Game Thoughts: The Steelers enter the Thursday Night
Football Showdown against their divisional rival Browns in the
midst of a three-game win streak, highlighted by an impressive
17-12 win last week at home against the Rams.
The Steelers defense continues to improve, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick
is making a claim on defensive player of the year, and the offense
run by second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph continues to limit
turnovers and mistakes.
This is all great news if you are a Steelers fan. If you are
a fantasy owner of any of the skill position players on the team,
including JuJu Smith-Schuster, the ball control, simplified offense
used by the team to limit mistakes is killing your fantasy production.
At 7.6 fantasy points per game, Smith-Schuster is tied for 50th
at the position with injured Dolphins rookie Preston Williams.
Not exactly where the fantasy industry predicted when the third-year
budding star was ranked in the top-20 overall in drafts this summer.
To put things into perspective on just how bad it has been for
Steelers skill position players, no player on the team ranks in
the top 20 in fantasy points scored at their respective position
over the last five games.
The one player who has been a consistent fantasy performer for
the team this season is James Conner, who appears to be on pacer
to return to the field after missing a pair of games with a shoulder
injury. His presence in both the ground and passing game will
help Mason Rudolph and the Steelers offense tremendously.
The Browns rank 16th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks
and 21st in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. The secondary
has given up nine touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, but only
one over the last two weeks and no opposing wide receivers have
topped 78 receiving yards in a game since Week 3.
The return from injury for cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy
Williams shored up a weakness in the secondary, and the team has
played much better against the pass as of late. A matchup to watch
will be how well Smith-Schuster can create separation from Ward,
who has quickly become one of the better cover corners in the
Vance McDonald truthers who have held on to their tight end through
seven games of single-digit fantasy production may finally cash
in on Thursday Night. Delanie Walker, George Kittle, and Noah
Fant all posted massive games against Cleveland, a defense that
allows the 9th-most points to the position.
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: As a full participant in both practices
to start the week, James Conner projects to return to the field
after missing two games with a shoulder injury. His return will
be welcomed by both fantasy owners and Steelers fans, as the duo
of Trey Edmunds and Jaylen Samuels did not provide the same production
Conner offered up to this point in the season.
With an average of 13.9 fantasy points per game in seven games
this season, Conner ranks 10th in average points per game at the
position, just ahead of Mark Ingram, Leonard Fournette, Tevin
Coleman, and Alvin Kamara.
It would not surprise us to see head coach Mike Tomlin continue
to use Samuels along with Conner to ensure the latter does not
re-aggravate his shoulder injury. If active, Conner will be the
main guy, but Samuels will still have a role.
Game Thoughts: Baker Mayfield and the Browns entered
last week’s home matchup on life support after losing four
straight games, including a winnable game on the road two weeks
ago against the Broncos. A fifth-straight loss would have dropped
Cleveland to 2-7, all but killing any chance of making a run at
the wild card. Mayfield responded with his best game in over a
month, throwing for 238 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns.
He completed a season-high 68% of his passes and looked more comfortable
in the pocket and with his decision making.
Keeping the momentum going on a short week against a divisional
foe will be a challenge for Mayfield and the offense. The Steelers
rank in the middle of the pack in points allowed to quarterbacks,
but just limited Jared Goff to 243 yards and zero scores in a
17-12 win at Heinz Field.
Brian Hoyer proved with his three touchdown passes two weeks
ago that the Steelers can be beaten in the air. If Hoyer can put
up decent numbers, it is promising for Mayfield to be able to
deliver a similar performance.
Of the two high profile wide receives on the Browns, Jarvis Landry
has been the most productive over the past three weeks with 20
catches for 213 yards and a pair of scores. Odell Beckham Jr.,
on the other hand, has yet to score a touchdown since Week 2 and
continues to be a frustrated part of an offense with multiple
Kareem Hunt’s return to the field from suspension provided
a nice spark for the offense. Hunt led all running backs in the
game with seven catches for 44 yards on nine targets while adding
30 rushing yards on a just four carries.
The dynamic of Hunt as a pass catcher and outlet for Mayfield
is huge, especially going against a stout pass rushing team like
the Steelers. Pittsburgh trails only Carolina and San Francisco
in team sacks per game, and the matchups of TJ Watt and Bud Dupree
on the subpar tackles for the Browns are going to put a ton of
pressure on Mayfield. He will need to lean on Hunt a ton in the
passing game to mitigate the pressure, making Hunt a nice flex
option in PPR.
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: Nick Chubb owners who were concerned about
the activation of Kareem Hunt from the suspended list had their
worries squelched somewhat on Sunday against the Bills. Chubb
received the same 20 carries he has garnered in each of the last
five games, rushing for 116 yards. His pass-catching volume went
down to just two targets with Hunt taking over that role, but
the ground volume, at least for the first game with both players
active, stayed the same.
From a matchup standpoint, Hunt may very well finish with more
points this week than Chubb based on the fact that Pittsburgh
is one of the most difficult teams to run on this year. No opposing
running back has reached 100 yards rushing, and Steelers have
allowed just four rushing touchdowns all year.
The fact that it is much more challenging to run on Pittsburgh
than pass, and the likelihood that Mayfield will be under steady
pressure all night, leads me to believe that Hunt will be a favorite
option out of the backfield over Chubb.
There are no many injuries on the Steelers defense that would
be a concern or advantage for Browns skill position players for
fantasy purposes. Linebackers Anthony Chickillo and Olasunkanmi
Adeniyi were limited on Tuesday with rib and hip ailments, but
both are expected to be active.
Texans @ Ravens
- (Swanson) Line: BAL -4.0 Total: 51.0
Game Thoughts: The Sunday matchup between the Texans
and Ravens is an exciting showdown between the NFL’s top
two ranked fantasy quarterbacks in Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson.
The two young stars have taken the league by storm over the last
few seasons, providing a glimpse of just how potent a duel-threat
quarterback can be.
We have seen other dual-threat QBs in the past, but nothing like
what Watson and Jackson are doing in terms of elite passing stats
to go along with their rushing skills, and both players benefit
from playing in schemes and for coaches who make the most of each
Watson is completing his passes at a ridiculous 70% clip, with
2,432 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. He is on pace to set personal
bests in passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing touchdowns,
and completion percentage. Pretty impressive feats for a 24-year-old
quarterback who is going to get even better as he matures.
After a slow start to the season that included five consecutive
single-digit fantasy point games, DeAndre Hopkins, arguably the
best wide receiver in the NFL, is back to being an elite fantasy
WR with three games of at least 100 yards or a score in his last
three contests. Hopkins will see both Marcus Peters and Jimmy
Smith in coverage, with the former being more skilled in zone
and the latter in man coverage. Hopkins has had decent success
against the Ravens in the past, with 18 receptions for 223 yards
and no scores in three career games.
Outside of a three-touchdown game against Patrick Mahomes Week
3, the Ravens have been one of the best pass defenses in the league,
limiting their opponents to just one passing touchdown no more
than 250 passing yards. Both Tom Brady and Russell Wilson were
held to just one passing touchdown.
With Smith and Peters working well on limiting production from
outside wide receivers, it may be smart for Watson to lean even
more on his tight end tandem of Darren Fells and Jordan Atkins.
Fells is tied for the league lead with six receiving touchdowns
on the season with Austin Hooper, and could once again find the
end zone this week against Baltimore.
Baltimore’s defense enters the game relatively healthy,
with no starter listed on the injury report for missing practice.
Both safety Earl Thomas and Jimmy Smith missed practice on Wednesday
for veteran days off.
The Texans are also much healthier after the bye week. Left tackle
Laremy Tunsil was limited in practice with a shoulder injury,
and the oft-injured Will Fuller was a limited participant with
a hamstring ailment. Fuller’s return to the field would
be a big boost for the Texans as they have missed his field-stretching
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: When Brandon Williams in healthy and playing
in the middle of the Ravens defensive line, Baltimore is one of
the stingiest run defenses in the league. When he is out of the
game due to injury, the Ravens become somewhat of a sieve in the
middle of their defense and struggle to stop runs up the gut.
