Week 11 Sleepers and Busts: Guice is Nice
I have to admit that it was a bit challenging to find good sleeper and bust candidates this week. My rankings more or less coincided with those of the Expert Consensus Rankings. However, there is a thin line between a starter and a bench player. There is also always plenty of room for debate, and circumstances are likely to affect all of our rankings between now and Sunday kickoff. Be sure to check out my updated rankings before the games begin on Sunday. As for now, here are some of the players I am higher or lower on than the consensus, also known as my Week 11 sleepers and busts.
Week 11 Sleepers and Busts
Kyle Allen (My rank: QB11; Expert Consensus Ranking: QB13)
I am also a bit higher on Sam Darnold (my rank: QB17; ECR: QB20) and Jeff Driskel (my rank: QB22; ECR: QB26) but you are not starting either outside of SuperFlex leagues. Kyle Allen, on the other hand, is someone worthy of starting in most leagues this week. Allen gets a great matchup against the Atlanta Falcons and their porous secondary. While they were able to hold the Saints in check last week, I do not believe they found some magic formula to cure their ills during their Week 9 bye. I still think they are a defense to attack through the air. Allen had a career-high 307 yards last week and should have plenty of chances to put up points in this matchup.
Jimmy Garoppolo (My rank: QB13; ECR: QB10)
Two weeks ago, I had Jimmy Garoppolo as a sleeper quarterback in this exact matchup and he finished the week as the QB2, throwing for 317 yards and four scores. So why is he a Week 11 bust? Simply put, I just do not trust Garoppolo if George Kittle and/or Emmanuel Sanders are out of the lineup. Neither has practiced yet this week. We saw Garoppolo struggle mightily on Monday night without the ability to rely on his two favorite targets. Garoppolo averaged a season-low 5.4 yards per attempt in last week’s loss. San Francisco may try to squeeze an extra week’s rest while looking ahead to a Week 12 showdown against Green Bay in a game that could have a lot to say about playoff positioning in the NFC. Garoppolo should do enough to remain fantasy-relevant, just do not expect a repeat of his superb Week 10 performance.
Sleeper Running Backs
Tarik Cohen (My rank: RB26 in PPR; ECR: RB34)
Tarik Cohen has yet to eclipse 50 yards from scrimmage in a game this season after accomplishing that feat in more than half of his 2018 appearances. This year’s struggles aside, I find Cohen to be an intriguing play this week. Lead back David Montgomery rolled his ankle in practice on Wednesday and was unable to take the field on Thursday. Even if Montgomery is good to go, I would expect Cohen to get more touches than usual this week. Chicago will want to keep the Rams’ defense off-balance, as Mitchell Trubisky’s struggles this season have been well documented. Despite Jalen Ramsey having struggled since his trade to Los Angeles, I would not expect Trubisky to challenge him much down the field. Instead, I think there will be plenty of dump-offs to Cohen, making him a Flex with some upside in PPR leagues.
Derrius Guice (My rank: RB32 in PPR; ECR: RB43)
Derrius Guice was activated off injured reserve and is expected to make his much-anticipated return to action this week against the New York Jets. Make no mistake about it – the matchup is not a good one. The Jets allow the fewest yards per rush in the NFL. But I would expect Guice to get plenty of run as Washington attempts to evaluate their younger players with an eye towards the future. They have already announced that Dwayne Haskins will be the team’s starting quarterback for the remainder of the year. Derrius Guice is a true wild card heading into Week 11, but one with enough upside to at least consider starting this week, especially in PPR leagues. In a week where several big-ticket running backs are on a bye and several others have injury concerns, Guice makes for an interesting flyer.
Bust Running Back
Ronald Jones (My rank: RB28 in PPR; ECR: RB23)
Ronald Jones got the start over Peyton Barber last week and finished as the overall RB5 in PPR leagues. However, I do not think that performance is sustainable this week. Jones had a career-high eight receptions out of the backfield. Perhaps he has turned a corner as a receiver. But I would like to see more considering he had only 15 receptions in 17 career games before last week. Jones also lost a fourth-quarter fumble in last week’s game and watched as Barber scored the game-winning touchdown. I still expect Jones to get more work than Barber this week, but there is at least some doubt there. The matchup is cause for further concern. New Orleans allows the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. I don’t mind Jones as a Flex play this week, but I would not expect anything resembling last week’s effort.
