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The Fantasy Life: Sunday after Thanksgiving Fantasy Football Start/Sit

Life is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy life?

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Some players are must starts (Aaron Rodgers, Alvin Kamara, and Rob Gronkowski, to name a few), but here we work to give you value and over-performers, depending on what type of fantasy format you are playing. At this point we are breaking up start/sit for Thursday and Sunday/Monday games. We apologize to those who must have complete lineups in by Thursday’s game.

Matt Phillips is a multiple fantasy football champion, and co-host of the podcast “Pigskin Dynasty: Your Podcast for All Things Fantasy Football”. You can find him on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, and other podcast mediums. He also has live episodes on Facebook every Sunday morning at 9:00 am EST.

Chiefs and Rams on a bye. That’s a big roster hit. Add to that the three Thanksgiving games and Sunday is scraping the barrel to fill those slots. Some big names on the injury list including Rob Gronkowski (Q) and A.J. Green (O). Some quality filler players are also not suiting up including Joe Flacco (O), Alex Collins (Q), Devin Funchess (D) and Marquise Goodwin (D).

Good luck today!

STARTS

QB Kirk Cousin, Vikings

This is a plus matchup for Cousins who has been inconsistent this season. Part of that inconsistency is injuries have impacted team chemistry, but nevertheless he has been underperforming. Week 2 against the Packers he threw for 425 and 4 touchdowns.

The Packers defense is also dealing with injuries and you have to like Cousins to step up for this critical divisional matchup.

Projection: 327 yards passing with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception

QB Baker Mayfield, Browns

He broke out last week completing 17/20 for 216 yards and three touchdowns. He could have another great performance against the Bengals who have given up the most points to opposing quarterbacks this season, holding the position under 18.7 points only twice.

This is our Sunday sleeper pick.

Projection: 265 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 32 yards rushing

RB Philip Lindsay, Broncos

He broke out last week posting 26 points thanks to a two touchdown performance. He faces a tougher task against the Steelers, but is worth the start. This could be a high scoring game, and the Broncos should lean on the running attack to keep the Steelers playmakers off the field. Plenty of touchdown chances for Lindsay.

Projection: 14 carries for 65 yards and 1 touchdown with 4 recpetions for 35 yards

RB Dalvin Cook, Vikings

He played the majority of the snaps last week and is going up against the Packers who have given up on average 30 fantasy points per game this season. Interesting flex start here.

Projection: 13 carries for 54 yards and 1 touchdown with 3 receptions for 35 yards

WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks

Doug Baldwin is a gametime decision. With Keenan Reynolds being activated from the practice squad you are best to look elsewhere for a Seahawks receiver. I believe the Seahawks will throw the ball more than normal in a match up that could be very competitive. I foresee Lockett getting more than five targets, and I foresee him getting into the end zone making him a nice top 20 fantasy option this week.

Projection: 7 receptions for 65 yards and 1 touchdown

WR Julian Edelman, Patriots

The New York football Jets have been notoriously bad again supposing slot receivers giving up 9 touchdowns. Edelman runs primarily 70% of his routes in the slot position. If he wasn’t considered a PPR must start then he’s definitely a start this week.

Projection: 8 receptions for 76 yards and 1 touchdown

TE George Kittle, Niners

He is a TE1 start this week in a really good match up against the horrible pass defense of the Buccaneers. Coming off a bye he should be fully rested to destroy the Tampa Bay secondary. In seven of his 10 games, Kittle has gone over 75 yards receiving.

Projection: 9 receptions for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns

TE Vance McDonald, Steelers

The Denver Broncos give up, on average, 10 fantasy points to opposing tight ends. In a game I suspect to be somewhat high scoring, I see Vance McDonald as a nice plug-in play this week. Big Ben will throw him a touchdown

Projection: 5 receptions for 65 yards and 1 touchdown

K Mason Crosby, Packers

Opposing kickers have averaged around 10 fantasy points per game against the Vikings. In a game that I suspect to be high scoring there should be plenty of opportunities for Mason Crosby to kick field goals and or Pats.

When in doubt, take Aaron’s kicker.

