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The Fantasy Blueprint

The Fantasy Blueprint: Thanksgiving Preview

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: November 26, 2020, 1:48 am ET

Posted Thursday and updated Friday evening, “The Fantasy Blueprint” will get you the stats and information that actually matter for fantasy football, and it will be produced in a way that doesn’t waste our time. If you don't know what "Fantasy Usage" is, read this. If you want my best bets, they’ll be at the top on Saturday. If you need live Vegas odds, go here. If you simply just want my weekly rankings, subscribe here for $3.99 per month and use promo code WINKS10 for 10% off. If you have other questions, reach out on Twitter (@HaydenWinks).

Thanksgiving note: Since I typically gather my matchup data on Wednesdays, you'll have to wait until Wednesday night for the classic Blueprint matchup charts and notes. I have added my Thanksgiving positional rankings and favorite stacks at the bottom for those playing DFS, but at the end of the day, just build lineups with correlation, leave money on the table in big tournaments, and be ready to late swap. John Daigle and I will talk about these topics in the DFS Building Blocks Show on Wednesday evening.


Best Bets of Thanksgiving

Visit our live odds page. My all-time record: 76-56-3 (57.4%). 

1. Texans (-2.5) @ Lions - Deshaun has been playing incredible, LT Tunsil could return.

2. Cowboys (-3) vs. Football Team - Healthier OL, underrated Dalton has Dallas underrated.

3. Steelers (-4) vs. Ravens - Baltimore far more injured in the trenches.

4. Texans vs. Lions UNDER 51.0 - Poorly coached teams, especially Detroit without Golladay.

5. Steelers vs. Ravens UNDER 45.0 - In-division matchup with smart defensive staffs.


1. Texans (26.75 points, -2.5 spread) @ DET


Fantasy Usage (Link)


Deshaun Watson

Fantasy Rank: 8, Team PaATT: 22, Team RuATT: 30

RB21 Duke Johnson

Inefficient on RB2/3 usage. Bad OL, too.

TE20 Jordan Akins

Week 11 routes: JA (26), Pharaoh Brown (13), Darren Fells (9).

WR34 Brandin Cooks

Upside WR2/3 with less target competition.

WR54 Will Fuller

Efficiency outlier on full-time routes. Upside.

WR74 Randall Cobb (O)

Likely out weeks (foot). Keke Coutee to replace.



2. Cowboys (24.5, -3) vs. WAS


Fantasy Usage (Link)


Andy Dalton

Fantasy Rank: NA, Team PaATT: 1, Team RuATT: 12

RB11 Ezekiel Elliott

QB + OL upgrades last week. Back to RB1/2.

RB57 Tony Pollard

Under 8.5 xFPs in 9-of-10 games. Insurance.

TE4 Dalton Schultz

Iffy on low-end TE1 usage. 27-of-35 routes lw.

WR69 Amari Cooper

13.7 xFPs in the 3 Dalton games. Trending up.

WR37 CeeDee Lamb

13.1 xFPs in the 3 Dalton games. Slot stud.

WR28 Michael Gallup

7.9 xFPs in the 3 Dalton games. Deep targets.

WR96 Cedrick Wilson

Week 11 routes: Noah Brown (12), Wilson (6).


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3. Lions (24.25, +2.5) vs. HOU


Fantasy Usage (Link)


Matthew Stafford

Fantasy Rank: 23, Team PaATT: 16, Team RuATT: 28

RB17 D'Andre Swift (Q)

15.7 xFPs in 5 healthy games since bye. Kerryon Johnson plays passing downs w/o Swift.

RB50 Adrian Peterson

Only playing on early downs w/o Swift.

TE5 T.J. Hockenson

Routes sadly down in last 2 weeks (toe).

WR44 Marvin Jones

xFPs: With Golladay (7.2), without (11.9).

WR65 Danny Amendola (O)

Mohamed Sanu is top slot replacement. Cephus also there.

WR75 Marvin Hall

30-of-40 Week 11 routes as deep threat.



4. Football Team (21.5, +3) @ DAL


Fantasy Usage (Link)


Alex Smith

Fantasy Rank: NA, Team PaATT: 14, Team RuATT: 22

RB3 J.D. McKissic

Touch shares: Leading (15%), trailing (35%).

RB12 Antonio Gibson

Touch shares: Leading (30%), trailing (19%).

TE13 Logan Thomas

Inefficient as full-time route runner. TE2.

WR26 Terry McLaurin

At least 10.9 xFPs in all games. Upside WR2.

WR87 Cam Sims

27-of-28 routes in Week 11. Dontrelle Inman back, too.

WR88 Isaiah Wright

Week 11 routes: CS (27-of-28), IW (11), SS (11).

WR89 Steven Sims

Battling Wright for slot snaps in 3-WR sets.



Thanksgiving Day Rankings


QB (Tier)

RB (Tier)

WR (Tier)

TE (Tier)


Deshaun Watson (1)

Ezekiel Elliott (1)

Terry McLaurin (1)

T.J. Hockenson (1)


Matthew Stafford (2)

Duke Johnson (2)

Will Fuller (1)Logan Thomas (2)


Andy Dalton (3)

Antonio Gibson (2)

Brandin Cooks (1)Dalton Schultz (2)


Alex Smith (3)

J.D. McKissic (2)

Amari Cooper (2)Jordan Akins (3)



Kerryon Johnson (2)

CeeDee Lamb (2)Darren Fells (4)



Adrian Peterson (2)

Marvin Jones (2)

Jesse James (4)



Tony Pollard (3)

Michael Gallup (3)Pharaoh Brown (4)



C.J. Prosise (3)

Marvin Hall (3)Luke Wilson (5)


  Keke Coutee (3) 


  Mohamed Sanu (4) 


  Steven Sims (4) 


  Dontrelle Inman (4) 


  Isaiah Wright (5) 


  Cam Sims (5) 


  Noah Brown (5) 
16.   Quintez Cephus (5) 


Thanksgiving DFS Stacks

Like everyone else, I think Houston stacks project the best given their slate-high team total and cupcake matchup. To differentiate, I'll be pairing Deshaun with one of his tight ends a lot instead of only firing away with Deshaun/Fuller/Cooks. Even outside of Houston, most of my stacks will include a tight end whether that's from the quarterback's team or as a bring back from the other side of the ball. For example, Dalton/Cooper/Lamb/Thomas. Lastly, I'll try to use at least two players from the night game to give me reasonable options of late swapping. 


Pass Catcher 1

Pass Catcher 2

Bring Back

Deshaun Watson

Will Fuller

Jordan Akins

Marvin Jones

Deshaun Watson

Brandin Cooks

Jordan Akins

Adrian Peterson

Deshaun Watson

Will Fuller

Brandin Cooks

T.J. Hockenson

Deshaun WatsonWill FullerKeke CouteeMarvin Jones
Deshaun WatsonBrandin CooksKeke CouteeT.J. Hockenson
Deshaun WatsonWill FullerBrandin CooksKerryon Johnson

Andy Dalton

Amari Cooper

Dalton Schultz

Terry McLaurin

Andy Dalton

Amari Cooper

CeeDee Lamb

Logan Thomas

Andy Dalton

Amari Cooper

Michael Gallup

J.D. McKissic

Matthew Stafford

Marvin Jones

T.J. Hockenson

Will Fuller


Follow me on Twitter (@HaydenWinks).