Sleeper Wide Receiver
Zach Pascal (My rank: WR34 in PPR; ECR: WR39)
As was the case with quarterbacks, there was not much I disagreed on the consensus with in terms of my wide receiver rankings. One player I am a bit higher on is Zach Pascal. Pascal disappointed last week in the Colts’ loss against Miami, but better days are ahead now that Jacoby Brissett is scheduled to return. Jacksonville has used A.J. Bouye to shadow recently, but I am not certain they consider Pascal worthy of shadow coverage. Even if Bouye does strictly cover Pascal, Pascal can win that matchup enough to put up solid totals. Pascal has had at least six targets in four of his last six games and has put up double-digit PPR points in four of his last seven games. I believe he will reach both of those marks this week, making him a viable WR3.
Bust Wide Receiver
Sammy Watkins (My rank: WR39 in PPR; ECR: WR33)
Patrick Mahomes came back last week and threw for 446 yards and three scores. And yet, Watkins disappointed once again, managing just 39 receiving yards. Watkins still has not had a top-24 fantasy performance since Week 1. I do not anticipate him breaking out in a Week 11 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. Watkins will likely line up against Casey Hayward, who is one of the better cornerbacks in the league. Of the 75 cornerbacks who have had at least 200 coverage snaps, Hayward leads all in coverage snaps per reception at 18.9 and is second behind Richard Sherman in yards per coverage snap at 0.67. Watkins is always going to have upside as a key player in a potent offense. But I do not think is the week to count on that happening.
Sleeper Tight Ends
Mike Gesicki (My rank: TE12 in PPR; ECR: TE14)
Mike Gesicki finished outside the top 30 last week, which was a disappointment given his recent stretch. However, there were some positive takeaways. Gesicki saw six targets which were good for an 18 percent target share. That number is excellent for a tight end and bodes well for his outlook. If he is going to put up starter-type numbers this week, it will have to be despite a difficult matchup. The Buffalo Bills allow the fewest points per game to opposing tight ends. But I think that DeVante Parker will be plenty busy dealing with the coverage of Tre’Davious White, which could force Ryan Fitzpatrick to look Gesicki’s way. Gesicki has a pretty low floor, but we can say the same about every tight end in this range. Gesicki is a viable streaming option this week.
Ross Dwelley (My rank: TE17 in PPR; ECR: TE23)
George Kittle looks to be on the wrong side of questionable heading into a dream matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. It might be worth it to at least consider his expected Week 11 replacement in Ross Dwelley. Dwelley has finished as a top-25 fantasy tight end in consecutive weeks. That includes a Week 9 game against Arizona, who will be his opponent this week. Kittle also finished as the weekly TE3 in that game, further highlighting how advantageous this matchup is for tight ends. Arizona has now allowed seven tight ends to finish inside the top 10 in just nine games. In a week where Kittle and top fantasy scoring tight end Austin Hooper are injured, and where Evan Engram and Jimmy Graham are on a bye, Ross Dwelley has the look of a Week 11 sleeper at the tight end position.
Bust Tight End
Dallas Goedert (My rank: TE22 in Standard; ECR: TE16)
Dallas Goedert is the only tight end I was significantly lower on than the consensus. However, as you can see, they do not necessarily consider him a starter either, so hopefully, you have better options. If there is a case to be made for Goedert, it would be if Alshon Jeffrey is not able to go because of his ankle injury. That may open up some more targets for Goedert. But considering they are facing the New England Patriots, I would just as soon avoid all pass catchers not named Zach Ertz. Even Ertz is a relatively tough sell against a New England team permitting the third-fewest points per game to the position. I would rather speculate on a tight end with a favorable matchup such as Ross Dwelley or Tyler Eifert than pin my hopes on Dallas Goedert in Week 11.
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