This week, the league's greatest quarterbacks had a chance to battle it out: Tom Brady took on Aaron Rodgers in a surprise blowout win, while MVP candidate Josh Allen lost to Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

The lesson to be learned here is don't count those MVP votes before Week 6 (and never, never slander Tom Brady before a big game).

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While Rodgers has made it clear he'll get over the hump, you still have a fantasy team to worry about in the weeks ahead. Here's how to overcome the mid-season hump and secure a playoff spot in this week's Drops, Swaps and Shops.

Drop

Marvin Jones Jr.

If you look up "Marvin Jones" in an ESPN Fantasy league, there's a video titled, "Is it time to drop Marvin Jones Jr.?" The answer is yes, it's time to let go of the former staple in Matthew Stafford's pass attack.

Drafted in 2012, the 30-year-old veteran signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Lions in 2016. He balled out in 2017, delivering a 1,000+ yard season, but he's put up quiet WR2 numbers ever since. This season, he's only logged 146 yards. Jones has a name, he's had game, but it's time to dissociate from anyone who isn't Kenny Golladay.

Kerryon Johnson

Speaking of legacies that haven't carried on, Kerryon Johnson is another once-capable Lions player who's been crowded out of his position group. With the addition of Adrian Peterson and D'Andre Swift, Johnson has been lost in the shuffle, ranking third in a RB committee on a weak offense. The Lions might turn around their 2-3 season, but it doesn't look like Johnson will have much opportunity unless someone gets hurt. He can wait it out on your bench, but it's probably time to let go entirely.

Tevin Coleman

While the Lions may have a crowded backfield, the 49ers have a confounding one. Each week, there's a rotation of guys running the ball due to injuries.

Raheem Mostert is the starter when healthy, but Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty have all made appearances this season. With Mostert out and only McKinnon and Hasty healthy, it's time to let go of Coleman, the IR player who Kyle Shanahan called a "long shot" to be activated in Week 6.



Swap

Hayden Hurst

Earlier in the season, I passed on a trade offer involving Hayden Hurst for Nick Chubb. While it was an unequal trade at the time, Chubb's IR status and Hurst's burst in recent weeks would have at least given me more points than a benched feature back.

In an explosive offense that won its first game sans Quinn, Hurst has made the most of his catches, averaging at least 12 YPC in four out of the last six games while scoring touchdowns in three of them. While his volume isn't high, Hurst could be worth something for his red zone looks in an offense that can only go up from here.

Allen Robinson

Ever since Nick Foles stepped up under center for the Bears, everything has vastly improved—including Allen Robinson's fantasy value. We've seen how quickly a receiver's value can fluctuate depending on who's throwing the ball, and Robinson is now the 11th overall receiver after Week 5.

Despite a disappointing fantasy showing against the Panthers this Sunday, Robinson still turned five catches into 53 yards, which isn't bad for the Bears' top receiver. If you're looking for a more consistent receiver and need to land someone in a trade, it wouldn't hurt to have Robinson on your roster.

Mike Evans

Trading Mike Evans may sound like a terrible idea—the guy is tied with Randy Moss for the most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to start a career—but the reappearance of Chris Godwin creates a case for trading the red zone threat for something big.

Yes, Brady's favored 6'5" target is tied with Adam Thielen for the most touchdowns this season, but Evans has been playing through a sore ankle in recent weeks, resulting in a lone 10-yard catch against the Packers. Interestingly enough, Evans' target share dipped in Weeks 1, 3, and 6—the same weeks when Chris Godwin was healthy. With Godwin on the mend, it's possible that Evans could see less targets in a more diversified offense. If you need an RB1 or RB2/WR2, this could be a risk worth taking.

Shop

Tight End Targets: Anthony Firkser & Darren Fells

If Ertz and Gronk have been letting you down, it's time to let go and do a little tight end shopping in free agency. Lucky for you, Anthony Firkser showed up this week as a worthy replacement for Jonnu Smith, while Darren Fells has been filling in quite nicely for Jordan Akins. With injuries devastating the league left and right, these backup tight ends are worth starting as long as their starters are out.

