Thanksgiving Confidence Plays | Fantasy Football Week 12

Thanksgiving Start Sit

We interrupt Big Travy’s regularly scheduled weekly Confidence Plays for a special “blast from the past.”

For those who have been following Club Fantasy FFL for years now, you know that I used to write the weekly Confidence Plays. This year, I decided to take a step back from my weekly responsibilities as a writer so I could focus on growing the brand from the business side.

Travy has done a great job with this column this year. I’m incredibly thankful he chose to join the team. So with Thanksgiving on the horizon, I asked Travy if he planned on participating in the yearly Club Fantasy “bye week” or if he planned on writing this week’s column. He said he would be traveling to be with family, so taking off this week made sense.

Every year on Thanksgiving, I wrote a Thanksgiving special edition. The picks focused solely on the three Thursday games, and my intros centered on what most Thanksgivings are all about — giving thanks to those important people in your life.

So I asked Travy if he would be okay with me taking over Confidence Plays this week so I can keep this tradition alive. He was plenty okay with it, so here I am, one more time, as we’ve reached the two-thirds mark of the NFL season.

My 2022

2022 has been a challenging year for me, personally, to say the least. June marked the one-year anniversary of when I lost my grandmother. She was the person with who I felt closest. She truly believed in me as a creative and encouraged me to pursue this passion. Without her voice, there was a void in my life, and I struggled.

As a result, I buried myself into work. My day job, this website, storytelling — all of it. A friend of mine came to me about wanting to make a new film, and he took a liking to one of my projects. I spent four months finishing something I began over nine years ago.

We did casting calls, met with actors, filled out a crew, and were looking to start filming in August. Well, it’s almost December, and I’m still waiting. Needless to say, the time I spent finishing the project and planning out the shoot feels all for naught. I recently caught wind of him beginning a new project, one in which I gave him the outline that I was supposed to be developing with him after we finished the first project.

So, in a nutshell, nine years and counting.

I bring this up for several reasons. First, since I started Club Fantasy FFL, I have always tried to make sure that the people that work with me to make this site what it is KNOW how much their contributions are recognized and appreciated. I try to show my appreciation however I can. Words of affirmation, whatever monetary value I can spare, shares and retweets of their work, etc.

But I also know I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes along the way, dropped the ball mid-dribble, and let outside noise disrupt the process and my work ethic. I’m human. (And likely lacking in some ADHD medication, but that’s another hurdle to tackle some other day.)

One thing I’ve learned about this business is that many people are truly out for themselves. They will use you to enhance their own agenda. When they no longer see you as valuable to what they’re doing, they’ll replace you.

I treat everyone at Club Fantasy FFL like family. I don’t do what I do because I’m looking for some level of stardom or recognition in this industry. No, I love sports, always have, and especially fantasy football. So finding time to write about it or talk about it is easy because I’d just be doing it anyway.

Most people that know me will know I hate the spotlight. I was hesitant to make the move to video streaming because it honestly makes me uncomfortable. My first trip to Canton, OH, for the 2021 Fantasy Football Expo was the most nerve-racking thing I’ve done since I attempted to act in my first-ever web series.

And I know there are others out there similar to me. Putting yourself out there isn’t easy, especially because there are people out there ready and willing to take advantage of you. All I want to do is help people in ways that I wasn’t but also in ways that I was. I’ve had some great mentors in my life. If I can be that for someone else, sign me the fuck up.

Many Thanks

Because I’ve stood on this soapbox for 750+ words to this point, I’m going to try and consolidate this so I can get to some accountability and picks for the Thanksgiving Day games.

This is the part where I start rattling off the many people I’m thankful for in my life, and I will get to that.

But first, I want to give thanks to you. Yes, you who is reading this. If you’re the only person reading this, then I’ve made an impact on you in some way that keeps you consuming content from me and/or from this website. And for that, I’m thankful.

