Turkey Day Start/Sit
By Joe Goodwin
Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions
Start: Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Dawson Know, James Cook, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jamaal Williams
Sit: Gabe Davis, Devin Singletary, Jared Goff, DeAndre Swift, Justin Jackson
Generally, this matchup would have BLOWOUT written all over it. And, it could very well be that. However, having watched the Lions play on Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, I find myself always saying, “...you have to be careful, the Lions always play tough on Thanksgiving…” Stating that, I still believe the Bills will win easily, but I do believe it will be interesting. When you think of the Bills, everything begins with Josh Allen. He is the motor that makes this team go. And he is a must start. I also believe the auto-correct will be hit and Stefon Diggs will bounce back after last week’s mediocre performance. The Lions pass defense has been improved lately, but has not been tested. I just don't see the volume for Gabe Davis to warrant a must start. Most will play him anyway, but don’t expect a huge game based on the game flow I expect. I think the Bills will be on cruise control in the 2nd half and won’t need to expend a lot of energy to maintain their lead. That is why I’m leaning toward James Cook over Devin Singletary.. I believe his increased usage over the last few weeks, coupled with a double-digit lead, will afford Cook a lot of work at the end of the game. I also expect the emergence of Dawson Know to continue and is a viable TE starter. For the Lions, I don’t see much good from the offense this week. Amon-Ra St. Brown is the most talented weapon, and he hasn’t scored a TD since week 2. He gets a nod to start since he will get volume. If St. Brown gets the nod for the most talented, Jamaal Williams gets the nod for most productive. With 12 total touchdowns and 5 multi-touchdown games, Jamaal Williams has been an amazing find this year. He must be started in all formats and hope he continues his productive ways. DeAndre Swift and Justin Jackson are receiving similar reps at this point and will not be viable unless something happens to Williams.
NY Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Start: Saquon Barkley, Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, Tony Pollard, Ezekiel Elliot
Sit: Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Michael Gallup
This game would have been interesting if the Giants were healthy. WanDale Robinson’s injury gives the Giants pass game little else besides Darius Slayton. The Giants will not be able to scheme around the lack of production in the passing game to trick Dallas and get Slayton open. The only way the Giants keep this game close is with a strong running game. Saquon Barkley needs to get a minimum of 25 touches in this game in order for the Giants to play ball control and keep the Cowboys offense off the field. Daniel Jones will not have time to exploit his legs and I can see the Cowboys employing a “spy” to keep Jones in the pocket. The Dallas offense is certainly grateful for health. Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb have demonstrated how powerful the pass game can be with their obvious connection. I also see Dalton Schultz being effective over the middle. The two-headed run game of Elliot and Pollard will both be viable starts this week. Roll out as many Cowboys you can this week, and hope for a close “enough” game in the 2nd half so the starters remain in the game and produce fantasy points.
New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings
Start: Rhamondre Stevenson, Damien Harris, Justin Jefferson, Adam Theilen
Sit: Mac Jones, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Myers, Jonnu Smith, Kirk Cousins, Alexander Mattison
On paper, the Vikings give up a lot of fantasy points to opposing skill players. However, those numbers can be deceiving since many of the Viking’s games are shootouts. The Patriots are not an offense that can keep up with the Vikings. New England averages 21 points per game with the 9th lowest touchdowns scored. Their offense is not built to stay with the Vikings, but Bill Belicheck knows how to win games. And he will try to do just that with ball control and a strong running game. Both Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris are viable starters. I don’t see the pass game in a positive way, so I’m a hold on all things passing for the Patriots.
The Vikings have a lot of anger to release after last week’s embarrassing loss to the Cowboys. This offense just did not show up and it looked bad. This will not be a game that would excise those demons, but they will do enough to win. The Patriots will try to take away the Viking’s best weapon, but who is that? Do they take away Justin Jefferson or Dalvin Cook? In this game, I think New England is better equipped to stop Dalvin Cook. They will allow Kirk Cousins' attempt to beat them in the air. Justin Jefferson was bottled up last week, but he is too talented to have that happen two weeks in a row. New England hasn’t surrendered a single touchdown in 3 weeks. I don’t see a lot of points in this one, but Justin Jefferson will have something to do with any touchdowns that are scored for the Vikings. I can also see Adam Theilen hurting the Patriots with a thousand “little cuts.” Low scoring game, keep your expectations in check.
Happy Thanksgiving to all those readers out there and may you enjoy a gravy-filled plate of deliciousness both in food and football!
Full time teacher, full time fantasy sports enthusiast. I try to look at fantasy sports through my own lens and share that vision with my readers I love to explore and find new, and exciting fantasy football options including: C2C, dynasty, IDP, and Devy. See me on Twitter @JGoody77
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