Open-Ended DFS: Thankful Through All

It’s that time again. One where we binge on turkey and stuffing while ingesting as much football as we can, surrounded by good company. A holiday where we are thankful for an opportunity to spend time with the people who mean the most to us. This year, however, is very different.  

It’s hard to feel thankful in this state of pandemic. We’ve been told to shut ourselves in, isolate and stay away from crowds. For most of us, there will be no family filling our kitchens and dining rooms full of laughter and good cheer. We won’t be packing into the car or standing in seemingly endless airport security lines on a mission to see our loved ones. 

2020 has been an upside-down, backwards, challenging, thankless, soul-crushing year for many. So how can we possibly be thankful? 

As hard as it has been, there is still plenty to be appreciative of this holiday season. Some of us have found new friends in a world we never imagined even being involved in. We’ve overcome obstacles and found inner strength we may have never known existed. 

In this new world of Zoom calls and working from home, we’ve had an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and spend more time with spouses and kids. We’ve learned to adapt in ways we never thought possible. We’ve expanded our horizons, picked up new hobbies and had passions for old pastimes reignited. 

Yes, life will most likely never be the same again. The world has seemingly changed. In this new world and this new normal, what are you thankful for? 

Week 12 Water Tower DFS Picks

WR: Mike Evans (Kansas City at Tampa Bay) — $6,100

Mike Evans has paced as the Points Per Reception (PPR) WR12 over the last month.

The great thing about drafting Mike Evans in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) lineups this week is that you may be one of the few who actually do it. As on paper, a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are a top-five defense against opposing receivers, scares most casual players away.

However, after a closer look, Evans’ $6,100 price tag is extremely reasonable. He has double-digit DFS points in four straight games, and his quarterback Tom Brady, who had another lousy performance in prime time last week, should be out for redemption against the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes.

The Buccaneers will likely need to throw to keep up in this one. Plus, being at home, and in an out-of-conference matchup just makes it that much more appealing to sneakily roll out Evans and other Buccaneers’ pass-catchers this week. – Seth Woolcock

RB: Nick Chubb (Cleveland at Jacksonville) — $7,100

A few weeks ago, I recommended Baker Mayfield for a DFS selection and questioned if the Browns were for real. Sitting at 7-3 and second in the AFC North, it certainly appears that they are. 

Nick Chubb has played well since his return from IR and as perhaps the better-half of Cleveland’s rushing attack, he should be in for a big game against the freefalling Jaguars. The Jacksonville defense is fourth-worst against the run in DFS and made the anemic-of-late Pittsburgh running game go for over 100 yards last week. Look for Chubb to have a big game and be well worth the slightly elevated cost. – Elliot Hicks

WR: Stefon Diggs (Los Angeles at Buffalo) — $7,600

Stefon Diggs was someone I was fading coming into the season. I didn’t fully trust Josh Allen to be able to support a true WR1 and I didn’t necessarily trust Diggs to be one by himself. But, I was wrong, very wrong.

Diggs is the PPR WR5 on the season so far with over 900 yards in just 11 weeks. He’s been electric and even against a stout Chargers pass defense, I have confidence that the Allen-to-Diggs connection will be a major part of their game plan this holiday weekend. I’m firing him up in all my DFS lineups this week. – Thomas Cuda

QB: Josh Allen (Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo) — $7,600

Allen has been equally as hot as his counterpart Diggs, and Buffalo’s matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers should keep that hot streak alive and well. Allen is averaging 26.9 fantasy points per game in DFS, and coming off a bye he should be well-rested and ready to rock. 

Los Angeles is ranked 28th against the pass and will have a tough time containing Allen and the Buffalo receiving core. While Allen is a bit pricier than some other quarterback options out there, this is a week where you want him as your DFS lineup anchor. Los Angeles has given up an average of 21.6 points to quarterbacks this season, which isn’t great for Allen, but they’ve been bad against wide receivers, allowing an average of 32.4 points to wide receivers. With that stat line, I expect Allen to feast against the Los Angeles secondary and again eclipse 30 points this weekend. – Nate Polvogt

Week 12 Typewriter DFS Picks

QB: Tua Tagovailoa (Miami at New York Jets) — $5,900

It would be understandable if you shied away from the Dolphins’ rookie QB this week following a benching against Denver last week. But Tua Tagovailoa has a much more favorable matchup against the league’s favorite punching bag this season, the New York Jets. 

The Jets defense isn’t as terrible as you may expect against QBs in DFS, but it’s the fact that Tua and the Dolphins will be looking for a rebound game to stay in the playoff hunt that makes him attractive to pick this week. – Hicks

RB: Wayne Gallman (New York Giants at Cincinnati) — $5,000

Wayne Gillman has averaged 15.8 PPR points over his last four starts.

Running back is one of the toughest positions to dig deep on in DFS. Sometimes, however, there is a player that jumps out at you and is a bargain you can’t pass on. Wayne Gallman is that player this week. It’s no secret that the New York Giants, like the rest of the NFC East, are a mess. 

That seems to be shifting a bit with a retooled offensive line and Gallman beginning to emerge as a legitimate running back option. Coming off a bye week, New York is primed to throttle a Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati team that has been mediocre against the run all season. This week could be even worse. New York should be looking at a lot of short-field possessions, and that bodes well for Gallman who is averaging 15.8 points over his last four starts and has found the end zone five times. 

That trend should continue this week, making him a no-brainer start for your DFS lineup. – Polvogt

TE: Hunter Henry ( Los Angeles at Buffalo) — $4,800 

Hunter Henry has had struggles staying healthy in the past few years. And he hasn’t been someone I’ve trusted in redraft or really any season-long formats, but when it comes to DFS I like to ride the hot hand. And right now, Henry is providing that for your tight end needs. He’s caught a touchdown pass in each of his last two games and now comes into a matchup against a Buffalo defense that is soft on tight ends. I’m counting on Henry to continue to be hot and provide either TE or flex value in DFS lineups this week. – Cuda

QB: Derek Carr (Las Vegas at Atlanta) — $5,700

If you’re looking to ball on a budget at quarterback this week, look no farther than Derek Carr against the Atlanta Falcons. Despite the Fresno State product has been rather streaky at times this season, he’s averaging 17.3 fantasy points per game and has finished as a QB1 in three weeks this season.

In addition to the Falcons being the best on-paper matchup against opposing quarterbacks, they also allow a league-high 14.6 yards per receptions to opposing receivers. Considering Carr’s best receivers are deep threats Nelson Agholor and Henry Ruggs, while he also has eight passes of 40+ yards (tied for third-most), I want Carr everywhere I can get him this week, especially in DFS. – Woolcock


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