NFL DFS Week 13 Turkey Day Picks
The day has finally arrived. The annual Turkey Day article has descended upon us. It’s the most glorious food-themed DFS article in the history of food-themed DFS articles! Not much competition there I know but I digress! Every year we degenerates are graced with a wondrous 3 game slate on Thanksgiving, giving even the poorest of plebeians a shot at cold, hard cash without worrying about covering all the combos. Just pick your favorite Thanksgiving dish and take down a GPP! No big deal, just be sure to avoid the FRUITCAKE play of the day! Pass the gravy, baby!
Whether your family eats biscuits, dinner rolls, or other bread-related items, one thing’s for sure – you try your damnedest not to fill up on them lest you lose your appetite for the main course! Still, it’s a nice way to start off a Thanksgiving meal with an ol’ reliable appetizer that not many people can turn down. That’s John Brown to me, as he’s quietly put up a top 15 WR season with consistent production every single week. He’s logged at least 10+ fantasy points in every game but one thus far and only went below 50+ receiving yards once (last week with a 2/39/1 line….still 10+ points!). It may not be a dazzling stat-line for those who roster Brown nor will his game logs, but we’re not looking for a spectacular feast here. You want reliable production to start off your roster construction, so let John Brown be your biscuit regardless of the match-up he may face. Have you ever met a person who turned down a biscuit on Thanksgiving? Trick question, you filthy vegetarian!
Yes, yes. Mashed potatoes are always a must for any Thanksgiving feast. Doesn’t matter if it’s homemade with lots and lots of butter, or straight outta the bag with lots and lots of butter. Everybody loves them some mashed ‘taters! Unless you’re watching your carbs, but it’s Thanksgiving, damn it! Take the cheat meal, you sniveling ingrate! Ahem. As I mentioned before, regardless of the form mashed potatoes may take, it’s usually one of the most consistent Thanksgiving sides thanks in part to how idiot-proof it is to make mashed potatoes. Ezekiel Elliot is once again the mashed potatoes of the day as he continues to pile on touches (5 of last 6 games with 20+ touches, 18 in the one other game). The Cowboys know what butters their bread (or potatoes in this case), and a strong running game has long been the key for a thriving Cowboys offense that relies on motions and play-actions to get the engine humming. The Bills have continued to pace as an elite pass defense over the past few seasons, but that could be attributed to a less than stellar run defense that’s created a run-funnel. The Bills rank a paltry 26th DVOA against the run with the 10th worst run defense grade (PFF). They’ve mostly gotten away from a bad run defense by facing the NFL’s bottom 10 teams over the season. Their run defense has fallen apart since the bye week with 100+ rushing yards given up in 4 of their last 6 games, making Elliott a tantalizing cornerstone for all lineups. Consistency is the name of the game and there’s no one I would want as a symbol of mashed potatoes than ol’ Zeke.
Now, this is where I might lose some people here. Personally, I think stuffing is the absolute best Thanksgiving dish and should be reveled by everyone. I am aware that many people may not have a great or even a halfway decent stuffing recipe. Perhaps your only stuffing experience has been the stove-top box version, so I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t particularly like the side dish. Do yourself a favor and find some old grandma, help her with the groceries and whatnot, then demand her to make a classic stuffing with all the fixin’s! Your taste buds will thank you later for ever doubting the legitimacy of the dish! So who’s the guy people continue to doubt for the Turkey Day slate? Ah, yes. Allen Robinson, he who has had to suffer such a terrible fate with Blake Bortles and Mitchell Trubisky as his primary starting quarterbacks. Despite the inefficiency of Trubisky, Robinson still has been the target hog for the Bears offense with an impressive 25.33% MS of the team’s targets and currently sits on 30 targets for the month of November. He’s been making a living in the slot with 41% of his routes, pitting Robinson against the Lions’ primary slot defender – Justin Coleman. Let’s pull up Mr. Coleman’s stats, shall we? Hmm, hmm. 3rd most yards allowed, T-1st most TDs surrendered. Hmm. Detroit is the overall 24th DVOA pass defense and has allowed the 8th most yards to opposing WRs. Hmm, hmm. I suddenly have a very strong craving for some stuffing. Do you?
We’ve now arrived at the main course of the feast! It’s what’s been cooking in the oven for hours and hours while the saliva-inducing smells waft all across the house. You’ve been waiting to carve that damn turkey while doing your best to make small talk with people you don’t particularly like nor care about their subject matter. The time has now come to receive your reward for such patience in the face of danger! Michael Thomas is your reward for playing the Turkey Day slate, as he should have no problems destroying the hapless Falcons secondary. The last time these teams met, Thomas put up an astounding 13/152/0 stat-line in what was a massive upset with the Falcons thumping the Saints in the Dome. Now with the surprise factor gone for the Falcons, can they implement the same gameplan to nab the win? I seriously doubt it since the Buccanneers were able to remind us just how dreadful the Falcons’ defense really is, flooding their secondary with 300+ passing yards and a monstrous day for the Bucs’ twin WRs (11/234/2 combined). What had been a promising start for the Falcons after the bye has now crashed and burned, with the Falcons returning to their 29th DVOA pass defense. There shouldn’t be any question on who the real turkey of the slate is, with MT well on his way at shattering Marvin Harrison’s catch record. Don’t get left behind!
