NFL Fantasy Football: Thanksgiving Day Start 'Em, Sit 'Em, and Game Projections

The SportmeistersAnalyst INovember 26, 2009

By Derek of The Sportmeisters

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Week 12 is here, and there are multiple games this coming Thursday.

As always, we see the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions will take on the Green Bay Packers, and the Cowboys will face the Oakland Raiders. We will also see the New York Giants take on the Denver Broncos.

Here is a short list of players who you should have in your lineup or should keep on the bench.

Enough talk—let’s get down to business!


Start 'Em

QB – Aaron Rodgers – GB vs. DET – Projection: 350 Yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

If Brady Quinn can throw for four touchdowns against Detroit, what do you think Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense will do? Must Start 'Em.


RB – Ryan Grant – GB vs. DET – Projection: 125 Yards Rushing, 1 TD

Grant rushed for 90 yards in the week six game against Detroit and should have similar success against their 20th-ranked run defense this week. Start 'Em.


RB – Brandon Jacobs – NYG vs. DEN – Projection: 95 Yards Rushing, 2 TD

With Ahmad Bradshaw out, Jacobs will be asked to carry the load, and he should have a solid game against a suddenly ineffective Denver defense that ranks 18th vs. the run. Start 'Em.


RB – Marion Barber and Felix Jones – DAL vs. OAK – Projections: Barber: 95 Yards Rushing, 1 TD, 3 Receptions, 20 Yards – Jones: 60 Yards Rushing, 1 TD, 2 Receptions, 15 Yards

Barber was highly effective last week against a good Washington D. This week, he and Jones will face the Raiders, who rank 30th vs. the run. If there is a time for Jones to become more involved in the offense, this is it. Start 'Em both.


WR – Greg Jennings and Donald Driver – GB vs. DET – Projections: Jennings: 7 Receptions, 100 Yards, 1 TD – Driver: 6 Receptions, 75 Yards, 1 TD

The Packers offense should have a field day against the worst pass defense in the NFL. Expect big games from these two. Start 'Em both.


TE – Jermichael Finley – GB vs. DET – Projection: 5 Receptions, 50 Yards, 1 TD

You almost have to start everyone on the Packers this week against Detroit. Finley could surprise this week. Sleeper Start 'Em.


D/ST – Green Bay Packers vs. DET

Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are unlikely to play, which leaves Daunte Culpepper with nobody to throw to. Good news for the Packers defense. Start 'Em.


D/ST – New York Giants vs. DEN

Kyle Orton has been hurt, and the Giants defense should be fired up coming off the big win last week. Start 'Em.


D/ST – Dallas Cowboys vs. OAK

Bruce Gradkowski may have led them to the win last week, but do you really think that will happen ever again? Neither do I, especially against a pass rush led by DeMarcus Ware. Start 'Em.


Sit 'Em

QB – Eli Manning – NYG vs. DEN – Projection: 250 Yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Eli looked good last week, but that was against a weak Atlanta pass defense. This week, he will face a Denver pass defense that ranks third in the NFL. Sit 'Em.


QB – Tony Romo – DAL vs. OAK – Projection: 240 Yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Since throwing for six combined touchdowns in weeks seven and eight, Romo hasn’t found the end zone that often. He has just three touchdowns and has thrown three interceptions in the last three games. This week, he will face the 12th-ranked Oakland Raiders pass defense, and I expect the Cowboys to run the ball quite often. Sit 'Em.


QB – Kyle Orton – DEN vs. NYG – Projection: 200 Yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

Orton has been hurt and will face a New York Giants defense that ranks second in the NFL vs. the pass. Must Sit 'Em.


RB – Correll Buckhalter – Projection: 30 Yards Rushing, 2 Receptions, 15 Yards

Buckhalter has been relegated to backup duty as Knowshon Moreno has taken full control of the starting job. He is almost completely useless as a fantasy back, especially against the 11th-ranked New York Giants run defense. Sit 'Em.


RB – Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas and Michael Bush – Projections: McFadden: 30 Yards Rushing – Fargas: 45 Yards Rushing – Bush: 25 Yards Rushing

Are you really going to start an Oakland Raider? Not against the seventh-ranked Dallas Cowboys run defense. Sit 'Em all.


RB – Kevin Smith – DET vs. GB – Projection: 40 Yards Rushing, 4 Receptions, 30 Yards

Green Bay has only allowed three rushing touchdowns all year, and I don’t expect Smith to break that trend. Sit 'Em.


WR – Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal – DEN vs. NYG – Projections: Marshall: 4 Receptions, 40 Yards – Royal: 3 Receptions, 30 Yards

With a QB that is coming off an injury and against a Giants defense that ranks second vs. the pass, I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting either of these guys. Sit 'Em both.


WR – Calvin Johnson – DET vs. GB – Projection: Inactive

Johnson should be benched due to the fact that he is doubtful to play. Too bad, as he has put up good numbers these past two weeks, but the short week will most likely keep him on the sidelines in this one. Sit 'Em.


WR – Miles Austin and Roy Williams – DAL vs. OAK – Projections: Austin: 4 Receptions, 40 Yards – Williams: 4 Receptions, 40 Yards

You never know who the No. 1 guy is in Dallas these days, and against Nnamdi Asomugha and the 12th-ranked Raiders pass defense, I Sit 'Em both.


There you have it, Sports Fans: my Start 'Em/Sit' Em and Projections for the Thanksgiving Day games. Any questions or concerns, please email me at and look for the rest of my Start 'Em/Sit 'Em and Projections later this week, as well as our Sunday Morning Start 'Em/Sit 'Em Chat. Happy Thanksgiving!


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