Outside of Nick Chubb’s three-touchdown, 165-yard performance
when Williams was on the shelf, teams have found little success
running the ball against Baltimore. Joe Mixon did rush for 114
yards on 30 carries last week in primarily garbage time, but before
that, no other opponent had topped 65 yards on the ground.
Houston ranks 18th in the league in fantasy points per game by
running backs. They rank fourth in the league in rushing yards
per game, behind only Baltimore, San Francisco, and Minnesota.
It will be tough sledding for Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson running
the ball on Sunday, but head coach Bill O’Brien will make
a concerted effort to stick to the run for two reasons. First,
it keeps the ball out of the hands of the potent Baltimore offense,
and second, it makes play action more effective against a talented
At 10.1 fantasy points per game in FFtoday.com standard scoring,
Carlos Hyde comes into Week 11 as the No.19th ranked running back,
tied with Le’Veon Bell and Sony Michel. He comes in on the
heels of a season-best 160 yard game against the Jags in London
back in Week 9.
Look for Hyde to get around 20 carries in this game. His yardage
total may be closer just 80 total yards, but his touchdown upside
makes him a nice low-end No.2 RB.
Duke Johnson may be someone to avoid in this game based on Baltimore’s
success in limiting pass catching running backs. The Ravens allow
the third-fewest catches to running backs and only one receiving
touchdown on the season.
Game Thoughts: It’s hard to come up with something
superlative to say about Lamar Jackson that has not already been
said. He is a cheat code. He does something in every game that
proves he is one of, if not the, most dynamic player in the NFL.
Owning Jackson is like owning two players in one, a top-tier
quarterback mixed with a top-24 running back. Anyone who has had
the pleasure to own him this year knows this, and they are likely
chomping at the bit to start him again this week against Houston.
Jackson is a must-start in any format. Against a team like the
Texans, who allow the 6th most points to opposing quarterbacks,
Jackson is a likely week winner and someone who will be heavily
started in DFS.
Fire up Jackson and Hollywood Brown, as the Texans struggle against
wide receivers who run them with speed. As has been the case most
of the season for teams playing the Ravens, the Texans will be
so preoccupied with stopping Jackson and the run that Brown will
sneak behind the secondary for a few big plays.
Brown did show up on the Thursday injury report with an ankle
injury, which is not a good sign this late in the week.
The one area in which the Texans have not struggled is stopping
tight ends. This may be more of a case of the fact that teams
have found a ton of success passing the ball to wide receivers
more so than the skill of the Houston linebackers and safeties
at covering tight ends. Outside of Eric Ebron’s 4/70/1 game
in Week 7, tight ends haven’t really done much against the
You are going to start Mark Andrews with the hope that he will
build upon his 6/53/2 monster game against the Bengals last week,
just don’t be shocked if the Ravens pivot to more production
from Brown and the wideouts.
Starting cornerback Bradley Roby is dealing with a hamstring
injury that has limited him in practice this week. Should he not
play, and already subpar secondary would take a big hit and boost
the skill position players of the Ravens even more.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
Running Game Thoughts: The Baltimore Ravens rank 10th in fantasy
points per game at the running back position. Mark Ingram ranks
11th in fantasy points per game, despite just 123 carries and
14 receptions on the year.
The nine-year veteran has yet to run the ball more than 19 times
in a game, with the Ravens coaching staff obviously looking to
limit his carries and keep him fresh. Although he is not getting
a tone of volume, the volume he is getting is some of the most
valuable in the NFL.
Ingram ranks 10th in red zone carries, and is tied with Nick
Chubb and Sony Michel for the league lead in carries inside the
five-yard line with 11.
The Texans present a decent challenge to Ingram, Jackson, and
Gus Edwards this week as the No. 24 ranked team against the run.
No running back has topped 100 yards against the Texans, and only
two running backs have reached pay dirt.
These numbers are a bit skewed based on the success teams have
had passing against Houston, forgoing the run for more effective
plays. The Texans have been rushed on a league-fewest 155 times
in nine games, which is 100 fewer rush attempts than the Giants
Falcons @ Panthers
- (Green) Line: CAR -5.5 Total: 50.5
Game Thoughts: Raise your hand if you saw that coming?
The 1-7 Falcons took it to the 7-1 Saints last week in the season's
most unexpected result. What made it even more surprising was
that Atlanta did it with defense and pounding the ball. While
that led to a win, it did no statistical favors for Matt Ryan,
who threw for 182 yards, 2 TDs and an interception, marking the
first time this season that Ryan failed to pass for more than
300 yards other than his injury-shortened Week 8 outing.
As you'd expect there was a trickledown effect to Julio Jones
and Calvin Ridley, who each caught three passes. Austin Hooper
(knee) led the way with four grabs but bowed out with an MCL injury
and won't play this week. That could mean more action for No.
3 receiver Russell Gage, who also had four grabs last Sunday.
Luke Stocker (knee) figures to step into Hooper's spot, but Stocker
has his own knee trouble and wouldn't be a fantasy factor even
if he suited up.
Carolina sits 11th in pass defense, allowing 226.8 yards per
game, though it's debatable how good the secondary is given their
deficiencies against the run that offer an enticing avenue of
attack. The Panthers should get a boost with the expected return
of James Bradberry, who sat out Week 10 with a groin injury. There's
a lot of uncertainty here as it relates to the Falcons passing
game and whether last week was an outlier or a new plan of attack.
We'll know more after Sunday.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: Hooper isn't the only Falcon who'll sit
in Week 11 as Devonta Freeman (foot) picked up a foot injury against
the Saints and is likely to miss a couple of games. With Ito Smith
(concussion) officially on IR with a concussion, the team will
turn to Brian Hill, who had 20 carries for 61 yards last week
and also scored a TD on a 10-yard grab. The third-year pro has
averaged 5.0 yards on 59 career totes, but much of that was in
He has a chance to make an immediate impact, though, against
a Panthers team that has had fewer answers against the run this
year. They currently sit 29th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed
(136.7 per game) and were battered by the Packers tandem of Aaron
Jones (93 yards, 3 TDs) and Jamaal Williams (63 yards) as Green
Bay averaged 6.0 yards per carry last Sunday.
Game Thoughts: Kyle Allen doesn't need to look over his
shoulder anymore this season with Cam Newton (foot) on IR, but
the second-year QB is undoubtedly playing for his future. He played
a solid game last Sunday, throwing for 307 yards in wintery conditions
at Lambeau Field despite being under constant pressure, but he
lost a fumble and was intercepted in the end zone; those were
critical plays in an eight-point loss. He's generally been steady,
but his numbers haven't cried out to fantasy owners.
Allen continues to develop chemistry with D.J. Moore, who put
up his second straight 100-plus-yard game in Week 10. The early
disconnect between the two has vanished, and Moore has now topped
70 yards receiving in four of five games. Sunday also saw Greg
Olsen's first impact performance since Week 3 as he grabbed eight
passes for 98 yards as Green Bay struggled with the veteran's
crossing routes. Curtis Samuel had just 35 yards receiving but
did catch Allen's lone TD pass.
Atlanta's Week 10 performance didn't just create confusion on
the offensive side as the turnstile defense suddenly stiffened
and held the Saints to three field goals. Did Dan Quinn uncover
something during the bye giving up defensive play-calling duties,
or was it just a last gasp from a team fired up to play its rival?
For the year, the Falcons have allowed 260.8 passing yards per
game (25th in the NFL); personally, I wouldn't attach too much
value to one game so don't shy away from any of Carolina's pass
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: By most players' standards, Christian McCaffrey
had a big game last Sunday, gaining 133 total yards and scoring
a touchdown. There weren't any explosive plays, however, as CMC
failed to have a gain of at least 20 yards in a game for just
the second time this year. He also got stuffed at the goal line
on the game's final play. McCaffrey topped 130 total yards in
both of his games against Atlanta last year, and their 20th-rated
run defense could be in for a long day.
