2020 Fantasy Football: Week 11 Wrapup
Regular seasons across most fantasy football season-long leagues are nearing completion and weekly news continues to be oh-so-important to keep an eye on. Welcome to the Week 11 fantasy football wrapup, featuring pivotal storylines from this week’s action on Thursday and Sunday. As usual, any rankings indicate the Week 11 position as of the end of Sunday night; i.e. they do not take Monday Night Football (Rams vs. Buccaneers) into account.
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Week 11 Review: Quarterbacks with “Firsts”
Whether it be starter debuts or unusual struggles, quarterbacks tattooed the storylines, on the negative and positive front. And a #1 overall pick is likely done for the season.
Taysom Hill & Teammates (NO)
You already knew we’d have Taysom Hill content to discuss today, regardless of what went down in the New Orleans Saints Sunday matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. After Drew Brees was diagnosed with multiple rib fractures, the quarterback situation in New Orleans became one of the biggest headliners of fantasy football preparation for Week 11. Late in the week, Taysom Hill was announced as the starter but Sean Payton didn’t rush to provide clarity on his usage and if Jameis Winston would see some action.
Mayhem broke out in the fantasy football social media world as some platforms left eligibility to play Taysom Hill at positions other than quarterback. Regardless of where you started Taysom Hill this Sunday, you were happy. While he didn’t get off to the hottest start imaginable and , he used his legs and his arm to knife through the subpar Atlanta Falcons defense. Hill finished the day completing passes at an 18/23 line for 233 passing yards and he rushed 10 times for 51 total yards, including 2 touchdown carries. He did fumble the football on a run late in the game but he was still the QB10 of Week 11 and one of the top WR/TE if you were able to play him there.
Perhaps even more notable than Hill’s performance in his first NFL start at quarterback was the way his teammates performed for their fantasy owners after the change under center.
Taysom Hill's 10.1 yards per attempt is higher than Drew Brees has had in any game this season.https://t.co/23Ut31ayM3
— PFF (@PFF) November 22, 2020
Michael Thomas, a first-round pick across most fantasy leagues, finally broke through in 2020 with his best fantasy game of the season. Thomas caught 9 passes on 12 targets for 104 yards, all season-highs. Despite not scoring a touchdown, he was the PPR WR of Week 11.
The Saints backfield also worked as somewhat of a committee and fantasy superstar Alvin Kamara was held in check. Here is how their performance panned out against the Falcons.
|Alvin Kamara||49%||13 carries, 45 yards, 1 TD||0 catches (1 target)|
|Latavius Murray||49%||12 carries, 49 yards||2 catches (2 targets), 36 yards|
* personal season-highs in bold
One should note that the share of work may be partially attributed to the score of the game and also a bit to his foot injury headed into the matchup that held him back in practice. Kamara owners shouldn’t be too worried going forward and will need to start the generational talent every week, despite the season-low snap share in Week 11.
Joe Burrow (CIN)
The #1 overall draft pick of 2020 is likely done for the season.
Thanks for all the love. Can’t get rid of me that easy. See ya next year✊
— Joey Burrow (@JoeyB) November 22, 2020
After a gruesome hit, Rookie of the Year candidate, Joe Burrow, was carted off the field in the third quarter. Based on every indication, it seems like Burrow will hear news from an MRI that sees him out for the season. Ryan Finley is expected to take over under center for the Bengals. In 2019, Finley made three starts (Weeks 10-12) and was fantasy-irrelevant in all three starts. With Joe Mixon also out at the time, the Bengals’ offense takes another considerable hit for the fantasy football stretch.
Andy Dalton (DAL)
Another quarterback that took a worrisome hit against Washington earlier in the year, Andy Dalton was back as the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings. It was his best fantasy showing by far, as he He threw for a serviceable 203 yards at a 68.8% completion rate and threw an interception but the key to his fantasy success was his triple of touchdown passes within 6 yards of the goal line to Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, and Dalton Schultz.
Dalton finished as the QB9 of Week 11 but his upcoming matchups aren’t expected to be so smooth. He faces Washington in Week 12.
P.J. Walker (CAR)
The man who would have likely been the XFL MVP before the season was suspended took the snaps at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers instead of Teddy Bridgewater. In his first NFL start, P.J. Walker showed flashes of brilliance and went 23/34 on passes for 258 passing yards and threw a touchdown to Curtis Samuel. However, he did have some turnover issues, throwing two picks and almost having a third turnover when he fumbled but recovered it himself to retain possession.
It was also a Mike Davis day for Carolina as anticipated in the conducive matchup of the Detroit Lions. Davis tallied 79 scrimmage yards and scored a touchdown on 19 carries and 2 receptions.
Tua Tagovailoa… and Ryan Fitzpatrick! (MIA)
For the first time in Tua Tagovailoa‘s career as a starter, his offensive line was enough to stymie his passing game. He was sacked 6 times and went down on an apparent foot injury. He looked good to stay in the game but was surprisingly substituted by head coach Brian Flores in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Tagovailoa finished the game passing 11/20 for just 83 yards. He did throw a touchdown to DeVante Parker and did not turn the ball over but he placed outside of the top 20 quarterbacks of Week 11.
