Clearly I began my victory lap too soon after splendid Week 9 Start/Sit recommendations. It bit me (and you) substantially in Week 10. Instead of unveiling my Start/Sit recommendations on Saturday, I got cocky and dropped them on a Friday; and let’s just say that was ill-advised. Injury reports fluctuated up to kickoff and in-game, damning my fantasy football lineup suggestions. I won’t make that mistake again heading into Week 11. But before we officially turn the page; one quick, miserable look back at my Week 10 faux pas.
What I got RIGHT in Week 10 Start/Sit (Pretty Much Nothing)
- Nick Chubb CLE – You all saw what he did at the end of the game, a top 5 finish was a mere yard away but he did turn in an RB1 performance as expected (18.6 pts.)
- Mike Davis CAR – This one got away from Carolina as evidenced by Davis’ mere 11 touches sans Christian McCaffrey (8.4 pts.)
What I got Wrong in Week 10 Start/Sit (A lot!)
- Drew Brees NO – I can’t predict injuries, but he wasn’t particularly sharp before he was broken (6.94 pts.)
- Jared Goff LAR – There are no cheap passing TDs in the Rams offense. They sling it around between the 20s but once it is goal-to-go, HC Sean McVay takes the air out of the ball. What a waste… (9.3 pts.)
- Matthew Stafford DET – Stafford has ridiculous reverse splits. Plays below-average against poor pass defenses; and carves up the upper echelon pass defenses. Mediocre from a clean pocket, but razor sharp when facing pressure. He put it on the NFL’s best pass defense (statistically) to the tune of QB6 Overall; despite missing his top wideout Kenny Golladay (23.04 pts.)
- J.K. Dobbins BAL – Simply didn’t expect Mark Ingram back in the lineup prior to recommending Dobbins. It didn’t matter. It seemed as if there was confusion with blocking assignments; or the Ravens were disintereseted in blocking when he was in the lineup (2.4 pts.)
- Allen Lazard GB – Never again will I unveil my start/sit recommendations prematurely. I fully expected Lazard to suit up but the Packers medical staff were overly cautious and held Lazard out once more. Of course his replacement MVS went for 4/149/1; good for WR4 Overall (DNP)
- Christian Kirk ARI – Arizona needs to do some self-scouting quick (6.7 pts.)
- Justin Jefferson MIN – So much for the Bears vaunted pass defense. I would say they were pre-occupied with Dalvin Cook but the very good Fuller/Johnson corner combo for the Bears didn’t play particualrly well. What’s even more surprising is that Kirk Cousins had a good game in primetime (21.5 pts)
- Eric Ebron PIT – Ben Roethlisberger set season highs in passing yards (333) and touchdowns (4); but apparently Ebron was the odd man out (5.8 pts)
Ugh! That was awful. Let’s get into Week 11 Start/Sit recommendations.
Quarterback Start/Sit Recommendations
START Derek Carr vs. Kansas City Chiefs
I’ts been three weeks since Derek Carr has thrown for more than 165 yards. Instead, the Raiders have bludgeoned their opponents with a potent rushing attack. The division rival Chiefs are coming to town off a bye week so the Raiders won’t have the luxury of Carr merely being a game manager.
With that being said, Derek Carr had perhaps his best game of the season in Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs. While I do expect a balanced attack from the Las Vegas Raiders there should be plenty of man-to-man opportunities for the offense to exploit. Furthermore, Carr and the Raiders have been money on third down, extending drives and possessing the football. To top it off, Las Vegas has taken timely deep shots and have had success in connecting on those attempts.
With the potential of this contest turning into a track meet considering the sheer number of Raiders defenders who could miss the game due to COVID-19; I’m confident Carr will have the requisite counting stats for a Top 12 finish in Week 11. Start em.
START Alex Smith vs. Cincinnati Bengals
I think it’s safet to say that Alex Smith has knocked off the rust. Smith has 87 pass attempts over the last two weeks, completing 71% of those passes and averaging nearly 360 yards per contest. Unfortunately, only one of those attempts has gone for a score but I firmly expect that to change this week. Smith faces Cincinnati’s listless pass rush and forgiving pass defense. To date the Bengals have allowed the 2nd most passing TDs (21) in the NFL and allow the 8th most fantasy points per game (21.1) to the quarterback position.