I also want to shout out Women of Fantasy Football. When myself and my co-hosts, Ryan Weisse and Joe Zollo, initially brainstormed this idea, I don’t think any of us genuinely envisioned what this movement would become. But most of all, I’m thankful for Faith Enes. Not only has she been a dear friend to me for years now, but she’s been at the forefront of this movement since the beginning. WOFF is quite literally nothing without her.

I’m also thankful to Lauren Carpenter and Kelly Singh. Lauren was an integral part of us building WOFF into what it is, as she co-hosted the event with Faith in Years 1 and 2. Kelly stepped in for Lauren in Year 3 and has truly taken off with us. I am forever indebted to both, and I hope they know how much I love and appreciate the both of them, now and forever.

Which leads me to Laura Okmin. She’s someone you’ve probably heard on your TV screens while you watch football on FOX. However, she also runs an organization called GALvanize, which coaches and mentors women who want to find careers in sports. For those that might be unaware, WOFF partnered with GALvanize ahead of our 3rd annual Women of Fantasy Football event to set up a WOFF/GALvanize scholarship to help women pay for admittance into the boot camps that Laura organizes with professional sports teams.

Partnering with Laura and GALvanize has been a dream scenario for what we’re trying to accomplish with WOFF. But more importantly, her friendship and mentorship are what I’m most thankful for. It reminds me that there are good people in this world that truly want to build up those around them. Laura is the definition of a friend and mentor, and I could not be more thankful for her (although I’m going to try for as long as I can).

I also want to shout out Britt Flinn. When I first got introduced to her last year, I knew she was a star in the making. She’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, and her humility makes her even easier to love. I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to one day work with her, and thanks to her employer, Fantasy Alarm, that day is now. I hope you know how thankful I am to have you in my circle, Britt. You forever have a fan in me!

Speaking of Fantasy Alarm, I want to say how thankful I am for Howard Bender. I never thought shooting my shot and inviting him onto our podcast, No Punt Intended, in the summer of 2021 would lead to future business opportunities. Howard has been a champion for women in this space for a long time, and our collaboration on HERstory in the Making was a perfect match. I’m grateful that you believed in me to help make this a reality with Britt, and I’m most thankful for your friendship.

For any past, present, and future Club Fantasy FFL/WOFF contributors, I am thankful for you. You putting some level of trust in me to help mold and/or enhance your career in this industry is not something I take lightly. I hope not to let you down and give you a positive experience for as long as you choose to work with the rest of the team and me.

To the current team of Club Fantasy FFL/WOFF contributors, I am eternally thankful to you: Austin Amandolia, Joel Wirth, Chris Molina, Zach Berger, Drew Metcalfe, Steve Lawson, Big Travy, Queen Roxanne, Kyra Wiaterowski, Evan Bush, Zach Smith, Christian, Faith, Kelly, Ryan, Maggie, and Joe.

There are so many other contributors in the fantasy football space whom I’ve had many pleasant conversations with. Just to name a few off the top of my head: Seth Woolcock of IBT Media; Travy, Johnny, and Austin from The Fantasy Whisperers; Jorge Edwards and Nate Marcum of Fantasy in Frames; Angelo of Angelo Analysis; Kevin Coleman of The Devy Royale; Michael from South Harmon; Kevin Tompkins of Lightning Round; Dave of IBT Media; Linda; Mark Drumheller and Marvin Elequin, both from Yahoo; Scott Fish; Ariel; the infamous Cooter Doodle; Matt Donnelly of Dynasty Vipers; Nate Cheatham of IDP Guys; and so many others. I’m thankful for all of you for your time in conversations and your friendships.

And lastly, I want to expand on my many thanks to Christian Lily-Crum, Maggie Byrd, Joe Zollo, Ryan Weisse, Kelly Singh, and Faith Enes. Club Fantasy FFL and Women of Fantasy Football is quite literally nothing without the five of you.