Game Thoughts: Dak Prescott continues to make the Cowboys
silly for not locking him up to a long-term deal before this season,
with 2,777 passing yards and 18 touchdowns in nine games. The
fourth-year quarterback is on pace forest over 4,900 passing yards
and 32 passing touchdowns, while his completion percentage of
68 is his career-best.
Dak’s 27.4 fantasy points per game are third at the position
behind only Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson and are nearly six
points per game more than his previous high.
Although they are a disappointing 5-4 on the season, the Cowboys
offense ranks first in the league in average yards per game, and
fifth in rushing yards. The 27.9 points per game that the Cowboys
average ranks sixth in the league, yet their red zone efficiency
ranks in the middle of the pack at 17th overall. If Dak and the
skill position players on the Cowboys improve on their red zone
efficiency and become a top-10 team at that metric, the Cowboys
would be a top-3 scoring team this year.
Amari Cooper continues to impress since joining the Cowboys last
year via trade. The former Raider is ranked third in fantasy points
per game, just behind Mike Evans and Tyreek Hill. With double-digit
fantasy performances in seven of nine games this season, it appears
as though Cooper has moved beyond the narrative that he is a boom
or bust fantasy player.
After a lackluster start to the season, veteran Randall Cobb
continues to be an interesting low-end flex play with 16 combined
targets in his last two games, with 141 yards and a score on 12
From a matchup standpoint, things do not get a whole lot better
for Dak and the skill position players for the Cowboys playing
against a Lions team that gives up the 7th-most points to opposing
quarterbacks and the 10th-most to opposing wide receivers.
The Lions simply cannot stop anyone and have relied up to this
point on Matthew Stafford and the offense to keep them in games.
With Stafford likely out again with his back injury, the Jeff
Driskel-led pass offense will not be nearly as effective and could
end up giving the Cowboys a lopsided victory.
Predicting a game script can be difficult and fraught with pitfalls.
Yet in the case of this matchup, it is not hard to envision a
scenario in which Dak and the passing skill players are negatively
affected from a blowout win caused by Zeke and the running game
torching the leagues’ worst run defense, and the Lions failing
to do anything on offense against the Cowboys D.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8
Running Game Thoughts: Zeke owners who used a top-five pick this
season to grab the stud running back for the Cowboys may tell
you that he has been somewhat of a disappointment. With six touchdowns
and 788 rushing yards, and far fewer receiving yards and touchdowns
than this point last season, it is hard to argue that Zeke has
not quite lived up to his lofty expectations.
Although Zeke has just one game of less than 10 fantasy points,
he also has topped 20 points just twice, giving him a nice floor
of production but not the ceiling that many hoped he would bring.
Perhaps this is the week in which Zeke comes through with a monster
game, as the Lions give up more fantasy points to running backs
than any other team in the league.
Nine different backs in nine games have reached double digits
in fantasy points. Five players have scored at least 19 points,
and two players, Dalvin Cook of the Vikings and Josh Jacobs of
the Raiders, have posted over 120 rushing yards and two scores.
The Lions are a team that you can decimate between the tackles
and the Cowboys excel and running the ball behind their expensive
and talented offensive line. This is the breakout week for Zeke,
and even Tony Pollard may get enough action in reserve to garner
low end flex consideration in larger leagues.
Game Thoughts: Matthew Stafford’s start streak
of 136 consecutive regular-season games came to an end last week
as the veteran quarterback sat with small fractures in his back.
It was the second-longest active streak behind Philip Rivers of
Jeff Driskel started in Stafford’s place and played reasonably
well in a tough road matchup against the Bears. Driskel threw
for 269 yards, with one interception and one touchdown. The touchdown
came in garbage time on a broken play to Kenny Golladay, but it
was a nice sign for Golladay and Marvin Jones owners that Driskel
can at least push the ball downfield and make some plays with
Jones finished with five catches for 77 yards, while Golladay’s
late touchdown salvaged what at the time looked like a disappointing
Although Driskel and the Lions will have the benefit of playing
at home as opposed to playing in the elements at Soldier Field,
the Cowboys actually present a more difficult challenge to opposing
quarterbacks than the Bears. Only the 49ers, Pats, Broncos, and
Bills have given up fewer points to opposing quarterbacks.
Only one quarterback has managed to top 20 fantasy points this
season against the Dallas defense. It was not Aaron Rodgers, Carson
Wentz, or Kirk Cousins, but rather Sam Darnold in the Jets’
24-22 shocking upset of Dallas Week 6. Since then, no QB has topped
220 passing yards or two touchdowns.
The big-play ability of Golladay makes him a must-start, just
keep in mind that only one wide receiver has topped 100 yards
this season vs. Dallas and only four touchdowns have been scored
by wide receivers. The Lions cannot run the ball, Rod Marinelli
and Kris Richard are going to put pressure on Driskel to beat
them with the pass. This game could get ugly quick based on the
mismatches in strengths and weaknesses of the two teams, leaving
Golladay and Jones to make their hay in garbage time.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: The Lions do not have anything that resembles
a viable NFL caliber ground game, and only J.D. McKissic should
garner consideration for fantasy rosters this Sunday.
The lack of a ground game was somewhat hidden by the production
Stafford, Golladay, and Jones gave the team in the passing game.
But with Stafford likely out and Driskel under center, opposing
teams can stack the box and run blitz the heck out of the Lions
because the ground game is not there to keep teams honest.
With seven targets last week, McKissic proved yet again that
his receiving skills and volume in the passing game make him a
viable flex in full point PPR. Ty Johnson, the “early”
down back for the Lions has been a disappointment with 45 yards
rushing combined in his last two games.
Jaguars @ Colts
- (Green) Line: IND -3.0 Total: 44.0
Game Thoughts: Gardner Minshew picked the wrong time
to have a bad day. With Nick Foles set to return from a shoulder
injury after the bye, Minshew played like rubbish in merry olde
England with four turnovers as the Jags lost, 26-3, to the Texans.
That made a potentially tough decision much easier, and Foles
will be back under center in Week 11 after missing eight games.
Rust could certainly be an issue for Foles, who has had almost
no live reps with his teammates.
Given how little we've seen Foles in this offense, it's unclear
exactly what this group will look like. D.J. Chark has quieted
considerably after a hot start, averaging four catches, 52 yards
and 0.25 TDs over the last four games, and Dede Westbrook is expected
to return from his own shoulder/neck injury suffered in Week 8.
Chris Conley has seen 21 targets in the last three games, but
we'll see what his role is with everyone healthy.
Indianapolis is ninth in pass defense, allowing 223.2 yards per
game via the air, and has held their last two opponents—Ryan
Fitzpatrick (169) and Mason Rudolph (191)—under 200. Foles
offers a stiffer challenge than either of them, but I wouldn't
classify this as an advantageous matchup for the Jags even without
taking into account the uncertainty surrounding what a Foles-led
offense will be.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: Leonard Fournette had a season-low 11
rushing attempts for 40 yards in Week 9 as the Jaguars tried to
play catch up with Houston. Expect the team to recommit to their
bulldozer this week against a Colts squad allowing 104.3 rushing
yards per contest (15th in the NFL). For what it's worth, Fournette
accounted for 109 total yards and two TDs in his lone meeting
with the Colts last season, albeit with Blake Bortles at the helm.
Game Thoughts: Indianapolis had its own decision to make
last week: start an injured Jacoby Brissett (knee) or try to get
by Miami with journeyman Brian Hoyer. They went with Option B
and lost to the Dolphins. It's not quite panic time, but you can
bet this week's matchup with Jacksonville has taken on new urgency.
Brissett is expected to return to try and right the ship. He's
played well this season, throwing multiple scores in five of seven
full games, and he'll be needed on Sunday.
