Let’s bypass the pleasantries, get right to it, and dive right into the Week 11 Starts and Sits.
Week 11 Starts and Sits
Start These Quarterbacks:
Eli Manning, New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I was on to something last week recommending the surging Eli Manning and there’s no real reason not to go back to the well in Week 11. Manning will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week and there could not be a better scenario. The woes of the Tampa Bay defense are well documented as they rank third league-wide in terms of fantasy points allowed to the QB position through 10 weeks of 2018. Their secondary is suspect. Their 9.0 yards allowed per attempt (31st NFL) is evidence of that fact.. Their defensive line is just as bad, ranking seventh worst in terms of sacks with just 21 over the first half of the season. A clean Eli against bad DBs with OBJ & Saquon catching his ducks? Yes please.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons
This will be a popular one this week and I’m not above going with the crowd if the crowd is correct. In this instance, they are. Since Week 6, Prescott has ranked QB10 and has built some chemistry with new addition, Amari Cooper. Cooper has demonstrated his ability to create immediate separation on underneath routes and that is a skillset that dovetails well with Dak’s reluctance to throw into tight windows. Though the Falcons should have linebacker Deion Jones back in this one, their defense is a giving one. They rank fourth worst against QBs and are vulnerable to the run as well. Dak has a good chance of adding to his 3 TDs on the ground (2nd NFL) this season.
Sit These Quarterbacks
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
A hard sell I know but you have to call them like you see them. And I see this game as a tough one for Mitchell Trubisky. HC Matt Nagy has worked wonders with the second-year signal caller and he looks like he has a good chance of being this year’s most improved player in the same mold as we saw Jared Goff emerge in 2017. Still, both of these offensive units are inferior to their defensive ones.
I see this game as more of a defensive struggle than a shootout and Trubisky’s stat line will reflect that. Trubisky ranks only 20th overall in terms of yards thrown per game at 243 and the Minnesota defense ranks ninth against the pass league-wide. As his value is bolstered by his rushing ability Trubisky will be hindered by Minnesota’s third ranked rushing defense. Don’t expect fireworks from Mitch this week.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Kirk Cousins is in the same position as Mitchell Trubisky as he faces another dominating defense. Khalil Mack, who missed the last two games, is slated to return so we can expect Chicago’s already significant pressure to increase. Moving Cousins off his spot tends to lead to hurried plays and turnovers. The Bears have the eighth best pressure rate in the NFL and have the fifth most sacks. If Dalvin Cook can’t get involved enough to slow the pass rush, Cousins will be in for a long day. That doesn’t look likely, as the Bears allow the fourth least fantasy points to RBs. Look elsewhere.
Start These Running Backs
Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals
There are three ways this game can go with the news about Joe Flacco’s hip injury and they are all positives for Collins.
1. Joe Flacco Plays Hurt: In this scenario, Collins will likely be fed more carries to preserve Flaccos health and limit the opportunities the Bengals will have to hit him.
2. Lamar Jackson Starts: Running quarterbacks tend to open up wider lanes for their running backs than standard QBs. Couple this with the fact that Jackson isn’t a polished thrower and rushing will be the Ravens primary way to move the ball.
3. Robert Griffin Starts: See scenario #2.
The Bengals have also been one of the worst defenses in the league against the run as of late, allowing the fourth most yards per attempt (5.0) and the second most rushing yards per game (141.2). If Collins’ timeshare isn’t too extreme in this contest he should make a great start.
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers
Royce Freeman is set to return to the lineup in Week 11 and that might scare some off of the undrafted star but don’t let that be you. Lindsay should continue his role as the lead back in Denver and will be in line for plenty of work against a Chargers offense ranked 10th in points per game so far this season. It’s also important to note that the Chargers are a middle of the pack run defense and have yet to welcome back their best D-lineman (Joey Bosa) from injury. With the departure of Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos should lean more heavily on the run if their defense can keep the score close. Lindsay should also be in line for a few extra targets.
