth any price to trust a Giants tight end. You’ll thank me later.
New England Patriots @ Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. EST kickoff
Best Value Pick: Kirk Cousins, (MIN) QB – $5,600
This is the cheapest Cousins has been in almost a month and while it makes sense, this is good value more out of necessity than him being underrated. Coming off a week in which he scored just three points, it’s important to look at the reason why he struggled so much.
Cousins was sacked seven times against the Cowboys and didn’t even play a portion of the fourth quarter. It’s hard to blame the QB for poor play when he is barely given any time to throw.
Leading up to last week though, Cousins was on quite a hot streak. Before playing Dallas, he threw for seven touchdowns and three interceptions in his last four games and scored 17 points or more in three of those matchups.
Granted, New England has a middle-of-the-pack defense against the pass on the season, and weather conditions likely won’t be ideal. Unless you want to break the bank for a better QB (Dak Prescott is priced at $6,200 and Josh Allen at $8,000) or take a riskier yet cheaper option in Jared Goff, Daniel Jones, or Mac Jones, Cousins is the best QB you can get on Thanksgiving for a solid price.
Worst Value Pick: Adam Thielen, (MIN) WR – $4,900
For a touchdown or bust receiver, this is one of the worst matchups imaginable. Thielen hasn’t scored over 10 points since Week Eight and also hasn’t scored since Week Six. Over the past four weeks, the Patriots have had the stingiest defense against opposing receivers and there is very little reason to expect that to stop.
While Justin Jefferson has the target volume and the athleticism to overcome this struggle, I think Thielen’s best days are behind him. It’s much wiser to go for a cheaper receiver that is more likely flying under the radar than counting on the more recognizable name to break out of his cold streak here.