Week 11! Hopefully you find all of your teams in the thick of a playoff race.
Even if your team is out of the playoff hunt, remember, it’s not all about the
wins and losses. It’s about pride in your ability to manage a team and continue
to be competitive even during those seasons where you find yourself with a
less-than-stellar team. So, continue to pluck that gem off the waiver wire
keeping him from those in the playoff hunt and let everyone know, that even in
defeat, you’re going to be a factor in the playoff race.
Now on to
this week’s Start/Bench!
vs. New Orleans: Palmer will be facing the worst fantasy defense in the league against
quarterbacks. He has also scored less than 14 fantasy points only once this
year, which occurred all the way back in Week 4. With running backs Darren
McFadden and Mike
Goodson likely to miss this week’s game Palmer will have no choice but air
at New England:
Luck will be
facing a Patriots defense that is the sixth-most generous in fantasy against
quarterbacks. On the road with a running game that is adequate at best, Luck is
going to have to put on an aerial display if the Colts are going to have any
chance in this game. The Patriots have given up more than 300 yards passing in
five out of nine games this year. Luck has passed for more than 300
yards four times. At least 300 yards passing and multiple passing scores
are on tap.
vs. Tampa Bay:
Newton had one of
his two 300-yard passing games against Tampa Bay back in Week 1 and will now
face a Buccaneers defense that has allowed 1,379 yards passing and 12
touchdowns over its last four games. It appears that Carolina has no interest
in establishing a running game and will simply rely on Newton to take care of
business. This game is just what Newton needs to get back on track and allow
him to finish up his sophomore campaign with a bang.
Kaepernick, San Francisco
Chicago: Be it either a concussed Alex
Smith or second-year man Colin
Kaepernick, the Bears’ No. 1 ranked fantasy defense against quarterbacks
will be on a mission after failing to find the end zone for only the second
time since Week 2. The Bears defense needs to prove that it can compete with
the elite teams in the NFL and should be looking to make a statement this week.
Freeman, Tampa Bay
Freeman will be facing a Panthers defense that hasn’t allowed multiple passing
touchdowns since Week 4. The emergence of running back Doug
Martin has the Buccaneers relying less on the arm of Freeman and more on a
potent ground attack. I can see Freeman being used as a bye week fill-in but
make sure to temper your expectations.
Flacco had a great
game last week throwing for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns for the
first time since Week 3. But let’s not forget about the five games in between
where he threw for one or less touchdowns in each game. Flacco will be facing a
Steelers defense that is the third-toughest against quarterbacks in fantasy and
hasn’t allowed multiple touchdown passes since Week 5.
Jackson, St. Louis
vs. New York
Jets: Jackson topped 20 carries for the first time since Week 1 and
converted them into his first 100-yard effort of the season against a very
stout San Francisco defense. Was last week a game plan that played towards a
49ers weakness or is this going to be the norm moving forward? I don’t know,
but given a matchup against a Jets defense that has allowed 100 or more yards
rushing in seven out of nine games this year, I’ve got to ride with Jackson
vs. Green Bay: This game is going to
be a shootout, and Bell is the preferred option at running back for the Lions
when they go to pass mode. Those in points per reception leagues should
especially take note as Bell’s pass-catching prowess should allow him to be at
least a productive flex play this week.
vs. Miami: Did I really need to
include Spiller on the ‘start’ list? No, I didn’t. But when he goes off on a
tough Miami defense, I don’t want to be the only one left behind when the other
industry analysts toot their own horns for having made such a ‘bold’
prediction. On the other hand, should Spiller tank this Thursday, forget that
you ever read this.
Ivory, New Orleans
While the Oakland defense
is ranked as the fourth-most generous against running backs, most of that can
be attributed to two games in which the Raiders gave up a combined 505 yards
rushing and seven touchdowns. Sans those two games, the Oakland defense has
only allowed three rushing touchdowns in seven games. As long as the Saints
continue to employ an running back by committee, your guess is as good as mine
as to when Ivory will find the end zone, as that is what will make him
We’ve seen enough
to know that Jennings cannot handle the role of feature back. We’ve also seen
enough to know that when healthy, Maurice Jones-Drew is a first-round talent.
