While traditional fantasy football formats have dominated the landscape, managers can find numerous ways to play the game they love. Underdog Pick’em contests allow managers to put their player-projection skills to the test by predicting player stat lines.
Here are the top Underdog Pick’em plays for Thanksgiving Day as the Buffalo Bills face the Detroit Lions, the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants, and the New England Patriots take on the Minnesota Vikings.
Top Underdog Pick’ems for NFL Thanksgiving Day Games
Underdog Pick’ems allow fantasy managers to predict stat lines and fantasy-point totals for almost all fantasy-relevant players. Here, the more selections you add to your entry, the higher the payout.
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, no matter how your other leagues are going at the moment. Sign up today and get a 100% deposit bonus of up to $100. As for my recommendations, below are my top Underdog Pick’ems for Thanksgiving.
Dak Prescott Higher Than 249.5 Passing Yards
Underdog is giving us a free handout. Dak Prescott is the booster for Thanksgiving, and if you use him in your Underdog Pick’em, two-player picks move from 3x to 5x, 6x moves to 10x, 10x goes to 15x, and the big one of them all, 20x moves to 100x if you nail all players in your Pick’em.
However, there’s only a $1 max allowed, so you can’t break the bank, and you can only use him once to get the boost. After that, Prescott is treated like a typical player.
Prescott has been exceptional on Thanksgiving, and he’s looking to make it his third-straight game with 350 passing yards. He’s averaged 278.6 passing yards and has nine career touchdowns on Thanksgiving.
Prescott is coming off a 20.1 PPR outing against the Vikings last week. I will have the higher on his passing yardage as one of my Underdog Pick’ems.
Jared Goff Lower Than 16.15 Fantasy Points
Jared Goff has actually been one of the better stories this year. He started off the year on fire but hasn’t touched the top 12 since Week 4. It really hasn’t even been close, either.
Goff has only one game inside the top 16 over the last six games and hasn’t scored above 15 fantasy points in any game since Week 4. Now, he gets to play the Bills, who still have one of the best pass defenses in the league despite giving up some production over the last few games.
I just don’t see Goff hitting 16 fantasy points unless for massive garbage-time production and multiple passing touchdowns. I’ll take the lower on him in a brutal matchup.
Justin Jefferson Higher Than 88.5 Receiving Yards
My waistline could not survive 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 can pass Randy Moss (4,163) and Odell Beckham Jr. (4,122) for the most by a player in the first three seasons. Since 2020, Jefferson is second in the NFL with 20 games of 100 or more receiving yards, which is the most by a player in the first three seasons.
Jefferson is back to being the vertical target he was over his first two years. With T.J. Hockenson on the field and taking the complementary role that used to go to Adam Thielen, Jefferson’s aDOT has risen from 8.9 to 15.2, and the deep rate has climbed 10% up to 23.3%.
Unless Jefferson is hurt or they don’t have a quarterback, I don’t think you’ll ever see me doing anything but taking the higher on his receiving projections.
T.J. Hockenson Higher Than 9.35 Fantasy Points
We must remember Underdog uses half-point PPR scoring, but that should be no problem for T.J. Hockenson.
Since his surprising move at the trade deadline, Hockenson has a 24% target share, which is second most on the team. He’s finished as a 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 receiving yards, either. What I think helps Hockenson, in this case, is finding the end zone. New England is tied for the most touchdowns allowed to the position, the 17th-most yards, and is 23rd in points per game.
Stefon Diggs Higher Than 7.0 Receptions
This feels like one of those squeaky wheel games, not that Stefon Diggs needs it. 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 might’ve been a little upset about his target share, that hasn’t been a problem.
Diggs is the WR1 in fantasy and has the sixth-highest target share (29.4%) with a 35.6% air-yard share (14th). He’s also top three in most major statistical categories. Watch for Allen to force-feed Diggs on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions and clear his 7.0 reception projection for Underdog.
Saquon Barkley Higher Than 0.5 Rushing and Receiving Touchdowns
Simply put, if New York wants to keep this game close, Saquon Barkley has to be special. He also has 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 rapid wide receiver with first-round value on the roster, but so much for that.
Barkley is averaging nearly 125 total yards with three rushing touchdowns in his four road games this year and scored the last time these teams met in Week 3. Unless this game is a blowout, I have a hard time seeing how New York stays in this game without Barkley hitting the higher on his projection.
Tony Pollard Higher Than 67.5 Rushing Yards
I wish Underdog gave 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 the fourth player since 1990 with 75+ rushing yards (80), 100+ receiving yards (100), and two receiving touchdowns in a single game.
In Week 3, when these teams met in Dallas, Pollard rushed for 105 yards off of 13 carries. He’s looking to make it his fourth game in a row with a touchdown and his fifth game with 100+ scrimmage yards.
Despite everything Jerry Jones says, Pollard is the better running back. He’s first in yards after contact per attempt and seems like a lightning rod on the field.
I’m sure Ezekiel Elliott will have some volume — as is tradition on Thanksgiving — but if Pollard hits 15+ touches, it’s game over. The Giants are 28th in rush DVOA, 25th in EPA, and 16th in success rate. 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 go higher than his surprisingly low projection of 35.5 receiving yards.
Since Week 7, Schultz is fifth in both targets and receiving yards and is matching up against a Giants defense that is 30th in DVOA and sits inside the bottom seven in catch rate, receiving yards, and yards per reception.
I’m okay with Schultz’s 4.0 reception projection too, but I would have liked it more 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 Field Goals
It might not be the first instinct to look at kickers, but Graham Gano deserves a little bit more attention. He had a pretty lousy performance last week, but it’s explainable.
Gano missed practice on Friday due to an illness but tried playing through it. His first extra point was missed because it was partially blocked and pushed off due to wind. His second hit the right upright.
Coming into the game, Gano was a perfect 17 of 17 on extra points and had made two or more field goals in six of his nine previous games. It’s expected to be a close game, and with the lack of talent at receiver, if the Giants have to settle for field goals, Gano going higher than 1.5 field goals made is a good formula.