Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday with the three “F’s” (Family, Food, and Football). The last couple of years I have added a fourth “F” to the list, Fantasy. I really enjoy building a few Thanksgiving daily fantasy football lineups to monitor throughout the day between eating, watching football and taking a nap. And there is a great three-game slate of games on Thanksgiving which should make for some interesting fantasy options.

Beyond Thanksgiving, the rest of the week also looks like a smorgasbord of good matchups with a lot of increased opportunities to choose from.  It is going to be a fun week! Happy Thanksgiving!

So let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Philadelphia Eagles 69 41 59.4% 266 1.4 28 40.6% 111 1.2 23.7
Detroit Lions 68 46 67.6% 316 2.2 22 32.4% 93 0.3 21.1

The Eagles project to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game will see a very slight decrease in passing yards with their typical opportunity for at least one touchdown pass. The running game projects for a very slight decrease in rushing yards, but an increased likelihood for at least one rushing touchdown. The Eagles run 59% of the time when they are inside the 10 yard line.

Look for the Lions to run a few more plays than normal this week with their typical pass-heavy play distribution. The passing game is projected to see an increase in passing yards and their likelihood for at least two passing touchdowns. The running game should see a slight increase in yards with their typical low chance for a rushing touchdown. The Lions pass over 63% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • DeMarco Murray likelihood for at least one rushing TD (+)
  • Matthew Stafford and the Lions passing game (Calvin Johnson) (+++)

Carolina Panthers @ Dallas Cowboys

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Carolina Panthers 65 32 49.2% 212 1.4 33 50.8% 133 1.2 23.7
Dallas Cowboys 66 36 54.5% 250 1.2 30 45.5% 143 0.9 20.6

The Panthers project to execute their typical run heavy play distribution this week. The passing game projects to see a slight decrease in passing yards and a significantly reduced chance for any more than one touchdown pass. The running game should perform at their typical level of production for yardage and their likelihood for at least one rushing touchdown. The Panthers run the ball over 60% of the time in the red zone.

Look for the Cowboys to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game should see a very slight increase in passing yards and their chance for more than one touchdown. The running game should also see a slight increase in rushing yards and their likelihood for a rushing score. The Cowboys have passed on over 65% of their plays in the red zone this season.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Tony Romo and the Cowboys passing game (Cole Beasley) (+)
  • Darren McFadden (+)

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Chicago Bears 66 37 56.1% 237 1.2 29 43.9% 112 0.8 19.6
Green Bay Packers 63 35 55.6% 257 2.3 28 44.4% 139 0.4 25.3

The Bears are projected to pass slightly more often than usual this week. The passing game projects to throw for slightly less yardage than normal with a likelihood for one touchdown pass. The running game should perform at their typical level of production from both a yardage and rushing touchdown opportunity perspective. The Bears pass over 58% of the time in the red zone.

Look for the Packers to run the ball slightly more often than usual this week. The passing game will see a slight uptick in both passing yards and their likelihood for at least two touchdown passes. The running game will see a significant increase in rushing yards with their typical low chance for a rushing score. The Packers pass over 70% of the time from inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing game (Randall Cobb) (+)
  • Rushing yardage for the Packers running game (expect split between James Starks and Eddie Lacy with a slight edge to Lacy) (++)

New Orleans Saints @ Houston Texans

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
New Orleans Saints 67 42 62.7% 284 1.9 25 37.3% 102 0.9 22.7
Houston Texans 70 42 60.0% 294 2.6 28 40.0% 113 0.4 25.5

The Saints project to run a couple less plays than normal with their typical play distribution. The passing game will see a decrease in passing yards with a decreased opportunity for any more than two touchdown passes. The running game should perform in line with their typical yardage with a decreased chance for any more than one rushing touchdown. The Saints run the ball over 54% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

