If there's one thing I don't like about fantasy football, it's the relatively short length of the season. (Well, that and losing despite posting the second-highest weekly score in the league; losing because of injuries; and losing in general.) It feels like just yesterday we were debating Arian Foster versus Ray Rice and talking sleepers and busts, yet only three weeks remain in the regular season in most fantasy leagues. It's a bit sad, especially if you're an unfortunate owner who ended up with Darren McFadden, Cam Newton and Hakeem Nicks as your first three picks (you're out there, I know you are). I'm all for more fantasy, and I know you all are too. So allow me to present the one-day Thanksgiving fantasy blowout.
Thanksgiving is tailor-made for a one-off fantasy game. Think about it: You'll be sitting around with family all day eating and watching football. You like football. Your family members, presumably, like football. With three games on the slate, you can involve as many as six people. Since the games are staggered you can watch all three and track all the players. Plus, it'll be a ton of fun when your uncle drafts Tony Romo, falls asleep from a tryptophan-induced coma before that game starts and misses Romo's inevitable first-half stink bomb. The look on your uncle's face will be priceless when Joe Buck and Troy Aikman welcome the viewers back for the second half with this exchange:
Buck: So, Tony Romo and the Cowboys will look to get on track after a disastrous first half that had the hometown crowd booing them off the field.
Aikman: And on Thanksgiving, no less!
Buck: Well, there wasn't a whole lot for Cowboys fans to be thankful for in those first 30 minutes, Troy!
I know. You're in. Here's how you do it:
It's a one-day, winner-takes-all free-for-all. Everyone plays against everyone else. Whichever player has the most points at the end of the day wins.
If you have six people, every roster should have one quarterback, one running back, two receivers, one tight end, one kicker and one defense. Have three people? Double the positions. Four? Throw a flex position in there instead of two receivers.
Use a snake draft and standard scoring and let the fun begin. Think of all the vexing draft decisions. Will you try to wait on a quarterback? You might end up with Mark Sanchez (and it's going to be really fun to goad the person who ends up with Mark Sanchez). Will you go with a running back first, or try to get a top-flight receiver? With Dallas, Detroit, Houston, New England and Washington in action, plenty of fantasy stars will be active on Turkey Day.
And now, here's what I think about what other fantasy thinkers think this week. See you after the holiday.
• Jason Smith at NFL.com talks about general things to know for Week 11, and one of them is that Marcel Reece is worth a start this week. I couldn't agree more. I'm starting Reece with confidence in my most important league. Reece totaled 106 yards from scrimmage last week, and is the only show in town with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both expected to be out. Oakland has a great matchup against New Orleans this week, despite the fact that the Saints shut down Michael Turner last week. Get Reece in your lineup.
• Brad Evans at Yahoo! lists Brandon Marshall as a "lame" this week due to Jason Campbell's likely status as the starting quarterback for the Bears. I strongly disagree. Campbell played the entire second half against the Texans, a very good defense, last week. He did this in poor weather without having taken any reps with the first-team offense all season. He targeted Marshall nine times, and the Bears' No. 1 receiver hauled in six of those passes for 82 yards. Campbell has been taking the first-team reps all week, and will undoubtedly be playing in better conditions this week. Cutler is clearly better for Marshall's fantasy prospects, but you shouldn't bench Marshall just because Campbell is at the helm.
• CBS.com's Jamey Eisenberg writes a weekly Start/Sit column, and he has Shonn Greene as a guy you should start this week. This, of course, depends on your roster, but I'd be wary about throwing Greene in my starting lineup, assuming I had other good options. This is a game I like the Rams to win, and win fairly easily. Greene is a pure volume back, and I don't think he'll get the touches he needs to be an effective fantasy player. Greene has delivered two good games all year: Week 1 against the Bills and Week 6 against the Colts. Other than that, he has only showed up when he's had the fortune to score. We're talking about a guy who has gone north of 80 yards rushing twice all year. That's not a guy I want in my lineup.
• Over at RotoWire (subscription required), Howard Bender continued his great work tracking targets. One thing we learn this week is that Reggie Wayne sees nearly 30 percent of Andrew Luck's targets in the red zone, despite having just three touchdowns this season. What does that tell me? Wayne's TD totals are about to spike, and I think that'll start this week against the Patriots. Obviously if you have Wayne you're starting him every week, and you're certainly thrilled with his production this year, even with the lack of scores. However, you're about to start getting paid off in that regard as well. I'm calling a two-score game for Wayne this week.
• Heading back over to NFL.com, Michael Fabiano recommends sitting Mike Williams this week. I think that would be a mistake. As Fabiano notes, Williams has been one of the brightest surprises this season. He may have a tougher-than-you-think matchup against the Panthers, who held him to two catches and 12 yards in Week 1, though one of the catches was a six-yard touchdown. Still, that was before Williams and Tampa's offense blossomed. They're now clicking on all cylinders, and I like Williams to have a big game this week. Make sure you start him.
• Brandon Funston's Week 11 skinny on Yahoo! notes the lack of production from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. I'm with Funston here. Even with a decent matchup against the Chiefs, I'm not starting Green-Ellis unless I'm devoid of playable options. BJGE (not a fan of the nickname Law Firm, sorry) has topped eight fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues just three times all year. I simply can't believe in a guy like that, and I don't think you should either, especially given the potency of Cincinnati's passing offense. Keep Green-Ellis firmly (get it?) on your bench this week.