Thursday - Oct 22, 2020

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THE DIVE: Week 12 (Turkey Bowl)

Can you smell the aroma of Thanksgiving dinner already?   From the creamy mashed potatoes to the juicy turkey and the scrumptious stuffing, we are all thankful to partake in such an epic feast! In addition to the incredible meal served, we are also entertained with NFL action throughout the holiday including two great divisional battles. The Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings will battle to stay atop the NFC North, the Washington Redskins will fight to keep ground in the NFC East as they visit the Dallas Cowboys, and the Indianapolis Colts host the Pittsburgh Steelers as both teams vie to improve on their 5-5 records.

With the playoffs around the corner, let’s take a dive into several key matchups heading into Thanksgiving weekend.

QB Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer has been difficult to trust as a consistent fantasy starting quarterback this season. The veteran quarterback started the season with a bang, but then struggled for the next few games including missing a start with injury. Over the last four games, Palmer has averaged over 319 passing yards with six touchdowns, but has also thrown four picks during that time frame. Regardless, Palmer has an attractive matchup in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Palmer has been solid in two previous matchups against the Atlanta Falcons totaling 8 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Consider Palmer as low-QB1/high-QB2 in Week 12.

Week 12 projection: 225 passing yards; 2 TD


RB Wendell Smallwood

With Darren Sproles recovering from a broken rib and Ryan Mathews nursing a sore knee, signs point to rookie Wendell Smallwood starting.   However, the Philadelphia Eagles host the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football, which means Smallwood is a safer bet if you own either or both of the other backs since neither has been ruled out thus far. If Smallwood starts or at least earns the bulk of carries, look for a breakout performance against the Packers defense who rank relatively neutral against running backs, but have surrendered an average of 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns to opposing backs over their last two games. In fact, running backs have scored at least 16 fantasy points in six of the last seven games, despite the Packers being near impossible to run on earlier in the season. Even if Smallwood does not start, he appears to be in store for a generous amount of work and has rushed for over four yards per carry this season. Smallwood’s value will be dependent on the other two Philadelphia running backs, but should be considered an low-end RB2/Flex.

Week 12 projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD


WR Rishard Matthews

Rishard Matthews is no longer under the radar in the fantasy football world as the wideout is on pace for a career season. Matthews has become Marcus Mariota’s favorite target and received double-digit targets in two of the last three games. In Week 11, the Titans’ wideout caught nine passes for 122 yards. With a tasty matchup against the Chicago Bears, who have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to wide receivers, Matthews should encore his last performance. Wide receivers have scored in all but two games against Chicago’s secondary this season. Treat Matthews as a low-end WR2/Flex for this weekend.

Week 12 projection: 100 receiving yards; 1 TD


TE Eric Ebron

Although Eric Ebron missed the bulk of October with injury, he has put together a solid November with at least 70 receiving yards in each of his last three games. He even ran for a touchdown last weekend, which was a pleasant surprise for his faithful fantasy owners. Ebron and the Detroit Lions host the Minnesota Vikings in the early Thanksgiving game. Minnesota has surrendered the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, which should place Ebron in the high-TE2 category. Over his career, Ebron has been more productive against the Vikings than any other team so expect  another great outing.

Week 12 projection: 60 receiving yards; 1 TD


DST New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints defense has been terrible over the last few seasons, which is why you may be scratching your head about this recommended pick. New Orleans welcomes the Los Angeles Rams offense which will be led by rookie Jared Goff in his second career start. The Rams have been offensively impotent all season and did not appear much better with their first round pick starting in Week 11. Look for the Saints defense to post their best line of the season in Week 12.

Week 12 projection: 11 points


Week 11 Results

QB Tyrod Taylor

Week 11 projection: 200 passing yards; 40 rushing yards; 2 TD

Week 11 results: 166 passing yards; 39 rushing yards; 1 INT (bad call)

RB James Starks

Week 11 projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD

Week 11 results: 71 total yards; 1 TD (good call)

WR Tyreek Hill

Week 11 projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD

Week 11 results: 61 total yards (ok call)

TE Jesse James

Week 11 projection: 50 receiving yards; 1 TD

Week 11 results: 5 receiving yards (bad call)

DST Miami Dolphins

Week 11 projection: 11 points

Week 11 results: 7 points (ok call)

Hope you and your families have a great Thanksgiving!

About Marc Griffis

Marc Griffis has competed in fantasy football, baseball, and basketball leagues since 2005. Marc has written "The Dive" for Fantasy Sharks since 2010. Additionally, his expertise is featured in David Gonos' E-books "101 Fantasy Baseball Tips" and "101 Fantasy Football Tips". Lastly, Marc competed in the Fantasy Sports Trade Association SiriusXM Fantasy Baseball experts' league from 2012-2014.