Indy could also use the return of T.Y. Hilton (calf), who hasn't
played since Oct. 27. It's unclear if their star wideout can answer
the bell, however, as Frank Reich says he'll be day-to-day heading
into Week 11. If he's active, Hilton should be in your lineup.
Zach Pascal has flashed in recent weeks, emerging as the de facto
No. 1 with Hilton out and, the team hopes, a reliable No. 2 receiver
when he returns. Pascal could be a WR3 if Hilton is out again
or a low-end flex if he's back. Parris Campbell (hand) remains
out, but Devin Funchess (clavicle) is back at practice and could
return from IR shortly.
As expected, the Colts featured their tight ends last week as
Eric Erbon (5-56-0 on 12 targets) and Jack Doyle (3-44-1 on four)
led the team in receiving. Like Pascal, their viability as fantasy
options ebbs and flows with Hilton's status. Of the two, I prefer
Ebron, who saw three times as many targets, but both carry statistical
Jacksonville ranks 13th against the pass (229.8 yards per game),
but they might be paper, uh, jaguars, having faced a collection
of backups (Kyle Allen, Teddy Bridgewater) and guys that lost
their job (Marcus Mariota, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton).
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: Marlon Mack is the Colts running game.
He has 178 carries this season while backups Jordan Wilkins and
Nyheim Hines have combined for 49. Mack (19 carries, 74 yards
in Week 10) had his two worst games of 2018 against the Jaguars,
who held him to 27 and 29 yards, respectively, in the two meetings.
He might find the going easier in Week 11; J-Ville sits 22nd in
run defense (120.2 yards per game) and had no answers for Carlos
Hyde (19-160) in London.
Bills at Dolphins
- (Katz) Line: BUF -6.0 Total: 40.5
Game Thoughts: Josh Allen has been the quintessential
quarterback streaming option to the point where the teams picking
him up tend to hang onto him. Allen hasn’t had much of a
ceiling, but he’s had a remarkably sustainable floor, finishing
below QB13 just three times in nine games. Allen was a low end
QB1 against the Dolphins last time and it is fair to project a
similar performance in this game. If anything, the game being
in Miami should help him as it should be a bit more competitive,
requiring him to do a little more than last time.
The top target will remain John Brown, who is coming off an 11
target game. Brown hasn’t scored in three games, but he’s
still managed to be about a WR3 in all three contests. Brown has
a great opportunity to burn a weak Dolphins’ secondary deep.
Allen’s safety blanket will remain Cole Beasley, who has
finished as a WR3/4 in almost every game this season. Beasley
has absolutely no ceiling, but with just one game below 9.0 fantasy
points, Beasley is a safe, bye week filler. The Dolphins allow
11.2 fantasy points per game to slot receivers, where Beasley
finds himself 68% of the time. TE Dawson Knox saw his snap count
drop, but his routes run rise. It is difficult to know what to
make of this. Given that last week’s four receptions were
his season high, I have a difficult time recommending Knox as
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Running Game Thoughts: Devin Singletary has taken over the Bills’
backfield. He’s played about 70% of the snaps over the past
three weeks. His RB29 finish was a disappointment last week, but
he is in a prime spot to bounce back against a Dolphins defense
allowing the fifth most fantasy points to running backs. The only
concern is potential game script. The Bills are touchdown favorites
on the road and Singletary operates as their pass catching back.
If the Bills maintain a steady lead, we could see more of Frank
Gore than anyone should in the year 2019. Gore belongs on waiver
wires at this point with his snap share hovering around 30%.
Game Thoughts: For perhaps the first time in his career,
Ryan Fitzpatrick actually has job security. There is nothing he
could do to get benched for definitive bust, Josh Rosen. Fitzpatrick’s
gunslinger nature keeps him in the streamer conversation because
of his willingness to push the ball downfield, but the Bills are
an elite pass defense. They’ve allowed just seven passing
touchdowns this season and are one of three teams that allow fewer
than 200 yards passing per game.
Not having Preston Williams anymore hurts, but DeVante Parker
has sneakily put up double digit fantasy points in six straight
games. He has been a reliable WR3 with WR2 upside. Even against
a Bills defense allowing 10.9 fantasy points per game to opposing
WR1s, Parker is a viable option in a week with many players on
bye. Beyond Parker, the only consideration from this passing attack
would be Mike Gesicki. He was the TE5 against the Jets, but otherwise
has been useless. The Bills allow 4.9 fantasy points per game
to opposing TE1s. Don’t start Gesicki.
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: I always preach that situation + opportunity
> talent. Kalen Ballage has the opportunity without the situation.
That is sometimes enough, except when the talent is so lacking
that Ballage could command a 75% snap share on a top five offense
and still not produce. He managed 8.5 fantasy points last week
on an 88% snap share with 24 touches. The way to beat the Bills
is on the ground, but Ballage has no hope of doing so. It remains
to be seen if the Dolphins will push Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin,
or De’Lance Turner. Unless we see a move away from Ballage,
continue to ignore this backfield.
Broncos @ Vikings
- (Swanson) Line: MIN -10.5 Total: 39.5
Game Thoughts: An injury Joe Flacco propelled Brandon
Allen to the starting quarterback role for the Broncos when Denver
hosted the Browns before the bye in Week 9. Although all threw
the ball only 20 times in the game, the former Arkansas Razorback
posted a respectful line for 193/2. To show you just how poorly
Joe Flacco had been playing prior to his injury, the 19 points
scored by Allen in his first career start was the second-most
points scored by a Bronco quarterback this year.
It’s a feel-good story for Allen, who is on his third team
since the Jags selected him in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL draft.
It is fun to cheer for the underdog, especially a guy like Allen,
who put in so much time before earning his first game action.
Allen faces a much harder task this week against Mike Zimmer’s
defense in Minnesota. While not the same dominant defense as in
year’s past, the Vikings rank 19th in points allowed to
opposing quarterbacks. Dak Prescott and Matthew Stafford lit up
for Vikings on the road with 31 and 34 fantasy points respectively,
and Carson Wentz managed 300 yards and a pair of scores when the
Eagles made the trip up to US Bank Stadium in Week 6.
While those performances give hope to Allen playing well and
providing the skill position players like Courtland Sutton and
DaeSean Hamilton fantasy decent fantasy value, those QBs mentioned
are seasoned vets. Allen will be put to the task with exotic blitz
schemes and sneaky safety play around the line of scrimmage by
One of the biggest issues for Allen is going to be the play of
his much-maligned offensive line against the defensive front of
Daniel Hunter and Everson Griffen. Garrett Boles has been dreadful,
and when he is not getting hit with a holding penalty, he is giving
up sacks at a high rate. Ja’Waun James has been a little
better, but he too with have his hands full with Griffen and Hunter.
Noah Fant owners who held onto the rookie tight end over the
break are likely asking themselves whether or not he is a good
start this week. The Vikings have yet to allow a touchdown to
a tight end, but they rank in the middle of the pack in yards
allowed to the position.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: The Broncos are a team built to be a run-first
offense. They will look to run the ball against the Vikings and
keep the Vikings pass rush in check with counters and screen plays.
A plan on running the ball sounds great on paper, but negative
game scripts and a tough defense like the Vikings can quickly
force a team to pass more than they would like.
Minnesota allows the fourth-fewest points to opposing running
backs and the second-fewest rushing touchdowns in the league.
Some teams have found success throwing the ball to running backs,
as evident to the three receiving touchdowns allowed by Minnesota.
When focused on stopping the run, like they did last week against
the Cowboys (Zeke had a season-low 47 yards on 20 carries), the
Vikings can be a formidable front. I anticipate they will sell
out to stop the run in favor of facing Allen to beat them in the
For this reason, it is hard to view either Royce Freeman or Phillip
Lindsay as anything other than low-end No.2 RBs and flex plays
in what could be an ugly, lopsided loss for the Broncos.
