With 3 contests filling the Turkey Day slate that leaves just 2 afternoon matchups to pair with the night games. The 6-4 Steelers head to Seattle to face the 5-5 Seahawks, with significant playoff implication despite the absence of Le’Veon Bell and Marshawn Lynch. The undefeated Patriots also travel to Denver without Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, or Dion Lewis to face the 8-2 Broncos with Brock Osweiler at the helm, in place of Peyton Manning. Some key players to highlight in the late games are mentioned below.
Carson Palmer, ARI @ SF, $7,100
Palmer currently sits 3rd in the NFL with 3,066 passing yards, and has led the Cardinals to an 8-2 start. He has thrown for over 300 yards in 3 straight games, with 11 TDs over that span. Most impressively, his 27 TDs this year is an NFL high. Palmer’s price is also at a season high, but he should be well worth the investment against a San Francisco defense that has allowed the fifth most yards in the NFL (404 YPG). He has been a model of consistency all season, throwing for 2-plus TDs 8 of 10 times. He has also registered 4 scores in 3 different games this year. Everything is aligning for another huge game from Palmer and company on Sunday afternoon.
Martavis Bryant, PIT @ SEA, $5,600
After serving a 4-game suspension, Bryant has hit the ground running with 5 TDs in 5 games since then. He has had at least 3 catches in every game, and has gone over 100 yards receiving twice. Although his price has risen to its highest point all year, Bryant is still a great value as the 20th priced WR (outside of the Thanksgiving games). With teammate Antonio Brown likely to draw coverage from Richard Sherman, Bryant should be freed up for a big day. The stigma of the Seahawks defense is not what it once was, highlighted by Blaine Gabbert throwing for nearly 300 yards against them last week. After erupting for 178 yards and a score on 6 catches against the Browns, Bryant should be dialed up again this week.
Gary Barnidge, BAL @ CLE, $4,800
Heading into the 2015 season, Barnidge was widely unknown with just 3 career TDs and never more than 13 receptions in a season. This year has been a different story shattering his previous highs in route to a 46 catch, 667 yard, 7 TD line. This production puts him 2nd among TEs with 16.6 YPG, behind only Rob Gronkowski (excluding the 2 games from Austin Seferian-Jenkins). Barnidge has a favorable home matchup ahead against the Ravens, who have allowed 257 YPG through the air. He should also benefit from the benching of Johnny Manziel, as he and Josh McCown have demonstrated more chemistry together and have posted better numbers.
Javorius Allen, BAL @ CLE, $4,600
The Ravens struggles continued last week as they lost both Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett for the season. These starting lineup departures create new opportunities for Matt Schaub and Allen, who will immediately take the reigns at their respective positions. Schaub’s effectiveness will play a major role in getting Allen going, but he has a great matchup on Monday Night Football against the Browns league-worst run defense, who are allowing 139 YPG on the ground. The 4th rounder out of USC had a career-high 27 touches against the Rams, and finished with 16.5 fantasy points. His workload should be similar this week entering as the Ravens feature back.
Thomas Rawls, PIT @ SEA, $4,500
With Marshawn Lynch sidelined, Rawls exploded for 43.5 points against the 49ers. He instantly inherited a massive workload, finishing with 30 carries for 209 yards. Rawls also added 3 catches for 46 yards and scored twice. His price is bound to surge in the coming weeks and is only at a discount for Week 12 since Lynch was ruled out midweek. He has a great matchup as the go-to-guy against the Steelers who are in the bottom third in total yards allowed (371 YPG). Priced outside of the Top 20 RBs, Rawls is a high-upside play at home this week, fresh off a breakout performance.
Anquan Boldin, ARI @ SF, $4,000
With a terrible matchup on paper against the Seahawks last week, Boldin still produced a solid line of 5 catches for 93 yards on 7 targets. The 13-year veteran continues to defy age limitations, with an average of over 85 yards in the past 4 games. Boldin has a revenge game in store against his former team, and should benefit if Patrick Peterson is limited or ruled out from an ankle injury. Priced at just $1,000 above the WR minimum he holds some value as the number one target in San Francisco. Boldin’s price tag continues to drop and is currently at a $2,200 discount from Week 1.
More to Consider
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @ SEA, $6,700
John Brown, ARI @ SF, $5,000
Ronnie Hillman, NE @ DEN, $4,000
Duke Johnson, BAL @ CLE, $3,900
Crockett Gillmore, BAL @ CLE, $3,700
Tyler Lockett, PIT @ SEA, $3,000