Despite six of the top fantasy scoring teams having played on Thanksgiving, there is still a full schedule of games in the Sunday-Monday leagues due to the completion of bye weeks.
With no Cam Newton or Aaron Rodgers nor Calvin Johnson or Carolina Panthers defense, more parity will be created in this weekend’s fantasy football play as players will be forced out of their normal selection comfort zone.
Here’s where to go with your $60,000:
A new defensive coordinator in New Orleans, former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen could be exactly what the NFL’s worst defense needs to make a massive turnaround.
But even if the Saints shave five points from their average per game fantasy points allowed to the quarterback position, they will still be tied for the most in the league.
Unfortunately, though, that will not happen as DeAndre Hopkins will continue on his nearly 20-point per-game pace.
At an $8,100 salary, Arizona Cardinal passer Carson Palmer faces a San Francisco 49ers defense allowing only six points per game less than the Saints.
Add on the fact that wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has made a career of torching 49 defensive backs and you’ve got a lock.
As the San Diego Chargers continue to search for a reliable running game, they will continue to line Danny Woodhead up in the backfield as a modified slot receiver.
Bringing almost 13 fantasy points per game into a matchup with a middle-of-the-pack fantasy run defense, and carrying a salary of $6,100, Woodhead is a promising value pick.
No Devonta Freeman means that you’ll have to look elsewhere in search of a running back to carry your team.
Luckily, in that same game, the Minnesota Vikings will give the ball to the third highest fantasy scoring running back, Adrian Peterson, against an Atlanta Falcons defense allowing the sixth most points to players at the position. Take AP all day.
The Baltimore Ravens, like the Saints, have struggled to slow the fantasy production of wide receivers. With Josh McCown back under center, his favorite target Travis Benjamin will re-emerge as a top performer.
Only two receivers in the NFL rival Hopkins’ fantasy production, both of whom face teams among the top at preventing fantasy production to wideouts. “Nuk,” against a terrible Saints defense, is a clear choice.
Being that his salary – $5,800 – has not yet caught up to his recent production, Reed is an excellent value selection.
Though the Oakland Raiders have tightened it up against opposing tight ends, they still allow the third most fantasy points to the position.
This week they face one of the most productive big receivers, who also happens to be his quarterbacks favorite target, in Delanie Walker. The Tennessee Titan tight end is the top pick.
The Texans offense is almost guaranteed to move the ball at will, thus kicker Nick Novak will get his opportunities. Kicking the ball indoors, at NGR Stadium, Novak is a smart value selection.
Unlike the rest of the NFL’s kickers, Seahawk leg man Steven Hauschka doesn’t care about the weather or field conditions. Facing the Pittsburgh Steelers defense that has allowed the ball to be moved, will give Seattle’s kicker his opportunities.
The Kansas City Chiefs defense has been on a bit of a hot streak, scoring double-digit fantasy points in five of their last six games. Facing an inconsistent Buffalo Bills offense in the league’s loudest stadium is a promising option at a mid-level cost.
The last time the Cardinals and 49ers squared off, Arizona picked off five passes and returned two for scores en route to 28 points.
The San Francisco quarterback has changed since then, but the running game has only gone backwards. Twenty-eight might not be the number this time around, but the Cards defense is a productive play nonetheless.
After three Thursday games that provided several fantasy upsets, we should all be thankful for a full docket of 13 games in the main leagues as it allows us more options for our daily fantasy lineups.