The 2017 Thanksgiving slate was made up of three games for football fans to enjoy while devouring turkey and the action started with an entertaining game between Minnesota and Detroit. Unfortunately, the final two games of the day were as exciting as doing dishes after the big meal. Heat up some leftovers and dig in as we recap the turkey day action and other notes from around the NFL in Friday’s Daily Dose.
Minnesota 30, Detroit 23
The Lions spent most of this game trailing the Vikings by two scores but were able to creep close enough in the fourth quarter to make this contest worth watching until the final horn. Case Keenum starred for Minnesota, throwing for 282 yards and two touchdowns while adding another score on the ground. Both of Keenum’s touchdown tosses went to big tight end Kyle Rudolph, which is mighty fitting with the holiday season officially upon us. Adam Thielen was reliable as usual, grabbing eight of 11 targets for 89 yards. Thielen has averaged 11.2 targets per game over his last six outings and hasn’t seen less than eight chances in a game since Week 2 as he has solidified himself in WR1 territory. The Vikings’ ground game was once again a combination of Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon, with Murray racking up 84 yards and a score to lead to the duo. McKinnon didn’t make as much of a fantasy impact while seeing limited receiving chances due to the Vikings controlling the game throughout.
The Detroit offense was largely ineffective on Thursday, with the exception of Marvin Jones. Jones was targeted a team-high nine times and spun those looks into six catches for 109 yards and two scores. Jones has found the end zone five times in his last four games and has tallied less than 85 receiving yards just once since Week 5. The goofiest fantasy stat line in this game came from Golden Tate, who caught four of eight targets for seven total yards. No, the gravy is not playing tricks on you. Seven yards. Tate will look to break out of a two-game slump in Week 13 at Baltimore.
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San Diego 28, Dallas 6
The Cowboys turned in a third consecutive clunker as they were trampled by the Chargers on Thursday. Dallas managed just one touchdown on the day and the Cowboys haven’t scored more than nine points in a game since Week 9. Quarterback Dak Prescott has struggled mightily during Dallas’ downturn, and had another day to forget against San Diego. Dak threw for just 179 yards to go with a pair of interceptions and is now the proud owner of five interceptions and zero touchdown passes over his last three games. Prescott is firmly out of the fantasy trust tree with the playoffs quickly approaching. With the Dallas offense in the gutter, the most notable piece of fantasy news from Jerry’s squad was that Rod Smith and Alfred Morris were given nearly identical workloads with Smith out-snapping Morris 33-21. Smith was able to find the end zone to go with 41 yards on nine carries and should be owned across all leagues right now as we see how this backfield continues to evolve in the absence of Zeke Elliott.
Philip Rivers was his old shot putting self on Thursday, stacking up 434 yards and a trio of scores on the Dallas defense. Rivers was locked on to Keenan Allen in this one, throwing 14 of his 33 pass attempts in Allen’s direction as the wideout hauled in 11 catches for 172 yards and a score. The 14 targets were a season-high for Allen, who has totaled 23 catches on 27 targets for 331 yards and three touchdowns in the last two weeks. Allen will now face Cleveland in Week 13, which is a prime setting for a third-straight fantasy explosion. No Chargers player besides Allen saw more than five targets, but Hunter Henry and Tyrell Williams did manage to find the end zone. Melvin Gordon ran for just 65 yards on 21 carries and seems to be slowing as the fantasy regular season winds down. For Gordon owners sweating Austin Ekeler, the final Chargers’ running back snap count favored Gordon 42-26 out of a possible 68 plays, per our pals at PFF.
Washington 20, NY Giants 10
The Thanksgiving night cap was a yawn-inducing NFC East battle that neither team appeared interested in winning until Eli Manning finished the night off for good with an interception on his final attempt. Manning threw for just 113 yards with the interception in yet another lackluster performance that undoubtedly has Giants fans googling 2018 NFL Mock Drafts. Tavarres King led the team with a whopping 36 receiving yards while New York running backs turned 23 carries into 85 yards as the Giants totaled just 170 yards on the night. Orleans Darkwa turned in his worst performance since September, tallying 39 total yards on 12 touches while being out-snapped by Wayne Gallman 22-19.
The top fantasy performers of the game both came from the Washington sideline. Rookie Samaje Perine rode a heap of volume to 100 rushing yards as he saw 24 chances in the game. Perine also added 30 receiving yards on three catches in his second-straight quality outing. On the receiving end, Jamison Crowder went wild for 141 yards and a score on seven catches. After a sluggish start to the season, Crowder has turned on the jets in recent weeks, averaging 6.8 receptions, 10.5 targets, and 103 receiving yards per game since Week 7. In disappointing news that made DFS folks spit out their stuffing, Vernon Davis completely vanished in a prime matchup against the Giants, who have been demolished by opposing tight ends all season. Davis was targeted just once on the night while posting a solid goose egg and watched fellow tight end Niles Paul catch three passes on five targets. Maybe old Vern loaded up on too many sweet potato yams before the game.
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Injury News and Notes
Matt Forte (knee) was seen doing work at practice on Thursday but was still listed as out for the session. Forte is looking like a dicey bet to return to the field in Week 12. … Kelvin Benjamin (knee) missed another practice and looks like a long shot to play this week. … Jay Cutler (concussion) is still in the league’s concussion protocol, leaving Matt Moore as the likely starter on Sunday against New England. … Devonta Freeman (concussion) was expected to get in a limited practice on Thursday as he attempts to return from a concussion that held him out of Week 11. This situation will require monitoring as Sunday approaches. … Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) was back at practice on Thursday and should be ready to roll in Week 12.
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