Week 11 is here. And, what a bang it started with. The headlines this week will no doubt be focused on Thursday’s mass brawl between the Steelers and the Browns. For all the wrong reasons, that Myles Garrett helmet punch is an immediate entry into NFL folklore history. It’s no surprise to see that Garrett’s actions have led to a suspension without pay until at least the start of the 2020 season. Plus, with Mason Rudolph threatening legal action, we’ll be hearing about this one for a while.
Turn your attention to the weekend and we have a mixture of games to look forward to. The prime match-up being the Texans heading to Baltimore to take on a Lamar Jackson-led team that has everyone talking. Meanwhile, we’ve got a Super Bowl rematch when the Patriots take on the Eagles, and a shoot-out contender in Mexico City on Monday when the Chiefs battle the Chargers. Yet, these games will be high-pressure, high-implication games. Don’t be surprised if the basement match-ups (Jets at Redskins, Bengals at Raiders) provide you with better fantasy value.
Byes: Packers, Seahawks, Titans, Giants.
*Fantasy points references based on PPR (NFL.com).
– Start ‘Em –
Dak Prescott – opponent: @ Lions
Prescott has had a stellar fantasy year. He currently ranks fourth among quarterbacks, with 200.58 points on the season. He goes up against a Lions defense that is giving up plenty of yards and over 20 points per game to opposing quarterbacks. If Matt Stafford misses the game, then Dak can expect to see plenty of time on the field.
Prediction: 325 yards, 3TD.
Sam Darnold – opponent: @ Redskins
Putting the words “Start ‘Em” and Sam Darnold is quite surprising, given his regression this season. However, he’s coming off a turnover-free game that was by far his best of the season. He scored 21 points last week, which was helped by a rushing touchdown. Darnold has now thrown for over 200 yards in three consecutive games and has another excellent opportunity this week when he goes up against the one-win Redskins.
Prediction, 265 yards, 3 total TD, 1 INT.
– Sit ‘Em –
Jared Goff – opponent: @ Bears
Jared Goff is coming off a 3.72 point game, which surprisingly, isn’t his worst of the season (1.12 points vs SF). He hasn’t thrown over two touchdown passes in a single game this season. Both Goff and the Rams offense are a shadow of their former selves from last year. The bad news for him is that things aren’t likely to improve this week. They face a brutal matchup against the Chicago Bears defense that has only given up nine passing touchdowns all season.
Prediction: 240 yards, 1TD, 2 INT.
Nick Foles – opponent: @ Colts
Nick Foles hasn’t played since breaking his left collarbone in Week 1. He gets his chance this week. Unfortunately, it could very much anti-climatic. The Jaguars have faced offensive line deficiencies all season and Foles may find himself under consistent pressure for the duration of the game. He’s also facing a Colts defense that ranks 10th in passing yards allowed and will be looking to bounce back from a surprising loss to the Dolphins last week.
Prediction: 205 yards, 2TD, 2INT.
– Start ‘Em –
Austin Ekeler – opponents: vs Chiefs (in Mexico City)
Despite the return of Melvin Gordon, Ekeler remains a consistent fantasy option heading into crunch time. He has high upside this week for two reasons. First off, the Chiefs flat out suck against the run, and are currently ranked 31st. They just got torched by Derrick Henry (188 yards, 2 touchdowns). Secondly, if the Chiefs get in front early, then Ekeler is very consistent in the passing game. He’s found the end zone in three of the last four weeks.
Prediction: 35 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD.
Raheem Mostert – opponent: vs Cardinals
Although he was listed on this week’s injury report, Mostert could offer great value in deeper leagues. With the news that Matt Breida will miss game time, don’t be surprised to see Mostert get somewhere in the range of 10-15 touches due to the 49ers run-heavy offense. He’s also averaging 5.5 yards per carry and has the speed to take it to the house.
Prediction: 48 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards, 1 TD.
