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Thanksgiving Thursday Matchups Analysis - Week 13 Starts/Sits

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Deshaun Watson and his motley crew of pass catchers helped to propel the Texans to an AFC South-leading 7-6 record after pulling out a victory over the Indianapolis Colts last Thursday.

DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller combined for over 200 receiving yards and two scores in the win. On the other sideline, the Colts witnessed an unlikely emergence from running back Jonathan Williams, who rushed 26 times for 104 rushing yards and a score in a valiant effort.

The day that all Thursday Night Football fans have been waiting for is right around the corner. November 28 will feature a triple-header with plenty of teams going head to head and fantasy owners hoping their players can give them one final push to make it to the playoffs. Let's not waste any time getting into Thursday Night Football Matchup Analysis for Week 13!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

Date and Start Time: Thursday, November 28 at 12:30 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

Offensive and Defensive Rankings:

Bears Lions
Passing Yards 30th 6th
Rushing Yards 29th 18th
Pass Defense 9th 30th
Rush Defense 7th 24th


Buffalo Bills @ Dallas Cowboys

Date and Start Time: Thursday, November 28 at 4:30 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

Offensive and Defensive Rankings:

Bills Cowboys
Passing Yards 24th 1st
Rushing Yards 5th 8th
Pass Defense 3rd 6th
Rush Defense 14th 15th


New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

Date and Start Time: Thursday, November 28 at 8:20 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

Offensive and Defensive Rankings:

Saints Falcons
Passing Yards 9th 3rd
Rushing Yards 17th 31st
Pass Defense 15th 27th
Rush Defense 4th 18th


Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineups

Drew Brees (QB, NO)

Even though Brees didn't set the world on fire in his last tilt with the Falcons, fantasy owners should lock him in as a QB1 against a defense that is tied for giving up the fifth-most touchdown passes to opposing quarterbacks.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

Feeding Elliott will be critical to Dallas's success on Thursday night with Buffalo limiting opposing offenses through the air. The volume will be there and the production will naturally follow.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Since returning from injury, Kamara has slowly but surely returned to filling his dual-threat role in the Saints offense. The third-year back has had no fewer than nine targets in his last three games and gets to face off against a suspect Atlanta defense on Thursday.

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)

The Bears putrid passing offense appears to only have enough volume to support one fantasy-relevant wide receiver, that of course being Robinson. He may draw coverage from Detroit defensive back Darius Slay throughout the game, but his opportunity to draw the most looks of any pass-catcher on the team makes him invaluable for fantasy purposes.

Michael Thomas (WR, NO)

Thomas has a stranglehold on the New Orleans target share, accounting for 31 percent of the team's total targets and 29 percent of the team's red zone targets. No Falcons corner will be able to limit his production in this NFC South battle.


Solid Options/Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

Although he faces a brutal uphill battle against the NFL's third-ranked passing defense, I couldn't find it in me to put the NFL's leader in passing yards in the "Consider Sitting" category. However, fantasy owners will need to recognize that Prescott's ceiling will be significantly lower in this contest.

Solid Option: Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

Ryan has been the Falcons offense to this point in the season, as the team throws the football 68 percent of the time and will need to do so to beat a New Orleans team defense that is stout against the ground game.

Solid Options: David Montgomery / Tarik Cohen (RBs, CHI)

Fantasy owners have been burned when starting either Chicago back this season, but Detroit gives up the second-most fantasy points to the position and will likely struggle to control the time of possession with a backup quarterback leading the charge. Both Montgomery and Cohen deserve flex consideration ahead of Thursday.

Solid Option: Devin Singletary (RB, BUF)

Coming off of his first 100-rushing yard performance of his young NFL career, Singletary has slowly emerged as the lead rusher in Buffalo's running back room. He will look to carry the load against a middling Cowboys run defense.

Solid Option: Randall Cobb (WR, DAL)

Cobb provides the safest floor ahead of Thursday, as he has had no fewer than seven targets in his last four games and has established himself as a reliable weapon over the middle for Dak Prescott.

Solid Options: Julio Jones / Calvin Ridley (WRs, ATL)

Jones is looking more and more like a game-time call, so fantasy owners will need to be alert leading up to the 8:20 PM EST start time. The possible absence of Jones opens the door for Ridley to explode in the fantasy regular season finale, though he should have standalone value in PPR leagues.

Update: Julio Jones is expected to suit up, after carrying a questionable tag.

Solid Option: Jared Cook (TE, NO)

In a barren fantasy tight end landscape, Cook has had either six receptions or a touchdown in each of his last three games.

Sleeper: Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)

I may not be the biggest fan of Trubisky, but I would be remiss to not mention that the Chicago signal-caller threw for three touchdowns when he faced off against the Lions in Week 10. Those in need of a deep streaming option could look Trubisky's way.

Sleeper: T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

Most fantasy owners will only consider starting Hockenson for his touchdown upside. Fortunately, Chicago gives up sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends and presents an opportunity for him to return above average numbers.


Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Jeff Driskel (QB, DET)

Any quarterback starting for the Lions not named Matthew Stafford deserves to stay out of starting lineups, especially against the Bears smothering defense.

Update: Rookie David Blough is expected to start instead of Jeff Driskel, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, and will serve as the backup.

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

Allen's rushing floor should prevent a total bust game, but it's hard to see him returning solid production against a Cowboys squad that gives up the ninth-fewest fantasy points to the quarterback position.

Bo Scarbrough / Ty Johnson / J.D. McKissic (RBs, DET)

Week 13 is not the time to spin the wheel of snaps for Detroit running backs when the Bears boast the NFL's seventh-best defense against the run. For those more desperate owners -- you can look towards rookie David Blough now starting at QB which will most likely require Detroit to lean on the run game and Scarbrough even more than usual, and add some appeal as a volume play.

Frank Gore (RB, BUF)

While Gore is still getting enough touches in the Bills ground attack to make fantasy owners wonder if he can be started, the emergence of Devin Singletary has made it difficult to trust the veteran tailback against Dallas.

Devonta Freeman (RB, ATL)

Freeman should make his return from a foot injury against New Orleans and their fourth-ranked run defense. He could see a high volume workload, but the touches are unlikely to make fantasy owners happy with the returns.

Kenny Golladay / Marvin Jones / Danny Amendola (WRs, DET)

This designation is a product of both poor quarterback play and the Bears Defense shutting down opposing wideouts. One of Golladay, Jones, and Amendola should have a middling fantasy game, but who that will be is anyone's guess.

John Brown / Cole Beasley (WRs, BUF)

The Cowboys give up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, making Brown and Beasley less than optimal plays on Thursday.

Amari Cooper / Michael Gallup (WRs, DAL)

Bills stud corner Tre'Davious White will lock up any receiver he shadows, meaning Cooper could be in for a repeat performance of his zero catch game last week. While this could translate to more looks for Gallup, the Bills still give up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.

Jason Witten (TE, DAL)

The Bills offer the second-worst matchup for tight ends in fantasy and Witten hasn't exactly given fantasy owners a reason to think he can be trusted in tough games.

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