By now we all know that Thanksgiving is upon us, and with the day being so very busy with eating and so many football teams in action, we have decided to bring you this weeks “Start Em/Sit Em” early, so you can get your line-ups in and still have plenty of time to enjoy the feast.
The Shark is hanging tough in his fantasy leagues and is fighting for some playoffs spots. So this is not the time to get real serious. Let’s not try and get all smart or risky. Keep an eye on the match-ups however. Benching Fred Jackson for Darren McFadden last week was not the best choice, but hey somethings happen.
So here is my list of start and sits, Thanksgiving style. So I will change it up a bit with “Turkeys” to represent Sit Ems and Desserts for Start Ems (you know since it is sweet!)
Desserts ( Start Ems ):
Kyle Orton, Broncos vs Rams: Orton may have looked poor this past Monday night, but the Chargers are just handling business. The Rams, however have been slumping of late, so start the usually very active Orton. He has nice weapons to work with and is in the top 5 in most QB categories, so get him in here at home.
Drew Brees, Saints at Cowboys: Yes it is Thanksgiving in Dallas, but it is also late November in the NFL. Drew Brees should be able to pick apart a hurting Dallas secondary and the Saints very much need to keep winning to keep pace in a crowded NFC South. The Cowboys “rebirth” may take a week off here, and ride it with Brees.
Turkeys ( Sit Em ):
Carson Palmer, Bengals at Jets: Palmer has been battling a foot injury all week, but is expected to start Thanksgiving night against the Jets. Problem here is the Jets secondary does not give up much so I find it hard to imagine a struggling Bengals team doing much here.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills vs Steelers: I know I said this last week, and we went off, but this week it is Pittsburgh coming to town, and we know how they play defense. You have to think the Raiders offense is as good if not better than the Bills, and they were man-handled last week by the Steelers. Fitz has played well, but only average against the better teams.
Matt Cassel, Chiefs at Seahawks: The Chiefs run the ball really well, and Seattle has not done much to stop anyone lately. Cassel does have a big-time weapon in Dwayne Bowe, who has scored in 6 straight games, and he may grab another here, but Cassel may not bring tons of points.
Darren McFadden, Raiders vs Dolphins: McFadden had an awful day last week vs. the Steelers, but what RB doesn’t? The Raiders need to rack up some wins, as bad as the Dolphins do, so they need to ride the cash cow which is McFadden. He has been real big in rushing and in the passing game as well. I’d expect a nice bounce back from “Run DMC” here.
Mike Tolbert, Chargers at Colts: Play it by the numbers folks. Tolbert leads the NFL this year in consecutive games scoring by a player other than QB. He has scored either a TD or 2-point conversion in 7 straight games, and now he has the weak rush defense of the Colts to deal with. The Chargers do everything right on offense, so you will see lots of Charger names here.
Arian Foster, Texans vs Titans: Once again, playing it obvious, but no shame here, he is the goods. Foster leads the NFL in rush yards and rush TDs and also has 33 receptions. Every year Houston seems to find a quality go to RB, and Foster is that guy. If this team was in better standings we’d be looking at him as a potential MVP candidate. In a game that will feature Chris Johnson as well, this should be a turf grinder here.
Fred Jackson, Bills vs Steelers: May not be so creative to ask you to sit all the Bills, but if you saw last week’s game, the Steelers when hot take care of business. Jackson is a guy not to overlook though for the stretch run. He has been hot the last 2 weeks, and owns the show here. He also has a toughie next week vs. the Vikings run defense, but stay tuned.
Keiland Williams, Redskins vs Vikings: As I mentioned, the Vikings still have a pretty good run defense, and Williams had a decent, but not great game last week against the Titans. Williams is a good ball player, but may not be ready for prime-time defenses yet.
Matt Forte, Bears vs Eagles: The Eagles defense has been doing a nice job with opposing RBs, and Forte has had some rough weeks, so this should be one of those. Yes, he can go off if he gets enough action in the passing game, but the Birds flock to the ball very well, so be hesitant here if possible.
