It’s Week 11 of the NFL season and here is a fantasy football overview for every game:
BYE WEEK: Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Injury concerns: Laviska Shenault Jr. OUT, Gardner Minshew II QUES (if active, won’t start)
The Steelers remain undefeated and travel to Jacksonville looking to avoid another “trap” game. That being said, based on the matchups for fantasy football, the Steelers should see a lot of value and success here. Big Ben is facing the third-worst defense, Conner the fifth worst defense, the WRs corps the 10th worst defense, and Ebron is facing the 10th worst defense against their respective positions in fantasy. Obviously they most likely won’t all return their value, but I wouldn’t overthink this one too hard, start your Steelers.
The Jaguars aren’t as fortunate for their matchups. James Robinson has been a fantasy football diamond in the rough this season and he is facing the top defense against RBs which is going to lower the expectations you should have, but still start him. The good news for Chark and Cole is that the Steelers theoretically should put up points early and often and so the WRs should see some targets facing a bottom-12 defense against wide receivers.
- Start Big Ben
- Start Conner, Robinson
- Start JuJu, Claypool, and Johnson
- Flex Chark and Cole
- Start Ebron
Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers
Injury concerns: Kenny Golladay OUT, D’Andre Swift OUT, Matthew Stafford QUES, Christian McCaffrey OUT, Teddy Birdgewater OUT
There was a lot of hype and anticipation for the Lions going into this week as D’Andrew Swift was set to face the fourth worst rush defense in fantasy, but he was a late add to the injury report from a concussion so it will be Adrian Peterson leading the backfield. If Stafford sits due to his thumb injury, I would look at sitting almost everyone besides Hockenson, but if Stafford is active, you can still throw out Marvin Jones and AP (AD if you are in Oklahoma). If you are looking for a deep flex prayer, I don’t hate Marvin Hall in this one.
Eyes will be on the QB in this one because if McCaffrey and Bridgewater are out, Anderson, Moore, and Samuel will all take a big hit. Mike Davis has his best matchup of the season taking on the worst fantasy defense against RBs. It doesn’t matter who is under center for the Panthers, Davis is going to have a solid role in this one.
- Start Stafford if active, Bridgewater in deeper leagues if active
- Flex Peterson at most, Avoid Kerryon Johnson
- Start Mike Davis with confidence
- Flex Marvin Jones, DEEP Flex Marvin Hall
- Start Robby Anderson, Flex Moore and Samuel
- Start Hockenson
New England Patriots @ Houston Texans
Injury summary: Damien Harris QUES, Sony Michel ACTIVE, N’Keal Harry QUES
Sony Michel came off of IR on Saturday and figures to make a confusing backfield that much more unpredictable. It may seem like a great game strategy, but for fantasy you’re going to be hoping that you happen to play the hot hand of this RB corps. No matter who lines up in the backfield, they will be facing Houston’s 30th ranked defense against RBs in fantasy so they should have a decent matchup. Out wide facing the 22nd best defense against WRs, you’re basically only trusting Jakobi Myers here and until Edeltron returns, that is where the value stops.
A similar situation presents itself on the Houston side of the ball, but not necessarily a committee problem. The problem here is just lack of depth. Duke Johnson should be the lead back, Fuller and Cooks are both solid options at WR, and then that’s…all. Deshaun Watson faces the 6th overall defense against QBs in fantasy and so even though you are definitely starting him, that is probably why he has fallen down many rankings this week.
- Start Cam and Watson
- Flex basically any NE running back with preference to Harris and Burkhead. I get the Michel hype, but I’m cautious of role coming off injury
- Start Duke Johnson
- Start Myers
- Start Fuller and Flex Cooks
- Avoid TEs here
Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens
Injury summary: Adam Humphries OUT
This should be a close game in real life and so it may be tough for any fantasy players to shine on either side of the ball. You’re obviously going to start Derrick Henry, probably AJ Brown, but he and Corey Davis are going to be facing the fifth best defense in fantasy against WRs so it may be a Derrick Henry heavy game. Jonnu Smith faces a middle of the road defense against TEs so look for Tannehill to exploit that safety valve.
Lamar Jackson is start-able this week against the 26th ranked Titans defense against QBs and his supporting cast has decent matchups. Marquise Brown has lost relevance by the week, but is a strong flex candidate against the second worst defense against receivers. Mark Ingram is active in this one and since his return the RB committee for the Ravens hasn’t been the most productive so keep an eye out to see how the snap count plays out for future weeks.
