Thanksgiving Day offers a full menu of football every year for fantasy owners. In the past, with the Lions not being competitive, whether you were going to see a full day of good football games could be hit or miss. This year, however, offers plenty of good football match ups with the Lions and Packers clashing in a huge divisional battle, the Cowboys hosting a rejuvenated Dolphins team and brothers Harbaugh fighting it out in Baltimore. Plenty of big time fantasy names take the stage as well so Thanksgiving Day 2011 is set up to be one of the more entertaining in recent NFL history.
GOOD MATCH UPS
Matthew Stafford vs. Packers defense: The Thanksgiving Day match up between the Packers and Lions has all the makings of a shootout. Of course, everyone believes the Packers will throw up a bunch of points against an inconsistent Lions defense but what people may be overlooking is that the Packers themselves are allowing the second most passing yards per game this season. Aaron Rodgers and company might be able to put up some numbers this week but don't think Stafford and Megatron won't be able to keep up.
Beanie Wells vs. Rams defense: I'm picking on the Rams defense again, but they've been getting picked on by running backs all year so they're probably used to it. Beanie was a "Not so good match up" last week and he managed just 33 rushing yards against the 49ers elite run defense so it's only fair that he's a good match up this week against the Rams. Look for Beanie to rebound with a good fantasy performance on Sunday.
NOT SO GOOD MATCH UPS
Chris Ogbonnaya/Montario Hardesty vs. Bengals defense: We're through 11 weeks of the NFL season and somehow the Bengals defense is still flying under the radar. It's not going to matter which running back carries the load for Cleveland this week as they will be rendered useless to fantasy owners by a Cincinnati run defense that ranks second in the league, allowing 3.4 yards per carry.
Mike Thomas vs. Texans defense: Thomas and the Jaguars passing game have struggled recently but in their defense they've played against some of the toughest pass defenses in the NFL. They get another top passing defense this week as the Jaguars visit the Houston Texans who are allowing just 178 passing yards per game. Despite being the number one receiving option in Jacksonville, Thomas should not be an option for fantasy rosters this week.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Kevin Smith, RB, Lions: Smith was an unemployed running back just a couple of weeks ago but after a huge return to the NFL against the Panthers last week, Smith is now the face of the Detroit running game once again. He should be owned in all leagues while Jahvid Best remains sidelined for an undetermined amount of time.
Kyle Mulligan is a contributing sports writer for the Observer. He welcomes your feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.