NFL Week 13: Previewing Turkey Day Football

November 27, 2014 • Ben Heck • Front Page, Preview

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

What’s the one thing better than a day dedicated to being thankful for family and eating more food than your stomach can hold? Being thankful for family and eating more food than your stomach can hold while watching an NFL triple-header, of course!

Today we’re lucky enough to have three NFC rivalries being played out in front of your eyes, with the Detroit Lions looking to get back on track in the NFC North against their division foes from Chicago. The second of the three match-ups is for NFC East supremacy, as the division’s two 8-3 squads (Philly and Dallas) go face-to-face in the afternoon. The night cap on NBC is one of the NFL’s biggest rivalries in today’s league––aside from Baltimore/Pittsburgh, of course. Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll’s two NFC West squads will be going up against one another as they battle for sole possession of second place in the West behind the two-loss Cardinals.

We’ve given you a brief preview of each of today’s three showdowns, so that you have something to read while the Turkey is in the oven:

Bears (5-6) at Lions (7-4), 12:30 P.M. ET on CBS


OUT: Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle), Bears WR Wallace Williams (hamstring), Lions G Lawrence Warford (knee), Bears C Brian De La Puente (ankle), Lions DT Nick Fairley (knee), Bears LB Lance Briggs (groin), Bears LB Darryl Sharpton (Hamstring).

DOUBTFUL: Bears DT Jay Ratliff (knee), Bears DE Trevor Scott (knee).

QUESTIONABLE: Lions OT Riley Reiff (knee), Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee).

Fantasy Impact: Must-Start

Matthew Stafford, Lions QB: Sure, Stafford has struggled the last two weeks, combined for eight fantasy points, but Calvin “Megatron” Johnson always seems to have big Thanksgiving Day games, and with today being a home Turkey Day match-up and all, I’m thinking Stafford will get back to business against the 5-6 Bears.

Calvin Johnson, Lions WR: Did you not just read what I wrote under Stafford up above? Start Megatron.

Fantasy Impact: Must-Sit

Jay Cutler, Bears QB: Cutler has put up just six points last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so can you really trust him against the defense that allows the second-least fantasy points to QBs? Probably not, especially when he’s on the road.

Reggie Bush, Lions RB: Bush (ankle) is currently listed as questionable, so chances are he probably won’t be active anyways. But if he is? You still need to sit him. Start Joique Bell instead. UPDATE: Bush has been downgraded to OUT. So obviously you’ll need to sit him now.

Prediction: Lions over Bears, 35-21.

Eagles (8-3) at Cowboys (8-3), 4:30 P.M. ET on FOX


OUT: Eagles QB Nick Foles (collarbone), Cowboys DE Jack Crawford (thumb), Cowboys LB Greg Watson (hamstring), Cowboys CB Andrew Patmon (knee).

DOUBTUFL: Cowboys S Jeff Heath (thumb).

QUESTIONABLE: Eagles LB Emmanuel Acho (groin).

Fantasy Impact: Must-Start

Tony Romo, Cowboys QB: With 31 fantasy points a week ago (and 18.2 per game for the season), Romo is the most start-worthy QB of the day. Especially given his match-up with the Eagles D/ST, who is ranked 31st in fantasy points surrendered to opposing QBs.

Fantasy Impact: Must-Sit

LeSean McCoy, Eagles RB: I expect plenty of touches from McCoy’s change-of-pace back Darren Sproles, especially in Mark Sanchez’s passing game. I’m not 100% sold that McCoy is finally breaking out this season, and he doesn’t exactly have a favorable match-up today.

Prediction: Cowboys over Eagles, 31-28.

Seahawks (7-4) at 49ers (7-4), 8:30 P.M. on NBC


OUT: 49ers TE Derek Carrier (foot), Seahawks TE Cooper Helfet (ankle), 49ers OT Anthony Davis (concussion), Seahawks C Max Unger (knee), 49ers DT Glenn Dorsey (forearm), Seahawks LB Kevin Pierre -Louis (shoulder).

QUESTIONABLE: 49ers WR Bruce Ellington (ankle), 49ers TE Vance McDonald (back), Seahawks DE Demarcus Dobbs (knee), 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), Seahawks CB Jeremy Lane (glute).

Fantasy Impact: Must-Start

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks RB: Expect Lynch to go Beast Mode, as he’ll continue to get plenty of carries while QB Russell Wilson attempts under 30 passes in what is sure to be a low-scoring affair tonight.

Fantasy Impact: Must-Sit

Both Team’s Quarterbacks: Let’s face it, Wilson and Kaep aren’t going to be breaking out for 20-25 fantasy points and 300+ yards passing in tonight’s heavy-hitting showdown. Both teams will be relying heavily on their running games––Lynch and Gore––and it’ll be a struggle to put 20+ points on the board.

Prediction: Seahawks over Niners, 21-17.

Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

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