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Week 11 Start and Sit Recommendations for Fantasy Football

Congratulations if you avoided starting the skill players in Thursday night’s game between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. When the leading scorers in any game are a team’s D/ST, kicker, and third receiver, you know it is a rough fantasy day. Depending on where your team sits following Thursday’s barnburner, you may feel the need to play things a bit closer to the vest than normal this week. Or if you started some players who disappointed, you may want to swing for the fences on Sunday. That is where my Week 11 Start and Sit Recommendations come in. Below are some players that I am generally higher or lower on than the consensus rankings, along with my reasoning for said recommendations. Hopefully, they can come in handy and help you pull out a victory this week.

More fantasy football fun for Week 11: Waiver Wire | FAAB Guide | Start & Sit | Loves & Hates | Stock Watch | Sleepers & Streamers | QB Streamers | D/ST Streamers

Week 11 Start and Sit Recommendations

Quarterback to Start

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins, at New York Jets

There are not a whole lot of NFL quarterbacks I would sit against the New York Jets these days. This defense is bad in just about every department. Opposing quarterbacks have a league-high 108.1 passer rating against the Jets this season. Of the 17 Jets defenders who have played enough snaps to qualify for a Pro Football Focus grade, only two of them rank inside the top-50 at their respective positions. There just isn’t much talent on that side of the ball. And that has resulted in excellent fantasy numbers for opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks. The last four quarterbacks who have faced the Jets have all posted top-10 weekly finishes. All four have either thrown for 300 yards or three touchdowns. I think there is a pretty good chance Tua Tagovailoa adds his name to that list on Sunday afternoon.

Tagovailoa will get the start after dealing with a broken finger for the past couple of weeks. Miami removed him from the Week 11 injury report, so he should have no health issues on Sunday. I would not underrate Tagovailoa based on potential game script concerns. The Jets are -81 in point differential over the last four weeks, and that has not prevented any of the quarterbacks they faced from putting up big numbers. Oh, and the Jets won one of those games. In the three losses, opponents outscored them by an average of 28 points. Miami has the third-highest situation-neutral pass rate in the NFL. They will throw the football enough for Tagovailoa to put up solid fantasy numbers in this matchup. If you need a fill-in for Matthew Stafford or have concerns about the health of Kyler Murray or Russell Wilson, Tagovailoa makes an ideal replacement.

Quarterback to Sit

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks v. Arizona Cardinals

Did I just mention Russell Wilson? Well, what do you know? Here he is on my Week 11 sit list. Crazy how things work out. As frequent readers may know, I try to avoid starting players coming off a considerable layoff. Russell Wilson’s performance last week in Green Bay illustrated precisely why. Wilson completed just 50 percent of his passes and had a woeful 4.03 yards per pass attempt. It was not exactly the type of outing that will instill much confidence going forward. Sure, there is a pretty good chance that Wilson was just shaking the cobwebs loose last week. But based on what I saw, I would be wary of starting him until he shows us glimpses of the Russell Wilson of old. I am not convinced that happens this week against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals allow the third-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Opposing quarterbacks average 2.36 seconds to throw against Arizona. That is the lowest number in the NFL. Seattle has struggled to prevent rushers from the quarterback all season long. The Seahawks have allowed a possible sack (defined as sacks plus QB-avoided sacks) on 11.8 percent of dropbacks this season. That is the fourth-highest number in the NFL. Wilson looked rattled on occasion against Green Bay’s pressure, and we may see a repeat of that this week. I would probably be more inclined to start Wilson if we knew Arizona’s offense would be at full strength. A healthy Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins would likely force Wilson into more volume. But with Hopkins out and Murray a game-time decision, that is just even more reason to bench Wilson this week if possible.

Running Backs to Start

Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins, at New York Jets

If you think the New York Jets are bad against the pass (and they are), check out their numbers against the run. Over the last four weeks, they have allowed 174.6 fantasy points to opposing running backs. That is more than several teams have allowed all season. In that span, running backs have totaled 791 scrimmage yards and 14 touchdowns against the Jets. Fourteen! Nine different players have scored a rushing touchdown against New York in their last four games. Myles Gaskin has certainly been spotty of late, to say the least. The Dolphins back has just 101 yards on 46 carries over his last three games, including a lost fumble. However, sometimes the matchup is simply too good to pass up. This seems like one of those times. I can’t imagine many scenarios where I would bench Gaskin this week.

