Thanksgiving Day Cheat Sheet: Rankings: Players, Pies, Beers
Thanksgiving Day Cheat Sheet: Rankings: Players, Pies, Beers
Welcome to Year 10 of the Thanksgiving Day Cheat Sheet!

If you're new to this tradition, welcome.

Here is a quick rundown of how it works.

1. Find a few of your favorite friends or relatives that you will be spending the holiday with. If you don't like anybody at your Thanksgiving Day gathering, reach out to your most entertaining friends on Twitter or Snapchat.

2. Before the start of the Chicago-Detroit game Thursday morning, figure out a draft order and set up a three-to-six-team fantasy league for the three games on the schedule Thursday. If you're not sure how to fairly determine a draft order, has a free list randomizer.

3. Keep it simple and map out roster requirements (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE flex, 1 D/ST ) along with a scoring system. (**Hint: Add a second flex that allows the use of another quarterback if you have a three- or four-team league.)

20 pass yards = 1 pt
Pass TD = 4 pts
10 rush/rec yards = 1 pt
Reception = 1 pt
Rush/Rec TD = 6 pts
2 pt Conv = 2 pts
Sacks = 1 pt
INT (for defense) = 2 pts
Safeties = 2 pts
All D/ST TD = 6 pts
*Optional* Kicker Points = Face Value (FG = 3, PAT = 1)

Another Hint: Establish scoring settings that match one of your season-long leagues or DFS entries, and compile player scores from your league page. These leagues can be easily scored within a shared Google spreadsheet, or on paper.

The entry fee can be small to get everyone involved (i.e. $10/entry, winner take all; last place drives your craziest relative(s) home, all entry fees go toward Lyft/Uber/cab fare to avoid driving that same relative home, winner gets the last beer/piece of pie), and the 10-15 minutes it takes to run the draft will be well worth the time.

Below, I have compiled the initial set of rankings for the Thanksgiving Day games.

Rankings will be updated late Wednesday afternoon when more injury information has been released.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

*In addition to the positional rankings, there is a table below that displays fantasy points allowed by position for each of the six teams playing Thursday.

Game Schedule + Vegas Info

Bears (-2.5) at Lions (o/u 43.5) | TV: CBS, 12:30p ET (the line has moved from -4 with a 45 o/u)
Redskins at Cowboys (-7) (o/u 40.5) | TV: FOX, 4:30p ET
Falcons at Saints (-13) (o/u 59.5) | TV: NBC, 8:20p ET

Weather will not impact the games in these three stadiums.

Implied Totals

Saints - 36.25
Cowboys - 23.75
Falcons - 23.25
Bears - 23
Lions - 20.5
Redskins - 16.75

Fantasy Points Allowed by Position

The table below uses full PPR scoring. You can view other scoring options with the RotoWire Defense vs. Position tool.

Bears22.5 (17th)18.4 (4th)39.2 (22nd)10.2 (T-8th)5.3 (T-3rd)
Lions23.0 (21st)26.2 (24th)36.7 (16th)11.9 (16th)6.1 (6th)
Redskins23.3 (22nd)23.1 (13th)39.4 (25th)10.2 (T-8th)5.2 (2nd)
Cowboys20.9 (10th)21.1 (9th)30.4 (T-3rd)13.8 (T-22nd)7.0 (15th)
Falcons27.2 (31st)32.1 (32nd)40.2 (26th)11.5 (12th)6.2 (8th)
Saints26.5 (29th)19.8 (5th)46.8 (32nd)7.9 (3rd)5.1 (1st)

Wednesday Updates

Mitchell Trubisky doubtful, Chase Daniel expected to start (#5 QB).
Bruce Ellington (back) questionable after limited practice all week.
Marvin Jones (knee) is officially out.
Kerry Johnson (knee) is officially out.
Michael Roberts (shoulder) questionable after limited practice all week.
Tavon Austin is out for Dallas (Removed from extra WR group).

The Rankings


1. Drew Brees, NO vs. ATL
2. Matt Ryan, ATL at NO
3. Dak Prescott, DAL vs. WAS
4. Matthew Stafford, DET vs. CHI
5. Chase Daniel, CHI at DET – Update: Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) is doubtful, and Daniel is now expected to start for Chicago. I'm expecting a more run-heavy attack from the Chicago offense, while this switch provides a slight lift to the Detroit defense.
6. Colt McCoy, WAS at DAL

As backups go, Colt McCoy isn't completely terrible. If the Washington offensive line remains depleted Thursday, the Cowboys' pass rush will present a major issue for him. Of the matchups on this slate, the Cowboys' success against opposing quarterbacks and receivers stands out, and it would hardly be surprising to see tight end Jordan Reed getting force fed a lot of targets.

