Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As everyone gets ready to stuff their faces with Turkey, or set up tents outside your local Wal-Mart, I'm excited to say I'm thankful for my fantasy team rebounding to have a 6-6 record at this stage after a terrible start. And I'm also thankful for no more bye weeks the rest of the way. All 32 teams are playing every week, which means a full slate of football for everyone. Cheers to that. And in honor of Thanksgiving, enjoy this stuffed column with more recommendations than usual.
Who to Start:
QB Matt Stafford (DET) vs. GB THU: Aside from last week, Stafford has been pretty efficient at home. The Packers defense has been pretty abysmal for most of the season, so Stafford should be able to rebound on the big stage.
QB Philip Rivers (SD) vs. CIN: On paper, this matchup looks bad for Rivers and the Bolts. But when you look closer, the Bengals have not been nearly as good away from home as they have at home, and injuries have played a role in that. Rivers could have a big game Sunday.
RB Andre Brown (NYG) vs. WSH: It seems the Giants have finally found their consistent running back that they've long needed. His pace should continue against the dreadful Washington rush defense, which gets gashed week after week.
RB Chris Ivory (NYJ) vs. MIA: While the Dolphins defense has been overall solid for most of the season, they have been pretty poor against the run. Ivory will need to have a big game for the Jets to get a win, and he likely will.
WR Josh Gordon (CLE) vs. JAX: Brandon Weeden does scare me, as does the Jags improving pass defense. But even in garbage time, that Gordon performance last week is too hard to look away from.
WR Michael Floyd (ARZ) vs. PHI: He's been on fire recently, torching both the Jaguars and Colts. The Eagles secondary is not very good either, so Floyd could be in line for another big day.
WR Harry Douglas (ATL) vs. BUF: He's not been a like-for-like replacement for Julio Jones, but he's been good enough for fantasy owners. The Bills secondary is pretty bad, and he doesn't have to deal with the Buffalo elements since the game is in Toronto.
TE Greg Olsen (CAR) vs. TB: He's been a consistent target for Cam Newton, as well as a consistent performer for fantasy owners. The Bucs have been a lot better in their 3 game winning streak, but this is the best team they're playing in that stretch.
TE Martellus Bennett (CHI) vs. MIN: Inconsistent but important, Bennett has been the type of TE that has frustrated everyone playing against him or starting him. He could be due for an off game because of his recent form, but he torched the Vikings in Week 2.
DEF New England vs. HOU: It's amazing how bad the Texans offense is. The Pats aren't the world's best fantasy defense, but they could have a field day against the Texans.
DEF Dallas vs. OAK THU: Matt McGloin is who he is, which means he's not good. Dallas should romp.
Who to Sit:
QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs. BAL THU: Hard to bench him on current form, but he's never played all that well against the Ravens, and Baltimore is a totally different team at home compared to away from it.
QB Mike Glennon (TB) vs. CAR: He's been a fantasy sleeper based on how well he's played for the Bucs, but he's been the beneficiary of some good matchups. Carolina's isn't one that is. He probably will come back down to earth.
RB Pierre Thomas (NO) vs. SEA MON: He's been playing great recently for New Orleans, but that snake-pit in Seattle is going to be hard to continue that success in. They're great against the run, especially in Seattle.
RB Anyone for New England vs. HOU: Based on the case of the fumbles guys like Stevan Ridley had against the Broncos, this doesn't bode well for anyone that screws up against the Texans since they could quickly go in the doghouse.
WR T.Y Hilton (IND) vs. TEN: As the Colts have gone cold, so has Hilton. The Titans defense has been better against the pass of late, including in Week 11, so Hilton is probably one to avoid.
WR Cecil Shorts (JAX) vs. CLE: As he complained about targets in Week 11, he got more of them against Houston, and performed well. But he's going up against Joe Haden this week, and very few receivers get the better of him.
WR Tavon Austin (STL) vs. SF: It's really nice to see him finally emerge as the big play threat the Rams drafted him as. But, his success has been against inferior defenses, and finally the 49ers unit seems to have found their feet again.
TE Jared Cook (STL) vs. SF: The invisible one for most of the year, he's actually rebounded nicely of late. But if you want to see why he's in this part of the column, see above.
TE Antonio Gates (SD) vs. CIN: He's losing targets to Ladarius Green of late, meaning his fantasy value is going down with it. The matchup against the Bengals isn't totally favorable either.
DEF Kansas City vs. DEN: Injuries + facing Peyton Manning a second time = disaster.
DEF New Orleans vs. SEA MON: They've been awesome for most of the season, but their major struggles have come away from home, and Seattle has made some defenses look silly at CenturyLink before (see 49ers, San Francisco).
4 Super Sleepers:
QB Josh McCown (CHI) vs. MIN: He's been an admirable replacement for Jay Cutler when he's been hurt, and this matchup against the pretty terrible Vikings secondary is favorable for him to have another decently big game.
RB Donald Brown (IND) vs. TEN: As Trent Richardson continues on the train to Bustville, Donald Brown picks up the ashes and plays pretty well. He did so against the Titans in their first meeting, so there is no reason to think that he won't do that again.
WR Kendall Wright (TEN) vs. IND: He's been a PPR star this season, and in other leagues he's starting to figure even more prominently. The Colts secondary has been torched badly since their bye week, so Wright could have another big game.
DEF Miami vs. NYJ: The Jets are usually better at home than they are on the road, but the turnovers from Geno Smith in the last 2 games have been appalling. Because of that, the Dolphins D could be in for a big game.
QB Russell Wilson (SEA) vs. NO MON: Hard to bench him at this point considering how well he's been playing, but the Saints defense is the best one Wilson will have faced on paper since the Cardinals in Week 7. He could be in for some struggles, which might lead some to bench him.
WR Torrey Smith (BAL) vs. PIT THU: No one usually does well on offense when the Steelers and Ravens play each other, and Smith while on good form has never done well against Pittsburgh in his career. Again hard to bench, but one that might need to be considered.
Good Luck in Week 13 and remember that Tryptophan doesn't actually make you sleepy.
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