Game Thoughts: Over the past five games, Kirk Cousins
has been the No.8 ranked fantasy quarterback. With at least three
passing touchdowns in three for his last five, including a four-touchdown,
338-yard massive game against Detroit, Cousins shook off a rough
start and has quietly been a serviceable starter.
His value as a starter will be put to the test this week against
the Broncos, and with another week without his favorite target,
The Broncos allow the third-fewest points per game to the quarterback
position, behind only the 49res and the Patriots. With only seven
passing touchdowns allowed and zero rushing touchdowns by a QB,
Vic Fangio has the Broncos defense playing well despite their
poor overall record.
Denver has allowed just two passing touchdowns on the road this
year, and not opposing quarterback has topped 300 yards. This
is partly because Denver has a solid secondary and pass rush,
but also because they stink at stopping the run, and teams have
found it much easier to beat them on the ground than in the air.
As a run-first team with a potent defense, the Vikings may follow
this formula and make Cousins and the passing game skill position
players somewhat nominal in the game. Why risk a turnover when
you can run it with ease between the tackles with Dalvin Cook?
Also, the game script projects to the Vikings having their way
against Brandon Allen, who could lead to defensive scores and
less of a need for Cousins to throw the ball.
You are likely going to start Stephon Diggs, but he will be masked
by Chris Harris, which makes him far less of an attractive start.
The lack of Thielen opposite of Diggs could make this an Irv
Smith and Kyle Rudolph game. Denver has allowed only one receiving
touchdown to tight ends, but Darren Waller, Jack Doyle, and Travis
Kelce all had ok games against Denver.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: After a rough start to the season that
included 225 rushing yards by Leonard Fournette, the Broncos have
done a much better job stopping the run. Melvin Gordon and Austin
Ekeler could not muster much on the ground, LeSean McCoy posted
64 yards, and Nick Chubb had one of this worst days with 65 yards
on 20 carries and no touchdowns.
Whatever was causing the Broncos to leak water in the ground
game has been fixed. Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are hoping
to find some new holes in the defense and benefit from a likely
favorable running game script.
Cook dropped a ho-hum 183 total yard and a score last week against
the Cowboys. It was the seventh game out of ten in which Cook
has topped 20 fantasy points, and the second time he topped 80
Denver will do their best to stop him, but even against decent
run defenses, Cook has been solid and turned out to be a must-start.
On the injury front, starting right cornerback Bryce Callahan
missed practice on Wednesday with a foot injury. The injury appears
to be serious and could land him on IR. There are no injuries
of note to the defensive line or linebacking corps that would
have a bearing on the effectiveness of the Vikings run game.
Saints @ Buccaneers
- (Green) Line: NO -6.0 Total: 50.5
Game Thoughts: With Drew Brees healthy, several players
returning from injury, two weeks to rest and a woefully inept
defense coming into town, obviously the Saints racked up the points
in Week 10 against Atlanta... or not. In perhaps the most surprising
outcome of 2019, the Saints scored just nine points against a
team that had allowed at least 20 in its first eight games. It
was a brutal performance.
Brees, in his second start following his thumb injury, completed
32 of 45 passes for 287 yards but generated no TDs. Michael Thomas
(13-152) was his usual dominant self, but fellow wideouts Tre'Quan
Smith (1-13) and Ted Ginn (0-0) were invisible. One bright spot
was Jared Cook (6-74), who had easily his best game with Brees
at the helm. With several TEs dealing with injuries, Cook becomes
a no-doubt TE1; Thomas, who hit the Bucs for an 11-182-2 day back
in Week 5, remains a must-start, whereas Smith and Ginn have zero
fantasy value right now.
Tampa Bay allowed Teddy Bridgewater to throw for 314 yards in
that Week 5 loss, and they currently sit last in the NFL in passing
yardage allowed per game (298.9 yards) -- and that was before
they cut former first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves and ruled out
M.J. Stewart (knee). Then again, if you're already at the bottom
there's only way to go... right? A pissed-off Saints team could
test that theory.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: Alvin Kamara accounted for 74 total yards
in his return while Latavius Murray managed just 19. You can chalk
at least part of that to a gameplan that looked to have gotten
away from Sean Payton, who called 52 passing plays to 11 runs
in what was a four-point game entering the fourth quarter. Usually
in cases like that a coach will overcompensate in the opposite
direction, but I'm skeptical that'll be the case in this situation.
That's because the Bucs rank first in rush defense (77.8 yards
per game). In Week 5, the Saints ran 31 times for 112 yards, but
that was with Bridgewater. This week it makes sense to attack
a vulnerable secondary, though don't bet on Payton calling 83
percent passing plays again.
Game Thoughts: Jameis Winston threw for 358 yards last
Sunday -- his fourth straight game of 300-plus yards passing --
and overcame two more interceptions (that gives him 14 this season)
to break a four-game losing streak against Arizona. After nine
games, it's hard to pinpoint any real change that Bruce Arians
has made with Winston, who still holds no regard for protecting
the football. In the first meeting between these two teams, Winston
passed for 204 yards and two TDs, much of that in garbage time.
Without question the most interesting matchup this week was going
to be Mike Evans against Marshon Lattimore; in Round 1, Lattimore
kept Evans off the stat sheet, which was the starting point of
Evans' scorched Earth act that has seen him compile 556 yards
in his last four games. Unfortunately, Lattimore suffered a hamstring
injury against the Falcons and seems unlikely to suit up. Advantage:
With Evans running wild, Chris Godwin has returned to mortal
status, failing to top 100 yards in three straight games after
doing so in four of his first six -- that includes a 125-yard,
2-TD performance against the Saints. O.J. Howard returned last
week and, to the shock of everyone, was targeted a season-high
seven times and scored his first TD. I'm not ready to proclaim
the juice to be loose just yet, but it's encouraging.
New Orleans is 10th against the pass this year (225.8 yards allowed
per game) and really shut down the Bucs in their first meeting
until a final, meaningless drive. The absence of Lattimore would
be a big blow, but I think we'll see an inspired Saints defense
Sunday after they got embarrassed by Atlanta.
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: In the first game after Arians announced
Ronald Jones as the starter he had 18 touches, 106 yards and a
score; Peyton Barber, meanwhile, tallied a dozen touches for 47
yards and a TD. It probably wasn't as big of a divide as fantasy
owners hoped for, but at least Jones reaffirmed he's the more
productive of the two. The Saints held both in check last time,
and their fifth-ranked run defense could cause them more problems
Jets at Redskins
- (Katz) Line: WAS -1.5 Total: 38.0
Game Thoughts: Sam Darnold came through last week as
a viable streamer with an overall QB7 performance against a terrible
Giants defense. This week, he gets a sneaky solid Redskins pass
defense that allows the 17th most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
The Redskins give up 230 passing yards per game and have allowed
just 15 touchdown passes this season.
Robby Anderson belongs nowhere near fantasy lineups. He’s
finished higher than WR40 just once this season and has a combined
13 targets over his past three games. Jamison Crowder is coming
off consecutive WR1 performances due to finding the end zone in
each contest. There is concern with the Redskins allowing just
9.8 fantasy points per game to the slot, which is where Crowder
lines up 68.5% of the time, but Crowder’s target share over
the past two weeks is enough to keep him in fantasy lineups. TE
Ryan Griffin is also on the streaming radar even after seeing
just one target as Chris Herndon is now on IR.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: Le’Veon Bell has been taking advantage
of the softer matchups with consecutive RB1 outings. Bell does
not have anywhere near the ceiling he did back in Pittsburgh,
but the Redskins allow the seventh most fantasy points to running
backs and game script should not get away from the Jets in this
one as less than a field goal underdogs. Regardless, you are never
Game Thoughts: Jay Gruden finally came to his senses
and announced Dwayne Haskins as the starter for the remainder
of the season. That’s the right move for the organization,
but bad news for fantasy gamers. Haskins certainly has a ceiling,
but he is nowhere near ready to be a starting quarterback. In
1.5 games with Haskins, Terry McLaurin has finished as the WR56
and WR49. The Jets have been torched by outside receivers, allowing
19.2 fantasy points per game to opposing WR1s, but Haskins has
shown no ability to make anyone fantasy viable. Paul Richardson,
Trey Quinn, and whoever plays tight end for the Redskins are way
off the fantasy radar. If you have McLaurin you’ll likely
start him this week, but it’s hard to imagine you ever feeling
confident in him.