The Texans are projected to run a couple less plays than normal with a slight increase in rushing attempts this week. Despite a few less pass attempts the passing game should see a slight increase in passing yards and a significantly increased chance for more than two touchdown passes. The running game projects for a slight increase in rushing yards with their typical low opportunity for a rushing touchdown. The Texans pass over 58% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Brian Hoyer and the Texans passing game (DeAndre Hopkins) (+++)

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Minnesota Vikings 63 34 54.0% 230 1.0 29 46.0% 131 1.2 20.7
Atlanta Falcons 68 41 60.3% 289 1.4 27 39.7% 122 0.9 22.5

Look for the Vikings to execute their typical run heavy play distribution. The passing game should see a slight increase in passing yards with their typical likelihood for one touchdown pass. The running game projects to see a slight decrease in yardage, but have an increased likelihood for at least one rushing touchdown. The Vikings run over 62% of the time from inside the 10 yard line.

The Falcons are projected to run their typical play distribution. The passing game should see a slight decrease in passing yards with a decreased chance for any more than one touchdown pass. The running game productivity will be somewhat dependent on the availability of Devonta Freeman this week. The projection assumes that he plays. The running game will see a very slight increase in rushing yards, but will have a decreased chance for any more than one rushing touchdown. The Falcons have run the ball over 51% of the time in the red zone this season.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Adrian Peterson chance for at least one rushing TD (+)

St. Louis Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
St. Louis Rams 61 33 54.1% 196 1.0 28 45.9% 125 0.6 16.8
Cincinnati Bengals 67 35 52.2% 258 1.6 32 47.8% 130 1.0 24.0

The Rams project to pass more often than usual this week. As a result, the passing game should see a slight increase in passing yards with their typical opportunity for one touchdown pass. The running game should produce their typical rushing yards but will have a reduced chance for a rushing score. The Rams run the ball over 66% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Look for the Bengals to focus more on the running game this week than they have recently. The passing game should still be effective but will see a decrease in passing yards and a decreased opportunity for two touchdown passes. The running game will see an increase in rushing yards with their typical likelihood for one rushing touchdown. The Bengals run the ball over 53% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • None, I like the Bengals defense and kicker(Mike Nugent) (+)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 67 36 53.7% 246 1.6 31 46.3% 133 0.8 22.4
Indianapolis Colts 67 40 59.7% 269 2.2 27 40.3% 108 0.4 23.4

The Bucs project to run a few more plays than normal this week with a slight increase in pass attempts. With the increased pass attempts the passing game projects to see a slight increase in passing yards with an increased chance for two touchdown passes. The running game projects for a slight decrease in rushing yards, but will have a slightly increased opportunity for a rushing touchdown. The Bucs have near a 50/50 split between the pass and run in the red zone this season.

Look for the Colts to run the ball slightly more often than usual as they have been the last couple weeks. The passing game is projected for a slight increase in passing yards and their likelihood for two touchdown passes. The running game should also see a slight increase in yardage with a limited opportunity for a rushing score. The Colts pass over 56% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Jameis Winston and the Bucs passing game (Vincent Jackson) (+)
  • Matt Hasselbeck and the Colts passing game (Coby Fleener) (+)

New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
New York Giants 65 40 61.5% 275 2.3 25 38.5% 111 0.4 24.0
Washington Redskins 67 41 61.2% 286 1.7 26 38.8% 106 0.6 21.7

The Giants project to have their typical play distribution. The passing game should see a slight increase in passing yards and their opportunity for at least two touchdown passes. The running game should also see a very slight increase in rushing yards with their typical low chance for a rushing score. The Giants pass over 61% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

The Redskins project to run a few more plays than normal with their typical play distribution. The passing game will produce more passing yards than usual with an increased chance for two touchdown passes. The running game will see a slight increase in rushing yards and their opportunity for a rushing touchdown. The Redskins pass 52% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Eli Manning and the Giants passing game (Rueben Randle) (+)
  • Kirk Cousins and the Redskins passing game (Jordan Reed) (++)
  • Redskins running game (Watch the injury report, if Alfred Morris is out than Matt Jones could be a potential play otherwise it will be a split backfield) (+)

Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Oakland Raiders 62 39 62.9% 265 2.2 23 37.1% 95 0.6 22.8
Tennessee Titans 67 40 59.7% 265 1.6 27 40.3% 115 0.7 21.0

The Raiders project to execute their typical play distribution this week. The passing game should fall in line with their typical passing yards and likelihood for at least two touchdown passes. The running game should also produce their normal rushing yardage with a very slightly increase chance for a rushing touchdown. The Raiders have an even 50/50 split between the run and pass on plays inside the 10 yard line this season.

Look for the Titans to run a few more plays than usual this week with their typical play distribution. The passing game will see a slight increase in passing yards and their chance for two touchdown passes. The running game projects to also see a slight increase in yardage and their opportunity for a rushing score. The Titans pass over 60% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Marcus Mariota and the Titans passing game (Kendall Wright) (+)
  • David Cobb (Gut Call: Cobb leads the Titans in carries this week and performs well) (+)

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Buffalo Bills 64 34 53.1% 204 1.4 30 46.9% 119 0.9 19.7
Kansas City Chiefs 64 36 56.3% 237 1.3 28 43.8% 120 1.1 22.5

Projection is assuming that Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor plays, although it would not change much if EJ Manuel starts. The Bills project for their typical play distribution. The passing game is projected for a decrease in passing yards with their typical limit opportunity for any more than one touchdown pass. The running game will also see a decrease in rushing yards and their likelihood for one rushing touchdown. The Bills run over 65% of the time from inside the 10 yard line.

Look for the Chiefs to run a couple more plays than normal with a couple more rushing attempts than usual. The passing game should fall in line with their typical passing yards and a slightly increased chance for more than one touchdown pass. The running game should produce their normal rushing yardage with a decreased opportunity for any more than one rushing score. The Chiefs run the ball over 62% of the time from inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • None, I like the Chiefs defense and kicker(Cairo Santos) (++)

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Miami Dolphins 63 42 66.7% 269 1.9 21 33.3% 94 0.4 19.1
New York Jets 69 38 55.1% 254 1.9 31 44.9% 124 0.9 23.1

Look for the Dolphins to run a few more plays than normal and go to the air slightly more often than usual. The passing game projects to get their typical passing yardage with an increased likelihood for two touchdown passes. The running game will see a decrease in rushing yards and their opportunity for a rushing touchdown. The Dolphins pass over 70% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

The Jets project to run a few more plays than usual with a slight increase in rushing attempts. The passing game will have a very slight increase in passing yards and their likelihood for two touchdown passes. The running game will see an increase in yardage with their typical opportunity for one rushing touchdown. The Jets run the ball over 52% of the time from inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Ryan Tannehill chance for 2nd TD pass (+)
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets passing game (Brandon Marshall) (+)

San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
San Diego Chargers 70 46 65.7% 308 1.8 24 34.3% 80 0.6 21.8
Jacksonville Jaguars 63 39 61.9% 284 2.0 24 38.1% 113 0.6 24.1

The Chargers project to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game should see a slight decrease in passing yards and their chance for any more than two touchdown passes. The running game should produce their typical yardage with and increased chance for one rushing touchdown. The Chargers pass over 66% of the time from inside the 10 yard line.