Travis Fulgham

Travis Fulgham should have been targeted in free agency last week after a monster 152-yard game, but ICYMI, Fulgham is the guy to have after another impressive showing against Baltimore.

It's hard to say how long this will last, as he's filling in for fallen Eagles comrades Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Jalen Reagor, but as long as they're out, Fulgham is literally the last man standing. He's available in over half of ESPN leagues, so if he's there, be prepared to splurge on Fulgham.

Tim Patrick

Another receiver that could have been targeted after Week 4, Broncos receiver Tim Patrick has been getting less attention than Fulgham in fantasy despite back-to-back games with over 100 yards.

Patrick has been maximizing his impact, getting at least 10 yards per reception in all but one game this season, while making an end zone appearance twice. Patrick needs to be on your roster, like, yesterday—and since he's rostered in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues, he's an easier get than Fulgham.

Dak Prescott

Week 13 of the NFL season kicks off tomorrow night with the New Orleans Saints hosting the Dallas Cowboys at Caesars Superdome. The Cowboys opened as 5-point favorites, but after much of the early money was bet on the struggling New Orleans Saints, the spread has dropped to 4.5 points.

Both of these teams have recently fallen on hard times and are trending in the completely wrong direction. Despite winning a game with Dak Prescott injured, Dallas has lost three of their last four games since Prescott returned to the lineup. They are coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss on Thanksgiving to the Las Vegas Raiders. Meanwhile, after starting the season 5-2, the Saints have dropped four consecutive games with Trevor Siemian under center. It will be interesting to see how the Saints fare as their postseason chances are dwindling.

Betting on the NFL makes games even more exciting among fans. Monitoring public betting trends is one of the most pivotal tools used by professional handicappers to find the top wagers in the sports betting marketplace. Public betting trends allow you to track which teams the public is chasing and which teams professional gamblers are high on each and every week. Whether you want to tail or fade the public, knowing the public betting trends (bet percentages and money percentages) is pivotal when determining which teams to back. So without further ado, let’s take a look at who the public likes in Week 13’s Thursday Night Football matchup, and where you should place your wagers.

Note: The lines and public betting trends are always changing so be sure to check out FantasySP for the latest odds and trends.

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (+4.5)

The Saints and Cowboys tend to play very competitive games against one another. In their last three meetings, each game has been decided by one possession. The Saints defeated the Cowboys the last time these two franchises met in 2019 (12-10). However, the Cowboys are clearly the superior team this season and are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games while the Saints are 4-6 against the spread over that same timeframe. So will Dallas snap their five-game losing streak on Thursday Night Football?

Although there were reports about Ezekiel Elliott being rested this week, Jerry Jones said he expects Zeke to be fed a sizable workload. It appears that although Tony Pollard will continue to get touches in this backfield, Elliott will serve as the lead-back in Week 13. The Cowboys’ offense has been very up and down over the last month. However, Dallas’ Thanksgiving day loss cannot be blamed on Prescott and the offense as they produced more than 400 yards and put 33 points up on the scoreboard. Plus, the Cowboys should get starting wide receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb back from injury this week. Although the Saints have a solid defense, they did just allow Josh Allen and the Bills to post 36 points on Thanksgiving.

The Saints’ offense really struggled on Thanksgiving against the Bills. This was largely due to the absence of running backs, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Both backs are expected to return this week, and Taysom Hill is clearly an upgrade at the quarterback position over Siemian. However, New Orleans still lacks playmakers at the wide receiver and tight end position. With tight end Adam Trautman injured, the Saints will have to rely on Tre’Quan Smith and Deonte Harris to get open against the Cowboys’ 26th-ranked defense.

