Thanksgiving is a day of feasting. I’m not talking about the feast that many Americans plan an entire year for though. I’m talking fantasy feasts. Although the majority of people think that today is a day for family and good eating, us football diehards know what REALLY goes down on this day every year. We get to stuff our faces full of food while we enjoy one of the most coveted traditions of all time. Thanksgiving day football. Today’s rushing report won’t be like the others. Today I’m bringing you my Thanksgiving platter of fantasy RBs to watch. In traditional fashion, these guys will be presented from the main dish all the way down to the dessert. So let’s get to it.
Fantasy Football Rushing Report: Thanksgiving Edition
Turkey- Ezekiel Elliot
Turkey is always the star of the show on Thanksgiving. We all know it’s going to be a part of your dish in some way when you go to make your plate. The same way we all know Zeke will be in your lineups today. Zeke is having yet another monster year despite having some o line trouble early in 2018. He is seemingly the only unaffected asset of Dallas’ offensive woes. The kid is unbreakable at this point.
Zeke has racked up 953 yards and five TDs on the ground. He’s regressed from his insane rookie stat line but looks to best his 2017 totals by a good margin. Where Zeke has improved the most is in the passing game this season. He currently has 42 receptions on 56 targets for 341 rec yards and two rec TDs. A career high in both targets and receptions for him. He’s also on pace to smash his rec yardage total from his rookie season. Compared to his rookie season fantasy PPG, his floor is almost exactly the same in PPR formats. Largely due to the uptick in usage on receiving work.
Zeke will face off against a Washington team that ranks sixth against the run allowing an average of just 95.7 RYPG coming into week 12. Usually, I’d care about that but we’re talking about Ezekiel Elliot here. Not to mention Dallas ranks 13th in rushing attempts per game. Washington also just gave up 108 scrimmage yards to Lamar Miller last week. I expect Zeke to keep the Dallas offense humming today due to a solid game script. Dak likely won’t be airing the offense out with that pair of safeties and Josh Norman anchoring Washingtons pass defense. Expect Zeke to be consistent, just like that Thanksgiving turkey.
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy- Alvin Kamara & Mark Ingram
Arguably the fan favorite of Thanksgiving sides is mashed potatoes and gravy. With the correct ingredients, both work together in complete harmony. Providing your plate with that solid one-two punch to go with that turkey. The same can also be said for Kamara and Ingram working in tandem. They both feed off each other and provide that solid one-two punch dynamic. Making the Saints offense one of the best in the league.
Although they balance each other out, the suspension for Ingram allowed Kamara to get ahead in the fantasy standings this season. He’s clearly the mashed potatoes and Ingram the gravy. Kamara has or is on pace to demolish most of his rookie season records including his rushing TD record of eight. He has 11 so far this season. He’s seen regression in the passing game but is on pace to nearly match last seasons total of 826 receiving yards. Ingram came back from a four-game suspension and retained his role as the short-yardage and goal-line back. He has 388 yards and four TDs on the ground in six games this season.
Both guys will look to continue their successes against an Atlanta defense that’s giving up an average of 121.1 RYPG. Both guys have seen almost an even split of snaps since Ingram game back which won’t change as long as the two remain on the same team. I expect both guys to have a monster day against an Atlanta defense that’s basically in shambles right now. Expect a high scoring game for the Saints and both Kamara and Ingram to be beneficiaries. You wouldn’t think twice about passing up some great mashed potatoes and gravy. So I highly doubt you’re going to want to pass up this great pairing today.
Stuffing- Tevin Coleman
You cant have a Thanksgiving feast without some stuffing, right? I ask because I’m not exactly one for stuffing. It’s too hit or miss for me. It can be either really good or really bad and sometimes it throws off the whole balance of your plate if its….nevermind. I’m getting too deep. But back to the really good or really bad part, Tevin Coleman reminds me of some stuffing. The guy has had some really good weeks this year but he’s also thrown out some stinkers. But I’m feeling frisky this year and think I’m going to indulge in some fantasy stuffing.
