Fantasy Football: Thanksgiving Sit-Starts
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year, and it's a time of tradition. Thanksgiving is a time to see family members that you don't get to see -- and sometimes don't even speak to -- much during the year, a reason to indulge in gravy and pies while forgetting that calories even exist, and for many people it's a day where you get together with the whole family, sit in front of a TV and watch football.
Thanksgiving is also a day to reflect.
If you're reading this it's because you're concerned about who you're going to start on your fantasy football team -- and if that's your biggest concern on Thanksgiving morning then you definitely have plenty to be thankful for. While you're watching football and stuffing your belly with turkey, take a moment to just sit back, look around and appreciate the good in life because it's too short to dwell on the bad.
Real quick before I dive into football I wanted to share what I am thankful for. First off I am thankful for my father. My pops is my best friend, my foundation, my inspiration and my hero. There isn't a person on this earth who I admire more than my dad and I will be forever grateful that I have the privilege of being his son. Second, I am thankful for my girlfriend who I have been with for almost seven years now. She is my world and I can't even begin to imagine what my life would be like without her. I'm thankful for my family and friends. They are all over America and at times we are awful at communicating with each other, but they'll always have my back and I can always count on them when I need them. Finally I'm thankful for fantasy sports. Yes, fantasy sports. Fantasy sports have provided my friends and I with an outlet to compete against each other no matter where we are in the world or what we're doing in life. Fantasy sports -- along with Rant Sports -- have also provided me this incredible opportunity to pursue my dream, and that is something I will forever be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Now let's talk about who you should be starting and who you should be sitting this Turkey Day.
Strong Quarterback Options
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Stafford has scored at least 14 fantasy points in every single game this season, and the Green Bay Packers' defense is allowing over 17 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. Money in the bank.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Romo is completing almost 70 percent of his passes and throwing for 297 yards per game at home this season. The Oakland Raiders have also allowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger isn't a strong option this week, but by no means is he somebody you need to avoid either. Roethlisberger is a decent option in Week 13 who is very usable in deeper leagues, but if you're in a ten-team league chances are there are better options available to you. The Baltimore Ravens held Roethlisberger to just 12 fantasy points the last time they played, and they have only given up more than 16 fantasy points twice this season to opposing quarterbacks.
Weak Quarterback Options
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers
Matt McGloin, Oakland Raiders
Unless you're in a two quarterback league there is absolutely no reason any of these guys should be in your starting lineup. If you're fighting for a playoff spot or if Thanksgiving kicks off the first round of your league's playoffs, rolling with one of these guys as your quarterback is a recipe for failure. If you're still competing in week 13 then there most certainly are better options available to you.
Strong Running Back Options
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Lacy leads all running backs with 755 rushing yards since Week 5 and has scored at least eight fantasy points in every game during that stretch.
Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
The Packers have allowed at least 14 fantasy points to opposing running backs in five straight games.
Decent Running Back Options
DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
Chances are if you have Murray you're starting him, and I think he should be okay against the Raiders. What worries me about Murray is his usage; Murray hasn't gotten more than 16 carries in a single game since Week 3, and the Raiders have been alright against the run this year, allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. I think Murray should be serviceable, but I wouldn't expect a huge day from him.
Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
If I had to pick one of these guys to start it would be Jennings, but I wouldn't feel great about it. Jennings has been superb in McFadden's absence, and the Raiders have already come out and said they're going to hand the ball to the hot hand. But what happens if McFadden rips off a few nice runs early in the game? If either one of these guys were guaranteed 20 touches this weekend then they would be great options, but the uncertainty of how they're going to be used makes them decent options instead. Both guys are high ceiling, low floor plays this weekend, and I would try to avoid starting any Raiders running back if possible.
Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Baltimore Ravens have given up the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, and Bell has had single digit fantasy points in four out of eight games this season.
Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
There are very few circumstances in which I could see myself starting Ray Rice today. Rice followed up his 20-point performance in Week 11 with a three-point performance in Week 12, and he has now scored single digit fantasy points in seven out of ten games this season. Rice scored just six fantasy points when the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this season and to expect much more is simply irrational.
Decent Wide Receiver Options
Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jerricho Cotchery, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders
James Jones, Green Bay Packers
Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers
Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions
All six of these guys are capable of putting up numbers that can help out your fantasy team and are solid deep league WR3/flex plays. If you're in a ten team league, though, there are likely better options.
Weak Receiving Options
Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys
Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys
Marlon Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Jacoby Jones, Baltimore Ravens
Kris Durham, Detroit Lions
These guys should only be considered in the deepest of leagues, and even then there are likely better options. Leave these guys on the bench -- or on the waiver wire -- for Week 13.
Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten is the only tight end you should be using on Thanksgiving. In very deep leagues if you're absolutely desperate then Heath Miller might be a guy you want to consider (13 catches in his last two games), but that is absolutely it.
Leave the Defenses at Home
I don't like any of the defenses this week, and if you're in a 10-12 team league you should have no problem finding a defense to play on Sunday or Monday. That being said, if you are in a deeper league and you are desperate for a defense then the Dallas Cowboys are a unit you may want to consider. For as bad as the Cowboys have been on defense this season they have actually scored a decent amount of fantasy points. They have scored at least eight fantasy points in every game this season that the opposing quarterback isn't named Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. If you're in a bind at defense this week, the Cowboys may be a sneaky option available to you.
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