Dallas’ defense has some elite talents such as youngsters Micah Parson and Trevon Diggs, but they are still allowing opponents to gain close to 370 total yards of offense per game. But the Saints’ 27th-ranked offense will be a welcomed opponent for a defensive unit that just allowed Derek Carr to lead the Raiders to 36 points without the services of tight end Darren Waller.

Overall, both of these teams are looking to get back on track. The Cowboys have more wiggle room due to their 7-4 record and weak division, however, a loss could throw this team into complete chaos.

The public thinks that Dallas will cover the spread as 68% of the bets placed on the spread are backing Dallas and a whopping 75% of the money wagered has the Cowboys covering the 4.5-point spread. However, professional gamblers like the odds on the Saints upsetting the Cowboys outright. Despite 70% of moneyline bets being on the Cowboys, 53% of the money is on the Saints. I’m following the smart money here and tailing the sharps. While I’m not quite comfortable taking the Saints outright, I think they have enough talent on both sides of the ball to keep this game close. I’m also going with the “smart money” on the over/under. While only 56% of bets are on the over, an eye-popping 78% of the money expects this game to exceed the 47.5-point total.

Picks: Saints (+4.5) and Over 47.5 points

Prediction: 27-24 Cowboys

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2020 Fantasy Running Back Primer
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While many Americans will be preparing for Black Friday, perhaps just as many will be betting on the three NFL games on Thanksgiving. The Chicago Bears will be facing the winless Detroit Lions, the Raiders travel to Jerry World to take on the Dallas Cowboys, and the Buffalo Bills face the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome.

Some of you may be sick of the Lions playing on Thanksgiving, and it's understandable considering they have yet to win a game this season. And if you aren't a huge fan of your family at the dinner table, saying that you need to go watch the Lions game to avoid a conversation about what you're grateful for or politics isn't a great excuse. However, if you place a wager on the game, that's the only excuse you need.

Last week, by looking at the public betting trends, we nailed all three of our recommended bets, including a bonus bet. Monitoring public betting trends is one of the most pivotal tools used by professional handicappers to find the top wagers in the sports betting marketplace. Public betting trends allow you to track which teams the public is chasing and which teams professional gamblers are high on each and every week.

Whether you want to tail or fade the public, knowing the public betting trends (bet percentages and money percentages) is pivotal when determining which teams to back. So without further ado, let's take a look at the public betting trends for the three games on Thanksgiving.

Note: The lines and public betting trends are always changing so be sure to check out FantasySP for the latest odds and trends.

Thanksgiving Day Public Betting Trends

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (+3)

Although the Bears are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games, they have won a whopping eight of their last nine games as the favorite. Meanwhile, Detroit is 0-13-1 straight up in their last 14 games as underdogs with an average defeat of 13.07 points.

The spread was originally 3.5 points but it dropped to 3 points with Justin Fields looking doubtful for the first game on Thanksgiving day. Andy Dalton will take over as the starter and he actually looked fairly good in Chicago's close loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11. But the Bears aren't the only team that may be missing their starting quarterback. After missing Week 11 with an oblique injury, Tim Boyle will reportedly start for the Lions. Detroit is dealing with several other injuries outside of Goff on the offensive side of the ball. The Lions are now missing three starting offensive linemen and they don't have any noteworthy receivers. D'Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson should see a ton of touches on Thursday. However, Chicago is dealing with many injuries of their own in addition to Fields. Allen Robinson is highly questionable with a hamstring injury, meaning Darnell Mooney will continue to be peppered with targets. Marquise Goodwin could also see more snaps if A-Rob is unable to suit up. Plus, a defense that looked pretty scary at the beginning of the season will be missing All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack, who is out for the season, and Akiem Nicks and Eddie Jackson may not be active on a short week after missing Week 11.

Both teams have underperformed this season but the Lions have been atrocious on Thanksgiving in recent years. Favorites playing on the road at Ford Field are 10-2 against the spread on Thanksgiving. Plus, the Bears have won six of their last seven games against Detroit, including two games on Thanksgiving.