Christian, you’ve been on this ride with me for a long time. We make movies together, travel together, and live together. I couldn’t ask for a better friend. So I just ask you to find a new home for Rajah for the sake of my sinuses. I love you, bro.

Maggie, all of the graphics you do catch the eye of everyone who consumes our content. You’ve been an invaluable resource not only to our sites but to me. You’re someone I can vent to if needed, talk cinema with, and even laugh with on occasion. I’m so incredibly thankful for you and have all the love in the world for you.

Joe, you’ve been a part of all of this basically since the beginning. Why you’ve believed in me this long, I honestly have no clue. But I’m thankful for your friendship and for the fact you have never had an issue with reminding me I have no fucking idea what I’m doing. I love you, buddy.

Ryan, you’re the linchpin of this site. If not for you, I’d have more gray hairs than Dumbledore. You’re the older brother I always needed and the kind of friend I’ve lacked for much of my life. I love you, bro.

Kelly, ever since you’ve come on board with us, you’ve provided some much-needed balance for me, personally. How we go about things is so incredibly similar, and I learn a lot from you with every conversation we have. Thank you for wanting to work with us and for believing in me and what we’re doing, especially with Women of Fantasy Football. I’ll be in your corner until the end! I love you, girl!

Faith, you’re the little sister I never had. You push my buttons, you challenge me, and you make me laugh, but more importantly, you keep me grounded and focused. We’ve grown in this space together, and I’m excited to watch us keep growing together. I love you to the moon and back!

Accountability Check

Because there was no new episode of No Punt Intended this week, I wanted to provide an update on our picks from last week. Unfortunately, since we switched to making more bold calls with our Upside and Downside picks, the wins have been scarce, even if it’s more fun.

On the season, I’m averaging one win every two weeks. So, not great. But I got one right last week! I was pretty close to a second correct call also but almost means shit in this game. So, instead, I finished 1-2 on my Upside calls, making me 6-26-1 on the season. (I told ya, it’s been a rough season.)

For my Downside calls, I’m performing leaps and bounds better. I went 2-1 last week and currently sit at 20-11-2 on the season. Seriously, I could not be more opposite.

There’s been a rash of accounts popping up all over Twitter of late to hold analysts accountable because of the “hot take” nature of Twitter and other social media sites. Hot takes aren’t really my thing, but this year’s Upside/Downside segment is sort of our version of that. Accountability has always been something I pride myself on, and hold all of our contributors to that same standard.

This business will never be perfect. If someone out there truly feels they can predict 100% of the calls they make, I’d bet they likely won’t last long doing this job. You have to learn to take the good with the bad and not let the unrealistic expectations of some people infiltrate your energy.

Stay tuned to January, when we will do not one but two different shows every week focusing on accountability, taking into account our preseason rankings and projections, and looking at the season as a whole to see where we whiffed and how we can look to improve heading into future seasons.

Thanksgiving Start Em Sit Em

With Big Travy taking this week off, I wanted to make at least sure his audience got some starts and sits for the week. So I’m going to just focus on the three Thursday games. I’ll be offering up one player to start who I believe will finish above their consensus ranking via FantasyPros ECR and one player who will finish below their ECR ranking.

If you have any additional start/sit questions throughout the week, we will still have Start/Sit, Different Day airing on Saturday at 11a EST, and you’re more than welcome to ask us any questions via social media @ClubFantasyFFL on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

Plays

WR Gabriel Davis (ECR WR17) at DET

Davis is a fantasy enigma. He’s had four games where he’s ranked as WR45 or lower and three games inside the top 20, including once as the overall WR1. But only once in the last four games has Davis finished inside the top 30 (Week 10). On the season, Davis is WR26 in PPR scoring. Yet, I think Davis finishes inside the top 17 this week. You betcha!

Lions corners Jerry Jacobs and Mike Hughes are about as mid as mid can be. Jeffrey Okudah should have his hands full trying to find Stefon Diggs on every play. This leaves Gabe Davis to go long and score some touchdowns. The Lions’ run defense has played better of late, and the Bills’ run game leaves much to be desired. So pass, they will, and Davis should benefit.

