Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet: Ranking Players, Pies & More

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet: Ranking Players, Pies & More

Happy Thanksgiving! Here's your guide to a Thanksgiving fantasy football contest — and more.

If you've never played in a Turkey Day contest, it's simple: 

1. Choose your roster requirements — the cheat sheet below is based on 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE flex, 1 K, 1 D/ST. Consider adding a second flex that allows the use of another quarterback.

2. Next, decide on a scoring system. The cheat sheet below is based on:

20 pass yards = 1 pt
Pass TD = 4 pts
10 rush/rec yards = 1 pt
Reception = 1 pt
Rush/Rec TD = 6 pts
2 pt Conv = 2 pts
Sacks = 1 pt
INT (for defense) = 2 pts
Safeties = 2 pts
D/ST TD = 6 pts
FG = 3
PAT = 1

3. Gather your friends and family and conduct a simple draft prior to kickoff of the morning Bears-Lions game. 

4. How about an entry fee? Having a little skin in the game makes it more fun, of course. If you want to make this an annual tradition, make sure the entry fee is one that keeps people coming back year-after-year.

5. Use the Thanksgiving cheat sheet below to crush your competition. 

Game Schedule & Vegas Odds

Bears (-2.5) at Lions (o/u 39)- TV, Fox, 12:30 p.m. EST
Bills at Cowboys (-7) (o/u 45)- TV, CBS, 4:30 p.m. EST
Saints (-7) at Falcons (o/u 49)- TV, NBC, 8:20 p.m. EST

Implied Totals:

Saints - 28
Cowboys - 26
Falcons - 21
Bears - 20.75
Bills - 19
Lions - 18.25

Fantasy Points Allowed by Position

The following table is based on full PPR scoring and uses data from the last five weeks exclusively. If using a different scoring system, use the RotoWire Defense vs. Position tool.






Bears16.3 (5th)20.9 (13th)24.5 (5th)14.6 (23rd)5.8 (10th)
Lions24.8 (28th)27.5 (25th)36.5 (21st)11.3 (16th)6.6 (14th)
Bills13.2 (1st)25.5 (22nd)27.0 (7th)7.1 (3rd)5.2 (7th)
Cowboys20.5 (12th)22.2 (16th)29.1 (9th)10.9 (13th)7.5 (21st)
Saints20.6 (13th)20.4 (12th)32.6 (16th)13.4 (20th)8.8 (26th)
Falcons20.9 (14th)23.3 (17th)37.6 (22nd)7.9 (5th)6.5 (13th)

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet


1. Drew Brees, NO at ATL
2. Matt Ryan, ATL vs. NO
3. Dak Prescott, DAL vs. BUF
4. Josh Allen, BUF at DAL
5. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI at DET
6.  David Blough, DET vs. CHI (Jeff Driskel will be the backup)


1. Alvin Kamara, NO at ATL
2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. BUF
3. Devin Singletary, BUF at DAL
4. David Montgomery CHI at DET
5. Tarik Cohen, CHI at DET
6. Bo Scarbrough, DET vs. CHI
7. Latavius Murray, NO at ATL
8. Devonta Freeman, ATL vs NO (foot)
9. Tony Pollard, DAL vs. BUF
10. Frank Gore, BUF at DAL
11. Ty Johnson, DET vs. CHI
12. Brian Hill, ATL vs. NO
13. J.D. McKissic, DET vs. CHI
14. Qadree Ollison, ATL vs. NO


1. Michael Thomas, NO at ATL
2. Julio Jones, ATL vs. NO (shoulder)
3. Amari Cooper, DAL vs. BUF
4. Allen Robinson, CHI at DET
5. John Brown, BUF at DAL
6. Calvin Ridley, ATL vs. NO
7. Kenny Golladay, DET vs. CHI
8. Michael Gallup, DAL vs. BUF
9. Anthony Miller, CHI at DET
10. Marvin Jones, DET vs. CHI
11. Cole Beasley, BUF at DAL
12. Randall Cobb, DAL vs. BUF
13. Danny Amendola, DET vs. CHI
14. Ted Ginn, NO at ATL
15. Russell Gage, ATL vs NO
16. Taylor Gabriel, CHI at DET (concussion)
17. Javon Wims, CHI at DET
18. Isaiah McKenzie, BUF at DAL
19. Tre'Quan Smith, NO at ATL
20. Cordarrelle Patterson, CHI at DET


1. Jared Cook, NO at ATL
2. Jason Witten, DAL vs. BUF
3. Dawson Knox, BUF at DAL
4. T.J. Hockenson, DET vs. CHI
5. Jaeden Graham, ATL  vs. NO
6. Blake Jarwin, DAL vs BUF
7. Ben Braunecker, CHI at DET (concussion)
8. Josh Hill, NO at ATL
9. Jesse James, DET vs. CHI
10. J.P. Holtz, CHI at DET


1. Bears at DET
2. Cowboys vs. BUF
3. Saints at ATL
4. Lions vs. CHI
5. Falcons vs. NO
6. Bills at DAL


1. Brett Maher, DAL vs. BUF
2. Wil Lutz, NO at ATL
3. Stephen Hauschka, BUF at DAL
4. Eddy Pineiro, CHI at DET
5. Younghoe Koo, ATL vs. NO
6.  Matt Prater, DET vs. CHI

Side Dish Rankings

Like Bill Belichick picking just the right play at the moment his team needs him most, "do your job" when considering that side dishes must be carefully chosen for the perfect meal. Each side has a role in the grand scheme, so plan this part of the feast with the highest level of discretion.

1. Cheesy Corn Casserole
2. Stuffing
3. Cranberry Walnut Relish
4. Sweet Potato Casserole
5. Green Bean Casserole

Pie Rankings

Like running into a stacked box at the goal line, after eating all that food, we have to plow through the pain to into the nirvana that eating the perfect pie brings. All the other rankings might be flawed, but there's no debating where these pies rank.

1. Pecan
2. Banana Cream
3. Blueberry
4. Sweet Potato
5. Pumpkin
6. Strawberry Rhubarb
7. Key Lime
8. Apple
9. Custard
10. French Silk
11. Coconut Cream

Let's also add some "Trick Play" pies — a few nontraditional favorites:

1. Apple-Pecan Bourbon Caramel
2. Mississippi
3. Brownie

Wine Rankings

The originator of RotoWire's annual Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet was Derek VanRiper, who often included beer rankings. Well, I'm throwing out the beer for wine. Maybe your family brings some drama or stress to the feast — let's bring some wine to the rescue. Beer may be too filling, and since you may have a lot of whining going on at the table, you can bring your own brand of "wine" to get through the noise. Indulge (and indulge more) in some fine wine while your fantasy team is piling up the points!

1.  Sensale Grillo Organic, Cantina Europe
2. Chateau Ste Michelle, Harvest Riesling
3. Colli Vincentini Ca'di'Alte, Prosecco
4. Dry Creek Zinfandel, Sonoma County Heritage Vines
5. William Hill Estate Winery Central Coast, Pinot Noir
6. Franco Conterno, Barbara D'Alba

Happy Thanksgiving. Let me know where I went wrong in the comments. 

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Jim Coventry
Coventry covers football for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.
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