Welcome to the Fantrax Week 11 FAAB Guide! With another thrilling week officially in the books, we’re eager for an exciting new slate of games in the National Football League. But from the aftermath of last week’s games, there is a new batch of readily available players that could provide a much-needed boost to your roster. Which one(s) should you grab? Are they starters that you can rely on for the rest of season (ROS), or just another batch of one-hit wonders? This weekly Fantrax FAAB Guide will help you with these decisions and serves as a resource on how to manage your FAAB, i.e. Free Agent Acquisition Budget.
Each week, I’ll outline available players (with <70% Fantrax availability) that should be picked up and my recommendations on how much of your FAAB should be used on your bids for them. If you don’t see a popular name mentioned below, then they are likely already rostered on over 70% of Fantrax leagues (e.g. Tua Tagovailoa, Mike Davis, Nyheim Hines). If your league utilizes standard waiver claims instead of the FAAB system, then you can still use these recommendations to prioritize your waiver claims. Also, make sure to catch our weekly Waiver Wire report as well.
Since each Fantasy Football league’s format is different, I will suggest bid amounts by percentage rather than dollar amount. Also, since each league is different, use this guide as general advice but apply it with your knowledge of your own league mates. For example, if you want to bid on Salvon Ahmed but your league is full of Dolphins fans, then you should probably bid higher than suggested below.
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Week 11 FAAB Guide
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (69% rostered in Fantrax Leagues)
It’s never a great feeling starting a QB like Kirk Cousins, who’s on an offense that revolves around superstar RB Dalvin Cook. But the fact remains that Cousins can sling it, and he has bona fide weapons in WRs Adam Thielen and rookie sensation Justin Jefferson. He’s also one of the few starting QBs that are rostered in <70% of Fantrax leagues, which is the threshold for this article. Cousins was surprisingly effective against a stout Bears defense on Monday Night Football, a primetime spot that he’s notoriously failed in. He will have a much easier matchup this week against a vulnerable Dallas defense. The same defense that has allowed two or more TDs to opposing QBs in the last four weeks, a stat that includes the likes of Kyle Allen and Carson Wentz.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 3-5% in regular leagues, 15-20% in 2QB or SF leagues.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (23% rostered)
With news that future hall-of-famer Drew Brees sustained multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung, we might have a little QB controversy brewing in New Orleans. During a victory against the disheveled 49ers, the veteran passer was benched for the meme-friendly Jameis Winston in the second half. Although the severity of his injuries could be blamed for his poor performance, Brees was making atrocious throws and questionable decisions in the first half of action. Once benched, Brees appeared noticeably inconsolable and melancholy on the sidelines.
Jameis Winston in for the Saints as Drew Brees remains on the sideline to start the third quarter.pic.twitter.com/iaIiCz6weH
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) November 15, 2020
Brees is expected out for the next few weeks, making the finger-lickin’ gunslinger one of the top pickups this week as the commander of a prolific offense. It helps that his next matchup is against the porous Falcons defense, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to QBs. If Winston’s called up for action going forward, then he could be a huge asset, particularly in 2QB and SuperFlex leagues. Just beware of Taysom Hill, who will assuredly see more involvement at the annoyance of fantasy GMs everywhere.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 2-3% in regular leagues, 15% in 2QB or SF leagues.
Sam Darnold, New York Jets (47% rostered)
The kid is back!… almost. It’s safe to say that it’s been a rough time for Sam Darnold in the NFL. Whether that’s due to his spotty accuracy, incompetent coach, or frequent injuries, something is clearly amiss as the former first-round pick continues to struggle amidst flashes of brilliance. Darnold hasn’t been on the field since suffering a shoulder injury nearly a month ago. Fresh out of their bye, he has already been ruled out against the Chargers this week, though he’s expected back the following week. Once he returns, he’ll at least finally have his full arsenal back in Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and Denzel Mims. Not the greatest receiving corps, but they’ve made Joe Flacco look like the “Elite Dragon” of old, so Darnold should have a great chance to thrive as well. This is a stash for 2QB or SuperFlex leagues only.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 0-1% in regular leagues, 10% in 2QB or SF leagues.
