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Friday, November 24, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL THANKSGIVING WRAPUP

Thanksgiving has come and gone and two out of the three games were absolute dud/slopfests.  Included was the requisite fantasy football happenings as we detail below.

-It took half the season but it looks like Washington Redskins wideout Jamison Crowder is ready to realize the vast PPR potential he carried coming into the season.  The Redskins first had to realize that Terrell Pryor was an imposter and Crowder himself needed to get healthy after some early dings.  The last two weeks have been big though as Thursday night Crowder was the star for the Redskins as he caught 7 balls for 141 yards and a score in the team's win over the NY Giants.  Crowder is operating out of the slot right now and QB Kirk Cousins seems completely locked in on him right now which means the numbers should continue to flow in a big PPR way.  The funny thing is that in many cases, Crowder's current owners are different from those who originally drafted him.

-With Giants wideout Sterling Shepard out with more migraine issues, it was expected that tight end Evan Engram would see an insane amount of targets.  Well that simply did not happen as Engram caught just three passes for 18 yards in a no-show performance Thursday night.  Despite the setback, Engram has been tremendous in his rookie season and already has the look of being the next great receiving tight end in fantasy football.  Continue to queue him up next week.

-Samaje Perine has now reached the 100-rushing mark for two games in a row as he went for 100 on the nose on 24 carries, while adding 3 catches for another 30 yards in the win over the Giants.  Perine has clear ball security issues though and his overall average is not great but he is now a clear bellcow back going into the fantasy football playoffs.

-Evan Engram had company in terms of being a tight end dud on Thursday; with the Redskins' Vernon Davis bettering him with ZERO catches in the game.  Davis had been very good the last two weeks in place of the injured Jordan Reed but he had nothing going Thursday night.  Still Davis is worth using again next week if Reed were to sit out again.  One of those days.

-The Los Angeles Chargers need to make a concerted effort to get tight end Hunter Henry more involved as he continues to show big-time ability.  Henry went off Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys by catching 5 balls for 76 yards and a score.  It is old news how Henry has not been utilized as much as he should and that makes him an every week risk in terms of fantasy football.

-Philip Rivers was playing catch in the park Thursday as he was flawless in completing 27-of-33 throws for 434 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over the Cowboys.  Rivers remains one of the most underappreciated players in all of fantasy football as the numbers flow each and every season in a major way with little fanfare.

-Melvin Gordon remains a RB 1 imposter on skill but not on volume as he picked up 65 yards rushing on 21 carries, while adding 3 catches for another 23.  It is painful to watch Gordon at times given how ordinary a runner he is but he continues to see a very high amount of looks in an explosive offense.

-Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is starting to really show why he was an unheralded fourth round pick in 2016 as he put forth a third straight dud Thursday by completing 20-of-27 throws for 179 yards with zero TD's and 2 INTs.  With no Ezekiel Elliott to help take pressure off in the run game, Prescott has to lead the offense with his pure throwing which as we have seen leaves a lot to be desired.  Any Prescott owners who were even still using him in fantasy football should bench him outright.  You also have to wonder if Dallas higher-ups are questioning if Prescott can be the QB of the future.

-Keenan Allen my goodness.  For the second straight week, Allen was insanely productive as he caught 11 balls for 172 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Cowboys.  Having gone crazy last week as well, Allen is showing why he was so highly coveted prior to 2016 before an ACL injury knocked him out in Week 1.  In PPR formats, Allen is now knocking on the WR 1 door and his fantasy football owners have to be feeling extra thankful they have him on their roster moving forward into the remainder of the season.

-Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah could find himself glued to the bench soon if he keeps on fumbling.  Abdullah lost another fumble Thursday and all in all was ineffective in rushing for 14 on 6 carries, while adding 3 catches for another 29.  Without the catches, Abdullah would be worthless in all fantasy football leagues but he holds some RB 3 value in PPR on that skill alone.  Either way, you don't want to be depending on Abdullah down the stretch if possible. 

-Minnesota Vikings wideout Adam Thielen once again makes his space as he does almost every week.  What a monster season Thielen is having, which he further validated by catching 8 balls for 89 yards in the team's win over the Lions.  Thielen has already crossed the 1,000-yard receiving mark with five games to go and it speaks to how he is pretty much now a WR 1 in all formats. 

-Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph remains a very underrated red zone tight end as he caught two more touchdown passes Thursday as part of his 4-catch day for 63 yards.  Rudolph is as dependable as they come but in a very unheralded way for the Vikings and this season has been no different.  While the raw total catches have never overwhelmed anyone, Rudolph should be started every week the remainder of the season. 

-Lions wideout Marvin Jones was big Thursday as he caught 6 balls forr 109 yards and two scores.  Jones remains boom-or-bust from week-to-week given the presence of Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay but his TD potential outweighs both. 

-Matthew Stafford shook off an ankle to gut out a 20-for-35 day for 250 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT.  Once again, Stafford did his best work in the fourth quarter and this time when the Vikes were playing a prevent.  Be that as it may, Stafford has been a slam-dunk QB 1 all season and that won't change the rest of the way.

-Case Keenum simply can't be taken out of the starting lineup for the Vikings as he played great again Thursday in completing 21-of-30 passes for 282 yards with 2 TD and 1 rushing score.  Keenum has been one of the most spectacular out-of-nowhere success stories this season and he should keep Teddy Bridgewater planted on the bench for now.  At the very least, Keenum has set himself up for a payday for some QB-needy team in 2018. 



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