Salvon Ahmed has just seven opportunities in his last two games. That is not the kind of volume we want any part of in fantasy. However, I feel the need to bring his name up for two reasons. J.J. Taylor and Matt Breida. Neither running back has been even remotely fantasy-relevant this season. Yet both posted top-15 fantasy games in recent weeks against the Jets. Did I mention their defense is bad? Ahmed could find his way to the end zone if this game gets out of hand. Or he could also be a sneaky hedge in the event Gaskin continues to be ineffective as a runner. I can’t say I would start Ahmed under normal circumstances in a 12-team league. But he could be an option in deeper leagues depending on your situation and makes for an intriguing DFS punt play.

Jeff Wilson, San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars

Jeff Wilson made his 2021 season debut in last week’s upset win against the Los Angeles Rams. He had 10 carries for a pedestrian 28 yards. But when it was revealed that Elijah Mitchell broke a finger Monday night, the Wilson truthers finally saw the light at the end of their tunnels. The 49ers factory of fantasy running backs will go on with or without their talented rookie back. For Week 11, it appears they will go without. San Francisco deemed Mitchell doubtful for this week’s matchup in Jacksonville. With JaMycal Hasty already ruled out, that means Wilson is likely to see a full workload against the Jaguars. If he does, look out. In six career games where Wilson has had at least 18 opportunities, he has totaled 702 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns.

Jacksonville is better than they are generally given credit for against the run. Opposing running backs average just 3.75 yards per carry against them. That is one of the lowest numbers in the league. However, they have surrendered nine touchdowns on the ground to running backs this year. Only three teams in the NFL have allowed more. Given Wilson’s prowess when he is given the lion’s share of the load, he is in a prime position to put up big numbers on Sunday. With the injuries to his backfield mates and San Francisco installed as 6.5-point favorites, it seems the stars are aligning for Jeff Wilson Day 2021 to be upon us. Don’t be surprised if he ends up as an RB1 in Week 11.

Running Back to Sit

Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles v. New Orleans Saints

Jordan Howard has had a bit of a renaissance over the last three weeks. Howard has averaged over five yards per carry and 70 yards per game in his second stint as an Eagle. He has scored three touchdowns in as many games and even threw in a 25-yard scamper last week for good measure. The problem is that he is a non-factor in the passing game. So when he does not score a rushing touchdown, his fantasy stock drops precipitously. Such was the case in last week’s effort. Despite averaging nearly seven yards per clip on the ground, Howard finished the week outside the top-30 fantasy running backs on the week. I fear a similar fate awaits him against the New Orleans Saints in Week 11.

The Saints allow a league-low 1.01 yards per carry before contact. Holes will be hard for Howard to come by against the Saints’ front seven. They have also only allowed four touchdowns to opposing backs this year. Only three teams have allowed fewer. There is also the possibility that Miles Sanders returns this week. If the Eagles activate Sanders for this game, it may make the decision easier for a Howard manager to bench him. However, I would advise doing so even if Sanders sits on Sunday. There is just enough here to get me excited about playing Jordan Howard in this matchup. I would seek other options for Week 11 if at all possible.

Wide Receiver to Start

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs

When I started working on my potential list for Week 11 starts earlier in the week, I added Michael Gallup to the group but was a bit lukewarm about him for this week. Once the Dallas Cowboys have placed Amari Cooper on the reserve/Covid list, however, Gallup vaulted to the top of my list. Gallup missed nearly two months with a calf injury, so it was nice to see him come out of last week’s game unscathed. He was targeted five times and caught three passes for 42 yards. Gallup should be plenty busy in this week’s potential shootout with the Kansas City Chiefs. With Cooper out, Gallup should be even more involved than he was last week when he ran a route on just 55 percent of snaps.

Despite the relatively low usage, Gallup had a team-high 32 percent of Dallas’ air yards last week. That is encouraging, as he has seemingly resumed his role as a field stretcher for Dak Prescott and company. The Chiefs have been susceptible to the deep ball this year. Opposing quarterbacks have a 105.3 rating on passes 20 yards or more downfield against the Chiefs. That is in the top-10 in the NFL. Kansas City has also allowed 17 completions and five touchdowns on such pass attempts. Both of those also rank in the top-10 in the league. Gallup has the potential to produce fantasy points in the deep passing game, but should also see more targets than most deep threats due to Cooper’s absence. That makes him a high-upside WR3 for me this week.

Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | Kicker | D/ST | PPR | Flex

Wide Receivers to Sit

Michael Pittman, Indianapolis Colts v. Buffalo Bills

Technically, I still have Michael Pittman in the range where I would start him. So my recommendation here isn’t a sign to universally bench him regardless of your situation. But I think that Pittman will fail to reach expectations this week. The Buffalo Bills allow the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. And they are adept at checking all types of receivers in various zones on the field. Their cornerback trio of Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace, and Taron Johnson is among the premier groupings in the NFL. Pittman lines up all over the formation, but there is no soft spot in the Bills secondary. They are in the bottom-12 in terms of points allowed to wide receivers flanked, left, right, and in the slot. It’s just a bad matchup all around, no matter how you slice it.

Pittman may very well have earned the designation as “matchup-proof” by this point in the season. He has posted double-digit PPR fantasy points in 8-of-10 contests this year and has five touchdowns over his last six games. Again, I would not recommend benching him just for the sake of doing so. I think if push comes to shove, I lean towards starting him and hoping he can beat the difficult matchup. But he is more of a WR3 in 12-team leagues for me this week, as opposed to the top-10 wideout (overall WR9 on the season) we have grown accustomed to seeing.

Marquez Callaway, New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

Last week, I included Deonte Harris as a Start. I suggested starting him over teammate Marquez Callaway, which many thought was crazy. Through 56 minutes of action, Callaway had a single fallen target to show for his day, while Harris made multiple big plays. Then, on the Saints final drive, while playing in catchup mode, Callaway caught two passes, the second of which was a 15-yard touchdown to salvage his day and slip past Harris in weekly scoring. Am I bitter? Yes. Is that why I list Callaway among my Week 11 sits? Still yes, but there’s more to it than just my pettiness.

The Philadelphia Eagles allow the second-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season. Only six teams have ceded fewer receptions to wideouts, and just four teams have permitted fewer touchdowns. This is noteworthy because the Eagles are one of the few NFL teams yet to have their bye. Their pass defense has been really solid this year. Callaway could benefit from lining up against Steven Nelson more often than not. Nelson is the lowest-graded among Philadelphia’s three primary cornerbacks. He lines up to the right of the formation 73 percent of the time, which means he should get singled up against Callaway (lines up left on 53 percent of snaps) a fair amount. However, Nelson is not terrible by any means, so it is not enough for me to get excited about playing Callaway in this matchup. I would seek other wide receiver options this week.

Tight End to Start

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs

Dalton Schultz has disappeared in two of his last three games. That means there is a chance a frustrated manager may have cut bait. Whether you can grab him off the wire, or if you are that frustrated manager who has gotten the worst of it recently, I would advise starting Schultz in Week 11. He should be another beneficiary of the loss of Amari Cooper on Sunday, but I also like the matchup itself for Schultz. The Chiefs have allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. Only the Philadelphia Eagles have allowed more. Schultz also has a nice individual matchup against Anthony Hitchens. Hitchens ranks in the bottom-five in fantasy points allowed per target, and yards allowed per route of coverage. This feels like a prime bounce-back spot for Schultz, who should land back in the good graces of his fantasy managers after this week.

Tight End to Sit

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts

Dawson Knox returned from a three-week absence last week. He only caught one pass in his return to action. Apologists will point to the scoreboard and say that Knox was not involved because the Bills were blowing out the Jets for most of the day. But Josh Allen was still throwing deep passes well into the second half. Buffalo did not take their foot off the gas until the final few minutes. So to say that the game script took Knox out of the equation is a bit unfair. I will concede that it is highly likely that once the game was in hand, they decided to let discretion be the better part of valor and get their tight end and his hand a few extra days to heal. In any event, I am not as high as most seem to be on Knox’s Week 11 prospects.

The Indianapolis Colts have been fairly generous to opposing tight ends this season. They have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends, and only the Eagles have permitted more pass completions. However, with the Bills lacking a running game, I would imagine that the Colts use star linebacker, Darius Leonard, a bit more in coverage as opposed to focusing on the ground game. If that happens, I would expect him to be tasked with Knox most of the time. Leonard has been outstanding in coverage once again this season. He has allowed a 66 percent catch rate, which has resulted in 0.19 fantasy points per target and 0.84 yards per route coverage. Leonard ranks in the top-10 in all three metrics. Knox may struggle to break free of Leonard’s swarming coverage, which is why I would prefer to sit him this week.

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