Ben Standig

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Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

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Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

The Week 12 fantasy football rankings are out -- but when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, everyone wants some player regardless of where they slot overall. Don't overthink it and take a lesser player, but for those on the fence or simply looking for Thursday action, here are some recommendations for all three games.

Vikings @ Lions

Obvious: Vikings -- Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs... running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are in the RB2/Flex discussion for most, but good luck picking between them; Lions -- Wide receiver Golden Tate and ... wide receiver Marvin Jones works in three-WR formats while quarterback Matthew Stafford is No. 14 among passers this week.

Start: Case Keenum averaged 19.3 points over the last four games while the Lions have allowed ample points to fantasy quarterbacks in that stretch, though only three touchdown passes. Having Thielen and Diggs up the potential for Keenum, who is QB17 in the Week 12 rankings. That's comparable with Matthew Stafford (QB14), Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and ahead of Derek Carr.

Add: Not sure there's any fringe skill player worth taking a flyer on so take a look at Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. He's attempted at least three field goals in four of his last five games and he kicked five extra points in the lone exception. ... Some will start Ameer Abdullah based on their options, but just know the Vikings allow the second fewest points to fantasy tight ends this season.

Chargers @ Cowboys

Obvious: Chargers -- running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen; Cowboys -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back Alfred Morris and... quarterback Dak Prescott, though his production is down without running back Ezekiel Elliott and left tackle Tyron Smith.

Start: This hasn't been a vintage Philip Rivers season, but he's coming off his best performance (251 yards, two touchdown passes) since Week 5. The Cowboys aren't that special in the secondary and have surrendered two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. At QB13, he's on the cusp of QB1 status in 12-team leagues. 

Add: Kickers Nick Novak (Chargers) and Mike Nugent (Cowboys) are 15th and 16th respectively. So, there's that. 

Giants @ Redskins

The obvious: Giants -- tight end Evan Engram and... running back Orleans Darkwa is a viable RB2 option against a Redskins defense giving up gobs of yards on the ground; Redskins -- quarterback Kirk Cousins, tight Vernon Davis and...running back Samaje Perine is RB12 this week, though listed as questionable on the injury report with a finger issue.

Start: Jordan Reed is out for a fourth consecutive game, meaning Vernon Davis once again is Washington's main tight end. While he hasn't provided wow performances like Reed at his Pro Bowl best, Davis has been good for a solid 8-11 since taking on a larger role starting in Week 3. This could be his best statistical week of the season. The Giants allow the most points to fantasy tight ends on the season. Opposing tight ends scored a touchdown in each of the first 10 games before the streak snapped Sunday.

RELATED: NEW AND IMPROVED WEEK 12 FANTASY RANKINGS

Add: Josh Doctson is only owned in 55 percent of leagues on CBS even though he's moved into the role of Washington's top outside receiver. The second-year player had four receptions for 81 yards in Sunday's overtime loss, though all the production came in the first half. Consistency is the next step, but Kirk Cousins is showing more and more confidence in the 6'3" target especially on 50-50 balls. Doctson is WR36 in my Week 12 rankings, meaning he's worth starting consideration in three-WR formats regardless.

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New and improved fantasy football Week 12 rankings

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USA TODAY Sports

New and improved fantasy football Week 12 rankings

The bye weeks are over, finally. Good thing because the injuries keep piling up around the league and certainly in Ashburn. 

Not that you need a reminder, but Thanksgiving means three games on Thursday. Oh, and spending time with your family, obviously. It's probably not a good idea ranking your relatives in any first-to-worst order, but I will provide you my first look at the Week 12 fantasy football rankings.