Of course, what would a Thanksgiving feast be without the gravy to complement everything on the plate? It’s the one item everybody can’t get enough of and a great way to hide a rather dry turkey or chalky mashed potatoes. It can be a necessary evil at times, but gravy is generally a great way to put on the finishing touches of any meal. Drew Brees should be the gravy to your lineups, as he’ll get plenty of chances to put up big numbers on what SHOULD be a depressed, dejected Falcons defense coming off an embarrassing loss. He’s the guy you need to own with your MT shares in case the duo hook up for multiple touchdowns. Or if MT ends up with another scoreless 13/152 line but Ted Ginn and Trequan Smith end up with Brees’ four touchdown passes. OR if Kamara just gobbles up all the dump-offs and breaks a few long ones….you get the point yet? Whatever may happen in the Saints/Falcons game, chances are Brees will be right in the thick of things. I’m sure Brees is licking his chops at avenging their unexpected loss and attack a Falcons defense that’s allowed the T-5th most passing TDs to opposing QBs. All aboard the Brees gravy boat!
Hey, don’t you forget about dessert! That’s right, unbuckle that belt! Grab some coffee and a slice of that delicious pumpkin pie! And if you dare tell me you don’t have whipped cream on hand….I will pray for you today. Whatever baked goods you might use to celebrate the end of a great feast, it’s important to note that sometimes dessert can be a luxury. Not everyone has the room to add in a slice or two, while others may opt to simply gorge upon the numerous Thanksgiving sides instead. If you do have room for a luxurious dessert though, it can be game-changer. Devin Singletary is that potential game-changer if you’re able to make room in your lineups for the young up-and-comer. Singletary’s had a great November to date, with 23, 11, 16, and 22 touches in the four games for a grand total of 383 total yards and one TD. He’s now seeing 70%+ of the team’s offensive snaps and becoming the true bell-cow the Bills drafted him for. That’s great news for Singletary as he faces a Cowboys run defense that’s woefully missing their star LB in Leighton Vander Esch. They rank 18th DVOA against the run with the 6th most rushing TDs allowed. Worse, the Cowboys’ LB core has allowed the 8th most receiving and receptions to opposing RBs. Singletary’s a legitimate dual-threat RB who had originally carved out a role as the primary passing-down RB, so look for the Bills to involve more screens and backfield routes to take full advantage.
No, your vegetarian options are not good. No, I will not argue about the semantics of vegetarianism and why you chose to go vegan. It’s none of my business on your reasoning. All I know is tofurkey just ain’t it, chief. If you’re one of the poor unfortunate souls who’s had to make the trek to an in-law’s feast or even a random cousin, only to find out that it’s a vegetarian platter, then I weep for you. Every slate always has a tofurkey that’s taken more degenerate lives than after lock injury news. Devonta Freeman fits the bill here as he’s slated to return from his foot injury in what appears to be a great bell-cow role. Hold on there, mister! He’s facing a Saints defense that’s allowed the least rushing yards and 8th fewest receiving yards to opposing RBs. They rank a strong 7th DVOA against the run with the 4th best PFF run defensive unit. Freeman’s been mostly a lackluster running back with little to no explosion over the season, barely managing two games with over 4 yards per carry. He’s made a living off dump-offs and feasting on bad linebacker coverage as evidenced by his zero rushing touchdowns on 3.5 YPC but has a solid 38/282/3 receiving stat-line. Let’s face it, the old Devonta Freeman who was a menace with Tevin Coleman handcuffing his ceiling is no more. You have to accept his 8/32 rushing line and pray for a 5/40/1 4th quarter garbage time receiving line for the move to pay off. I have my doubts.
The epitome of the Larry David gif, cranberry sauce has long garnered very split reviews. Is it good? Tangy, sweet? Too tart? Looks gross, almost like an animal’s placenta? Too vivid? I agree. Whatever your gripes with cranberry may be, it’s almost always available on the Thanksgiving table for one reason or another. It’s up to you to either experiment with its funky flavors or just avoid it like the plague. That’s Mitchell Trubisky in a nutshell as a whole. Sure, he’ll be facing a decaying Lions defense that’s just been a gold mine for opposing QBs (3rd most yards, T-5th most TDs). It’s still the Troob though, and he was very Troob-like against a similarly bad Giants pass defense with two interceptions despite an overall solid day (278/1). The two picks were brutal picks that highlighted Troob’s inconsistency at just staying afloat as a game manager. There’s really nothing to add here as Troob’s one of the riskiest plays on the slate that could pay off big in a tremendous match-up. He could end up being the star of the meal, or end up being chucked into the trash halfway through the dinner. Total toss-up.
Yes, yes. It’s time to put a bow on this god-forsaken article. It’s time to pick someone as the FRUITCAKE of the slate, and it’s a particularly easy one to select. Jeff Driskel has kind of been pretty solid as a cheapo filler QB thanks in part to his mobility and tacking on 151 rushing yards in his 3 games as a starter. Impressive! He’s also nabbed 5 total touchdowns with at least 200+ passing yards in that same span, including a surprising 269/1/1 stat-line against the very same Bears defense he’ll face on Turkey Day. Here’s the reason why I think he’ll turn into a sour note in the rematch – he’s nursing a hammy injury. It doesn’t seem bad enough to keep him out of the game, but a hammy hampering a QB that’s so reliant on his mobility to create plays and get out of trouble? That’s a serious liability against a ferocious Bears’ 6th best-graded pass rush that was barely able to contain Driskel in the first meeting. I’d bet that the 6th best overall DVOA Chicago defense shows up to play this time around. I will always bet against mobile QBs nursing any type of leg/foot injury and Driskel is no exception to that rule. Cheap salary be damned! Get your amalgamated mess of a cake that’s full of undesirable fruits and inedible nuts outta here!