Thanksgiving means it’s time to pardon fantasy football turkeys

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While Thanksgiving Day is a joyous time when you can get together with family and friends, stuff your gluttonous faces with delicious foods and share with each other stories of what you are most thankful for this holiday season, it can also be a time for forgiveness.

Someone broke your favorite serving plate? Forgive them. Your brother stole you girlfriend, and now they’re getting married? Bury the hatchet and move on. That bust of a wide receiver you dropped back in Week 6 is suddenly seeing more targets? Put your anger aside and bring him back to your roster.

Forgiving players for being a first-half bust might just be your ticket to success in the fantasy football playoffs.

There are quite a number of NFL players who have let down the fantasy community. Falcons running back Mike Davis, for example, has been an atrocity and one who you have moved on from without batting an eye. But though Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley have both been a letdown for the second straight season, we forgive them because we expect them to eventually live up to their elite-level talent.

But exoneration should not be reserved strictly for the marquee player. Sometimes, we have to look at those who may be less talented and understand that what they couldn’t provide for us back then might be different from what they can offer you now.

With the news that Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew will miss the duration of the season with a hip injury, former fantasy darling Laviska Shenault Jr. just might be worthy of a pardon. Early in the season, when D.J. Chark Jr. was healthy, Shenault spent most of his time working out of the slot. His target share was strong, he was averaging close to five catches per game and he was even starting to see some red zone looks.

The Jaguars' Laviska Shenault fumbles the ball during a game against the 49ers at the TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021.
The Jaguars’ Laviska Shenault fumbles the ball during a game against the 49ers.
Joe Marino/UPI/Shutterstock

However, when Chark was hurt, Shenault was moved to the outside while Agnew worked out of the slot. Shenault’s target share dropped and he became such an afterthought, fantasy owners dropped him like a hot rock. But when Agnew left the game this past week, Shenault moved back to the slot and ended the game with five catches for 50 yards, his best game since Week 6.

It can be easy to move on from a player after feeling like you’ve been burned. You felt bamboozled. You bought into the hype, took him with a relatively high draft pick and sat there with a hole in your roster. But times change. Circumstances change. And if you can find it in your heart to forgive him this holiday season, your fantasy output will change for the better.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.





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