There are no shortage of big games dotting the NFL schedule in Week 11, and one of the biggest takes place in Philadelphia, where the Eagles will host the New England Patriots in a rematch of Super Bowl LII. It’s going to be an uphill climb for the home team, as the Eagles are all kinds of banged up on the offensive side of the ball.
There are injuries on defense as well, but in the secondary at least the team’s as healthy as they have been all season long. After missing nearly a calendar year, veteran cornerback Jalen Mills has been back in the lineup for the team the past three games. He was joined in Week 8 by Ronald Darby, who missed time this year with a hamstring injury. In Philly’s Week 9 win over the Chicago Bears, slot man Avonte Maddox played for the first time in over a month.
As Nick Fierro reported for the Allentown Morning Call, the Eagles beleaguered back end benefitted big-time from getting their top three corners back on the field together.
“It never hurts to have your guys back in there,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. “… It had increased use of a couple different packages that we really had not gone to this year. This last game, we played some four corners in the game, which is something we really didn’t have enough personnel to be able to do. But getting Jalen Mills back, getting Darby back and Avonte back, even having Cre’Von [LeBlanc] on the horizon somewhere, somewhere hopefully soon, it does give you a little bit more flexibility [to] be able to match up different ways.”
This week the Eagles face a stiff test on the back end against Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu and a Patriots team that leads the NFL in fantasy points per game allowed to the cornerback position, and Maddox told the NFL Network’s Mike Giardi that he’s well aware he’ll have his hands full with Edelman in the slot.
“He’s very quick. Physical. Great hands,” Maddox said. “They (Edelman and quarterback Tom Brady) got a connection between them two that is very unique. His route running … it’s hard to know whether he’s going in or out.”
Maddox is low man on the fantasy totem pole in Week 11 of this trio (behind Mills and Darby in that order), but all three could have some value in CB-required IDP leagues.
Here are some other streaming options to consider in Week 11.
Emmanuel Moseley, San Francisco 49ers (vs. AZ)
For the most part, Moseley has been impressive since taking over for the injured Ahkello Witherspoon at corner opposite Richard Sherman. But as Sammy Abu-Saoud wrote for Niner Noise, the undrafted second-year pro stumbled a bit when the 49ers and Cardinals faced off for the first time this season back in Week 9.
“(Moseley) was not perfect against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9, as he blew converge on a huge play to rookie wide receiver Andy Isabella, which resulted in a touchdown,” he said. “But for an undrafted free agent, who will still grow as a player, Moseley has proven to be a steal for the Niners and will be an important contributor to the 49ers defense for years to come.”
Moseley finished that meeting with the Redbirds with five tackles, and he’s coming off his best fantasy stat line of the year—10 stops and three passes defensed in last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Next up are the Cardinals who have been relatively kind to opposing quarterbacks in 2019, allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to the position.
Trayvon Mullen, Oakland Raiders (at CIN)
Since trading former first-round pick Gareon Conley to the Houston Texans for a 24-pack of Natty Light Seltzer, it’s been rookie Trayvon Mullen who has been asked to step up and start at corner for the Oakland Raiders. Per Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has been impressed by the development he’s seen from the youngster from Clemson.
“Trayvon is progressively improving,” Gruden said. “The only way to get these guys ready for primetime is to put them out there. We like the progress he has made. That’s why we took him at the top of the second round. He’s going to get targeted quite a bit, like all rookie cornerbacks, but I have seen day-to-day concentration. I’ve seen day-to-day competitiveness and gradual improvement. He’s a guy who has a lot of confidence.”
Mullen hasn’t been especially productive from an IDP standpoint, although his numbers have picked up of late—a dozen total tackles over his last two games. This week Mullen and the Raiders square off against a winless Cincinnati Bengals team that has been surprisingly good to opposing cornerbacks in 2019—fourth in fantasy points per game allowed to that spot.
Sean Murphy-Bunting, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NOS)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank last in the NFL in both pass defense and scoring defense after 10 weeks this season, and when they take the field against the Saints Sunday it will be with a vastly different-looking secondary. The Bucs released former first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves, and youngster M.J. Stewart is injured and has been ruled out.
That means that rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting will make his fourth career start against New Orleans, and Murphy-Bunting told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that he’s ready to step up and do his part.
“I feel like that’s something we should’ve been doing a long time ago, everybody just stepping up as a whole,’’ said Murphy-Bunting. “You can be young, you can be old, you can always lead by example. We all have to mature, we all have to step up and just keep going.
The second-round pick out of Central Michigan hasn’t made much of a statistical impact yet, but that could change Sunday against the Saints, who have surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the cornerback position in 2019.
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P.J. Williams, New Orleans Saints (at TBB)
When the Saints travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11, they will do so without cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who will miss the game after pulling his hamstring last week against the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Sean Payton allowed to ESPN’s Mike Triplett that it’s a big loss, but he thinks the Saints have the depth at corner to overcome it.
“[Lattimore] is working on getting healthy. But we feel like we’ve got pretty good depth at that position,” Payton said. “One of the reasons we have depth at that position is to have some flexibility. We’ve seen a lot more opened-up sets, more receivers on the field than maybe 10 years ago. So, it’s important to have the ability to match that.”
With Lattimore on the shelf, it will fall to Eli Apple and P.J. Williams to cover one of the most dangerous one-two punches in the NFL at wide receiver in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Thanks in part to how good those wideouts are and in part to how turnover-prone quarterback Jameis Winston is, no team in the NFC has allowed more fantasy points to cornerbacks this year than the Buccaneers.