WR Darius Slayton (ECR WR32) at DAL

When you’re the last man standing, there’s nowhere really to go but up, right? Darius Slayton has at least 58 receiving yards in five of his previous six games this season. He’s also scored a touchdown in two of his last three. As you’ll see later, I’m not high on Daniel Jones, but he’s thrown at least one touchdown in four of his previous five games. So I’m willing to gamble that Jones’ lone TD pass (when he throws one) finds Slayton. This TD upside elevates him far above his WR32 consensus ranking.

WR Jakobi Meyers (ECR WR23) at MIN

The Vikings have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to WRs since Week 7. Jakobi Meyers, after a hot start, has cooled off some and is due for a bounce-back game. Mac Jones looked like the efficient Mac Jones from 2021 last week against a really good Jets secondary. Now imagine that Mac Jones against a secondary that sucks? With only one top-10 finish in his previous five games, Meyers is coming for a top-20 finish.

If you still have questions, Join us every Saturday at 11 AM EST for Start Sit, Different Day. We spend an entire hour devoted to answering your Week 10 questions!

Good luck this week. If you need some advice replacing some of the Fades you’re going to read next, we have Ryan’s Streams of the Week to help you get that Week 12 win!

Fades

QB Daniel Jones (ECR QB15) at DAL

Jones has been a pleasant surprise in 2022. Only three times this year has Jones finished outside of the top 20 in a given week. He currently ranks 5th among QBs in rushing yards. This is a large reason why Jones has been a viable option at QB this year. But Dallas’ defense is putting in work of late. They’ve allowed the 5th fewest fantasy points to QBs since Week 7, and that includes Justin Fields’ breakout game. And they’ve done that while allowing not one but two top 5 games to QBs in the last four weeks.

But here’s the biggest reason I’m fading Jones this week: weapons (or, more accurately, lack thereof). Kenny Golladay is a joke; Sterling Shepard is done for the year; Wan’Dale Robinson just tore his ACL, and rookie TE Daniel Bellinger almost lost an eye. Jones is down to Darius Slayton, Richie James, and RB Saquon Barkley as quality weapons. Dallas plays fairly good run defense and limits fantasy RBs (6th fewest to RBs since Week 7). With the onus on stopping Barkley, Dallas will make Jones beat them. He’s limited his turnovers this year, but with Micah Parsons and crew lurking, it’s going to be a long game for Jones and the Giants’ offense.

QB Kirk Cousins (ECR QB13) at NE

The Patriots’ defense has been lights out of late. They’re allowing 17 points or fewer in five of their last six games, including 3 points in each of the previous two games. We’re all well aware of the “Kirk Cousins sucks in prime time” narrative, and this is the Thursday night at 8:20p EST game. But this is less about that and more about the quality of the defense he’s facing. Cousins has been sacked 11 times in the last two games. The Patriots are second in the NFL with 36 sacks on the season. With only four days to get ready, I’m guessing Cousins will do his best Sam Darnold impression and see Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past.

RB Devin Singletary (ECR RB22) at DET

For as bad as the Lions’ run defense has been over the course of the year, they’ve looked much better over the last five games. They’ve allowed 153.7 rushing yards per game on the season, the second-worst in the NFL. The last five games? 139 yards, 12th-worst. See? Better. But in terms of fantasy scoring, they’ve allowed the 4th-fewest points per game to RBs in the last five weeks.

Singletary was a top-12 RB last week in a great matchup, but he’s become dependent on TDs. His involvement in the passing game has dwindled with the rise in playing time given to rookie James Cook. In addition, Singletary has exactly two targets in three of his last four games. As a result, Singletary isn’t a top-24 RB this week.


And there you have it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Now, let’s finish the season strong. Also, if you need a gift idea, you can help us on that business side of things by checking out the offer below.

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