Game Thoughts: It hasn’t been an elite first-half
for the former two-time NFL MVP, but Aaron Rodgers remains one
of the most consistent and reliable options in all of fantasy.
Rodgers has finished with at least 15 fantasy points in every
game this season while having thrown 17 touchdown passes with
only one interception. Part of the issue has been the revolving
door that the Packers have seen at their wide receiver position
due to the various injuries to Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.
With Allison on IR and Cobb out for Thursday’s contest,
that should again open the door for Marquez Valdes-Scantling to
see additional playing time. Scantling caught six of Rodgers’
season-low 28 pass attempts against the Dolphins in Week 10, which
is a positive sign despite him converting those catches to just
44 yards. Scantling has been a big play specialist through the
first half of the season and increased volume should make him
a solid WR3/Flex type option even against a good Seattle pass
defense. Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham remain high-end options
at their positions and should be started in all formats.
The Seahawks have conceded the fourth-fewest fantasy points per
game to opposing quarterbacks which would typically be a cause
for concern, but we’re not talking about a normal quarterback.
We’re talking about Aaron Rodgers. In addition, it’s
worth considering that Seattle’s first-half schedule was
among the easiest in terms of opposing passing games. The only
top-16 fantasy quarterbacks they’ve played against so far
have been Jared Goff (twice), Mitchell Trubisky and Philip Rivers.
If you take the average fantasy production of those four starts,
the Seahawks are giving up an average of 21.4 fantasy points per
game to opposing top-16 passers.
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: The Packers showed what
they’re capable of doing with their running game when they
have a lead when it became the Aaron Jones show in their blowout
win over the Dolphins. Jones rushed for a Packers season-high
145 yards with two touchdowns, adding 27 receiving yards. With
Ty Montgomery now out of the picture, the Packers split their
backfield work between just two backs in Week 10 - Jones and Jamaal
Williams. Williams saw the field on just 25 percent of the team’s
snaps, however, while Jones played 74 percent. In addition, Williams
saw just three touches in the contest to Jones’ 18. We’re
finally seeing that Jones has become the bell cow that many had
hoped he would in this high-powered Packers offense.
Increased workload makes Jones a low-end fantasy RB1 even against
a decent Seattle run defense that has them ranked in the top-half
of the league. Still, like we saw against the opposing quarterbacks,
the Seahawks have struggled against some of the league’s
better fantasy backs. Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon and Todd
Gurley all rushed for over 100 yards against them and David Johnson
had 112 total yards and a touchdown. It’s hard to put Jones
in that type of elite company yet, but Jones isn’t some
replacement-level scrub either. He’s shown himself to be
one of the most explosive backs in the league when given an opportunity
and the Packers would seem wise to continue to feed him the rock
as long as he’s producing.
Game Thoughts: Like Aaron Rodgers across from him this
week, the 2018 fantasy campaign has not gotten off to a great
first-half for Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. After leading
all scorers in fantasy production in 2017, Wilson has slipped
to being just 16th at the position in points per game thus far
in 2018. Much of that can be attributed to the lack of protection
he’s had behind a poor Seattle offensive line, but that’s
been the case throughout much of his career, so it’s certainly
not the only problem. Another big issue has been the health issues
of his No. 1 WR Doug Baldwin, who has not yet eclipsed 100 yards
or scored a touchdown this season. The biggest issue causing Wilson’s
lack of fantasy production, however, remains his lack of rushing
contribution. Prior to Week 10, Wilson had rushed for just 118
yards on the season. Then suddenly, like a flash of lightning,
Wilson reminded us what he’s capable of this past week against
the Rams when he torched them for 92 yards on the ground, along
with three passing touchdowns, turning in easily his best fantasy
game of the season.
If Wilson was dealing with some sort of lingering issue that was
keeping him from taking off and running earlier this season, it
appears as if he is now healed and ready to be unleashed. This
should be exciting to fantasy fans as Wilson could now utilize
his elite touchdown rate combined with rushing yards to start
producing QB1 fantasy performances again. He’ll have a relatively
difficult matchup, though, as he’s against a Packers secondary
that has given up the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to
opposing quarterbacks this season. With rookie Jaire Alexander
playing at an elite level and likely to be matched up primarily
with Tyler Lockett, this is probably a week to avoid Lockett who
has been unbelievably productive with the low number of targets
he’s seen, but is simply not seeing the amount of volume
that we’d like to trust him against a top-level corner.
Instead, Baldwin likely is the best option in the Seattle passing
game this week as he would seemingly be in line for increased
work out of the slot.
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Running Game Thoughts: Given double-digit carries
for just the second time this season, rookie Rashaad Penny finally
broke out a bit this past week with a 108-yard, one touchdown
performance on 12 carries against the Rams. Penny has been stuck
deep down the depth chart behind Chris Carson and Mike Davis,
but an injury to Carson forced the team’s hand in giving
their rookie more touches. Head coach Pete Carroll has already
asserted that Carson will be inserted back into the lineup as
the starter this week against the Packers, however, so don’t
buy too much into Penny at this point.
Carson has already rushed for three 100-yard games this season
and been fed a healthy workload most weeks when he’s been
active. This week he’ll face a Seattle run defense that
has been shaky at times this season, having given up 85-plus yard
games to the likes of Raheem Mostert, Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson
and Todd Gurley. Only one back, however, has seen 20 carries in
a game against them and that was Gurley in Week 8. The Seattle
passing game has been effective at getting into the end zone this
season but it hasn’t been as high-powered as we’ve
seen in years past, so we might see the Seahawks attempt to milk
the clock and run the ball in this contest. If they do, that would
be a great sign for Carson who should be locked in as a solid
RB2 this week as long as he suits up.
Game Thoughts: The Falcons feature one of the worst pass
defenses in the NFL, allowing 294.0 passing yards per game this
season. They have allowed 21 passing touchdowns, while recording
only eight interceptions. Dak Prescott hasn’t been an elite
fantasy option, but he has been playing significantly better over
the last four weeks. Over that span, he’s averaging 242.3
passing yards and 1.5 passing touchdowns on 32.3 pass attempts
per game. Prescott has also totaled 135 rushing yards and three
rushing touchdowns over that span, as well.
Amari Cooper has found quite a bit of success since being traded
to Dallas. In two games, he has totaled 11 receptions for 133
yards and one touchdown on 18 targets. Cole Beasley has been the
other receiving option, and he’s averaging a 4.4 / 44.8
/ 0.2 line on 5.8 targets per game. Michael Gallup and Allen Hurns
haven’t seen enough volume to be considered. TE Geoff Swaim
has been an extremely efficient option, but he also isn’t
seeing enough targets to truly be considered unless you’re
in a terrible situation at tight end.
