Looking back to the 2016 Thanksgiving Slate (Min/Det, Was/Dal, Pit/Ind), the Washington vs Dallas game was the game that you wanted to stack (Dallas 31 Washington 26) with Kirk Cousins (449 passing yards, 3 touchdowns), Jordan Reed (10/95/2), Jamison Crowder (8/88/0), DeSean Jackson (4/118/1), Dak Prescott (195 passing yards, 39 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns), Ezekiel Elliott (20/97/2 w/ 2/23), and Cole Beasley (5/56/0). What game do you want to target this year and what players intrigue you most from that game?
Phil Alexander: The obvious answer is LA at Dallas, especially with Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tyron Smith expected back for the Cowboys. But for GPPs, I've got my eye on New York at Washington. The Giants are still a wreck on offense but assuming Sterling Shepard's migraines have subsided, they'll have one more playmaker on the field than they did in last week's kicker-fest vs. the Chiefs. New York's only other offensive threat-- Evan Engram -- couldn't ask for a better bounce-back spot following last week's 1.9-point dud. Washington ranks dead last in both pass success rate and yards per pass attempt allowed to opposing tight ends.
Washington's offensive production should also be heavily concentrated in the wake of season-ending injuries to Chris Thompson and (likely) Terrelle Pryor. Jamison Crowder has combined for 32 targets over the last three games and surged in Thompson's absence last week. Josh Doctson has been in on over 90% of the team's offensive snaps in each of the last three games. His targets are also on the rise, and he's flashed big-play ability with two 30+ yard receptions since becoming a full-time player. A push/pull game stack with Kirk Cousins, any two of Crowder/Doctson/Vernon Davis (tight end vs. Giants alert) plus Samaje Perine on one side, and Shepard and Engram on the other could go somewhat overlooked in the least meaningful game on the slate.
John Mamula: I agree with Phil that the obvious answer is the Chargers/Cowboys game. The Chargers have allowed an NFL worst 138.9 rushing yards per game. If Tyrod Smith returns, Alfred Morris has a prime matchup and a legitimate shot at 100+ yards and a touchdown. In a disappointing loss to the Eagles, Morris was still able to run for 91 yards on 17 carries (5.35 Yards per carry).
On the other side, most will chase Keenan Allen's breakout performance from last week where he finished with 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Melvin Gordon III will be a very popular option on a slate with a limited amount of choices at the RB position. If you are game stacking, it is feasible to do a Philip Rivers/Keenan Allen/Alred Morris stack along with 1-2 players lesser-owned players, such as Cole Beasley or Mike Williams.
Justin Bonnema: The Cowboys hosting the Chargers is going to get the most attention. It has the highest over/under and the clearest route to fantasy points. If Smith plays, Prescott becomes my top quarterback. I’ll stack him with Bryant and pivot away from the crowd, who will be all over Morris no matter what. Only five players have more targets than Byrant on the season. Unfortunately, 24 wide receivers have more fantasy points. He hasn’t been productive, but opportunities lead to scores. The Chargers secondary has been one of the best this year in terms of yards, but they’ve allowed the eighth most touchdowns (tied with five other teams). Bryant has multi-touchdown upside so long as Prescott has time to make accurate throws. I think we’ll be able to get both at deflated ownership, which is imperative on a short slate like this.
And I agree with Phil that the late game could offer shoot-out potential. However, if Shepard sits again, I think I’m avoiding it outside of maybe Washington’s defense. Cousins and company were excellent last week even after losing Thompson, but on a short week, after a heartbreaking loss, and now without one of their best players out for the season, this game could be a letdown.
: Chargers versus Cowboys is the game to stack. The Cowboys will be explosive if Tyron Smith is back, which I expect. Dak will shake the stink off his worst career game and help the Cowboys approach the 30+ point threshold. And the Chargers are starting to figure things out, too, and I can see them moving the ball on the ground (no Sean Lee
) and the air (Dallas' porous secondary).
Prescott/Bryant or Prescott/Witten stacks make sense, as do Rivers/Henry and Rivers/Allen stacks. I'll have a lot of Melvin Gordon III
(as will most people), and in GPPs you have to consider an Ekeler lineup or two.
: I agree with the guys: the Chargers-Cowboys game is the most appealing one to target. This one can easily turn into a shootout, and stacks anchored by either Dak Prescott
or Philip Rivers
make plenty of sense for GPP purposes. There’s no need to get too cute on a short slate. If you like a player to produce, roll with him. There are plenty of other spots to find some differentiation for your lineups. As for targets to pair with the aforementioned quarterbacks, Dez Bryant
and Keenan Allen
are the obvious choices on target volume alone.
That said, don’t be afraid to look at a home run hitter such as Travis Benjamin
or Terrance Williams
for some sneaky upside potential. Melvin Gordon III
will obviously be incredibly popular, but it’s tough to look past him if you’re only rolling with a single lineup. If you’re planning on doing several lineups, it makes sense to sprinkle in some shares of Austin Ekeler. We can also look towards Alfred Morris
on the other sideline, but he’ll also be on the popular side.
: The Chargers vs Cowboys looks like the game you want players from in this small slate but there is potential that it could be the game where the running backs do the most damage in Melvin Gordon III
and Alfred Morris
and they could work the clock and potentially keep this lower scoring. If I wanted to be different from the field in stacking a game this week I wouldn't mind looking at the Vikings and the Lions game as both team play fast and both teams don't have the big names to rely on in the running game. For the Vikings you have Matthew Stafford
throwing to Golden Tate
and Marvin Jones Jr
that makes a strong super stack and on the Vikings side you pair up Case Keenum
with Stefon Diggs
, Adam Thielen
, and Kyle Rudolph
. You also have potential with stacking the quarterbacks with both Theo Riddick
and Jerick McKinnon
as they are strong options catching passes out of the backfield.
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