Greg Jennings, Packers at Falcons: 3 TDs last week vs the Vikings and scores in 3 straight will tell us something, Jennings is back to being an elite WR in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers told Fox sports that when Jermichael Finley went down with injury that he was “making it a point to make Jennings my main target”, and when the best fantasy QB in the league makes someone his main target, you ride that guy if you own him. Also, the Falcons are not overly scary in the secondary.
Santonio Holmes, Jets vs Bengals: Holmes has been magical for the Jets over the last 3 weeks, and also has 3 TDs in that time. He is the late heroics guy, but those heroics have been adding up to plenty of points. This week a banged up and busted spirited Bengals team is in town, so expect Holmes to be very busy, all game, bot just at the end.
Mario Manningham, Giants vs Jaguars: The Jaguars are ranked 30th against the pass, and with both Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith out this week, we should see loads of Manningham. Outside of him the Giants are looking at guys like Derrick Hagan, the recently signed Michael Clayton, and TE Kevin Boss, who just does not run the field well. The G-Men should get some scores given the opponent, so go with the top option they have.
Sidney Rice, Vikings at Redskins: Rice was on the field last week, but he just does not look ready, and has a team that does not look very motivated. Yes they have a new coach, which may bring a new approach, but it does not bode well for fantasy owners.
Anquan Boldin, Ravens vs Buccaneers: Boldin has been limited the last few weeks, and now goes up against a much improved Bucs defense. The Ravens are more likely to go run heavy as Tampa can be had on the ground. Ray Rice and Willis McGahee make a nice tandem, and the Ravens could ride it to the playoffs. Boldin has been the guy ganged up on by opposing defenses.
Malcolm Floyd, Chargers at Colts: With Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates expected back this week, there will be less action for Floyd. Although they are now without Patrick Crayton, and Floyd can stay busy, he may not be huge with so many guys to get the ball on this offense.
Waiver Wire pickups:
Get creative, there are still a few gems left to have.
Arrelious Benn, WR, Buccaneers: With Mike Williams getting more attention from defenses, and the Bucs having a good run game to open things up, Benn has been getting busy the last few weeks, keep your eye on him.
Toby Gerhardt, RB, Vikings: We know this is Peterson town, but over the last few weeks we have seen more and more of Gerhardt. With the Vikings season slipping away, he may get more action, and in 12 team leagues he can be viable.
Brandon Gibson, WR, Rams: We all have seen Danny Amendola do his thing, but now it appears that Gibson is getting active here too. Sam Bradford has done a solid job with this no name WR corps, but they are getting the juice.
Blair White, WR, Colts: As Austin Collie continues to get injured, and Pierre Garcon continues to do much of nothing, White may emerge. Last week he had 2 TDs in a huge game against the Pats. You have to think if Manning can trust him in that kind of game, he can trust him anytime.
Now time for the “Dear Shark” segment. Your questions, my answers, here we go:
Q: Do I trust Vincent Jackson now that he is back?
A: Well, he is a beast of a player, and the Chargers have the best offense in football. The Chargers have lots of weapons to use, but Jackson in the past has been their best. He has stayed in great shape, so check it out, and roll with it.
Q: How do I use Eli Manning without his 2 top targets?
A: Well, the Giants have the Jaguars this week who are terrible in pass defense, then Washington and Tampa, then the Eagles again. Manning has improved a great deal, but after this week, you will need to weigh your options.
Q: Fred Jackson is getting hot, do I use him?
A: Jackson, when used in this offense has always been a nice fantasy option. However he will see the Steelers and the Vikings in consecutive weeks, so if you have better options, use them. He may be a big fantasy playoff player though.
Q: Can I start any WR against Darrelle Revis?
A: That answer appears to be a no! “Revis Island” started as a neat nickname, but now it is so very real. Revis keeps the very best in check, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson,
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]
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