Happy Thanksgiving! Nothing like a three-game, triple-header, trifecta of football games on Turkey Day. This holiday season we are treated to the annual Lions and Cowboys games. These teams will be facing the Bears and Bills respectively. The late contest will feature a division rivalry between the Falcons and Saints. If you only watch AFC games, this day isn’t for you, however, we love our fantasy football and teams are secondary to our visions of playoffs, championships, or just ruining another team’s season. Since food is also traditional, here are players that owners will either have owners feasting, or wasting away in famine. Also, importantly are the side dishes. These are the guys that you may choose to pass on but are also tempting enough to chance it.
Thanksgiving Day Fantasy Football Feasts, Famines, and Side Dishes
Chicago at Detroit
Mitchell Trubisky is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, he has not thrown for 300 yards or more all season and has just three games of two or more touchdowns. One of those three was against the Lions three-weeks ago when he threw for three scores. Detroit is a bottom-rung defense, Trubisky could throw for another two and achieve 250 yards in the process. Side Dish.
David Montgomery is getting as many carries as possible and is doing very little with them. He has good hands but the Bears also have Tarik Cohen to do a much better job catching passes. The Lions are also horrible against the run, but Montgomery has one game over 100 yards and hasn’t broken 68 yards outside of that. He is solely touchdown dependent and has scored just four on the season. However, he hasn’t scored in the last three so perhaps a regression is in order. Famine.
Tarik Cohen is the epitome of a third-down back. The most carries he has seen is nine this season and has not scored a rushing touchdown. Cohen does his magic through the air and has caught a touchdown in two of his last three contests. One of these came against Detroit. He’s a fantasy football PPR flex play at most. Famine.
Allen Robinson has been a terrific receiver for garbage quarterbacks in his career. He has gone from the rock bottom quarry of Chad Henne and Blake Bortles to the ore deposits of Mitchell Trubisky. Robinson still manages to put up solid numbers no matter what garbage chute is feeding him the ball. On the season, Robinson has 63 catches for 764 yards and four touchdowns. Robinson should go back-to-back scoring games and catch close to six passes. Feast.
David Blough. Chicago has been tough on quarterbacks ranking as the sixth toughest defense in fantasy points allowed to the position and now third-string David Blough will take the throne. It will be an eye-opening experience for the undrafted rookie out of Purdue. Famine.
Bo Scarbrough has been a pleasant surprise for the Lions. They had several running backs rotate in after the season-ending injury of Kerryon Johnson. In his stead Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic, Tra Carson, Paul Perkins all had a shot with the rock. Not to mention they released C.J. Anderson early this season. Scarbrough has two games under his belt, the only two of his career. In fact, he has been on more teams than games played (Dallas, Seattle, Jacksonville, Detroit) since being a seventh-round pick in 2018. In those two contests, he has one touchdown and 153 yards rushing on 32 carries (4.7 yards per carry). Bears are average against the run, but Scarbrough is touchdown-dependent as he has hands of stone. Side Dish.
Marvin Jones is possibly having the best season of his career (56-701-8), and even in down games, such as his four catch 43-yard game against Dallas, he scored twice. Unfortunately, he is dealing with the Blough situation and that is hampering his production. The Bears are extremely tough against wide receivers in fantasy football, as they rank second in points allowed. There is room for only one receiver to do modestly well, with that said, even if it’s him. Side Dish.
Kenny Golladay. At this point, Golladay will just underperform his yards and receptions from last season, but he has already tied the touchdown production of his two seasons combined, with eight. However, he is dealing with the limited and below-average quarterback play of Jeff Driskel. In his time with Driskel, he has caught a total of eight passes for 152 yards and a score. That touchdown did come against the Bears (3-57-1). Side Dish.
T.J. Hockenson has been invisible in the three games that Driskel has been in charge of the offense (4-53). It doesn’t seem it will get better and the only chance may be a change from Driskel to Blough. Famine.
Buffalo at Dallas
Josh Allen is coming into his own and has looked fantastic over the last few games, throwing for 441 yards and five touchdowns while just having one interception against the Dolphins and Broncos. This doesn’t even include his 112 rushing yards and another score to boot. Cowboys are strong against quarterbacks, ranking eighth in fantasy points allowed, but with Allen running the ball, he has a high-floor. Side Dish.
Devin Singletary could be rookie of the year if it wasn’t for his limited opportunities and the great play of Josh Jacobs. Since Week 8, Singletary has taken over the reins as the bell-cow and has produced in almost every game played, rushing for 337 yards on 67 carries (5.02 YPC) and scoring once on the ground. He’s also caught twelve passes in that span. The Cowboys are 14th in fantasy points allowed and Singletary should go over the 16 carries he has averaged over the last four games. Feast.
Frank Gore has been a forgotten man in this offense, getting about 1/3 of the snaps at running back. He doesn’t add anything to the passing game. Time to put him up on the shelf unless absolutely desperate to fill the lineup slot. Famine.
John Brown seems to have found a nice home in Buffalo. There will be no transition of offensive philosophies like he faced in Baltimore last season. He’s on pace to beat his best season as a pro, as he is only seven fewer receptions, 147 yards, and two touchdowns shy of his 65-1003-7 in Arizona. However, the Cowboys are strong against the pass and are fifth in fantasy points allowed. Brown struggled last week against the sixth-ranked defense in Denver (2-39-1) and should produce similar results. Famine.
Cole Beasley has been a favorite of Allen’s over the last six games. In that span, Beasley has four touchdowns in four separate games with 22 catches for 258 yards. He came up big against Denver with 6-76-1 and is a good flex option for PPR leagues. Side Dish.
Dawson Knox is having a successful season for a tight end, but should only be played in a streaming option or two-tight end league. The Cowboys would be perfect for the streaming group, as they are ranked 24th in fantasy points allowed against the position. Side Dish.
