Get a load of Week 11. Certainly entertaining, and quite possibly the greatest weekend of your life – if you own shares in a select few star wide receivers, of course. Even after a full Sunday’s worth of games, Ben Roethlisberger was this week’s top-scoring QB. His Thursday night performance against the Titans was nothing short of scintillating, as he stands atop the leader board with 29 PPR points. As for the rest, Week 11 held a few surprises. Here’s everything you need to know:
- Points for trying. The Browns flirted with a miracle win over Jacksonville on Sunday, but the Jaguars D/ST had something to say about it. Actually, in fact, so did DeShone Kizer, who fumbled on the Browns’ second-to-last drive of the game deep inside their own territory. The ball somehow trickled all the way into the end zone, only to fall into the waiting arms of Telvin Smith. It was the touchdown the Jaguars needed to stroll toward a comfortable victory, and the 27 fantasy points for owners certainly were a welcome sight.
- ‘Twas a good day to own Matthew Stafford shares. He was just one yard away from a 300-yard, two-TD day against a pretty strong Bears defense. Perhaps the most encouraging sign was his four hookups with Marvin Jones, though, that went for 85 yards and a score. Stafford himself gifted owners 18.3 fantasy points, ranking ninth among all QBs.
- You could make a case that Jordan Howard has been one of the more frustrating players to own this year, but when he’s hot, he’s hot. Sunday he put up his fourth 100+ rushing game of the season, which totaled 18.5 points. The good news is that with Mitchell Trubisky showing so much unease throwing the ball, the Bears are simply going to pump the ground game as much as they can. Don’t expect massive weeks like this every Sunday, especially with the Eagles up next, but if you’re an owner, you should be counting your blessings.
- It seemed to go hand-in-hand that Leonard Fournette would have a big week against the Browns, right? You might not know it, but Cleveland’s rush defense has actually allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards in the league. Still, nothing could stop Fournette from exploding for 111 yards on a crazy 28 carries. That’s the third time this year the Jags have given him over 25 opportunities to rush the ball, and with Arizona up next, we could see more of the same next week.
- The Texans/Cardinals game had plenty happening. Blaine Gabbert finished as the seventh-best quarterback with 19.6 fantasy points, but the real story was DeAndre Hopkins. For like, the fourth week in a row, he earns a big-time “thumbs up” on the back of 76 yards, a TD, on just four receptions despite being matched up with Patrick Peterson. I hate to think what Tom Savage’s life would be like without Nuke, but even Savage went 22-of-32 with a passer rating of 97.1.
- Gonna be really tough for the Vikings to bench Case Keenum anytime soon. Also gonna be really tough to bench Latavius Murray next week. The 27-year-old completely dump-trucked the Rams’ defense with a 34-yard run in the third quarter, finishing with 95 total yards and two TDs. That was only a footnote compared to what Adam Thielen managed, though. This is officially the breakout player of the year, ladies and gentleman, and if you’re lucky enough to own him and his 123-yard, one-TD day, you relished in 24.3 fantasy points.
- The Saints’ comeback win will go down in the books, but so will Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram after this season. All you need to know is this: A combined 50.1 fantasy points were scored between the two on Sunday.
- The Redskins aren’t going anywhere in the NFC East this year, but Kirk Cousins is certainly going somewhere on the stat sheet. It’s amazing he’s putting up these kinds of numbers with the limited options he has to throw to, but once again he put up over 300 yards coupled with three TDs. He’s now just 350 yards behind top-ranked Tom Brady as the league’s passing yard leader.
- And here’s Mike Evans with his third 90+ yard game of the season. The Dolphins allowed 321 total yards against the Bucs, but at the same time, Kenny Stills also torched Tampa Bay for, wait for it… 180 yards and a TD. That was good for 31 points on Sunday, placing him third among receivers behind only…
- Keenan Allen (40.2) and Antonio Brown (42.4). Brown was killer during Thursday’s win against the lowly Titans, but Allen’s career high in fantasy points was certainly out of left field against the Bills’ defense. It also gives owners some real hope over the remaining two months, as Allen was starting to frustrate after posting just one TD prior to Sunday’s effort.
