Monday - May 10, 2021

Home / Commentary / RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 11


Welcome to the Week 11 edition of “Red Light, Green Light,” a matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests (and Monday night).

In each NFL Week 11 game profile below, I will choose a total of three players to highlight as green-, yellow- or red-ight options.

green-light Green Light: Players who have a great matchup. These guys are rock solid fantasy options and can be counted on as a strong source of fantasy production.
yellow-light Yellow Light: Players with just an OK matchup and/or usage concerns. These guys are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire.
red-light Red Light: Players with serious matchup/usage concerns, thus requiring lowered expectations lowered for the week. They should just be avoided altogether if possible.

Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow- or red-light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not carry your team to victory.

As always, the information conveyed below is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, but can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default points per reception (PPR) scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Bye Week Teams: San Francisco, New York Giants, Chicago, Buffalo

Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Football Team

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Bengals Football Team
Quarterback 5th 21st
Running Back 18th 22nd
Wide Receiver 9th 31st
Tight End 2nd 8th
Defense/Special Teams 9th 4th
Vegas Line: Football Team -1.5
Vegas Over/Under: 45.5

Green Light – Logan Thomas (TE, Washington)

The move away from Dwayne Haskins at quarterback has resuscitated Thomas’ fantasy value after seeing his usage go down the toilet in October. Only Atlanta has allowed more receiving yards to opposing tight ends than the Bengals.

Yellow Light – Antonio Gibson (RB, Washington)

Gibson has a lock on redzone carries, though J.D. McKissic (29 targets the last two weeks) is a major drain on the rookie’s pass catching upside. Cincinnati has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards to opposing backfields.

Red Light – Joe Burrow (QB, Cincinnati)

While the Washington pass defense showed some vulnerability last Sunday (276 passing yards and three scores via the air to Detroit), its pass rush will pose problems for the Bengals’ struggling offensive line. Burrow likely spends much of this contest on the run from Chase Young and company.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Falcons Saints
Quarterback 1st 17th
Running Back 25th 31st
Wide Receiver 2nd 15th
Tight End 1st 6th
Defense/Special Teams 21st 27th
Vegas Line: Saints -5
Vegas Over/Under: 50.5

Green Light – Hayden Hurst (TE, Atlanta)

The Saints secondary has improved in recent weeks, though the interior of their pass defense remains weak. Hurst is quietly fourth in tight end receiving yards as of this writing, and has at least seven targets in each of the Falcons’ last three games.

Yellow Light – Jameis Winston (QB, New Orleans)

There are still many questions surrounding Winston this week. While we do know that Drew Brees (ribs) is looking at a multi-week absence, Saints head coach Sean Payton has yet to officially anoint either Winston or Taysom Hill as the starter against Atlanta. If Winston does indeed start, which Winston will we get? A more restrained version who makes good decisions? Or the same Winston that ran himself out of Tampa Bay by committing repeated senseless turnovers each week?

Update: There remains conflicting information as to whether Winston or Hill will start this week, and it is entirely possible the Saints implement some sort of quarterback committee between the two of them. Fantasy nightmare.

Red Light – Todd Gurley (RB, Atlanta)

Averaging 52.25 rushing yards per game over the Falcons’ last four games, Gurley’s fantasy value continues to be kept at a respectable level thanks to his nine rushing touchdowns (second only to Dalvin Cook’s 12). The Saints have not allowed a rushing score to an opposing running back since Week 4.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Steelers Jaguars
Quarterback 29th 3rd
Running Back 32nd 5th
Wide Receiver 10th 12th
Tight End 32nd 7th
Defense/Special Teams 24th 7th
Vegas Line: Steelers -9.5
Vegas Over/Under: 46.5

Green Light – Steelers D/ST

This is another week where the Steelers defense should take center stage against a vastly inferior opponent. The Jaguars have the lowest implied point total (18.25) of any team on the Week 11 slate.

Yellow Light – Ben Roethlisberger (QB, Pittsburgh)

Roethlisberger has seven touchdowns over the Steelers’ past two games, both of which being ones where they were heavily favored. With Pittsburgh struggling to establish any sort of ground game, Roethlisberger will have little trouble moving his team up and down the field with his bevy of talented receivers.

Red Light – James Robinson (RB, Jacksonville)

Outside of Houston in Week 5, no Jaguars opponent has really come up with a solution for stopping Robinson. Pittsburgh will be up to the task as it can afford to stack the box against quarterback Jake Luton.

New England Patriots at Houston Texans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Patriots Texans
Quarterback 27th 16th
Running Back 15th 3rd
Wide Receiver 21st 11th
Tight End 28th 14th
Defense/Special Teams 13th 14th
Vegas Line: New England -2
Vegas Over/Under: 47

Green Light – Damien Harris (RB, New England)

As he’s shown in two nationally televised contests, Harris can be a force when the circumstances allow and he is on pace to finish the season with over 1,000 rushing yards. A matchup against the Texans’ NFL-worst rush defense sets Harris up for a second boom week in a row.

Yellow Light – Duke Johnson (RB, Houston)

Though the numbers last week were less than stellar (14 rushes, 54 yards, no pass targets), Johnson was given all but one of the Texans’ backfield opportunities (the one he didn’t get was a C.J. Prosise reception that went for -2 yards). Johnson should fare better against a Patriots defense that cedes 107.9 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields.

Red Light – Deshaun Watson (QB, Houston)

Playing in windy conditions at FirstEnergy Stadium last Sunday, Watson endured his worst fantasy performance of 2020 (163 passing yards and a score along with 36 yards on the ground). Don’t expect much improvement here against the Patriots, who allow the 10th-fewest passing yards per game, and have intercepted 11 passes (tied with two other teams for second-most in the NFL).

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.