START EM / SIT EM: WEEK 11

With the ever important Fantasy Playoffs approaching in the next few weeks, matchups and lineup construction has never been more critical. At this point in the season and with injury spreading throughout the league at a rapid rate, it’s impossible to tell you to sit any particular player because you most likely do not have a choice.

Quarterbacks and very few Wide Receivers can still be scooped up off waivers and streamed with the right matchup (Willie Snead, Donte Moncrief, Adam Humphries), but running backs are scarce and most owners will be forced to start who they have, regardless of the matchup. Here are some favorable matchups for Week 11. As always, hit me up on Twitter @Bishphat with any questions or comments:

QUARTERBACK

ELI MANNING, QB New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
22.3 Projected Fantasy Points

Eli has proven that he can’t be trusted. Like Flacco, and now Andy Dalton, he has been known to disappoint and under produce in a favorable matchup. This Giants offense has a lot of explosive weapons, but Eli has been unable to bring it all together this season. That should change Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers defense is allowing 24.1 FPPG to opposing QBs (2nd), 234 completions (5th), 2755 yards (5th) and 23 passing TDs (1st). Here are some recent QB performances against this Bucs defense:

  • Week 1: Drew Brees 30.0 Fantasy Points (QB2)
  • Week 3: Ben Roethlisberger 25.0 Fantasy Points (QB9)
  • Week 4: Mitchell Trubisky 43.0 Fantasy Points (QB1)
  • Week 6: Matt Ryan 28.0 Fantasy Points (QB4)
  • Week 7: Baker Mayfield 21.0 Fantasy Points (QB8)
  • Week 8: Andy Dalton 20.0 Fantasy Points (QB11)
  • Week 9: Cam Newton 21.2 Fantasy Points (QB9)

Get Eli in your active roster because this might be the last time this season and in his career that he will be a decent fantasy start.

CARSON WENTZ, QB PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ New Orleans Saints
23.3 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

This is a no brainer, but Wentz is playing lights out right now, throwing multiple touchdown passes in 6 of his last 7 games. He is averaging 23.0 fantasy points per game in his last 6 games, which is QB6 in that span. This is more of a sure fire DFS play this week as his matchup is perfect. The Saints are allowing 24.5 Fantasy Points per Game to opposing QBs (1st), 2799 passing yards (4th) and 19 passing TDs (9th). Here are some notable QB performances against the Saints DST:

  • Week 1: Ryan Fitzpatrick 42.0 Fantasy Points (QB1)
  • Week 3: Matt Ryan 36.0 Fantasy Points (QB2)
  • Week 7: Joe Flacco 20.0 Fantasy Points (QB11)
  • Week 8: Kirk Cousins 22.0 Fantasy Points (QB8)
  • Week 9: Jared Goff 28.0 Fantasy Points (QB3)

Wentz should be in for a big day in this one, facing the worst secondary in the league. Look for Wentz to have his best fantasy game of the season in Week 11.

DAK PRESCOTT, QB DALLAS COWBOYS @ Atlanta Falcons
23.8 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

No one will ever admit it as the Dallas hate is real this season, but Dak Prescott is quietly having a solid fantasy season. He is averaging 23.3 Fantasy Points per Game in his last 4 games, which is QB9 in that span. Prescott will always have a very high floor in fantasy due to his rushing totals, which have accounted for 3 rushing scores on the season. Week 11 may turn out to be his best pure passing week as the Cowboys will square off against an Atlanta secondary that is broken and tired. The Falcons defense is allowing 23.7 FPPG to opposing QBs (4th), 242 completions (4th), 2751 passing yards (6th) and 21 passing TDs (3rd). Here are some exceptional QB performances against the Falcons DST this season:

  • Week 2: Cam Newton 29.0 Fantasy Points (QB7)
  • Week 3: Drew Brees 41.0 Fantasy Points (QB1)
  • Week 4: Andy Dalton 26.0 Fantasy Points (QB9)
  • Week 5: Ben Roethlisberger 23.0 Fantasy Points (QB7)
  • Week 6: Jameis Winston 33.0 Fantasy Points (QB1)
  • Week 7: Eli Manning 21.0 Fantasy Points (QB8)
  • Week 10: Baker Mayfield 22.6 Fantasy Points (QB8)

Prescott should find space with his legs and his arm in this matchup. This could be a high scoring affair and one that finally gets Amari Cooper fully acclimated in this offense. He should be a solid QB1 this week.

