Fantasy Football Week 12 Sleepers: Start Logan Thomas, Zach Charbonnet and Stash Jeff Wilson Jr. on Thanksgiving

The NFL has added its first-ever Black Friday matchup. That means you could have fantasy lineup decisions to make in four games prior to Sunday’s slate.

On a short week, we saw injuries to numerous players that impact the Thanksgiving and Black Friday games. Most notably, Seahawks’ quarterback and running back Geno Smith and Kenneth Walker will impact Thursday’s primetime game. But injuries to Packers’ and Commanders’ running backs Aaron Jones and Antonio Gibson, as well as, New York Jets number one wideout Garrett Wilson, mean lineup adjustments in each game.

Green Bay @ Detroit – Thanksgiving, 12:30 p.m. eastern

The Aaron Jones injury is the most significant development for the early holiday game. Although, 10 games into Green Bay’s season, I still don’t know what to make of its 4-6 team. The Packers’ rushing attack and rush defense coincide with one another…poor. However, my philosophy is that if there is a No. 1 at any position available, you snag them in fantasy. 

Backup A.J. Dillon is rostered in 80% of leagues, but started in 23%. Likely due to him being a backup, that percentage should increase. However, it’s worth noting he’s on the injury report with a groin injury. Head coach Matt LaFleur told USA Today that it’s “highly unlikely” that Jones will be available Thursday, so Dillon appears set for an increased workload despite limited practice sessions. If he is unable to go, it’ll be Patrick Taylor (1% owned) who was re-signed to the Packers’ practice squad on Monday.

Dillon only has double-digit PPR points once this year, coming because he scored a touchdown in Week 3. He makes for a risky start this week, but if you have a hole of running backs, a No. 1 is a No. 1.

Furthermore, in this game, Romeo Doubs (26% start) is another sleeper candidate. I expect Jayden Reed to play, who had a rushing score in Week 11, but is dealing with a chest injury. Doubs scored a touchdown on six targets last week, and with the Packers likely being behind, Jordan Love should look to him.

Who is Kayla starting? Amon-Ra St. Brown, David Montgomery, Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit DST

Who is Kayla sitting? Jared Goff, Jordan Love, Christian Watson, Packers DST

Washington @ Dallas – Thanksgiving, 4:30 p.m. eastern

Are the Commanders tanking? They have an offense that can hold its own, but the team’s second loss of the season to quarterback-less Giants raises eyebrows. 

This week, Washington gets Dallas on the road for their first meeting of the season. On paper, this is still a lopsided game, but it’s important to note that Washington has played tough against tougher opponents, such as Philadelphia (twice) and Seattle. The Cowboys should erupt and use their defense to take advantage in this game, but I don’t think it’s a blowout. 

Washington tight end Logan Thomas should be the top sleeper in this matchup. He has had at least five targets since Week 7 and is healthy. Terry McLaurin (start him) is historically good on Thanksgiving, but that’s where Dallas’ defense will focus first.

Dallas will have to account for Washington’s run game, despite the injury to Antonio Gibson, leaving select plays for significant gains from Thomas. Sam Howell also looks for 6-foot, 6-inch tight end often in the red zone. The Cowboys are 22nd in the league against the pass, giving more props to Thomas.

I also like Curtis Samuel in this matchup if Gibson doesn’t play. Samuel is listed as a receiver, but transitions into a rusher more times than one would think. He’s not Deebo Samuel, but he aids a run game that could be missing the second half of its 1-2 punch. That, mixed with slot catches and behind McLaurin/Thomas/Jahan Dotson on the depth chart, make him a sleeper in PPR.

Who is Kayla starting? Terry McLaurin, Brian Robinson, Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aubrey, Dallas DST

Who is Kayla sitting? Sam Howell, Jahan Dotson, Commanders DST, Michael Gallup, Brandin Cooks

San Francisco @ Seattle – 8:20 p.m. eastern

I just picked up the 49ers defense off waivers, despite them being owned in 86% of leagues. If Geno Smith plays, he won’t be 100%. Seattle should make Kenneth Walker (oblique) inactive after he left Week 11 early and hasn’t practiced yet this week. A backup running back and an injured signal caller make the mountain that much steeper to climb for a Seattle team challenging the 49ers for the division.

Zach Charbonnet averaged more than three yards per carry after coming in for Walker against the Rams. He’ll need to average that, or better, against another stingy defense to give his team a chance late Thursday night. Good for him, though, is the 3.1 YPC, which is far below his 4.9 YPC season average. 

Zach Charbonnet Fantasy Outlook: Rest of Season Workhorse or Bust?

Besides Charbonnet, my only other sleepers are both quarterbacks. 

Why Smith? Seattle could likely be chasing points, and without a running back, the sheer volume of more attempts is worth considering. The injury could be a woe, and cause him to be off target a few times, but with the projected volume he’d have, I’m not worried overall.

Why Brock Purdy? He’s not a start for me because of the damage San Francisco can do on the ground and the potential for the defense to score. Are you starting him if he’s your No. 1 or only QB? Sure. But there are better options this week.

Who is Kayla starting? Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers DST

Who is Kayla sitting? D.K. Metcalf, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Noah Fant, Seahawks DST 

New York Jets @ Miami – 3 p.m. Eastern on Friday

Woof, another new starter under center for New York. The Jets announced Tim Boyle would start Black Friday, sending Zach Wilson to the third string. Spoiler alert: you don’t need to pick up Boyle against Jalen Ramsey (two interceptions Week 11), Xavien Howard, and Jevon Holland

The narrative of Miami’s run defense being poor is still fair. However, with Boyle under center, the odds of New York putting together quality drives is low. The most consistent player, who will see the ball the most, should be Breece Hall. If Hall can average a consistent 4.6 yards per carry or more, like he is up until this point, he would be serviceable. But out of the four games before Sunday, Hall is the riskiest sleeper, in my opinion.

Until we see who Boyle feels comfortable throwing to, we can’t trust guys such as Tyler Conklin, to suggest starting even if Wilson doesn’t play.

As for Miami, Jeff Wilson Jr. is a stash and potential sleeper. The Dolphins placed Salvon Ahmed on injured reserve this week, and De’Von Achane reinjured his knee early in Week 11 after missing four games. As a compliment to Raheem Mostert, Wilson Jr. is next in line. He was also slated to be the backup this season to Mostert, before the emergence of Achane, and excelled in Miami’s offense last season.

Who is Kayla starting? Tua Tagovailoa, Raheem Mostert, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins DST

Who is Kayla sitting? Tim Boyle, Dalvin Cook, Cedrick Wilson, Braxton Berrios, Durham Smythe, Allen Lazard, Xavier Gipson, Jets DST

*Editors Note: Results of Week 11 Sleepers will come out in Week 12’s edition.

Author

  • Kayla has been a professional sports journalist since 2019. She started her career as a sports editor outside Fargo, North Dakota, covered the Miami Dolphins for three years, and most recently, covered the Carolina Hurricanes and Panthers. Most importantly, she has a cross-eyed cat named Chloe.

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