For most fantasy football leagues, we are in the homestretch of
the regular season, making these weeks the most important to get
correct. So as I dive into some usage statistics from Week 11 for
running back, wide receiver, and tight end, my focus will be on
helping you choose the best players to start in these crucial weeks.
Kenyan Drake (ankle) got most of the work on Thursday night
in the Arizona backfield, but he actually played 3 fewer snaps
than Chase Edmonds. Drake finished with 15 touches to Edmondís
6, but Edmonds remains a high upside flex option since heís
the preferred pass-down back and is getting plenty of snaps.
Carlos Hyde had a nice game in Week 11, going 14-79-1 on
70% of snaps. But donít overreact, as Chris Carson should
be back in the lineup soon. Hyde remains a low-upside handcuff.
It looks like the Ravens might have changed course and decided
to give J.K. Dobbins a shot at leading the backfield. However,
be cautious as it looked this way a couple weeks ago and then
they changed course. I donít think this coaching staff
knows what it wants to do, honestly. As for Week 11, Dobbins
played on 41 snaps (the other 3 backs played on 26 snaps combined).
He received 17 touches and produced 85 yards and a score. Dobbins
and Mark Ingram have hit the COVID-19 list so Gus Edwards should
receive a lot of action in Week 12.
Miles Sanders played on 60% of snaps and Boston Scott played
on 40%. That split doesnít reflect their talent levels,
so I donít understand what this Eagles team is doing right
now. Sanders did receive 19 touches to Scottís 8, but
the constant swapping does keep him from getting into a groove.
I will hesitate to play Sanders if I have a comparable option
due to how awful this team looks right now.
Nick Chubb played 6 fewer snaps than Kareem Hunt. Chubb was
far more effective on the ground, going 20-114 while Hunt went
13-11-1. Chubb is the superior runner, but when they are splitting
snaps fairly evenly it is tough to trust either one in these
important matchups. Still, you likely donít have a better
After a hot start, Damien Harris rode the bench for long
stretches of Sundayís loss to the Texans. He ended up
playing on 36% of snaps, finishing 11-43-1 on the ground. Since
the Patriots trailed most of the game, itís reasonable
to assume James White played more snaps this week, but I honestly
have no idea when it comes to Belichick. Harris is their top
back, but playing him or White is a true gamble.
Duke Johnson played on 75% of snaps for the Texans but went
only 10-15 on the ground and 3-20 through the air. No running
back in this offense can be trusted, so avoid them all down
James Conner played on 69% of snaps and received 16 touches.
He produced nicely against the poor Jaguars defense, finishing
with 99 total yards. However, he failed to score, instead watching
Benny Snell gobble up the goal line touchdown. I am extremely
hesitant to start Conner the rest of the way. Look for better
options if possible.
Todd Gurley played on only 37% of snaps, while Brian Hill
played on 42%. I think Gurley is being phased out, as he has
looked slow and has been ineffective overall. I would bench
him if you can.
What to do with Alvin Kamara? He has been one of the top
options for the whole season, but it is clear that he will take
a huge step back with Taysom Hill under center. He received
only 13 touches in Week 11, and got only 1 target he did not
catch. Meanwhile, Hill ran in two scores and finished with a
much bigger rushing game than Kamara or Murray. You likely have
to start Kamara but lower your expectations.
Antonio Gibson played one more snap than J.D. McKissic. Gibson
received 17 touches to McKissicís 9, and outplayed him
as well. Gibson is coming on strong, but McKissic will stay
involved on passing downs. I have been playing Gibson in many
leagues and will continue to do so in good matchups. He is figuring
out the pro game even though he is losing half the snaps to
Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams played exactly 50% of the
snaps on Sunday. Jones went 10-41-1 on the ground while Williams
went 5-12, and Jones went 4-30 through the air while Williams
went 1-4, though Williamsí 1 catch was for a touchdown.
This split is one of the most maddening situations in fantasy
and it doesnít appear it will change any time soon. Jones
still must be started, but his upside is extremely capped.
In a total switch from Week 10, we saw Jonathan Taylor play
the most snaps of the three Indianapolis running backs. He played
on 56%, while Nyheim Hines was at 33% and Jordan Wilkins was
at 11%. Taylor had a nice game (22-90, 4-24), but keep in mind
this might change completely next week, and this was against
the poor Packers defense. I will continue to avoid starting
Taylor unless I have no other comparable choice (or until Reich
commits to him).
Ezekiel Elliott played well in Week 11, a relief to his owners.
He went 21-103 and also caught a touchdown pass, on 70% of snaps.