Projection: 3 for 3 on field goals and 3 for 3 on extra points

Patriots Defense

Fully rested after the by, the Patriots defense should feast against Josh McCown and the New York football Jets. Opposing defenses against the Jets have been averaging around 10 fantasy points per game. New England is a good streaming option this week.

Projection: 13 points allowed with 5 sacks and 2 turnovers

Bills Defense

Buffalo’s only saving grace is a defense that is best against the pass, yielding only four touchdown passes at home this year. Blake Bortles is struggling, and if anything the Jaguars will run the ball a lot. Fewer possessions, and probably more field goals than touchdowns.

Projection: 13 points allowed with 6 sacks and 3 turnovers

SIT

QB Derek Carr, Raiders

I think the Ravens are going to smoke them. Baltimore is at home, desperately in need of a win to remain in the Wild Card hunt. Oakland has scored 13 points per game on the road, and Derek Carr is getting sacked a lot. I feel bad for him. Sit him.

Projection: 205 yards passing with 1 touchdown and 1 interception

QB Philip Rivers, Chargers

Rivers has been solid, but not great. Some have him as a nice sleeper candidate this weekend against the Cardinals, but I don’t like this matchup. Arizona’s defense his holding opposing quarterbacks just under 15 points per game. Rivers is a risky start this weekend, and I’d look elsewhere. Lamar Jackson, in PPR leagues, would be a better option.

Projection: 205 yards passing with 1 touchdown and 1 interception

RB Alex Collins, Ravens

Another running back emerges in Baltimore by the name of Gus Edwards. A sleeper pick for us just a few weeks ago, the injury along with the Ravens backfield being unsettled makes him a must sit.

I’m not convinced he plays.

Projection: 6 rushes for 41 yards

RB Dion Lewis, Titans

We were high on him for a couple weeks. Today he has a horrible matchup against a tough team in the Texans. He may get receiving opportunities, but you can’t trust the Titans red zone play calling. I even worry about the looks he’ll get in the passing game.

Projection: 12 carries for 45 yards with 3 receptions for 25 yards

WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

He caught two passes last week, fortunately for fantasy owners they were for touchdowns. I don’t see that happening against the defense of the Los Angeles Chargers who are getting better with Bosa back.

Projection: 5 receptions for 42 yards

WR John Brown, Ravens

John Brown had been a fantasy surprise this season, but he is a must sit with Lamar Jackson under center. Even with Flacco under center, Brown has seen a decrease in fantasy value.

Projection: 3 receptions for 45 yards

TE Kyle Rudolph, Vikings

He has been nonexistent in the Fantasy community since week 3, totaling an average of 4 points per game over the past five games. The Packers also have given up one touchdown reception and the fifth fewest points to opposing tight ends.

Projection: 3 receptions for 35 yards

TE Jimmy Graham, Packers

Good news is that he’s playing, but with a broken thumb. I think it will be pretty hard to catch a football with a broken thumb, and Rogers wasn’t really throwing to him when he was healthy.

Look for Graham to become a viable TE2 in the weeks to come, but sit him this week.

Projection: 3 receptions for 45 yards

K Robbie Gould, Niners

For some reason opposing kickers, when traveling to Tampa Bay don’t do well. Theyaverage about six fantasy points per game, and even though Gould is hot right now I’d look elsewhere. Maybe it’s because Tampa is so bad at holding teams out of the end zone.

Projection: 1 for 1 on field goals and 3 for 3 on extra points

Arizona Defense

Matt and I disagree on this sit, as I see the Arizona defense holding Rivers at bay.

The Los Angeles Chargers offense has been killing it this year particularly against fantasy defense. Opposing defenses only average about five fantasy points per game and that’s not going to cut it this week. Also Philip Rivers is only averaging 1.6 sacks a game so the sacks are not even there. Sit!

Projection: 28 points allowed with 1 sack and 1 turnover

Denver Defense

Pittsburgh will rebound against a Broncos defense that will suffer from an inept offense. The Broncos best defense back, Bradley Roby, started the week in conclusion protocol. Without him the Steelers receivers are salivating with anticipation to forget what Jacksonville did to them last week.

Projection: 31 points allowed with 1 sack