The best holiday of the year is upon us which means football and stuffing yourself silly. There are nine players listed below that will be playing on Thursday so be sure to check your lineups and get everything settled prior to the first kickoff. You don’t want to leave the dinner table to check on your #3 WR. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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. This list will change from week to week. The first week, the studs will consist of the preseason top “tier” at each position.
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. Philadelphia
Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Atlanta
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Cleveland
Michael Vick, Atlanta vs. New Orleans
Marc Bulger, St. Louis vs. San Francisco
Tom Brady, New England vs. Chicago
Removed from Studs list:
-Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia
Tony Romo, Dallas (vs. Tampa Bay): Romo didn’t throw a TD pass last week, but he did enough to knock off the undefeated Colts. This week, he’ll get back to posting big stats as he tears apart Ronde and the Bucs secondary.
Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle (vs. Green Bay): Hass is back and what perfect timing! Green Bay ranks 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed and Hasselbeck will take advantage of this in his return from a knee injury. Look for plenty of slant routes letting D-Jax and Branch make plays.
Jake Plummer, Denver (vs. Kansas City): The last time Plummer faced the Chiefs back in week two, he passed for 173 yards, no TDs, and one INT. That game was played in Denver. Expect lesser numbers in K.C. as the Arrowhead crowd won’t give Plummer much of a chance to do anything positive.
Jason Campbell, Washington (vs. Carolina): Let’s not all jump on the Jason Campbell bandwagon at once. He played well against the Bucs last week, but the Panthers ripped apart the Rams and they’ll make Campbell look like an inexperienced QB this week as well.
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Oakland
Larry Johnson, Kansas City vs. Denver
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. Indianapolis
Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. San Francisco
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. St. Louis
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Tennessee
Removed from Studs list:
-Kevin Jones, Detroit
Fred Taylor, Jacksonville (vs. Buffalo): The Bills have allowed over 140 yards rushing in each of their past three games. Taylor hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since week eight. Do you see where I’m going with this? Look for another solid day out of Taylor despite the presence of Jones-Drew.
Warrick Dunn, Atlanta (vs. New Orleans): Dunn has been quiet as of late, rushing for more than 60 yards only once in the past four games. However, the Saints have allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of the past two games including Willie Parker’s 213-yard performance just two weeks ago. Dunn won’t crack 200 yards on the ground, but 100+ with a score isn’t out of the question.
Julius Jones, Dallas (vs. Tampa Bay): The lack of TDs is hurting Jones’ production, but he still the workhorse in the Dallas offense. With Barber likely to play more on a short week, look for Jones to get a chance or two close to the goal line and he won’t disappoint.
Edgerrin James, Arizona (vs. Minnesota): James was only four yards shy of hitting 100 yards rushing last week against the Lions which would have been his first 100-yard performance of the season. Ugh. How the mighty have fallen. Don’t expect James to get that close to 100 yards this week against a Vikings team that held Ronnie Brown to a total of two yards on 12 carries last week.
Anthony Thomas, Buffalo (vs. Jacksonville): The A-Train has performed well replacing the injured McGahee, but this week will be his toughest matchup yet. If the Jaguars can hold Tiki Barber to 27 yards on 10 carries, what do you think they’ll do to Thomas?
Deuce McAllister, New Orleans (vs. Atlanta): McAllister is slowly losing grip of the #1 RB spot in New Orleans as Bush carried the ball four more times than McAllister last week. Look for that trend to continue this week as Deuce gets less chances and he won’t be able to do much with the chances he does get against the Falcons who have allowed only one RB to rush for more than 100 yards in the past five weeks.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Philadelphia
Andre Johnson, Houston vs. N.Y. Jets
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Cleveland
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Washington
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. San Francisco
Javon Walker, Denver vs. Kansas City
Darrell Jackson, Seattle vs. Green Bay
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Philadelphia
Roy Williams, Detroit vs. Miami
Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Tampa Bay
Removed from Studs list:
–Marques Colston, New Orleans
-Donald Driver, Green Bay
Joe Horn, New Orleans (vs. Atlanta): With Marques Colston nursing an ankle injury, Horn will be the top dog in Atlanta this week in the Saints passing attack. With New Orleans unlikely to find much success running the ball, Brees will air it out and he’ll use Horn effectively all day long. Look for big numbers for the veteran this week.
Terry Glenn, Dallas (vs. Tampa Bay): QB Tony Romo will be sharing the wealth in the passing game this week, and there will be plenty of stats to go around for everyone. Glenn posted six catches for 78 yards last week and should be good for at least those numbers on Thanksgiving.
Braylon Edwards, Cleveland (vs. Cincinnati): Edwards posted his best game of the season last week catching seven passes for 137 yards in a loss to Pittsburgh. The last time Edwards faced the Bengals he went over the 100-yard mark and there’s no reason to think he won’t do it again this week against the Bengals who allowed over 500 yards passing last week.
Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Giants (vs. Tennessee): Despite an injury-riddled offense and facing a tough defense in Jacksonville, Burress still managed to post solid numbers on Monday night. Look for Burress to find more openings against the Titans this week as he and Shockey will have fun at Tennessee’s expense.
Lee Evans, Buffalo (vs. Jacksonville): One week does not a fantasy season make. Evans will struggle against the Jags and he’ll be a far cry from the 265 yards, 11 catches, and two TDs he posted last week.
Antonio Bryant, San Francisco (vs. St. Louis): Not only has Bryant been average on the football field, but he was arrested this week on suspicion of drunk driving going over 100 mph in his Lamborghini. That’s not the news you want to hear if you’re a Bryant owner. The matchup isn’t ideal for Bryant and the Niners and his arrest should cement his place on your bench this week.
Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay (vs. Dallas): Galloway will struggle against his old team on Thanksgiving as the Cowboys defense has found a groove. The Boys will shut down Gradkowski leaving Galloway without many opportunities to earn a turkey leg.
Reche Caldwell, New England (vs. Chicago): Caldwell has been one of the most consistent receivers for the Pats over the past five weeks averaging five catches and catching three TDs. With the Bears heading to Foxboro, look for ball control and minimal mistakes to be the main themes of the game keeping the production of the WRs including Caldwell to a minimum.
Kellen Winslow, Cleveland vs. Cincinnati
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. New Orleans
Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Oakland
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Tennessee
Jermaine Wiggins, Minnesota (vs. Arizona): Wiggins bounced back from being held without a catch two weeks ago to catching six passes for 66 yards last week against a tough Dolphins defense. Wiggins should find similar success against the Cardinals who have allowed an average of four catches for 50 yards to TEs in their past five games.
Jason Witten, Dallas (vs. Tampa Bay): Since Romo became the starter for Dallas, Witten is averaging close to five catches and 57 yards per game. Those are solid numbers from a non-stud TE. Look for continued success this week for Witten as Romo makes sure everyone has seconds on Thanksgiving.
Eric Johnson, San Francisco (vs. St. Louis): So much for Johnson making an impact while Vernon Davis was injured. Davis on the mend and the Niners passing game is struggling. Expect below-average numbers once again from Johnson who missed a golden opportunity to be a waiver wire steal.
Bo Scaife, Tennessee (vs. N.Y. Giants): Even with Ben Troupe questionable with an ankle injury, Scaife does not come recommended this week against the Giants. Scaife was held without a catch last week and the Giants will apply the pressure to Young forcing Scaife to stay in protection more than he would like. Look elsewhere.