– Sit ‘Em –
David Johnson – opponent: @ 49ers
When he’s healthy, you’d be hard-pressed to find a fantasy running back that is more consistent than David Johnson. He gets things done both on the ground and in the air. Unfortunately, he’s just not been healthy. In his last two games, he’s totalled just four yards. Yes, four. All be it, on just six attempts. He has an unfavourable matchup against a 49ers team that could get up early and is seeking to avenge their first loss of the season.
Prediction: 32 rushing yards, 16 receiving yards.
Carlos Hyde – opponent: @ Ravens
Carlos Hyde makes it onto the “Sit ‘Em” list by virtue of his opponents. Yes, the Ravens rank 26th in run defense. Yes, Hyde is coming off a monster 160-yard game in London. But the Ravens are rolling and full of confidence. Again, ifs and buts, if the Texans fall behind early, then Hyde’s upside could be mitigated.
Prediction: 67 rushing yards, 6 receiving yards.
– Start ‘Em –
Marquise Brown – opponent vs Texans
Hollywood Brown is on his way to a very productive rookie season. After a midseason dip in production, he got back on track last week against the Bengals (80 yards, 1 TD). He gets another great opportunity this week when the Ravens face off against a Texans defense that is ranked 28th in passing yards allowed, giving up 300.2 yards per game. Brown’s fantasy performance will depend heavily on the deep ball but he should be licking his lips at the matchup.
Prediction: 86 receiving yards, 1 TD.
Deebo Samuel – opponent: vs Cardinals
The biggest question mark that hangs over the 49ers’ path to the Super Bowl is their lack of star power among the wide receiver group. That group had a disaster against the Seahawks last week. Emmanuel Sanders went down injured and is ruled out this week. The rest of the group combined for nine dropped passes. The only standout performer? Deebo Samuel, who posted 112 yards on 11 targets. He’s likely to see a similar number of targets this week as a WR1 for San Francisco.
Prediction: 68 receiving yards, 1 TD.
– Sit ‘Em –
Robert Woods – opponent: @ Bears
The number of touchdown passes that Robert Woods has caught this season? Zero. Not one. Over his last four games, he’s put up 211 receiving yards (52.75 per game). Without a touchdown, that type of performance just ain’t going to cut it if you’re searching for an elusive win this week.
Prediction: 65 receiving yards.
Stefon Diggs – opponent: vs Broncos
The biggest problem for fantasy owners who have Stefon Diggs in their team? Inconsistency. He’s ranked 14th in wide receiver scoring. That’s more than acceptable considering his draft position. Yet, for every solid outing, he’s laid an egg. And, he’s on a downward trend. Over the last two weeks, he’s been virtually non-existent, with 53 combined receiving yards.
Prediction: 52 receiving yards, 10 rushing yards.
– Start ‘Em –
Greg Olsen – opponent: vs Falcons
With limited options at tight end this season, Greg Olsen appears to be on an upward trend. After posting a 40-yard game versus the Titans two weeks ago, he more than doubled his yardage last week with 98 against the Packers. This week, he’s up against a Falcons team that conceded big yardage to Jared Cook last week.
Prediction: 70 receiving yards, 1 TD.
Jack Doyle – opponent: vs Jaguars
Jack Doyle should be a must-start tight end this week, if he plays. He appeared on the injury report this week but was upgraded from questionable to limited in practice on Thursday, which suggests that he’s trending upwards. Doyle has scored a touchdown in two consecutive games and will continue to see red-zone targets should he play on Sunday.
Projection: 35 yards, 1 TD.
– Sit ‘Em –
Noah Fant – opponent: @ Vikings
Noah Fant is coming off a career game versus the Browns, with 115 yards and a touchdown on just four targets. However, he’s unlikely to put up that kind of performance again this week. The Vikings haven’t given up a single touchdown to an opposing tight end all season and that trend is expected to continue this week.
Projection: 41 receiving yards.
Mike Gesicki – opponent: vs Bills
Mike Gesicki has topped 50 yards in just two games this year. His opponents? The Jets and Redskins. He mustered up just 3.8 points against the Colts last week and could face another uphill battle against an above-average Bills defense this week that held him to 41 yards in the reverse fixture.
Projection: 32 receiving yards.
Featured Picture – Credit: AP/Alex Brandon