10 for 10 with Ian: Week 12 Top Plays on FantasyAces - Thanksgiving Edition
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Christmas is great and all; seeing the family is usually a positive, but it’s just too much work if you are the one hosting the Christmas gathering. You have to go buy presents for people, then clean your whole house, then entertain everyone all day when all you really want to do is sneak into the basement and watch some basketball.
That’s the problem with Christmas: the NBA stacks the schedule with some of the best games of the year, but this is not yet accepted as a part of Christmas itself. The amount of dirty looks I’ve received from my parents over the years for zoning into a NBA game as my Grandpa begins to tell me about seeing the Knicks step off of a bus in the 1960s drive this point home.
How would you describe Thanksgiving in two words to someone? I would go with “football” and “food”. What a combination. Montana and Rice can’t even stack up next to that combination. Thanksgiving (assuming you have already brutally burnt the Turkey in a previous year to get yourself out of any future food preparation duties) solely consists of waking up, setting your DFS lineups, watching football, and then eating the best meal of the year.
I’ve included both Thanksgiving Day picks and regular Week 12 picks for this Thanksgiving Edition of 10 for 10 with Ian. With a day as perfect as Thanksgiving, it’s pretty hard to mess the experience up. But losing money is never fun on Sundays, and unfortunately losing money is also not much fun on Thanksgiving. The picks below are my gift to you in your attempt to make the best day of the year even better.
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QB Matthew Stafford $6,200 vs. Philadelphia – The Beer
Stafford enters Week 12 as our number three quarterback in terms of both $/Point and overall value, and for good reason. After a brutal start to the season which saw him benched for a guy best known for once running out the back of his own end-zone, Stafford has rebounded to the tune of nearly 280 passing yards and two touchdowns per game since. That’s the reason why I am assigning Stafford as the Beer of your Thanksgiving lineup, as you know he’ll throw a lot this Thursday (just like you’ll drink a lot), and when you combine that with “The Turkey” below, it’ll be good for everyone involved.
RB DeMarco Murray $4,850 @ Detroit – The Cranberry Sauce
Conveniently enough, our top two running backs in terms of $/point this week are both on the Thanksgiving slate. Number-two is former annual Thanksgiving Day participant DeMarco Murray. While Murray averaged a pedestrian 3.7 yards per carry on Thanksgiving last year against his current team, it is Murray’s development as a receiver in the Eagles’ offense that gives me the confidence to play him this week. Averaging over five catches and 50 yards in his last three games, Murray has begun to build a high floor for a running back who people were basically writing off at the beginning of the season. Also, for the record, cranberry sauce is my favorite Thanksgiving food other than stuffing.
RB Darren McFadden $4,850 vs. Carolina – The Stuffing
Now for the number one running back play of the week, 10 for 10 legend Darren “Run DMC” McFadden! All year, fantasy football fans waited for some type of consensus in the Dallas Cowboys backfield. With former starter Joseph Randle now making headlines for getting arrested at a Kansas casino, expect McFadden and his 86 percent of the Cowboys' running back carries over the past four weeks to continue producing at a high level. If McFadden continues to see the types of holes that allowed him to go for 149 total yards against a supposedly stingy Dolphins defense, expect him to Walk this Way into stuffing the ball into to the end-zone.
WR Calvin Johnson $5,300 vs. Philadelphia – The Turkey
Now for the turkey, the best statistical receiver on Thanksgiving Day ever, Megatron himself. I’ve hyped up Calvin plenty in this column over the last several weeks, so instead I’m going to list the receivers to score more than 15 fantasy PPR points against the Eagles in the last three weeks. Dez Bryant (understandable), Mike Evans (he’s good when he holds onto the ball I guess), Vincent Jackson (he’s not hurt anymore?), Jarvis Landry (I guess he and ODB are boys), and Cole Beasley (that guy who is compared to Julian Edelman or Wes Welker literally every game?). This should thus come as no surprise that Johnson’s matchup against the Eagles 32nd-ranked defense in WR aFPA is one that I will most certainly be taking advantage of.
WR Dez Bryant $5,400 vs. Carolina – The Pumpkin Pie
Two key things to note about Dez Bryant in his upcoming Thanksgiving Day matchup. Firstly, Bryant will be feasting on the Panthers secondary swagged out in these Jordan XIIs. Secondly, Carolina Panthers' number one corner Josh Norman has made headlines with his assertion that he has had his matchup with Bryant “circled since the start of the year.” That’s great and all Josh, but maybe you should’ve circled DeSean Jackson, Randall Cobb, or Andre Johnson as well, as they have all gone for more than 80 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers in the past three weeks. This week we’re siding with Bryant in this matchup of elite talents, as Dez is our number-two wide receiver value on the Thanksgiving Day slate.
TE Greg Olsen $4,900 @ Dallas – The Green Bean Casserole
This season Greg Olsen has: more targets than Gronk, more touchdowns than Antonio Brown, more yards than Brandin Cooks, and more receptions than Randall Cobb. In an offense that essentially just plugs in mediocre Ohio State graduates (Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr.) at wide receiver, Greg Olsen is and has been the de facto number one receiver for Cam Newton, and his number one $/point ranking among all tight ends make this selection a no brainer.
DEF Green Bay Packers $2,850 vs. Chicago – The Mashed Potatoes
The Bears have actually not been terrible this year! This may not seem like a compliment, but when you enter the season with the third worst super bowl odds among any team, being average is a good thing (unless you’re Sam Hinkie). With Jay Cutler currently on his “above average” phase of being a quarterback (his most recent phase was simply “train wreck”), the Bears’ offense has evolved into being mediocre: 14th in average rushing yards a game, and 19th in average passing yards a game. Unfortunately, Cutler still has that lovely 15-22 TD-INT ratio career against the Packers, so with all that said, let’s go ahead and ride our projected fifth-highest scoring defense this week.