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Factoid

Thanksgiving special

Do players finish with better stats on Thanksgiving?

Do teams score more on Thanksgiving? Sometimes it seems like they do. Or that they should. Most of the nation is watching, after all, so what better time to bust out that special gadget play? And defenses haven’t had the usual full week to prepare.

How else to explain the Raiders going into Dallas last year and piling up 36 points? Randy Moss had that weird game on Thanksgiving, where he kept catching long touchdowns. O.J. Simpson set the single-game rushing record in the ‘70s. And Troy Aikman, Kirk Cousins, Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford have all had games with over 440 yards.

Should fantasy leaguers be tending to start their Thanksgiving guys, figuring they’ll be a little better than usual?

The big-picture stats provide an emphatic “no”, and that’s logical. It is, after all, also Thanksgiving for the defensive players as well. They presumably would also be looking to play a little harder and run a little faster.

In the 32-team era, there have been 110 games played on Thanksgiving. 55 of those teams scored more points than their usual average in those games, but the other 55 scored fewer.

Overall, these 110 teams averaged 22.74 points in their games played on Thanksgiving. That’s just a few micro points lower than what they averaged in general (22.76)

Of the 110 teams, 22 scored a least a touchdown more than usual. I’ve got them in bold. But 27 scored at least a touchdown less.

We have much to be thankful for on this day, but we do not get extra stat production as a holiday bonus.

POINTS ON THANKSGIVING
YearTeamPointsAvgDifference
2002Dallas Cowboys2713.613.4
2002Washington 2019.20.8
2002New England Patriots2023.8-3.8
2002• Detroit Lions1219.1-7.1
2003Miami Dolphins4019.420.6
2003Detroit Lions2216.95.1
2003Dallas Cowboys2118.12.9
2003• Green Bay Packers1427.6-13.6
2004Indianapolis Colts4132.68.4
2004Dallas Cowboys2118.32.7
2004• Chicago Bears714.4-7.4
2004• Detroit Lions918.5-9.5
2005Atlanta Falcons2721.95.1
2005Dallas Cowboys2120.30.7
2005Denver Broncos2424.7-0.7
2005• Detroit Lions715.9-8.9
2006Dallas Cowboys3826.611.4
2006Miami Dolphins2716.310.8
2006Kansas City 1920.7-1.7
2006Tampa Bay Buccaneers1013.2-3.2
2006• Detroit Lions1019.1-9.1
2006• Denver Broncos1019.9-9.9
2007Green Bay Packers3727.29.8
2007Dallas Cowboys3428.45.6
2007Detroit Lions2621.64.4
2007Indianapolis Colts3128.12.9
2007Atlanta Falcons1316.2-3.2
2007• New York Jets316.8-13.8
2008Tennessee Titans4723.423.6
2008Philadelphia Eagles4826.022.0
2008Dallas Cowboys3422.611.4
2008Arizona Cardinals2026.7-6.7
2008Detroit Lions1016.8-6.8
2008• Seattle Seahawks918.4-9.4
2009Denver Broncos2620.45.6
2009Green Bay Packers3428.85.2
2009Dallas Cowboys2422.61.4
2009Detroit Lions1216.4-4.4
2009Oakland Raiders712.3-5.3
2009• New York Giants625.1-19.1
2010New England Patriots4532.412.6
2010New Orleans Saints3024.06.0
2010New York Jets2622.93.1
2010Dallas Cowboys2724.62.4
2010Detroit Lions2422.61.4
2010• Cincinnati Bengals1020.1-10.1
2011Miami Dolphins1920.6-1.6
2011Dallas Cowboys2023.1-3.1
2011• Baltimore Ravens1623.6-7.6
2011• Green Bay Packers2735.0-8.0
2011• Detroit Lions1529.6-14.6
2011• San Francisco 49ers623.8-17.8
2012New England Patriots4934.814.2
2012Washington 3827.310.8
2012Houston Texans3426.08.0
2012Detroit Lions3123.37.8
2012Dallas Cowboys3123.57.5
2012New York Jets1917.61.4
2013Detroit Lions4024.715.3
2013Oakland Raiders2420.13.9
2013Dallas Cowboys3127.43.6
2013Baltimore Ravens2220.02.0
2013Pittsburgh Steelers2023.7-3.7
2013• Green Bay Packers1026.1-16.1
2014Detroit Lions3420.113.9
2014Philadelphia Eagles3329.63.4
2014Chicago Bears1719.9-2.9
2014Seattle Seahawks1924.6-5.6
2014• San Francisco 49ers319.1-16.1
2014• Dallas Cowboys1029.2-19.2
2015Detroit Lions4522.422.6
2015Carolina Panthers3331.31.8
2015Dallas Cowboys1417.2-3.2
2015Chicago Bears1720.9-3.9
2015• Philadelphia Eagles1423.6-9.6
2015• Green Bay Packers1323.0-10.0
2016Dallas Cowboys3126.34.7
2016Pittsburgh Steelers2824.93.1
2016Washington 2624.81.3
2016Detroit Lions1621.6-5.6
2016• Minnesota Vikings1320.4-7.4
2016• Indianapolis Colts725.7-18.7
2017Minnesota Vikings3023.96.1
2017Los Angeles Chargers2822.25.8
2017Washington 2021.4-1.4
2017Detroit Lions2325.6-2.6
2017New York Giants1015.4-5.4
2017• Dallas Cowboys622.1-16.1
2018Dallas Cowboys3121.29.8
2018Washington 2317.65.4
2018New Orleans Saints3131.5-0.5
2018Chicago Bears2326.3-3.3
2018Detroit Lions1620.3-4.3
2018• Atlanta Falcons1725.9-8.9
2019Chicago Bears2417.56.5
2019Buffalo Bills2619.66.4
2019Detroit Lions2021.3-1.3
2019New Orleans Saints2628.6-2.6
2019Atlanta Falcons1823.8-5.8
2019• Dallas Cowboys1527.1-12.1
2020Washington4120.920.1
2020Houston Texans4124.017.0
2020Detroit Lions2523.61.4
2020• Dallas Cowboys1624.7-8.7
2021Las Vegas Raiders3622.014.0
2021Buffalo Bills3128.42.6
2021Dallas Cowboys3331.21.8
2021Chicago Bears1618.3-2.3
2021Detroit Lions1419.1-5.1
2021• New Orleans Saints621.4-15.4

—Ian Allan

Fantasy Index