While a healthy Jones-Drew would be firmly planted on the ‘Studs’ list against
this matchup with the Texans, Jennings gets a seat on the ‘bench.’
at Detroit: While the Lions have
given up 100-plus yards rushing in five out of nine games this year, they have
only allowed three rushing touchdowns on the season. Regardless of the defense
that Green Bay is facing, the running back position is a virtual non-factor in
their offense as they prefer to let Aaron
Rodgers do the heavy lifting. This is a timeshare that is best avoided.
vs. New Orleans: Moore has scored a
touchdown in five out of his last seven games and this week he gets a matchup
with a Saints defense that is the worst in the league when it comes to
defending wide receivers. You may want to see if Moore’s owner is willing to
part with him as he has a favorable schedule the rest of the way.
vs. Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers
defense has given up less than 200 yards receiving to opposing wide receivers
just once this season, back in Week 6. They have given up six touchdowns to
opposing wide receivers in the last four weeks. While Smith has struggled
mightily this season, look for him to put up his best game to-date against the Buccaneers
vs. Cleveland: The Browns have held opposing wide receivers to less than 100
yards only once this season. While Bryant has only scored three touchdowns on
the season, the talk this week has been about how Bryant is progressing as a
football player. His diving touchdown grab last week should definitely increase
Romo’s confidence in Bryant, opening the door for bigger performances down
Alexander, San Diego
Alexander took advantage of a plus-matchup and a missed tackle to score on an
80-yard pass play last week. But there’s a huge difference between Tampa Bay
and Denver, who are the fourth-toughest defense in fantasy against wide
receivers. There will be no gifts from the Broncos defense this week.
Crabtree, San Francisco
Crabtree should be on your bench regardless of who is starting at quarterback
for the 49ers this week, but more so should Colin
Kaepernick get the start. The Bears were able to hold the Texans wide
receivers to a mere six catches for 65 yards. The Bears need to post a high
profile win and they’ll be very motivated come Monday night.
The Texans defense
has shut down both the Chicago and Buffalo wide receivers over the last two weeks.
Shorts was held without a catch back in Week 2 against the Texans and figures
to get the same treatment again this week.
Gates, San Diego
at Denver: After not scoring a
touchdown in the Chargers’ first five games, Gates has found the end zone four
times in their last four games. This week Gates has a tasty matchup against a
Broncos defense that is the worst in the league at stopping tight ends. Another
solid game by Gates and he just may find himself back on the ‘studs’ list.
This call is more about opportunity as Celek has a matchup against the second
worst team in fantasy when it comes to defending tight ends. And if a tight end
is truly a rookie quarterback’s best friend, then Celek should be in for a big
at New England:
Fleener expected to miss a couple more weeks, Allen will be the focus at
tight end for the Colts. With a solid matchup against a Patriots defense that
has been very generous to opposing tight ends, a six-catch, 70-yard effort with
a possible touchdown is not out of the question.
vs. San Diego: The Chargers have
only allowed two touchdowns and one double-digit scoring effort by an opposing
teams’ tight ends. Add in touchdown vulture Joel
Dreessen, and you’re looking at a very unproductive day by Tamme.
Philadelphia: It’s possible that we’ve seen the best from Paulsen. If
Davis, was unable to thrive in the Redskins’ new offense, what are we to
expect from Paulsen? With Robert Griffin III under center, the Redskins
prefer to throw the ball to their wide receivers at the expense of their tight
ends. Although, those in points per reception leagues who are desperate for
help at tight end could do worse than Paulsen.
Hernandez, New England
I know that
Hernandez is on the ‘studs’ list, so please don’t get all bent out of shape.
David Grey will tell you that not everything in life is black and white. I’m
tired of playing this game with the Patriots as to whether Hernandez will or
won’t start. It’s best to play it safe until you’ve actually seen him play a
game, especially since this week they’ll be facing the No. 1 defense in fantasy
when it comes to defending tight ends.
Bukowski is the content manager and a fantasy writer for fantasysharks.com and
is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.