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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 13


The Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints came out with victories during the Thanksgiving Thursday football games and were rewarded with delicious turkey legs in the post-game show!

Although Thanksgiving has passed, many fantasy owners are still hungry as the league playoffs approach. Week 13 kicks off with a New Orleans Saints team that is steamrolling the competition while the Dallas Cowboys are attempting to hold on to the top spot in the NFC East.

Let's dive into Thursday Night Football Matchup Analysis to find out which players have the best chance at producing!

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New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys

Date and Start Time: Thursday, November 29 at 8:00 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

 

Offensive and Defensive Rankings:

Saints Cowboys
Passing Yards 6th 28th
Rushing Yards 7th 6th
Pass Defense 30th 12th
Rush Defense 1st 4th

 

 

Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineup

Drew Brees (QB, NO)

The Dallas Cowboys defense hasn't allowed more than two touchdown passes in a game this season. However, it is fitting that Brees, who hasn't thrown less than three touchdown passes in his last four games, is the hot hand for fantasy owners to ride into this matchup. The Cowboys passing defense is also slightly more vulnerable than its run stoppers, meaning Brees should be locked and loaded as a QB1.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Kamara might have ceded some work to backfield mate Mark Ingram recently, but he still has 98 or more yards from scrimmage in each of his last four games and there should be an uptick in receiving work against the Dallas Cowboys 22nd ranked defense in receptions allowed to running backs.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

Uncontested in Dallas's backfield, Zeke is the face of high volume at the running back position with an average of 27 touches per game and 160.8 total yards across his last four games. The Cowboys have seldom removed Elliot from the game plan due to his play-making ability and he can't be benched even against a New Orleans Saints squad that is blowing out opponents.

 

Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Tre'Quan Smith (WR, NO)

Smith might draw streamer appeal after his 10 catch, 157 yard effort in Week 11. Unfortunately, he doesn't appear to be at full health and the Dallas Cowboys defense has allowed the third-fewest touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. If the game turns into one with little receiving work to go around, Smith could end up the odd man out.

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

Acquiring wide receiver Amari Cooper has done wonders for Prescott's efficiency, where he has seen his completion percentage and yards per attempt increase substantially. While he has rushed for a score in five of his past six games, the New Orleans Saints are extremely capable of capitalizing on Prescott's bad habits as they have forced six interceptions in the last three weeks while allowing only three touchdowns.

Allen Hurns/Michael Gallup/Cole Beasley (WRs, DAL)

The Dallas Cowboys find themselves in the bottom of the league in passing yards per game and clearly rely on their top weapons for the majority of their production. Over the last four weeks, Hurns, Gallup, and Beasley have combined for 25 receptions, 293 receiving yards, and one touchdown. Neither are worthy of a roster spot at present.

 

Solid Options/Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Mark Ingram (RB, NO)

The New Orleans Saints offense has been firing on all cylinders while feeding Ingram double-digit carries in his last three games, but he hasn't finished higher than RB-28 when he hasn't found the end zone. Fantasy owners beware, as it is extremely likely that Ingram could produce a disappointing finish if the Saints don't end up with a lot of offensive plays.

Solid Option: Michael Thomas (WR, NO)

Sure hands alone don't make the fantasy wide receiver, as evidenced by Thomas's dud game against the Atlanta Falcons last week. Dallas has been effective in limiting boundary wide receivers, but Thomas is fully capable of doing damage in the slot where he has run one third of his routes over his previous four games.

Solid Option: Amari Cooper (WR, DAL)

Cooper is coming off of easily his best game of the season, with eight receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over the Washington Redskins. The No. 1 wide receiver in Dallas will move from Josh Norman to Marshon Lattimore this week, but the New Orleans Saints aren't perfect in pass coverage as is clear by them allowing 314 receiving yards to Atlanta Falcons wide receivers a week ago.

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