2020 Fantasy Football: Week 11 Loves and Hates
After elite quarterbacks, surprise wide receivers, and backfield committees took over the fantasy storylines in Week 10, it is time for our favorite self-evaluating segment in fantasy football. Welcome to this week’s loves and hate. I will review how I did with analysis of skill players to watch out for in Week 10, then give you the rundown of big decisions you could make in Week 11.
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Week 10 Review
My Week 10 loves and hates can be viewed here. Here are self-evaluations of those picks, with grades for myself in parentheses.
My quarterback love pick of the week, Jared Goff, was all set to have a field day, facing the incompetent secondary of the Seattle Seahawks. I was all in on Goff hype and even encouraged many of you to start Josh Reynolds, who I correctly predicted would be a big beneficiary of the wide receiver stocks of the Los Angeles Rams.
— Ahaan Rungta (@AhaanRungta) November 13, 2020
Goff indeed played well, completing passes at a 73.0% rate, throwing for 302 yards, and turning the ball over just once on a fumble. However, Sean McVay crossed us all up and utilized the 1-2 backfield punch of Darrell Henderson Jr. and Malcolm Brown to find the end zone. Goff did not throw a touchdown and was, thus, not amongst the best fantasy plays at quarterback despite moving the offense at an efficient pace. Still a reasonable pick but the results not good enough to earn a solid grade.
My hate pick of the week, Drew Brees, is now facing news much more important than his fantasy irrelevance in Week 10. After throwing 8/13 on passes for 76 yards and a touchdown to Alvin Kamara, Brees suffered a big hit that caused him to retain fractures to the rib and a lung collapse that will have him out for at least a couple of games. The fantasy football legend, Jameis Winston, took over for Brees in the second half of Sunday’s game and is most likely the New Orleans Saints starter in Week 11. Brees wasn’t on the field long enough for me to evaluate my pick fairly.
Running Back (B-)
My running back love of the week, Kareem Hunt, was primarily picked as a word of caution to those of you frightened by the return of Cleveland Browns starter Nick Chubb. Hunt has been a good fantasy football start, especially in PPR formats, even with Chubb around and he proved that again as both a runner and a receiver. In a close game against the Houston Texans, Hunt saw no shortage in volume. He touched the ball 22 times, produced 132 scrimmage yards, and was amongst the best PPR plays of the week, despite not finding the end zone. The Browns are not afraid to split work between their two running backs because they expect both to be effective, especially in the absence of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Speaking of backfield shares, which tattooed the Week 10 wrapup, my running hate of the week, Josh Jacobs took part in one as well in a blowout win against the Denver Broncos. However, despite facing a tough fantasy run defense, both Jacobs and his partner in crime, Devontae Booker, saw fantasy relevance. Jacobs scored multiple touchdowns for the third time this season. It was his most efficient running game of the year, as he carried for 5.3 yards per rush, and he was the PPR RB2 of the week.
Wide Receiver (B-)
Trying to rebound from a rough week of wide receiver picks for Week 9, I was expecting some Hollywood gossip surrounding Sunday Night Football when I picked Marquise Brown to come back to life against a New England Patriots defense that has given up a few too many big plays for their liking. Little did I know the weather gods would bless us with the ugliest national TV game of the year and the Baltimore Ravens would treat the football like hot pancakes. As a result, Brown was also fantasy-irrelevant despite a return to his consistent volume of 6 targets. He only made 2 catches for 14 yards as Lamar Jackson is still yet to truly unlock his speedster in 2020. I wonder if this would have turned out differently in a clean-weather game; either way, we whiffed.
— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2020
However, we did decently well with our hate pick of Keenan Allen. While the final fantasy line for the superstar wide receiver was not completely dreadful, fantasy managers who needed Allen to show up were frustrated in what was one of his rare low-target, low-yardage games of the season. He caught 3 of his 7 targets for 39 yards against the tough matchup of Xavien Howard of the Miami Dolphins, and one of those catches came late in the game, with under 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. It was a simple slant to the end zone where Howard just got to his man late and was visibly upset. Still, Allen was a bad play in daily lineups and was mostly irrelevant in Week 10. Allen has scored a touchdown in 3 straight games while Howard continues his incredible season in the Dolphins secondary with 5 interceptions, second to only J.C. Jackson of the New England Patriots.
Tight End (A)
In a week where tight ends across the league didn’t light up the fantasy football scoresheets, our love pick of the week performed well enough to do his job for fantasy managers. Logan Thomas was the PPR TE6 of the week despite the rather bland stat line. He caught 4 of his 6 targets from Alex Smith but cashed in nicely on those receptions, tallying 66 receiving yards and, like most tight ends in Week 10, did not find the end zone. Thomas’ target share was a focus of our outlook on him when we made this pick and he continues to be one of the steadiest in the NFL in that category.
