Thomas B. Shea
Which players should you start on Thanksgiving?
With a short week after an overtime game, fatigue could play a factor in the performance of your fantasy football players on the Texans roster. This week they face a Lions team that isn't bad on defense, but also one that you shouldn't fear. Before you set your lineup, check out this week 12 edition of start 'em/sit 'em.
Arian Foster - The Lions are an above average run defense, but as I've said in the past, you should always start your stud players. Detroit ranks 16th in rushing yards allowed, 22nd in yards per attempt allowed, and 2nd in rushing touchdowns allowed with only three this season. However, there isn't a more consistent running back in the league than Foster. He was held out of the endzone and under 10 fantasy points by the Jaguars last week for the first time this season, but don't let one off game out of 10 concern you. Foster is averaging 17 fantasy points per game in my standard scoring league; he's still an elite fantasy back. CBS is projecting 115 yards and a touchdown for Foster this week; he's a must start.
Andre Johnson - The veteran receiver has started to round into shape in recent weeks and has totaled 75 receiving yards or more in four of his last five games; the lone game under 75 yards was in the rainstorm at Chicago. Randall Cobb of the Packers caught 9 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown last week against the Lions; I expect similar numbers from Johnson on Thursday. Johnson has been targeted by Schaub at least 10 times, in five straight games including 19 last week; keep him active.
Owen Daniels - Before missing the game against Chicago, Daniels was on a nice streak with a touchdown and over 10 fantasy points in four out of five games. Daniels returned to the lineup last week against the Jaguars and played well, but only put up average fantasy numbers. Despite only putting up five points last week in non-PPR leagues, I think Daniels will bounce back this week. Daniels was targeted by Schaub nine times last week and is ranked 2nd, 6th, and 9th by the fantasy writers of CBS for week 12. I'd keep Daniels active this week.
Texans Defense - If the only Texans game you've watched this season was last week, you'd probably assume they were a terrible fantasy option. In my opinion, until performances like that become a trend, I'm going to treat it like a fluke and keep them active. The Lions rank 2nd in the league in passing yards but aren't a great running team (23rd) and turn the ball over (Stafford 12 TD/10 INT), so I believe they're a good option this week. If we find out Thursday morning that Johnathan Joseph will miss the game (he's questionable), that would hurt their value since they'll be facing the best receiver in the league in Calvin Johnson. Despite that concern, the Texans are at worst a good low-end option this week but have the potential for a big week if the Lions keep up their turnover pace.
Matt Schaub - I'm also semi-ignoring last weeks results with Schaub when deciding on his fantasy value this week. He had a monster game throwing for 527 yards (tied with Warren Moon for the 2nd highest single game total) but that was, believe it or not, just his first game this season with more than 300 passing yards. The Lions defensive line features four pretty good pass rushers and their secondary has played better than expected this season, ranking 8th in passing yards allowed. Even after that monster game, Schaub ranks just 12th in fantasy points among quarterbacks in my standard scoring league. It's not that I necessarily think he'll have a bad game, but the Texans would rather run it 30 times than pass it 30 times. He's a decent low-end option in 12 team leagues, but I'd lean towards benching him. The three fantasy writers for CBS have him ranked 11th, 13th, and 15th for week 12.
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