MATTHEW STAFFORD, QB DETROIT LIONS vs. Carolina Panthers
19.8 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

The Lions are struggling on both sides of the ball this season and Matthew Stafford has felt the effects. With Golden Tate now in Philly and no receiving threat to speak of, the only positive take away this season is the discovery of an elite running back talent in Kerryon Johnson (mark my words, he is special). Stafford has come on as of late, throwing multiple touchdown passes in 7 of his last 8. The Lions will square off against a Panthers secondary that just allowed 5 Touchdown Passes to Ben Roethlisberger in prime time. The Panthers Defense is allowing 20.5 Fantasy Points per Game to opposing QBs (5th) and 21 passing TDs (2nd). Here are some recent QB results against this Panthers DST:

  • Week 2: Matt Ryan 31.7 Fantasy Points (QB5)
  • Week 3: Andy Dalton 18.1 Fantasy Points (QB15)
  • Week 5: Eli Manning 19.2 Fantasy Points (QB12)
  • Week 7: Carson Wentz 20.7 Fantasy Points (QB10)
  • Week 9: Ryan Fitzpatrick 26.0 Fantasy Points (QB5)
  • Week 10: Ben Roethlisberger 35.8 Fantasy Points (QB1)

When Eli and Andy Dalton are on this list, you know the defense is struggling. Look for Stafford to have a huge day and could put up borderline QB1 numbers.

RUNNING BACKS

ALEX COLLINS, RB BALTIMORE RAVENS vs. Cincinnati Bengals
10.1 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

This is it guys. This is the one. This is the game where Alex Collins finally gets going. We have said this a bunch this season, but continue to regret drafting the Ravens running back so high in drafts this summer. The Ravens backfield has been frustrating to say the least, with Javorius Allen of all people out-snapping Alex Collins 45% to 44%. However, Collins snap counts have trended upward in the last 4 weeks and he now appears to be solidified as RB1 in Baltimore.

They will face off against a Bengals Defense that is allowing 26.3 Fantasy Points per Game to RBs (3rd), 1066 rush yards (6th) and 8 TDs (9th). Here are some notable running back performances against this Bengals DST, who just fired their Defense Coordinator:

  • Week 3: Christian McCaffrey 21.4 Fan PTS (RB6)
  • Week 5: Kenyan Drake 24.5 Fan PTS (RB6)
  • Week 6: James Conner 28.9 Fan PTS (RB5)
  • Week 7: Kareem Hunt 37.1 Fan PTS (RB1)
  • Week 10: Alvin Kamara 26.2 Fan PTS (RB10), Mark Ingram 25.2 Fan PTS (RB12)

On top of getting gashed on the ground by running backs this season, they are also getting beat by pass catching running backs:

  • 58 Receptions allowed (9th)
  • 523 receiving yards (6th)
  • 5 receiving TDs (3rd)

Javorius Allen will be a sneaky play in DFS this week. Both running backs in Baltimore should put up decent numbers against the Bengals this week.

DOUG MARTIN / JALEN RICHARD, RB OAKLAND RAIDERS @ Arizona Cardinals
7.1 / 9.5 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

It’s still weird to see Doug Martin as a starter when he was so ineffective year after year in Tampa Bay. Either way, he has run well filling in for the injured Marshawn Lynch, averaging 15.0 touches per game since taking over this backfield Week 8. Martin continues to be the features back in Oakland, while Jalen Richard is designated for 3rd down and pass catching duties. They will face a Cardinals Defense that is allowing 25.8 FPPG (4th), 1134 yards (3rd), 11 TDs (2nd)

  • Week 1: Chris Thompson 24.8 Fan PTS (RB5) / Adrian Peterson 24.6 Fan PTS (RB6)
  • Week 2: Todd Gurley 28.3 Fan PTS (RB2)
  • Week 4: Mike Davis 28.4 Fan PTS (RB6)
  • Week 6: Latavius Murray 22.8 Fan PTS (RB8)
  • Week 7: Phillip Lindsay 16.6 Fan PTS (RB12)

The Cardinals are very good against pass catching running backs, placing firmly in the top 12 in Receptions, yards and TDs. But Oakland should find themselves down and forced to throw, so Jalen Richard could be an interesting flex in this game. Look for Martin to outperform his projections.

PEYTON BARBER, RB TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ New York Giants
7.1 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

No matter that the Giants continue to struggle on offense, they can always put together a pretty solid defensive core. While their offense has seen many new coordinators and schemes, their defense has continued to be a calling card for this franchise. That recently changed when they traded away defensive back Eli Apple to the Saints and nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison to the Lions. Harrison is regarded by most as the best interior run defender in the NFL.

