Regardless of your place in the standings in your season-long fantasy football leagues, there’s no better time to play NFL DFS than on Thanksgiving. That’s especially true if you’re 4-7 and out of the playoff race, but even if you’re a top contender, why not try to keep the good times rolling by winning some money in a FanDuel Single-game contest? The Washington-Cowboys showdown is arugably the toughest on the Thursday slate. Unlike Texans-Lions (two bad defenses) and Ravens-Steelers (two good defenses), this one features a bad defense (Dallas) and a good defense (Washington), as well as some highly dependable daily fantasy producers. Our lineup tries to find the balance between the two while making a couple contrarian picks that should help ensure some much-needed differentiation.
We’re taking some major risks by fading Terry McLaurin, J.D. McKissic, and all of Dallas’s wide receivers. We’re most worried about McLaurin going off, but McKissic doesn’t have quite as much value in FanDuel’s half-point PPR scoring as he does in DraftKings’ full-point PPR format, and the Cowboys’ wideouts also have slightly lower ceilings because of that. Instead of trying to guess who will go off between Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, we’re instead going out on a limb with Andy Dalton and getting all tof he passing-TD production while hopefully avoiding picking the wrong receiver.
MORE FD SINGLE-GAME: How to win a Single-game contest
FanDuel Single-Game Picks: Washington at Cowboys
MVP (1.5x points): Antonio Gibson, Washington ($13,000)
Gibson will be highly owned after scoring in four straight games and averaging 15.1 touches per game in that span, but there are so many viable MVP options in this game, he might not be too chalky for this spot. Either way, we trust him to produce against a Dallas run defense that’s allowing 153.8 rushing yards per game (second most) and 4.9 yards per carry (third). Gibson can also do damage as a receiver if the team wants to use him that way, so there are ample paths to yards and points.
FLEX: Andy Dalton, Cowboys ($15,000)
This isn’t a good matchup for Dalton, as Washington leads the NFL in pass defense (195.4 yards per game) and is tied for third with 32 sacks. However, it’s worth noting that Matthew Stafford lit up Washington two weeks ago (276 yards, three TDs), and Joe Burrow was on his way to a good game last week before exiting early. Dalton has enough weapons at his disposal in all phases of the passing game that he doesn’t have to do a lot to put up a solid fantasy day, and we’re hoping the difficult matchup scares people away.
FLEX: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys ($14,000)
Zeke is a lock for high volume (at least 18 carries in three sraight games, average of 20.9 touches per game this year), and even though he hasn’t been as productive as years past, he still has two-TD upside every time he sees the field. Washington allows just over 120 rushing yards per game, and it’s had some trouble with receiving backs in recents weeks (4-37 to Giovani Bernard, 5-68 and a TD to D’Andre Swift). Elliott can rack up yards as a runner and a receiver, and while it’s tempting to fade him and hope for a big play or two from the much cheaper Tony Pollard, we’re banking on the Cowboys feeding their star on Thanksgiving.
FLEX: Dalton Schultz, Cowboys ($9,500)
It’s always tough to pick a Cowboys WR, especially against the league’s top pass defense, and while we’d like to have Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, or even Michael Gallup in our lineup, Schultz is just as safe of a bet for targets. He’s had at least six in each of the past three games, catching 14 for 126 yards and a score. His ceiling obviously isn’t as high as Dallas’s talented trio of receivers, but Washington has struggled covering TEs all year, so perhaps the Dalton-Schultz combination will be a featured part of Dallas’s attack.
FLEX: Cam Sims, Washington ($7,500)
Even though we’re fading Alex Smith and Terry McLaurin, we want a piece of Washington’s passing game against a Dallas defense that’s allowed a league-high 24 passing touchdowns. Sims plays a lot of snaps, and the 6-5, 215-pound third-year receiver just feels like a big play waiting to happen. He had 110 yards on three catches against the Giants in Week 9, and he followed that up with a 4-54 day on five targets in Week 10. He caught both of his looks last week for 20 yards, but we expect him to be more involved this week in what could turn into a fairly high-scoring game.