Quarterbacks

1.  Tom Brady, NE
 
2.  Russell Wilson, SEA
 
3.  Kirk Cousins, WAS
 
4.  Alex Smith, KC
 
5.  Carson Wentz, PHI
 
6.  Cam Newton, CAR
 
7.  Matt Ryan, ATL
 
8.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
 
9.  Marcus Mariota, TEN
 
10.  Dak Prescott, DAL
 
11.  Drew Brees, NO
 
12.  Jared Goff, LAR
 
13.  Philip Rivers, LAC
 
14.  Matthew Stafford, DET
 
15.  Andy Dalton, CIN
 
16.  Jacoby Brissett, IND
 
17.  Case Keenum, MIN
 
18.  Tyrod Taylor, BUF
 
19.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB
 
20.  Derek Carr, OAK
 
21.  Eli Manning, NYG
 
22.  Blake Bortles, JAC
 
23.  Paxton Lynch, DEN
 
24.  Josh McCown, NYJ
 
25.  Matt Moore, MIA
 
26.  Joe Flacco, BAL
 
27.  C.J. Beathard, SF
 
28.  Blaine Gabbert, ARI
 
29.  DeShone Kizer, CLE
 
30.  Mitch Trubisky, CHI
 
31.  Brett Hundley, GB
 
32.  Tom Savage, HOU

Running backs

1.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT
 
2.  Todd Gurley, LAR
 
3.  Kareem Hunt, KC
 
4.  LeSean McCoy, BUF
 
5.  Mark Ingram, NO
 
6.  Leonard Fournette, JAC
 
7.  Melvin Gordon, LAC
 
8.  Alvin Kamara, NO
 
9.  Lamar Miller, HOU
 
10.  Carlos Hyde, SF
 
11.  Jordan Howard, CHI
 
12.  Samaje Perine, WAS
 
13.  DeMarco Murray, TEN
 
14.  Tevin Coleman, ATL
 
15.  Dion Lewis, NE
 
16.  Joe Mixon, CIN
 
17.  Alfred Morris, DAL
 
18.  Christian McCaffrey, CAR
 
19.  Adrian Peterson, ARI
 
20.  Alex Collins, BAL
 
21.  Orleans Darkwa, NYG
 
22.  Latavius Murray, MIN
 
23.  Jerick McKinnon, MIN
 
24.  Devonta Freeman, ATL
 
25.  Jay Ajayi, PHI
 
26.  Rex Burkhead, NE
 
27.  Doug Martin, TB
 
28.  Frank Gore, IND
 
29.  Marshawn Lynch, OAK
 
30.  Jamaal Williams, GB
 
31.  Ameer Abdullah, DET
 
32.  Isaiah Crowell, CLE
 
33.  Bilal Powell, NYJ
 
34.  Damien Williams, MIA
 
35.  C.J. Anderson, DEN
 
36.  Duke Johnson, CLE
 
37.  Devontae Booker, DEN
 
38.  Derrick Henry, TEN
 
39.  Austin Ekeler, LAC
 
40.  Kenyan Drake, MIA
 
41.  Marlon Mack, IND
 
42.  Jonathan Stewart, CAR
 
43.  J.D. McKissic, SEA
 
44.  Elijah McGuire, NYJ
 
45.  James White, NE
 
46.  Danny Woodhead, BAL
 
47.  Rod Smith, DAL
 
48.  Ty Montgomery, GB
 
49.  Theo Riddick, DET
 
50.  Byron Marshall, WAS
 
51.  LeGarrette Blount, PHI
 
52.  T.J. Yeldon, JAC
 
53.  Corey Clement, PHI
 
54.  Tarik Cohen, CHI
 
55.  Giovani Bernard, CIN
 
56.  Jalen Richard, OAK
 
57.  Alfred Blue, HOU
 
58.  Matt Breida, SF
 
59.  Thomas Rawls, SEA
 
60.  Eddie Lacy, SEA
 
61.  Charcandrick West, KC
 
62.  Javorius Allen, BAL
 
63.  DeAndre Washington, OAK
 