Running Back

1. Alvin Kamara, NO vs. ATL
2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. WAS
3. Mark Ingram, NO vs. ATL
4. Jordan Howard, CHI at DET
5. Adrian Peterson, WAS at DAL
6. Tarik Cohen, CHI at DET
7. Tevin Coleman, ATL at NO
8. Theo Riddick, DET vs. CHI
9. Ito Smith, ATL at NO
10. LeGarrette Blount, DET vs. CHI
11. Kapri Bibbs, WAS at DAL
12. Rod Smith, DAL vs. WAS
13. Zach Zenner, DET vs. CHI
14. Byron Marshall, WAS at DAL – Added to the bottom of the list with Chris Thompson ruled out.

Wide Receiver

1. Michael Thomas, NO vs. ATL
2. Julio Jones, ATL at NO
3. Allen Robinson, CHI at DET
4. Kenny Golladay, DET vs. CHI
5. Amari Cooper, DAL vs. WAS
6. Tre'Quan Smith, NO vs. ATL
7. Calvin Ridley, ATL at NO
8. Mohamed Sanu, ATL at NO
9. Taylor Gabriel, CHI at DET
10. Josh Doctson, WAS at DAL
11. Cole Beasley, DAL vs. WAS
12. Anthony Miller, CHI at DET
13. Maurice Harris, WAS at DAL
14. Michael Gallup, DAL vs. WAS
15. Bruce Ellington, DET vs. CHI – Questionable to play (back)
16. Trey Quinn, WAS at DAL
17. Michael Floyd, WAS at DAL

Other receivers potentially active, but with very limited roles:

Keith Kirkwood, NO vs. ATL – 16% target share in Week 11 against Philadelphia,
Austin Carr, NO vs. ATL – 6% targets share in Week 11.
Brandon Marshall, NO vs. ATL – DNP in Week 11.
TJ Jones, DET vs. CHI – 3% target share in Week 11.
Josh Bellamy, CHI at DET – 10%+ target share in three of last four games.
Allen Hurns, DAL vs. WAS – 6% or less of target share since DAL bye week.

For now, I'm not ranking these two injured players as they don't seem to be on track to play. If things change, they will be added accordingly. Jones is a top-10 option if he's deemed healthy, Crowder would go in the 13-15 range as a result of his multi-week absence and the presence of McCoy instead of Alex Smith under center.

Marvin Jones, DET vs. CHI – Out with knee injury.
Jamison Crowder, WAS at DAL – Still banged up, did not participate in Monday's walk through

Tight End

1. Trey Burton, CHI at DET
2. Jordan Reed, WAS at DAL
3. Austin Hooper, ATL at NO
4. Ben Watson, NO vs. ATL
5. Vernon Davis, WAS at DAL
6. Josh Hill, NO vs. ATL
7. Luke Willson, DET vs. CHI
8. Michael Roberts, DET vs. CHI – Questionable with a shoulder injury.
9. Adam Shaheen, CHI at DET
10. Rico Gathers, DAL vs. WAS

The Cowboys lost Geoff Swaim to a wrist injury in the Week 11 win over Atlanta. Rico Gathers, Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin will be used to help replace Swaim in the coming weeks. When the Cowboys call pass plays, the tight ends frequently run routes with Jarwin (86%), Gathers (83%), Swaim (82%) and Schultz (74%).

Kickers (Optional)

1. Wil Lutz, NO vs. ATL
2. Matt Bryant, ATL at NO
3. Cody Parkey, CHI at DET
4. Matt Prater, DET vs. CHI
5. Brett Maher, DAL vs. WAS
6. Dustin Hopkins, WAS at DAL

Defense/Special Teams

1. Chicago (at DET)
2. Dallas (vs. WAS)
3. Detroit (v. CHI) – Moved ahead of New Orleans with Chase Daniel starting for Chicago.
4. New Orleans (vs. ATL)
5. Washington (at DAL)
6. Atlanta (at NO)

Side Dish Rankings

1. Stuffing
2. Mac & Cheese
3. Mashed Potatoes
4. Brussels Sprouts
5. Green Bean Casserole
6. Sweet Potato Casserole

(Author's Note: Cranberry sauce is not a just goes on the turkey along with the gravy.)

Current Pie Rankings

1. Apple
2. Sour Cream Blackberry
3. Pecan
4. French Silk
5. Blueberry
6. Cherry
7. Strawberry Rhubarb
8. Peach
9. Coconut Cream
10. Pumpkin

Six Beers to Consider for Thursday and the rest of Week 12

This year's six pack features two very local offerings (1-2), two that should be available nearly everywhere (3-4), and two tough to find offerings (5-6).

1. M-43, Old Nation Brewing Company (Williamston, MI)
2. Butterfly Wings, Hapa's Brewing Company (San Jose, CA)
3. Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro, Left Hand Brewing Company (Longmont, CO)
4. Fresh Squeezed IPA, Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR)
5. Heady Topper, The Alchemist (Waterbury, VT)
6. Canadian Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, MI)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Derek VanRiper plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: RotoWireDVR, DraftKings: BentleysChair, Yahoo: d.vanriper,.
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Derek VanRiper
Derek is the Director of Media for, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).
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