Thanksgiving week brings food, football, and memories of the Butt Fumble, which will be played on every Turkey Day football show from now until the world ends. And even then, cockroaches in NYC who survive will eventually adapt and figure out how to put television stations back on-line just to run the highlight again. It may take hundreds of years but it will happen. With one week left in your regular season, there's a lot at stake for you. So let's take this holiday week to focus on the most important position in fantasy: the quarterbacks. And just for fun, since I've already mentioned the world's end, a little bit on The Walking Dead.
1: Number of weeks I'll recommend playing Eli Manning as a spot-start the rest of the season. Under. Eli Manning is dead to me in fantasy. Sunday was his best chance to put up a big stat line and get back to being fantasy-worthy. It was all there for him. A rematch against the team he torched in Week 1, who were also coming off one of the worst pastings in NFL history. But nope, Eli continued his horrible fantasy season missing receivers and generally watching his balls sail away from their intended targets. He's had one "average" fantasy game for a QB (at least 15 points) since that Week 1 matchup against Dallas. I know the Cowboys buttoned down some things following their loss to New Orleans, but the Giants should have been able to take at least a little advantage of Dallas, especially since they ran the football so well. That's telling for someone who is really off their game, so Eli can wait until 2014 to be talked about again. But hey, at least you could see it all on your phone!
Start/Sit: Beware of bad Luck
5: On a scale of 1-10, how much I believe in Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer for the rest of the season. Over and Under. I banged my head against the wall until I drew blood for sitting Rivers this past week against Kansas City, but the silver lining is that Rivers has shown he's almost matchup-proof for the rest of the fantasy season. It's not a great matchup against the Bengals next week, but when the fantasy playoffs arrive, I have a lot of confidence putting him in my lineup against the Giants, Broncos and Raiders. Palmer's a different story. Just when we thought we were putting the finishing touches on his fantasy career, he bounces back with two big games in a row. However look at what lies ahead for him: next week he's at Philadelphia. That's not great, but not awful. But then he has St. Louis (difficult), Tennessee (more difficult) and Seattle (whatever harder than "difficult" is). You're not going to navigate your playoffs with that schedule.
8: On a scale of 1-10, how much I believe in Andy Dalton for the rest of the season. Over. Throw out the 93-yard performance in the Bengals blowout of the Browns before the bye -- that still resulted in 3 TD passes -- and Dalton has been incredible the last six weeks. Sixteen total TD passes and at least 274 yards passing in each game. He's always been a streaky player but he's now reaching another level in his play. More importantly, the rest of your fantasy season lays out terrific for him. This week, Dalton takes on the Chargers, who are giving up the sixth-most passing yards per game. Then his playoff schedule sees him face Indianapolis (middle of the pack-to-worse in most defensive categories), Pittsburgh and Minnesota (who have allowed a league-high 24 TD passes). Not many QBs have a better playoff set than that.
12: Where I'll have Mike Glennon ranked in my weekly quarterback rankings. Higher -- as in, he's a low-end number one fantasy QB. Glennon is for real. Let's look at what he's done since Week 6, which was right after the Buccaneers bye and he had had a couple of weeks to prepare as a starter. Since that point, he's compiled at least 15 fantasy points in every game except one, and at least two touchdown passes in four of those games. Plus he's done it against some pretty good defenses against the pass (Carolina, Seattle). He's consistently around 250 yards per game and is a solid option going forward. Is he someone you have to start as the playoffs near? No, but if your starter is injured/you need an alternative because of a bad matchup for your QB, Glennon is your man.
Infinity: How much I'm looking forward to the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. Over. All will fight. Some will fall. I'm more excited about this than Bart Scott was about the AFC Championship game three years ago. And I'm pretty sure the Governor will die. I'm borrowing from Kurt Sutter's philosophy on how he kills characters in Sons of Anarchy for this one. It would have been easy to kill the Governor at the end of last season when he was just this weird, evil guy but didn't have a lot of depth. However the last two weeks they've shown his humane side and how that affects his overall badness. Were Martinez and his top aide really good for the group? They weren't strong leaders and their people wouldn't survive the human opposition in the wilderness. It didn't mean they had to die as a result, but now we see there's more reasoning behind the Governor's behavior, as misguided as it may be. So now that we've digested that, it's a bigger payoff when he dies because he's become a complete character and you wrestle with how you feel about him when it happens.
Jason Smith writes fantasy and other pith for nfl.com. You can see him as the host of NFL Fantasy Live that airs Sunday through Friday on NFL Network at 5pmET/2pmPT and also at 1amET/10pmPT. Listen to him on the NFL Fantasy Live podcast available at nfl.com and on itunes. Reach out to him on Google plus or Twitter @howaboutafresca, and listen to his Fantasy Podcast with Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison every week on nfl.com. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.