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: Ezekiel Elliott is in an elite situation
this week, as Atlanta is allowing their opponents to run for 119.9
rushing yards per game this season. They have also allowed 11
rushing touchdowns this season, while struggling to cover backs
out of the backfield. Elliott is averaging 92.3 rushing yards
and 0.4 rushing touchdowns per game this season. He is also averaging
29.1 receiving yards and 0.2 receiving touchdowns on 3.9 receptions
(5.3 targets) per game. He’s an elite running back in a
Game Thoughts: The Cowboys have looked great against
the pass, allowing only 232 passing yards per game this season
while allowing only 12 passing touchdowns, but have also recorded
only three interceptions. While they haven’t allowed a plethora
of fantasy points to quarterbacks, they are allowing a 101.3 QB
rating. Matt Ryan has been enjoying a great season, specifically
at home. Through five home games, he’s averaging 359.8 yards
and 2.8 touchdowns per game.
Julio Jones gets a tough matchup against Byron Jones, but he’s
somewhat of a matchup proof wide receiver. On the season, he’s
averaging 7.4 receptions for 115.6 yards and 0.2 touchdowns on
11.3 targets per game. Calvin Ridley has struggled on the road,
but he has looked outstanding at home. In Atlanta, he’s
averaging a 4.6 / 70.8 / 1.2 line on 5.6 targets per game. Mohamed
Sanu is questionable this week with a hip injury, but he’s
expected to play. He’s an option that can be considered
in a potential high scoring game, but he has seen five or fewer
targets in three of his last four games. Austin Hooper isn’t
a safe option, but he has seen 10+ targets in three of his last
five games. Over that span, he’s averaging 6.8 receptions
for 58.6 receiving yards and 0.4 touchdowns on 8.0 targets per
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: Tevin Coleman has found success recently,
scoring four total touchdowns over the last four weeks. He’s
a relatively consistent option, but somewhat lacks upside on a
week-to-week basis. He also gets a tough matchup against Dallas,
who is allowing only 96.7 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys
have held their opponents to six rushing touchdowns in 2018, as
well. Furthermore, I expect Atlanta to lean heavily on their passing
attack this week.
Game Thoughts: The Cincinnati passing offense with A.J
Green absent with a toe injury was clearly out of synch in last
Sunday’s blowout home loss to the New Orleans Saints. Andy
Dalton completed just 12 of 20 passes for a season-low 153 passing
yards and one touchdown. Without the threat of Green on the outside
to take coverage away from the middle of the field and Tyler Boyd
smothered by Marshon Lattimore, Dalton struggled to move the ball
and keep pace with the potent Saints offense.
Head coach Marvin Lewis hopes to have Green back this week in
a critical divisional matchup against the Ravens, but his optimism
may be a bit misguided with Green missing Thursday’s practice
due to the toe ailment. Fellow wide receiver John Ross was a limited
participant due to a groin injury, while rookie Josh Malone was
unable to participate due to a hamstring injury.
Dalton will need as many options as possible if he plans on replicating
his four-touchdown performance when the Bengals and Ravens faced
off at Paul Brown Stadium Week 2. Dalton and Green connected on
three first-half passing touchdowns against an undermanned Ravens
secondary without cornerback Jimmy Smith.
In the seven games since that matchup, the Ravens have not allowed
an opposing wide receiver to post more than 90 yards in a game,
and only four wide receivers have scored a touchdown in that period.
Baltimore ranks second in the league in passing yards and second
overall behind the Bills in fewest yards per game.
One of the most surprising outcomes over the past five weeks of
offensive struggles for the Bengals has been Dalton’s inability
to utilize C.J. Uzomah in the passing game. The tight end has
historically been a big part of Dalton’s M.O. and Uzomah
at times has looked like a more than capable threat in the Bill
Lazor offense. But for whatever reason, the two have not gelled,
even with Green out of the lineup creating a sizable void in targets.
Perhaps this will be the week when Uzomah and Dalton get things
going, as the one main weakness in the Ravens passing defense
this year has been allowing points to opposing tight ends.
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Running Game Thoughts: After a career-best, 123 yards and two
touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8 Joe Mixon
was game scripted out of the Bengals thrashing by the Saints last
week. Mixon garnered only 11 carries in that game as Drew Brees,
and the Saints dismantled the Bengals and forced Cincy to abandon
With the Ravens lacking a potent offense like the Saints, one
would assume that Mixon will get closer to 20 carries in this
game. The question is will he be able to fare better than he did
in their first meeting when he averaged only four yards per carry
and failed to reach the end zone.
Another thing to consider for Mixon owners is the return of Giovani
Bernard to the offense and how that affects Mixon’s value
in the passing game. Bernard returned to the field last week against
the Saints and caught two passes for 20 yards. While not a sizable
workload, Bernard could be used more in this matchup as he gets
worked back into game form.
Neither player is a great play this week against a Ravens defense
that ranks first in fewest points allowed to opposing running
backs. Not only do the Ravens allow the fewest points on the season
to the running back position, that includes games against three
of the top rushing offenses in the league in New Orleans, Pittsburgh,
and Carolina. If you take out the strong performances by Alvin
Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, and James Conner over the previous
three weeks, the Ravens would be head and shoulders above the
rest of the league in points allowed to RBs.
Game Thoughts: A hip injury to Joe Flacco could mean
the start of the Lamar Jackson era of Baltimore Ravens Football.
Flacco has yet to practice this week and was limited over the
team’s bye, leading to speculation that Jackson could make
his first start against the Bengals on Sunday.
There is also the chance that Robert Griffin III could get the
nod over Jackson and Flacco could still make a start without practicing
this week. Keep an eye on the injury report as we get closer to
Sunday and make the appropriate changes once the final inactive
list is announced, and take note that Jackson missed Thursday’s
practice due to a stomach bug. Jackson would be an exciting high
risk/high reward play on a week with six teams on bye, based merely
on the fact that he is an elite runner and could provide similar
rushing numbers to other stud running quarterbacks like Cam Newton
and Russell Wilson back in the day. But he could also struggle
and did not look particularly good throwing the ball in the preseason.
The uncertainty at the quarterback position does not bode well
for a Ravens wide receiving corps that has disappointed as of
late. John Brown has six points or less in four of his previous
five games, while Michael Crabtree has not scored in four weeks
and has yet to hit 100 yards receiving in any game this year despite
getting an average of seven targets per game.
