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Start/Bench – Week 11

As we prepare for Week 11, the fantasy football playoffs loom on the horizon. Every move made from here on out is magnified as losing is no longer an option for many fantasy squads.

There have been a few tweaks to the ‘studs’ listings as attrition and injuries have continued to whittle down the list of every week must-start options.

This truly is where the rubber hits the road, folks, and I will stop babbling and get to what you came for …

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Aaron Rodgers
* out for multiple weeks *
Peyton Manning
Drew Brees
Matthew Stafford
Cam Newton
Philip Rivers
Robert Griffin III
Tony Romo
* bye week *
Russell Wilson

Welcome Back

Russell Wilson: Wilson has scored 24 or more fantasy points in five of his last eight starts and bested 20 points six times this season. The combination of his ability to generate points with his legs as well as his arm elevates Wilson to ‘Stud’ status.

START

Nick Foles, PHILADELPHIA vs. Washington:
Something has to give this weekend as the porous Washington secondary travels to face an offense that has struggled at home. So far this season, Foles has thrown all 16 of his touchdown passes away from Philadelphia. The Eagles offense is humming right now so look for Foles to put up solid fantasy numbers at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time this season.

Tom Brady, NEW ENGLAND at Carolina:
This is the week where we find out if Brady is truly back. Following the bye week Brady will have his full complement of offensive weapons, including running back
Shane Vereen

. The Panthers defense completely shut down San Francisco last week but I look for vintage Brady this week. He will follow up his Week 9 432-yard, four-touchdown performance with top-five fantasy totals.

Case Keenum, HOUSTON vs. Oakland:
Look for the kid to get his first victory as the starting quarterback for the Texans and post very nice fantasy totals. Keenum continues to target wide receiver
Andre Johnson

(25 times in the last two games) and faces a fantasy-friendly Oakland pass defense. Keenum and Johnson have combined for five touchdowns in Houston’s last two games and will hook up for at least one in Week 11.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, TENNESSEE vs. Indianapolis:
In their last three games the Colts defense has allowed eight touchdowns without intercepting a pass. Fitzpatrick posted three touchdowns (two passing and one rushing) last week after taking over for the injured
Jake Locker

. It’s a short week for the Colts to try and fix a defense that was gashed for 372 yards by the St. Louis Rams. Fitzpatrick will put up very nice fantasy totals this Thursday night and is a nice plug-and-play bye week filler for
Tony Romo

owners (FanDuel bargain alert!).

BENCH

Alex Smith, KANSAS CITY at Denver:
With the fantasy playoffs looming this is no time to put your team’s fate in the hands of a ‘game manager.’ Despite a nice matchup against a Denver defense that is among the top-10 in allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks, Smith is not a starting option. With
Tony Romo

being the only fantasy relevant quarterback on a bye this week there are better options out there.

Terrelle Pryor, OAKLAND at Houston:
Pryor hasn’t thrown a touchdown in his last three games and was held to 19 rushing yards last week. He was sacked four times and turned the ball over twice. The Texans have the top-ranked pass defense and are holding opposing quarterbacks to 14.6 yards rushing per game. Pryor and the Raiders are trending in the wrong direction and fantasy owners can’t trust him as a starter.

Colin Kaepernick, SAN FRANCISCO at New Orleans
: After showing a glimmer of hope with his Week 8 and 9 rushing performances, Kaepernick was awful last week. He totaled 107 yards with a turnover while completing merely 11-of-22 passes. He was sacked six times and may be without tight
Vernon Davis

(concussion) this week. The Saints will make it a point to limit his rushing totals and he’s been ineffective as a passer since Week 1. No reason to play him.

Matt Ryan, ATLANTA at Tampa Bay:
Forget the 273 yards and three-touchdown performance Ryan put up against Tampa Bay back in Week 7. He just doesn’t have the weapons to get it done this year. Further limiting the passing attack is that
Tony Gonzalez

is now nursing a toe injury and isn’t a lock to play this week. Atlanta has no running game, period. Tampa Bay may not be the stingiest pass defense in the league but the Buccaneers do have enough (a healthier
Darrelle Revis

as well as safeties Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson) to hold Ryan in check.

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