64.  Jamaal Charles, DEN
 
65.  Shane Vereen, NYG

Wide receivers

1.  Antonio Brown, PIT
 
2.  Julio Jones, ATL
 
3.  A.J. Green, CIN
 
4.  Michael Thomas, NO
 
5.  Adam Thielen, MIN
 
6.  Brandin Cooks, NE
 
7.  Mike Evans, TB
 
8.  Tyreek Hill, KC
 
9.  Doug Baldwin, SEA
 
10.  Alshon Jeffery, PHI
 
11.  Keenan Allen, LAC
 
12.  T.Y. Hilton, IND
 
13.  Devin Funchess, CAR
 
14.  Dez Bryant, DAL
 
15.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
 
16.  Stefon Diggs, MIN
 
17.  Michael Crabtree, OAK
 
18.  Golden Tate, DET
 
19.  JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
 
20.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
 
21.  Jarvis Landry, MIA
 
22.  Jamison Crowder, WAS
 
23.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN
 
24.  Cooper Kupp, LAR
 
25.  Robby Anderson, NYJ
 
26.  Amari Cooper, OAK
 
27.  Rishard Matthews, TEN
 
28.  Sammy Watkins, LAR
 
29.  Davante Adams, GB
 
30.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
 
31.  Mohamed Sanu, ATL
 
32.  Sterling Shepard, NYG
 
33.  Kenny Stills, MIA
 
34.  Jeremy Maclin, BAL
 
35.  Marvin Jones, DET
 
36.  Josh Doctson, WAS
 
37.  Marqise Lee, JAC
 
38.  Devante Parker, MIA
 
39.  Ted Ginn, NO
 
40.  DeSean Jackson, TB
 
41.  Corey Davis, TEN
 
42.  Paul Richardson, SEA
 
43.  Corey Coleman, CLE
 
44.  Mike Wallace, BAL
 
45.  Nelson Agholor, PHI
 
46.  Danny Amendola, NE
 
47.  Tyler Lockett, SEA
 
48.  Marquise Goodwin, SF
 
49.  Jermaine Kearse, NYJ
 
50.  Martavis Bryant, PIT
 
51.  Brandon LaFell, CIN
 
52.  Jordy Nelson, GB
 
53.  Dontrelle Inman, CHI
 
54.  Terrance Williams, DAL
 
55.  Ryan Grant, WAS
 
56.  Tavarres King, NYG
 
57.  Bruce Ellington, HOU
 
58.  Randall Cobb, GB
 
59.  Tyrell Williams, LAC
 
60.  Mike Williams, LAC
 
61.  Roger Lewis, NYG
 
62.  Zay Jones, BUF
 
63.  Taylor Gabriel, ATL
 
64.  Aldrick Robinson, SF
 
65.  Deonte Thompson, BUF
 
66.  Donte Moncrief, IND
 
67.  Kenny Golladay, DET
 
68.  Russell Shepard, CAR
 
69.  Kelvin Benjamin, BUF
 
70.  Eric Decker, TEN

Tight ends

1.  Rob Gronkowski, NE
 
2.  Travis Kelce, KC
 
3.  Zach Ertz, PHI
 
4.  Evan Engram, NYG
 
5.  Jimmy Graham, SEA
 
6.  Vernon Davis, WAS
 
7.  Delanie Walker, TEN
 
8.  Greg Olsen, CAR
 
9.  Jack Doyle, IND
 
10.  Jared Cook, OAK
 
11.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ
 
12.  Jason Witten, DAL
 
13.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN
 
14.  Tyler Kroft, CIN
 
15.  Austin Hooper, ATL
 
16.  Hunter Henry, LAC
 
