The NFC East provides some of the most physical and exciting NFL games every year, and that should be the case again on Thanksgiving in Week 12. 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’s 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.
Robinson’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
Just two weeks ago, Robinson had a monster 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.
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Last week against the New York Giants, he had 73 rushing yards and caught seven passes for 58 yards. If he is going to continue catching the ball out of the backfield, he will become even more valuable in fantasy.
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. Look for Robinson to finish this game with 100 total yards of offense and even get a touchdown.
Pollard’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
Since rushing for 122 yards in the third game of the season against the Arizona Cardinals, 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 so good recently with Prescott, and the way the defense has bullied lesser opponents has made it tough for Pollard to be great in fantasy.
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.
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