Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fantasy Football: Analyzing the Thanksgiving Games

Hey everyone. Wanted to get my picks and a little analysis in on todays games.

To start things off, I want to get into the Thanksgiving spirit by thanking all of you. You guys are the people that keep me and this site going.

Every day, I get up to see all of your comments and questions in the comment, and go on Twitter and see all of the follows and feedback that I have gotten from you, and I just want to extend to you a thanks and show you how grateful I really am.

While I may not remember all of your lineups, I do remember all of your names and look for them in the  comments. I don't personally know any of you, but I hope you feel more of a connection with GHL than you would with any other site. Personalized advice is the main reason that I started this advice, and I feel that you have all made that happen and made GHL a success.

This is something that I love to do and really aspire to do on a professional level some day. And you are all helping make that happen.

Some of you challenge me to the extremes. Asking great, thought-provoking questions. Analyzing my picks and rankings and strategies. Giving me criticism and feedback to make GHL the best site that it can be.

All of the positive feedback that you all give is mindblowing. The thank yous that you extend to me. The words that you put in all of your questions. They are great. So thank you. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Now let's get to football!

Andrew Picks: Lions, Cowboys, Ravens
Jordan Picks: Lions, Cowboys, 49ers
MGLS Picks: Lions, Cowboys, 49ers
Thursday is going to be a huge fantasy impact day. Lots of big names taking the field and a lot of Week 12 outcomes will be decided in just the three matchups. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the Lions vs. Packers, Cowboys vs Dolphins, and Ravens vs. 49ers.

Early Game: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Should be some major fireworks in this one. Nationally televised game between two high powered offenses. The Lions are still a bit of a surprise this year, heading into the game with a 7-3 record and hunting for a Wild Card Playoff birth. The Packers are looking to keep their winning streak alive on their way to an undefeated season.
A huge game with national coverage is sure to be a high scoring affair. As far as the game goes, I see it like this. Neither team relies heavily on the run, while both defenses are good at stopping it. Both teams to the majority of their damage through the air. The difference maker here for me is the passing defense.
The Packers are among the worst in the league in pass defense, where the Lions have a much better track record against the pass. On top of that, the Lions supply a heavy pass rush and will be putting the heat on Aaron Rodgers, who has been sacked 23 times this year, a number among the worst in the league. If Detroit can put a solid rush on Rodgers throughout the game and Stafford can have success through the air, I think Detroit puts an end to the Packers streak.
I’m taking the Lions in this high scoring bout.
Start’em: Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Calvin Johnson, Jermichael Finley, Brandon Pettigrew, Mason Crosby, Jason Hanson
If You Need’em: Kevin Smith, Nate Burleson, James Jones
Sit’em: Ryan Grant, Maurice Morris, both defenses
Sleepers: John Kuhn, Kevin Smith, Titus Young, Tony Scheffler

Middle Game: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
The Cowboys have a history of playing down to their opponent, which is a bit of a concern. They are coming off some great games and sitting at first in the NFC East. On top of that, they are at home of Thanksgiving trying to keep a tradition alive.
The Dolphins started the year off on a bad foot, but have compiled some surprising victories in the past three weeks, beating Kansas City, Washington and Buffalo soundly. They are getting their things together and could make this game a lot closer than anyone expected it to be early in the year.
Miami is stacked with the best run defense in the NFL where the Cowboys defense has fallen off a bit recently in all categories. If you have two great running backs alongside DeMarco Murray, this might be the time to stow him on your bench. He is still a strong runner, but if he is going to be stopped, it will be this week.
The Cowboys offense is a lot more potent than the ‘Phins, but a recent surge from Reggie Bush and ex-Cowboy Anthony Fasano have been surprises in the AFC East. This is another game that will come down to the offense. Home field advantage will play a big role in this one, which is why you know I’m giving the game to Dallas.
Start’em: Tony Romo, Reggie Bush, Dez Bryant, Laurent Robinson, Brandon Marshall, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey, Dallas Defense
If You Need’em: Matt Moore, DeMarco Murray, Davone Bess, Anthony Fasano
Sit’em: Felix Jones, Daniel Thomas, Miami Defense
Sleepers: Reggie Bush, Laurent Robinson, Anthony Fasano

Late Game: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
Two of the biggest surprises of the season facing off on Turkey Day Night. Good news: should be a great game to watch. Bad news: NFL Network.
The Ravens have been mysteriously up and down this year, winning matchups against great teams and famously flubbing against teams like Seattle, Jacksonville and Tennessee. The 49ers have come out of nowhere to an impressive 9-1 record, running away with their division.
This is going to be a strong defensive matchup. The teams are number one and number two against the run this year. In anything is going to be done, it will likely happen on defense or in the special teams. I see this one coming out with a low score and not a lot of offensive firepower.
With the Baltimore offense being more explosive, I think it will be slightly easier for them to find the end zone than the Alex Smith-led 49ers. This game is going to come down to how well Joe Flacco throws the ball. If he can find his receivers in this game, the Ravens will surprise San Francisco in the upset.
I’m taking the Ravens on the arm of Flacco over the stingy defense of the Niners.
Start’em: Frank Gore, Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, David Akers, Billy Cundiff, Both Defenses
If You Need’em: Joe Flacco, Michael Crabtree, Torrey Smith, Ed Dickson
Sit’em: Alex Smith, Backup RBs, Braylon Edwards, Delanie Walker
Sleepers: Torrey Smith, Ted Ginn Jr.


  1. In response to your words above, I definitely appreciate all of the advice you've provided this season (my first). You have been the unofficial director of personnel for my fantasy team! And almost all of the advice you have given has been spot on...and the one time that it wasn't...I followed your other tried and true advice of trusting my gut (and got 253 yards in Demarco Murray's debut as a result)! : ) Keep up all that you do!

  2. Thanks man. I definitely hoped that Murray would go off in that game... just didn't predict it at all. Great call on your part. And I'm very happy to help.