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (67% rostered)
I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, I’ve even said it thrice: we really need to take J.D. McKissic seriously. The WFT scatback continues to see a mouth-watering number of looks. He followed up his 14 targets against the Giants in Week 9 with a ridiculous 15 targets against the Lions. It’s evident that he’s become QB Alex Smith’s safety blanket as he’s deployed frequently to receive checkdowns whenever things go awry. Basically, he’s turned into Chris Thompson 2.0. Even if he’s inefficient with his touches, he’ll still rack up points in PPR leagues, making McKissic an extremely valuable player who should be rostered as long as Smith can stay on the field.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 15%
Great job by Alex Smith keeping the play alive and finding J.D. McKissic to convert on 3rd and 2 pic.twitter.com/368nd0peYc
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) November 8, 2020
Wayne Gallman Jr., New York Giants (69% rostered)
Don’t look now, but journeyman rusher Wayne Gallman Jr. has now scored four weeks in a row. In a strong showing against the Eagles, Gallman carried the rock 18 times for 53 yards and TWO TDs. He also added a seven yard reception from two targets. What’s most impressive is that he’s getting the job done against imposing run defenses, having faced Tampa Bay, Washington, and Philadelphia twice. With Devonta Freeman on IR, Gallman has taken over the reins of the Giants’ backfield and surpassed expectations week after week. Though they’re on bye this week, he’s worth stashing as his competition eases up with the likes of Cincinnati, Seattle, and Arizona on deck.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 10-12%
Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins (11% rostered)
Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? Perhaps the biggest underdog storyline last week was of Salvon Ahmed, who was thrust into the lead back role in Week 10 against the Chargers. The 21-year-old undrafted rookie — who was already unceremoniously tossed away by the 49ers — started the day off with a BANG, slamming in a TD on their first offensive snap. Sure, it helped that they started off at the one-yard line thanks to a blocked punt and 98-yard run by their surging special teams unit. But the fact remains that Ahmed was trusted by head coach Brian Flores to lead their offense, so much so that even Jordan Howard was a healthy scratch.
22 touches, 90 yards and a TD.
— NFL (@NFL) November 16, 2020
Speaking of which, Howard was just released, further solidifying Ahmed’s potential role. Ahmed certainly turned heads with his opportunity under the spotlight, commanding a bellcow usage and rendering fellow RBs Patrick Laird and DeAndre Washington useless. With the return of Matt Breida (hamstring) and Myles Gaskin (IR; knee) imminent, who knows if Ahmed will retain the starring role. But it’s intriguing to note that Ahmed was utilized in 84% of RB rushes last week, which is more than Gaskin ever saw this year. Their next matchup in Denver is also not one to target. But in Fantasy Football, opportunity is king, making Ahmed worthy of consideration in deeper leagues.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 7-10%
Kalen Ballage, Los Angeles Chargers (47% rostered)
Looks like I owe Mr. Kalen Ballage an apology for what I wrote last week. With Justin Jackson joining lead back Austin Ekeler on IR, Ballage saw another bellcow-worthy workload against the Dolphins. He rushed 18 times for 68 yards, adding five catches for 34 yards. Those 23 touches were an improvement on Week 9’s 18 touches, a surprise to his many doubters. He now gets to run amok over his former team, the New York Jets, and their inept coach, Adam Gase. Yup, that’s right, we got us a good ol’ fashion #REVENGEGAME. It’s wild to imagine Ballage as an RB2 starter with TD-upside as the goal-line back for a strong offense. But hey, it’s 2020. Delete your preconceptions on Ballage and place a serious bid on him if you need immediate help.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 7-10%
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (66% rostered)
Fade me once, shame on you. Fade me twice, well… you ain’t gonna fade me again. Undrafted wideout Jakobi Meyers is officially heating up after another dynamic performance against an intimidating Ravens defense. He caught five of seven targets for 59 yards, plus a 24-yard TD pass because why the heck not? It’s encouraging to see that he was heavily involved with the offense despite N’Keal Harry’s return, who wasn’t even targeted. Meyers now has a chance to catch fire against Houston’s leaky secondary. He’s now taken over the “practice squad breakout” mantle away from AFC darling Travis Fulgham, who’s finally had a down game. Let’s just hope the same doesn’t happen to Meyers this week.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 10%
The @Patriots unleash the DOUBLE PASS.
