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Bears vs. Lions Thanksgiving Day Showdown Game Breakdown and NFL DFS Picks




Thanksgiving Day NFL DFS picks DraftKings FanDuel showdown daily fantasy football lineup optimizer optimal picks projections rankings today tonight schedule football games

Welcome to the special Thanksgiving Day NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel Showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Bears vs. Lions Thanksgiving Day matchup.

Bears vs. Lions Thanksgiving NFL DFS Showdown

In the first game of the Thanksgiving Day triple-header, the Bears, down starting quarterback Justin Fields, limp their way into Detroit to take on the 0-9-1 Lions, who will likely get Jared Goff back. Despite both offenses ranking among the bottom five in the NFL, this matchup quietly has some offensive upside due to their paltry play of both defenses, particularly over the last few weeks. These two squads also combine for the lowest total point differential (-194) of any two teams. This could easily be a matchup where lineups that heavily feature defenses and kickers ultimately have the last laugh.

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David Montgomery ($11,200 DraftKings/$13,500 FanDuel) has seen his two highest snap shares of the season in his first two games back from a knee injury that held him out of action for five weeks. While the production has been unspectacular so far, he has led the Bears in opportunities two straight weeks, earning 15 looks in each game. Montgomery ranks outside the top 50 running backs in yards created per touch and fantasy points per opportunity, and he has plenty of expected volume. Especially with Andy Dalton back under center, Montgomery should be fed early and often as the Bears likely look to control the clock against the Lions. Montgomery has the highest median projection of any player on the slate.

The Lions have continued to feed D’Andre Swift ($11,600 DraftKings/$14,500 FanDuel) regardless of game script and have even ramped up his workload in recent weeks. Swift saw a staggering 39 opportunities in Week 10 and is averaging 21.8 looks per game over his last four starts. He has at least six targets in seven of 10 games, giving a solid boost to his floor and ceiling projection. The Bears have been no better than league average against opposing running backs, ranking 16th in NFL in yards allowed per carry. Swift’s intensely high salary on FanDuel makes him somewhat difficult to get to, but based on the lack of expected production from either quarterback in this matchup, most fantasy gamers should not have a problem finding a space for Swift.

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While rostering pass catchers in fantasy football always means taking on an increased level of volatility, the only thing close to a sure thing in either receiving game is the Bears Darnell Mooney ($9,800 DraftKings/$12,000 FanDuel). He should once-again operate as the de facto No. 1 with Allen Robinson likely sidelined another week. Mooney has played on 85% or more of Bears snaps in four of the team’s last five games and saw six or more targets in all but one game during that span. Mooney was targeted 16 times last weekend, 11 times by Andy Dalton ($10,400 DraftKings/$15,000 FanDuel), and nearly won Chicago the game with a 62-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter. Having led the NFL in target share in two separate weeks already, Mooney is a significantly safer bet than the Lions’ number one option T.J. Hockenson ($8,200 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel), though it was encouraging to see Hockenson involved consistently in Week 11 after a disappointing one-target outing in Week 10. Hockenson and Mooney have median projections on DraftKings that rival the two quarterbacks in this game.

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On platforms where they are available, the Lions ($2,600 DraftKings) are plenty viable in this spot. Dalton has been highly underwhelming as a starting quarterback over the last two seasons and could easily implode, even against the porous Detroit defense that ranks bottom 10 in several key defensive metrics. When filling-in for the injured Dak Prescott in 2020, Dalton ranked outside the top 25 quarterbacks in adjusted yards per attempt, true completion percentage and fantasy points per dropback, and he ranked outside the top 30 in fantasy points per game. He has thrown for 300 yards just one time since December 2019. The Bears ($5,800 DraftKings) are equally appealing from a projections standpoint as well, but the salary differential between the two ($3,200) is quite significant. Both make for viable Captain plays, as multiple turnovers are squarely in both quarterbacks’ ranges of outcomes. In the same vein, if entering multiple lineups, do not be afraid to roster plenty of the kickers, as both Cairo Santos ($4,000 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel) and Aldrick Rosas ($3,600 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel) fall into the “mediocre but playable” category in a game that could get ugly offensively.

While D’Andre Swift may have the starting role locked down in Detroit, the Lions were thrilled to welcome back Jamaal Williams ($4,800 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) to his customary backup role in Week 11. Williams has played on more than 25% of the Lions’ snaps in all but one game and has seen nine or more carries in 62.5% of games he has been active in. While Williams ranks outside the top 40 running backs in per-touch efficiency, he is still a threat to vulture a goal-line carry. But with limited guaranteed playing time, Williams remains an option reserved only for large-field tournaments.

Cole Kmet ($5,000 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) was the only player besides Mooney and Montgomery to play on more than 80% of Chicago’s snaps last weekend. However, he only saw two looks and a 6% target share, a far cry from the 6.7 targets per game he had been averaging in the three games leading up to Week 11. In spite of playing on an anemic offense, Kmet is in the midst of a breakout second season, ranking ninth at his position in target share and in air yards share and third in targets of 20 yards or more downfield. Participating on a solid 70.5% of the team’s routes, Kmet is an outside threat to lead the receiving corps in opportunity. But as last week proved, the volatility for Kmet still remains, making him a good-not-great option at his modest salary. He and the Lions’ Josh Reynolds ($1,400 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) represent the lowest-salary access to a 6-point median projection.

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The Bottom Line

While there is always a chance for high-quality football, this game has all the makings of an ugly football game. Goff might actually be the more talented quarterback in this matchup, as Dalton has thrown for under 225 yards in the six of his last nine games in which he is thrown 20 or more passes. The only saving grace is that both defenses are equally poor, ranking in the bottom half of the league in yards allowed per pass and points allowed per play over the last six weeks.

Bears vs. Lions Thanksgiving Day Prediction: Bears 20, Lions 17

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We also have DraftKings showdown projections and NFL showdown ownership projections. Take a look at our inactive player list, depth charts and NFL starting lineups. View our FanDuel DFS NFL ownership rankings and our DraftKings NFL DFS ownership rankings. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS data for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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