Week 13 fantasy football: Thanks to Thanksgiving
College Contributor Network
Week 13 is arguably the best week of football of the year thanks to Thanksgiving. For the first time since the NFL season started, you're not in school for football (disclaimer: unless you're one of those weird fall break schools like Michigan where everyone goes to Vegas for Columbus Day weekend to take as many pool party selfies as they possibly can despite the fact it's the middle of October).
But this week, you will get the chance to relax and follow your fantasy team in the comforts of your own home where high speed Internet and food not from "Wings Over" both contribute to a refreshing change of scenery.
With food, family and football on the docket and no work on the side, Thanksgiving is the holiday of all holidays. However, for fantasy football players, Turkey Day can be tricky no matter where the game is being played.
For starters, Thanksgiving is all about being with family and thankful for each other and what we have.
Personally, I am very thankful every Sunday for my laptop, Yahoo StatTracker and the refresh button on my screen, but that does not get me anywhere when I'm forced to sit at a dinner table with my cousins, while the football game plays on the living room T.V.
Do you realize the anxiety Joe Buck causes me every Thanksgiving during the 4:30 p.m. game when I have to hear from the other room, "Romo with the deep pass –- and –it's –- (wait for it) -– (keep waiting) -– CAUGHT BY DEZ BRYANT!" Then I run into the other room to celebrate and catch the replay, meanwhile the call was completely blown out of proportion for a 20-yard catch.
And I would follow on my phone, but the ESPN ScoreCenter app takes an hour to refresh before ultimately freezing and closing itself out, thus leaving my plate of turkey and I isolated from the fantasy football world.
But while I may not be thankful for my early-evening Thanksgiving football viewing arrangements, I'm going to take you across the league, previewing all three games, to let you know which players should be thankful for their Thanksgiving day matchups. In honor of Turkey Day, we'll call it "Feast or Famine."
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions – 12:30 P.M. EST – CBS
Feast: Matthew Stafford
Only two other teams give up more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Chicago Bears, and that stat comes during a dire time of need for a Detroit's offense that hasn't scored a touchdown in its last two games. In those games, the Lions (the worst field goal kicking team in the NFL) has relied on solely kicking field goals as its method of scoring points. You go Jim Caldwell.
Coming off a short week, Chicago limps into this matchup after barely beating Minnesota and Tampa Bay at home to face Stafford whose QB rating and completion percentage are both 10 points higher at home than on the road. Look for Stafford and his two star receivers, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, to finally feast again this Thursday at Ford Field against the inconsistent Bears.
Famine: Jay Cutler
If there is one thing Cutler cannot stand, it's being sacked, knocked down or throwing under pressure. Unfortunately, the Lions front a stout pass rush led by Ndamukong Suh who captains the league's third-best defense that only allows 17.3 points per game. Detroit is also 10th against the pass and the league's best against the run (but don't tell LeGarrette Blount that who scored as many rushing touchdowns Sunday (two) as Detroit had allowed in the previous eight games combined). Cutler has been boom-or-bust for fantasy owners lately after a hot start, and I expect Jay to be left out to rot like a cold turkey this week.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys – 4:30 PM EST - FOX
Feast: Tony Romo
Since Romo's return from his back injury, he's thrown for 521 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in the past two weeks. This week he gets the Philadelphia Eagles, who have given up at least two passing touchdowns in each of the past five games and allowed over 300 passing yards in four of those five. Give me Dez Bryant and Jason Witten all day, every day against this secondary.
Famine: Mark Sanchez
Two years ago I went to the movies on Thanksgiving during the Patriots-Jets game. The scored was tied 0-0. When I walked out of the theater the score was 35-12 and "butt fumble" was trending on Twitter. While the Eagles' QB is a different player than he was in 2012, the ghosts of butt fumbles past concerns me. If you have a better option at quarterback play him, as I don't trust Sanchez on this calendar day.
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:30 PM EST – NBC
Feast: Seattle Defense and San Francisco Defense
If you spent a mid-round draft pick on the Legion of Boom, you've had to play them every week, despite the fact they've been a huge disappointment. In 11 games, they've only scored double digit points five times, while twice scoring negative points. Still, Seattle is holding opposing fantasy quarterbacks to the second lowest fantasy points per week. The news does not bode well for Colin Kaepernick, who has a 53.4 career quarterback rating in four-career games against Seattle, while throwing five interceptions and just two touchdowns. Also he is sacked an average of 3.09 times per game (tied for third-most in the NFL). Look for Seattle defense to gobble up Kaepernick both inside and outside the pocket.
The only team that gives up fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than Seattle? The San Francisco 49ers. I anticipate this being the usual smash-mouth, low-scoring football game that it tends to be. If they can stop the run, San Fran should have no problem stuffing the Seahawks mediocre offense. However, it's much easier said than done.
Famine: Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin
The Legion of Boom boasts the top secondary in the league and neither Crabtree, nor Boldin have ever caught a touchdown pass against the Seahawks as members of the 49ers. With Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor on the field, I wouldn't necessarily expect the streak to end this Thursday.
Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the feast!
Bryan Rubin is a senior at Syracuse University. He once ate Chipotle three times in one day and woke up at 3:46 a.m. on a Wednesday morning to make a roster move to his fantasy football team (while his friends were sleeping) to avoid wasting his No. 1 waiver claim. Follow him on Twitter: @bryan_rubin