Thanksgiving is here, and that means the start of Week 12 in fantasy football. The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders will face off on Thursday, and both teams have a talented running back who contributes in fantasy.
Should fantasy football managers go with the Cowboys’ Tony Pollard, or is the Commanders’ Brian Robinson Jr. the play?
Should You Start Tony Pollard or Brian Robinson Jr. This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say that Pollard is the player to start. His projected 12.5 points include a projection of 46 rushing yards, two receptions, and 21 yards. That doesn’t seem like a big stat line, but it outperforms the consensus projection of Robinson (11.4 points).
My rationale is to go against the Optimizer on this one, as I think Robinson has the bigger game in this Thanksgiving matchup.
Pollard’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
Pollard had a good start to the year against Arizona, tallying 122 yards on the Cardinals in Week 3. Since then, Pollard hasn’t rushed for more than the 61 yards he tallied last week against the Carolina Panthers. Not only has he not had a big game recently, he hasn’t been able to score touchdowns.
He had two touchdowns in the season-opening win against the New York Giants but hadn’t had another until the game against the Panthers. The Cowboys have been good through the air recently with Prescott, and this is a great matchup once again for Prescott and the wide receivers.
Also, the Commanders’ pass defense has not been great this year, so Dak Prescott could be in store for another huge game. Entering the Week 12 matchup, the Commanders are ranked 30th against the pass (258.5 yards). Look for Prescott and the Cowboys to put up big numbers through the air, and Pollard once again will not get in the end zone.
Robinson’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
Robinson was a great story last year as he came back from being shot to have a solid rookie season. He has followed that up with an even better second season and has had some terrific statistics this year.
Just two weeks ago, Robinson had a fantastic game against the Seattle Seahawks.
The second-year player only had eight rushing attempts for 38 yards in the loss, but he caught six receptions for 119 receiving yards and a touchdown — all season-highs. In the first nine games of the season, he had 14 catches for 137 yards, while the last two games have produced 13 catches for 177 yards and one touchdown.
Last week against the New York Giants, he had 73 rushing yards and caught seven passes for 58 yards. The recent increase in receptions is a huge plus for fantasy football managers, and that could be a huge thing against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving
The Cowboys’ defense has been formidable all year, but they are only 15th in the league against the run. For the Commanders, if they are going to have any chance, they need to run the ball well and stay in short-to-go downs.
Dallas also has an elite pass rush, so Howell getting the ball out quickly is going to be pivotal. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see Robinson have another strong catching game. Look for Robinson to finish this game with 100 total yards of offense and even get a touchdown.
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