Before I start, I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading this. Thanksgiving is the best holiday for watching sports, as there are football games on literally all day. I hope you pass out in a good coma on the couch, while watching the games. Frankly, that should be the goal every year.
Before you do that, however, make sure you have all your lineups set for the end of the season. Every league has just a few weeks left in the regular season, so it’s time for the playoff push. Hopefully you’re in already, or at least scratching at the door, it makes the last few weeks of the season even more interesting. For my part, here are nine guys that I think you should keep an eye on.
As always, they’re classified in three parts: Must Start, On The Fence, and Be Careful. I’m not going to tell you who to start and who to sit, but I’m going to try to give you some insight on guys you might not be sure about. If you have Alvin Kamara, Drew Brees, or Saquon Barkley, you’re obviously starting them, so I’m looking for guys you might not be sure about. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy!
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Coming off a terrible game against the Titans and only having thrown one touchdown in the last three games makes this a risk, but if there’s one thing I know about Tom Brady it’s that he responds when the public starts doubting him. Rob Gronkowski is finally coming back healthy, Brady has had a chance to look himself in the mirror and realize he needs to spread the ball around more, and the offense has had the bye week to gel even more. All this adds up to a solid performance from Brady this week against the Jets.
Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
He has 78 carries in his last four games. The Browns are committed to the run game, and that means they’re committed to Chubb. A RB that’s going to get at least 20 touches a game should be a solid play every week, especially one, like Chubb, who can break a big play.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers
Does JuJu have a tough matchup this week? Yes. Have we reached the point where we shouldn’t be looking at the matchup and just starting him every week? I think so. He’s had three weeks where he’s gotten fewer than 9 targets, and in two of those games, he caught a TD. In other words, Ben is throwing his way. With the #1 corner taking Antonio Brown, JuJu is able to use his skills to get open consistently. Start him this, and every, week.
ON THE FENCE
Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
The positive for Cousins is that, for most of the year, his floor has been pretty high. The negative is that his ceiling isn’t very high. Outside of two weeks, he’s been a middle of the road quarterback every week. He’s a decent play at QB. Nothing special, but gets the job done. Don’t expect a great performance, but he’s a fine play if you don’t have a solid QB option.
Jordan Howard, RB, Bears
Mitchell Trubisky is out this week, so the Bears could go with a run heavy game plan, but my assumption is that the Lions stack the box and dare the Bears to throw. Also, Howard has only cracked 60% of offensive snaps once since week 4. It’s a high risk play that doesn’t have a great reward even if it pays off.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
Gronk is back in the lineup and, when he’s healthy he’s one of the most dominant players in both real and fantasy football. But, who knows how healthy his back truly is? I know I don’t fully trust it. So, while I’m starting him in my season long leagues this week, I don’t know if I’m going out of my way to get him in DFS.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
Playing a tough Titans defense, and, if you take out his game against Miami on a Thursday night, he has 6 touchdowns and 6 turnovers in his last 5 games. He’s not the worst option this weekend, but I don’t love it.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Redskins
Luckily for Peterson, the Redskins play on Thanksgiving, so the league won’t have time decide whether or not to suspend him for admitting he still hits his son. Unluckily for Peterson, he hasn’t been getting the ball a ton in the last few games. In the last 3 games he has only 44 total touches, and two of those games were against the Falcons and the Bucs. He might see an uptick in chances because of the injury to Alex Smith, but the Cowboys are the 5th best team against the run this season, only allowing 95 yards per game. Don’t love the prospects for Peterson this weekend.
Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
Tough break for Robinson, he comes back from an injury and has a solid game followed by a subpar game, but, before he can make up for it, his QB goes down. Don’t expect much in the way of offense from Chase Daniel. Maybe next week for Robinson owners.
Pat is the host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats