I’m so sorry that I ruined your entire year.
No, really. I am. Couldn’t you tell from that sincere apology?
How about that? (OK, so that was just an excuse to jam Gemini Syndrome).
Each and every year I get told that. That I ruined someone’s season by making a lineup call that they followed that wound up being, um, not right.
I am well aware, after doing this in one fashion or another for pushing a decade, that for every time I’m spot-on correct there’s another where I’m dead wrong.
Just last week I recommended starting Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff. It wasn’t exactly a difficult call given how Goff’s been playing, but still – he went off against the corpse of the Houston Texans.
Of course, I also recommended starting Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson. He did have a 43-yard reception against the Arizona Cardinals, but it was his only catch of the game.
Here’s the thing. I can research matchups until my fingers fall off. Look at tape until my eyes bleed. Consider past performances. And I’m still going to be wrong a lot – because I have no control whatsoever over what actually happens in the games.
Just like I have no control over your starting lineup.
A savvy fantasy owner makes use of any number of tools, from the same data I use to lineup recommendations from industry experts. There are guys and gals I read each and every week. I take what they have to say under consideration…
And then I make my own decision. Just as you should. If I recommend Player A over Player B but you think I’m high on airplane glue, start Player B. The only person who has to live with your lineup decisions is you.
And stop yelling at me. I’m very sensitive and bruise easily.
With my tender feelers in mind, let’s hit this week’s recommendations.
NOTE: It’s the last of the byes. The Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers are off in Week 11. No Jacoby Brissett or Josh McCown this week. I know – you’re devastated.
Tom Brady, New England (at Oakland)
Alex Smith, Kansas City (at New York Giants)
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (at Dallas)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (vs. Atlanta)
SPOT START OF THE WEEK
Jay Cutler, Miami (vs. Tampa Bay)
Per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Cutler believes the Dolphins will bounce back despite being smoked in two out of the last three weeks. “Adam said it really well in the locker room, that’s three weeks out of 16,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “There’s a lot of football left. The pieces are in that locker room. I truly believe that. I have been around a lot of good teams, there [are] a lot of good guys in there, a lot of talent. And there’s really good coaches. So, we just have to get back to work. That’s the only thing we can do. We can’t fold up shop because there’s a lot of football left to play and anything can happen.”
The Dolphins haven’t looked good of late, losing three straight – including twice in blowout fashion. But two weeks ago, Cutler threw three touchdown passes and topped 300 yards and he tossed a couple garbage touchdowns Monday night against the Panthers. Believe it or not, Cutler is eighth at the position in fantasy points over the past two weeks – and he gets a top-five fantasy matchup Sunday against the Buccaneers.
ROLL THEM OUT
Drew Brees, New Orleans (vs. Washington)
The New Orleans Saints piled up 47 points last week, but they did so without Brees throwing a single touchdown pass – although he did run for one. Cheer up, Brees owners – this week’s Superdome tilt with the Redskins shapes up well fantasy matchup-wise.
Derek Carr, Oakland (vs. New England)
Carr’s fantasy owners have been disappointed by his production this season, but they won’t be Sunday in Mexico City. Carr’s coming off a bye week so his balky back should be a bit better, and no team has given up more fantasy points to quarterbacks this season than the Patriots.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. Kansas City)
There hasn’t been much to cheer in New York this year, and there are rumors that this could be Manning’s last year in New York. The Giants are probably going to get killed in this game, but Kansas City isn’t good defensively. Hello, garbage time.
SIT THEM DOWN
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (at Minnesota)
Goff’s as hot as any quarterback in the NFL right now – he’s thrown seven touchdown passes over the last two weeks. But this week’s big game in the Twin Cities isn’t a home tilt against a tomato can – the Vikings defense is no joke, especially at home.
Case Keenum, Minnesota (vs. Los Angeles Rams)
After Keenum torched the Washington Redskins for 300+ yards and four touchdowns some fantasy owners might be considering him as a Week 11 streamer at quarterback. Don’t – the Rams are 29th in fantasy points given up to quarterbacks. This is going to be a low-scoring affair.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (at Pittsburgh)
Mariota’s looking healthy again, and the Steelers gave up two long touchdown passes to Jacoby Brissett last week. But that game wasn’t at Heinz Field, and the Steelers are second in pass defense and allow the third-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.