NFL DFS Week 12: Turkey Day Taeks
NFL Thanksgiving Week – GOTTA EAT EM ALL!
Oh, yes. It's finally here! The one day of the year where I compare NFL players to Thanksgiving food items and feel good about it! It's one of the few times I can call someone a fruitcake and not sound like a Trump supporter. We all love Thanksgiving feasts, don't we? The cornucopia of coma-inducing food items gives us the energy needed to stave off those murderous thoughts when faced with the crisis of having a conversation with that crazy uncle. Or the twice-removed handsy cousin who keeps coming even though she's not even related to you. Jeepers creepers Sharon, I'm not George Constanza! Falling asleep in front of the T.V. just before a Cowboys player you didn't roster scores has long been a tradition for degenerates like us, as we dream about turkey drumsticks and waking up to a million dollars. Too bad it was all a lie as you wake up with a bloated belly and an injured player in your lineup. Welp, there's always next year. It's all a simulation anyway.
Anyways, onto the NFL DFS Week 12 Turkey Day picks!
It's the starter for most people to nibble on while they ponder which other side dishes to add before the main attraction. Some people prefer buttered rolls or even croissants, but regardless of the carbohydrate you prefer, it should be tasty at the very least! Kyle Rudolph is my biscuit of the week, as he's always dependable for consistent TE production no matter the match-up. He's a guy you can roster without worrying about him burning out or turning stale. The Lions have been middle of the road in giving up points to TEs, but they still rank 29th DVOA against the position. They've got a stellar shut-down corner in Darius Slay and an improved pass-rush, so Rudolph likely should get a higher target total as the safety valve for whoever suits up at QB. Rudolph now has gone 4 straight games with exactly 7 targets, catching at least 5 of those in the same span. That's a nice starter to build a lineup around. His RZ usage continues to be steady with a 27% MS of the RZ targets. Tasty!
Ah, yes. The side dish no one really talks about, but can sometimes surprise you as a fantastic snack. There's always somebody who brings fake mashed potatoes with way too much butter in it. Avoid those! For those who have real grandmamas that make their own mashed taters, scoop two big helpings on your plate and give thanks to the Turkey Gods that have blessed you with a wondrous treat. Melvin Gordon could be that wonderful treat that no one talks about due to his inconsistency of late. Sure, he's got the big workload to always be worth a mention, but his balky knee and bad vision have prevented him from really exploding on the scene the past month. Last week in a 54-24 blowout, Gordon only amassed 80 total yards and a TD, averaging a mediocre 4 yards per carry in what should have been a smashfest for him. Combine that with 2 other games in the past month where Gordon couldn't top 50 total yards or a touchdown, and you've got some fake mashed potatoes in the midst. He gets a great match-up against a reeling Cowboys run defense though, giving up the 10th most points to opposing RBs with a 26th DVOA ranking. Without their heart and soul of the defense in Sean Lee, the Cowboys run defense has simply been gashed left and right by anyone with legs. Gordon has legs and a workload to back his hefty price up. Remember, real mashed potatoes can be the highlight of your Turkey Day.
I love stuffing. Absolutely love the stuff! But I do know some people shy away from it, questioning its texture and spongy look. I get it. You don't like good food. It's okay, we all can't be good human beings. My stuffing player of the week is Evan Engram, who some may have been turned off after his pathetic effort against the Chiefs in what could have been a great match-up in the slot. Engram lost his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown with his 1/9/0 stat-line last week on 6 targets. Prior to the last 2 weeks, Engram had been feasting on opposing defenses, giving those who rostered him in those 3 games tasty morsels of fantasy points with a combined 15/212/3 stat-line on a whopping 29 targets! Engram gets a Redskins TE coverage unit that's been victimized all season long, hemorrhaging away the 4th most fantasy points with the most yards given up. That sure sounds like a great spot for Engram to stuff the stat sheet while others turn up their noses on him due to the last 2 weeks. Screw them! Stuffing is fantastic! As long as it isn't from the box, of course. Sterling Shepard seems on his way to the inactive list, giving, even more, target shares to Engram. I'm drooling right now.
It's the star of the show, the champion meal everyone looks forward to. Some people have special recipes that require days of marinating/brining the turkey to get that succulent, moist slice of turkey that we all crave. Kirk Cousins should be the turkey of your lineups, as he gets a favorable match-up against a slumping Giants team that's just a loss or two away from completely folding and benching every single good player. The Giants have just been getting absolutely hammered by QBs in the past month, moving into the 3rd worst defense against opposing QBs and giving up the 2nd most passing touchdowns. Cousins hasn't had a consistent receiving corps, yet continues to pile on the stats and proving he's a legitimate franchise QB. He's now thrown for 300+ yards in 2 straight games with 6 total touchdowns, helping the Redskins score at least 30+ points in that span. It'll likely be 3 straight for Cousins and his mouth-watering, crispy touchdown passes. You'd be a fool not to roster Cousins in the best QB match-up on the slate. YOU LIKE THAT???
