The Thanksgiving NFL slate on DraftKings kicks off with a tradition like no other, a Detroit Lions team that not many care about on our televisions while we feast. This year, they’ll be hosting the Houston Texans in what could end up being a good game from a fantasy perspective. Let’s take a look at making those DraftKings Showdown lineups for this game.
Houston Texans: WR Kenny Stills (out), WR Randall Cobb (out)
Detroit Lions: WR Kenny Golladay (out), RB D’Andre Swift (questionable), WR Danny Amendola (out)
Deshaun Watson ($19,800 CP) — We start off with the most obvious and expensive captain in Watson. His dual-threat capabilities gives him a safe floor and the tremendous upside you seek at this position. The Lions have not been a team you fear to start opposing quarterbacks against, as they’ve allowed an average of 270 passing yards, 18 total touchdowns and an average of 7.6 yards per pass attempt. They haven’t faced many mobile quarterbacks but we saw Mitch Trubisky and Kyler Murray both go for over 25 yards in the first two weeks of the season.
Watson should also be working with a clean pocket, as the Lions’ pass rush is near the bottom of the league. Last week against a Patriots team that only pressured Watson on 27% of his dropbacks, Watson carved up the Patriots’ secondary, averaging 10.2 YPA with an 89.3% adjusted completion percentage and two touchdowns. Using him at captain leaves you with an average of only $6,040 for your five flex spots but it’s likely he’s one of, if not the highest scoring player in this game.
Editor’s note: Lions RB D’Andre Swift (concussion) is inactive and OUT today vs. the Texans.
D’Andre Swift ($12,600 CP) — Of course, this all hinges on Swift being active for this game. If he is, this matchup is mouthwatering for him. When he was announced as the starter for Week 10 against Washington, Swift played on a season-high 73% of the snaps, handled 76.2% of the carries and 46.7% of the total touches. He split the touches in the red zone with Adrian Peterson ($7,500 CP/$5,000 FLEX) in the red zone but this truly was his offense to handle.
Swift as a captain makes sense in a lineup build with the Lions winning. With Swift at captain, Watson with multiple pass catchers make a lot of sense. To that end, even if the Lions are down, Swift drew five targets in Week 10. The run defense on both sides is putrid and the Texans are allowing an average of 32.6 DKFP, 145 rushing and 40.6 receiving yards per game. If Week 10 was any indication, Swift would make for a great captain play with huge upside if he is active.
Other to consider: Brandin Cooks ($14,700)
Keke Coutee ($3,400) — This game could be full of value plays if some of those names listed in the injury section are ruled out. Randall Cobb has officially been ruled out, so Coutee could take over as the primary slot receiver in this game. He took over that role early for Cobb last week and made two catches on four targets and a touchdown, good for 9.0 DKFP. In coverage, Coutee will draw CB Justin Coleman, who through five games has been targeted against 23 times and has allowed 17 receptions for 133 yards. Coutee is way too cheap for the role he’ll be taking on and is a near lock for lineups, especially with Watson at captain.
Marvin Jones Jr. ($7,400) — Jones draws arguably the best matchup among the Lions receivers against CB Vernon Hargreaves. In coverage, Hargreaves has been targeted against 53 times, allowing 35 receptions for a massive 14.6 YPR and two touchdowns scored. With Golladay out the past three weeks, Jones has averaged a 19.7% target share, which is a slight bump from his average of 16.6% on the season. Jones is second on the team in red zone target share at 17.3%, trailing only T.J. Hockenson ($7,200). Overall, this is a very fair price for someone has involved as Jones, even if Golladay returns.
Jesse James ($200) — We do have a lot of studs that are worth trying to jam into your lineup, so you’ll likely have to go way off the board to fit them in. James is a decent dart throw, as he does see some targets in the red zone. In all, James has accounted for 9.6% of the overall red zone targets, which believe it or not is fifth on the team. James is not going to be involved in much otherwise, as he’s running a route on just 68% of snaps, which is way behind Hockenson at 89%. Nonetheless, if James ends up grabbing a touchdown, you would have a huge advantage in a big field tournament.
Duke Johnson ($7,800) — It’s hard to get behind Johnson, even against one of the worst run defenses in the league. He simply hasn’t been efficient when carrying the ball and he’s averaging an abysmal 2.8 YPC on the season. His 2.2 yards after contact is also one of the lowest in the league, and is in the same company as players like Malcolm Brown, Mark Ingram and Benny Snell Jr.
Granted, Johnson is seeing a healthy amount of touches, averaging 30.5% in two weeks without David Johnson. However, he only has one red zone carry in that span while Watson is leading with three. Johnson was getting heavy usage in the red zone, averaging 2.7 touches per game and that simply hasn’t translated to Johnson, as Watson has either handled it himself or gone to his wide receivers, specifically Coutee last week.
In all, Johnson shouldn’t be a total fade because as mentioned, the matchup is good. However, if his ownership is going to be high, which is expected, I’ll happily be underweight on him.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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