Stefon Diggs, Tony Pollard, Justin Jefferson and more

While traditional fantasy football formats dominate the landscape, managers can find many ways to play the game they love. Underdog Pick’em contests allow managers to put their player projection skills to the test by predicting players’ stat lines.

Here are the best Underdog Pick’em games for Thanksgiving as the Buffalo Bills take on the Detroit Lions, the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants and the New England Patriots take on the Minnesota Vikings.

The best outsider picks for the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day games

Underdog Pick’ems allow fantasy managers to project stat lines and fantasy point totals for nearly all fantasy-bound players. Here, the more selections you add to your entry, the higher the profit.

The levels are two players for 3x, three for 6x, four for 10x and finally five for 20x, progressing with each additional pick’em you add to your entry.

With Underdog Fantasy, it’s a brand new season every week, regardless of how your other leagues are doing right now. Sign up today and get a 100% deposit bonus up to $100. As for my recommendations, below are my top picks for Thanksgiving Underdog.

Dak Prescott over 249.5 passing yards

Underdog gives us a free hand. Dak Prescott is the Thanksgiving booster, and if you use it in your Underdog Pick’em, two-player picks move from 3x to 5x, 6x moves to 10x, 10x moves to 15x, and the biggest of them all, 20x moves up to 100x if you nail all players in your Pick’em.

However, there is a $1 maximum allowed, so you can’t break the bank and you can only use it once to get a boost. After that, Prescott was treated like a typical player.

MORE: Week 12 Non-PPR Fantasy Football Rankings

Prescott was outstanding on Thanksgiving and is looking to make it his third straight 350-yard passing game. He has a 278.6 passer average and has nine career touchdowns entering Thanksgiving.

Prescott is coming off a 20.1 PPR game against the Vikings last week. I’ll have the higher of his passing yardage as one of my Underdog Pick’ems.

Jared Goff Under 16.15 fantasy points

Jared Goff was actually one of the best stories this year. He started the year on fire, but hasn’t touched the top 12 since Week 4. It really hasn’t even been close.

Goff has just one top-16 game over the past six games and hasn’t scored more than 15 fantasy points in any game since Week 4. Now he can play against the Bills, who still have one of the best pass defenses in the league, despite giving up some production the last few games.

I just don’t see Goff hitting 16 fantasy points unless it’s for massive garbage production and multiple passing touchdowns. I’ll take him lower in a brutal matchup.

Justin Jefferson Higher than 88.5 receiving yards

My waistline couldn’t make it through Thanksgiving every week, but it’s so refreshing to enjoy a multi-game Thursday night lineup, especially when one of those options is Justin Jefferson.

Jefferson enters Week 12 with 4,109 receiving yards and could pass Randy Moss (4,163) and Odell Beckham Jr. (4,122) for the most by any player through the first three seasons. Since 2020, Jefferson is second in the NFL with 20 games of 100 or more receiving yards, the most by a player in his first three seasons.

Jefferson is once again the vertical target he was in his first two years. With TJ Hockenson on the field and taking over the extra role that previously went to Adam Thielen, Jefferson’s aDOT rose from 8.9 to 15.2, and his deep percentage climbed 10% to 23.3%.

Unless Jefferson is hurt or they don’t have a quarterback, I don’t think you’ll ever see me do anything other than take higher than his receiving projections.

TJ Hockenson Higher than 9.35 fantasy points

We have to remember that Underdog uses half-point PPR scoring, but that shouldn’t be a problem for TJ Hockenson.

After his surprise move at the trade deadline, Hockenson has a target share of 24%, which is second on the team. He has finished as T5, TE7 and TE11, respectively, with at least nine targets in each game.

I don’t even mind his projections of 4.5 receptions and 45.5 receptions. What I think helps Hockenson in this case is finding the end zone. New England is tied for the most touchdowns allowed at the position, 17th most yards and is 23rd in points per game.

Stefon Diggs Over 7.0 receptions

This feels like one of those squeaky wheel games, not that Stefon Diggs needs one. Diggs recorded his eighth touchdown of the season in Week 11 and in the process recorded his fifth straight 1,000-yard season. While Diggs may have been a little upset about his target share, that’s not a problem.

MORE: James Cook Waiver Wire Week 12

Diggs is the WR1 in fantasy and has the sixth-highest target percentage (29.4%) with a 35.6% air-yard percentage (14th). He’s also in the top three in most major statistical categories. Watch Allen feed Diggs on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions and clean up your 7.0 reception projection for the Underdog.

Saquon Barkley Higher than 0.5 in rushing and receiving touchdowns

Simply put, if New York wants to keep this game close, Saquon Barkley needs to be special. He also needs to find the end zone. New York lost Wan’Dale Robinson to a torn ACL last week, and I’m pretty sure they wish they had a speedy wide receiver with first-round value on the roster, but that’s about it.

Barkley has averaged nearly 125 total yards with three rushing touchdowns in his four road games this year and scored a touchdown the last time these teams met in Week 3. Unless this game is a blowout, it’s hard for me to see New York will remain in this game without Barkley hitting higher in his projection.

Tony Pollard Higher than 67.5 rushing yards

I wish Underdog would give us a combined yardage here, but Tony Pollard is playing too well for that to happen. Last week, he exploded for 189 total yards and two scores on 21 touches, becoming just the fourth player since 1990 with 75+ yards rushing (80), 100+ yards receiving (100) and two receiving touchdowns in a game.

In Week 3 when these teams met in Dallas, Pollard rushed for 105 yards on 13 carries. He’s looking to make it his fourth straight game with a touchdown and his fifth game with 100+ yards per scrimmage.

Despite all Jerry Jones says, Pollard is the better running back. He is first in yards after contact per attempt and looks like a lightning rod on the field.

I’m sure Ezekiel Elliott will have some volume — as is the Thanksgiving tradition — but if Pollard hits 15+ touches, it’s game over. The Giants are 28th in rushing DVOA, 25th in EPA and 16th in hitting. Feed me Pollard on Thanksgiving.

Dalton Schultz Higher than 35.5 receiving yards

It wouldn’t be a full plate without a serving of tight ends, and I’m going straight to Dalton Schultz on Thanksgiving to top his surprisingly low 35.5-yard projection.

As of Week 7, Schultz is fifth in both targets and receiving yards and is facing a Giants defense that is 30th in DVOA and in the bottom seven in catch percentage, receiving yards and receiving yards.

I’m fine with Schultz’s reception projection of 4.0, too, but I’d like it better if it was at 3.5. Either way, Schultz is one of my favorite Underdog Pick’ems for Thanksgiving.

Graham Gano Higher than 1.5 goals per game

It might not be the first instinct to look at kickers, but Graham Gano deserves a little more attention. He had a pretty bad performance last week, but that’s understandable.

Gano missed Friday’s practice due to an illness, but tried to play it. His first extra point was missed because it was partially blocked and pushed due to wind. His second hit a right straight.

Entering the game, Gano was a perfect 17-of-17 on extra points and had made two or more field goals in six of his previous nine games. The game is expected to be close, and with the lack of talent at receiver, if the Giants have to settle for a field goal, Gano exceeding 1.5 field goals is a good formula.

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