Despite the questions at quarterback and the modest production
by skill position players on the Ravens, a home matchup against
a terrible Bengals defense should provide some fantasy value on
Sunday. No team has allowed more points to opposing quarterbacks
than the Bengals with four QBs surpassing the 30-point mark this
season. Only Ryan Tannehill has failed to reach 20 points against
Cincy, prompting Marvin Lewis to fire his defensive coordinator
and assume defensive play calling.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: With seven total touchdowns in nine games,
including four rushing touchdowns in his last four contests, Alex
Collins has been a high-end No.2 fantasy running back this season.
Although his 3.7 yard per carry average is nearly a full yard
less than last season and the Ravens continue to use Buck Allen
and traded for Ty Montgomery, Collins continues to be an excellent
asset for fantasy owners and should once again be started with
confidence on Sunday.
To say that the Bengals defense is a mess would be a gross understatement.
Marvin Lewis’ defense looked at what the Bucs were doing
at the start of the season and decided to show the league a new
level of futility. Fueled by a 51-point stinker at home against
the Saints, the Bengals now have the dubious distinction of being
the worst team to opposing quarterbacks and the second worst to
opposing running backs. If anything else, at least they are a
balanced team regarding futility.
A positive note for Lewis and the Bengals is the fact that they
are starting to get healthier on defense with the likely return
of linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Darquez Dennard.
Burfict’s presence in the middle of the field should help
the run game for Cincy, assuming he doesn’t continue in
his head-hunting ways and earn another suspension.
Panthers @ Lions
- (Swanson) Line: CAR -4.5 Total: 49.5
Game Thoughts: Cam Newton posted his worst game of the
2018 season last week with 18.7 fantasy points from 193 passing
yards and two passing touchdowns. It was the first time all season
in which Newton did not rush the ball for at least 30 yards and
only the second time in which he failed to reach 20 fantasy points.
The Steelers did an excellent job getting pressure on Newton
and limiting his ability to scramble and make plays with his legs.
Pittsburgh also jumped out to a big lead early and forced the
Panthers to alter their game plan of running the ball and utilizing
play action passing.
Look for Newton and the Panthers to bounce back this week against
the Lions, a team that continues to struggle defensively against
both the pass and the run. The Lions rank 15th in fantasy points
allowed to opposing quarterbacks, while allowing 35-plus point
games to both Aaron Rodgers and Mitchell Trubisky. Only Tom Brady
and Kirk Cousins failed to throw for at least two touchdowns against
the Lions, with the latter throwing for only 164 yards and one
touchdown due to the fact that the Minnesota ground game and defense
After a promising span with three touchdowns in four games from
Weeks 3 through 7, Devin Funchess has been a borderline droppable
player over the past three games. The defacto No.1 WR on the team
failed to score more than five points in any of his last three
games. Including a disappointing 4/44 showing at home against
a dreadful Tampa Bay defense.
Rookie first-round pick D.J. Moore became the darling of the
fantasy community when he exploded for 129 total yards against
the Ravens Week 8, only to fall back down to Earth with seven
combined points against the Bucs and Steelers.
The only two skill position players on the Panthers that you
can trust on a weekly basis are tight end Greg Olsen and running
back Christian McCaffrey. Olsen is the favorite target of Newton
with 21 targets in his four games back from a foot injury, while
McCaffrey ranks fourth in the league in receptions by a running
back with 54 catches for 439 yards and four touchdowns.
To make things even more difficult for Funchess, the Lions will
likely have top cornerback Darius Slay after missing last week’s
game with knee injury. With Slay out of the lineup the Bears torched
the Lions for 355 passing yards, including a season-high six catches
for 133 yard and two touchdowns for Allen Robinson.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: Veteran running back C.J. Anderson was
brought in by the Carolina front office to help carry the load
with Christian McCaffrey. The signing created a divide among analysts
in the fantasy community regarding whether or not the Panthers
viewed McCaffrey as an every-down back. McCaffrey apologists pointed
to Norv Turner’s tenancies to use a workhorse back inside
of a committee, while naysayers used the Anderson signing as evidence
that the team would split early-down duties.
After ten weeks of the season, it is clear that the pro-McCaffrey
side proved to be correct with the second-year back from Stanford
garnering a hefty 179 touches in nine games, including six more
carries than is 16-game total from last year. There is little
to suggest that McCaffrey will not continue to be a volume monster
going forward, with the team opting to release Anderson this past
McCaffrey owners should be thrilled with the Panthers facing
a Lions defense that ranks eighth in fantasy points allowed to
running backs. Nine running backs in nine games reached double
figures in fantasy points against Matt Patricia’s defense,
including Tarik Cohen last week with 44 total yards and one touchdown.
However, the addition of defensive line Damon Harrison via trade
with the Giants appears to be starting to take effect. After allowing
four 100-yard rushers in the first six games of the season, Detroit
cut down their yard per carry average to 3.9, while giving up
three rushing touchdowns.
Despite their improvement as of late, the Lions continue to struggle
to protect Matthew Stafford and opposing offenses have benefited
from short fields and positive game scripts.
Game Thoughts: Matthew Stafford started the season white
hot, with 52.3 combined points against the 49ers and Patriots
in Weeks 2 and 3. But with just two games of 20 points or more
in his last five games, including a disappointing 10-point dud
against the Vikings, Stafford has been a liability for fantasy
owners and an option to avoid in most formats.
In a season in which five quarterbacks own a completion percentage
above 70%, including Drew Brees with a ridiculous and record-breaking
77.3%, Stafford’s 66% completion percentage and 2385 passing
yards (16th overall) are disappointing. It does not help the situation
that the Lions front office traded away Golden Tate, Stafford’s
favorite target, to the Eagles for a third round pick and the
offensive line that was supposed to be better with Frank Ragnow
has allowed 29 sacks in nine games.
Stafford is running for his life behind a subpar offensive line,
and when he does throw the ball, he is often inaccurate and late
with his throws. Perhaps most frustrating for Lions fans and Stafford
owners, the offensive scheme called by OC Jim Bob Cooter has not
evolved enough to help Stafford overcome the deficiencies with
the offensive line.
On a positive note, the Panthers do not have the most robust
pass rush and currently rank 21st in the league along with the
New York Jets. They are not quite as inept as the Raiders and
Giants at pressuring the quarterback, but they certainly do not
present a challenge like the Vikings and the Bears.
From a fantasy perspective, Stafford’s home matchup against
a Panthers defense that allows the fifth-most points to opposing
quarterbacks is his best chance for fantasy production since the
team’s Week 2 game against San Francisco. Ben Roethlisberger
and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined to throw for nine touchdowns and
572 yards against Carolina over the past two weeks, and six of
eight players facing DC Eric Washington’s defense have scored
at least 25 points.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones suffered a knee injury last week against
the Bears and may be a long shot to play against the Panthers.
