Thanksgiving week in the NFL is a glorious part of the season: it’s the only time we enjoy Thursday games, we are have the fantasy playoffs right around the corner, and bye weeks are over.
Before you dig into that second piece of pumpkin pie, dive in to these start and sit suggestions for Week 12…
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QB: Eli Manning, Giants
Cleveland’s defense is terrible. Opposing QBs have torched their secondary for at least three TDs in two of the past three games. Last week, with a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers decided to run the ball and drain the clock. Otherwise, it would probably be three straight games with three-TD performances. As for Manning, he’s completed at least two TD passes in four of the past five games.
Others to start: Kirk Cousins (Redskins), Dak Prescott (Cowboys), and Marcus Mariota (Titans)
RB: Frank Gore, Colts
Without Andrew Luck, look for the Colts to rely heavily on the running game. The Steelers have allowed six total TDs to opposing RBs in the past five weeks. For the 2016 season, thus far, Pittsburgh has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to their opponent’s running back committee.
Others to start: Thomas Rawls (Seahawks), Rob Kelley (Redskins), and Wendell Smallwood (Eagles)
WR: Jamison Crowder, Redskins
You could make the case that Crowder is the biggest fantasy sleeper of 2016. He’s scored three TDs in the past four games and has notched over 100 receiving yards in that same time span. Dallas is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the opposing WR corps. In Week 2, Crowder caught six passes and scored a TD against the Cowboys.
Others to start: Rishard Matthews (Titans), Steve Smith Sr. (Ravens), and Michael Crabtree (Raiders)
TE: Zach Ertz, Eagles
His targets are finally getting consistent enough choose Ertz as your fantasy TE on a regular basis. Ertz has received at least seven targets in three straight games and even scored his first TD of the season last week. With injuries to the Eagles running game, Ertz might be used more in short yardage situations. As for his Week 12 opponent, Green Bay has allowed two touchdowns and 295 receiving yards to opposing TEs in the past three games.
Others to start: Will Tye (Giants), Kyle Rudolph (Vikings), and Eric Ebron (Lions)
QB: Andy Dalton, Bengals
The Red Rocket will miss his favorite weapon on Sunday. A.J. Green is out with a strained hamstring. If that wasn’t enough, his offense will be without his favorite pass-catching running back, Gio Bernard, for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Also, Brandon LaFell missed practice on Wednesday. Baltimore’s run defense is allowing only 76 rushing yards per game (NFL best). It could be a long day for Cincinnati.
Others to bench: Jameis Winston (Buccaneers), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Jets), and Joe Flacco (Ravens)
RB: Chris Ivory, Jaguars
The Jacksonville offense is struggling mightily. They are 27th in points per game (19.3) and 26th in rushing yards per game (87.6). As for the Bills, since Jay Ajayi ran all over that defense to the tune of 214 yards, they haven’t allowed a running back to surpass 70 rushing yards in a game. Ivory hasn’t rushed for more than 40 yards in three of the past four games.
Others to bench: Tevin Coleman (Falcons), James Starks (Packers), and Jeremy Hill (Bengals)
WR: Donte Moncrief, Colts
All of the Indianapolis receivers will drop in the rankings with Scott Tolzien as their QB. Even though Moncrief has scored in three straight games, I think Phillip Dorsett will be the Colts WR to target. Generally, when the backup quarterback gets the start, they tend to throw to the player with whom they have chemistry. Backups practice with backups. Maybe Moncrief breaks away for a long TD, but those are long odds without Andrew Luck under center.
Others to bench: Randall Cobb (Packers), Michael Floyd (Cardinals), and Marvin Jones Jr. (Lions)
TE: Cameron Brate, Buccaneers
After scoring in three consecutive games, Brate was only targeted three times last week against the Chiefs. Seattle is another team that defends the TE position well. They’ve only allowed two receiving touchdowns to opposing TEs this season. There are other TEs who are potentially free agents in your fantasy league who have much better matchups this week (Will Tye, Jason Witten, and Ertz).
Others to bench: Gary Barnidge (Browns), Coby Fleener (Saints), and Jared Cook (Packers)