Look for the Jaguars to run a couple less plays than normal with a shift to the running game compared to their normal play distribution. The passing game will see a very slight increase in yardage with their typical likelihood for two touchdown passes. The running game with the increased carries will see an increase in rushing yards and their chance for a rushing touchdown. The Jaguars pass over 59% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Chargers chance for a rushing TD (Gut Call: Melvin Gordon scores his first career TD) (++)
  • TJ Yeldon (++)

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Arizona Cardinals 66 36 54.5% 290 2.2 30 45.5% 131 1.0 27.1
San Francisco 49ers 61 35 57.4% 213 1.3 26 42.6% 103 0.4 17.3

Look for the Cardinals to run a couple more plays than usual with a shift to more rushing plays than normal. With a few fewer attempts look for the passing game to have a slight decrease in yards and a decreased opportunity for more than two touchdown passes. The running game will see an increase in rushing yards and their likelihood for a rushing score. The Cardinals pass over 57% of the time in the red zone.

The 49ers project to pass at a slightly higher rate than usual this week. The passing game should see a very slight increase in yards and their likelihood for one touchdown pass. The running game should perform at their typical level of production in yardage with a limited opportunity for a rushing touchdown. The 49ers pass over 59% of their plays inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Chris Johnson (+)
  • Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers passing game (Shaun Draughn out of the backfield) (+)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Seattle Seahawks

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Pittsburgh Steelers 62 38 61.3% 266 1.7 24 38.7% 103 0.7 20.3
Seattle Seahawks 66 35 53.0% 264 1.6 31 47.0% 158 0.6 22.0

Look for the Steelers to pass more often than normal this week. The passing game will still see a slight decrease in passing yards with their typical opportunity for more than one touchdown pass. The running game will see a decrease in yardage and their opportunity for a rushing touchdown. The Steelers pass over 52% of the time in the red zone.

The Seahawks project to execute their typical run heavy game plan. The passing game should see an increase in passing yards and their opportunity for two touchdown passes. The running game should perform in line with their typical level of production from both a yardage and touchdown opportunity. The Seahawks run the ball over 58% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increase Opportunities:

  • Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers passing game (Martavis Bryant and Heath Miller) (This one is totally a Gut Call as the numbers don’t suggest it) (++)
  • Russell Wilson and the Seahawks passing game (Tyler Lockett) (+)

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
New England Patriots 67 43 64.2% 266 1.6 24 35.8% 87 0.9 24.0
Denver Broncos 66 39 59.1% 257 1.3 27 40.9% 110 0.7 19.3

The Patriots project to have their typical play distribution. The passing game will see a significant decrease in passing yards and their opportunity for two touchdown passes. The running game will have a slight decrease in rushing yards and their opportunity for a rushing touchdown. The Patriots have passed the ball over 57% of the time in the red zone.

Look for the Broncos to run slightly more often than usual this week. The passing game production will fall in line with their typical level of production. The running game will see a slight increase in yardage with their typical chance for a rushing touchdown. The Broncos have passed on almost 60% of their plays in the red zone this season.

Increased Opportunities:

  • None, I like both Kickers (Stephen Gostkowski and Brandon McManus) (+)
  • Gut Call: call me crazy, but I think the Broncos Defense has a good game (+)

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Baltimore Ravens 68 43 58.8% 234 1.4 28 41.2% 106 0.7 20.1
Cleveland Browns 66 42 63.6% 292 1.9 24 36.4% 84 0.4 21.4

The Ravens will start Matt Schaub at quarterback for the injured Joe Flacco. I expect the Ravens to focus a little bit more on the running game with Schaub behind center. The passing game will see a decrease in passing yards and a decrease in their chance for more than one passing touchdown. The running game should see a slight increase in yardage with their typical opportunity for a rushing touchdown. The Ravens have passed over 60% of their plays inside the 10 this season.

The Browns are back to starting Josh McCown at quarterback with Johnny “Party Time” Manziel demoted to third string. The Browns project to run their typical play distribution. The passing game is projected for an increase in passing yards and their likelihood for two touchdown passes. The running game should perform similarly to their normal production. The Browns pass over 70% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Josh McCown and the Browns passing game (Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge) (++)

Hopefully, this gives you some potential fantasy football sleepers and GPP plays for the week or gets you to think about some of your own favorite plays based on the data and analysis.

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