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: There hasn’t been much information
on Derrius Guice’s status, but he appears ready to return
this week. How much burn he gets in his first game back is anyone’s
guess. Adrian Peterson has been surprisingly effective, ranking
11th in yards created per carry, which is not something anyone
expected from a guy pushing 35 years old. The most likely scenario
is Guice takes over this backfield once he is ready for a full
workload. For this week, it means Guice will do enough to sap
AP’s value, but not enough to be valuable on his own.
The Jets have allowed 10 rushing scores, but they are actually
quite stingy against the run. They held Saquon Barkley to one
yard on 13 carries last week and allow 3.0 yards per carry and
81.9 yards per game, first and second in the league, respectively.
In what should be a low scoring game featuring two bad offenses,
I would avoid Peterson and Guice.
*Note: Peterson has notoriously played through injuries, but
he did not practice on Thursday. If he doesn’t play, Guice
becomes a flex option on projected volume alone.
Cardinals @ 49ers
- (Caron) Line: SF -11.0 Total: 46.0
Game Thoughts: With five passing touchdowns and continued
success as a runner, Kyler Murray is quickly shooting up the fantasy
football rest-of-season rankings. He does have a tough matchup
here in Week 11, though, as he faces a San Francisco defense that
has conceded the leagues fewest fantasy points per game to opposing
quarterbacks so far this season. Of course, Murray did find some
success against them just two weeks ago when these teams met and
he threw for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns while also rushing
for 34 yards, but that was also at home. It’s a much different
beast to go on the road and face a team that’s as good as
the 49ers seem to be this season. Still, Murray is worthy of being
in the conversation as a low-end QB1 this week, although there’s
a fair chance that you have another quarterback rostered who might
be a better option than Murray in this tough matchup.
In regards to receivers, however, there’s a lot more concern.
Christian Kirk just had a true breakout, week-winning performance
with six catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns against the
Buccaneers, but that was just one week after being held to two
catches for eight yards by the very same 49ers defense that he
faces this week. The 49ers have been excellent against opposing
slot receivers and that’s an obvious concern for fantasy
owners of Kirk and Fitzgerald. Fitz hasn’t had the target
numbers nor the production to justify being in fantasy lineups
in anything but the deepest of leagues at the moment, but Kirk
can probably still be flexed right now as he might have earned
himself a higher target share with his monstrous performance this
Andy Isabella is the other receiver who we’re keeping an
eye on in Arizona but he isn’t a serious option in seasonal
leagues. You could consider throwing him in your lineup as a cheap
DFS option but don’t be surprised if he turns in a goose
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Running Game Thoughts: The Arizona backfield was once David Johnson’s
without question but things may very well be changing now that
Kenyan Drake has arrived. Johnson is still banged up so it’s
unlikely that he’s suddenly going to get a full workload
so the best case scenario is that he’s in about a 50/50
split this week against an excellent San Francisco defense. We
know that he’s a high-end talent if he’s healthy so
you might be able to make a case to Flex him into your lineup
in deep leagues, but if there’s a week to bench him, this
is certainly it.
Meanwhile, Drake is actually a viable Flex option given that Chase
Edmonds is looking increasingly likely to miss another game. Drake
has been out-performing Johnson both as a runner and as a receiver
and while a lot of that has to do with Johnson’s health
which is seemingly improving by the day, Drake is still the better
fantasy option. Feel free to Flex him in your lineup in PPR formats,
but it’s probably wise to bench him in standard leagues.
Game Thoughts: Jimmy Garoppolo completed just over half
of his passes this past Monday night in the 49ers’ first
loss of the season to the Seahawks. Garoppolo wasn’t particularly
terrible in the performance and he certainly wasn’t the
reason why they lost, but he also wasn’t a huge difference-maker
for the offense. Part of that is likely because he was missing
his top two targets, Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle, who he
will almost certainly be without again here in Week 11.
Fortunately, rookie Deebo Samuel stepped up in a huge way, catching
a career-high eight passes for 112 yards in the loss to Seattle.
Samuel has been the No. 2 receiver in this offense for most of
the season but he looks poised to step up and become a top option
for Garoppolo and more importantly a trustworthy option for your
fantasy team. He’s still more of a Flex option than he is
a WR2 given that we haven’t seen sustained production, but
if you’re in a tough spot, this is a great week to give
him a shot against an Arizona defense that gave up three touchdowns
to 49ers wide receivers in Week 9.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Running Game Thoughts: With Matt Breida looking likely to be out,
Tevin Coleman should immediately be shooting up fantasy rankings
this week into becoming a borderline RB1. Yes, San Francisco has
split touches out of their backfield even when Breida and Coleman
have been injured, but Coleman is still a strong play given his
goal line usage.
Raheem Mostert also comes into play if Breida is out. Mostert
has shown that he can shoulder a full workload by himself and
while that almost certainly won’t happen, he’s still
a good bet to touch the ball 10 or more times in this game. If
he gets to that number, there’s a fair chance that he produces
good enough numbers to be a Flex option against this terrible
Of course, we might all get Jeff Wilson’d, but it’s
worth a shot. Play Coleman with confidence and give Mostert a
chance if you’re facing desperate times.
Bengals @ Raiders
- (Caron) Line: OAK -10.5 Total: 48.5
Game Thoughts: Ryan Finley’s first start wasn’t
great, but it also wasn’t a complete disaster as he threw
for 167 yards and a touchdown with one interception against a
good Ravens secondary. Most importantly, Finley seemed to consolidate
his targets primarily to three pass catchers - Tyler Boyd, Auden
Tate and Tyler Eifert.
It was Eifert who got the touchdown but his overall production
shouldn’t give us much confidence even against a beatable
Oakland defense. The Bengals just aren’t a good enough offense
to get into the red zone with enough regularity which limits his
touchdown potential. Tate could be considered a very low-end PPR
Flex option if you’re in desperation but the only Bengals
receiver who we should really be looking at is Boyd. Boyd caught
six of the eight passes that came his way against the Ravens which
is about in line with what he was seeing when Andy Dalton was
behind center. That’s great news as the Bengals will likely
trust Finley to throw the ball more and more as he gets more experience
and Boyd will almost certainly be the primary beneficiary of the
increase in pass attempts.
Don’t bother with A.J. Green or Alex Erickson if they’re
even active this week. The offense just isn’t high volume
enough to trust players who are hampered by injury.
OAK FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
OAK FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
OAK FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
OAK FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Running Game Thoughts: It’s been a horribly unproductive
2019 season for Joe Mixon, but he finally got things going this
past week in what was one of the more difficult matchups he’s
faced this season against the Ravens. Mixon carried the ball 30
times - 11 more than he has in any other game this season - and
earned his first 100-yard rushing day of the season. It wasn’t
particularly efficient, but what matters is that the team made
it a point to get him the ball early and often even in a game
that they lost by multiple touchdowns. That’s terrible news
for Bengals fans, but it’s great news for Mixon’s
fantasy owners who now have hope that their tailback may continue
to get touches even when they’re getting humiliated on the
The Raiders will almost certainly be up in this one, so there’s
always a concern that Mixon will again fall back to seeing more
like 12 to 18 touches or so, but the upside is there for another
25-plus touch day for Mixon. If he reaches that number, he’s
a strong RB2 at worst. Even if he doesn’t, however, he’s
active enough overall to still sustain low-end RB2 numbers in
Game Thoughts: Derek Carr isn’t considered a strong
QB1 most weeks, but a beautiful home matchup against the pathetic
Bengals makes that ranking very realistic this week. Carr has
only thrown for more than two touchdowns in one game this season
and he’s yet to hit the 300-yard mark, but there’s
a realistic chance that he could do one or even both of those
things this week. The Bengals have given up the fourth-most fantasy
points to opposing quarterbacks season and they’ve only
intercepted three passes all season. Carr is a safe floor option
who does have a decent ceiling as well in this matchup.
