It’s the time of year where we reflect on everything we are thankful for. It’s a day of family, food, and football. If done correctly, it involves sweat-pants, pie, and tryptophan-induced naps, otherwise known as turkey-comas.
In fantasy football there are plenty of things to be thankful for. There are some who are thankful they didn’t draft David Johnson with the first overall pick. There are some who are thankful they snagged Adam Thielen at a bargain draft position. Then there are some who are just thankful to be done with they bye weeks.
Whatever you are thankful for, there are three games to fill your football appetite this Thursday. Let’s jump right into the starts and sits for the Thanksgiving matchups. This is not meant to be a sit/start article for all the matchups of the week, we will just be focusing on the on the Thanksgiving games.
Fantasy Focus Week 12: Thanksgiving Football
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is coming off of an extremely productive week against a stout Buffalo Bills defense. The Chargers were dominant enough to sit their starters in the fourth quarter. Playing the mid-day slate against the Dallas Cowboys team that is allowing the 14th most fantasy point to opposing quarterbacks, he’s a solid QB1 play this week.
Washington Redskins rookie running back Samaje Perine had a breakout game last week. Perine rushed for 117 yards and one score against a New Orleans Saints run defense that shut down LeSean McCoy the previous week. Perine has shown a proclivity to put the ball on the ground in his rookie campaign, which is a red-flag to be wary of. The volume will be there with the losses of Chris Thompson and Robert Kelley. Consider Perine as middling RB2 for Thursday’s tilt with the New York Giants and the rest of the season.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen has done more than return value based on his draft position. He’s well exceeded perceptions and is in the WR1 conversation every week. In a divisional matchup against the Detroit Lions, expect the Vikings to look Thielen’s way early and often. He’s averaging 9.6 targets for 91.3 yards-per-game. He’s a must start in all formats.
New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard was very literally a last minute scratch from last week’s game due to migraines. Shepard is the top target in a typical pass-first offense led by Eli Manning. The Redskins defense is nothing to take lightly, but Shepard should see plenty of targets throughout the game. He’s a solid WR2 in PPR formats with touchdown upside.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder was a disappointment earlier in the season. Now, finally healthy and getting the targets from Kirk Cousins, Crowder has posted three straight games of at least 72 yards. Facing off against a very beatable New York Giants defense, this may another big game for Crowder. Consider him a WR2/3 for this matchup in both PPR and standard scoring formats.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is showing that he’s still the target monster we all thought he’d be before injuries ruined a couple of seasons. Last week Allen posted a 12 reception, 159 yards, two touchdown line against a tough Bills pass defense. He’s averaging over nine targets per contest. Squaring off against the Dallas Cowboys, look for Allen to continue that success as a fringe WR1 with touchdown upside.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has struggled on and off this season. Some of those struggles are placed at the feet of the younger Manning, and some of them are team related faults. The offensive line has been near enough to atrocious to simply label it that. Outside of Sterling Shepard there’s not a reliable wide receiver that hasn’t succumbed to injury. While the run game has improved with the emergence of Orleans Darkwa, it still leaves plenty to be desired. Against a sturdy Redskins defense, expect Manning to struggle.
Fantasy owners that started Dak Prescott last week feasted on disappointment. The second-year Dallas Cowboys signal-caller has enjoyed a strong start to his career in the NFL, until last week. With Tyron Smith out, the sophomore struggled with protection and had more turnovers against the Philadelphia Eagles than he’s had all season. He threw three interceptions, was sacked four times, and fumbled once. Prescott has been held under 200 yards in three of the last four games. Facing off against Joey Bosa and a better-than-average Chargers secondary, Prescott will have a his work cut out for him. Outside of two quarterback leagues or superflex leagues, he’s a sit for Thanksgiving.
Ameer Abdullah has had a touchdown in three straight games, so it might seem strange to see his name in a sit column. In those three games the Detroit Lions third year running back has totaled 48, 52, and 22 rushing yards. He has yet to register a 100 yard rushing game this season and that most likely isn’t going to change against the Vikings, who are giving up the second least fantasy points to the position.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Marvin Jones Jr. is typically a reliable wide receiver for Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. However, it’s difficult to project him having a solid fantasy game against a top-tier Minnesota Vikings defense. In their last matchup, Jones was held to two receptions for 42 yards. The Vikings have not allowed a 100 yard receiver all season and have only allowed six touchdowns to wide receivers all season. Jones is a solid play most weeks, but would be better left out of anything other than a hopeful flex this week.