Fantasy Island: Thanksgiving Edition

He’s back! (Photo by Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

By MIKE HERNDON

It’s Thanksgiving week and if you’re a fantasy football manager like me, you have plenty for which to be thankful.

I’m thankful for the weekly awesomeness of Jonathan Taylor and the amazing consistency of Nick Chubb.

I’m thankful Justin Herbert found his mojo again, and hopeful it wasn’t just a product of a depleted Steelers defense.

I’m thankful I was able to swing a trade for Davante Adams for the stretch run in the one league where I’m (barely) under .500.

I’m thankful I don’t have to face a team with Cooper Kupp every week, since I have him on exactly zero of my rosters.

I’m thankful I realized early in my bonus-laden superflex league that the title will be won or lost by quarterbacks.

I’m thankful Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins should be back on the field after the bye week. (They will, right? Right?)

I’m even thankful for the ageless Tom Brady, who has been a thorn in the side of my Steelers for years but was a perfect late-round QB pick in fantasy.

I’m thankful for the good friends I have and have made in each of my leagues, and the camaraderie that goes with playing the game. The friendly back-and-forth jabbing on Tuesday mornings is one of my favorite things about fantasy football.

I’m thankful for those of you who read this site, which my old high school buddy and I put together on a whim – he, in order to try his hand at writing sports, which he loves, and me, as an outlet to expel the column ideas and random thoughts that still rumble through a former sportswriter’s mind.

I’m thankful for having known Charles Hollis of the Birmingham News and (however minimally) Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News, two quintessential newspaper men who left us this month. Sports writing in Alabama is better for their efforts and now worse for their absence.

I’m thankful for my family, which indulges me this hobby although it occasionally takes up time that might be better spent otherwise, and I’m thankful for your understanding when I log out of Twitter tomorrow to spend the day with them (even though I’ll be keeping one eye on the games).

With Arizona and Kansas City off this week, here’s a few players who might make you thankful (or not) while you enjoy your turkey and dressing this Thanksgiving weekend:

QB:

Starts:

Cam Newton, Panthers: He’s back! And he earned his way back into our fantasy lineups with two passing TDs and one on the ground in last week’s loss to Washington. Miami’s defense has been better of late, but he’s still worth a shot if you’re looking for someone to carry the load until Kyler Murray and Patrick Mahomes get back or Russell Wilson gets well.

Sits:

Ryan Tannehill, Titans: Losing Derrick Henry did more than affect the Titans’ ground game; it also robbed Tannehill of his greatest weapon – play-action. Without as much of a threat on the ground, Tannehill hasn’t been his efficient self of late, throwing four picks in an unsightly loss to Jacksonville last week. He hasn’t thrown for more than one score in a game in the last three weeks. The Patriots don’t represent a prime spot to get back on track.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks: He doesn’t look right physically, which has me concerned that he returned from his injury too soon. You may not have better options, but I want a show-me week before I’m comfortable starting him again.

RB

Starts:

David Montgomery, Bears: He’s back to getting close to a full workload and while he hasn’t scored since returning from injury, a date with the Lions on Thanksgiving should give him a prime opportunity to break that drought. In their last meeting, he went for 106 yards and two scores.

James Robinson, Jaguars: Yes, he only managed 29 yards last week, but he’s scored in six of the last seven games in which he’s played and the opponent this week, Atlanta, should give him plenty of cracks at making it seven of eight.

Sits:

Alex Collins, Seahawks: He’s been first in line for carries with Chris Carson out, but he’s done woefully little with them, with 44 yards or less in each of his last four games. Seattle actually started Rashaad Penny ahead of him last week, but Penny got hurt after one carry. Expect more involvement from Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas.

Devin Singletary/Zack Moss, Bills: You were pretty much hoping one of them fell into the end zone anyway – a dicey proposition in and of itself with Josh Allen’s usual red zone involvement – but the recent addition of Matt Brieda into the mix clouds this backfield picture even further. And to top it off, the entire offense seems to be slumping right now.

WR:

Starts:

Darnell Mooney, Bears: He was targeted an eye-popping 16 times last week, turning it into 121 yards. With Allen Robinson ailing, he’s become the focal point of the Bears’ passing game. With the Lions next up on Thanksgiving, that makes him an attractive option even with Andy Dalton behind center.

Michael Gallup, Cowboys: Yes, he thudded against the Chiefs, but so did the Cowboys’ entire offense. The Raiders have been more forgiving than the Chiefs of late, and with Amari Cooper (COVID list) and CeeDee Lamb (concussion) both possibly sidelined, he should be Dak Prescott’s primary target.  Keep an eye on Lamb, however, as he may return to practice today. If he plays, it dampens Gallup’s outlook a bit.

Sits:

A.J. Brown, Titans: He’s not healthy and may not even play. If he does, resist the urge to start him against the Patriots if you have any other viable options. Not only is the risk of an in-game reaggravation high, but Bill Belichick is a master of taking away the opponent’s best offensive weapon. For the Derrick Henry-less Titans, that’s clearly Brown.

Tyler Lockett, Seahawks: See Wilson above. If your quarterback’s struggling, your receivers are going to have a hard time putting up numbers. Most managers would have a hard time sitting D.K. Metcalf, but Lockett may be more easily replaceable.

TE:

Starts:

Kyle Pitts, Falcons: He’s been downright bad as a fantasy option lately, largely because defenses are focusing on him as the Falcons’ primary downfield weapon. But a date with Jacksonville looks like just the get-right spot he needs.   

Dalton Schultz, Cowboys: If Cooper and Lamb sit (or even if just Cooper sits), Schultz could be looking at an uptick in volume.  

Sits:

Austin Hooper, Browns: It’s tempting to look at the Browns’ banged-up receiver room and conclude that the targets have to go somewhere. Hooper got seven looks last week and turned them into 53 yards. But as long as Baker Mayfield attempts to play through injuries that should clearly have him sidelined, the answer to which Browns pass-catcher to play will likely be none of the above.



Categories: Fantasy Football

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: