DraftKings NFL Thanksgiving Showdown Picks & DFS Lineups: Saints vs. Falcons

Getty Drew Brees and Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints

DraftKings NFL $1M Thanksgiving Night Showdown is open for entry now. The contest features a divisional battle between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons.

The first place prize winner of the Thanksgiving Night Showdown will receive a hefty payout of $250K. Let’s see how to optimize our lineups below.

Rules & Scoring:

    • Six total players (one captain, five flex players)
    • Captain selection costs 1.5x standard salary
    • Captain scores 1.5x fantasy point values
    • Can choose from any position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DST)
    • You can use as many players at the same position as you’d like
    • $50,000 salary cap

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Roster Construction

  • Captain: Michael Thomas $17,400
  • FLEX: Drew Brees $10,800
  • FLEX: Calvin Ridley $8,000
  • FLEX: Jared Cook $6,600
  • FLEX: Younghoe Koo $3,800
  • FLEX: Jaeden Graham $2,400

Why This Lineup?

Michael Thomas has eclipsed 100+ yards receiving in six of his last seven games and found the end zone in three of his last four. The Atlanta Falcons defense has allowed a 95+ yard receiver in four consecutive games, including 152 yards back in Week 10 to, you guessed it, Michael Thomas.

Drew Brees has averaged 23.78 fantasy points over his last two games and scored 21.12+ points in three of his four games since returning from injury. Atlanta surrenders the sixth-most fantasy points to QBs this season, and they are fresh off of allowing Jameis Winston to torch them to the tune of three passing touchdowns and 26.32 points.

Calvin Ridley is the fourth-highest scoring receiver in fantasy over the last two weeks of play. Ridley has averaged 25.2 fantasy points over that span, and with fellow Falcons wideout Julio Jones hobbled by injury, those numbers could continue to rise on Thursday night.

Jared Cook has scored 11.3 fantasy points or more in five consecutive games. He’s also seen an average of nine targets come his way over two of his last three games. When Cook played Atlanta back in Week 10, he finished with six receptions, 74 receiving yards, and 13.4 fantasy points. 

All Younghoe Koo has done since taking over the kicking reigns from Matt Bryant back in Week  10 is lead all players at his position in fantasy points with 12.3 points per game. The Saints have allowed three of the past four kickers they’ve faced off with to finish with double-digit fantasy points.

With Austin Hooper once again ruled out with injury, it will be Jaeden Graham at tight end for the Falcons. Graham ripped off a 53-yard reception this past Sunday and could be in for an even heavier workload with Julio Jones questionable. Whether Jones is available or not, we like the upside for Graham at his price tag against a Saints defense that has allowed 73+ yards receiving or a TD to tight ends in three of their last four games.


Final Thoughts & Obvious Omissions

Players such as Alvin Kamara would be a joy to have in our lineups, but we opted to go with the surest thing at our Captain position in the Thursday Night Showdown, that being wideout Michael Thomas. While it did slightly handicap our lineup, we are completely ok with that. Thomas takes on the third-worst defense in fantasy football at defending the WR position this year. Thomas, fantasy football’s highest-scoring receiver will likely make us very happy with our choice.

Reminder, the Thanksgiving Night Showdown kicks off Thursday, at 8:20 pm ET. Be sure to set your lineups and good luck!


  1. *Check out our Week 13 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
  2. Start-Sit QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]

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