Fantasy Football Recap: Immediate takeaways & analysis for every Thanksgiving game

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) celebrates a fourth quarter touchdown with wide receiver Damiere Byrd (10) against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 29-27. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The traditional Thanksgiving triple-header kicked off with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, and we were treated to big performances from Josh Reynolds, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet.

Unfortunately, injuries have put a dampener on the festivities, as D’Andre Swift left the first game early, CeeDee Lamb was ruled out for the Cowboys and Mark Ingram II was ruled out for the Saints.

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PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2021.

Table Notes:
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties like offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

Chicago Bears Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Darnell Mooney 61 41 8 1
Damiere Byrd 53 34 5 0
Marquise Goodwin 32 22 1 0
Jakeem Grant 19 13 4 1
Isaiah Coulter 14 13 1 0
Cole Kmet 60 36 11 0
Jesse James 23 7 1 0
Jimmy Graham 14 4 3 0
J.P. Holtz 5 0 0 0
David Montgomery 58 31 3 17
Khalil Herbert 11 5 0 4
Total 70 44 37 26
Detroit Lions Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Amon-Ra St. Brown 48 25 4 0
Josh Reynolds 43 22 5 0
Kalif Raymond 39 23 4 0
KhaDarel Hodge 3 2 0 0
Tom Kennedy 2 1 0 0
T.J. Hockenson 38 22 3 0
Brock Wright 14 3 0 0
Jamaal Williams 31 15 5 15
D'Andre Swift 10 6 3 3
Jermar Jefferson 5 3 0 0
Godwin Igwebuike 4 3 1 1
Total 49 26 25 19

Monitor the D’Andre Swift injury: Swift left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and was ruled out by the start of the third. He started the game with three straight catches and netted zero yards on three carries before the injury.

Jamall Williams took over as the every-down back after the injury, with Jermar Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike both mixing in. If Swift misses any time, Williams needs to be added in any league in which he’s available and would be worthy of starting consideration.

Add Cole Kmet: Kmet’s target share has risen as the 2021 season has progressed. He’s seen at least six targets in four of his last five games and at least six catches in two of his last three. He finished the day with a career-high eight catches for 65 yards. Ideally, he would be the one seeing red-zone targets instead of his backups, but he’s trending in the right direction. He has a relatively high floor for a young tight end.

Add Josh Reynolds in deeper leagues: Reynolds served as the clear every-down starter for the second straight week. Trinity Benson was inactive with an injury, which surely played a part in Reynolds' workload, but he has potentially done enough today to keep the job.

Reynolds' target share is still lower than you would like, but there is potential room for growth. He has a history with quarterback Jared Goff, which should only help matters in the target-share department. It’s too early to put him in starting lineups, but he’s heading in the right direction.

Monitor the Marquise Goodwin injury: Goodwin was dealing with a foot injury that held him out of the two-minute drill to end the first half as well as most of the fourth quarter. Isaiah Coulter was his primary replacement.

Coulter had spent most of the season on the practice squad after getting released by the Texans in August. The former 2020 fifth-round pick would only continue to see significant playing time if the Goodwin injury is serious and Allen Robinson II also continues to miss time.

Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Hunter Renfrow 64 33 9 1
Bryan Edwards 63 29 1 0
Zay Jones 60 31 7 1
DeSean Jackson 42 24 3 0
Foster Moreau 77 27 4 0
Darren Waller 21 11 5 0
Daniel Helm 14 2 1 0
Josh Jacobs 58 23 4 22
Kenyan Drake 15 7 2 7
Jalen Richard 14 7 0 0
Total 87 43 36 34


Dallas Cowboys Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Michael Gallup 71 49 8 0
Noah Brown 69 47 8 0
Cedrick Wilson 54 41 10 0
Malik Turner 12 6 0 0
Dalton Schultz 71 47 6 0
Sean McKeon 12 1 1 0
Jeremy Sprinkle 3 0 0 0
Ezekiel Elliott 47 31 8 9
Tony Pollard 31 19 4 10
Total 74 49 45 19

Monitor the Darren Waller injury: Waller suffered a knee injury early on, and though he tried playing through it, his day was done before halftime. He caught two passes on the day.