17.  Cameron Brate, TB
 
18.  Charles Clay, BUF
 
19.  Benjamin Watson, BAL
 
20.  Eric Ebron, DET
 
21.  Julius Thomas, MIA
 
22.  Marcedes Lewis, JAC
 
23.  Coby Fleener, NO
 
24.  O.J. Howard, TB
 
25.  C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU

Defenses

1.  Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT
 
2.  Jacksonville Jaguars, JAC
 
3.  Cincinnati Bengals, CIN
 
4.  Baltimore Ravens, BAL
 
5.  Philadelphia Eagles, PHI
 
6.  Carolina Panthers, CAR
 
7.  Seattle Seahawks, SEA
 
8.  New England Patriots, NE
 
9.  Kansas City Chiefs, KC
 
10.  Atlanta Falcons, ATL
 
11.  Minnesota Vikings, MIN
 
12.  Washington Redskins, WAS
 
13.  Arizona Cardinals, ARI
 
14.  Tennessee Titans, TEN
 
15.  Houston Texans, HOU
 
16.  Oakland Raiders, OAK
 
17.  Los Angeles Chargers, LAC
 
18.  Denver Broncos, DEN
 
19.  Dallas Cowboys, DAL
 
20.  New York Jets, NYJ

Kickers

1.  Stephen Gostkowski, NE
 
2.  Harrison Butker, KC
 
3.  Matt Bryant, ATL
 
4.  Greg Zuerlein, LAR
 
5.  Justin Tucker, BAL
 
6.  Wil Lutz, NO
 
7.  Chris Boswell, PIT
 
8.  Matt Prater, DET
 
9.  Blair Walsh, SEA
 
10.  Jake Elliott, PHI
 
11.  Kai Forbath, MIN
 
12.  Ryan Succop, TEN
 
13.  Nick Rose, WAS
 
14.  Graham Gano, CAR
 
15.  Nick Novak, LAC
 
16.  Mike Nugent, DAL
 
17.  Adam Vinatieri, IND
 
18.  Giorgio Tavecchio, OAK
 
19.  Josh Lambo, JAC
 
20.  Brandon McManus, DEN

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Fantasy Football -- Who's number 1 heading into Week 11?

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Fantasy Football -- Who's number 1 heading into Week 11?

We've reached the final week with teams on a bye and this one shouldn't be too problematic considering the Panthers, Colts, Jets and 49ers are the ones resting. Outside of Cam Newton, Carlos Hyde and T.Y. Hilton, not a ton of talent missing this week.

Meanwhile, owners must finish strong over the final 3-4 weeks of the regular season or fear missing their league's playoffs. Without further delay, here's a look at the Week 11 rankings that hopefully can get you there.

(UPDATE -- (* Soon after this posted the Bills benched Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nate Peterman. Yikes. Whatever the Bills are thinking about the long-term, this won't help fantasy owners now.  Expectations for LeSean McCoy take a dip, though he remains a must-start. Kelvin Benjamin already is in the WR4 range. For those now in need of a QB for Week 11, Blake Bortles and Eli Manning are your best hopes.)