With Harrison out of the picture, the Giants no longer have a presence to clog up the middle and this run defense could be exposed. The New York Giants defense is allowing 23.1 Fantasy Points per Game to RBs (8th), but have been solid in all other areas. Here are some recent running back performances against the G-Men this season:

  • Week 4: Alvin Kamara 41.1 Fan PTS (RB1)
  • Week 5: Christian McCaffrey 20.3 Fan PTS (RB12)
  • Week 7: Tevin Coleman 16.2 Fan PTS (RB13)
  • Week 8: Adrian Peterson 28.6 Fan PTS (RB5)
  • Week 10: Matt Breida 28.2 Fan PTS (RB6)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers throw the ball a ton, which should open up the run game for Barber to shine. Look for Barber to outperform his projections.

EZEKIEL ELLIOT, RB DALLAS COWBOYS @ Atlanta Falcons
19.7 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

I know, a no brainer, but here is another solid DFS play and a guy that needs to be in your DFS lineup. The Cowboys will face off against the Falcons and take a look at what they have allowed to opposing running backs:

  • Week 2: Christian McCaffrey 28.0 Fan PTS (RB2)
  • Week 3: Alvin Kamara 34.0 Fan PTS (RB1)
  • Week 4: Giovani Bernard 26.0 Fan PTS (RB9)
  • Week 5: James Conner 34.0 Fan PTS (RB1)
  • Week 6: Peyton Barber 21.0 Fan PTS (RB9)
  • Week 7: Saquon Barkley 24.0 PTS (RB5)
  • Week 10: Nick Chubb 35.9 Fan PTS (RB4)

If you don’t have Elliot in your active DFS lineup this weekend, you are missing a perfect opportunity and a sure fire RB1 game.

CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY, RB CAROLINA PANTHERS @ Detroit Lions
18.5 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

Here is another sure fire DFS play and a guy that you absolutely must have in your DFS lineup this Sunday. Here is why:

  • Week 1: Isaiah Crowell 22.0 Fantasy Points (RB9)
  • Week 2: Matt Breida 25.0 Fantasy Points (RB4)
  • Week 4: Ezekiel Elliot 33.0 Fantasy Points (RB2)
  • Week 7: Kenyan Drake 19.0 Fantasy Points (RB10)
  • Week 8: Chris Carson 20.0 Fantasy Points (RB11)
  • Week 9: Dalvin Cook 15.0 Fantasy Points (RB14) Latavius Murray 12.0 Fantasy Points (RB18)

I am aware that you don’t need to be told to start CMC, but someone does need to tell you when you absolutely have to have him in your DFS lineup. And this is one of those times.

WIDE RECEIVERS

ALSHON JEFFREY/GOLDEN TATE, WR PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ New Orleans Saints
10.7 / 10.0 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

The New Orleans Saints secondary has literally been burned by everyone in the NFL this season and it’s only going to get worse. Their recent acquisition of Eli Apple from the Giants has helped to stop the bleeding, but they are collectively the worst secondary in the NFL.

The Saints secondary is currently allowing:

  • 32.2 FPPG to WRs (1st)
  • 131 Receptions (8th)
  • 1911 yards (1st)
  • 15 TDs (1st)

PJ Williams, CB NO is currently in the bottom 10 worst cover corners in the NFL and is allowing a 131.2 passer rating when targeted. He will line up across from Golden Tate this week and is the perfect matchup for Tate to transition into this offense. Jeffrey will square off against newly acquired Eli Apple, who is having a solid season, allowing a 117.3 passer rating when targets. But don’t be afraid to roll with Jeffrey as volume and targets are more important than cornerback matchups. Both receivers should have good games.

STERLING SHEPARD, WR NEW YORK GIANTS vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
12.0 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

Sterling Shepard has been the forgotten piece in this offense and has been unable to maintain any level of consistency with this offense struggling. OBJ continues to be OBJ, but there is still room for Shepard to shine. He has seen at least 7 targets in 6 of his last 7 games, which is 15th in that time frame. The Giants will square off against everyone’s favorite defense: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are allowing:

  • 29.2 FPPG to WRs (2nd)
  • 134 Receptions (6th)
  • 15 TDs (1st)

The Bucs are also allowing 33.7 FPPG to opposing slot receivers (1st). Shepard has lined up in the slot on 69.3% of his snaps this season and should be able to consistently work the middle of the field on this one. Start him with confidence this week.

AMARI COOPER, WR DALLAS COWBOYS @ Atlanta Falcons
12.7 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

Let’s not forget that a few years ago, Amari Cooper was a lock for a 1,000 yard season and a borderline 1st round fantasy pick. We have seen him become ineffective through coaching changes and new schemes, but the recent trade to the Dallas Cowboys may have rejuvenated his career. I am not at all confident in the Cowboys ability to develop a #1 Wide Receiver being that they have a mobile quarterback, but they appear to be doing the right things right now. In the 2 games that Cooper has played as a Dallas Cowboy, he is averaging 8.5 targets per game, which is good for WR8 in that span. In 6 games in Oakland this season, he was averaging 5.0 targets per game.