Sit These Running Backs
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints vs Philadelphia Eagles
The over-under in this game is 55.5 and for good reason. A high scoring contest is most definitely in the cards. With these teams however, most of the damage should come through the air. Both the Eagles and the Saints rank in the top 10 in fewest rushing yards allowed and both of the quarterbacks are among the most talented in the NFL. These passing defenses are a different story. They rank in the bottom 10 in terms of yards allowed league-wide. For these reasons, I believe that this will be a close game in which Alvin Kamara gets the vast majority of the RB opportunities as Drew Brees and Carson Wentz duel for this win.
Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers
After a lambasting at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10, Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, CMC and the rest of the Carolina Panthers will make an immediate turnaround in Week 11 at the Lions.
Since acquiring “Snacks” Harrison from the New York Giants at the deadline, the Lions rush defense has improved but that has coincided with some lackluster play from Detroit’s secondary. Expect Cam to exploit this deficiency and attack the Lions with the his number one receiver out of the backfield in Christian McCaffery, and TE Greg Olsen. In this manner Newton will be able to effectively avoid Darius Slay’s return from injury and build a significant lead.
Johnson will face the ninth ranked run defense in a negative game script because of this. The presence of a healthy Theo Riddick in his backfield will limit his opportunities through the air. Sit him for this week.
Start These Wide Receivers
You… can’t start Cooper Kupp this week. I’m inconsolable. Oh well, the show must go on!
Willie Snead, Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals
With no clear indication as to who will start at quarterback for the Ravens in Sunday’s game I’ll plant my stake with the receiver closest to the line of scrimmage. For the Ravens, that is slot man Willie Snead. So far this season Snead has only recorded one touchdown, but he’s received 7.7 targets per game since Week 1. At an average depth of target over only eight yards (lowest on the Ravens) Snead will be the easiest pass on the field in this one.
The Bengals will help facilitate this as well. With the third-worst pass defense by yardage in the league and tied for the fourth most touchdowns allowed through the air, all Ravens WRs should have no trouble beating these DBs in Week 11.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals vs Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are ready to pack it up and go home. And they’ve been that way since the Khalil Mack trade. They have the fewest sacks in the league and are the second-worst pass rush according. Oakland has also given up the highest number of yards per attempt in the league at 9.0 yards a go. There couldn’t be a better matchup for Josh Rosen, Larry “Legend”, and David Johnson. Since OC Byron Leftwich’s promotion, the targets in Arizona have been heavily funneled to these three and TE Ricky Seals Jones. Fitzgerald has seen double-digit targets in his last two games and has made good use of them. He’ll continue his streak in this game.
Sit This Wide Receiver
Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions
As discussed in the recommendation to sit Kerryon Johnson, I mentioned the probable return of Detroit’s number one corner, Darius Slay. If he plays, he’ll cover Devin Funchess in this one. With more favorable matchups everywhere else on the field as well as a likely positive game script I wouldn’t be surprised if Funchess was the odd man out once again in Week 11. Though he did well in the beginning portion of the season, over the last three weeks Funchess has seen an average of less than five targets a game. This game will add to his streak. Start him at your own risk.
Allen Robinson and Emmanuel Sanders would be speculative sits as well. With so many bye’s however, most guys are worth a start.
Start This TE
Evan Engram, New York Giants vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is the week to roll out Engram as Eli won’t see as much pressure and New York’s tight ends won’t be used as much to stay in line and block. Because of Tampa Bay’s poor pass rush, Engram should see more time on the field and will face the second worse defensive backfield in football. In a game likely to be of the high scoring variety due to the Giants own defensive problems, expect more than the five targets Engram received against the 49ers. In the two games Engram has received more than five targets he’s also managed to score for what its worth.
Sit These TEs
In a week as Bye-heavy as this one it is tough to recommend a definitive sit at a position with so much uncertainty. Still, I would be cautious starting either Eric Ebron or Jack Doyle because of Tennesee’s number one ranked defense against the TE position. I would also be careful with Trey Burton and Kyle Rudolph in what will likely be a defensive battle.
Take these with a grain of salt this week however as if you have any TE within the top 15 on the season you’ll almost certainly have to roll him out this week.
Start These Defenses
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Arizona Cardinals vs Oakland Raiders
Sit These Defenses
Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Also be sure to check out my WR Ranks and RB Ranks.
Agree? Think I’m nuts? Let me know about it on twitter @ FF_Wonderkid. Thanks for reading.
Check out our Week 11 Sleepers: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends
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