The first NFL Thanksgiving Day game was in 1934 between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit Stadium. It was a sellout crowd with 26,000 fans attending, and a tradition was born. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving ever since, except for 1939-1944 during WWII. The Dallas Cowboys were the second NFL team to play annually on Thanksgiving, way back in 1964. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL team to never play on Thanksgiving. The Ravens, Texans and Panthers have never lost on Thanksgiving, while the Browns, Bengals and Buccaneers have never won. The Lions have a losing record on the day (37-42-2), but the Cowboys are 31-23. The most famous play on Thanksgiving of course was the Patriots-Jets game featuring the Butt Fumble in 2012. Sorry to remind you, Jets fans. As we look at our Giddy Ups! and Whoa Downs! for Week 12, make sure to check the NFL injury reports before submitting your lineups.
Josh Allen, QB — Allen played timidly against Cleveland last week, his worst Fantasy outing (14 points) in three seasons. Has he lost his mojo after a slew of red-zone interceptions cost Buffalo two wins? No way. On Thanksgiving against the surging Lions, Josh will throw deep and with confidence.
Jacoby Brissett, QB — This will be Brissett’s last outing before the re-instated Deshaun Watson takes over at QB. Brissett acquitted himself well all year, including last week against the Bills (324 yards, 3 TDs). I think he’ll go out on a high note at home against the Buccaneers.
Dameon Pierce, RB — Pierce’s eight carries for 10 yards were a huge disappointment last game against the Commanders but keep the faith. It was his first poor outing as the starter for Houston. Miami gives up 13 Fantasy points to RBs per outing, which is slightly less than Pierce’s 14.6 per game average.
Damien Harris, RB — Harris has become the “thunder” to Rhamondre Stevenson’s “lightning.” Both should fare well against the Vikes on Turkey Day, who just gave up a combined 58 points to RBs Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard.
Terry McLaurin, WR — Terry is still scary. WRs have torched Atlanta all year. Throw out the Falcon’s last two games against low pass volume QBs Justin Fields and P.J. Walker. In the five games prior, Atlanta gave up a massive 1,660 yards.
Tyler Lockett, WR — Lockett has scored three games in a row and stands a shocking 12th in Fantasy points for wideouts. But his starting percentage in Fantasy leagues is an even more shocking 60%. Get him off your bench and into your lineup.
Dawson Knox, TE — Josh Allen went from “Buffalo Bomber” to “Checkdown Charlie” last outing. He threw underneath to Knox seven times. Knox caught all seven.
Russell Wilson, QB — Are you as tired of Wilson as I am? He was my favorite Giddy Up! from last week, but he stunk up the joint with 10 Fantasy points. He can’t be trusted even against the lowly Panthers.
Andy Dalton, QB — You may be tempted by Dalton’s three TDs against the lowly Rams but beware that seven QBs have thrown for one or no TDs vs the 49ers this season. Only Patrick Mahomes had success against them. Dalton is no Mahomes.
D’Andre Swift, RB — Swift is as talented as any player in the NFL. The Lions say he’s healthy. But he only gets 13% of the RB touches, averaging seven per game. Something’s rotten in Detroit.
Samaje Perine, RB — Chase the points if you like, but Perine averaged 2.7 yards per tote against the Steelers. The Titans have the best defense in the NFL. Don’t get carried away.
Mike Williams, WR — I have a rule to not start a player coming back from a hamstring injury until he makes it through his next game unscathed. Add a high ankle sprain to that rule. Williams made a gorgeous 15-yard catch last week but re-injured his ankle and left the field for good in the first quarter.
Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, WR — You’re starting them both. Just don’t expect the usual high Fantasy points. Teams don’t have to throw against the lousy Houston defense. The Fins will run all day long and protect QB Tua Tagovailoa from any unnecessary risk.
Cole Kmet, TE — Bet on Kmet against a Jet and you’ll be upset with what you get.
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