Thanksgiving fantasy recommendations
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Our first and possibly most important advice to you this week is don't eat too much turkey. The combination of a full stomach and L-tryptophan could cause you to fall asleep and miss some of the action.

As to which players to start and which to sit, we submit the following to assist you in filling out your fantasy lineups.

Houston at Detroit


Start - Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Shayne Graham


Start - Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, Ryan Broyles, Jason Hanson

Comments - Matt Schaub came up big when the Texans needed him last week, but he hasn't been a top fantasy quarterback for most of this season. In fact, last Sunday's 527-yard performance against Jacksonville was his first 300-yard passing game since October 2011, some 15 games ago. We think it was more of a one-time thing than a new trend and the Texans will return to featuring the running game against the Lions.

When Detroit has the ball, they are not going to challenge Houston's second- ranked run defense which is yielding just 85.6 ypg. They are going to throw, and throw and throw some more. That shouldn't be a surprise since Detroit leads the NFL in passing yards per game (301.8 ypg). Stafford will obviously feature Johnson, but will also use rookie wideout Ryan Broyles and his tight end - Pettigrew. He won't be throwing to Titus Young who has been suspended for a game. We also don't recommend running back Mikel Leshoure who has come up small when facing the tougher defensive teams.

It's always a good idea to start place-kickers who are playing indoors out of the elements and we recommend both Graham and Hanson.

Washington at Dallas


Start - Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Kai Forbath


Start - Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey

Comments - The Redskins own the second-best running game in the league courtesy of two rookies - Griffin and Morris. Griffin is a fantasy stud and is always a "must-start" when healthy. Finding a receiver on the Redskins' roster worthy of a start is a much more difficult assignment. Pierre Garcon would be the obvious choice if he were healthy, but he is not. He will once again be more decoy than weapon. Behind him are Aldrick Robinson, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan and Santana Moss, but none have proven to be a reliable option at any point this season. If you must take a flier, go with Moss, who has averaged 86.5 ypg over his 13-game career against Dallas.

Dallas' running game is a mess that fantasy owners will want to avoid this week. DeMarco Murray is still not ready to play and Felix Jones is a question mark after injuring his knee against Cleveland. Jones still figures to play, but at a lot less than 100 percent. The other options, Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner, are not fantasy-worthy although Dunbar would get the start if Jones is inactive. The Redskins' pass defense is giving up 383.8 ypg and it is there that the Cowboys will attack with Romo and his receivers. Start them all, except for No. 3 wideout Kevin Ogletree who is dealing with a concussion.

New England at New York Jets


Start - Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Aaron Hernandez, Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots' defense


Start - Shonn Greene, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens

Comments - The Patriots beat the Jets 29-26 back in October, in a game where Mark Sanchez threw for more yards than Brady. That won't happen this time around. The New England defense has improved and the Jets' starting quarterback has done little since that game.

Brady will certainly miss injured tight end Rob Gronkowski, but Aaron Hernandez returns this week and the Pats' quarterback still has Welker, Edelman and Brandon Lloyd. The Jets' run defense has not played well, yielding 141.9 ypg, meaning Ridley should get a full workload.

The Patriots picked off Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck three times last weekend and ran two of them back for scores. The addition of talented, but troubled, Aqib Talib makes the New England secondary a much stronger unit and Sanchez won't have the same success he had in their first meeting. Greene only gets a lukewarm recommendation now that Bilal Powell is back and apparently getting the goal line carries.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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