On the other hand, our hate pick, Dallas Goedert, decided to show up and make multiple catches for the first time since Week 2. However, he did not impress in standard formats and made 4 catches on 6 targets for only 33 yards without a touchdown. He was a bad play in daily lineups and disappointing for season-long managers.
Week 11 Loves & Hates
We were better in Week 10 but better is not good enough. Let’s try to go perfect and help you clinch playoff spots, save your season, or win some cash.
Week 11 Quarterbacks
Love: Jameis Winston (NO)
2020 has provided us with crossover after crossover and in today’s edition of “What In the World,” I am believing in Jameis Winston. With Drew Brees in line to miss multiple weeks due to rib and lung injuries, the legend of Winston’s fantasy profile is set to start for the New Orleans Saints. Of course, the natural instinct for fantasy managers is to first evaluate the loss of Brees as a possible shift to an offensive culture centered even more around their superstar back Alvin Kamara, who takes part in the explosive aspect of the Saints offense on the ground and in the air.
Saints’ QB Drew Brees has multiple rib fractures on both sides of his chest and a collapsed lung on the right side, per @WerderEdESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2020
Indeed, head coach Sean Payton is respected around the league and as a consequence, don’t expect him to let Winston air it out every play as if he’s Patrick Mahomes. Payton is not about that 30-touchdown, 30-turnover life. Instead, the passing volume will likely take a slight hit from Winston’s days on the Buccaneers; yet, I like Winston’s upside against a soft Atlanta Falcons defense at home.
While the quarterback is certainly a downgrade from the future Hall-of-Famer Brees, the opportunities for Winston to throw to the end zone shouldn’t completely vanish either. The last time Drew Brees missed time, it was 2019 and Teddy Bridgewater averaged 33 pass attempts in his 5 starts in place of Brees. If Winston gets a similar volume, there is no doubt he will have a chance to throw a couple of those passes for touchdowns against the team that has allowed more passing touchdowns than any other defensive unit in the 2020 NFL season.
Hate: Joe Burrow (CIN)
The #1 overall draft in 2020 has impressed on several occasions in his rookie campaign but facing potent defenses hasn’t been his comfort zone. Coming off a mediocre fantasy showing against the elite Pittsburgh Steelers, he faces a feisty Washington Football Team defense that boasts a top 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft themselves in Chase Young. As a team, Washington has sacked the quarterback 28 times this season, good for fifth-most in the NFL. As an offense, Cincinnati has allowed 32 sacks, second-most in the NFL. While Joe Burrow does possess some athleticism to overcome some pass-rushing adversity, he is likely going to be rushed all day. In 2020, Burrow’s quarterback rating when pressured is 49.8 (eighth-worst amongst current NFL starting quarterbacks). Not much upside to look forward to here and an untouchable in dailies.
Week 11 Running Backs
Love: Mike Davis (CAR)
The Carolina Panthers have arguably the best running back in the league on their roster and they still have backfield woes that cause fantasy managers distress. The injuries of Christian McCaffrey, the emergence of Robby Anderson as a stud, and the flashes of brilliance and concern from Mike Davis were already enough. Now, starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is no guarantee to play in Week 11. Regardless of that situation, however, fantasy managers have to start Mike Davis despite his inconsistency and lack of efficiency against solid run defenses.
In Week 11, Davis doesn’t have to contend with any matchup fear. He faces the Detroit Lions, who have allowed more rushing touchdowns than any other team, the fourth-most rushing yards, and eight-most yards per carry in the NFL this season.
If you are concerned about the possibility that Bridgewater has to sit in Week 11 and give the Panthers concerns about moving the offense, keep in mind that his backup is no scrub. P.J. Walker, who has stepped in for Bridgewater for a few snaps this season already, finished the 2020 XFL season with a 5-0 record for the Houston Roughnecks and led the league in passing touchdowns and passing yards. If Walker has to make his first NFL start in Week 11, it shouldn’t crumble Mike Davis stocks. Davis has possessed value against matchups when he has had to step in, especially in the PPR scene. Consider his upside to be top 5 amongst running backs this week.
