DFS NFL: Week 12 Thanksgiving Day Plays

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! While I normally don’t recommend playing three game slates, I chose to write this article for a couple of reasons. First off, it’s Thanksgiving, most of the day we’re going watching football and laying around the house. I doubt I’m going to be able to convince you not to play on FanDuel and DraftKings on such a lazy day. But more importantly, I do think there’s an edge on this particular Thanksgiving day. There’s a a specific game that will have several players with high ownership, but I think it may be lower scoring than projected, and if we avoid this game for the most part, it should pay off big time.


Game to Avoid

Carolina @ Dallas

Normally when we evaluate defenses for fantasy purposes, we think a) How talented and well-coached is this defense? and b) What match-ups will likely be exploited? But there’s one very important element of evaluating defenses that doesn’t actually have to do with defense at all, which his how many plays Team A will get against Team B. This actually can be projected, which you can read more about here in Danny’s article Plays and Fantasy Points. The three most important factors of a teams opponent’s plays are completion %, 3rd down conversion rate, and pace of play, all of which are correlated to expected opponent plays. Essentially, if you’re a team in which your QB has a high completion percentage, that converts 3rd downs, and has a slow pace of play, the other team is going to stay off the field for the most part and get fewer plays in the game.

This concept applies perfectly to the QB situation in Dallas. Now that Tony Romo back, I expect Dallas to be a really tough fantasy match-up for the rest of the year. While the skill of their defense hasn’t changed (they’re still middle of the road at best, although getting Greg Hardy back should help), they should keep their opponents off the field quite a bit, since Romo has an extremely high completion percentage, and Romo also consistently lets the play clock run down to 1 second before snapping the ball. Their pace of play is the slowest in the league. This is why Dallas became a worse fantasy defense with Romo out, the weakness in their defense was exploited when their offense wasn’t slowing down the game.

Because of this, I recommend fading Carolina’s offense entirely. I think Cam Newton will get a lot of play because of his great performance against the Redskins, but with few expected plays for the Carolina offense and a Thursday Night road match-up, I’m bearish on the Carolina offense as a whole. I think Cam gets 20%+ ownership, and my guess is those 20% that use him will be dead lineups. I also think Jonathan Stewart gets over-owned given the thin depth at RB.

The only play I can really recommend in this game is Darren Mcfadden. He’s still relatively under-priced on DraftKings (only $5,500) and there really isn’t much else to choose from at the RB position.


Teams to Stack


With Philadelphia coming off a bad loss and going on the road with only 3 days rest, I love Detroit’s offense and defense in this game. Philadelphia’s stout in the run game but a little soft in the pass game (and this partially has to do with the fact their opponents get a ridiculous amount of offensive plays every game), which plays into Detroit’s pass heavy offense perfectly. On DraftKings I like Stafford ($5,800), Calvin Johnson ($7,200), and Golden Tate ($4,700), and Ameer Abdullah at only $3,300 seems like an reasonable GPP play.


This is more for their skill position players and less about Jay Cutler. If Alshon Jeffery is out again, it’s easy to love Marquess Wilson ($3,900) and if Matt Forte is out, Jeremy Langford is great at only $5,300. I need to look at snap counts once they come out for a better feel, but there’s a lot of value here. Oh and by the way, with so few games I really don’t mind playing Green Bay’s D and some Chicago skill players.

Green Bay 

The projected highest scoring offense on Thanksgiving, basically everyone is in play. Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb seem great on DraftKings, and James Jones price on FanDuel ($5,400) is completely absurd. Eddie Lacy seems to be back to his old form as well and is dirt cheap on both FanDuel and DraftKings. I really don’t think you can go wrong playing several players from this offense on Turkey Day.


Thanksgiving Day is a perfect time to try DraftKings!

DraftKings is running a $5,000 freeroll for new players, just sign up through this link and receive entry into this freeroll as well as a 100% deposit bonus up to $600!

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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