Thanksgiving is finally here and while you’re probably super excited to sit down with friends and family for a nice holiday feast, don’t forget you have very important matters to take care of – you need to set your fantasy football roster!
The fantasy football playoffs are just around the corner, so it’s crunch time. A win this week could go a long way in either
solidifying your playoff chances or helping you make the playoffs.
So with three games on Thursday, which players can you trust to get you off to a good start for Week 12 and which ones should you consider leaving on your bench?
START THESE GUYS
Orleans Darkwa, RB, NYG (at WAS)
Since becoming the lead back for the Giants, Darkwa has posted double-digit fantasy points in four of his last six games and has more than 70 rushing yards in each of his last three games, and that’s with the Giants playing catch up in most games. His matchup this week against the Redskins should be fantasy gold as Washington has given up five rushing touchdowns in their last four games and have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs on the year. Darkwa is dealing with a hamstring issue, so just make sure he’s active before plugging him in.
Vernon Davis, TE, WAS (vs. NYG)
With pass-catching running back Chris Thompson going on injured reserve, there are targets up for grabs with Davis and Jamison Crowder in line to be the main beneficiaries. In Davis’ case, it appears that Jordan Reed will miss yet another game. In his absence, Davis has seen 26 targets over the last three games. If he gets more in what could be a fun little shootout against the Giants, you get points.
Latavius Murray, RB, MIN (at DET)
Murray finally looks like he’s getting over his ankle injury that hampered him earlier this season. He’s getting all the goal-line work on an offense that is scoring more points than people expected. It’s true that he is in a timeshare with Jerick McKinnon, but it’s Murray’s touches that are increasing and he should get fed the ball a ton on Thanksgiving. The Lions are giving up 167 rushing yards per game in their last three, while allowing almost 25 fantasy points per game to running backs as well. Those numbers make Murray a must-start this week.
Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN (at DET)
It’s strange to think, but Diggs (above, right) is clearly the No. 2 WR in Minnesota right now behind Adam Thielen. Even when factoring in missed time for Diggs, he’s still averaging three fewer targets per game than Thielen. Diggs possesses the talent to have big games and this could be a spot that facilitates one of those high-scoring weeks against a Lions defense that has allowed the 13th-most passing yards per game.
SIT THESE GUYS
Dak Prescott, QB, DAL (vs. LAC)
After losing Ezekiel Elliott and being crushed thanks to a rotating cast at left tackle, Prescott is once again on the sit list. This past Sunday he got you a shocking and rare zero in most leagues, going negative in others. The Chargers, meanwhile, have been rolling out one of the better defenses against the pass all year. There are streaming QB options out there with no teams on bye. Wait for Dallas to figure out its offense and don’t play a guy who’s scored about 10 fantasy points over the last two weeks.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, DET (vs. MIN)
You can’t trust Abdullah’s recent scoring spree. He’s doing it as a touchdown-dependent running back who doesn’t get enough volume to justify starting. He’s scored in three straight games, but he hasn’t had more than 60 total yards since Week 4. That’s because the Lions are focusing on the pass. Also, Abdullah’s matchup is brutal as the Vikings are allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs, so the Lions would be wise to keep throwing the football.
Marvin Jones Jr., WR, DET (vs. MIN)
While there should be plenty of fantasy goodies in the first game of the Thanksgiving slate, don’t expect much for Jones. Not only do the Vikings have one of the best defenses in football, Jones is going to be covered by shutdown corner Xavier Rhodes, which will open up space for Golden Tate out of the slot, and for Theo Riddick out of the backfield. A three-catch, 35-yard game isn’t out of the question this week for Jones.
Hunter Henry, TE, LAC (at DAL)
Henry was supposed to be a top-12 tight end this year, and you most likely drafted him to be your starter, but he isn’t even worth rostering at this point. He hasn’t scored double-digit fantasy points since Week 7 and only has nine total targets in his last three games. While Henry does have all the talent in the world and the future is bright, you’re better off starting Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Tyler Kroft this week.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.