It goes with everything. It's necessary at times with turkey that's just way too damn dry. It's ridiculously good with mashed potatoes too! It's just a nice complement to the entire Thanksgiving meal, which is why I'm putting Jamison Crowder here. He's the piece you want with the Captain Kirk stacks and should complement paying up at RB with a value price tag. Crowder is clearly Cousins' preferred target, inhaling 32 targets over the past 3 games and spitting out a 20/251/0 stat-line. Sure, the lack of touchdowns and usage in the RZ is disappointing, but everything else is exactly what you want from a value WR. As mentioned earlier, the Giants defense has been falling apart at the seams, which is ironic since that's where Crowder will do his damage at. What had been a strength for the Giants has now turned into a weakness, as they continue to lose yardage to opposing slot receivers. Crowder runs around 70% of his routes in the slot, getting increased work in 2 WR sets as the replacement to their bust FA signing of Terrelle Pryor. Crowder's the player that could hold together your entire lineup and give that double boost to the Cousins stacks. Pour it on!
Boy, that was a delicious feast! Now it's time to refresh your palate with something sweet. Pumpkin pie with coffee has long been a traditional way to ease the Itis caused by overindulging on turkey. It warms your body and helps smooth out some of the saltiness in some particular dishes. I won't name any names, but GET THAT EGG SALAD AWAY FROM ME!!! Adam Thielen should be your pumpkin pie as the final piece needed for your lineups. Thielen's been something special this year, proving that despite having the easiest schedule for WRs last year, Thielen actually really is a legitimate weapon defenses should fear. Thielen's now gone 3 straight games with a touchdown, dropping 100+ receiving yards in 2 of those games. And it's not even from short passes as the primary slot receiver! He's actually been one of the best deep threats in the NFL, averaging 20.3 yards per catch in the last 3 games! Insane! It's unlikely Slay will shadow Thielen all game, as Slay doesn't typically slide into the slot (only 2% of snaps played at slot). Thielen generally runs close to 60% of hos routes in the slot, which should put him away from Slay's coverage for the most part. It's not an easy match-up as Quandre Diggs has been a solid nickel cornerback, but Thielen's been on fire and no one has been able to stop him. He even has one of the highest fantasy points per route ran! As long as he sees double digit targets, Thielen will be the dessert of your dreams. Put some ample whipped cream on top of that pie!
Seriously? People eat this stuff? Gross. Get that fake turkey outta here! You too, Eli Manning! I don't roster fake QBs and neither should you. Some may see Manning's low, low price tag and a seemingly good QB match-up, but it's all a lie! A big fat fake lie! Yes, it's brown and looks crispy, but you'll regret it the second you slice that tofurkey open! Manning's had several games where he was unable to muster even 200 passing yards. Without his pal Sterling Shepard, Manning seems poised for a mediocre game with the majority of his passes going to both Evan Engram and the opposing defense. Yes, the Redskins are giving up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing QBs, but they should be getting some important players back into the rotation such as Matt Ioannidis. Manning just simply isn't worth risking a dud on your lineup without a full complement of weapons. The Redskins pass defense is starting to get a little healthy as well, Even Brees was struggling to pass on the Redskins until late in the game where the Saints exploded to take the lead. Again, that's the Saints. The Giants wish they were the Saints with a coach who doesn't look like a muppet. Buyer beware! Don't fall for the fake turkey!
I always get fooled by this. It looks good, smells pretty damn good, and it's always in the middle beckoning upon your senses. Begging for you to dip something in it, with its scent of broken promises wallowing deep inside your nostrils. So you decide to try it out, only to be thwarted by its unfathomable bitterness and cloying sweet scent. Damn you, cranberry! Why hath thou forsaken me once more? Theo Riddick will be the cranberry sauce of your lineups, faking out your DFS senses with promises of a high floor through his receiving work. “I was the 27th best PPR RB last year!”, he screams. No! You will not fool me! The Lions have stopped utilizing Riddick in their passing game, having only caught 10 passes in the last 4 games. Riddick's only garnered 1 touchdown in that span, getting less than 10 touches a game. PPR god, my ass! You will not entice me with your whispers of salvation, Theo! The Vikings are giving up the 2nd fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs! Take that you heathen! Toss that cranberry sauce in the garbage where it belongs!
Oh, is that pound cake I see. Man, I love pound cake. Hmm, why does it have weird spots on it? Is that....is that a cranberry I see? Who brought this demonized baked good into this house? I DEMAND AN ANSWER! If you're one of the unlucky few that's had to experience a family member baking this atrocious, agglomerated mess of strange fruits and flour, I weep for you. No one should have to go through such a frightening experience during a feast. It's the food item you never want to see on a table, and so I have chosen Rod Smith as the fruitcake of the week. Some poor plebeians tried to roster Rod Smith last week, only to be suddenly faced with an existential crisis as Smith croaks his way to negative yards. This is a warning. You might be fooled into thinking Rod Smith is a GPP dart considering he played on more snaps than Morris versus the Eagles. OPEN YOUR EYES! It was a blowout and Morris has the elegance of a pregnant woman running a marathon. Smith is purely a passing down back that does more blocking than actually running routes. If the Cowboys' rushing attack gets going, it won't be because of Rod Smith. A 22nd DVOA Chargers run defense giving up the 3rd most points to opposing RBs is not an excuse to roster Rod Smith. Don't do it.
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