*Editor's Note: Each Thursday leading into the NFL games, contributing writer Jonathan Auping will break down a few things to consider as fantasy owners set their weekly lineups, including players to start or sit, along with trends to remember. Whether your game is the traditional fantasy league or the daily games from DraftKings, this weekly feature should help you get prepared for the fantasy weekend. *
Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Chargers (DraftKings Salary $7,300)
Unfortunately, NFL fans haven't gotten to experience watching a healthy Keenan Allen all that often. It's a shame, because when unhindered by injuries, he's one of the league's most exciting receivers. Last week against the Bills, he managed 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys have now allowed 18 passing touchdowns, which puts them in the bottom eight teams in the league. It's not a great time to be facing a receiver who's hitting his stride.
Alfred Morris, Running Back, Cowboys (DraftKings Salary $4,800)
Morris ram for 91 yards against the league's best rush defense last Sunday night. There was a point going into Ezekiel Elliot's suspension when it seemed a mystery which running back would emerge to take his carries or whether that workload would be evenly distributed three ways. That's no longer the case. Morris has emerged as the primary ball carrier for a team that has built its identity on the run game. At his salary, Morris is a great value play on volume alone.
Travis Benjamin, Wide Receiver, Chargers (DraftKings Salary $3,500)
Benjamin is a hit-or-miss fantasy receiver, but he has a quarterback who likes to throw it all over the field. If Benjamin finds holes in the defense Rivers finds him, sometimes for long gains. The Cowboys' young secondary has performed admirably at times this season, but there are often weak spots to exploit. Benjamin is a bit of a risky play, but you won't find many sub-$4,000 salary receivers with higher upside than Benjamin has on Thanksgiving.
Make the Smart Plays:
Josh Doctson, Wide Receiver, Redskins (DraftKings Salary $4,700)
Doctson is a young receiver, but he's a very talented one, and the world is on its way to finding out. Through his first five games of the season, he combined for nine targets. Through his last five, he's combined for 27. I wouldn't be surprised if he became Kirk Cousins' primary target by the end of the season. His DraftKings salary is only going up. Against a Giants' defense that has given up the fourth most passing yards in the NFL this season, Doctson might be the best value of the day.
Don't Outsmart Yourself:
Stefon Diggs, Wide Receiver, Vikings (DraftKings Salary $6,300)
I still don't buy Case Keenum as a consistent NFL quarterback, and I especially don't like Diggs if he is going to be Keenum's number-two option behind Adam Thielen. Asking Keenum to produce to the degree that would allow for significant fantasy production from both of those receivers is unrealistic.
The Lions' defense actually doesn't allow many passing touchdowns; they've only allowed 12 on the season. Expect the Vikings to commit to the run in order to keep the Detroit defense off the field.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
Washington Redskins over the New York Giants
Both of these teams matched up well last week against potential Super Bowl contenders in New Orleans and Kansas City. I only see that high level of play being sustained for one of them, though. The Giants' secondary is a mess, and their pass rush isn't what it used to be. Kirk Cousins has found great chemistry with his pass-catchers, and that's bad news for the Giants. It might be hard to believe, but Washington offense has stacked up against any of the best offenses in the entire league this season in terms of consistently moving the ball. That alone will be too much for the Giants to overcome.