I'm thankful for Tony Pollard...
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by BetMGM:
- 2 RBs to stash, 2 QBs benched
- THE GAME HUB IS HERE!
- Thanksgiving: Rankings & Tiers
- A sneaky TE to start on Sunday
- Our Best Picks & Plays
- What Kendall is Thankful for.
- Eliot's favorite stack: Bills/Lions
- It's 11/24. Take it away, Peter Overzet...
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. We got a glorious day of football on tap—we have you covered with fantasy & betting picks for all three games below—but before we stuff our faces, we have a cornucopia (that's right, seasonal adjectives, baby!) of news items to cover...
🎲 Joe Mixon & Leonard Fournette both dicey for Sunday
Fournette is still "pretty sore" from the hip injury suffered in Germany, and the team is waiting to see how he progresses. It's certainly concerning that he's still not healthy, even after the team's Week 11 bye.
Fantasy spin: We've been pounding the table for Rachaad White since the offseason, and it sounds like he might finally get the Bucs backfield to himself in Week 12 vs. the Browns. He'd flirt with RB1 status if Fournette is scratched and should be rostered everywhere.
Another RB room to monitor is Cincinnati, where Mixon is still in the concussion protocol and didn't practice Wednesday. Similar to the JuJu Smith-Schuster situation last week, it seems unlikely that he plays on Sunday.
Fantasy spin: Samaje Perine is the clear handcuff in Cincy and is coming off a 3TD game in relief of Mixon. Like White, he'd be a fringe RB1 vs. the Titans if Mixon misses. Stash him everywhere.
⛔ Zach Wilson & Davis Mills benched
It finally happened: Jets head coach Robert Saleh had enough of Wilson's antics and will bench him in Week 12. The team has already announced that Mike White (not the White Lotus director, and more importantly, not Joe Flacco 😭) will get the start at QB.
Robert Saleh said Zach Wilson reacted with some frustration when he was told the news. "Why me? I want to play" #jets
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt)
Nov 23, 2022
Fantasy spin: It's a much-needed timeout for the struggling second-year QB, but there isn't a meaningful upgrade here for Garrett Wilson and the rest of the pass catchers. There's some excitement for Michael Carter soaking up White check-down targets, but Rich Hribar poked some solid holes in that theory.
Joining Wilson on the bench is Davis Mills. Head Coach Lovie Smith is playing coy, but Kyle Allen took first-team reps at practice yesterday.
Fantasy spin: Nothing really changes here. You're still starting Dameon Pierce and hopefully don't need to start Brandin Cooks (Waz's WR45 right now).
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💰 Matt LaMarca is betting: Patriots +2.5
I’ve been calling the Vikings frauds for weeks now, and they showed their true colors in Week 11. The Cowboys blew their doors off, posting a 40-3 victory to hand the Vikings their second loss of the year.
The Cowboys’ defensive line absolutely manhandled the Vikings’ offensive line, sacking Kirk Cousins a career-high seven times, and the Patriots should have a similar advantage in the trenches. While the Pats’ pass rush isn’t quite as good as the Cowboys, they still rank second in adjusted sack rate.
There’s usually merit in targeting teams coming off blowout losses, but I still think the public perception of the Vikings is too high. The Vikings have a negative point differential this season, giving them an expected record of 4.9-5.1. They have some more regression coming, so don’t be surprised if the Patriots hand them their second consecutive loss.
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🥈 Tier 2 – Dalvin Cook
Cook ranks third in snap share (72%), fourth in rush share (69%) and eighth in route participation (54%). This is one of the best roles in the NFL.
Not only is he getting the opportunities, but he has also been efficient, ranking well above the NFL average in missed tackles forced (23%), average yards after contact (3.82) and attempts of 10-plus yards (15%).
Cook ranks three spots ahead of expert consensus as a low-end RB1.
🥈 Tier 2 – Rhamondre Stevenson
Stevenson is clearly the No. 1 in New England. He has played 70% of the snaps in the last two outings with Damien Harris (Weeks 9 and 11) and dominated all of the passing-down opportunities.
Only Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler have a higher target share than Stevenson (18%).
Against zone coverage, Stevenson’s TPRR surges to 27%. Today he'll face the Vikings – the second-heaviest zone squad in the NFL (82%).
Stevenson comes in three spots ahead of consensus as the RB10.