Fitzpatrick was in the game for two drives and went 12/18 on passes for 117 passing yards and 6 rushing yards but did not throw a touchdown and threw an interception in the end zone targeting Parker to essentially end the game.
Brian Flores said that, after being benched today for performance, Tua will get his job back next week.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2020
According to Flores, the Dolphins will stick with the rookie at quarterback since the substitution was made to protect his quarterback and seek an upgrade for the day, not because of an injury that should endanger Tagovailoa’s Week 12 status as of now.
Running Backs with Revived Relevance
The blowup performances from running backs were surprisingly sparse in Week 11 but a few surprise names found their way to the top of the leaderboards at the position.
The rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire was one of the early draft pick disappointments of the 2020 season through the first 9 weeks. Through the Week 10 bye for the Kansas City Chiefs, Edwards-Helaire had a total of 2 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving touchdown on the season.
In Las Vegas on Sunday Night Football, he finally converted on opportunities at the end zone, rushing for a 3-yard score and a 14-yard score. He finished the night with 14 carries and 1 reception for 77 scrimmage yards and 2 touchdowns. He was the PPR RB2 of Week 11. Fantasy owners of the rookie running back may have gotten a bit greedy as well when they saw Le’Veon Bell score his first touchdown of the season on a 6-yard run in the fourth quarter, somewhat stealing Edwards-Helaire of a performance that might have put him at the #1 spot on the RB rankings in Week 11.
It is not obvious that Edwards-Helaire can be trusted every week for the rest of the season; the Chiefs are set to face the elite run defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12.
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)
Perhaps the disappointment of the season at running back as a player this season in the NFL, the elite talent of Ezekiel Elliott has had his fair share of issues. He has lacked the knack for the explosive play and had turnover woes causing him to be nearly unstartable in the absence of Dak Prescott.
However, with Andy Dalton back, Elliott cleaned up his act in Week 11, having his best fantasy performance of the season since Prescott’s injury. Elliott, who amassed 15 games of 100+ rushing yards in 2018 and 2019, had his first such game of 2020 in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings. He carried the ball 21 times for 103 yards and made two catches for 11 yards, one of which for a touchdown. It was his first touchdown since Week 5 and his 4.9 yards per carry was his best efficiency since Week 5. Elliott finished as the PPR RB4 of Week 11.
Tony Pollard was also sprinkled in the Cowboys’ backfield game plan and put up a solid fantasy performance but do not be fooled — a 42-yard touchdown run in the shootout accounted for most of the statline. Pollard only carried the ball 5 times for a total of 60 yards and that one score. There is no need to view him as a startable fantasy threat at this point.
J.K. Dobbins (BAL)
The Baltimore Ravens run game has been of fantasy concern throughout the season and in Week 11 against the Tennessee Titans, the Ravens decided to use a weapon they didn’t have available to them in their playoff matchup against Tennessee last season — the rookie drafted out of Ohio State, J.K. Dobbins. Here is how the Ravens backfield fared on Sunday.
|Gus Edwards||21%||3 carries, 6 yards||0 catches (0 targets)|
|Mark Ingram||9%||2 carries, 2 yards||0 catches (0 targets)|
|J.K. Dobbins||62%||15 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD||2 catches (2 carries), 15 yards|
* personal season-highs in bold
The veteran Mark Ingram is now listed third on the Ravens’ depth chart and is not currently a player you should start in your fantasy lineup. His snap share of 9% was a season-low for him in games where he was active.
Chase Edmonds & Kenyan Drake (ARI)
The Arizona Cardinals backfield committee has been one of the most intriguing to manage in fantasy football this year. With the early round pick of Kenyan Drake disappointing with inefficiency and struggling with staying on the field, Chase Edmonds had taken over most of the 3rd down, receiving duty for the Cardinals coming into their Week 11 Thursday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Drake had been dealing with a nagging ankle injury, a noteworthy story headed into the matchup and Kyler Murray spent a majority of the game grimacing at what seemed to be a mild shoulder injury, which will continue to be a developing story to keep an eye on headed into future matchups.
Here is how the Cardinals backfield ended up faring.
|Kenyan Drake||46%||11 carries, 29 yards, 1 TD||4 catches (5 targets), 31 yards|
|Chase Edmonds||56%||2 carries, 13 yards||4 catches (4 targets), 36 yards, 1 TD|
* personal season-highs in bold
The Cardinals will have some extra time to figure out how healthy their offensive players are, but it is interesting that Drake got involved in the passing game. He had previously not had a game with more than 9 receiving yards on the season.
Wide Receivers Gaining Trust
Some usual suspects topped the fantasy leaderboards at wide receiver, such as Keenan Allen as the PPR WR1 of Week 11 and Adam Thielen right behind him, both with receiving games of over 100 yards. Here, we highlight the stars that not everybody started that are on the radar for gaining trust — from their quarterbacks and from fantasy owners.