Newton to Meyers to Burkhead to take the lead! #GoPats
— NFL (@NFL) November 16, 2020
Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts (56% rostered)
The second-round rookie put on a show in his return to action on Thursday Night Football. Pittman reeled in seven of eight targets for 101 (!) yards, adding a 21-yard carry in a victory over the Titans. Though he’s been spotty, to say the least, that could be attributed to iffy gameplay by the curmudgeonly veteran Philip Rivers. He’ll look to improve on his first century-mark game against the Packers. Green Bay boasts a stout secondary that will be vulnerable if shutdown corners Jaire Alexander and Kevin King remain inactive. Rivers could certainly spread the load to his other receivers and rushers, or could simply rely on his amazing defense instead. But it appears Pittman’s breakout game is a sign of things to come as his talent should demand more looks going forward.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 7-10%
Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars (40% rostered)
When your QB is an unheralded rookie gunslinger who doesn’t mind tossing the pigskin with reckless abandon, it means that his receivers are gonna have a good time. Sure, this may not win them many games, but for fantasy purposes, it can be bountiful. Such is the case for Jacksonville’s Keelan Cole, courtesy of YOLO-QB Jake Luton/Gardner Minshew. Cole was on FIRE in a close loss to the Packers, where he caught five of seven targets for 47 yards and a TD. The cherry on top was a 91-yard punt return that he ran in for another score — which was the longest punt-return TD in Jaguars history.
— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2020
His production has been extremely inconsistent, making him hard to trust even with baby-soft matchups on the horizon. It’s not a sure thing by any means, but feel free to bid on him if you’re in need of a boom-bust WR3/Flex player.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 5%
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (47% rostered)
Believe it or not, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling now has back-to-back games as a WR1 (in standard formats). He followed up a two TD showcase with a whopping 149 yards and another score against the Jaguars. His budding rapport with living legend Aaron Rodgers is an ideal situation to say the least. But his upcoming matchups against the Colts and Bears is not, nor is fellow wideout Allen Lazard’s impending return. As mentioned last week, “Aside from the amazing Davante Adams, no other receivers are trustworthy as weekly starters. Don’t chase points with MVS unless you’re desperate for a risky, big-play option.”
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 3-5%
Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins (20% rostered)
When one door closes, another opens. That’s where gritty fifth-year Dolphins receiver Jakeem Grant finds himself when colleague Preston Williams was placed on IR last week. Grant saw heavy usage as a reliable target for rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa, catching four of five targets for 43 yards and a TD against the Chargers. His five targets was a repeat of the week prior, and one can only assume his target share will only grow. It helps that he gets the Broncos and Jets next, two teams that have proven favorable for opposing WRs. Grant could be a decent floor play on a blossoming team like the Dolphins. But his upside is capped as he competes for touches under a rookie QB that’s still adjusting to the NFL.
Recommended Week 11 FAAB Bids: 3-5%
Former Patrick Mahomes teammate Jakeem Grant working it in the open field. pic.twitter.com/fs5L0YKHpm
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) November 16, 2020
Jordan Reed, San Francisco 49ers (34% rostered)
He’s back! The talented glassman Jordan Reed just caught five of six targets for 62 yards against the Saints. In an ugly, TD-dependent skill position, Reed finished as the TE5 without even scoring. That’s how depressing the TE landscape has been this year. With George Kittle likely out for the season, Reed could see a return to his glory days as a top-10 TE ROS. The Pro Bowler also has an advantageous schedule as well, making him worthy of a significant bid. If you’re struggling at TE (i.e., you don’t have Travis Kelce), then add a few extra FAAB bucks to your bid to ensure his place on your team. If you’re successful, enjoy him while you still can.
Recommended Week 10 FAAB Bids: 7%
JORDAN REED JUST NEEDS ONE HAND 😱
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 15, 2020
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (55% rostered)
QB Alex Smith’s comeback wasn’t just great for him. It’s proving to be a resurgence of sorts for the entire WFT offense, including TE Logan Thomas. He secured four of six targets for 66 yards against the Lions, which was somehow enough to make him Week 10’s TE6. Nevertheless, Thomas has now seen six targets in two games straight. While this may not sound like much, it’s sadly a modern miracle in such a desolate TE landscape.
Smith has always loved targeting his TEs, a trait that is likely to continue as his connection with Thomas grows. His next matchup against the Bengals — who have given up the second MOST points to TEs — makes him a solid streaming candidate. Thomas deserves a decent bid this week as he’ll provide immediate help to any roster. But please note that his remaining schedule past Week 11 is quite loathsome. While most managers target him, I’d be perfectly fine pivoting by bidding on Reed instead, who should see better results with a friendlier ROS schedule.
Recommended Week 10 FAAB Bids: 5%
If you enjoyed Peter’s Week 11 FAAB Guide, make sure to check out the rest of our Week 11 Analysis for more help in optimizing your lineups.
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