Tests revealed no ligament damage to Jones’ knee, but he
was unable to practice on Thursday and is questionable heading
into the weekend.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Running Game Thoughts: As a team, the Lions rank 19th in the
league in with 163.3 fantasy points scored on the season. Those
combined points are divided up primarily between LeGarrette Blount,
Theo Riddick, and rookie second-round pick Kerryon Johnson. For
some unknown reason other than the fact that head coach Matt Patricia
coached Blount while with the Patriots, the team continues to
give Blount carries, including valuable goal line carries, despite
the complete ineptitude of Blount as a runner. The sluggish 10-year
veteran is averaging a career-worst 2.6 yards per carry and continually
gets outperformed by his rookie backfield mate. Hopefully, last
week’s four yards on six carries by Blount will finally
open the eyes of Patricia and Cooter and let the team lean more
on Johnson going forward.
The Panthers rank 24th in fantasy points allowed on the season
with four rushing and four receiving touchdowns allowed in nine
games to opposing running backs. Although they allow just the
fourth-fewest yards to opposing backs, the Panthers give up red
zone touchdowns to running backs in the passing game (four touchdowns
in nine games, including one to Jaylen Samuels last week).
Titans @ Colts
- (Bales) Line: IND -1.5 Total: 49.0
Game Thoughts: Marcus Mariota has quietly been heating
up, throwing two touchdowns in each of his last two games after
totaling three touchdowns in his six games prior to that. He has
also totaled 200+ passing yards in each of his last three games
after doing it only once in weeks 1 through 6. Furthermore, Mariota
is averaging 29.8 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game on the ground.
He gets a great matchup against the Colts, who are allowing 268.0
passing yards per game this season. They have also allowed 15
passing touchdowns, while recording nine interceptions in 2018.
Corey Davis has seen a ridiculous 31.2% target share this season,
and he’s the only wide receiver worth considering from the
Titans. He doesn’t always produce, but he’s coming
off of a 7/125/1 line in a tough matchup against the Patriots.
He has also seen 10 targets in each of his last two games, and
he should see a similar target share in a plus matchup this week.
Jonnu Smith has caught a touchdown in each of his last two games,
but he hasn’t produced much outside of that. He can be considered
as a desperation play or a salary saver in DFS lineups.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: The Colts have featured an average defense
against the run, allowing 107.8 yards per game this season. They
have also allowed seven rushing touchdowns. With that being said,
they have struggled against pass catching backs making Dion Lewis
an intriguing options. He has been playing a major role in the
offense, averaging 74.0 yards and 0.2 touchdowns on 16.3 touches
(3.9 receptions) per game. He has also seen 19+ touches in each
of his last three games. Derrick Henry has also seen a bit of
work recently, but he has been very touchdown dependent. He has
scored touchdowns in each of his last three games, but predicting
touchdowns is an extremely difficult thing to do, making him a
riskier play than Lewis.
Game Thoughts: The Titans have looked outstanding against
the pass this season, allowing only 228.0 passing yards per game.
They have also allowed only 11 touchdowns, while recording six
interceptions. Andrew Luck is a volume quarterback that can always
be considered in fantasy lineups. On the season, he’s averaging
274.7 passing yards and 2.9 passing touchdowns on 41.2 pass attempts
per game. His attempts have been down a bit recently, but he has
thrown three or more touchdowns in each of his last six games.
T.Y. Hilton has been somewhat of a boom or bust option this season,
but he has scored double-digit fantasy points in six of his seven
games. After seeing double-digit targets in each of his first
three games, he has seen seven or fewer targets in each of his
last four. He’s also expected to be shadowed by Adoree’
Jackson, who has been enjoying a dominant season. Dontrelle Inman
has been seen the second most amount of work from the receivers,
but he still isn’t a great option. Eric Ebron scored three
touchdowns last week, but saw only three targets. Still, he’s
a solid tight end option because of the lack of depth at the position.
Jack Doyle has also seen 10 targets over the last two weeks, making
him a strong option at a weak position. Surprisingly, the two
tight ends are the top options on this team.
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: Marlon Mack has almost completely taken
away the value of Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins. He has performed
well since returning from injury, though, averaging 109.8 yards
and 1.0 touchdown on 18.8 touches per game. He comes with some
value because of volume and receiving skills, but he gets a tough
matchup against Tennessee, who is allowing only 99.8 rushing yards
per game this season while only allowing four rushing touchdowns.
Mack underperformed in a matchup against the Colts last week rushing
for 29 yards on 12 attempts.
Bucs at Giants
- (Katz) Line: NYG -1.5 Total: 52.0
Game Thoughts: Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to do the impossible.
Last week, he threw for over 400 yards and his team only managed
to score three points. It was his fourth 400-yard effort of the
season. The Giants have a middle of the road pass defense, which
should be of no concern to Fitzpatrick owners. Mike Evans’
down week can be chalked up to a fluke. He remains a strong option.
After Evans, I prefer Chris Godwin to DeSean Jackson, who is preferred
over Adam Humphries but keep an eye on Godwin who missed practice
Thursday with an ankle injury. O.J. Howard also had a down week,
but he still ran 31 routes, which is very encouraging. Basically,
don’t worry about your Bucs. This is still an excellent
passing offense with great weapons with a bad defense that will
force the offense to keep scoring points. For what it’s
worth, the Giants allowed 83 yards to George Kittle last week
so Howard owners shouldn’t be surprised if he has a bounce
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Running Game Thoughts: Jacquizz Rodgers caught eight passes for
102 yards last week. That is a sentence I never thought I’d
type. It is clear that when the Bucs are in negative game script,
Rodgers actually has some PPR value. Otherwise, it’s still
Peyton Barber on early downs, grinding out yards, and hoping to
fall into the end zone. The Giants are allowing 122.6 rushing
yards per game and were torched by Matt Breida last week for 101
yards on 17 carries. Barber is unlikely to do that, but you can
do worse for a touchdown dependent RB2. Barber is no different
than a guy like Jordan Howard.
Game Thoughts: People may try and sell you on an Eli
Manning resurgence. Don’t buy it. He was dreadful again
last week. Yes, he threw three touchdowns, but he also threw for
just 188 yards and missed a bunch of easy throws. Each of Odell
Beckham Jr., Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley caught four passes.
