Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Seven players are listed for Thursday’s games to keep you entertained as you eat your third helping of pumpkin pie.
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions. I will try to answer as many inquires as possible.
2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.
Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Pittsburgh
Tom Brady, New England vs. Kansas City
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore
Removed from Studs list:
–Drew Bledsoe, Dallas: inconsistent play
Trent Green, Kansas City (vs. New England): With Larry Johnson running like crazy, why would Trent Green make the list? The Patriots secondary, that’s why. Only the 49ers have allowed more passing yards this season and if Gus Frerotte and Aaron Brooks can each post 300+ passing yards in the past two weeks against the Pats, Green should have no problem posting solid numbers at home this week.
Jamie Martin, St. Louis (vs. Houston): With Bulger out with a shoulder injury, Jamie Martin should get the starting nod this week and will perform well against the Texans. Steven Jackson had his worst performance of the season last week, so look for his carries to be minimized as the Rams go to the air with Martin leading the way.
Chris Simms, Tampa Bay (vs. Chicago): Simms is winning games for the Bucs, but his 118 passing yards last week against the Falcons won’t help out the fantasy football owner. This week, things won’t be any easier as Tampa Bay squares off against the Bears dominating defense.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Indianapolis): Big Ben is expected to return for the big Monday night battle against the Colts after missing three games with a knee injury. Even though the Colts defense looked suspect last week against the Bengals, the Steelers passing attack cannot measure up to Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson and company. The Steelers will run as often as possible and Roethlisberger’s numbers will suffer because of it.
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Seattle
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis vs. Pittsburgh
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. N.Y. Giants
LaMont Jordan, Oakland vs. Miami
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Washington
Larry Johnson, Kansas City* vs. New England
Removed from Studs list:
-Willis McGahee, Buffalo: tough matchups, no help in passing attack
Mike Anderson, Denver (vs. Dallas): With Tatum Bell questionable with a chest injury, Anderson will carry the load once again and perform well on Thanksgiving looking for a turkey leg for his efforts.
Warrick Dunn, Atlanta (vs. Detroit): Dunn continued his streak of solid performances last week gaining over 100-all purpose yards for the 8th straight week. Against the injured Lions defense, Dunn should make it nine weeks in a row as 100 yards just on the ground is very probable.
Antowain Smith, New Orleans (vs. N.Y. Jets): Despite splitting time with Aaron Stecker on passing downs, Smith has a very favorable matchup this week against the Jets who rank 30th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. Mike Anderson ran for 113 yards and 3 TDs last week against the Jets and Smith should find similar success on the ground.
Samkon Gado, Green Bay (vs. Philadelphia): Cough, cough…Sorry Gado owners, ‘Tussin won’t cure Gado from coughing up the football. Fumbles tend to equal bench time and three fumbles in two weeks added to the task of facing the Eagles defense doesn’t bode well for the latest waiver wire wonder.
Julius Jones, Dallas (vs. Denver): This is a tough call, but the Broncos rank 2nd in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed and Jones basically split carries with Marion Barber last week. Jones may still post 50-60 rushing yards, but the stingy Broncos defense will likely keep him out of the end zone limiting his fantasy production.
Cadillac Williams, Tampa Bay (vs. Chicago): The rookie had his first 100-yard game since week three last week, but don’t expect a repeat performance against the Bears who held the Panthers to only 55 yards rushing last week.
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Randy Moss, Oakland vs. Miami
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Jacksonville
Santana Moss, Washington vs. San Diego
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Buffalo
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Pittsburgh
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis* vs. Pittsburgh
Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay vs. Chicago
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore
Torry Holt, St. Louis (vs. Houston): This will more than likely be Holt’s last week not on the Studs list. Despite Martin replacing Bulger at QB, Holt will be the main target and he’ll find plenty of openings against the Texans secondary.
Donald Driver, Green Bay (vs. Philadelphia): Even with Brett Favre looking Driver’s way on almost every passing play, Driver still managed to catch two TDs with five catches for 84 yards. The Eagles are stingy against the run, but with Lito Sheppard added to the list of injuries for the Eagles, they can give up big yardage in the air. Look for Driver to be the beneficiary.
Bobby Engram, Seattle (vs. N.Y. Giants): With Darrell Jackson still not playing, Engram is Hasselbeck’s main receiver and should post solid numbers against the G-Men this week. Engram appears to be fully healthy from his ribs injury and could find the end zone for the first time this season against the Giants in Seattle.
Terry Glenn, Dallas (vs. Denver): Glenn has been quiet lately catching less than four passes in each of the past three weeks. With the Broncos likely to have success stopping the Cowboys on the ground, Bledsoe will be forced to go up top and Glenn will make the most of his chances. Look for Glenn to make the Thanksgiving highlight reel with a long TD making him a worthy start in your lineup.
Laveranues Coles, N.Y. Jets (vs. New Orleans): Surprisingly, the Saints rank third in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed. Brooks Bollinger suffered a concussion last week and Testaverde sprained his ankle meaning the ever-dangerous Kliff Kingsbury may be at the helm for the Jets. That is certainly not good news for Coles or anyone else in the Jets passing attack.
Donte Stallworth, New Orleans (vs. N.Y. Jets): Stallworth has five TD catches in the past five weeks including two TDs last week against the Pats. Stallworth will have a tougher time finding openings against the Jets who rank 5th in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed. Aaron Brooks will receive lots of pressure and he’ll be forced to the short-yardage passing game which doesn’t translate into big numbers for Stallworth.
Eric Moulds, Buffalo (vs. Carolina): With J.P. Losman at QB, the entire Bills passing attack is downgraded. Holcomb may return this week which makes Moulds a more attractive option, but the Panthers defense has turned it up recently and will make life difficult for either Holcomb or Losman keeping Moulds numbers to a minimum.
Roy Williams, Detroit (vs. Atlanta): Is it ever a good sign when a team won’t announce their starting quarterback until game time? That’s the case with the Lions and QBs Joey Harrington and Jeff Garcia. Such indecision is never a positive for WRs and Roy Williams is unlikely to post another three-TD game any time soon.
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. New England
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Seattle
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Detroit
Removed from Studs list:
–Antonio Gates, San Diego: foot injury
Erron Kinney, Tennessee (vs. San Francisco): Kinney has five receptions in each of the past four games and should post another solid game receiving against the Niners who rank dead last in the league in passing yards allowed.
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis (vs. Pittsburgh): Clark’s six catches for 125 yards and a TD last week have moved Clark ahead of Brandon Stokely in the Colts passing attack. Look for more passes to be thrown Clark’s way as Manning continues to spread the wealth and there is plenty to go around for everyone.
Marcus Pollard, Detroit (vs. Atlanta): The unknown QB option isn’t very enticing for Pollard either, especially after seeing how the Falcons kept Simms and the Bucs passing offense under wraps last week.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh (vs. Indianapolis): Big Ben will need plenty of help in pass protection and the Steelers running attack will be on center stage. Neither of these game strategies translate to numbers good enough to warrant a start out of Miller.