Coleman has a fantasy floor of around 13 PPR points per game this season. But, we’ve also seen what his ceiling looks like when he exploded in week nine against Washington. Since then, he’s managed to out snap Ito Smith and hold around 60% of all offensive snaps for the Falcons. Coleman hasn’t been eye-popping in either the rushing or receiving game but he remains efficient in both. He’s averaged 15 total touches and 101 yards from scrimmage over his last three games. Coleman currently sits as the RB16 in PPR formats with 751 scrimmage yards and six total TDs in 2018.
Coleman won’t have an easy matchup today. The Saints have arguably the hottest rushing defense in the league right now allowing just 77 yards on the ground per game. Lucky for Coleman, he has the pass-catching ability that will be used when Matt Ryan feels pressure from the Saints DL. Coleman has been the RZ back of choice for the Falcons seeing nine total touches inside the 20s over the past three weeks. I’m rolling out Coleman expecting him to out snap Smith yet again, and come away with a good fantasy stat line.
Bread Rolls- Adrian Peterson
Rolls are probably the most underrated part of a Thanksgiving day feast. Constantly overlooked, easily undervalued, and surprisingly pleasant to munch on between other sides. No one compares to a roll the way AP has this season. Overlooked and undervalued by his lack of a comeback in 2017, he’s been a pleasant surprise to the fantasy community this season. No guy deserves to make your fantasy plate more than this guy today.
Peterson has been about as good as you can ask a 33-year-old running back in the NFL to be. With both Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson leaving a hole in Washingtons rushing attack, Peterson has filled the void better than many expected. He’s racked up 723 yards on 171 rushing attempts and had six rushing TDs through 10 games. He hasn’t seen much work in the passing game but has been fairly efficient with 14 receptions for 168 receiving yards and one TD through the air. Peterson is averaging 19 total touches per game over his last six games. He’s capitalized on the lack of depth at the RB position and remains a big part of the Washington offense.
Peterson will see a stout Dallas rushing defense that ranks fifth against opposing rushing attacks. With that in mind, I still think he finds a way to put up a good fantasy stat line. With Alex Smith gone for the season and multiple injuries at the WR position for Washington, I see Peterson in line for an increased workload. Colt McCoy is expected to start today and that worries me for Washingtons passing attack. I expect them to lean on the run regardless of the matchup. So grab that bread roll and be ready for its contribution to your Thanksgiving day eats.
Pumpkin Pie- Tarik Cohen
Perhaps the best part of Thanksgiving is when the turkey and sides get wiped off the table and in comes the dessert pile. I won’t sit here and tell you that there’s anything better than a good slice of pumpkin pie with some whip cream on it. Because that would be a lie. That perfect crust to filling ratio topped with some sugary greatness to cap off an incredible meal. That’s going to be Tarik Cohen in your fantasy lineups today folks.
Plenty of owners thought that Jordan Howard would be the pure workhorse back in 2018. Matt Nagy had plenty of success with Kareem Hunt in KC so it was a logical assumption. However, that’s not how its panned out. Cohen remains very much a part of the Bears offense. He’s totaled 729 yards and 5 TDs from scrimmage through 10 games. Most of that production coming in the passing game. Howard and Cohen have split work evenly this season but Cohen has seen the better fantasy production in every scoring format. He currently sits at the RB15 in PPR formats in 2018.
Cohen will get to have his way with a Detroit defense that’s allowed 125 yards on the ground. Mitch Trubisky is listed a doubtful leaving the offense to Chase Daniels. Daniels is a capable backup so I don’t expect Nagy to switch up his gameplan a ton. I still expect misdirection, Play action, and the usage of Cohen in the passing game today. Daniels could very well find himself in plenty of short yardage situations with all the weapons he has at his disposal. Leaving a ton of situational football for Cohen to capitalize on. Lock Cohen in your lineup and enjoy the sweet taste of victory.