- Start Lamar
- Start Henry
- Flex JK, Ingram, Sit Edwards
- Start AJ Brown, Flex Corey Davis
- Flex Marquise Brown
- Start Jonnu and Andrews
Philadelphia Eagles @ Cleveland Browns
Injury summary: Ertz QUES
Zach Ertz is eligible to come off of IR, but he isn’t expected to. Miles Sanders faces the ninth ranked defense, but that shouldn’t deter you from starting him. Travis Fulgham is coming off his worst game since becoming fantasy relevant, but he, Jalen Reagor, and Alshon Jeffrey take on the sixth worst defense against wide receivers. Because of this receiving squad being nearly back to full strength I think you need to drop them down your ranks.
Last week, Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb proved they are both still viable starts even though they eat into each other’s snaps. They do face the sixth best defense against RBs, but they still can be started in this one. Unfortunately Mayfield’s pass catchers don’t carry much value, although Hooper does face the sixth worst defense at guarding tight ends.
- Wentz can be used as a bye week fill-in if you have Allen
- Start Sanders
- Start Chubb and Hunt
- Flex Fulgham, Reagor, and Flex Landry
- DEEPEST of leagues you can consider flexing Jeffrey
- Start Goedert and Hooper
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Injury report: Drew Brees IR
The Falcons are coming off of their bye week to face the Brees-less Saints. RB Todd Gurley is going to be facing the second best rush defense in fantasy, but when this game would normally be a blowout, I think it is kept closer so the Falcons may be running the ball throughout the game. Jones and Ridley face a middle of the order defense against receivers and Hayden Hurst draws a good matchup against the seventh worst defense against opposing TEs.
As mentioned, the Saints are going to roll either Jameis Winston and/or Taysom Hill under center this week and for at least the next 3 games. Your league may be living under a rock if he is still available, but Hill also carries a TE designation in ESPN leagues so if he drops under center even a quarter as much as we are thinking we might, he will have value there. Whichever QB gets the snaps, the face the worst team against QBs so there is a decent matchup there. Kamara faces the eighth best defense against RBs, but Michael Thomas draws the third worst defense against WRs. Along with his half-TE counterpart, Jared Cook will be facing the worst defense against TEs looking to bounce back from his big ole 0.0 last week.
- Start Matt Ryan
- Start Taysom Hill at least in 12-team leagues or deeper
- Start Kamara, Flex Murray
- Start Gurley
- Start Julio, Ridley, and Thomas
- Start Hurst, Start Cook in deeper leagues with the ? at QB.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Washington Football Team
Injury summary: Mixon IR (finally)
The WFT have a sneaky good defense in fantasy, and Burrow and the Bengals will look to make the most of this matchup that they can. All of the fantasy relevant positions are facing top-12 defenses against their respective positions. 11th for Burrow, 10th for Bernard, and 2nd for Boyd and Higgins. AJ Green has lost all fantasy relevance and at this point can be safely dropped because he can’t be counted on as you approach the playoffs.
The WFT and its position players are becoming more and more reliable on the field. Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic are both solid plays and Terry McLaurin is emerging as a top wideout in fantasy. The RBs will face the Bengals 14th ranked defense against their position while Scary Terry will be taking on the eighth worst defense against receivers. An intriguing matchup for me will be Alex Smith facing the sixth worst defense against QBs and TE Logan Thomas draws the second worst defense against TEs.
- Start Burrow, Start Smith in deeper leagues
- Start Bernard, Gibson, and McKissic
- Start Higgins, Boyd
- Start McLaurin
- Start Thomas in Deeper Leagues
New York Jets @ Los Angeles Chargers
Injury summary: Sam Darnold DOUBT
There’s not much to say about the Jets. With no Darnold, Jamison Crowder and Breshard Perriman are the only players with value, but Perriman is more hit and miss. The Jets face the seventh best defense against WRs so I really only like Crowder on the Jets this week.
The story couldn’t be more different on the Chargers side of the ball. Herbert is making a strong case for rookie of the year, and is facing the fourth worst defense against QBs. Kalen Ballage is facing the seventh worst defense against RBs which is why you may have seen him getting more hype on social media this week. Keenan Allen is a PPR god and an obvious start. Behind him, I like Williams and Guyton this week with how much I expect Herbert to throw the ball.