🥇 Tier 1 – CeeDee Lamb
Only Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams have higher target shares than Lamb (31%), who is taking his game to another level.
The third-year WR has averaged 85.5 yards and 0.75 TDs per game since the return of Dak Prescott.
This week he gets a matchup against the Giants, who play more man coverage than any other team at 50%. Lamb’s target rate surges seven percentage points against man.
The Giants are the second-worst coverage unit per PFF grades (49.1), making Lamb a SMASH play on Thanksgiving.
🥉 Tier 3 – Gabe Davis
Davis hasn’t taken the step forward many fantasy fans hoped for in 2022. His 16% target share is well below historical WR3 performers.
However, the third-year WR’s target shares have popped over the last four games. Since the bye, he has had a 25% target share and a 37% air-yard share. Davis battled an ankle injury that caused him to miss time early in the season and might finally be healthy.
According to PFF grades, the Lions are the worst coverage unit and play the fourth-most man. Davis has enjoyed a five-percentage target-rate increase against man.
Davis is a SMASH WR2 this weekend.
Check out all of the Fantasy Life Rankings!
🤫 A sneaky TE you should start this week. He has the best matchup in football.
📺 The Utilization Report Video is LIVE and in living color! Dwain breaks down 3 players from the Thanksgiving slate.
📈 This TE is set up for a breakout game. If you're playing DFS, you need to read this.
➕ The Jags add an RB. Don't worry; Etienne's role is fine.
🤔 Could the Falcons make a switch at QB? Bill Barnwell weighs in.
🏟️ Let the man play! He ain't practicing now.
🍳 The Rams signed who?! That can't be a real person.
🤚It's time to sit this WR. He had a great run.
In yesterday's newsletter, we previewed each of the Thanksgiving Day games, preparing you for a full day of football. Today, we're here to help make you look like a football genius in front of your friends and family. Our experts, Dwain McFarland, Geoff Ulrich, Dalton Kates, and Eliot Crist, are here with picks and plays from each game. All lines from BetMGM.
Last week represented just the second time that Devin Singletary breached the 15-carry mark in a game all season. Singletary snap count is also ripe for regression against Detroit after rookie James Cook's standout performance last week, going for 86 yards on 11 carries. The Fantasy Life Player Prop Tool has Singletary’s line set at 54.95 yards, and Detroit has allowed just 3.36 yards per carry to opposing RBs over their last three games. The under looks solid for a play.
Attacking the Lions deep is a recipe for success. They allowed 15.5 yards per attempt and a 47.5% completion percentage on passes 20+ yards down the field. Meanwhile, Gabe Davis has seen 51.1% of his yardage production come on deep balls this season, and he has seen 29.6% of the team's air yards.
The Lions have been atrocious against WR1s this year. They’ve given up six 100-yard games, and three of those WRs have gone over 149 yards. Diggs has hit this over in seven of ten games this season. Coming off a poor outing where the Bills infrequently targeted Diggs in the first half, would expect a massive game from Diggs on Thanksgiving.
The deck is stacked against the Giants. They lost the services of their top CB and WR against Detroit, in Adoree Jackson and Wan’Dale Robinson, and have five to six key players in their secondary and O-Line who will be game-time decisions on Thanksgiving. Dallas’ pass rush is a pressure machine, and Tony Pollard is an emerging stud averaging 6.39 yards per carry over his last three games. This line is moving fast in Dallas’ favor, but a double-digit win by the Cowboys isn’t hard to envision.
The Cowboys have a league-low 174.7 passing yards per game given up. Before his fluky 341-yard passing game last week, Daniel Jones was averaging 177.5 yards per game, going under this prop number in seven of ten games. The Giants are missing potentially four offensive linemen this game. This is a smash spot for this Cowboys' defense to smother Jones.
Slayton took over a starting role in Week 5 with a 68% route participation and has slowly expanded from there. Last weekend he hit a season-high at 87%, and he has a 22% target share over his last six games. Over that span, he has averaged 67 receiving yards per game and has eclipsed 50.5 in five of six contests.
With Robinson out, Slayton saw a season-high 48% of routes from the slot. The Giants' passing offense will be under duress against Dallas, but Slayton is the centerpiece of their passing offense and an easy over to click on Thursday.
