Thanksgiving is the time of year where you get a weekday off of work to gorge on turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce and try to get a post-dinner seat on the couch before your overweight uncle slips into a tryptophan coma. I like Thanksgiving just fine, mainly because the NFL gives me three games to watch starting at 11:30 AM.
With the exception of the crummy halftime acts, these games usually prove to be pretty entertaining. The Detroit Lions have hosted a Thanksgiving Day game every year since 1945, posting a 33-37-2 mark, pretty impressive considering they haven’t won on the fourth Thursday in November since 2003. One thing I have always noticed is that great fantasy performances do happen on Thanksgiving, making it the only Thursday games where I’m looking forward to starting guys on my rosters. Here are some rad things that have happened during Thanksgiving Day games that you may have missed in your gravy induced stupor:
- The Detroit Lions have been shut out six times and have allowed thirty or more points fourteen times.
- The Minnesota Vikings have the best record on Thanksgiving Day (minimum 4 appearances) at 5-1. They are 2-1 against Detroit and 3-0 against Dallas, averaging a remarkable 34.2 ppg with two shutouts against Detroit. Three of Minnesota’s games have featured a final point total of 82, with two 44-38 games.
- Since 2004, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have played four Thanksgiving Day games, combining for four wins and seventeen total TDs. Their opponents combined for five in those games.
- The San Diego Chargers haven’t played on Thanksgiving Day since the AFL-NFL merger in 1969.
- In 2008, the Titans beat the Lions 47-10 without scoring a touchdown via the passing game. They rushed for four touchdowns and returned an interception for another. Their starting QB Kerry Collins attempted eighteen passes and only threw for 127 yards.
- A Thanksgiving featuring a Detroit and Dallas victory has not happened this century. 1999 was the last season in which they both won on Turkey Day.
Week 13 will be a throw away for those clinched up and ready to roll in next week’s playoffs, but for owners like yours truly (facing Bacon Sports own Rob Cressy for the final playoff spot in our 12 team, 2 QB auction league), this week will bring extreme pressure. Here are my Plays and Stays for this final week of the fantasy regular season:
Michael Floyd, WR Arizona Cardinals
Most Floyd owners have already been reaping the benefits of his last four week performance, ranking sixteenth overall at the WR position since Week 9 with only one small hiccup in the mix. Floyd and the Arizona Cardinals travel to the eastern time zone for a showdown with the white hot Philadelphia Eagles, who despite their hot streak under the controls of Nick Foles, still refuse to shut down opposing WRs.
The Eagles are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing WRs on the season, and in a game with shootout potential with the focus of the Eagles defense squarely on Larry Fitzgerald, I like Floyd to continue his hot run. 80 yards and a TD are not out of the question. PLAY
T.Y. Hilton, WR Indianapolis Colts
Hilton has been the de facto number one WR in Indianapolis since Reggie Wayne was lost for the season to a torn ACL in Week 7. Hilton has averaged six catches for 83.3 yards per game since Wayne’s injury, but has come up lame in the past two weeks against stingy defenses. In a home rematch with the Tennessee Titans, who are giving up the fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs, I’m looking for that cold streak to continue.
Hilton has been a top seven WR over the past four weeks, but the matchup and inconsistencies in Indy’s offense lead me to believe a conservative game plan is on the docket. Starting Hilton this week will be a risky proposition, and I am all for deeper options like Nate Burleson, Harry Douglas, and Rueben Randle this week. STAY
CJ Spiller, RB Buffalo Bills
Twelve weeks ago, this wouldn’t have been a stretch, but Spiller has been wildly terrible and carries the title of fantasy bust for this season. He’s been injury plagued, ineffective, and in a time share with an old man RB (although to be honest, the 32 year old Fred Jackson is the same age as me, so who am I to call him an old man). Spiller comes off the bye healthy and in a plus matchup with a deteriorating Atlanta Falcons defense that has been getting slaughtered by opposing RBs in the past five weeks.
Atlanta has packed it in for the 2013 season, preparing for a high draft pick in the 2014 draft. Dome teams going on the road to wintery conditions tend to fare poorly come this time of year, and I look for Buffalo to pound the rock all afternoon. Spiller finally delivers numbers worthy of that high August draft pick you spent on him. I’m call for 120 total yards and at least one score this week. PLAY
Follow me on Twitter @BernacK6.
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