Damiere Byrd (NE)
While Jakobi Meyers has emerged as the #1 receiving option for the depleted New England Patriots offense, it was another receiver that broke out big in the close matchup against the Houston Texans. Damiere Byrd caught 6 of his 7 targets for 132 yards and added an 11-yard carry. One of his receptions was a 42-yard bomb from Cam Newton that ended up being Newton’s first touchdown pass to a wide receiver in 2020. After drawing 0 targets in Week 10 against the Baltimore Ravens, Byrd was a surprise emerging leader of the Patriots pass-catching game in Week 11. He finished as the PPR WR4 of Week 11.
What a catch by @LookIn_Da_Miere!
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 22, 2020
Set to face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12, the Meyers-Byrd competition for Cam Newton’s passes is set to be a point of intrigue for fantasy owners.
Curtis Samuel (CAR)
In an offense with multiple studs at wide receiver in Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, the versatility of Curtis Samuel has not been placed in the back-burner for Matt Rhule‘s offense. He continues to get a little bit of rushing action every week and in Week 11, he carried the ball once for 4 yards. However, against the Detroit Lions, he was a PPR monster, catching 8 of his season-high 10 targets for 70 yards and a touchdown. It was just two weeks ago (Week 9 vs. the Chiefs) that Samuel had a 100-yard receiving game and despite the change in quarterback, Samuel was the PPR WR9 of Week 11. Notably, Moore was the PPR WR7 of Week 11.
The wide receiver trio of Anderson, Moore, and Samuel thrived behind P.J. Walker. Each pass-catcher had at least 7 catches for the second time in 2020.
Michael Pittman Jr. (IND)
The rookie out of USC, Michael Pittman Jr., cannot be slept on given his matchups and talent and he proved that since coming back from injury, he has proven that he is legit.
In Week 11 against the Green Bay Packers, he broke free with a 45-yard reception for his first NFL touchdown. He finished the day with only 3 targets; he caught all 3 for 66 yards. But the development over the last few games is nothing to scoff at. In Week 10 against the Titans, he was a PPR monster despite the lack of a score, when he caught 7 of his 8 targets for 101 yards and had a 21-yard carry.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 22, 2020
Pittman’s matchups are extremely enticing down the fantasy stretch; the only hindrance that his situation might face would be a chance at quarterback. With Phillip Rivers not looking 100% in the nail-biter in Week 11, that storyline remains one that fantasy managers must keep an eye on very closely. If Rivers were to run into danger of missing time, Jacoby Brissett would be next in line for the Colts under center.
Tight Ends that Revived Themselves
It’s been a while but multiple tight ends filled up the fantasy stat sheet in Week 1. In a complete shocker, Travis Kelce was the #1 tight end on the week again, catching 8 of his 10 targets for 127 yards and a touchdown. Which other tight ends helped fantasy owners get some much-needed points in Week 11?
Dallas Goedert & Richard Rodgers (PHI)
After naming Dallas Goedert as one of my love picks for Week 11 due to the high target share that tight ends receive on the Philadelphia Eagles, fantasy managers who listened to me got results despite the wet conditions at hand. Goedert caught 5 of his 7 targets for 77 yards and scored his second touchdown of the season. He finished as the PPR TE4 of the week.
However, fellow Philadelphia tight end Richard Rodgers got in on the action as well, catching both of his targets for 48 yards, one of which also for a touchdown. Carson Wentz, who leads the NFL in interceptions through Week 11, threw both of his touchdowns to tight ends — 1 to Goedert, 1 to Rodgers. Eagles tight ends remain to be a situation to watch, with 3-time Pro-Bowler Zach Ertz looking to make a return this season as well.
Robert Tonyan (GB)
If you started Robert Tonyan at tight end, you have to be a literal prodigy. Coming into a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts that had given up 0 touchdowns to tight ends through 10 weeks of the NFL season, Tonyan broke the streak and caught all 5 of his targets for 44 yards and a score. It was his sixth touchdown of the season and he finished as the PPR TE5 of the week.
Tonyan’s volume has been steady and he hasn’t been fantasy relevant in weeks where he doesn’t find the end zone so, while a good stash especially in platforms where he qualifies as a wide receiver as well, one shouldn’t overreact to the overall fantasy numbers he put up in Week 11.
Mark Andrews (BAL)
Perhaps the most touchdown-dependent fantasy player in the NFL this season, Mark Andrews has been boom (when he scores) or bust (when he doesn’t) this season. After being fantasy-irrelevant in 3 straight games for the Ravens, Andrews rebounded to some sort of relevance by catching 7 of his 9 targets in Week 10 in the New England rain.
However, he truly broke back into his own in Week 11 against the Tennessee Titans, when he caught 5 of his 7 targets for 96 yards and a touchdown. Andrews now has 6 touchdowns on the season and was the TE3 of Week 11.
Which of these late-season breakouts will continue to provide fantasy relevance during the rest of the season? Which performances came up the most clutch for you as you look to make your late playoff push? The most important minutes in the fantasy football regular season might just be right now!
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