From a receiver standpoint, we’re still only really looking
at two players - wide receiver Tyrell Williams and tight end Darren
Waller. Williams has struggled over the past two weeks as he hasn’t
scored in either game or exceeded 50 receiving yards, but this
matchup makes him a low-end WR2 given that he’s still a
great threat in the red zone, which Oakland should be in plenty
often in this contest.
Waller, meanwhile, remains one of the strongest tight ends on
the entire board. The position as a whole has been completely
decimated by injuries and byes here in Week 11 so Waller is an
elite option at the position. There’s a case to be made
for him being as high as the TE2 overall this week against a Bengals
defense that gave up 151 yards and two touchdowns to the Ravens
tight ends this past week.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: The top running back selected
in the 2019 NFL Draft, Josh Jacobs has truly shown up for fantasy
owners this season and has finally elevated himself into being
a top five option at the position in good matchups like the one
he’ll face here in Week 11 against the Bengals.
Jacobs has carried the ball at least 15 times in all but two games
this season and he’s becoming more involved in the passing
game, so there’s not only upside that he just punishes the
awful Bengals on the ground, but he might also make things happen
in the passing game while the Raiders build their lead in this
The Bengals have given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game
to opposing running backs this season, including 12 total touchdowns
to the position this season. Jacobs is one of the strongest bets
of any back to get into the end zone this week so make sure he’s
in your lineup.
Patriots at Eagles
- (Katz) Line: NE -3.5 Total: 44.5
Game Thoughts: Tom Brady, much like Aaron Rodgers, is
nothing more than a matchup based option. It is important to look
past the name and realize that both Brady and Rodgers are borderline
QB1s in the right situations. Fortunately, this week is one of
those right situations. It is a perfect confluence of the Eagles
being excellent against the run and terrible against the pass.
The Eagles have been torched by every good quarterback they’ve
faced and Case Keneum. The only reason they’ve only allowed
16 passing touchdowns, when you would think it’d be more,
is because of the performances of Luke Falk, Josh Allen, and Mitch
Trubisky. Bill Belichick is known for completely altering his
scheme week to week based on matchup and I am certain he knows
the way to attack the Eagles is through the air.
The Eagles allow over 16 fantasy points per game to opposing
WR1s and WR2s, making Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu strong plays
this week. Another sneaky good option could be Phillip Dorsett.
Despite his lackluster performance before the bye, Dorsett still
played on 99% of the offensive snaps. He is on the field and he
is running routes against a team he can burn deep. Ben Watson
is the only guy not on the fantasy radar.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: We will see very little Sony Michel and
a lot of James White. Sure, Michel is always a bet to fall into
the end zone and the Eagles have allowed nine rushing scores,
which is more a product of teams being easily able to pass into
the red zone and then punching it in on the ground. If Michel
doesn’t score, he’s useless. With just a 40.6% snap
share on the season and an opponent allowing just 87.3 rushing
yards per game, expect more White and Rex Burkhead than Michel
this week. White has been the epitome of consistency this season,
finishing as an RB2 every game. It would not surprise me if this
ends up being White’s best game of the season as the Patriots
go very pass heavy. White could push double digit targets.
Game Thoughts: Lamar Jackson proved that the vaunted
Patriots’ defense can be beaten. However, Jackson is an
elite QB1. Carson Wentz is nothing more than a streamer rostered
in far too many leagues because he is perceived to be better than
he is. Wentz has just three QB1 performances on the season and
none higher than the overall QB7.
Coming out of the bye, Alshon Jeffery still isn’t practicing,
which does not bode well for his chances of playing this weekend.
If Jeffery is out, we are back to the 2018 Eagles where every
pass goes to Zach Ertz. Expect the Eagles to utilize Ertz along
with Dallas Goedert while Nelson Agholor operates as their primary
receiver. I guess it’s worth mentioning that they re-signed
Jordan Matthews and since he does know the playbook already, he
could immediately step into a relevant role, but that’s
more of a factor weighing against Agholor than an endorsement
of JMatt. The Patriots’ fantasy points allowed numbers just
aren’t important given how easy their schedule has been.
If you have Ertz, you’re starting him. Goedert is a worthy
streamer. Everyone else is a hope and a prayer.
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: If there is any way to crack the Patriots,
it’s on the ground. We last saw them giving up 115 yards
to Mark Ingram on just 15 carries. Jordan Howard is like an Ingram
clone – a straight line power runner that takes what his
blockers give him. If the Eagles can keep this a game, which the
field goal point spread suggests they can, Doug Pederson will
keep Howard out there as much as possible. If the game gets out
of hand a bit, that’s when we see more of Miles Sanders
as the primary pass catching back. Even though negative game script
is beneficial for Sanders’ snaps, he’s seen exactly
three targets in four consecutive games. Sanders has played more
than 50% of the snaps just twice this season – Week 1 when
the Eagles had to make a furious comeback against the Redskins
and Week 7 when they got smashed by the Cowboys. In competitive
games, Pederson elects to go with Howard. I believe this game
will be more competitive than not and Sanders will hover around
the 30% mark, making him a very risky play. Howard will touch
the ball at least 10 times and the Patriots allow 4.7 yards per
carry. If he can find the end zone, he will be a useful fantasy
Game Thoughts: The 2019 season has mostly been a disaster
for Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears passing game this season,
but the young QB did produce some decent fantasy numbers this
past week as he threw for three touchdowns against a bad Detroit
Trubisky’s three scores tied a season-high, but don’t
get too overzealous - he was still held to fewer than 200 passing
yards for the second-straight game and he hasn’t hit 260
passing yards in any contest. Add to that the fact that his rushing
production has all but completely evaporated this season after
being pretty decent early in his career and it’s easy to
see why Trubisky is one of the least-valuable fantasy quarterbacks
in the league right now.
The Bears passing game as a whole is just embarrassingly bad so
it’s no surprise that only one receiver is producing with
any sort of consistency, and that receiver has continued to be
Allen Robinson. Robinson has caught at least four passes in all
but one game for the Bears this season and he’s hit at least
75 receiving yards in five of his nine games. He’s only
scored three touchdowns so there may also be some positive touchdown
regression coming his way. A matchup against the Rams and Jalen
Ramsey isn’t ideal, but Robinson sees enough targets to
be a strong Flex play or a low-end WR2 this week.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: Rookie running back David Montgomery has
had a rollercoaster season including a hugely disappointing performance
this past week against a terrible Detroit run defense in Week
10. Montgomery continues to see a very heavy rushing share workload,
however, so there’s plenty to be optimistic about regarding
his future outlook. Unfortunately, Montgomery showed up on the
Bears’ Week 11 injury report after he “lightly”
rolled his ankle, according to head coach Matt Nagy, and while
he missed practice on Thursday, he is expected to be on the field
this weekend for the Bears.
Montgomery is one of the few non-elite-level fantasy backs who’s
seeing this heavy of a workload so he’s a decent enough
RB2 in just about any matchup. Still, he does have a difficult
opponent this week as he’ll be up against a Rams defense
that held the Steelers’ backs to just 41 rushing yards on
24 carries a week ago. They’ve only given up one rushing
touchdown (Tevin Coleman) and one 100-yard rusher (Chris Carson)
since Week 5.
