A Fantasy Thanksgiving: Pilgrims vs. Turkeys

<p>It&#146;s that wonderful time of year again kids &shy; Thanksgiving. Here&#146;s a special appetizer of the fantasy hunters and hunted that will either get you primed for the big feast that is Sunday football&#133;or leave you eating dry leftovers for the next week, waiting and wondering when something different will grace your fantasy tastebuds.</p>

A Fantasy Thanksgiving: Pilgrims vs. Turkeys
By Chris Goodhue, Site Contributor

It’s that wonderful time of year again kids ­ Thanksgiving. Here’s a special appetizer of the fantasy hunters and hunted that will either get you primed for the big feast that is Sunday football…or leave you eating dry leftovers for the next week, waiting and wondering when something different will grace your fantasy tastebuds.

Chicago at Dallas

The Pilgrims: Dallas RB, Julius Jones (35 carries, 97 yds, 2.8 yds/carry, 0 TD) returned from a two-month absence to put up 81 yards vs. Baltimore. With rookie QB, Drew Henson probably getting the start, a now-healthy Jones will see a nice workload vs. an Urlacher-less Bears D that gave up 204 rushing yards to Edgerrin James.

Dallas TE, Jason Witten (57 catches, 650 yds, 5 TD) emerged as Vinny Testaverde’s favorite target this year, and will still be the primary option if there is a QB change. Bill Parcells has always loved getting the ball to the TE from Mark Bavaro to Ben Coates, and now Witten. He should be able to cut through the depleted linebacking corps for a 6 or 7 catch game.

The Turkeys: Dallas RB, Eddie George (125, 416, 3.3, 4) is the equivalent of your drunken uncle at the Thanksgiving table. He was once great whether it was carrying the ball or telling dirty jokes. Now when given the opportunity, he pretty much just passes out in the potatoes and gravy and embarrasses himself. He’ll settle into the back-up role, just like the tuna casserole that your Grandmother brought.

The entire Bears receiving corps have been utterly useless. David Terrell and Bobby Wade do not have a touchdown this season but it doesn’t help when QB Craig Krenzel is only completing passes at a 46% clip. Even though the Cowboys have given up 22 passing TD’s this season, don’t expect much from this air attack.

Indianapolis at Detroit

The Pilgrims: Colts WR, Reggie Wayne (47, 472, 9) has asserted himself as a major weapon for QB, Peyton Manning. Wayne has 6 touchdowns in his last 4 games and has greatly benefited from opponents double coverage of teammate Marvin Harrison (51, 637, 8). He will be able exploit one-on-one match-ups with CB, Fernando Bryant to reach the end zone at least once.

Lions RB, Kevin Jones (107, 408, 3.8, 1) had his first career 100-yard game last week vs. Minnesota and has another favorable match-up Thursday. The Colts give up 113 yards a game on the ground, and the Lions will be looking to control the clock to keep the ball out of Peyton Manning’s hands. He’s a sleeper candidate for a big game.

The Turkeys: Lions WR, Roy Williams (31, 478, 5) has not had a TD since week 7 due mostly to the fact that QB Joey Harrington has been struggling mightily (212 yards in last 2 games). In the last 3 games, Williams has grabbed only 7 balls from Harrington. The Indy defense is last in the AFC in pass defense (281 yds a game) but Williams can’t really be considered starter material as long as Harrington is still at the helm. Don’t chance it.

Colts WR, Brandon Stokley (42, 672, 5) drives owners of Harrison and Wayne mad, however can’t be starter material for your team because he is so sporadic with his production. His last 4 yardage totals are as follows ­ 35, 34, 132 (with 2 TD’s!), and 7. Stokley is a crapshoot and is to these receivers as Az Hakim was to Torry Holt and Issac Bruce a few years back. He’s the Thanksgiving equivalent to your cousin’s dog begging for table scraps.

Chris Goodhue has been running fantasy football and baseball teams since 1999 with one title to his credit. He can usually be found at a local Boston area sports bar settling arguments of sports history, but in case you can't find him send your questions and feedback to cgoodhue in the Insider Forums

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