Welcome to the FREE preview of the NFL Week 12 DFS Playbook for Thanksgiving Day 2023!

Last week we called Stone Smartt’s touchdown as our TE value play, and we faded Evan Engram’s 29-yard stinker. We’ll look to have another strong set of NFL DFS TE picks for Thanksgiving so you can have the happiest of holidays.

As always, we have position-by-position picks and analysis to cover all of your bases. Be sure to check out our  QB picksRB picksWR picks, and D/ST picks in our other “Coach” articles for the Thanksgiving NFL DFS slate. Now let’s kick off Week 12!


Top DFS TE Pick For Turkey Day: Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions

This one for me is contingent on one aspect. Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell is a tough matchup for tight ends, but he left the game this week with a shoulder/neck issue. On Tuesday’s estimated practice report he was listed as OUT, so there’s a chance he’s not ready to go in a couple of days. If that’s the case, I’m expecting a bounce back week for the rookie tight end after he has been in a little fantasy football slump here.

If Campbell is a go, I might pay the extra price of admission for George Kittle, who has the better matchup. Kittle had struggled early on in games when the 49ers receiving corps was healthy, catching three or fewer passes in each of those games. But this past week he proved that he still has upside from week-to-week regardless of target competition.

All things considered, on Thanksgiving’s DFS slate, I’d prefer to save some salary and pick LaPorta as my top tight end. Those salary savings could come in handy elsewhere since there are so many other studs playing on Turkey Day.

NFL DFS TE Mid-Tier Play: Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders

The three options in this range for DFS tight ends are Jake Ferguson, Luke Musgrave, and Logan Thomas. Ferguson will obviously be a popular pick, and folks love the shiny rookies so Logan Thomas could be overlooked.

Thomas has actually run the second most routes of any tight end this season, which is an even more interesting stat when you consider that he missed a game and a half after suffering a concussion on a dirty hit from Kareem Jackson (surprise, surprise) back in Week 2. Terry McLaurin, Jahan Doton, and Logan Thomas are the three players on this team that routinely run 85-90% of the routes. Thomas also has the type of consistency we like to target for DFS purposes, hauling in at least four receptions in each of his last five games.

Most importantly, Thomas has four games this year with eight or more targets. The only other tight ends with four or more games of 8+ targets are Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson, Evan Engram, and David Njoku. That creates a weekly upside that you don’t see from too many other tight ends. Put him in your player pool as a solid TE pick on the Thanksgiving DFS NFL slate. 

NFL DFS TE Value Play: Peyton Hendershot, Dallas Cowboys

With only three games on the slate and most of the viable tight ends priced appropriately, we have to get pretty sneaky with our value plays in this price range. So sneaky, in fact, that we’re looking at a player that might not even be activated for the game. But his window to return was already activated and last week, after he participated in a fully padded practice, he told reporters that his ankle was fully healed and all that remained was getting his conditioning up to speed. They didn’t activate him for Sunday, but that sounds promising for his potential return on Thanksgiving.

In the three games he played before getting hurt, Hendershot was playing nearly 50% of the snaps at times while rotating with Jake Ferguson. He also lined up at WR for 30 snaps and even got a goal-line carry. If he’s activated, he’s the best bet of the bare minimum-priced players to score a touchdown and jump in that red Salvation Army kettle.

If they don’t activate him, your next best value play for $2,500 on DraftKings would be Tucker Kraft, whose usage has ticked up slightly over the past two weeks. We’d rather take a shot on Hendershot.