- Start Herbert
- Flex Perine and Gore if desperate
- Start Ballage, Flex Kelley
- Start Crowder, Flex Perriman
- Start Allen, Flex Williams, Deep Flex Guyton
- Start Henry
Miami Dolphins @ Denver Broncos
Injury summary: Noah Fant QUES, Drew Lock QUES
It’s Tua time again and you can start to play Tua in deeper leagues especially if you need a streamer with Josh Allen on bye. With Myles Gaskin still out, Salvon Ahmed has picked up the reigns nicely and even with Matt Brieda splitting the load, I still expect both to be relevant. Devante Parker is the only receiver of value in Miami and Gesicki hopefully will return to fantasy relevance even though you can’t be too picky with tight ends.
If Drew Lock isn’t the starter I would downgrade everyone, so keep an eye on the injury report in this one. Melvin Gordon has been a fantasy dud this season and isn’t start-able, but still retains some flex appeal. Jeudy and KJ Hamler are both playable this week and if Noah Fant is active, throw him out there.
- Start Tua in deeper leagues
- Start Ahmed, Flex Gaskin
- Flex Gordon, Lindsay
- Flex Parker
- Flex Jeudy and Hamler. Flex Patrick in DEEP leagues
- Start Gesicki and Fant
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
Injury summary: None
Andy Dalton figures to be back under center which means that Zeke’s value will probably still be low. You’re going to be playing him, but go look at his numbers with Dak in the first five games, and then go look at his previous four games; it doesn’t look good. Cooper, Lamb, and Gallup all have a good matchup against the fourth worst defense against WRs, but they don’t bring anything more than flex appeal until we see a solid passing outing from Dalton.
The Dallas defense is beatable and still banged up. Dalvin Cook faces a middle of the road rush defense, but you know he is going to shoulder the load in this one. If Cousins has anything left, Thielen and Jefferson have good matchups against the fifth worst defense in fantasy against receivers.
- Avoid QBs in this one
- Flex Zeke (I said it)
- Start Cook
- Flex Cooper and Lamb. Flex Gallup in DEEP leagues
- Start Thielen and Flex Jefferson
- Start Schultz
Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts
Injury summary: Allen Lazard QUES
It’s going to be interesting to see what the Packers can do against a tough Colts defense. They have gotten healthier, especially if Lazard plays. Rodgers is facing the best defense against QBs, Jones gets the third best defense against RBs, and Adams draws the sixth best defense against receivers. Even if Rodgers wants to use his safety valve Tonyan will face the third best defense against his position. It’s going to be tough to get going, but if anyone can do it, it is Rodgers and crew.
Remember how I talked about fantasy football dud Melvin Gordon? Johnathan Taylor entered the chat. Seemingly replaced by Nyheim Hines who has been great recently. Also, changing of the guard for receivers as TY Hilton has fallen off and Michael Pittman Jr. has seen an emergence into relevance.
- Start Rodgers
- Start Jones and Hines, Flex Taylor (I’d personally sit him)
- Start Adams and Flex Lazard if he is active
- Flex Pittman Jr., Flex Hilton (I’d sit him)
- Flex Tonyan and Alie-Cox in DEEP leagues
Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders (SNF)
Injury summary: Sammy Watkins OUT
The Chiefs are going to be out of revenge to try and avenge their lone loss on the season. I can understand the hope that CEH plays well against the sixth worst defense against RBs, but in their last game he only had 11 points in PPR. They’re coming off of a bye and so look for Hill, Hardman, and Kelce to all be involved and expect Mahomes to sling it in this one.
There is good news to be had on the Raiders side of the ball. A) They have beaten the Chiefs once this season and B) The best matchup they have will be on the back of Josh Jacobs. Jacobs is coming off of his second best performance of the season and his third best game of the season was against the Chiefs earlier this year. Outside of Jacobs, the wide receivers will face the fourth best defense in fantasy while Waller faces the eighth best against TEs.
- Start Mahomes, Start Carr in Deeper leagues
- Start CEH, and Jacobs
- Start Tyreek, Flex Hardman in deeper leagues
- Sit Raiders WRs
- Start Kelce and Waller
If you have any questions or want to send me your fantasy football opinions, find me at @TeddyRicketson on Twitter.
As always, good luck with your matchups this week (unless you’re playing me).