If Montgomery is for some reason unable to go, the Chicago backfield
becomes extremely confusing. Certainly Tarik Cohen would see an
uptick in touches, but the team has been hesitant to give him
anything even close to resembling a heavy rushing workload this
season. Still, no other back on the roster is even seeing the
field right now other than Cohen and Montgomery so it’d
be hard to believe that someone other than Cohen would see significant
touches in Montgomery’s absence. Cohen would instantly become
a strong RB2, particularly in PPR formats, and he might even be
a potential PPR Flex option if Montgomery does play depending
on how banged up he really is.
Game Thoughts: The struggles continue for the Rams offense,
more specifically quarterback Jared Goff. Goff failed to throw
a touchdown this past week in the Rams’ disappointing road
loss to the Steelers and he has now failed to throw for multiple
touchdowns in five of the Rams’ nine games. He hasn’t
thrown three or more touchdowns in a single game and he has only
hit the 300-yard mark in three contests. Needless to say, he’s
been a mediocre fantasy option most weeks and that’s hurt
the fantasy value of his pass catchers as a whole.
The only one who’s been consistently good has been wide
receiver Cooper Kupp, but he was shockingly held to zero catches
on just four targets against the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s
pass defense has been dramatically improved since they added Minkah
Fitzpatrick via trade, but even that doesn’t excuse a complete
zero on the scoreboard from one of the league’s top fantasy
receivers up this point. We have to believe that this was more
of a fluke than a trend, but it goes to show that no player in
this offense is completely without risk. Kupp is back in the WR1
range this week against the Bears.
The other wide receivers we’re looking at in Los Angeles
are Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds. Woods turned in his best fantasy
performance since Week 4 this past week when he caught seven passes
for 95 yards. He still hasn’t scored yet this season so
he’s kind of “due” for a score if he can continue
this type of yardage output, but understand that the Rams offense
as a whole is struggling right now and that’s likely to
continue to mean fewer red zone opportunities than in years past.
Woods is more of a WR3 or Flex option for the time being. Reynolds
has seen 13 targets over his past two games and while he hasn’t
been wildly productive, the opportunity is still there for him
to produce low-end Flex numbers if you’re in a deep league.
Tight end Gerald Everett should continue to be looked at as a
starter for fantasy and this is a sneaky good matchup against
a Bears defense that has not been great against opposing tight
ends this season. They’ve given up the seventh-most fantasy
points to opposing tight ends and Everett has been targeted 10
or more times in three of his past five games. He’s a bit
banged up right now but the belief is that he’ll be able
to suit up on Sunday and he’s a solid TE1 this week.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: Todd Gurley’s usage has practically
completely evaporated in the Rams passing game and when he’s
only seeing between 10 to 15 carries most weeks, that’s
simply not enough work to be a fantasy RB1 any longer. Gurley
hasn’t been a complete disaster this season because he’s
been scoring touchdowns at a relatively high pace, but he’s
a few unlucky breaks away from being almost irrelevant from a
fantasy standpoint. He’s barely holding on to RB2 status
in PPR leagues as it is and it could get worse this week as he
faces a Bears defense that is giving up fewer than 90 rushing
yards per game and only two rushing touchdowns over their past
three contests. Thankfully the Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown
concerns seem to be at least temporarily forgotten, but Gurley
has essentially become a touchdown-or-bust option at this point.
Against a pretty good Chicago defense, the opportunity for touchdowns
simply isn’t great. Gurley is a low-end RB2 this week.
Game Thoughts: Let’s be honest - you’re not
benching Patrick Mahomes in any matchup, but he does have what
should be one of the more difficult matchups on his schedule this
week against the Chargers. Nevertheless, Mahomes is an elite option
in any matchup given his high-end upside.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill continues to be a high-end WR1 as he’s
now scored four of his five games since coming back from injury,
including back-to-back 100-yard games against over his past two
contests. That includes matchups against relatively strong Minnesota
and Tennessee defenses. He does have to face one of the league’s
top coverage corners in Casey Hayward this week so his floor isn’t
particularly great, but he’s always one of the highest-ceiling
players on the board.
Sammy Watkins would be the one other wide receiver who could sneak
into lineups given that he’s seen 27 over his past three
games. He hasn’t been overly productive with those targets,
but it’s enough for him to be considered a Flex play given
that the targets are coming in the high-powered Kansas City offense.
Tight end Travis Kelce remains a no-brainer starter even though
his touchdown totals continue to be a bit of a disappointment.
He’s caught at least three passes in every game this season
and more importantly he’s exceeded 60 receiving yards in
all but two games. That type of consistency just is not available
at tight end and it’s why Kelce is truly one of the greatest
to ever play the position.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22
Running Game Thoughts: Kansas City’s backfield has been
an unpredictable disaster ever since LeSean McCoy joined the roster
right before the start of the season. McCoy seemed to lose the
faith in his coaching staff in recent weeks after some fumbling
issues, however, which led the way for Damien Williams - who was
originally poised to be the starter- to get back onto the field.
Williams has now produced quality fantasy numbers in back-to-back
games, but he too lost a fumble this past week which of course
could mean that he finds himself back on the bench. It was just
his second fumble since early-2017, however, so it seems most
likely that he’ll be given another chance here in Week 11.
Williams does bring some risk due to the potential benching or
at least the possibility that he splits carries with other backs,
but the upside of him seeing the majority of touches in this Kansas
City offense is worth it. The Chargers have given up the eighth-most
fantasy points per game to opposing backs this season and the
only team who’s faced them and didn’t have a running
back score a touchdown was the Dolphins. Williams looks like a
good bet to get into the end zone this week so we’ll cautiously
rank him as a low-end RB1.
Game Thoughts: Normally a consistent high-floor player,
Philip Rivers has not been that in recent weeks as he’s
failed to reach even 12 fantasy points in any of his past three
games. Sure, he’s faced some solid pass defenses, but this
is still a concerning situation, especially for fantasy owners
of Keenan Allen who have seen their wide receiver fail to reach
even 70 receiving yards or score a touchdown in seven straight
games. The targets continue to be there, but the production simply
is not and Allen has to be knocked down to WR2 territory at this
point, even in what should be considered a great matchup against
a bad Kansas City secondary.
Wide receiver Mike Williams has also been struggling and while
he went over 100 receiving yards in Week 9, he’s now been
targeted just six total times over his past two games. It’s
a small sample size and we have to expect that he’ll see
more targets here in Week 11 in what would project to be a higher
scoring contest overall, but the lack of target share coming Williams’
way is very concerning. What’s even more concerning is that
he still hasn’t scored a single touchdown this season after
being one of the highest-percentage touchdown scorers in the entire
league in 2018. Williams is a WR3 in this matchup but don’t
be surprised if he duds out again.
The player who fantasy owners should be most excited about in
this passing game continues to be tight end Hunter Henry. Henry
has been an absolute stud since coming back from injury. He’s
been targeted at least six times in every game since his return,
he’s caught three touchdowns and he’s finished with
13 or more PPR points in all but one of his five games since the
injury. The Chiefs have given up touchdowns in back-to-back weeks
to opposing tight ends and it looks like a three-peat could be
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: After out-carrying Austin Ekeler by a difference
of 22 to six, Melvin Gordon is now fully entrenched as an RB1
for fantasy once again. Gordon went over 100 rushing yards for
the first time this season and he’s now scored five touchdowns
over his past four games. There’s still some worry that
he’ll lose a bit of passing down work to Ekeler in games
like this when the Chargers could fall behind on the scoreboard,
but Gordon should be one of the stronger backs in the league in
neutral or positive game scripts going forward. He’s also
a valuable asset in the passing game himself, so he’s not
completely worthless even if the Chargers do fall behind by multiple
Ekeler has unfortunately fallen down from being one of the top
RB1s in fantasy to being merely a Flex option in PPR formats in
most games. He’s not getting goal line carries so his upside
is capped, but Ekeler is still a valuable player in the passing
game especially given in matchups like this where the Chargers
could be passing more than usual, but he’s still only a
low-end RB2 in PPR formats and a Flex in standard leagues.