There's only one week left until Thanksgiving, so it's time to start thinking about what we're all thankful for. I have a few ideas, and surprisingly, the Jacksonville Jaguars are not something I am thankful for. I now believe they may be a spite on my soul for something I've done in a past life that I can't quite articulate. But I am thankful for fantasy football and this column, which has made me look at least a little bit smart.
Byes: CAR, PIT
Who to Start:
QB Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs. WSH: Even as the 49ers struggle to decide what their offensive identity is, Kaepernick might be starting to find his feet. The 49ers schedule gets tougher as the season winds down, so this Sunday's matchup against a Washington secondary that made Josh McCown look like a world beater is a favorable one.
RB Matt Forte (CHI) vs. TB: If the Bears are to climb back into the playoff race, they're going to need Matt Forte to run the ball with efficiency... at least more than he has done recently. He might get off to a good start on Sunday against a Bucs rush defense that has struggled recently.
WR Josh Gordon (CLE) vs. ATL: He's back. Even though I'm hesitant to start someone who is cold like Gordon will be Sunday, the matchup against the Falcons is just too good to pass up. They are the worst in the league against the pass for a reason.
WR Odell Beckham (NYG) vs. DAL: Despite Eli Manning's struggles recently (and there are plenty of them), Beckham has still found a way to have a big game every week despite that. Dallas' defense isn't quite what some people think it is, so even if Manning and the rest of the Giants struggle, Beckham probably won't.
TE Dwayne Allen or Coby Fleener (IND) vs. JAX: If Allen is healthy, he's about as close to a must start as possible. Not only do the Jaguars struggle to defend Tight Ends, Allen is a red zone pilferer of touchdowns. But, his injury status remains a question. If he's healthy, go with him. If not, go with his partner in crime in Coby Fleener.
DEF Buffalo vs. NYJ: The weather in Western New York is frightful, and it's almost as frightful as watching the Jets. Even though they're coming off a bye and a great performance against Pittsburgh, the Jets are still a really bad team on offense. The Bills need this game, and they'll probably get it against a Jets team that hasn't won a road game yet this season.
Who to Sit:
QB Alex Smith (KC) vs. OAK THU: Even though Smith has been very consistent this season, that means his numbers haven't been spectacular. Going with him as your #1 on a short week and on the road is a dicey proposition, and the Raiders defense has been playing much better of late.
RB Jonas Gray (NE) vs. DET: The winner of the Patriots running back Russian Roulette this week is... Even though he was awesome last Sunday night in Indianapolis, there are 2 factors going against him this week. One, is that the Lions still have the best rush defense in football. Second is that there could be another UDFA running back that Wally Pipp's him.
WR John Brown (ARZ) vs. SEA: Despite the QB changes around him, Brown has still managed to put up big fantasy numbers anyway. His roadtrip in Seattle this week is a tough spot for him though. Even though the Seahawks aren't the same team from a year ago, they're still third against the pass and obviously tough to beat at home.
WR DeSean Jackson (WSH) vs. SF: Jackson has been the one constant in the constant turnover that is the Washington offense. With the struggles that unit has been having (and the calls for Colt McCoy (!!!!!!)), and the 49ers defense still being what it is, he is a risky play on Sunday.
TE Jared Cook (STL) vs. SD: His numbers this season have been iffy, and the Chargers defense has been pretty good against Tight Ends this season as well. The Rams are also prime for a letdown after a big win against Denver as well.
DEF Chicago vs. TB: This matchup might seem like a decent one. It's the Bucs on the road, in the cold, and almost everyone knows the Bucs struggle in the cold. But, it's Lovie Smith coming home to Chicago, and I bet he wants a good measure of revenge against his former team.
3 Super Sleepers:
QB Mark Sanchez (PHI) vs. TEN: He looked a lot more like the New York Jet Mark Sanchez last Sunday and not the guy that set the world on fire last MNF. I think he'll be back to the form of the latter against the absolutely putrid Titans defense on Sunday. The Eagles also don't seem vulnerable to trap games, as this one certainly can be.
RB Denard Robinson (JAX) vs. IND: Robinson has established himself as the #1 back in Jacksonville, and despite their record, Robinson has become a viable fantasy option for the Jags. The Colts were gashed by Jonas Gray last week, so it figures that Robinson could almost pull off the same feat.
RB Dan Herron (IND) vs. JAX: With Ahmad Bradshaw done for the season, Herron is going to see more touches in the backfield. The Jaguars have allowed the most receptions by running backs this season, so Herron could be a decent option in PPR and standard leagues.
QB Russell Wilson (SEA) vs. ARZ: He's not the same Russell Wilson as a year ago. Also, the Cardinals defense is incredibly aggressive, so even though he'll have the home field advantage, it could be a long day at the offense for the Seahawks signal caller.
Good Luck in Week 12!