Those three should dominate targets for the Giants, but for reasons
I can’t understand, Engram seems to be an afterthought despite
being an uncoverable athletic freak. The good news is the Bucs
have allowed a league worst 23 passing touchdowns and allow 292
passing yards per game. Beckham, Engram, and Sterling Shepard
should see plenty of action this week against a defense allowing
a league worst 63.4% success rate to opposing WRs.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: Another week, another 100 yards from scrimmage
for Saquon Barkley. He was mostly contained by the 49ers, but
still managed a useful fantasy day. Barkley should have a much
easier time against the Bucs, particularly through the air. The
Bucs have also allowed 12 rushing scores this season and the 8th
most fantasy points to running backs. This looks like a prime
blowup spot for the 2018 offensive rookie of the year.
Texans at Redskins
- (Katz) Line: HOU -3.0 Total: 42.5
Game Thoughts: It is difficult to know what to make of
Deshaun Watson. He’s thrown for more than two touchdowns
in a game just once this season. In his last four games, he hasn’t
thrown more than 25 times. He’s also not running much with
67 total rushing yards over those four games. The Redskins are
allowing 270 passing yards per game, but most concerning is their
pace of play, which is 24th in the league. They want to control
the ball with rushing and defense, which limits the amount of
plays opposing offenses can run. Watson will have to survive on
efficiency, not volume. Regardless, DeAndre Hopkins will be just
fine against a Redskins team allowing 91.4 receiving yards to
opposing WR1s. Keke Coutee is expected to return this week and
I like him more than Demaryius Thomas as the Redskins struggle
against slot receivers while they are surprisingly stingy against
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: Lamar Miller is going to lead this backfield
in touches for whatever that’s worth. He’s one of
your many touchdown dependent RB2s. He had back to back 100-yard
rushing games, which fooled some people into thinking Miller became
good at football. But he’s been mostly mediocre or worse
all season. The Redskins are a middle of the road rushing defense,
allowing 4.2 yards per carry. With Alfred Blue involved as well,
Miller is a suspect fantasy option.
Game Thoughts: The Redskins passing game is an abomination.
Alex Smith has 1 or 0 touchdowns in six of his nine games this
season. Jamison Crowder has been ineffective during the brief
period during which he was healthy and Josh Doctson isn’t
seeing nearly enough volume to be useful. Jordan Reed still hasn’t
scored since Week 1 and is inexplicably not commanding a high
volume of targets with 4-65 being his best game. The only pass
catcher of interest has been slot man Maurice Harris. His 5-52
line from last week was usable and that followed an impressive
10-124 line. The Texans are an average pass defense, but they
rank 31st against the TE. Perhaps this is the week for Reed.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: Adrian Peterson had nowhere to run last
week as the Redskins operated without three starting offensive
linemen. This is going to be a problem every week for Peterson
and the Redskins can’t really do anything to circumvent
it with Chris Thompson constantly injured. The Texans have one
of the best rushing defenses in the league, allowing just 3.6
yards per carry and only three touchdowns on the season. Kapri
Bibbs did play 41% of the snaps last week, but he only touched
the ball five times. He is not a fantasy option.
Game Thoughts: Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best
fantasy quarterbacks in the NFL, and he can always be considered
in fantasy lineups. On the season, he’s averaging 320.9
passing yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game. He gets a terrible
matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, who are allowing
a league-low 201.0 passing yards per game this season while allowing
the 5th fewest fantasy points to the position. They have also
allowed only 12 passing touchdowns, while recording five interceptions.
Antonio Brown has been playing at an elite level for the majority
of the season, as he’s averaging 6.3 receptions for 76.7
yards and 1.1 touchdowns on 10.7 targets per game. Surprisingly,
he has seen double-digit targets in only one of his last four
games, and he gets one of the most difficult matchups on the slate
against Jalen Ramsey. JuJu Smith-Schuster is another elite receiver
for Pittsburgh, and Jacksonville has struggled against the slot
at times this season. Overall, JJSS is averaging a 6.2 / 84.7
/ 0.3 line on 9.2 targets per game. He could also see positive
touchdown regression, as his touchdowns don’t match his
red zone targets at this point. Vance McDonald has featured plenty
of ups and downs this season, but he comes with tremendous upside,
especially in a matchup where Pittsburgh might be forced to target
the tight end.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: Jacksonville has struggled at times against
the run, allowing 118.6 rushing yards per game this season. They
have also allowed seven rushing touchdown. With Le’Veon
Bell not reporting, James Conner will be the featured back for
the remainder of the season. Overall, he’s averaging 128.7
yards and 1.2 touchdowns on 22.6 touches (4.3 receptions) per
game. He’ll continue to see plenty of volume, especially
if Pittsburgh finds themselves leading in this game, making him
a great option once again.
Game Thoughts: Blake Bortles has featured plenty of ups
and downs throughout the season, but he certainly comes with upside.
Through nine games, he’s averaging 260.1 passing yards and
1.3 passing touchdowns per game. He also has the potential to
add rushing yards on a weekly basis. He gets a good matchup against
the Steelers, who are allowing 245.0 passing yards per game. They
have also allowed 19 touchdowns, while recording only six interceptions
The Jaguars receiving group is relatively unpredictable. Donte
Moncrief, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and D.J. Chark are all
splitting snaps. Of the group, Moncrief comes with the most upside,
while Westbrook has been the most consistent. TE James O’Shaughnessy
saw six targets in his first game back from injury, as well. This
is a receiving group to avoid for the most part, but Moncrief
can be considered if you’re in need at the wide receiver
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: Leonard Fournette returned to the starting
lineup last week, totaling 29 touches. Overall, he ran for 53
yards and one touchdown on 24 rushing attempts, while adding 56
yards and one touchdown on five receptions. He’s the clear-cut
lead running back, and he’ll be locked into 20+ touches
once again this weekend. Pittsburgh is only allowing 90.8 rushing
yards per game this season, and they have allowed only six rushing
touchdowns on the season. Still, Fournette is a volume-dependent
running back, who will be featured in a workhorse role.
Raiders at Cardinals
- (Caron) Line: ARI -5.5 Total: 41.0
Game Thoughts: Derek Carr has now failed to throw even
one touchdown in three of his past four contests and the Oakland
offense has become one of the least effective in all of football.