Quarterbacks

1. Tom Brady, NE
 
2.  Russell Wilson, SEA
 
3.  Alex Smith, KC
 
4.  Carson Wentz, PHI
 
5.  Drew Brees, NO
 
6.  Dak Prescott, DAL
 
7.  Derek Carr, OAK
 
8.  Kirk Cousins, WAS
 
9.  Matthew Stafford, DET
 
10.  Philip Rivers, LAC
 
11.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
 
12.  Jared Goff, LAR
 
13.  Marcus Mariota, TEN
 
14.  Tyrod Taylor, BUF
 
15.  Matt Ryan, ATL
 
16.  Blake Bortles, JAC
 
17.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB
 
18.  Case Keenum, MIN
 
19.  Jay Cutler, MIA
 
20.  Eli Manning, NYG
 
21.  Andy Dalton, CIN
 
22.  Blaine Gabbert, ARI
 
23.  Brett Hundley, GB
 
24.  Joe Flacco, BAL
 
25.  Mitch Trubisky, CHI
 
26.  Brock Osweiler, DEN
 
27.  Tom Savage, HOU
 
28.  DeShone Kizer, CLE

Running backs

1.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT
 
2.  Kareem Hunt, KC
 
3.  Leonard Fournette, JAC
 
4.  Todd Gurley, LAR
 
5.  Mark Ingram, NO
 
6.  LeSean McCoy, BUF
 
7.  Melvin Gordon, LAC
 
8.  Jordan Howard, CHI
 
9.  Alvin Kamara, NO
 
10.  Tevin Coleman, ATL
 
11.  Lamar Miller, HOU
 
12.  Adrian Peterson, ARI
 
13.  Chris Thompson, WAS
 
14.  Jerick McKinnon, MIN
 
15.  Joe Mixon, CIN
 
16.  Orleans Darkwa, NYG
 
17.  DeMarco Murray, TEN
 
18.  Jay Ajayi, PHI
 
19.  Doug Martin, TB
 
20.  Jamaal Williams, GB
 
21.  Latavius Murray, MIN
 
22.  Marshawn Lynch, OAK
 
23.  Kenyan Drake, MIA
 
24.  Isaiah Crowell, CLE
 
25.  Dion Lewis, NE
 
26.  Ameer Abdullah, DET
 
27.  Rex Burkhead, NE
 
28.  Alfred Morris, DAL
 
29.  C.J. Anderson, DEN
 
30.  Alex Collins, BAL
 
31.  Samaje Perine, WAS
 
32.  Damien Williams, MIA
 
33.  Duke Johnson, CLE
 
34.  Derrick Henry, TEN
 
35.  James White, NE
 
36.  Javorius Allen, BAL
 
37.  Austin Ekeler, LAC
 
38.  Rod Smith, DAL
 
39.  Devontae Booker, DEN
 
40.  Theo Riddick, DET
 
41.  Thomas Rawls, SEA
 
42.  Jamaal Charles, DEN
 
43.  Danny Woodhead, BAL
 
44.  J.D. McKissic, SEA
 
45.  D'Onta Foreman, HOU
 
46.  Tarik Cohen, CHI
 
47.  LeGarrette Blount, PHI
 
48.  Jalen Richard, OAK
 
49.  Wayne Gallman, NYG
 
50.  Giovani Bernard, CIN
 
51.  Eddie Lacy, SEA
 
52.  T.J. Yeldon, JAC
 
53.  Corey Clement, PHI
 
54.  Terron Ward, ATL
 
55.  DeAndre Washington, OAK
 
56.  Andre Ellington, ARI
 
57.  Shane Vereen, NYG
 
58.  Charcandrick West, KC
 
59.  Chris Ivory, JAC
 
60.  Mike Tolbert, BUF

Wide receivers

1.  Antonio Brown, PIT
 
2.  Michael Thomas, NO
 
3.  Doug Baldwin, SEA
 
4.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
 
5.  Tyreek Hill, KC
 
6.  Julio Jones, ATL
 
7.  Mike Evans, TB
 
8.  A.J. Green, CIN
 
9.  Michael Crabtree, OAK
 
10.  Brandin Cooks, NE
 
11.  Amari Cooper, OAK
 
12.  Adam Thielen, MIN
 
13.  Stefon Diggs, MIN
 
14.  Golden Tate, DET
 
15.  Dez Bryant, DAL
 
16.  Sterling Shepard, NYG
 
17.  Alshon Jeffery, PHI
 
18.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
 
19.  JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
 
