We are approaching the homestretch of the fantasy football season. Week 11 features six more NFL teams on a bye. However, when it comes to the quarterback position, that is not the harbinger of doom it normally is. No quarterback among the top 10 in fantasy points is out of action this week. Tom Brady is the only one even in the top 20 who qualifies, though Baker Mayfield would do so on a per game basis. Even though most of the high-end quarterbacks will be under center this week, there are still a number of under the radar options who should make for nice fantasy plays. Here are my top Week 11 quarterback sleepers.
Week 11 Quarterback Sleepers
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
The Tennessee Titans have posted two straight impressive victories following their Week 8 bye. They defeated Dallas by 14 on the road, then dispatched of New England rather easily last week. Their defense has been solid as usual, but their offense finally seems to be hitting their stride. Tennessee has set season-highs in points scored in each of their last two games. A big reason for their recent success has been the improved play of quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota has completed 70 percent of passes and has averaged a robust 8.83 yards per attempt since the bye. The former No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft has posted top-eight fantasy finishes in each of those two games. Mariota will look to continue his recent hot stretch when Tennessee travels to Indianapolis in Week 11.
The Colts’ defense has had some trouble defending quarterbacks recently. They have allowed opposing quarterbacks to finish among the top eight in fantasy points in four of their last six games. The Colts have also allowed quarterbacks to rush for three scores. Mariota is sixth among quarterbacks in rushing and is tied for sixth in rushing touchdowns. While there is certainly no guarantee Mariota runs one in, it raises Mariota’s already high ceiling. His floor should be elevated as well. This game has sneaky shootout potential. The Colts are third in the AFC in terms of points per game and have averaged 35.5 points over their last four games. Tennessee will need to score to keep up with Indianapolis, and I believe Mariota will be up to the task. Marcus Mariota has the potential to have another big day, making him one of my favorite Week 11 quarterback sleepers.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons
Dak Prescott, like Mariota, has had improved fantasy production of late. Prescott has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in three of his last four games. He now gets one of the most attractive matchups there is when Dallas heads to Atlanta to face the Falcons in Week 11. The Falcons have been a welcome sight for nearly any opposing quarterback this year. Atlanta had ceded top-nine weekly finishes to seven of their last eight opponents. The Falcons have allowed all eight in that stretch to throw for over 300 yards, three touchdowns, or both. The list of opponents who have dismantled the Falcons includes Eli Manning, Jameis Winston, Alex Smith, and Baker Mayfield. Prescott should be able to find success against a beleaguered Falcons’ defense.
This is a matchup that mirrors Mariota’s in many ways. The Falcons, in addition to their woes in coverage, also struggle to contain running quarterbacks. Atlanta has given up the sixth most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks this season. As is the case with Mariota, it is not bankable to rely on a rushing score, but it increases Prescott’s ceiling. Atlanta, like Indianapolis, also boasts an elite offense, particularly at home in their dome. The Falcons average 32.4 points at home. Dallas will have to score to keep pace. That means Prescott should have plenty of opportunities to put up points, both on the scoreboard and in fantasy. If you have Tom Brady or have been riding Baker Mayfield lately, Dak Prescott could be a solid pivot this week. I think Prescott makes for a high-floor, higher ceiling option in this matchup.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens v. Cincinnati Bengals
You really cannot discuss Week 11 quarterback sleepers without mentioning Lamar Jackson. The rookie has attempted a grand total of 12 passes this season and is no sure thing to take the field this Sunday. But Joe Flacco has a hip injury which casts serious doubt upon his Week 11 status. If Flacco sits, it is likely that Jackson would get the start against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals allow the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. But, truth be told, the matchup is almost incidental with Jackson.
Jackson has such raw athletic ability and is such a dynamic playmaker as a runner that his deficiencies as a passer are secondary when it comes to fantasy. Rushing production always boosts a quarterback’s fantasy outlook beyond what most pocket passers can accomplish through the air. At the risk of mentioning Michael Vick and Tim Tebow, allow me to mention Michael Vick and Tim Tebow. When Vick started for the Falcons in 2002, he finished third among quarterbacks in fantasy points per game despite throwing just 16 touchdowns and failing to eclipse 3,000 yards in 15 games. As for Tebow, after being given the starting gig in Denver in Week 7 of 2011, he was the overall QB8 from that point forward. This came in spite of the fact that he exceeded 200 passing yards or a 50 percent completion rate in exactly two of his 11 starts.
If Jackson gets the start on Sunday, he is going to put up fantasy points. Cincinnati has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks, and only New Orleans has allowed more rushing touchdowns. And, needless to say, none of the quarterbacks Cincinnati has seen, including Cam Newton and Patrick Mahomes, possess the raw speed and pure rushing ability that Jackson does. He may not be for the faint of heart, but Jackson has unique qualities that make him worthy of fantasy consideration. With six teams facing a Week 11 bye, you can definitely do worse than playing Lamar Jackson this week.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars v. Pittsburgh Steelers
After bottoming out in a Week 7 drubbing at the hands of the Houston Texans, Blake Bortles has bounced back rather nicely. Bortles has finished as a QB1 in each of his last two games, including last week’s overall QB7 effort in Indianapolis. Bortles will look to continue his improved play and lead Jacksonville back into the win column when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers this week.
Pittsburgh’s defense has improved lately, but they still allow the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks on the year. They have also held enemy running backs to the third-lowest rushing total in the NFL. As much as Jacksonville would like to rely on their trio of backs, it is likely that Bortles will have to generate offense on his own. Bortles is yet another dual-threat signal caller who can benefit by making plays with his legs. He has the third-most rushing yards of any quarterback this season. Pittsburgh has allowed the ninth-most rushing yards to the position, so this is an area Bortles can exploit. Blake Bortles should be able to produce solid results in this matchup and could be a nice fill-in this week.
Mick Ciallela has been writing for FantraxHQ since July 2017. He has also written for Bleacher Report. He is a lifelong sports fan and has been an avid fantasy sports player for many years. Mick was the Overall Champion of both the 2016 Football Challenge – Roto and 2017 Play 3 Football contests hosted by CDM Sports. Mick was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York and currently resides in New London, Connecticut.
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