The Thanksgiving Day games are the most exciting they’ve ever been from a fantasy perspective. Just look at how many players are involved from the six teams participating. You likely have at least one player going tomorrow. Finally you don’t have to start some schlub just because you want to see him play against the Lions before you eat turkey. The bye weeks are over, so it’s back to full lineups unless of course you owned Rob Gronkowski, Willis McGahee, or LeSean McCoy. (If so, I feel your pain because I had one team who was starting two of those players on a regular basis.)
If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Andy Dalton (QB – Cincinnati)
“The Red Rifle” is a quarterback who’s ready to come off your bench or the waiver wire this week if you’re looking for alternatives. He’s put a few good games together this season, but he’s put up 20+ points in his last two games and he faces the Raiders, who are giving up the third-most points to fantasy quarterbacks.
Jalen Parmele (RB – Jacksonville)
I bet you never expected Parmele to be a name you’d be starting in Week 12 of the fantasy season. The Titans have been gashed by fantasy running backs this year, allowing an average of 21 points to running backs this season. With all the injuries around and a good match-up, Parmele should be starting for you this week.
Bryce Brown (RB – Philadelphia)
It’s a little hard to suggest Brown given that it’s Wednesday and the Eagles don’t play until Monday. There’s a chance that LeSean McCoy comes back in time for the game, but as of now it doesn’t look good. Brown was a highly recruited high school player, who ran a 4.4 at the combine and has been looking great in practice. The Panthers’ run defense has improved in recent weeks, but it’s still giving up its share of points. The Eagles will also look to run the ball if Nick Foles is behind center again.
Michael Crabtree (WR - San Francisco)
The Saints have tightened up their defense in recent weeks, but there are still plenty of holes in their secondary. The big question surrounding this game is who will start at quarterback for San Francisco, but shouldn't matter as far as Crabtree is concerned. New Orleans will tempt the 49ers into a shootout and both quarterbacks will look for Crabtree to help keep up with the score.
Danario Alexander (WR – San Diego)
You need to keep plugging DX in your lineup as long as his knees stay healthy because he’ll be worthless once they go out on him. Baltimore’s missing their two best cornerbacks, so DX will be going against inferior competition. Philip Rivers has already shown that he has a lot of faith in Alexander.
Mercedes Lewis (TE – Jacksonville)
I never thought I’d be mentioning two Jaguars players in this space, but it’s amazing how much different their offense looks with Chad Henne behind center. Lewis faces the Titans this week, who are allowing the second-most points to fantasy tight ends.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Josh Freeman (QB – Tampa Bay)
Freeman has been great in the last six games, putting up at least 16 points for his owners in each game. Unfortunately he faces the Falcons this week, who have only allowed multiple passing touchdowns to two quarterbacks this season. Atlanta’s week against the run, so look for the Buccaneers offense to be run heavy as opposed to letting Freeman post high numbers.
Reggie Bush (RB – Miami)
Bush started the year as a fantasy factor, but he hasn’t been the same since an early-season injury. He’s been unable to muster more than 59 yards rushing in any game since Week 4 and only has four touchdowns on the season. Seattle is the fourth-best defense against fantasy RBs, so Bush should be benched for an alternative this week.
Felix Jones (RB – Dallas)
This space also applies to Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner. Just know that whoever starts at RB for the Cowboys on Thanksgiving should find their way to your fantasy bench unless you’re extremely desperate.
Brandon Lloyd (WR – New England)
Brandon Lloyd was drafted by fantasy teams with Randy Moss upside in mind given New England's previous issue of not having a receiver to stretch the field since Randy's departure. The reality, however, has had the Patriots continue their dink and dunk approach until they're forced to do otherwise. Lloyd will also be guarded by Cromartie Island this week, who limited Lloyd to his worst output so far this season.
Mike Wallace (WR – Pittsburgh)
It looks like Joe Haden will be back on the field for Cleveland this week and that’s bad news for Wallace owners since he’ll be shadowing him throughout the game. Pittsburgh is also dealing with Charlie Batch at quarterback, so the Steelers will likely play a very conservative, run-heavy style. None of this bodes well for Wallace’s fantasy value.
Heath Miller (TE – Pittsburgh)
Like with Wallace, Miller’s fantasy value is in the toilet until Big Ben Roethlisberger returns. He likely wouldn’t have much success this week anyway since the Browns limit fantasy tight ends to 4.6 points a game, the least of any team in the league.