Dak Prescott was on fire throwing for nine touchdowns and over 1,000 yards in his previous three games, then hit a land mine against the number one defense against quarterbacks in fantasy points allowed the New England Patriots. Prescott was completely shut out of the end zone and threw an interception last weekend. Now he faces the second-best passing defense in fantasy points allowed the Buffalo Bills. Dallas needs to win this game to stay in the division lead and playoffs. It’s going to be a difficult road to plow through, luckily, they are at home. Side Dish.
Ezekiel Elliot hasn’t had a 100-rushing game since the triple consecutive games when he was dominant in from Weeks 6-9. In the last three contests, Elliot has just 178 yards on 57 carries (3.12 YPC) and has scored just once on the ground. The Bills defense is a forgiving bunch when it comes to the rushing game, and Elliot can exploit their 17th ranked defense against the position. Dallas always plays well on Thanksgiving, and Elliot should rumble. Feast.
Amari Cooper is currently on pace to have the best season of his career but has stumbled in the last two games. He was held to only three receptions against the lowly Lions and went with the goose-egg last week to New England. Now facing Buffalo it’s only going to get slightly easier. You will have to start the WR1 as he can just go off for a 10-130-2 kind of game, but it will be a challenge. Feast.
Michael Gallup has been on an upswing while Cooper has struggled in the last two. Gallup’s had 13 receptions for 203 yards but has not found the end zone in either contest. Bills are fourth in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, but the last time Gallup faced a top-ten defense was the ninth-ranked Packers, he went off for 7-113-1. Side Dish.
Randall Cobb is having a resurgence and is outdueling both Cooper and Gallup over the last few weeks. In the last three games, Cobb has 14 receptions for 307 yards and two touchdowns. He went 4-86 against the Patriots and there is no reason why he can’t continue to roll against the Bills. Side Dish.
Jason Witten started with two touchdowns in the first two weeks and then regressed back to his normal red zone dysfunctional self. Witten will put up around eight to ten fantasy points per week in PPR, and has not been shut out all season. Not much of a streaming tight end value here unless you’re especially desperate. Famine.
New Orleans at Atlanta
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees came into the league in 2001 and is still slinging it this year just as he did 18 years ago. In the last two games, he has put up six touchdowns to just one interception. His accuracy hasn’t faltered either connecting on 76 percent of his passes in the last three contests. I’d say his thumb is doing just fine. Also, he will be looking for revenge against a Falcons team that nearly broke him into little pieces two weeks ago. Feast.
Alvin Kamara is more of a wide receiver than a running back. He hasn’t gone over 100 yards rushing in the nine games played and has just one touchdown on the ground. However, his receiving stats are exploding off the sheet. Kamara has 60 receptions for 421 yards and on pace for a 77-711-3 season through the air. Kamara is also dominating the snap share over Latavius Murray (141-69). Atlanta’s rushing defense is better than their passing, but it isn’t like you’re not going to play the first pick off your board. Feast.
Latavius Murray‘s role is being squished since the return of Kamara, but he is still producing in a limited role. It’s interesting that he leads the Saints in touchdowns on the ground with five. Ultimately, however, this is Kamara’s team and his production will have to come from outside of the red zone as it did with his 26-yard touchdown run against the Panthers. That’s just not dependable. Famine.
Michael Thomas is the best wide receiver in fantasy football right now, and it may not even be close. It’s not even Week 12 and he has broken the 100-catch barrier and has caught six touchdowns, and he did so with Brees missing five games. In six of the last seven games, he has gone over 100 yards and has scored five times. Feast. The kind of feast where you unbutton your pants.
Jared Cook was not relevant in the first four contests, but since has scored a touchdown in four of the last five games, and has caught 14 balls for 206 yards including two scores in his last three games. He is looking more like the Raiders tight end he was a year ago, and the Falcons are 15th in points allowed to the position, Cook had six receptions for 74 yards against them in Week 10. Feast.
Matt Ryan must be still dealing with an injury as he hasn’t played well since missing Week 8 and having the bye in Week 9. In the last three games, Ryan has passed for only three touchdowns and has two interceptions to go along with 764 yards. His completion rate is below mediocre as Ryan has completed just 64 of 112 passes, for just 57%, far below is average of 65%. He has dropped below the top-11 passers in fantasy football now. New Orleans is 20th in fantasy football against the quarterback, but until Ryan can prove he is healthy then he is just a Side Dish with Julio and Famine without Julio Jones (Questionable).
Devonta Freeman has been missing time with a foot injury since Week 10. The fact is that the Falcons running game was bad with him (107-371-0) and just downright ugly without him. He must be fully healthy because there really is no reason to put his body through a lost season. The Saints are gritty against the run, allowing just 3.9 yards per carry, but teams have found a way to score on the ground against them (17th). Famine.
Julio Jones hurt his shoulder against the Buccaneers and with a short turnaround it might be not enough time to heal. He did participate in walkthroughs on Wednesday, so there is hope. Can you believe Jones scored four touchdowns in the first four games and hasn’t since Week 3? He has only four games of 100 yards or more and has struggled due to Ryan’s slump, catching 14 passes for 238 yards and zero touchdowns since the bye week. Jones is a must-start but the result will resemble a Side Dish.
Calvin Ridley has been an unstoppable force in the last two games, catching 14 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Ridley’s two-game fantasy total has outproduced Jones’ last three games combined points (48-36). The Saints struggle against the wide receiver allowing the 24th most points to the position. Ridley should exploit his matchup. Feast.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and good luck with your fantasy football matchups!
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You can find the rest of our Week 13 fantasy football advice here (be sure to check back as the week develops!)