- Ugly day for Green Bay. It’s the first time the Packers have been shut out at home in the last 11 years, and it was mainly due to the struggles of Brett Hundley. He threw three interceptions and managed just 239 yards on the day, gifting the Ravens D/ST a huge afternoon.
- Sticking with the Packers/Ravens game for the moment, it was another basic day for Baltimore offensively. Joe Flacco caught the same interception disease that infected Hundley, throwing for only 183 yards, a pick, and 9.2 fantasy points. Alex Collins was helped out by a garbage time three-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter, but other than that, Mike Wallace led the way in the receiving game with only 56 yards and a score of his own.
- Don’t count your Adrian Petersons before they hatch. Tough day all around for the veteran, tallying just 39 yards against the Texans. It’s a very similar theme to the one we saw last week against Seattle, and it won’t be surprising to see him benched in a ton of leagues over the next two weeks with the Jaguars followed by the Rams up next.
- So, um, speaking of the Rams … what the hell was that?! Jared Goff receives a pass, but Todd Gurley’s paltry 37 yards made life tough for any owner. A TD did save him some points as he finished with 14.6, but it was the only touchdown on an otherwise miserable day for Los Angeles in Minnesota.
- Want to know the last time Alex Smith finished with a QB rating below 40.0? Week 14, 2005. Very ugly day for the Chiefs’ veteran, and one that was certainly unexpected against a pretty lackluster Giants defense. He also wound up with fewer fantasy points (7.9) than Blake Bortles on Sunday. High winds were certainly a factor in this one, but Smith was one of the day’s biggest busts regardless.
- The Jordy Nelson state of affairs is seriously heartbreaking. He continues to slip down the weekly rankings each week, and he completely poofed into obscurity next to Davante Adams’ 126 yards against the Ravens. Nelson has now posted under 40 yards over his last four games, and not surprisingly, hasn’t caught a TD pass since Aaron Rodgers’ magical day in Dallas six weeks ago.
- Is this the end for Cameron Brate? Three weeks of nothingness, and now, just 2.5 fantasy points on three targets. A lot of this has to do with the QB situation in Tampa Bay, but another commendable 52-yard, one-TD performance from fellow tight end, O.J. Howard, has Brate losing some serious traction as a viable fantasy option going forward.
On The Shelf
- Looks like there could be some more time off coming up for Jay Cutler. He’s being evaluated for a concussion, but at least Matt Moore looked more than capable this week, throwing for 282 yards and a score.
- Here we go: Kelvin Benjamin knee injury time. It’s tough to speculate on what it could be at this point, but it’s looking to be of the “lengthy return time” variety. Benjamin took a hard shot from an oncoming Chargers defender over the middle of the field. We’ll probably know more on Monday.
- Done and dusted for Chris Thompson. He was carted off the field with his leg in a cast during the second half of Sunday’s game against the Saints. A broken fibula is the diagnosis.
A household name? Certainly not. Ricky Seals-Jones is your breakout star this week, gathering 54 yards and two touchdowns for the 0% of people who actually own the rookie. It could be a little too early to pounce on him off the waiver wire just yet, considering the Cardinals’ QB situation is still a carousel and all. Jones was scouted for his big-play ability in college, however, and since he entered the draft as a WR, this is the type of TE that could gather some serious red zone targets over the coming weeks. He’s also shown he can lay down a serious block in the slot, and although he does lack some initial speed, Jones is someone you’ll want to watch if you’re thin at the position.
I guess we’ve grown so accustomed to Evan Engram shining brightly that any kind of mundane week is a complete shock. Against the Chiefs defense, Engram managed only nine yards on one reception in the Giants’ 12-9 win, and with Sterling Shepard sidelined with headaches, it’s shocking that he wasn’t used in a much larger role. It will be interesting to see how Engram fairs against the Redskins next week, a team that has allowed the third fewest PPR points to opposing TEs in the league this season.