It’s Week 11 and we’re now just 3-4 weeks away from the fantasy playoffs depending on your league’s setup. Keep an eye on those rookies as we will start to see some of the veterans wear down as well as the weekly group of injuries.
I have said the last few weeks that as you get through the bye weeks you need to start retooling your rosters and purging of the players that are just taking up space on your bench such as a second kicker, extra defense or players who will have an extended amount of games missed due to injury. Be smart about it though as some people might think about dumping Matt Forte but he could return in time for the fantasy playoffs.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.
Jeremy Langford– 20 carries for 73 yards and 1 touchdown, 7 receptions for 109 yards and 1 touchdown. The rookie is filling in nicely for the injured Matt Forte racking up 182 total yards in this game. The schedule gets a little tougher the next few weeks starting with the Broncos in Week 11.
Antonio Brown– 10 receptions for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns. Landry Jones left the game with an injury forcing Ben Roethlisberger back under center. He is averaging 163.8 receiving yards in the 6 games he has gone over 100 yards receiving.
Adrian Peterson– 26 carries for 203 yards and 1 touchdown. Peterson now has 3 consecutive 100 yard games. He has a good chance to continue that streak unless his hamstring keeps him out of the game this week.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.
Peyton Manning– 35 passing yards and 4 interceptions. That was by far the ugliest game in Manning’s career. Manning now has 17 interceptions on the season, the most he has had since 2010. He is out this week but was on pace for 30 interceptions which would have set a career high.
Andy Dalton– 197 passing yards and 1 interception. Dalton laid a dud on Monday Night Football failing to throw for a touchdown in a game for the first time this season. Dalton has a tough 3-game stretch which includes the Cardinals coming up followed by the Rams.
Darren McFadden– 17 carries for 32 yards. McFadden was held in check by the Buccaneers defense. This is the first subpar game he has had since Week 5. He’s popped up on the injury report this week so monitor his situation as he draws a very good matchup against the Dolphins.
Good quarterback matchups this week:
Derek Carr against the Lions. Carr is currently the 10th best fantasy quarterback this season and enters this week with 3 consecutive games over 300 yards passing. He faces a Lions team that ranks 23rd allowing 260.1 passing yards and 16 touchdowns given up. The Lions are allowing the 3rd highest fantasy points to quarterbacks with 19.3 per game.
Matt Ryan against the Colts. Ryan is due for a breakout game as he hasn’t had more than 2 touchdowns in any game this season. He faces the Colts who are 28th in the league allowing 279.3 passing yards per game with 16 touchdowns. They are allowing 16.9 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Jameis Winston against the Eagles. Winston is averaging about 20 fantasy points per game over the past 4 games which includes 3 straight games with a rushing touchdown. He gets a matchup against the Eagles who rank 16th against the pass allowing 246.8 with 15 touchdowns. Winston hasn’t thrown a touchdown in the last two weeks so he is due.
Good running back matchups this week:
Devonta Freeman against Colts. In Freeman’s last game before the bye he rushed for just 12 yards on 12 carries. Look for the Falcons to give him the ball more this week as he goes back over 100 yards in a game where he might go off on the ground and through the air. The Colts are 22nd in the NFL allowing 114.9 rushing yards per game with 9 touchdowns. They allow 18 fantasy points per game to running backs.
Charcandrick West against the Chargers. West has the best matchup of any running back this week as he faces the Chargers who give up the most fantasy points to running backs with 22.4 per game. They are allowing 122.9 rushing yards per game (27th) with 9 touchdowns. This includes allowing a 100-yard rusher in 7-of-9 games this season. West has averaged 27.7 fantasy points over his last 3 games.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Frank Gore against the Falcons. Gore will likely retire after this season so there is no reason to try and keep him fresh. He has received a good amount of carries over the past two weeks averaging 25 touches in those games. He should get plenty of carries in this game with Matt Hasselbeck under center.
The Falcons have been stingy in terms of rushing yards allowed this season as they have only allowed 88.9 yards per game (3rd) but they have given up the 3rd most rushing scores with 11.
Bad quarterback matchups this week:
Philip Rivers against the Chiefs. Rivers has played well this season as he ranks as the 3rd best quarterback in fantasy behind Tom Brady and Cam Newton. His last outing against the Bears was a let down. This week he has a tough matchup against the Chiefs who have played well over the pass 4 games holding quarterbacks to just 1 touchdown in each game. They are allowing 244.3 passing yards per game (15th) with 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. The Chiefs are holding fantasy quarterbacks to 14.4 points per game.
Mark Sanchez against the Buccaneers. Even though Sanchez has had success in this offense, I expect Jameis Winston to out-play him. Last season Sanchez took over for Nick Foles and threw 11 interceptions in 9 games. Last week in relief of Sam Bradford he threw another interceptions. Do you see where I’m going with this? The Bucs are 10th in pass defense allowing 233.2 passing yards with 19 touchdowns.
Andy Dalton against the Cardinals. As mentioned earlier, Dalton failed to throw for a touchdown last week for the first time all season and this week faces a tough Cardinals defense. The Cardinals are 7th in pass defense allowing 223.2 passing yards per game with 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. They are holding fantasy quarterbacks to 14.1 fantasy points per game.
Bad running back matchups this week:
Matt Jones against the Panthers. Jones had a breakout game last week posting his best fantasy day since Week 2 when he had 32 points. Many people might look to use Jones to fill-in for bye week starters or injuries but Jones isn’t the guy you want to use. First Alfred Morris is getting more carries then he is on a weekly bases, second since Week 2 he hasn’t carried the ball more than 11 times in a game. The Panthers are allowing 103.4 rushing yards per game (14th) with 7 touchdowns. They have given up zero rushing touchdowns in the past 3 games with less than 45 yards in the last two.
Todd Gurley against the Ravens. Gurley has been great since Week 4 with 100-or-more yards in 4 of the last 6 games. I want to like Gurley this week but the situation and matchup isn’t ideal. First the team is switching to Case Keenum at quarterback which will allow the Ravens to stack the box against Gurley. The other is the matchup against the Ravens who are allowing just 98.7 rushing yards per game (10th) with only 3 touchdowns to running backs. While I do think Gurley will get 20+ carries in this game, I don’t believe he will have much room to do anything with it.
LeSean McCoy against the Patriots. In the first meeting with the Patriots McCoy ran for 89 yards but it was Karlos Williams who got the touchdown. McCoy has just 2 rushing touchdowns this season while Williams has 5. The Patriots have been stout against the run as they allow just 88.2 rushing yards per game (2nd) with just 3 touchdowns allowed to running backs.