That reality makes Carr a bottom-level fantasy quarterback even
in good matchups, but especially in extremely difficult matchups
like the one he faces here in Week 11 against the Cardinals. Arizona
ranks second in the league in fewest fantasy points given up to
opposing quarterbacks this season and this looks like one of those
games that is only going to solidify their position as an elite
fantasy pass defense. With Jordy Nelson still hobbled with a knee
injury that has him listed as questionable and Martavis Bryant
already listed as out, Oakland will have to turn to the likes
of Seth Roberts and Brandon LaFell to be their primary pass catchers
out wide. Of course, the biggest beneficiary could actually be
tight end Jared Cook, who is really the only player in this passing
game who should be considered as anything other than a very deep
sleeper option. Cook has seen his ups and downs this season but
should see a healthy target share here in Week 11. He’s
a TE1 with a solid enough floor to be useful in cash games for
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: The Oakland running game continues to
be led by Doug Martin, but he has not yet eclipsed 70 rushing
yards or scored a touchdown since taking over for Marshawn Lynch.
Martin’s usefulness is exclusive to deep standard scoring
formats as a Flex. The back you really want to look at is Jalen
Richard who continues to do practically nothing as a runner but
has contributed solid PPR points as the team’s primary pass-catching
weapon out of the backfield.
The Cardinals have struggled mightily against opposing running
backs this season, but the Raiders remain a low-upside backfield
mostly due to the lack of effectiveness in the passing game. If
the offense isn’t moving the ball through the air, they’re
not generating enough scoring opportunities to make their running
backs particularly valuable in fantasy. Richard’s receptions
do give him a decent floor in PPR formats, but he’s practically
useless in non-PPR leagues.
Game Thoughts: A matchup against a poor Oakland secondary
could be just what Josh Rosen needs to finally break out, but
it’s hard to trust a quarterback who has thrown more interceptions
than touchdowns in three of his past four games. Like the Raiders,
the Cardinals have simply not been an effective passing offense
this season and that has led to some pretty ugly fantasy performances
for their entire offense. Rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk
looked at one point like he was ready to step up, but has taken
a backseat in recent weeks with Larry Fitzgerald getting healthier.
Fitzgerald has caught 18 passes for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns
over his past three weeks, re-establishing confidence that he
can again be one of the better high-floor PPR fantasy options
at wide receiver.
The player who might be most interesting for fantasy purposes
this week, however, is tight end Ricky Seals-Jones. Seals-Jones
tied a season-high with five receptions this past week and saw
nine of Rosen’s 39 targets come his direction in last week’s
game against the Chiefs. If he can continue to see anywhere near
that sort of target share, Seals-Jones just might be able to finally
show off the physical skills that many within the organization
have praised and translate those targets into fantasy production.
The Raiders rank fifth-worst in fantasy points given up to opposing
tight ends so Seals-Jones is an interesting streaming option as
a TE1 here in Week 11.
OAK FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
OAK FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
OAK FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
OAK FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: The new Byron Leftwich-coached Arizona
offense appears to be doing wonders for running back David Johnson
who just posted easily his best fantasy game of the season this
past week, rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown, but perhaps more
importantly catching seven passes for 85 yards and an additional
touchdown. The increased usage in the passing game is absolutely
gigantic for fantasy purposes, especially in PPR formats, as we
expected him to be used in this way when we were taking him in
the top-half of the first round of fantasy drafts this summer.
Johnson’s high touchdown rate might not be completely sustainable
but if he can continue to see targets out of the backfield, it
might not matter. This week he’ll face an Oakland defense
that ranks fifth-worst in fantasy points against running backs,
so this is the type of matchup that Johnson could truly exploit
for a huge fantasy day if all goes according to plan.
Broncos at Chargers
- (Caron) Line: LAC -7.0 Total: 46.5
Game Thoughts: Case Keenum hasn’t been particularly
great for the Broncos this season and he’s now failed to
throw multiple touchdowns in five of his nine starts this season.
That lack of upside that single-or-no-touchdown performances provide
is just not all that inspiring for fantasy purposes and it makes
trusting the Broncos receivers more difficult than it should be.
Still, Denver continues to be essentially a two-mouths passing
game, even after the Demaryius Thomas trade. Emmanuel Sanders
remains the top dog, but Courtland Sutton has stepped up and become
at least someone to consider when in a pinch. Still, this is a
matchup against a Chargers secondary that has only given up three
100-yard days to an opposing wide receiver all season. That’s
why we’re bumping down Sanders to being more of a low-end
WR2 this week while Sutton checks in as a Flex.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: With Royce Freeman set to return to the
lineup in Week 11, the Broncos backfield has again become a crowded
cluster that is tough to trust for fantasy. Phillip Lindsay has
seen at least 14 carries in each of his past three games, but
that number will likely take a bit of a dip with Freeman back.
Add in the continued thorn-in-the-side that is Devontae Booker
and a Chargers defense that has only given up four total touchdowns
to opposing running backs this season, and you’ll understand
why fading the Denver backfield might be a good option for the
time being. Lindsay is still useful as a low-end RB2 or Flex play,
but the others should remain on your bench for now.
Game Thoughts: The MVP-caliber campaign continued this
past week for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Rivers has now
thrown 21 touchdowns on the season with only four interceptions
- a ratio that may be a bit unsustainable, but demonstrates the
effective passing game that the Chargers have put on display so
far in 2018. Wide receiver Keenan Allen has been heating up in
recent weeks, including last week when he scored his first touchdown
since Week 1. Allen has been added to the injury report with a
couple of nagging injuries, but is expected to suit up and should
be a fine play as a low-end WR1 even against a good Denver secondary.
The complementary pieces in the Los Angeles passing game should
probably be avoided this week, as the Broncos have historically
done well at shutting down the Chargers’ other pass catchers
aside from Allen. In addition, Mike Williams was added to the
injury report with a groin injury, which may have been part of
the reason that he didn’t play his usual number of snaps
in Week 10. If Williams is injured to the point that he’s
not able to get on the field consistently, that does open things
up a bit for Tyrell Williams who has had some big splash games
already this season. Tyrell is a high-risk play who does present
some upside if Mike doesn’t get on the field, but both of
these pass catchers should probably be avoided if possible.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: A lack of usage in the passing game has
relegated Austin Ekeler back to fantasy benches as a handcuff
to bell cow back Melvin Gordon, but the Los Angeles running game
as a whole continues to be very effective no matter who is getting
the touches. Gordon had another monster performance this past
week against the Raiders when he compiled 165 total yards and
a touchdown, and he’ll look to continue his hot streak here
in Week 11.
The Broncos have already given up two 200-yard individual rushing
days to opposing running backs this season and while it’s
hard to project something like that even for an elite fantasy
back like Gordon, it does give us a glimpse into what the ceiling
truly is in this matchup. There’s a case to be made that
Gordon should be the top fantasy back on the board this week,
but he’s a strong top-five play at worst.
