Thursday is a rare day where we get a three game slate in the NFL, and it is a very important day for fantasy. Your league mates could be distracted by food and their families, so it’s important to be ahead of the curve and make the right plays this week as the playoffs approach. Let’s take a look at each game and breakdown the top plays from each team.
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
Both these teams are on a roll as of late, but the Vikings are road favorites, as their defense has really performed well as of late. Despite the tough matchup, Matthew Stafford likely won’t post gaudy numbers, but will do fine in this spot, as the running game will likely struggle against a tough Vikings defensive front. Minnesota cornerback Xavier Jones is likely to be matched up with Golden Tate, opening up some downfield shots for Stafford, and even over the middle for Eric Ebron. Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay will both have opportunities to make some big plays. On the Vikings side, Case Keenum has come alive as of late with 7 touchdowns in his last 3 games. The offense is really shining as the running backs have done well with the tandem of Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. Lions cornerback Darius Slay will likely match up with Stefon Diggs, meaning Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph should see plenty of work.
Top Plays: Stafford, Jones, Golladay, Keenum, Thielen, Rudolph, Murray
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Chargers offense is coming off an explosive game against the Bills, but a lot of that had to do with the defense putting them in great field position after intercepting Nathan Peterman five times in the first half of the game. That being said, the Cowboys defense has not been good without their injured star linebacker Sean Lee, so the Chargers should be able to produce a lot of points again. I can see this predominately coming from the running backs, making Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler very good plays. Philip Rivers might not have to throw too much, making Keenan Allen the only guy that really stands out in the passing game. The outlook for Dallas will depend on whether or not they get their star left tackle Tyron Smith back. If he plays, this upgrades Dak Prescott, Alfred Morris, and the rest of the weapons for Dallas. They have looked helpless without Smith.
Top Plays: Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, Dak Prescott and Alfred Morris (If Tyron Smith plays)
New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins
The Giants are a complete mess, and as usual only have two viable options in my eyes. Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard are weekly starts as they are the only options Eli Manning has currently. The Redskins really struggle against the tight end so Engram is an elite play. The Redskins have their own share of problems, but still have been able to grind out some wins despite losing Terrelle Pryor, Chris Thompson, Jordan Reed, and Rob Kelley the past couple of weeks. All these injuries have opened up some value for Samaje Perine, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder and Vernon Davis, as Kirk Cousins has played pretty well with his new arsenal of weapons. The Giants are the worst in the league against the tight end so Vernon Davis is in another great spot. Josh Doctson has big play ability, but will be matched up with top cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Crowder stands out to me as the top target this week against a weak pass defense.
Top Plays: Evan Engram, Kirk Cousins, Vernon Davis, Jamison Crowder, Redskins Defense