The Cowboys meet the Falcons Week 11. The Falcons Defense is allowing:

  • 26.8 FPPG to WRs (5th)
  • 13 TDs (6th)

The Atlanta secondary is allowing 15.6 Fantasy Points per Game to opposing wide receivers lined up on the left (2nd). Amari Cooper runs most of his routes from the left side of the field. This should be his coming out party.

KENNY GOLLADAY, WR DETROIT LIONS vs. Carolina Panthers
13.2 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

It feels like we have been waiting for the Kenny Golladay breakout for a long time. Everyone agrees that this kid has something special, but hasn’t been able to put it all together. With Golden Tate gone and Marvin Jones already ruled out for Week 11 with a knee injury, Golladay will see a massive uptick in volume and Babytron could be ready for an offensive outburst. He is running more routes in the passing game:

  • 40.2 Routes run per game on season (12th)
  • 47.0 routes run per game last 3 weeks (1st)
  • 49.0 routes run per game Week 10 (3rd)

While he is averaging 6.5 Targets per game on the season (36th), he was targeted 12 times (1st) in Week 10. With no Tate and potentially no Jones, Golladay could be in for Julio-like targets. Start him with confidence and this may be the breakout coming.

DEDE WESTBROOK, WR JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
8.8 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

Dede Westbrook has lined up in the slot on 92.6% of his snaps this season (1st), where he is catching 75% of the passes thrown his way (8th). The Steelers defense is currently allowing 26.1 fantasy points per game to opposing slot receivers (2nd) and will have a hard time slowing Westbrook down. He is not an elite option, but could be a nice flex option this week against a Steelers defense that can’t handle the slot.

WILLIE SNEAD, WR BALTIMORE RAVENS vs. Cincinnati Bengals
7.35 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

Willie Snead is averaging 8.7 targets per game in his last 4 games (15th). He is also only averaging 10.7 fantasy points per game (47th) and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1.

However, Snead has run 83.3% of his snaps from the slot this season (7th). The Bengals defense is currently allowing 16.4 fantasy points per game to opposing slot receivers (3rd). This could be the game that gets Willie Snead going, so keep an eye on him down the stretch as I really think he will have value late in the season.

TIGHT ENDS

EVAN ENGRAM, TE NEW YORK GIANTS vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8.3 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

I’m not sure what’s going on with this dude, as I had him as my potential preseason Breakout and Can’t Miss. Since returning from injury Week 7, he has only been targeted 5.6 times per game (6th) and is averaging 8.9 fantasy points per game (12th). Engram will face off against the Buccaneers this week, whose defense has allowed:

  • 11.1 Fantasy Points to opposing Tight Ends (2nd)
  • 701 Receiving Yards (1st)
  • 5 Receiving TDs (5th)

Look for Engram to have a big bounce back game this week, as he should be heavily targeted in this one. He may be playing injured, which would explain his ineffectiveness and we may need to knock down our expectations for the rest of the season.

RICKY SEALS-JONES, TE ARIZONA CARDINALS vs. Oakland Raiders
6.6 PROJECTED FANTASY POINTS

I knew I would be back here again. For a while I thought I was going to die on the RSJ hill alone, as I have been recommending him all season. With Tight Ends and the current dumpster fire at the position, volume is king and RSJ has been running receiving routes this season similar to a Top 5 Tight End. The opportunity was there, but week after week there was little to no production and he simply became an afterthought. But with the firing of Mike McCoy and the promotion of Byron Leftwich to Offensive Coordinator, David Johnson may not be the only player seeing his stock rise:

RSJ UNDER MIKE MCCOY

  • 25.7 Routes run per Game under McCoy (15th)
  • 4.7 Targets per game (14th)

RSJ UNDER BYRON LEFTWICH

  • 36.5 routes run LAST 2 GAMES (2nd)
  • 37.0 Routes run WEEK 10 (3rd)
  • 6.5 Targets per Game (9th)
  • 9.0 Targets Week 10 (4th)

RSJ is running 10 more routes per game under Leftwich and is being targeted almost 2 more times per game. The Cardinals will square off against the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing 10.2 Fantasy Points per Game to opposing Tight Ends (5th), 558 yards (11th) and 6 TDs (3rd). Look for RSJ to finally get going this week.

 

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Matt Bishop

Written by 

Matt Bishop is a graduate of Rider University and currently works as a Project Manager for an Electrical Supply Distributor. He lives in North NJ with his wife and 2 children and is a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies fan. He has been playing Fantasy Football since 1997 and Fantasy Baseball since 2003. He recently discovered Fangraphs and his obsession for baseball metrics and how they can be used to draft a championship caliber team.

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