Hate: Kenyan Drake (ARI)
Even though Kenyan Drake has been an auto-hate pick for several weeks in his disappointing 2020 campaign already, he was efficient in his return in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills, when he rushed for 100 yards at 6.3 yards per carry. The issue is that many Drake owners now believe he is back for good and an auto-start going forward. The truth is, he is not the Arizona Cardinals running back you should start in the Week 11 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Coming off his worst 2-game streak of a previously MVP-caliber season, Russell Wilson needs his revenge against the Cardinals in 2020. Destined to be a close game with possibly some rain in the forecast for Thursday Night Football, the Cardinals’ game plan should not be centered around pounding Kenyan Drake. Instead, it’ll be the ripping apart of the Seattle secondary, the dual threat of Kyler Murray, and the involvement of Chase Edmonds in the passing game that should highlight the window of fantasy opportunity, in turn closing the gates on the upside of Kenyan Drake.
Week 11 Wide Receivers
Love: Antonio Brown (TB)
Last week, I picked Marquise “Hollywood” Brown as my wide receiver love. I completely whiffed as he was kept quiet in the rain by New England. So this time, how about his cousin that played in New England for a hot second? Antonio Brown is still getting accustomed to the Tampa Bay offense, run by Tom Brady. With a lot of mouths to feed, Brown has talent around the field that he has to beat to possess true fantasy upside. In Week 11, I’m claiming we see the first big fantasy game for Antonio Brown since his return from suspension.
In his 3 career games receiving passes from Tom Brady, Brown has now been targeted on 29% of his routes, including a missed opportunity from Brady on connecting for a 52-yard touchdown in Week 10. Facing the tough Los Angeles Rams, on paper, the matchup isn’t ideal for Brown. But with as much pass-catching attention as the Buccaneers on other names like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and even the new-found engagement of Rob Gronkowski, Brown won’t be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey all game and will find ways to get his receptions. This is the week — start Brown or regret it forever.
Hate: Jerry Jeudy (DEN)
Is it cheating to keep matchup-targeting against Xavien Howard of the Miami Dolphins? I might as well just keep circling his assignments every week until you understand that wide receivers who have to face him should make their fantasy managers scared. Last week, it was Keenan Allen that busted due to the Howard matchup. This week, it’s the elite-talent rookie from Alabama, Jerry Jeudy, who had his big breakout game as recently as Week 9 against the Falcons when he cashed in 125 receiving yards and a score.
Further testing revealed that Broncos’ QB Drew Lock has a “pretty severe strain and bruising” but no fractured ribs, per source. He will be day to day, but it is uncertain if he will be recovered to start Sunday vs. Miami.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 17, 2020
Jeudy has been the clear #1 target in the Broncos pass-catching group but in Week 11, he may have to get the job done with Brett Rypien, instead of Drew Lock, who is beaten up. In two games not started by Drew Lock this season, Jeudy has made a total of 7 receptions on 13 targets. He did break through with his first NFL touchdown against the New York Jets in Week 4 with Rypien as his quarterback but if you can remember that matchup, the deep ball was quite fortunately not intercepted despite the tight coverage, rather Jeudy fought for it for the score. The upside facing the daunting shadow of Howard, who trails only J.C. Jackson in interceptions this season, is the basement.
Week 11 Tight Ends
Love: Dallas Goedert (PHI)
One week after picking Dallas Goedert as a hate pick, we’re not going to forget about the fact that the Eagles’ tight end target share of 28.48% is fifth-highest in the league through Week 10. In Goedert’s return to the lineup in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys, he only drew one target but in his Week 10 matchup against the New York Giants, he drew 6 targets. While he didn’t light up the scoreboard for fantasy managers, he finally faces an easy fantasy tight end matchup in Week 11, giving him an opportunity to turn the targets into big receptions against the Cleveland Browns, who have also allowed 5 tight end touchdowns in 2020.
Hate: Hunter Henry (LAC)
Once considered one of the best fantasy tight ends in the NFL, Hunter Henry hasn’t had a smooth 2020. He’s scored a total of 2 touchdowns this season and since the debut of Justin Herbert, he has found it difficult to stay atop the tight end rankings in games where he doesn’t score.
Henry hasn’t tallied over 40 yards in a game since Week 3 and even though his targets have been steady, he poses little upside in a game where Keenan Allen and Mike Williams should have no issues taking the load of the passing game against the New York Jets. Add in a possible revenge game for the newest Charger emergent Kalen Ballage and Henry might be completely irrelevant, especially in standard-scoring formats in Week 11.
As usual, keep sending your questions and commenting on your favorite value picks of the week. Maybe you will get featured in next week’s piece of loves and hates. Go get yourself some clutch wins!
If you enjoyed Ahaan’s Week 11 Loves and Hates, make sure to check out the rest of our Week 11 Analysis for more help in optimizing your lineups.
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