At this point in season-long fantasy football, you probably have a good idea as to whether you will be reaching your league’s playoffs. And if your postseason chances are looking bleak, there’s no better time to turn to daily fantasy football.
This week gets kind of tricky, as there are three Thanksgiving Day contests to go along with the usual Sunday and Monday evening clashes. But fear not, there still are more than enough high-end players to choose from.
Below is our “optimal lineup” for DraftKings’ main Sunday slate (early afternoon and late afternoon games), which allots a $50,000 budget for a roster of nine players.
Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks ($5,600)
Wilson quietly is having one of the best seasons among quarterbacks in the 2018 campaign. The Seahawks signal-caller has thrown for multiple touchdowns in all but one game this season and only has tossed five interceptions, two of which came in the season opener. Seattle needs Wilson to keep playing at a high level in hopes of reaching the playoffs, with Sunday’s road tilt in Carolina serving as the next hurdle to clear. The Panthers aren’t exceptionally strong against the pass, so look for Wilson to light it up.
Running Backs: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers ($7,900); Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers ($5,700)
After Cam Newton, McCaffrey is by far the most important piece of the Panthers’ offense. The second-year back is even more of a threat as a pass catcher than he is as a pure rusher, averaging six receptions per game. McCaffrey has seven total touchdowns in his last four games, and a matchup with a weak Seahawks defense presents a favorable opportunity for the 22-year-old to keep things going.
As for Breida, his season largely has been slowed by injuries, but he’s starting to pick things up. The second-year back is coming off his best game of the season against the New York Giants, rushing for 101 yards with a touchdown on 17 carries while catching three passes for 31 yards with another score. And since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can’t stop a nosebleed, Breida has a great chance to shine in Week 12.
Wide Receivers: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,700); Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns ($5,900); John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals ($4,100)
We probably don’t need to sell you much on Evans, who is one of the best deep threats in the NFL. Bucs quarterbacks always have their eyes out for the 6-foot-5 wideout, who averages just over nine targets per game.
Landry admittedly isn’t a touchdown machine, but he racks up catches like few other. The Bengals have struggled mightily against the pass this season so you can look for Landry to tear up Cincinnati’s secondary this Sunday.
Ross has struggled to stay on the field this season, though he’s been productive when healthy. The speedster has caught four touchdowns in the six games he’s played on the campaign, and with A.J. Green still sidelined, Andy Dalton could turn Ross’ way more than usual.
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots ($5,100)
It’s been a frustrating season for Gronkowski, who’s missed three of the Patriots’ last four games and only has one touchdown on the season. But the star tight end is expected to return in Week 12, and New England often lights up the scoreboard coming off a bye. Tom Brady likely will be looking get Gronkowski back in sync with the offense ahead of the playoffs.
Flex: Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles ($3,800)
It’s been somewhat of a merry-go-round for the Eagles at running back of late, but Adams is shaping up to be the featured back moving forward. Adams was one of the lone bright spots for Philly in Week 11 against a tough Saints defense, so a Week 12 matchup against a struggling Giants defense provides an even greater opportunity for the rookie to break out.
Defense: Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,000)
The Jaguars lately have been a shell of themselves, but how could you not be confident in Jacksonville’s defense going up against the abysmal Buffalo Bills offense? Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12, the Jags likely will be playing pissed off in hopes of winning their first game since Week 4.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports