Thanksgiving Afternoon Game – Week 12
Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys – 3:15pm CT on FOX
Robert Griffin III – RGIII is coming off his best game as a professional. He may have only thrown for 200 yards, but he threw four TD passes of 6, 17, 49, and 61 yards. He completed 14 of 15 passes in the game and also ran for 84 yards and did not throw an interception. RGIII has been having a very nice rookie campaign, but he seemed to be slowing down before his lights out performance last week. It is also nice to see RGIII not taking as many big hits as of late.
Fantasy Call – RGIII will be facing the fifth-best defense against quarterbacks in Dallas who are only yielding 14.3 pts to quarterbacks. DeMarcus Ware is going to be a factor that may limit the amount of running that RGIII will be able to do in this game. Dallas seems to be in disarray this season and if they fall apart on Thanksgiving at the hands of RGIII Jerry Jones may just have to fire himself.
Tony Romo – As I’ve said for ages now, Tony Romo is NOT an elite quarterback, whether it be real life or otherwise. However, he is very very good at home and has the (fantasy) numbers to back it up. In the 41 games he’s played from start to finish since he became a starter for the Cowboys in the middle of 2006, Romo has had 19 300-yard games and 27 games where he’s thrown for at least two touchdown passes. I know we’re all used to fantasy studs like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, but the numbers you just read are actually pretty rare otherwise and need to be considered when you’re talking about your starting fantasy QB down the stretch.
Fantasy Call – His record on Thursday’s is 6-1 and could easily be considered his favorite day of the week to play. In fact, in seven career Thursday games (which are mostly on Thanksgiving), Romo has thrown for 18 touchdowns (2.6 TDs per game) and just five INTs, so if you were ever going to think about starting this guy, Turkey Day might be the best time for you to do it. He’s a QB1 this week for sure this week, especially against a Redskins pass D that allows the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
Alfred Morris – Alfred Morris has been slowed over the past three games in which he has failed to rush for more than 76 yards and has been held without a TD over the past four games. Morris has been effective this season, but he is having trouble finding the endzone as of late and is not an option in the passing game with only six receptions all season.
Fantasy Call – Morris will have a chance to break a couple of runs against a Dallas defense that is not as strong against the run with the absence of Sean Lee. Morris still has the trouble of not being a part of the passing game and could be hitting the rookie wall, which could show itself in a short week following a game in which he had 20 carries, the most he has had in the past three weeks.
Evan Royster – Royster may be the backup running back in name, but you wouldn’t know it looking at his stats for the year.
Fantasy Call – Nope.
Felix Jones – Felix has been okay the past handful of weeks filling in for DeMarco Murray, but by no means has he been as dominant as Murray could have been. His current 3.6 yards-per-carry is FAR below what he put up over the first four years of his career and by no means is he even close to being able to handle 20 touches per game. At this point, Jones hasn't even practiced yet this week and is looking like he'll be a game-time decision, even though he's been given the QUESTIONABLE tag.
Fantasy Call – Throughout his career, Felix has actually been pretty darn good against the Redskins when they play in Dallas, so he could be worth a shot as a flex play with low-end RB2 upside for fantasy teams this week. Washington’s defense is obviously down in the bottom third of the league this year and continues to be decimated by injuries, so if Murray is ruled out again and Felix is deemed healthy enough to go, feel free to get “Fragile Felix” in there one last time.
DeMarco Murray – Will DeMarco Murray give his fantasy owners something to be thankful for and actually get back on the field this Thursday? “Doubtful” is the reigning call right now. Doubtful because the Cowboys want him completely healthy for the stretch run into the playoffs… if they can stay in contention at all, that is.
Fantasy Call – The latest word on DeMarco is that he’ll be held out at least one more week in order to make sure his foot is okay to face the Eagles on Sunday night in Week 13.
Lance Dunbar / Phillip Tanner – The third-string job here has been a revolving door all year, but neither guy has stepped up to make enough of a difference to be considered a legitimate backup just yet.
Fantasy Call – It looked like Phillip Tanner was going to be the backup RB this week with Dunbar going in for a minor procedure on his knee after the Week 11 game. However, Dunbar was actually splitting first-team reps with Tanner in practice this week and could end up starting if Felix Jones turns out to be inactive. Either way, neither is worth starting as more than a flex in larger leagues.
