What to look for on Thanksgiving
Recapping what to look for in Week 11:
In short, each of the trends we examined last week proved accurate. Delanie Walker topped all tight ends with 10 targets and finished second at the position in fantasy points (PPR), justifying his outlook as a weekly TE1 based on volume. … LeSean McCoy is indeed back to weekly RB1 status as he produced the second-most fantasy points among running backs, while Karlos Williams failed to sustain his scoring pace, as expected. … You also knew to send Kirk Cousins back to your bench (No. 23 QB) and not to expect any dropoff from Carson Palmer (No. 3 QB) despite the tough matchup, and both of those outlooks also panned out. … The Steelers were on a bye, but look for Martavis Bryant to continue his WR1 production at Seattle with Richard Sherman expected to shadow Antonio Brown.
Moving on to the five key trends to look for in Week 12, Thanksgiving Day edition:
1) Cam Newton making a push to be the top fantasy QB
Cam Newton took a step backward in 2014, but he has no doubt rediscovered whatever mojo was lost last year. He is the No. 2 scoring fantasy quarterback on the season, and he actually tops the position with 0.68 fantasy points per dropback.
What’s most impressive is that he’s done this without top receiver Kelvin Benjamin, or really any kind of legitimate outside threat. Newton is on a career-best pace in our grades as well as in NFL QB rating (90.1), and ranks No. 4 in PFF’s overall rating (19.8) behind Carson Palmer, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger. He also enters Week 12 on pace for 32 passing touchdowns, which would easily eclipse his previous season-best mark of 24, set in 2013.
Of course, with Newton, the added rushing element is what sets him apart from his peers, and he is on pace for 10 rushing scores, which would be his most in a season since his 14 rushing TDs as a rookie. He has also yet to lose a fumble after losing six last year.
WEEK 12 AND BEYOND