Thanksgiving for some means family. For some it means food. For others (likely those reading this), it also means football. It means the chance for your fantasy team to get some points on the board before the Sunday slate.
This year, because Thanksgiving is a week later than usual, it also means the last gasp to get into the fantasy playoffs for those teams that can win and get in. Therefore, before you sit down and eat the turkey, make sure you check your lineups and the matchups. Good luck and enjoy the mashed potatoes.
START These Players
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Trubisky has been embarrassingly bad at points this season, but the matchup against Detroit is a good one and the Bears need this one if they want to stay in the playoff hunt (the real playoffs, Trubisky doesn't care about your fantasy team). In the past three games, Trubisky has five touchdowns and three interceptions. He's only thrown for more than 200 yards in one of those games, so don't expect volume, but the production should be there. He's a QB2 and someone to consider in the Thursday slate in DFS.
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
This is the end of the Bears players to start, I promise. However, Detroit allows the second-most points to running backs. The last time these two teams met, Montgomery only had 60 yards and it was Tarik Cohen that had the touchdown. This may be the case again, so picking which RB to start is a dart throw. However, odds are that one of these RBs is going to score. Because the score will likely remain close, it should be Montgomery with the edge, however.
Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Julio Jones is banged up and is likely going to be a game-time decision. Calvin Ridley is a no-brainer WR1. However, Russell Gage should also be considered as it appears Austin Hooper is going to miss another game. The matchup against the Saints is a tough one, but the Falcons do typically play better at home. Gage is a plug-in WR3 if Jones is out. In Week 12, Gage had 10 targets. He caught eight of them for 76 yards. This is clearly the guy that Matt Ryan will look toward especially if Ridley draws double-teams.
Jared Cook, TE, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Coming off a game where he had eight targets and turned those into six receptions, 99 yards, and a touchdown, Cook is clearly a part of the Saints offense. In the past three weeks since the bye, he has had either a touchdown or 70 yards in each of the games. Cook has become Drew Brees' favored red zone target. He's a TE1 for Thursday night.
SIT These Players
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills
The New England Patriots are the toughest against quarterbacks (Prescott's Week 12 matchup), but the Bills are the second-toughest, and that's who he faces on Thursday. Last week, Prescott struggled because of the match-p and the weather. He had 212 scoreless yards and an interception. Life doesn't get easier for him in Week 13 against Buffalo. With Amari Cooper still banged up, Prescott is struggling to move the ball downfield. Prescott is more of a QB2 this week.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Practice reports indicate that Freeman is going to return to game action on Thanksgiving. He's practiced in full, which usually is a solid indicator that he will play. The Falcons need him back, not because he's had a great season, but because Brian Hill couldn't fill the role. Freeman last played in Week 10 against the Saints and had 38 rushing yards. New Orleans' defense has been tough all season and coming back from injury, this isn't the week to trust Freeman as anything more than a flex.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears
The Bears give up the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers and word came out Wednesday night that undrafted rookie David Blough would start for the Lions in place of Jeff Driskel, who was already filling in for Matthew Stafford (back fracture). Driskel has been dealing with a hamstring injury and while he said he was improving, Blough will get the start with Driskel serving as the backup. Downgrade all Lions pass catchers for Week 13, starting with Golladay.
John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys
The Bills/Cowboys game has the potential to be low-scoring as both defenses are decent. The Cowboys allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Brown has struggled in tough matchups. In Week 12, he had two receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown. He may fare better than that this week, but he's still a low WR2.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo courtesy of chicagobears.com)