Continue to play him weekly.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is following a similar path to what
Damien Williams did last season. He has been used minimally
at times this season, and it appeared LeíVeon Bell was
going to take touches away. But CEH continues to be a stud for
the Chiefs when he gets opportunities, and played on just over
half the snaps on Sunday. He rushed 14 times for 69 yards and
two scores. Bell and Darrel Williams are still involved, but
it looks like it is going to be primarily the CEH show down
the stretch. Start him weekly.
The Rams continue to use their backs in a three-way split,
and barely ran it on Monday night. Avoid all Rams backs until
one starts getting 50-60% of the snaps.
Bruce Arians continued his flip-flopping on Monday night,
ping-ponging between Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, keeping
both from getting into a rhythm. Even though we have seen some
big games from Jones, I do not recommend playing him in these
important matchups simply because he might receive 5 touches
the week after he received 25.
Fitzgerald surprisingly received a season-high 10 targets
on Thursday night, going 8-62. He has yet to score in 2020,
so his ceiling is extremely low, even in PPR leagues. Iíd avoid
him the rest of the way.
continued his surge on Sunday. Even though nice games will be
mixed in with total duds due to the nature of this run-heavy
offense, Davis has been playing well and generally has been
getting opportunities. He played on 74% of snaps and got 7 targets,
going 5-113. Especially in matchups where the Titans might fall
behind, Davis is a decent play.
Brown cannot be started the rest of the way. Lamar
Jackson is not playing well and defenses have figured out
how to limit his big plays. Brown is playing plenty of snaps
but again did not record a catch. He can be dropped if you need
the roster spot.
For the second week in a row, D.J.
Moore led the team in targets. This time he received a whopping
11 with P.J.
Walker under center. He went 7-127 and also rushed once
for 21 yards. It looks like this new coaching staff is finally
figuring out how to use Moore, and realizing how good he is.
I think he will be a great weekly start over the course of the
final 5 weeks.
Fulgham has cooled off, but itís more because of the ineptitude
of Wentz and the offense, and not because heís not getting snaps
and opportunities. He played on 96% of snaps and received 7
targets, but he only caught 1 for 8 yards. I am avoiding all
Eagles until they show me something on offense.
Meyers was clearly the focus of the defense on Sunday, as
he played on 99% of snaps but only received 3 targets, going
3-38. Byrd and Harry, the outside receivers, had 7 and 8 targets,
respectively. I am willing to go on starting Meyers as I think
he will continue to be heavily involved, but in this offense
nothing is a sure thing.
Cooks both played over 90% of the snaps and continue to
be heavily involved weekly (6-80 and 4-85 on Sunday). This offense
has not been great, but both are solid plays the rest of the
Johnson had twice the targets of the next closest Steelers
receiver (Claypool). Johnson finished with 16 targets, catching
12 for 111 yards. He is showing why many, including me, said
he would be the top Steelers receiver this season. He is an
excellent route runner and gets open often. I would start him
every week the rest of the way, as he seems to be past the injuries
that slowed him down at the beginning of the season.
injured his hamstring in Week 11 and played on only 35% of snaps
as a result. He only caught 2 passes for 39 yards. Meanwhile,
received 9 targets and Russell
Gage received 12. Ridley becomes a high-upside play the
rest of the way, while Julio should be avoided until he shows
he is 100%. Hamstring injuries linger, and he already dealt
with a hamstring strain earlier this season. This is shaping
up to be a lost season for Julio.
Thomas finally had a Michael Thomas game, receiving 12 targets
and catching 9 for 104 yards. That is very encouraging for his
owners, as he was able to do that with Taysom
Hill under center (Hill only completed 18 total passes).
However, Hill is definitely going to run it more and this will
lower the ceiling for all Saints pass catchers.
All Bengals receivers take a gigantic step back with Joe
Burrow done for the season. Ryan
Finley played terribly after Burrow exited, and I anticipate
that will continue. I will not be playing Tyler
Green, or Tee
Higgins from here on out until I become convinced the offense
can continue to function well with Finley or some other quarterback.
Itís a huge loss for many teams bound for the playoffs.
For those desperate for help at wide receiver, Tim
Patrick is a player likely on your wire who could be useful
down the stretch. He played on 83% of snaps and tied for the
team-high in targets (8). He caught 5 for 119 yards. Lock has
been very streaky, but if you get him on a good day Patrick
could provide nice upside.
couldnít get much going (3-71), but he did receive 8 targets
on Sunday and played on 90% of snaps. He is another player who
could be useful down the stretch, so consider picking him up
if youíre desperate at wide receiver.
will likely end up as one of the top 5 receivers in fantasy
this season, and he was generally avoided due to how poor his
outlook would have been with Tyrod
Taylor under center. That flip is one of the biggest developments
of the fantasy season, since no one thought Herbert would be
so good immediately. Allen received 19 targets on Sunday, going
16-145-1, a matchup-winning performance for many owners. Start
him every week, everywhere, from here on out.