Eagles @ Saints
- (Bales) Line: NO -8.5 Total: 56.0
Game Thoughts: Carson Wentz has looked great since returning
from injury, averaging 306.9 passing yards and 2.1 passing touchdowns
through seven games. He has a bit of rushing potential, as well.
He gets a matchup against the Saints, who are allowing 296.0 passing
yards per game this season. New Orleans has also allowed 19 passing
touchdowns, and Wentz will need to have a big game to keep this
close against an elite offense.
Zach Ertz has been the top receiving option for the Eagles, as
he’s averaging 8.3 receptions for 87.7 yards and 0.6 touchdowns
on 11.1 targets per game. He’s one of the best tight ends
in the NFL, regardless of the matchup. Alshon Jeffery has performed
well through six healthy games, averaging a 5.5 / 64.8 / 0.7 line
on 8.7 targets per game. Golden Tate was recently acquired by
Philadelphia, but he only saw three targets in his first game
on limited snaps. That is likely to increase, but it’s difficult
to expect too much from him until he produces or is given more
opportunity. Nelson Agholor is another option that can be considered
in what should be a high scoring game. His role is expected to
decrease slightly with Tate in town, but he still comes with plenty
of upside this weekend.
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: The Eagles rushing attack is a mess, as
they have three players that are stealing snaps from each other.
They also get a matchup against the Saints, who are allowing a
league-low 80.1 rushing yards per game this season, although they
have allowed nine rushing touchdowns in 2018. It’s easiest
to attack the Saints through the air, and that’s the strength
of the Eagles offense so a high-volume of rushing attempts isn’t
Game Thoughts: Drew Brees has been one of the best quarterbacks
in the NFL this season, specifically at home. Overall, he’s
averaging 289.0 passing yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game
this season. He also comes with some rushing touchdown potential,
with 3 this season. He gets an elite matchup against the Eagles,
who are allowing 266.0 passing yards per game this season. They
have only allowed 12 passing touchdowns, but they also only own
four interceptions. Philadelphia recently lost DB Ronald Darby
to injury, thinning out their secondary.
Michael Thomas has been arguably the best receiver in the NFL
this season, as he’s averaging 8.7 receptions for 105.6
yards and 0.8 touchdowns on only 9.7 targets per game. His 89.7%
catch rate is ridiculous, but he doesn’t seem to be regressing
at all. Tre’Quan Smith didn’t see any targets last
week, but played plenty of snaps, and he comes with solid upside
in this matchup. Ben Watson is an option that hasn’t seen
many targets, but comes with touchdown potential. He dropped a
touchdown last week, and was also ruled down inside the one, tilting
his fantasy owners.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: The Eagles are allowing only 93.4 rushing
yards per game this season, while also holding their opponents
to only six rushing touchdowns. That may affect Mark Ingram, who
is coming off of an elite game. Still, Ingram has seen limited
carries this season, and he’s a bit too risky in this matchup.
Alvin Kamara isn’t nearly as risky due to his his receiving
potential. Through nine games, he’s averaging 113.3 yards
and 1.6 touchdowns on 19.8 touches (6.1 receptions) per game.
Regardless of game script or the matchup, Kamara makes an elite
Vikings @ Bears
- (Swanson) Line: CHI -2.5 Total: 44.5
Game Thoughts: Kirk Cousins started off his monster deal
with the Minnesota Vikings throwing for 669 yards, six touchdowns,
and only one interception in Weeks 1 and 2 of the 2018 season.
After a shocking loss to the Bills at home Week 3, Cousins bounced
back with another 30-point fantasy game against the Rams to move
into the top five at the quarterback position, along with Patrick
Mahomes, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Drew Brees.
But since that game, Cousins has been mediocre at best, with
no more than two touchdowns in any of his games, including a season-worst
164 yards and one touchdown against the Lions Week 9 before the
Cousins’ downturn in production coincides with a return
to form of the Minnesota defense and an improvement of the Viking
ground game. Cousins is still on pace to complete 70% of his passes
for the first time in his career while throwing the fewest touchdowns
in a 16-game season. Minnesota won all but one of those five games
in which Cousins was not an elite fantasy quarterback, with the
only loss coming at home against Drew Brees and the Saints.
The question is will the Bears offense score enough points this
week against the Vikings to force Cousins to throw the ball at
a high rate like in the first month of the season. If Mitchell
Trubisky and the Bears can keep up their high scoring ways, Cousins
may be asked to throw 50 passes again like when the team played
against the Rams.
A positive note for Cousins owners is the fact that the Bears
are far more susceptible against the pass than the run. Chicago
ranks 14th on the year in points allowed to quarterbacks, while
allowing the third-fewest points to opposing running backs. Only
Kerryon Johnson last week has reached the end zone on the ground
against Vic Fangio’s defense, while Frank Gore, the ageless
wonder, is the only one to reach the century mark this year.
Cousins received positive and negative news with regards to injuries
for his wide receivers with the return of Stefon Diggs to the
practice field after missing Week 9 with a rib injury. Diggs’
return is a massive boost for the passing offense, but top receiver
Adam Thielen has been limited in practice with calf and back injuries.
Thielen will likely play, but he could be a bit limited and not
the focal point of the offense as usual.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: Dalvin Cook owners may
be frustrated by the rushing output of their running back against
the Bears, a team that has been stout against the run all year
and currently ranks first in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed
on the season. In addition, Cook will continue to share the backfield
with Latavius Murray, including possible goal line and short yardage
Despite these negative factors, Cook should still be viewed as
a low-end No.2 RB based on his work in the passing game and the
fact that the Bears, while strong against running backs, have
allowed four receiving touchdowns to running backs this season.
Cook looked to be back to full health when he posted 109 yards
on fourteen touches in limited work against the Lions before the
bye. With two full weeks of rest to make sure is hammy has healed,
Cook could be a difference-making player down the stretch and
in the playoff run for fantasy owners.
Although the Vikings are the team coming off the bye with an
extra week to heal, the Bears are the team with the fewest players
listed on the injury report. Only backup tight end Dion Simms
is listed with a concussion, while stud defensive end Khalil Mack
shows no recurring issues with his ankle injury and should be
a full go on Sunday.
Game Thoughts: The evolution of Mitchell Trubisky in
the Matt Nagy offense continues to impress with the second year
player from North Carolina ranking fifth in the league in fantasy
points per game at the quarterback position. Trubisky’s
run of 11 touchdowns and three consecutive passing games of at
least 300 yards between Weeks 4 & 7 was the best run of any
player not-named Patrick Mahomes, and his 320 rushing yards and
three rushing touchdowns are second only to Cam Newton.
