In Week 11 we lost more players to injury. The most significant one to Washington running back Chris Thompson, who is likely out the rest of the fantasy season. Houston running back D’Onta Foreman finally had his breakout performance, but also tore his Achilles and is lost for the season. Houston has signed Andre Ellington, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, but also has Alfred Blue returning from injury to backup Lamar Miller. Kelvin Benjamin also left his Week 11 game with a knee injury and may miss a couple of week.
Week 12 brings us three Turkey Day, Thanksgiving Day games! Remember to set your lineups! We are also officially done with Bye Weeks. For Week 12, there are many good wide receiver options to choose from and even a fair amount of good running back match-ups, so I’m choosing from some of the cheaper DFS options available this week (with the exception of Samaje Perine who gets a higher price tag on the Thursday lineup at Fan Duel). My pickss for Week 12 Wide Receiver and Running Back Start ‘Em, and my picks for top receiver and running back in each Thanksgiving Day game are below.
Best Wide Receiver options in each Thanksgiving Day game: Adam Thielen, Keenan Allen, Josh Doctson
Zay Jones – Buffalo @ Kansas City (Draft Kings $4,000 / Fan Duel $5,100) – Jones has scored 17.3 and 10.8 in PPR leagues in his last two outings. Kelvin Benjamin is likely to miss time with a knee injury, so Jones should step in for another solid game against the Chiefs’ 28th ranked pass defense.
Rishard Matthews – Tennessee @ Indianapolis (Draft Kings $5,100 / Fan Duel $6,300) – Matthews faces the Colts’ 30th ranked passing defense this week. He is coming off of a 5/113/1 performance against Pittsburgh’s 3rd ranked passing defense, though 75 yards were on one play. This week Matthews should continue the hot streak and see plenty of targets as the Titan’s won’t be able to stop the Colts passing offense either, and this should be a relatively high scoring game.
Mohamed Sanu – Atlanta vs Tampa Bay (Draft Kings $5,200 / Fan Duel $5,800) – Sanu caught all three of his targets, for just 34 yards, against Seattle Monday night, but did find the end-zone. He has now scored a touch down in three of the his last four games. His targets should go up against a Tampa defense that gave up 365 yards through the air to Miami in Week 11 and ranks 31st against the pass.
Cooper Kupp – LA Rams vs New Orleans (Draft Kings $5,000 / Fan Duel $5,400) – Kupp should see added targets with Robert Woods sidelined with an injury. I’d expect the Rams to play from behind this week against the Saints, which should mean double digit targets for Kupp, and a nice floor for PPR leagues. It will be a bonus if he finds the end-zone for the first time since Week 7.
Emmanuel Sanders – Denver @ Oakland (Draft Kings $5,200 / Fan Duel $6,300) – Paxton Lynch gets his turn at running the Denver Broncos offense. He will also be running it for the new Offensive Coordinator, Bill Musgrave who was let go as Offensive Coordinator of the Oakland offense after the 2016 season. Lynch hasn’t been great in the past, otherwise he’d of been the Denver starting quarterback sooner than Week 12, but he has been able to get the ball downfield. This is a good match-up, against an Oakland team ranked 27th against the pass, for Lynch to get his first start this season. I expect both Sanders and Thomas to have good fantasy outings this week. On a side note, Oakland also fired their Defensive Coordinator this week.
Best Running Back options in each Thanksgiving Day game: Latavius Murray, Melvin Gordon, Samaje Perine
Latavius Murray – Minnesota @ Detroit (Draft Kings $4,900 / Fan Duel $6,500) – Detroit struggled to stop the Bears rushing attack in Week 11. This week they face a Minnesota team that, like Chicago, has two quality running backs. I expect Murray to lead the Vikings again in rushing this week and out touch Jerick McKinnon, but both running backs could have quality games.
Samaje Perine – Washington vs NY Giants (Draft Kings $5,000 / Fan Duel $7,600) – Perine finally got on track last week against the Saints. This week he gets an even better match-up against the Giants’ 30th ranked rushing defense. Washington should find success on the ground and through the air this week as they work toward a wildcard in the NFC.
Dion Lewis – New England vs Miami (Draft Kings $4,800 / Fan Duel $6,200) – Most running backs have found success against the Dolphins lately. Dion Lewis has led the Patriots in rushing the last several weeks, and this week he could have his best performance yet. Lewis was also more involved in the passing game in Week 11 with four receptions. It’s a trend fantasy owners would love to see continue.
Devontae Booker – Denver @ Oakland (Draft Kings $3,700 / Fan Duel $5,500) – Booker is emerging as the lead running back in the Denver backfield. Oakland ranks 17th against the run giving up almost 114 yards per game. While a risky start, if Booker gets more carries under the new Offensive Coordinator, he has shown he is an improved running back over his rookie season and is on the cusp of a breakout performance. However, if his carries remain an even split with C.J. Anderson, he is still a viable option in PPR leagues as he has been heavily involved in the passing game of late.
Running Back Tandem
Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara – New Orleans @ LA Rams (Draft Kings $8,300, $7,900 / Fan Duel $8,200, $8,100)
What can I say about running back tandems. Ingram and Kamara have a stranglehold on being the best tandem in the league. Kamara’s numbers were a bit down in Week 11 until the miraculous catch and touch down at the end of the game, but this was mainly do to New Orleans playing from behind. This week they face the Rams who will be missing their top receiver, and though the Rams have been tough against the run over the last month or so the Saints should be able to wear them down and have a big second half on the ground.