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The Pugs Kennel Week 12: Thanksgiving Edition

Week 12 of the NFL season not only brings a full slate of NFL games on Thursday, it also signifies the ‘two minute warning’ of the fantasy season


It may be a day off to spend with family and friends, but fantasy football is in full swing this Thanksgiving. If you are looking to be thankful for your fantasy team, stick with The Pug to help guide you through a full slate of Thanksgiving day games and have you coming out being thankful for a playoff appearance and beyond.

Today’s NFL action kicks off in the NFC North, with the second place Detroit Lions (6-4) welcoming the first place Minnesota Vikings (6-4) to town. The Lions will essentially be playing for their chance at the NFC North title, while the Vikings continue their so far successful quest to be the first team to have home field advantage in the Super Bowl. Fantasy wise, two members of the Lions will be key for offensive success against the Vikings.

Eric Ebron

There have been high hopes for Ebron since coming into the league, and for the most part he has fallen flat. Ebron has found success the last two weeks, catches six balls for 88 yards and a touchdown, but needs to continue to become more involved in the Lions passing game. He was targeted seven times, which is a good sign that Stafford is looking for him more often.

In the Lions week 4 14-7 win over the Vikings, Lions tight ends burned the Vikings defense for 7 catches and 82 yards. With the Vikings defense currently playing at a high level, Stafford should be looking for some quick passes in his cleanest line of sight, the middle of the field. The Pug believes Ebron should be a start in all formats this week, and Ebron should build upon his recent success with 60+ yards and a score in this contest.

Pug’s advice: Start him

Ameer Abdullah 

When these two teams faced each other in week 4, it was Abdullah who was the star, hitting up the NFL’s third best run defense for 94 yards and score. Abdullah could once again find success against the Vikes, but that all depends on the play calling. As long as the Lions try to run the ball straight up the gut, Abdullah could be the hero come game’s end. The Vikings defense is too fast for the ions to find success outside of the hash marks. You have to think Lions offensive coordinator Jim Cooter is wise to this, which has The Pug feeling confident in having Abdullah in the starting lineup.

Pug’s advice: Start him

Let’s not forget about the Vikings, they are 8-2 for a reason.

Case Keenum

Keenum has found success this year after essentially being the number three guy in Minnesota. This week, however, take a step back before having Keenum on the top of your depth chart. Thanksgiving day in Detroit is a football tradition. The crowd will be out in full force and with so much on the line in today’s game, Keenum will feel the pressure. The Pug feels Keenum will stare down receivers a little too often, and although the Lions rank 20th against the pass this season, Keenum could be in for a long day.

Pug’s advice: Sit him

Adam Thielen

Who has benefited the most in the Vikings offensive scheme this season? Thielen is the obvious answer, and if Keenum is staring down receivers, it will be Thielen who will be his main guy. Since he has found the endzone in each of the last three weeks, keeping this guy on the bench, would be a huge mistake. As a matter of fact, Thielen should be looked upon as a must-start WR1 for the remainder of the season. Even if Keenum struggles, there is a solid chance Thielen escapes the Thanksgiving game with numbers to be thankful for.

Pug’s advice: Start him

The second part of the Thanksgiving   features the resurging Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) against the struggling Dallas Cowboys (5-5). With Ezekiel Elliott (finally) riding out his suspension, the Dallas offense has been flat. Nothing like a Thanksgiving tradition to help pull them out of their funk.

The Chargers are coming fresh off a 54 point performance, in which they dismantled the Buffalo Bills. Although the Chargers are under .500, the tight AFC has them right in the thick of the playoff hunt. They have also been competitive in their losses, which means a simple fix could turn their whole season around.

So what can we expect from the fantasy side of things?

Melvin Gordon

Gordon has been a mixed bag this season. He is either a fantasy superstar, or becomes a dud for the week. Look for the Cowboys and their 21st ranked run defense to step up their game and force Philip Rivers and company to beat them through the air. This is a week The Pug believes Gordon will flop, as he will command extra attention from the ‘Boys D. If you have other options let Gordon enjoy his Thanksgiving from your fantasy bench.

Pug’s advice: Sit him

Philip Rivers

The brightest star on the field today will not be the Cowboys star at midfield. look for Rivers to put up some good numbers today as long as the Chargers can contain DeMarcus Lawrence and company on the defensive line. If they are able to hold off that crew, which is no small feat, Rivers will eclipse the 300 yard mark, and will reward your fantasy team by making the Dallas defensive backfield, currently ranked 14th against the pass, look like a bunch of turkeys.

Pug’s advice: Start him

Alfred Morris

With Ezekiel Elliott suspended, Morris has been the biggest beneficiary. The Cowboys have tried to switch over to a pass first offense with Elliott out, and have found little success. Look for them to feed the rock to Morris plenty of times in this one, and for Morris to take full advantage. Morris has some skill, but has been buried behind Elliott since departing from Washington, however this is the game for him to shine. Start him without hesitation.

Pug’s advice: Start him

 Dez Bryant

Although the passing game is suffering, Dak Prescott has been leaning on Bryant for the last two weeks. Bryant has seen 22 targets, but has only totalled 102 yards on 12 receptions. Dez has seen action against the Chargers only one other time in his career, back in 2013, and had six catches for 81 yards and a pair of scores. Dez has , however, since dropped from an elite wide receiver fantasy wise and has become a hit or miss, high-end WR2. Call it a hunch, but with the Chargers only giving up two touchdowns to wide receivers since week 6, The Pug is benching Bryant.

Pug’s advice: Sit him

With our belly’s full of food and half of us napping and the other half chasing down a deal on Black Friday, the New York Giants spend Thanksgiving in our nation’s capital taking on the Washington Redskins. The Giants are fresh off an overtime victory against the Kansas City Chiefs, but have been the NFL’s biggest disappointment this season.

The Redskins enter this game fresh off a deflating loss that saw Drew Brees and company mount a 15 point comeback in the fourth quarter, then lose in overtime. Washington also lost Chris Thompson for the year, thinning out their running back corps even further. Washington needs this game in a bad way to stay relevant in the playoff race, and Kirk Cousins  will have to be the guy to do that.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins is constantly underrated, and although he has had numerous wide receivers underwhelming in Washington, has still quietly put together a nice season. Cousins is going to have to take this team on his back and a game against the almost hapless Giants defense is a good start. If you have Cousins on your team put him in, plain and simple.

New York Giants

As the smell of Thanksgiving cooking begins to roll in, The Pug leaves you with one last piece of advice. DO NOT START ANY PLAYER ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS. Now go enjoy your family and from all of us at The Scrum Sports….


Happy Thanksgiving!


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