Thanksgiving IDP Preview

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Thanksgiving IDP Preview

Houston Texans (3-7) at Detroit Lions (4-6)

Overview

Our first game features two head coaches fighting more for their futures than a playoff spot. Matt Patricia’s overly complicated defense hasn’t gone according to plan, while interim HC and defensive Grandmaster Romeo Crenel has instituted a minor turnaround for the Texans that may result in a coaching job in Houston or elsewhere next year. Who knows? Maybe he’ll be in Detroit next year if the Lions don’t turn things around themselves and soon.

Home Stat Crew

The crew at Ford Field is perfectly average in overall tackles awarded. But with an 80:20 split of solos-to-assists, they do award more solos than Houston’s home crew (although Houston’s crew awards more tackles overall). Look for Houston’s offensive pace and Ford Field’s love of solos to help both sides by a few solos.

Matchups to Watch

Everson Griffen/Romeo Okwara vs. Houston O-line

Okwara and Griffin have made a nice pass-rushing pair since Griffen came over from Dallas. But the two will have an uphill battle this week, as the Texans are a bottom-5 team for opposing DL production. They’re not particularly stingy in any one category, just noticeably below average in tackles per game (12.8), TFL (1.3), and sacks (1.3). Let’s see if Griffen and Okwara can change that.

Worth Starting

Defensive Linemen

Romeo Okwara (Det)

J.J. Watt (Hou)

Linebackers

Jamie Collins (Det)

Zach Cunningham (Hou)

Defensive Backs

None of note.

Worth Considering

Defensive Linemen

Everson Griffen (Det)

Linebackers

Tyrell Adams (Hou)

Defensive Backs

Tracy Walker (Det)

Jeff Okudah (Det)

Justin Reid (Hou)

Worth a Shot If You Need Them

Defensive Linemen

Danny Shelton (Det)

Ross Blacklock (Hou)

Linebackers

Reggie Ragland (Det)

Jacob Martin (Hou)

Whitney Mercilus (Hou)

Defensive Backs

Duron Harmon (Det)

Washington Football Team (3-7) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7)

Overview

The battle for NFC East supremacy should be hyperbole when you’re discussing two 3-win teams, but it’s 2020, so here we are. This matchup features two veteran QBs that no one imagined we’d be seeing. Alex Smith v. Andy Dalton seems more 2015 than 2020, but again, here we are. Dallas finally got Dalton back, who will attempt to get their season back on track, while Washington answers with Smith, who has been a steadying presence on an anemic offense.

Home Stat Crew

Both the Washington and Dallas crews award a frustrating amount of assists vs. solos, but the Dallas crew gives out fewer tackles overall. This might not be a big tackle game for any particular IDP, but I’m not sitting my starters because of it. Just be prepared for a typically 6-2 box score to be more like 3-3 this week.

Matchups to Watch

Pass-rushing DBs vs. Veteran QBs

Young safeties Donovan Wilson and Kamren Curl have been making an impact on their respective teams lately, including increased activity as pass-rushers. These rookies will try to trick these veteran QBs who have likely seen it all, but neither QB moves…well…at ALL, really.

Worth Starting

Defensive Linemen

Chase Young (Was)

Montez Sweat (Was)

DeMarcus Lawrence (Dal)

Linebackers

Jaylon Smith (Dal)

Leighton Vander Esch (Dal)

Defensive Backs

Kamren Curl (Was)

Worth Considering

Defensive Linemen

Jonathan Allen (Was)

DaRon Payne (Was)

Aldon Smith (Dal)

Linebackers

None of note.

Defensive Backs

Kendall Fuller (Was)

Ronald Darby (Was)

Donovan Wilson (Dal)

Worth a Shot If You Need Them

Defensive Linemen

Randy Gregory (Dal)

Linebackers

Ryan Kerrigan (Was)

Jon Bostic (Was)

Cole Holcomb (Was)

Defensive Backs

Chidobe Awuzie (Dal)

Baltimore Ravens (6-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0)

Overview

While the first two games on the slate feature a total of 13 wins between four teams, the Steelers almost match that by themselves. And while the Ravens have had trouble fixing their offense since Tennessee exploited them in last year’s playoffs, they’re still a dangerous team heading toward the postseason.

Home Stat Crew

Pittsburgh boasts a generous scoring crew, awarding a solo-heavy top-10 amount of tackles. This will be a noticeable change for the Ravens IDPs, whose average home crew leans a little too much on assists.

Matchups to Watch

Steelers WRs vs. Ravens DBs

The Steelers have been relying more on their diverse passing attack throughout their undefeated season, which has made them a top-10 opponent for DB production. Pittsburgh produces 30 tackles, 3 PD, and 0.5 INTs per game. When matched with one of the best DB groups in the league, that can produce some big production. In their Week 8 matchup that came down to the wire, Baltimore’s DBs racked up 24 tackles, including 7 by DeShon Elliott and 5 by Marcus Peters. They also had a sack and a FF/FR combos.

Worth Starting

Defensive Linemen

Derek Wolfe (Bal)

Cameron Heyward (Pit)

Stephon Tuitt (Pit)

Linebackers

Patrick Queen (Bal)

T.J. Watt (Pit)

Defensive Backs

Marlon Humphrey (Bal)

Worth Considering

Defensive Linemen

None of note.

Linebackers

Malik Harrison (Bal)

Bud Dupree (Pit)

Defensive Backs

DeShon Elliott (Bal)

Chuck Clark (Bal)

Mike Hilton (Pit)

Minkah Fitzpatrick (Pit)

Terrell Edumnds (Pit)

Worth a Shot If You Need Them

Defensive Linemen

Yannick Ngakoue (Bal)

Tyson Alualu (Pit)

Linebackers

Matthew Judon (Bal)

Robert Spillane (Pit)

Vince Williams (Pit)

Defensive Backs

Marcus Peters (Bal)

Justin has been holding down the IDP fort for John Hansen and the crew since 2015. In addition to projections and articles, he also hosts an all-IDP podcast called “The IDP Corner,” where he is joined by his fellow FantasyPoints IDP contributor Thomas Simons, along with other special guests.

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