Thanksgiving is the best. Over the decades we've somehow engineered the holiday to not just tolerate, but promote if not glorify two indulgences: Eating everything in sight and watching football all day. Good work, everyone. That's the other key part of Thanksgiving, positivity. Even for the pure Debbie Downer's of the world, the "what are you thankful for" aspect of the the day forces you to at least ponder the world in a half-glass-full way. Sure that becomes a bit more challenging when that crazy uncle on his third glass of something keeps wanting to talk politics or about his Ebay side project selling Dukes of Hazzard trading cards or why Miley Cyrus needs to put some clothes on, but we forge on because the pumpkin pie and third game of the day are next.
As for fantasy football owners, there is plenty to be thankful for this season. DeAndre Hopkins taking names even with no-names at quarterback. Julio Jones and DeVonta Freeman. Putting faith in Tom Brady when you drafted him in the middle rounds despite Deflategate uncertainty. That your buddy selected Peyton Manning. Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald. Andy Dalton to Tyler Eifert. Four glorious weeks of Stefon Diggs. Jameis Winston throwing five touchdown passes as your bye week fill-in. The surprise gift of Dion Lewis lasting seven more weeks than anyone imagined. Stashing Thomas Rawls, Buck Allen and others as running back handcuffs.
Oh, wait, what? You didn't do that last part? Oh, no. If so and those players are still free agents in your league, then also give thanks to your fellow owners for giving you a shot at righting a wrong. If you're in contention for a league title or a playoff berth, stop reading the article about how millennials do Thanksgiving and get to your league site. Note your main running backs and see if they're backup is still available. If so, go the add/drop page and do something about it. Oh, and while you're, here are some other waiver wire options with Week 12 and beyond in mind. Now, pass the stuffing already.
- Thomas Rawls
- Buck Allen
- Shaun Draughn
- Spencer Ware
- Tevin Coleman
Others: Jay Ajayi, Ahmad Bradshaw, Charles Sims, Karlos Williams, James White, David Cobb and really any handcuff for your starter.
Notes: Marshawn Lynch isn't expected to play in Week 12 against the Steelers, which means another chance for Rawks to do his Walter Payton impression. The real intrigue is whether Lynch will undergo surgery and therefore likely miss the remainder of the regular season. We already know Justin Forsett is done for 2015, which means Buck Allen is the new lead option in Baltimore. That the Ravens have almost nothing else working on offense -- at least this is the assumption now that Matt Schaub is the QB -- means Allen should receive tons of work. Rawls gets the top spot for upside, but owners can take Allen first due to uncertainty of Lynch's return date. ...Draughn delivered a meaty PPR performance in Week 11 with eight receptions and 77 total yards. He remains on the Flex/low-end RB2 radar as long as Carlos Hyde (foot) is out. ....Similar tale of potential RB2 role for Ware in Kansas City and Coleman in Atlanta. Keep track of injury status for Charcandrick West and Freeman.
- Kamar Aiken
- Terrance Williams
- Rueben Randle
- Marquess Wilson
- Leonard Hankerson
Others: Dwayne Harris, Ted Ginn, Devin Funchess, Dorial Green-Beckham
Notes: Aiken is the top option in Baltimore, but that doesn't mean quite as much going forward without Joe Flacco. Still helpful in PPR. ...Welcome back to fantasy football roster, Terrance Williams. Irrelevant without Tony Romo, Williams immediately finds the end zone in Romo's first game back. That's something he did 13 times over the previous two seasons with Romo. Boom or bust weekly, but helpful going forward. ...Randle topped 100 yards once this season. It came in Week 3 against the Redskins. New York and Washington meet Sunday. ...Wilson topped 100 yards last week and he might remain Chicago's top WR Thursday against the Packers if Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal don't return from injuries on the short week.
- Crockett Gillmore
- Coby Fleener
- Heath Miller
- Richard Rodgers
Others: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Clive Walford, Kyle Rudolph
Notes: Gillmore led the Ravens in catches (five), yards (101) and target (eight) in Week 11 against the Rams. ...Matt Hasselbeck is starting at QB for the Colts and he's looked Fleener's way often in two of his three starts this season. For those streaming tight ends, he's worth considering.
Quarterbacks (Week 12 specific)
- Jay Cutler (at Packers)
- Kirk Cousins (v. Giants)
- Brian Hoyer/T.J. Yates (vs. Saints)
- Mark Sanchez (at Lions)
Notes: Little was expected from Cutler Sunday in a tough matchup against the Broncos especially without Jeffery. But in the the six games prior, he scored 17, 19, 19, 19, 19 and 24 points. Could end up throwing the ball lots if the Thursday night matchup with Aaron Rodgers turns into a shootout. ...Remember that Saints-Giants game a few weeks back where Eli Manning and Drew Brees picked apart the opposing defense? Well, we recently saw Cousins dominate that same Saints defense. Now he gets the Giants. Now, the Saints are much, much worse defensively, but Cousins is much better at home. He threw for 316 yards in the first meeting against the Giants and now has DeSean Jackson on the field.
Defenses (Week 12 specific)
- Chiefs (v. Bills)
- Bengals (v. Rams)
- Lions (v. Eagles) -- Not a bad way to go if you're streaming defenses and just want some action on Thanksgiving. The possibility of Mark Sanchez on a short week is drool-worthy.
- Browns (v. Ravens)