In his return, Allen
Lazard played on 60% of snaps, but he played behind Valdes-Scantling.
He also only received 4 targets and went 2-18, while MVS received
6 and went 3-55. I would avoid both until one takes over that
No.2 role behind Adams.
The Chiefs missed Sammy
Watkins on Sunday, as Demarcus
Robinson made several big mistakes. If Watkins returns soon,
keep an eye on how he performs. He could return to a prominent
role quickly if he is healthy.
The Rams decided to go pass-heavy with their game plan on
Monday night, probably to surprise the Bucs, and it worked.
Goff threw it 51 times, peppering Cooper
Kupp and Robert
Woods with targets (13 and 15, respectively). Both had huge
nights as a result, and both are good weekly starts, even if
the extra-heavy passing was just a one-week event.
Brown continues to see his role grow, as he received 13
targets on Monday night (finished 8-57). Most of his catches
have low aDOT, but he did receive a deep target on Monday night
that almost hit. It continues to look like he will stay heavily
involved in the offense, making him a good weekly flex play
and also hurting the upside of Mike
Evans and Chris
Greg Olsen suffered a serious foot injury in Week 11, opening
up the door for Will Dissly or Jacob Hollister to make an impact
down the stretch. If you are in need of a tight end, Iíd
recommend picking up Dissly first, as heís been playing
more snaps. But, both could make a decent contribution through
the fantasy playoffs.
T.J. Hockenson has cemented himself as one of the top tight
end plays in the league. He has stayed involved in the offense
virtually every week, and has played around 70% of the snaps
over the whole season. On Sunday he played on 66% and received
a team-high 7 targets, going 4-68. Thatís not amazing
and the Lions didnít even score, but in this tight end
landscape he is a great weekly start.
Dallas Goedert finally did something on offense, going 5-77-1
on 6 targets. He played on 100% of the Eagles snaps. However,
much of his production came in desperation mode at the end of
the game. The Eagles have been terrible and Zach Ertz should
return soon, so be cautious when it comes to starting Goedert
in these final weeks.
Eric Ebron played on 93% of snaps on Sunday, and received
7 targets (more than Juju Smith-Schuster). He went 4-36-1, making
him one of the top tight end plays in the league. He appears
to be fully integrated into this offense and is a very good
start every week.
Even with Julio out for most of the game, Hayden Hurst still
did not record a single catch. He only got 2 targets on his
87% of snaps. This was a backbreaker for many teams in their
playoff push and just shows again how awful this position has
been. I will keep playing him where he is clearly my best option,
but I wonít be happy about it.
Logan Thomas was a huge disappointment in Week 11, going
only 2-5 on 6 targets against the Bengalsí poor defense.
Still, he was on the field for 90% of snaps and will be involved
most weeks. I might take a step back for a week to see if he
is able to recover, before playing him in such an important
Noah Fant remains one of the top options at tight end the
rest of the way, as long as Drew Lock is playing. He played
on 75% of snaps and went 4-55 on 5 targets against a good Miami
Chris Herndon showed a sign of life on Sunday, catching a
touchdown and going 2-32. Donít pick him up unless desperate,
but this is one to keep an eye on, just in case.
Hunter Henry and Justin Herbert are starting to click, making
Henry a top-3 tight end every week the rest of the way. He scored
for the second straight week, going 4-48-1 on 7 targets.
Robert Tonyan returned to relevance in Week 11, playing on
73% of snaps and going 5-44-1. He is tough to trust in this
unusual offense, but it is likely he is the best possible option
for many owners. Hope for the best and roll him out there.
Dalton Schultz is playing well and continues to be involved.
He received 6 targets on Sunday, going 4-25-1. I will start
him on teams where I have no other legitimate tight end.
Darren Waller is the second-best tight end in fantasy after
Kelce. Waller plays almost every snap, and on Sunday night caught
all 7 targets for 88 yards and a score. Start him with confidence.
Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett continue to both play a majority
of snaps. Higbee played on 72% of snaps and Everett on 57%.
Higbee had 4 targets and Everett had 5, and they finished with
similar lines. As long as both are receiving playing time, neither
is a good start Ė and that looks like it will remain the
case for the rest of the season, barring injury. Avoid them
if you can, and if they are your best option, consider adding
Kittle if heís on your wire in the hopes that he returns
more quickly than the doctors thought.
Kevin Scott is a fantasy pro who is the co-host for The Lowdown
Fantasy Football Podcast. He plays in over 40 leagues annually and
has made over $100,000 playing fantasy football. You can follow