20.  Jarvis Landry, MIA
 
21.  Devante Parker, MIA
 
22.  Keenan Allen, LAC
 
23.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
 
24.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN
 
25.  Robert Woods, LAR
 
26.  Marqise Lee, JAC
 
27.  Jeremy Maclin, BAL
 
28.  Marvin Jones, DET
 
29.  Davante Adams, GB
 
30.  Ted Ginn, NO
 
31.  DeSean Jackson, TB
 
32.  Nelson Agholor, PHI
 
33.  Jamison Crowder, WAS
 
34.  Mohamed Sanu, ATL
 
35.  Rishard Matthews, TEN
 
36.  Paul Richardson, SEA
 
37.  Cooper Kupp, LAR
 
38.  Sammy Watkins, LAR
 
39.  Kelvin Benjamin, BUF
 
40.  Corey Davis, TEN
 
41.  Tyler Lockett, SEA
 
42.  Jordy Nelson, GB
 
43.  Josh Doctson, WAS
 
44.  Kenny Stills, MIA
 
45.  Mike Wallace, BAL
 
46.  Danny Amendola, NE
 
47.  Dontrelle Inman, CHI
 
48.  Randall Cobb, GB
 
49.  Chris Hogan, NE
 
50.  John Brown, ARI
 
51.  Bruce Ellington, HOU
 
52.  Tyrell Williams, LAC
 
53.  Terrance Williams, DAL
 
54.  Brandon LaFell, CIN
 
55.  Martavis Bryant, PIT
 
56.  Kenny Golladay, DET
 
57.  Dede Westbrook, JAC
 
58.  Will Fuller, HOU
 
59.  Demarcus Robinson, KC
 
60.  Keelan Cole, JAC

Tight ends

1.  Travis Kelce, KC
 
2.  Rob Gronkowski, NE
 
3.  Zach Ertz, PHI
 
4.  Evan Engram, NYG
 
5.  Jimmy Graham, SEA
 
6.  Jared Cook, OAK
 
7.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN
 
8.  Vernon Davis, WAS
 
9.  Delanie Walker, TEN
 
10.  Cameron Brate, TB
 
11.  Jason Witten, DAL
 
12.  Hunter Henry, LAC
 
13.  Tyler Kroft, CIN
 
14.  Austin Hooper, ATL
 
15.  Coby Fleener, NO
 
16.  Charles Clay, BUF
 
17.  Jordan Reed, WAS
 
18.  Julius Thomas, MIA
 
19.  Benjamin Watson, BAL
 
20.  C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU
 
21.  Eric Ebron, DET
 
22.  Jermaine Gresham, ARI
 
23.  Marcedes Lewis, JAC
 
24.  David Njoku, CLE
 
25.  A.J. Derby, DEN

Defenses

1.  Jacksonville Jaguars, JAC
 
2.  Baltimore Ravens, BAL
 
3.  Arizona Cardinals, ARI
 
4.  Kansas City Chiefs, KC
 
5.  Denver Broncos, DEN
 
6.  Detroit Lions, DET
 
7.  Seattle Seahawks, SEA
 
8.  Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT
 
9.  Cincinnati Bengals, CIN
 
10.  New Orleans Saints, NO
 
11.  Philadelphia Eagles, PHI
 
12.  Houston Texans, HOU
 
13.  Los Angeles Rams, LAR
 
14.  Los Angeles Chargers, LAC
 
15.  Miami Dolphins, MIA
 
16.  Minnesota Vikings, MIN
 
17.  Green Bay Packers, GB
 
18.  Chicago Bears, CHI
 
19.  Buffalo Bills, BUF
 
20.  New England Patriots, NE

Kickers

1.  Stephen Gostkowski, NE
 
2.  Harrison Butker, KC
 
3.  Jake Elliott, PHI
 
4.  Justin Tucker, BAL
 
5.  Wil Lutz, NO
 
6.  Matt Prater, DET
 
7.  Greg Zuerlein, LAR
 
8.  Chris Boswell, PIT
 
9.  Kai Forbath, MIN
 
10.  Blair Walsh, SEA
 
11.  Matt Bryant, ATL
 
12.  Giorgio Tavecchio, OAK
 
13.  Ryan Succop, TEN
 
14.  Josh Lambo, JAC
 
15.  Brandon McManus, DEN
 
16.  Steven Hauschka, BUF
 
17.  Mike Nugent, DAL
 
18.  Nick Novak, LAC
 
19.  Mason Crosby, GB
 
20.  Nick Rose, WAS