Did you have a good Week 11? The fantasy season is beginning to wind down fast, so time is of the essence to pad your lead or play catch up. Thanksgiving can often be the beginning of playoff season, but this season it's a bit slower to generate. Doesn't change the importance though.
Who to Start:
QB Eli Manning (NYG) vs. WSH: He's always due a turnover or two, but this matchup in Washington bodes well for him. He's thrown 10 TD passes in his last three games against DC and they were just torched by Cam Newton and Carolina one week ago (other starts: Carson Palmer, Brian Hoyer, Carson Palmer).
RB DeMarco Murray (PHI) vs. DET THU: He's burned many a fantasy owner expecting big things out of him (see, me), but this Thanksgiving matchup against the Lions is a tasty one. The Lions run defense has been gashed repeatedly this season, and with a short week and the Eagles possibly not having Ryan Mathews, Murray could have a nice day (other starts: Chris Ivory, Jonathan Stewart (THU), Doug Martin)
WR Calvin Johnson (DET) vs. PHI THU: Usually I shouldn't have to tell you to start Calvin Johnson, but this season starting him hasn't been quite as obvious a play. He hasn't been putting up points lately, but the Eagles secondary has been carved up better than your turkey tomorrow. He's worth starting again, at least this week.
WR Randall Cobb (GB) vs. CHI THU: He's been a sit recently, and for good reason not only because of the teams he's gone up against. But Chicago isn't Denver, Carolina or Minnesota. Cobb and the Packers offense seemed to find their groove against last week, so against the Bears normalcy should return (other starts: Jarvis Landry, Eric Decker, Travis Benjamin (MON))
TE Antonio Gates (SD) vs. JAX: He and the Chargers are really dinged up, but the matchup in Jacksonville on Sunday is very favorable. The Jags have never been able to defend Tight Ends well, and with limited options, Philip Rivers is going to have to throw the ball to someone (Other starts: Delanie Walker, Jimmy Graham, Crockett Gilmore (MON))
DEF Arizona vs. SF: The Blaine train is pulling into the station! This is very good news for Arizona! (Other starts: NYJ, KC, GB (THU))
Who to Sit:
QB Andy Dalton (CIN) vs. STL: He did bounce back against the Cardinals last Sunday, but that is seemingly an outlier to his recent performances which have been anything but inspiring. The Rams defense, despite what happened to them against the Bears two weeks ago, is still pretty stout against the pass, so Dalton is a risky play on Sunday (other sits: Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Alex Smith)
RB Latavius Murray (OAK) vs. TEN: I keep waiting for him to break out and become a bonafide fantasy #1, and I'm still waiting. The matchup against the Titans is surprisingly not favorable, as their defense has been pretty stout against the run all season (other sits: Frank Gore, C.J Anderson, Lamar Miller)
WR Dez Bryant (DAL) vs. CAR THU: "You can't sit Dez", would be a comment that I'd get if people actually read this column. But remember who he is going to be matched up against on this Thanksgiving: Josh Norman. Only one number one had any sort of success against him this season, and that was DeAndre Hopkins after he was targeted it felt like 20 times. This is a tough play despite the name and relationship with Tony Romo.
WR Stefon Diggs (MIN) vs. ATL: I hate putting a Terp here, because I love all of them especially Stef, but his recent performances have been slipping of late, and the Falcons secondary has been pretty good this season. This is a tough matchup (other sits: Jordan Matthews, Jeremy Maclin, Anquan Boldin).
TE Jordan Cameron (MIA) vs. NYJ: He scored a TD last week! It felt like a miracle! The Jets have been really stout against Tight Ends this season, so expecting a repeat performance isn't really worth the energy (other sits: Ben Watson, Charles Clay, Jason Witten).
DEF Indianapolis vs. TB: The Bucs offense looked really good last Sunday (against a far worse defense) while the Colts defense feasted on some terrible play from Matt Ryan. The trend might continue for the Bucs offense, while switching for the Colts defense (other sits: DAL, BUF, NYG).
Three Super Sleepers:
QB Brian Hoyer (HOU) vs. NO: *Checks who Houston is playing* Start Brian Hoyer immediately if you have him.
RB Chris Johnson (ARZ) vs. SF: The former CJ2K has been up and down this season, but he probably will be up this week against the 49ers defense, which is a shell of its former self and was gashed by Thomas Rawls last Sunday.
WR Martavis Bryant (PIT) vs. SEA: The Steelers pass offense is dynamite, and the Seahawks Legion of Boom is not what it used to be. Bryant can feast on big plays, and his fantasy owners might well do the same on Sunday.
QB Tony Romo (DAL) vs. CAR THU: He looked perfectly fine against Miami on Sunday, even with a little rust. The question is can he put together a great performance against the incredibly stout Panthers defense on Thursday? They've shut down almost everyone they've faced this season, so this matchup is sketchy even though the temptation is there.
Good Luck in Week 12 and have a happy Thanksgiving!