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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 11
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, or Calvin Johnson is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Peterson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Megatron and went RB-QB-Jimmy Graham in your first three rounds? I’m your huckleberry. Past results may not guarantee future success, but I believe ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry. Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice..

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s default scoring system.

Bye Weeks: Dallas, St. Louis

Grab a Helmet

Andrew Luck

The Colts are looking to rebound of a terrible loss to St. Louis.

Andrew Luck @ TEN: Numbers donít outright lie, but they sure do tell a pretty misleading story sometimes. If all you did was check your fantasy scoreboard last Sunday evening, youíd have guessed Luck had a pretty solid day (23.4 pts). Youíd have guessed wrong. It was easily one of his lousiest professional performances Ė against one of the leagueís crummiest teams, no less Ė and came on the heels of two three-TD, no-pick games. Indyís franchise field general doesnít get much time to hang his head as the Colts are back in action Thursday night against Tennessee. A non-existent running game and limited options at the receiver position are troubling, sure, but I suspect Luck will make amends in Week 11. The Titans suffered an unforgivable loss to previously winless Jacksonville and will be without the services of their own franchise QB the rest of the season. In other words, theyíre reeling. Start Luck.

Ryan Tannehill v. SD: I havenít had much to say about Tannehill through 25 NFL starts, but thatís not because I donít like him. I simply donít know what to make of him. Sometimes, he looks like precisely the type of QB Miami could build a winning program around. Other times, he looks like the type of QB whoís marginal enough to get you beat byÖthe other previously winless squad. Ugh. Thereís more to that story, of course (team turmoil, bad offensive line, average receivers), but Tannehillís inconsistency is one of the primary reasons the Fish are spinning their collective wheels in 2013. Youíll hafta live with the ups and downs for now, but a matchup with San Diego (8.6 yards/attempt and 104.3 opposing QB rating, both worst in the league) seems to promise more of the former than the latter in Week 11. Miami could sure use some ups.

Case Keenum v. OAK or Nick Foles v. WAS: The honeymoon continues for these two greenhorns, an exhilarating yet scary proposition as we head toward the fantasy playoffs. On the one hand, those of us who drafted guys like Josh Freeman, Mike Vick, or (ahem) Aaron Rodgers, have a chance to remain relevant with guys who barely were in September. On the other hand, staking your playoff hopes on someone whose career starts can be counted on both of those hands (or just one, in Keenumís case) sounds downright dangerous. All QBs, even the really good ones, let us down eventually and itís probably just a matter of time before one of these guys does. Donít bet on it happening this Sunday, though. The matchups are solid, they take care of the pigskin, and their surrounding talent is above average. I sure wish Iíd stashed one of them earlier this season.

Grab a Clipboard

Scott Tolzien @ NYG: If backups are all the rage, why not backups of backups? Tolzienís reasonably good impression of a functional NFL quarterback in Week 10 (280 yards and a score) earned him the Week 11 start and makes him the first Badger alum to start for the Pack since the immortal Randy Wright back in the mid-80s. His starting debut isnít likely to go as poorly as Wrightís did (4 for 10, 75 yards, and a season-ending knee injury), but Iím skeptical it can go as well as some are predicting. Tolzien posted those numbers against a Philly squad ranked 31st in total defense, for one thing. He also possesses below-average arm strength, below-average size, and below-average athleticism, primary reasons he went undrafted and has already played for three teams in as many seasons. Heís got a puncherís chance thanks to those elite Green Bay receivers, I guess, but it smells like a desperation play to this Packer backer.

Geno Smith @ BUF or EJ Manuel v. NYJ: I recommended this same double sit-down back in Week 3 when the AFC East rivals first met, but both ended up performing admirably in that one, Manuel notching 20.2 points and Smith 32.0 in the Jetsí victory. As it turns out, those are still season-high (and thus career-high) totals for both players. Why not an encore performance in the Sunday rematch? Anythingís possible (see Tolzien, Scott), but I believe there might be some mitigating circumstances this time around. Manuel will likely be without his best target, Stevie Johnson, and didnít look comfortable in his return from injury last weekend. Smith actually gets his best target back (Santonio Holmes) but hasnít looked comfortable for several weeks now and has thrown just a single TD pass since October 7th. You might get lucky, but if your playoff hopes are riding on them, youíre truly gambling.

Tom Brady @ CAR: I know, I know, I know. You’re not sitting down Tom Terrific in crunch time, especially not when he’s coming off a 432-yard, four-score performance against the Steelers and, following that, two weeks of R & R. I wouldn’t either. That’s not to say you shouldn’t harbor some legitimate misgivings about the future HOF’er. Even including that explosive outing against Pittsburgh, Brady’s only averaging a modest 18.5 points per game this season. How modest is that? Geno Smith averages 18.6. Matt Schaub, before he got demoted, averaged 18.4. There’s also this to consider: Carolina is currently yielding just 15 fantasy points/game to opposing QBs (first overall) and just got done suffocating one of the league’s most dangerous, Colin Kaepernick, in Week 10. It’s Brady, yeah, but if you ignore the name, the basic formula (modestly successful QB + stellar pass-thwarting defense) doesn’t add up to anything good. Just sayin’.

Running Backs