NFL Fantasy Picks: Justin Herbert managers thankful for Cardinals matchup

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This Thursday marks Thanksgiving in the United States.

That means several things. Food, family and lots and lots of football, with the traditional three games on the schedule for the holiday.

With the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings all playing, there will be plenty of fantasy relevant players in action, meaning there's no time to waste in terms of getting a winning line-up set.

Thanksgiving is, as the name makes obvious, a time to say what you're grateful for, and Stats Perform hopes you will be appreciative of the fantasy help we're here to provide with our picks of four offensive players and a defense for Week 12.

Quarterback: Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals

The Chargers may not be feeling too grateful after having their heart broken again by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

But they must be appreciative of getting to face the Cardinals' defense in Week 12, especially with Herbert's top receiver, Keenan Allen, back in the fold.

The Cardinals have allowed 118 pass plays of 10 yards or more, the fourth-most in the NFL. Coming off a game in which he averaged 9.3 yards per attempt, Herbert is well-positioned to get the Chargers' playoff push back on track against opposition that should facilitate one of his best performances of the season.

Running Back: Jeff Wilson Jr, Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans

When Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel sits down to eat his turkey on Thursday, he may express thanks for the trade with his former employers, the San Francisco 49ers, that landed Wilson's services for Miami.

Wilson has quickly established himself as the top runner in a Dolphins backfield that was not firing on all cylinders prior to his arrival.

He averaged seven yards per carry against the Cleveland Browns' dreadful run defense last time out and now gets to face a Houston defense that has allowed 57 runs of at least 10 yards, which is 12 more than anyone else in the league.

Wide Receiver: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills

Detroit's leading receiver may not be happy to go against the Buffalo defense in Week 12, but Jameson Williams' debut is likely to bring a smile to his face.

Williams, Detroit's second first-round pick in 2022, is practising after recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in his final college game, and will give the Lions a tremendous deep threat who can stretch the field and open underneath areas for St. Brown to exploit.

In a game where the chances of the Lions falling behind and being forced to throw the ball consistently are high, that is a recipe for St. Brown racking up completions and yardage in the Thanksgiving opener.

Tight End: T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots

There is likely to be gratitude in Vikings circles that they get the chance to quickly wash the stink off from their blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11.

Having been shellacked by the Cowboy defense, the Minnesota offense will face a different challenge in the form of the Patriots, who consistently drop eight players into coverage.

New England will almost certainly look to take Justin Jefferson away with double teams, meaning quarterback Kirk Cousins will likely have to frequently look to Hockenson over the middle of the field.

Targeted 28 times in three games since his arrival in a trade with Detroit, Hockenson appears primed for massive fantasy performance in the Thanksgiving nightcap, especially in points per reception leagues.

Defense/Special Teams: San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

The Saints' coaching staff may have a stressful Thanksgiving game planning for the 49ers, who appear to be rounding into form on both sides of the ball.

San Francisco's defense has not allowed a second-half point in any of the Niners' last three games and is giving up just 4.67 yards per play this season, the second-fewest in the NFL.

Facing a Saints offense that has committed the most giveaways (19) in the NFL, the San Francisco defense should dominate once more and deliver a crucial contribution for its fantasy owners.