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Wide Write: Matt Cassel Isn’t Welcome Here Anymore

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Or, so as not to offend any non-believers, Happy Eat-Till-You-Have-To-Unbutton-Your-Pants Day. The women in the Wide Write family vetoed the deep-fried turkey this year, so we’re entering the holiday weekend on a dry and tasteless note.

(Seriously, if you’ve never tried a deep-fried turkey, do so as soon as you can. It makes the oven-baked version taste like cardboard. This endorsement was paid for by the American Angioplasty Association.)

This column exists to advise you on borderline starters and potential waiver pickups, and someone gets to graduate this week. Matt Cassel, come on up here and get your Wide Write diploma! The Patriots’ QB has thrown for 400-plus yards and three touchdowns for two consecutive weeks, and he’s become a must-start in fantasy leagues. Congratulations, Matt! Now get outta here so we can make this week’s recommendations.

QUARTERBACK

Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers – Q: What are a quarterback’s eight favorite words? A: “The Saints are coming to town this week.” Okay, so they’re really only 24th in the NFL in passing defense, but it’s not like they’re the second coming of the Steel Curtain or anything. Garcia has been hot lately, averaging 259 yards passing in his last five outings. Play him with confidence.

Donovan McNabb, Eagles – Yes, we know he got benched last weekend. But he’s starting on Thanksgiving night, and it’s not like he’s been awful all year – it could be just a three-game slump. McNabb is averaging 252 yards per game for the season, and has 14 touchdowns in 11 starts. Unless your league counts completion percentage, his now-scattershot arm won’t hurt you other than that first interception or two. McNabb is a matchup play at this point, and we think this week’s matchup against the Cardinals makes him a solid start.

Sage Rosenfels, Texans – This one depends on how much turnovers are penalized in your league. Rosenfels can cough it up with the best of ‘em, as he’s thrown a completely unacceptable eight interceptions in four games since taking over for the injured Matt Schaub. He’s also averaging 246 yards and a TD in those outings, and the visiting Jaguars’ pass D has been uncharacteristically mediocre this season. If you think the underachieving Jags are mailing it in at this point, then Rosenfels might give you some really good numbers. Picks, schmicks.

RUNNING BACK

Justin Fargas, Raiders – Huggy Bear Jr. got back on the horse in Week 12, carrying 24 times for 107 yards even though Darren McFadden returned with a two-touchdown game. Unless the coaching staff does an about-face this week, Fargas — who has averaged 21 carries in his last three outings — will get the majority of the carries again, and that’s a great thing when you get to run against a defense as Swiss-cheesy as the Chiefs’.

Sammy Morris, Patriots – Now that he’s finally healthy, Morris is slowly getting back to work – he carried eight times for 35 yards during Cassel’s aerial assault on the Dolphins last week. Kevin Faulk and rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis both got similar workloads and scored, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis got his work when the Pats were up big late in the game, and Faulk is more of a multi-purpose back. We don’t care if the Steelers have the top-ranked defense in the NFL – we’re calling a solid day for Sammy the Bull.

(Remember the rule: We only use BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ full name. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, BenJarvus Green-Ellis … we can’t stop saying it.)

LenDale White, Titans – After Sunday’s loss against the Jets, a frustrated White said he “wasn’t paying attention” to the Titans’ issues on the field since he was only out there for three plays, and “didn’t care” why they lost. If life was fair, White would be on the bench this week for shooting his mouth off like that. Instead, we think head coach Jeff Fisher will make him happy by giving him the rock often against the horrendously awful Lions, probably with a goal-line carry or two if the opportunity arises. And we bet he’ll get the extra turkey leg on the team’s flight home.

RECEIVER (WR/TE)

Vernon Davis, 49ers (TE) – Davis has caught one pass in each of his last three games, and that’s not much. But the Niners threw deep to him a couple of times against Dallas in Week 12, and he had the safety beat both times. Both his receptions in the previous two games went for touchdowns. Tight ends are generally a crapshoot, but Davis is going to bust out one of these days.

Ted Ginn Jr., Dolphins – The stars are aligning for Ginn, who is still available in 63 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. He’s caught 24 passes in his last six games, averaging 78 yards per week. In Week 12, fellow wideout Greg Camarillo had his surprising season come to an end due to a torn ACL, so Ginn appears to be Chad Pennington’s primary target. And the Dolphins are playing who? The Rams? Jackpot!

Anthony Gonzalez, Colts – We’re big fans of A-Gonz, who had a nice game against the Chargers in Week 12 (six receptions, 95 yards, TD). We’ve mentioned the Colts cupcake stretch-run schedule before, and it starts this week in Cleveland, where the Browns aren’t really big on the whole stopping-the-other-team thing. Peyton Manning is on fire, and Gonzalez is one of the main beneficiaries. Make sure he’s in your lineup again this week.

Don’t forget about your Thanksgiving Day games – we’ve got Titans-Lions at 12:30 p.m. ET, Seahawks-Cowboys at 4:15, and Cardinals-Eagles at 8:15. We’re sure the Philly fans will be giving plenty of thanks to their friend Mr. McNabb.


John Halpin covers fantasy sports for FOXSports.com, writing a morning fantasy blog Sundays through Fridays and baseball columns once or twice each week, depending on the season. His "Wide Write" appears every Thursday during the NFL season on FOXNews.com. Send him an e-mail at jhalpin37@gmail.com.

For more fantasy sports coverage, visit FOXSports.com/fantasy.