By: Matthew Hicks @Turning2Sports
Thanksgiving Starts and Sits
Most people find thanksgiving to be a relaxing holiday, where you can shut-off your brain and enjoy a stress free day. Fantasy football players in the midst of a playoff run disagree. We see three games packed with high impact fantasy players. Some of them will leave you feeling as content as a stomach full of turkey, others will make you go back for that second slice of stress eaten pie.
Case Keenum: Sit
Keenum has been hot, putting up 872 yards and 7 touchdowns the last 3 weeks. Keenum also has a tendency to turn over the ball; with 5 interceptions in his last 5 games. The Lions D/ST, currently ranked 4th in fantasy, is averaging 1.1 interceptions a game and 2 turnovers a game. The Lions are at home, on Thanksgiving, in prime-time, and in what is likely a must win. I’m sitting the turnover prone Keenum in what looks like a huge trap game for owners finally willing to give him a shot.
Philip Rivers: Start
I rarely advocate for Rivers, however, this match-up is undeniable. The Cowboys are giving up, on average, 239 yards and 1.8 touchdowns a game to opposing quarterbacks. It’s been worse over the last two weeks, where the Cowboys D/ST have given up the 12th most fantasy points to opposing offenses. In stark contrast, Rivers has been surprisingly solid; putting up 486 yards and 4 touchdowns the last two weeks; 235 yards and 2 touchdowns of those yards came against a Jacksonville defense that’s embarrassed most quarterbacks this season.
Samaje Perine: Start
As we wrote earlier this week, Perine is a must start this week against a porous Giants defense. Perine, is averaging 4 yards/carry but has failed to see a significant volume behind Thompson and Kelley. With both of those backs out for the foreseeable future, we can expect Perine to see 20+ carries again. I’m expecting at least 80 yards and a touchdown, making him a solid RB2 or fantastic flex option.
Alfred Morris: Start
Lost amongst the offensive mess in Dallas is two surprisingly strong rushing performances by Morris. He’s averaging 5.1 yards/carry on his 28 attempts since filling in for Zeke. If Morris can be that productive with a dysfunctional offensive line and unintimidating quarterback play, can you imagine what he’d do with some redzone opportunities? Morris’ volume and yards/carry makes him a solid flex play against a Chargers defense that is likely to hone in on Dak.
Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick: Sit
The Lions running game has been non-existent. Cover your ears Abdullah truthers, but this guy just can’t perform. Over the last three weeks (against Green Bay, Cleveland, and Chicago) has just 122 yards on 44 carries (2.7 yards/carry) and has only 4 receptions for 25 yards. Theo Riddick is equally unplayable; with just 88 rushing yards and 8 receptions over that same span of games. You shouldn’t play them against any team, but especially not against a defense that just shut down Todd Gurley to 37 yards.
Stefon Diggs: Sit
Take away his monster start to the season, and you find an unimpressive WR. In his last four games, Diggs has just 141 yards on 13 receptions for 1 touchdown. The Lions defense has given up the second least amount of points against WRs the last two weeks. This makes for a bad combination for fantasy owners who have better choices. Treat Diggs as a WR3 and only start him with low expectations.
Adam Thielen: Start
Forget what I just said about the Lions defense, because Thielen in match-up proof. Thielen has at least 5 receptions in every game this season. In 6 of those 10 games he’s put up at least 96 yards and has a touchdown in each of his last three games. Thielen is the most underrated WR1 moving forward, and he’s a must play in any match-up.
Sterling Shepard: Start
Shepard, by default, has become the top receiver in a recovering New York Giants offense. Shepard has 22 targets in his last two games and has pulled in 72% of those looks for 212 yards. Shepard missed last week with a migraine but should play huge on turkey day against a Redskins team that always struggles against the Giants. Shepard is a solid WR2 option in PPR leagues.