Foster Moreau took over and handled the vast majority of offensive snaps over the rest of the game. He only caught a three-yard pass, but he should still be a waiver wire target if Waller’s injury is serious. Moreau has earned a 77.3 PFF grade since 2019, the 10th-best among tight ends over that span. He has the talent to be a starting fantasy tight end.

Monitor the health of Ezekiel Elliott: Reports broke right at kickoff that Dallas would be limiting Elliott today due to the short week and his knee injury. This meant Tony Pollard spent most of the game leading Dallas in touches.

As the game progressed, Elliott started seeing more playing time as the Cowboys clawed back into the game. Now Dallas will have extended time off before their next game. Chances are Elliott will be the clear leader again by their next game.

DeSean Jackson on the rise: Jackson was in the starting lineup in the game and came down with a highlight 56-yard touchdown pass to finish the first drive. He didn’t catch another pass for 45 minutes, but he continued to be rotated in and out more than in previous weeks.

The three-man rotation among the outside wide receivers will make it tough to rely on any one of them for Las Vegas until there is a clear odd man out.

Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints

  • Dawson Knox: 3 receptions, 32 yards, 2 TD (3.0 aDOT)
  • Stefon Diggs: 7 receptions, 74 yards, 1 TD (31.0% threat rate)
Buffalo Bills Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Stefon Diggs 54 29 9 0
Emmanuel Sanders 51 30 3 0
Cole Beasley 46 28 5 0
Gabriel Davis 28 11 2 0
Jake Kumerow 5 1 0 0
Marquez Stevenson 1 0 0 0
Dawson Knox 60 28 3 0
Tommy Sweeney 14 2 0 0
Devin Singletary 45 23 2 15
Matt Breida 21 9 2 9
Total 66 34 26 28


New Orleans Saints Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Tre'Quan Smith 45 29 5 0
Marquez Callaway 34 22 4 0
Ty Montgomery 29 19 6 6
Lil'Jordan Humphrey 27 16 4 0
Deonte Harris 23 17 5 0
Kenny Stills 21 10 0 0
Kevin White 1 0 0 0
Juwan Johnson 24 18 0 0
Nick Vannett 21 5 1 0
Garrett Griffin 18 3 0 0
Tony Jones Jr. 21 3 0 16
Total 57 32 26 24

Add Matt Breida: Breida had spent most of the season as a healthy inactive but started to get involved with the offense two weeks ago. They only used him for eight snaps, but he scored two touchdowns. He followed that up by playing in more of a three-man committee last week and averaged 10 yards per carry on five carries. Tonight, Zack Moss was inactive and Breida split time with Devin Singletary.

Breida was the clear leader early on in the game — and even scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter — but Singletary played more snaps as the game went on. The former Dolphin is worth picking up off the waiver wire since he has a shot at double-digit touches any week Moss is inactive.

The Saints are thin at running back: Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II both missed this game with injury, so the Saints used rookie Tony Jones Jr. as the primary rushing back. Ty Montgomery, who had served as their slot receiver at times this year, moved back to running back to play on most passing downs.

Jones would still be worth picking up if both of their starting running backs aren’t healthy despite being completely ineffective tonight. In either a better game script or against a worse run defense, Jones would have had a much better game.

The Saints replacing Adam Trautman: The second-year tight end suffered an injury last week that will cost him at least a month. Nick Vannett took his role on early downs, while Juwan Johnson was the Saints' tight end on passing downs. This is similar to how Trautman and Jared Cook were used last season. It’s best to avoid this situation, as any tight end in this kind of timeshare has very limited upside. 

Drop Marquez Callaway: Callaway had spent most of the season as the Saints' top wide receiver but had to compete for that role once Tre’Quan Smith returned from his injury. Tonight, Smith had a clear lead in snaps.

Lil’Jordan Humphrey had his most offensive snaps since Week 2 and played a similar role to Callaway. Both Deonte Harris and Kenny Stills keep seeing significant snaps, as well. Callaway only caught two passes today and has not had more than four catches in a game this season. His upside is too dependent on touchdowns for fantasy managers to truly rely on him.


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