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5 UP/5 DOWN: Week 11

5 Up

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee

For the vast majority of the 2019 season, Derrick Henry’s numbers were nothing to really get excited about. However, in the past two weeks, coinciding with the Tennessee’s switch from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, Henry’s stat line has vastly improved. Starting with the Carolina game in Week 9, Henry has 36 rushing attempts for 251 yards (an amazing 6.97 yards per carry average) and three scores. About the only thing still missing in his game is a lack of consistent involvement in the passing game. Henry and Tennessee will get to rest up during the Week 11 bye, then get right back at it against Jacksonville in Week 12. Jacksonville has been known to give up yardage between the 10s but tighten up around the goal line, allowing only six rushing touchdowns this season.

Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona

All season long, Murray (the reigning Heisman Trophy winner) has been putting up numbers worthy of consideration for Rookie of the Year honors, and in the past two weeks those numbers have improved exponentially. Back in Week 9, Murray torched the usually staunch San Francisco pass defense, completing nearly 71 percent of his passes and connecting on two touchdowns. On Sunday Murray did still more damage, completing 27 passes for 324 yards and three scores on the road in Tampa Bay. Murray gets to face San Francisco again this coming Sunday, and it remains to be seen if he can repeat his success of two weeks ago. If he can, he could quite possibly send San Francisco to its second straight loss.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City

When Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes went down with a dislocated knee cap, it was expected that Hill’s numbers would suffer the most among all of the offensive weapons Kansas City employs. While it’s true that his numbers did, in fact, slip just a bit, Hill has still managed to remain busy, and in the past two games he has not scored less than 25.5 fantasy points in a game. Now that Mahomes is back, look for those numbers to improve dramatically … and that’s scary. Next week Hill and the Kansas City travel to face a Los Angeles Chargers team (in Mexico) that is quickly becoming irrelevant this season, and if Hill can continue to produce as he has in the past two weeks, Kansas City can pretty much lock up the AFC West crown.

Pittsburgh D/ST

Looking back all the way to Week 6, the Pittsburgh defense/special teams has truly started to dominate opponents. Sunday’s game was the best one yet during that time-frame, as the latest edition of the Steel Curtain manhandled quarterback Jared Goff and the visiting Los Angeles Rams. Pittsburgh managed three interceptions, a fumble recovery, four sacks and a defensive touchdown on the way to putting up 29 fantasy points. And things should only get better from here, as Pittsburgh can look forward to perhaps the easiest remaining schedule for the fantasy season. Starting this week Pittsburgh goes on the road for two games against Cleveland and Cincinnati, then Cleveland at home, followed by a road game in Arizona, home against Buffalo, and then closes out the traditional fantasy season on the road against the New York Jets in Week 16. If you’re lucky enough to own the Pittsburgh defense/special teams, consider them by and large a “set it and forget it” option the rest of the way.

Melvin Gordon, RB, L.A. Chargers

Quite often when a player finally ends a holdout long into the season, it is said that his first 3-4 weeks back will serve as his “training camp” as his body once again gets used to playing football. These words were never more truer than for Gordon, who saw his numbers in his first four weeks in action suffer greatly before appearing to finally regain his old form these past two weeks. Dating back to a Week 9 game against Green Bay, Gordon has carried the ball 42 times for 188 yards three scores, while Austin Ekeler, his early season stand-in, has largely become nothing more than an afterthought. Gordon and the Chargers will play Kansas City (in Mexico) in a critical AFC West tilt this coming week before finally getting a bye the following week. Kansas City has been known to give up yardage on the ground, so look for Gordon to have another big game this week.

About David Verbanac

Hi guys, I've been a member of Fantasy Sharks since September of '08. If you've been a member here for the past few years, you have no doubt seen a few of my posts. Like most, I can usually be found trolling about in the Main Tank, commenting on all the hot topics involving fantasy football and the NFL. I am honored to be one of the "newbs" among the writing staff, and I hope that you find my columns to be both entertaining and informative. I have been a member of a private, 12 team PPR re-draft league for over 20 years. It is a league made up mostly of guys that I used to work with. I'm proud to say that I made the playoffs last year, finishing in the money in 3rd place. I, of course, am aiming for a shot at the title this season!!