Fantasy Football: 5 Sneaky Starts for Your Fantasy Team on Thursday Night

Matt LechnerContributor INovember 30, 2011

Fantasy Football: 5 Sneaky Starts for Your Fantasy Team on Thursday Night

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    If you're looking for a reason to watch Thursday night's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks, here are five reasons.

    And these five reasons might just help your fantasy football team.

    Here are five sneaky starts for your fantasy football team, featuring only players who will be playing on Thursday night.

5) Vince Young, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Young threw for 400 yards and one touchdown in Week 12 against a soft New England pass defense. He won't put up those type of numbers this week, but he's good for at least one touchdown pass, maybe two.

    In two games this season, Young has three touchdown passes and 658 yards passing. He should have four touchdown passes, but a dropped pass by DeSean Jackson in the end zone prevented that from happening.

    Seattle does a better job of stopping the run than they do the pass. They currently rank 20th in the league against the pass and 11th against the run. That could work to Young's advantage on Thursday night.

4) Doug Baldwin, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks

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    Baldwin is a tricky play because he's nursing a shoulder injury. He's listed as questionable and should be ready to play.

    Baldwin has emerged as Tarvaris Jackson's favorite target, at least he was last week.

    Jackson targeted Baldwin 10 times in Week 12, and with the news that Sidney Rice is headed for injured reserve, Baldwin's role in the offense should increase even more.

    At this point, Baldwin is more of a wait-and-see type of fantasy player.

    However, if you're one of those fantasy owners who likes to start guys who play in the prime-time games, Baldwin is one option this Thursday night. 

3) Jason Avant, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Avant is coming off a spectacular game Sunday against the New England Patriots. In Week 12, he caught eight passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.

    With 14 passes going his way last week, Avant is clearly Vince Young's favorite target. 

    I don't expect Avant to replicate his stats from last Sunday, but he will get plenty of playing time with Jeremy Maclin still sidelined with shoulder and hamstring injuries.

    Consider him a good WR3 option if you need a fill-in wide receiver in Week 13.

2) Seattle Seahawks D/ST

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    The Seahawks always seem to play better at home than on road. They will have their home crowd working in their favor and it helps that they will be facing Vince Young.

    Young has been filing in for the injured Michael Vick and it's likely he'll get his third consecutive start Thursday.

    Young is coming off a Sunday performance against the New England Patriots where he threw for 400 yards and a touchdown. But what caught my eye was his Week 11 performance on the road against the New York Giants.

    Young threw three interceptions in that game.

    Young's road woes should be enough for you to consider starting Seattle's D/ST. However, if you need more evidence, just take a look at the Seahawks' last three games.

    Seattle's defense has forced eight turnovers and sacked opposing quarterbacks seven times in that span. In their previous nine games, Seattle had forced just 11 turnovers.

1) Brent Celek, Tight End, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Celek has seen his targets increase as the year has gone on. In his last six games, Celek has been targeted 46 times. Compare that to 21 targets in the first five games and it's clear he's become a bigger part of the Eagles offense.

    And those targets have resulted in more catches, yards, touchdowns and fantasy points.

    Since Week 6, Celek has 49 fantasy points (standard scoring leagues). Before Week 6, he had just five fantasy points.

    Another reason to like Celek in Week 13, the Seahawks have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in three of their last four games.

    Celek is a must-start in leagues that require tight ends.