Welcome to a special edition of the NFL Ambush as Week 12 kicks off with the tradition of all traditions. The NFL on Thanksgiving now has a two game DFS slate and all the Showdown goodies one can handle. Unfortunately we lost the Ravens and Steelers game due to COVID-19 and normally two game slates are really hard to write about so this will be a slightly different layout than the Main Slate articles that I write each week. There's a different approach to playing DFS on holiday slates that are smaller like this.
MENU OF GAMES
Houston (-2.5) at Detroit -- Over/Under: 51
Washington at Dallas (-3) -- Over/Under: 46
D'Andre Swift (DET) - I expect him to play and if he does he is a top play.
Kenny Golladay (DET) - Hopefully he plays too
THANKSGIVING AMBUSH PLAYS
These are the plays which I believe are the CORE to this Thanksgiving slate. Use each of these plays in your Showdown lineups as well.
ALL THE WILL FULLER
The best part about the Thanksgiving slate is the wide receiver position. We have lots of guys who grade out well and it's a position that should be the FLEX spot on DraftKings due to the PPR volume we should see with some of them. But the one guy who may not be the dominant possession type receiver I gotta own is Will Fuller. It's no secret he has become Watson's number one target this year with the loss of DeAndre Hopkins in the off-season and Fuller has paid off with four 100+ yard receiving games and had a stretch of six games in a row he hauled in a touchdown. That streak now feels like a while ago as the last two weeks featured an ugly weather game in Cleveland and a game last week vs the Patriots where Watson hooked up with all the "other guys."
Lock Fuller in though against the Lions defense which has gotten demolished by Washington and Carolina WRs the last two weeks. Detroit isn't getting any pressure on the opposing QB, so Watson will have time and Fuller will explode.
MOTOR CITY BACKS
We have a big injury situation with D'Andre Swift who as of the time I am writing this has not yet been cleared from concussion protocol. If he does play, he's a must start for me. If he sits, we can arguably say both Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson become near must starts on a weak RB slate and they're both solid values. The Texans rush defense is dead last in the NFL right at 160 total yards per game. It's bad.
They should get gashed easily even by a mediocre backfield without Swift which really didn't do much against an equally bad Panthers rush defense last week. One has to still consider this a solid spot and so getting Detroit backs into our lineups is a must.
Matt Stafford (DET)
Prior to losing the Ravens/Steelers game I was going to roll out Big Ben to jump off Watson as the highest owned QB. Quarterback is generally my preferred spot to avoid chalk on these two or three game slates and taking the QB who is opposite the #1 (Watson) is where I'll go. Pair Stafford with Swift without concerns this week.
DeShaun Watson (HOU)
One of the most consistent quarterbacks over the last six weeks, Watson will be the highest owned quarterback on this slate. I do love me some Will Fuller and he's a core play, but the Lions rush defense has once again started to show holes as nobody has been worse combined over the last three weeks. I see a scenario where Watson does not explode. He's in play if the Baltimore/Pitt game gets PPD due to COVID at the last minute.
QB FADE: Lamar Jackson
D'Andre Swift / Adrian Peterson (DET)
It's no doubt D'Andre Swift if he is cleared to go and if he is not then Adrian Peterson will rush for 60 yards and a touchdown which makes him a very good value play to consider on a slate with lots of value at RB.
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)
I know it's only three games but this Thanksgiving slate of RB options feels very very very thin. Zeke has been a Turkey day consistent back averaging nearly 20 fantasy points, but this isn't the same Dallas offensive line so we should temper expectations obviously.
J.D. McKissic (WAS)
The third RB for me is a tough call and really I would prefer to go with a 4 WR set in the FLEX position. There's lots of options here tough between Gibson, Duke Johnson, James Conner and Gus Edwards with the Ravens RB situation looking thin. But the passing game volume which J.D. has gotten over the last few weeks makes him my preferred choice. With lots of bleak options I would like the guy who is going to catch 5 passes over the rest of them.
Will Fuller (HOU) & Terry McLaurin (WAS)
These guys are my CORE locks at WR. You need one if not both and by one I definitely mean Will Fuller who is going to go off on Detroit. The only pivot off McLaurin in my mind would be a contrarian Kenny Golladay if he wakes up and realizes that he should dominate the Texans in the red zone and vulture Swift touchdowns.
Amari Cooper (DAL)
A lot of love is going to CeeDee Lamb after an impressive catch and because Dalton has thrown to him quite a bit. No reason to ignore Cooper though who is still the best WR (for now) on Dallas and I expect him to lead the Cowboys in receiving this week.
VALUE OPTIONS: Danny Amendola, Steven Sims Jr
Logan Thomas (WAS)
In September Logan Thomas was the TE everyone wanted to be a thing simply based off his target volume. But Dwayne Haskins was just so bad that even with 24 targets in the first three games he only hauled in 12 catches.
The struggles returned last week hauling in only two of five targets, but prior to that he had developed some better chemistry with non Haskins' quarterbacks and has a favorable match-up against Dallas. The TE position is very thin on this slate, so take the guy who might see the most volume and pray.
SHOWDOWN SLATE CAPTAINS & VALUE
Houston vs Detroit:
Captain: Will Fuller
Best Values - Matt Prater, Danny Amendola
Washington vs Dallas:
Captain: Amari Cooper
Best Values - Dallas Defense, Steven Sims
Pittsburgh vs Baltimore: (POSTPONED TO SUNDAY)
Captain: Ben Roethlisberger
Best Values - James Washington, Devin Duvernay