A common strategy in sports betting is fading the public, which is exactly what I'd recommend in this clash between two terrible teams. Although 92% of the money line bets are on the Lions, I expect the Bears to win this game fairly comfortably now that David Montgomery is at full strength. And I actually think Chicago might be better with Dalton under center. And even though 72% of the money on the spread favors Detroit, I just can't imagine Tim Boyle keeping this game within a field goal. This is the ideal spot to make a contrarian wager.

Pick(s): Bears ML and Bears (-3)

Prediction: 23-14 Bears

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Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (-7)

Dallas is coming off their worst performance of the season after getting absolutely shut down by the Kansas City Chiefs. However, Dallas is 8-2 against the spread this season, 6-1 against the spread in it's last seven home games, and the Raiders have lost all three games this season against teams with winning records by an average deficit of 17.67 points. After starting the season 5-2, the Raiders have lost three consecutive games and have not looked good at all during that span. They were upset by a 3-7 Giants team, were manhandled to the tune of 41-14 against the Chiefs, and most recently lost 32-13 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Vegas has only scored 43 points over that three-game span. The Raiders offense just doesn't look very good and Derek Carr has really struggled to get tight end Darren Waller involved.

Although the Cowboys will be without Amari Cooper for the second consecutive week, CeeDee Lamb is on track to play after exiting the Cowboys' Week 11 loss to the Chiefs with a concussion.

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This looks like a bounce-back game for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys' offense. The Raiders are tied with the Jaguars with the seventh-most points allowed per game this season (26.2 points). Although the Bears-Lions game will most likely be a low-scoring affair, I'm expecting tons of points in this matchup. Despite just 52% of bets being placed on the over, 63% of the money wagered is on this game eclipsing the 51.5-point total. The "smart money" is on the over in this game. Not only are Prescott and Lamb going to dominate the Raiders' secondary, but Ezekiel Elliott is going to have a massive game against a Raiders front seven that allows over 100 rushing yards and 1.2 touchdowns per game to opposing running backs, equaling the seventh-most fantasy points allowed per game to running backs.

Some bettors might be a bit reluctant to lay the seven points with the Cowboys, but I'm expecting a high-scoring blowout on Thanksgiving.

Pick(s): Over 51.5 points and Cowboys (-7)

Prediction: 34-20 Cowboys

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Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints (+6)

Recent trends suggest that the Saints are going to cover the spread in this game. The Bills are just 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five contests while New Orleans is 9-1-1 against the spread in their last 11 games as the underdog. Not to mention, the Saints have won five consecutive games against Buffalo by an average of 21 points and they have covered the spread in each of those matchups.

Although 68% of bets on the spread are backing the Bills, 52% of the money is backing New Orleans. While I expect the Bills to narrowly escape with a victory, I think the Saints will play this game down to the wire, especially with Alvin Kamara expected to be back in the lineup.

Buffalo has been incredibly unpredictable this season. They have terrible losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts, but they have also put up some huge point totals in other contests. Buffalo has lost three of their last five games and Josh Allen has thrown six interceptions during that span. It's hard to know which Bills team will show up on Thanksgiving. I don't think that Allen and the Bills will struggle as they did last week, but this won't be an easy task against one of the elite defenses in the NFL. The Saints allow the 10th-fewest points and 10th-fewest yards per game this season. Meanwhile, the Bills allow the fewest yards per game and the second-fewest points per game. This game has the under written all over it, especially since despite only 34% of bets being placed on the under, 54% of the money is anticipating this game to not exceed the 45.5-point total. Don't forget that Thanksgiving night games have gone under in 10-of-14 seasons, including six straight. I expect this to be a defensive battle, with the Bills winning on a last-second field goal, failing to cover the spread.

Pick(s): Under 45.5 points and Saints (+6)

Prediction: 20-17 Bills

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