Pierre Garcon – Garcon made his return to action last week and was unimpressive with 3 catches for 5 yards. Garcon has a ton of talent as he showed in the first quarter of the first game of the season before he was struck with turf toe. The problem is that turf toe is an injury that always seems to linger and can resurface at any time.
Fantasy Call – Garcon is risk reward guy at this point. He is still getting back into game shape as he was not able to run while he was recovering from the turf toe injury. Garcon will get some passes thrown his way, but the amount of production he will produce will be limited, especially in a short week with less time to rest his foot.
Santana Moss – Moss only had one catch last week, but it was a 61-yard TD catch in which he out-dueled two Eagles defenders to score. Moss has only seen a total of 3 targets in the past 2 games, and besides a 9 target game 3 weeks ago has not had more than 5 targets in a game.
Fantasy Call – Moss has had a lot of success in his career against the Cowboys and should see more targets in this game than he has seen in the past two weeks, but he is still not a strong play this week.
Josh Morgan – Morgan has actually caught 14 passes over his last three games, but his lack of playmaking ability has kept him to gaining just 117 yards on those receptions (8.4 YPC).
Fantasy Call – There’s not a single dependable WR you can play on this team right now, including Mr. Morgan.
Aldrick Robinson – Robinson may be fast as all hell, but this ain’t a track and field competition.
Fantasy Call – Wait until next year.
Leonard Hankerson – I can’t tell if Hankerson is the WR1 on this team or the WR5. Being a former third-round selection, you’d think he would have taken over some sort of role by now… but he hasn’t.
Fantasy Call – He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1 and is completely undependable.
Dez Bryant – Did Dez Bryant just make himself the most sought-after wide receiver in the league with his performance against Cleveland last week? Nah, but the kid is definitely better than he had been playing over the first half of the season. Grabbing 12 balls on 15 targets is nothing to sneeze at, but with no Joe Haden in the lineup for the Browns, be wary of what just happened.
Fantasy Call – He’s a dominant force when he wants to be, but the question is—when can fantasy owners count on him to be that guy? This week might be a good one going up against a Redskins defense that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, but then again, Dez hasn’t shown up on Thanksgiving for a couple of years now, so which way do you go? I think he’s a must-start this week, especially with Washington’s defense being hit by the injury bug lately (and all year for that matter).
Miles Austin – I’ve never been a big fan of Miles Austin—though from the hate-mail I’ve sent him over the years, I’m guessing he’s not the biggest fan of mine either. However, the fact that the kid has stayed healthy all year says a lot to me, as I didn’t expect it in the slightest. His big games have been a little too few and far between for my liking and I’m sure there are plenty of owners out there who agree with me, but at least he’s been healthy.
Fantasy Call – Like I said for Bryant, the Redskins defense can be scored upon, so when you combine the fact that Tony Romo loves these Thursday/Thanksgiving games with a decimated Washington defense, there’s no reason to think that Austin won’t be able to at least put up WR2 numbers.
Kevin Ogletree – Ogletree took all the first-time fantasy players for a ride earlier in the year, but I’m guessing most of them have smartened up since then. Anyway, it looks like Kevin might have himself a concussion, so if you were thinking about catching lightning in a bottle this week, think again.
Fantasy Call – Ogletree has now officially been ruled to be OUT for the Cowboys Thanksgiving game.
Fantasy Call – Keep an eye on these two guys because you never know when or who will step into the hole created by Laurent Robinson’s departure. This week it looks like Dwayne Harris will get the call, so if you're desperate for a flex play this week, he'd be the guy to take a chance on.
Logan Paulsen – Paulsen had been quietly effective in his past 3 games before last week’s game against the Eagles. In those 3 games he had 13 catches for 178 yards. Last week Paulsen had 1 catch for 17 yards, but it was good for a TD.
Fantasy Call – Paulsen has a tough match-up this week as the Cowboys are limiting opposing Tight Ends to a mere 5.9 pts per game. If you have a better option you might want to look elsewhere this week.
Jason Witten – Despite his early-season spleen-situation, Jason Witten currently leads all tight ends with 96 targets and 73 receptions. His 636 yards on the year isn’t what makes him tenth on the fantasy points per game list, though—it’s the lack of touchdowns; a problem he’s had throughout his entire career.
Fantasy Call – Lucky for Witten owners, the Redskins have allowed the second-most TDs to tight ends as well as the second-most fantasy points to them, so there’s no reason to think Witten won’t dominate this game. He seems to be very fond of the Thanksgiving Thursday game anyway, so make sure you have him inserted as your TE1 this week.
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