Schultz projects poorly in most models based on his overall body of work this season. However, he battled an MCL injury early and has come alive over the last four games – averaging 49.8 receiving yards. His target rates have been elite at 31%, 33%, 23%, and 23%, and he has eclipsed 38.5 in three of his last four outings. Schultz is the No. 2 option in a Cowboys passing attack that is averaging 250 yards over the last four games. This line is too low, considering Schultz’s recent performances and the surging Dallas offense.
For more Underdog Pick'em plays, check out the Game Hub.
Despite being known as a run-heavy offense, the Patriots have averaged 30.7 pass attempts over their last three games, which puts them in the middle of the pack in terms of pass rate. Jones has completed 20 or more passes in all six of his starts and has improved his completion rate in his second year (67.6 to 68.7) by a full percentage point. Jones’ completion projection on Fantasy Life is set at 23.0, making this prop a great over to target today.
Our newly launched game hub has this as one of the biggest mismatches on the slate.
The Patriots are completing passes at the second-highest rate, while the Vikings are 31st in completion percentage allowed. This is fantastic news for the Patriots chain mover, who is the only player to command a +20% target share on the Patriots.
The Patriots are 1st in Pass D DVOA this year. They’re also 2nd in adjusted sack rate, and the Vikings are without their top offensive lineman. Cousins is averaging 6.3 yards per attempt when pressured this season. Belichick has a history of finding ways to shut down an opposing offense's biggest threat (Justin Jefferson) and have the team beat them elsewhere. Its likely Cousins will have to rely on his ancillary options more in this game against a stout pass defense.
Find out who Matthew is on this week in fantasy! Love/Hate is on NBC Sports Edge, and it's FREE!
Because of the #Thanksgiving2022 holiday tomorrow … TODAY is #LOVEHATE day! Week 12 is now posted and as always it’s free
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR)
Nov 23, 2022
What are you thankful for?
That’s what most of us will be asked today when we are gathered around the dinner table between bites of turkey and an extra helping of mashed potatoes. I have a few go-to answers — Health, friends, family, and my career.
But this year, especially, family comes to mind. My dad has battled diabetes almost his whole life, with the disease taking many of my family members. I think the biggest blessing in the world is giving people the chance to survive through research and the dedication to help find a cure.
Diabetes research holds a special place in my heart because of the toll the disease has taken on my family. I am so grateful my dad has been able to celebrate birthdays he never thought he would make and look towards the future at what’s to come.
I owe it all to the great people continuing and helping in his fight. I hope you join me this Thanksgiving in giving back to those who are battling diabetes and who may not have the resources others do. The Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation has one mission: curing diabetes now. Here’s to continuing the fight and many more Thanksgivings to come for the affected.
When playing DFS, we want to correlate our lineups because it means we have to get fewer things right. Tournaments have such top-heavy payout structures that when you are right, you want to be right in a big way. That’s where stacking teams and games come into play. Today, Eliot shares his favorite game to stack...
🚀 Josh Allen > Gabe Davis & Dawson Knox
🚀 Bring Back: Amon-Ra St. Brown
Josh Allen has an unquestioned floor and ceiling combination, finishing as a top-6 QB in all but two games this season. On a short slate, that becomes even more relevant. Only one QB can match Allen on this set of games(Dak Prescott), but there are enough ways to differentiate yourself from Allen that he is a no-brainer play.
While Stefon Diggs is sure to be very popular (and for good reason), differentiating yourself with multiple Bills weapons outside of Diggs can be a winning strategy.
Gabriel Davis leads the team with a 16-yard aDOT while seeing 29.6% of the team's air yards. Davis has seen 313 of 612 receiving yards, and 3 of his 5 touchdowns come on passes 20+ yards down the field - an area the Lions have struggled to cover. They allow a 47.5% completion percentage, 15.5 yards per attempt, and 5 touchdown passes on 40 deep ball attempts.
The second Bills player to stack Allen with is Dawson Knox, who has been heating up of late, seeing 42.5% of his targets this season in the last three games. Coming off a 29.1% target per route run performance in week 11, Knox faces the Lions and their 31st-ranked DVP defense against TEs.
Amon-Ra St. Brown is the most obvious runback candidate, but that doesn't make him the wrong one. He continues to dominate targets with T.J. Hockenson in Minnesota, averaging 10.4 targets and 21.6 points per game without him.