Trubisky owners may be in for a rough game this week against
the Vikings defense that is finally healthy on the defensive line.
After a rough start to the season, the Vikings have allowed the
fewest points to opposing quarterbacks in the last five games,
with an average of 200 passing yards and just two passing touchdowns.
Mike Zimmer has the defense playing Vikings football again, and
they have had two weeks to prepare for Trubisky and the Bears.
With at least one receiving touchdown in three of his last four
games, including a season-high 133-yard, two touchdown performance
last week against the Lions. Robinson took advantage of the absence
of top cornerback Darius Slay to post his best game as a Bear.
He will not be as fortunate this week against the Vikings and
could see a healthy dose of Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes has been limited
with a foot injury in practice this week but should be able to
go on Sunday.
If there is a weakness in the Vikings defense, it is against
tight ends and passes out of the slot. Minnesota ranks 10th in
points allowed to tight ends and elite play calling coaches like
Sean McVay took advantage of Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.
Look for Nagy to try to isolate Trey Burton and Anthony Miller
against those linebackers similar to how McVay attacked them earlier
in the season with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Barr is also
dealing with a hamstring injury and could be even more of a focus
by Nagy based on the fact that he may not be able to play coverage
as well as usual.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: Only two running backs have reached the
end zone on the ground against the Vikings, and no running back
has rushed for more than 83 yards, including elite rushers like
Alvin Kamara and Todd Gurley.
With a healthy defensive front and the recent return of Everson
Griffen, Minnesota has been playing like an elite unit as of late
and will present a tough matchup for Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
Of the two players this week, look for Cohen to be used more than
usual, and lead Bears in fantasy points out of the backfield.
Teams have found success moving the ball in the air with running
backs catching passes, with Gurley, Chris Ivory, Trenton Cannon,
Alvin Kamara, Wendell Smallwood, and even fullback Kyle Juszczyk,
reaching at least 50 receiving yards and/or a receiving touchdown
vs. Minnesota in 2018.
Chiefs at Rams
- (Caron) Line: LAR -3.5 Total: 63.5
Game Thoughts: A “down” week for Patrick
Mahomes against the Cardinals might give fantasy owners a bit
of a pause heading into the Chiefs’ Monday night showdown
with the Rams, but rest assured - a “down” week for
Patrick Mahomes has still meant a quality fantasy outing. If that’s
his floor, and we know his ceiling, then Mahomes simply must remain
one of the top options on the board this week against a Los Angeles
defense that has given up seven passing touchdowns over their
past two games. The stumble in the Rams defense comes at a bad
time as they match up against perhaps the league’s best
offense led by Mahomes.
Tyreek Hill broke out of a two-week slump this past week when
he caught seven passes for 117 yards and two scores, making him
again one of the best high-upside fantasy plays of the week. Fellow
wide receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) was limited on Thursday but
is expected to play. If you don’t have another option in
this game, it might be wise for Watkins owners to pick up Chris
Conley, who has at least been logging snaps when Watkins has been
out. Conley probably won’t see significant targets, however,
given the likes of Hill, tight end Travis Kelce and running backs
Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware who can also make plays, but Conley
is at least a body who could be placed into your lineup if you’re
desperate and need a prayer answered on Monday night should Watkins
be ruled out. Kelce, of course, remains the top tight end in fantasy
and should see an increased workload if Watkins is unable to play.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: A 96 total-yard, no touchdown day this
past week for Kareem Hunt was a bit of a letdown in what looked
on paper to potentially be a huge fantasy day. Still, Hunt continues
to be one of the more trustworthy fantasy backs as he’s
produced at least 11 PPR fantasy points in every game since Week
1, including 13 total touchdowns on the season.
The Rams have actually only given up two 100-yard rushing days
this season - both to Seattle running backs, oddly enough - but
a lot of that can be attributed to the game script that opposing
teams have found themselves in. If the Rams get out to a big lead,
opposing teams simply cannot afford to run the ball and they end
up abandoning it in order to pass more. That won’t likely
be the case here in Week 11 as the Chiefs are one of the few offenses
that are capable of matching fire with fire against the Rams.
That should mean that Hunt is on the field regularly, getting
plenty of carries and catches, racking up fantasy points all night.
There’s a bit of a concern that the Chiefs seem to have
no problem allowing Spencer Ware to snipe touchdowns from him
near the goal line, but Hunt’s touchdown total this season
shows us that he’s still the primary goal line back, so
he’ll continue to be a solid RB1.
Game Thoughts: A season-ending ACL injury for Cooper
Kupp has left the Rams struggling at wide receiver heading into
Week 11. With the trade deadline having already passed, Los Angeles
will have to again look down its own depth chart, likely to wide
receiver Josh Reynolds who stepped in and played significant snaps
when Kupp was out earlier this season. Reynolds did not produce
consistent enough numbers to be considered anything other than
a touchdown-or-bust option, but the positive note is that his
play was not poor enough that the Rams offense took a significant
step back in effectiveness as a whole. That should mean continued
good things for wide receiver Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods,
as well as quarterback Jared Goff.
Goff has thrown for multiple touchdown passes in all but three
games this season and now he’ll face a Kansas City defense
that has given up the seventh-most fantasy points per game to
opposing quarterbacks so far this season. They’ve averaged
conceding 310 passing yards per game, and that’s included
three 400-yard passing days given up. The Rams are certainly capable
of putting up monster numbers themselves and this is likely to
be one of the biggest shootouts of the week, so make sure to get
your Rams in your fantasy lineups this week.
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: It almost seems like clockwork at this
point that Todd Gurley is just going to continue to put up huge
fantasy numbers every week. The Rams running back has scored at
least 19 PPR fantasy points in every single game this season.
That type of consistency is practically unheard of at the running
back position in this era, but Gurley has been able to do it now
for two seasons. There’s really nothing to question at this
point when it comes to Gurley’s production. Even in games
when the Rams do find themselves behind, it’s Gurley who’s
catching passes out of the backfield to get them back in the game.
And then they’re ahead, he’s the guy who’s smashing
the rock down the defense’s throat, putting up huge chunks
of yards and completely demoralizing the opposing team.
Now he faces a Kansas City defense that ranks dead-last in fantasy
points allowed to the running back position. To say that this
matchup has huge fantasy numbers written all over it would be
an understatement. A 30-point fantasy day is certainly not out
of the question. This is one of the best fantasy matchups that
any player will see all season, so get the league’s top
fantasy back in your lineup with confidence and enjoy watching
your fantasy scoreboard light up like a Christmas tree.