SIT Drew Lock vs. Miami Dolphins
Inconsistency. Poor matchup. And dealing with an injury. When Drew Lock flashes it’s exciting. But he’s more of a tease at this point than anything else. Sit em.
START Mike Davis vs. Detroit Lions
After taking a week off, I’m back on the Mike Davis train as this is a phenomenal matchup. The Detroit Lions allow the most fantasy points per game (30.4) to running backs; that’s a BIG number. However, I will not tout Davis as an RB1 lock in Week 11. Rather, I view him as a high upside RB2.
My reasoning includes: starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is subject to a game-decision; the fact that Carolina could be without multiple starting offensive linemen and perhaps most importantly Davis’ usage in the passing game has dwindled in recent weeks. Let’s not forget, Curtis Samuel is siphoning carries/targets particularly on third down and in the redzone.
Still, game script should be favorable for Mike Davis in this contest. Also, the Panthers have lost five straight and need to do a better job of protecting their defense. A defense that has allowed the third most points in the NFL to date. Assuming the injury he sustained last week doesn’t affect ball security we should see a considerable spike in his volume. Start em.
START James Conner @ Jacksonville Jaguars
James Conner has been an afterthought in Pittsburgh’s offense during recent weeks. However, I expect a shift this week. Mike Tomlin is already on record indicating correcting the running game struggles is the priority heading into Week 11. You can still count on Pittsburgh airing it out plenty. But assuming the Steelers do not take their opponent lightly I expect them to put this game away early allowing Conner and the offensive line to get lathered up. Jacksonville allows the 8th most fantasy points per game (20.9) to the running back position.
SIT Todd Gurley @ New Orleans Saints
Do you recall when last the Saints allowed a 100-yard rusher? Me either. No wonder why New Orleans allows the least amount of fantasy points per game (13.2) to the running back position. Enter the “Artist formerly known as Todd Gurley” and his 3.7 yards per carry. Atlanta struggles to run the football as evidenced by four straight games of 2.8 yards per carry or fewer; but it serves as a neon flashing sign to consider a different option. Gurley has managed to find the endzone on a relatively consistent basis this season so an RB2 finish is a distinct possibility.But his lack of involvement in the passing game convinced me to fade him this week. Sit em.
Wide Receivers Start/Sit Recommendations
START Calvin Ridley @ New Orleans Saints
Assuming Ridley is back in the lineup for Week 11 I’m starting him. There is an inherent risk here given the nature of his injury (foot) and the fact that Ridley wins with route-running. However, if the Falcons are to move the football it will be through the air. In eight games, Ridley has either scored and/or eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark six times.
Not only is Ridley the most likely of the Falcons to find the endzone, he has a history of success against the Saints. In four games, Ridley averages 9/6.5/89.5/1 versus New Orleans. As I alluded to previously, there is a risk of re-injury or snap count limitations but I’m rolling the dice. Start em.
START CeeDee Lamb @ Minnesota Vikings
The Dallas Cowboys have been playing quarterback carousel since Dak Prescott was lost to injury. It’s been pretty tough sledding for CeeDee Lamb since #4 suffered a season-ending injury. However, Lamb was targeted 11 times the last time Andy Dalton started and finished a game. In Week 9, Lamb found pay dirt for the first time since Week 4. Coming off the bye in Week 10, with Dalton returning to the lineup and a favorable matchup it’s time to insert Lamb back into your lineups.
The Minnesota Vikings will test the Dallas oline. However, Lamb should benefit working out of the slot in the short-to-intermediate parts of the field as Dalton looks to get the ball out quickly. Furthermore, Minnesota allows the fourth most points per game (29.7) to opposing wide receivers. The Vikings’ young corners have improved throughout the season but I think the talented Lamb has a WR3 floor with WR2 upside in Week 11.
SIT DJ Chark vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
There’s always the possibility that DJ Chark gets in behind the opposing secondary. However, starting a rookie QB behind a “meh” offensive line, facing the Pittsburgh Steelers formidable pass rush, I’m not optimistic. Chark’s season has been very much boom or (mostly) bust in nature. Furthermore, those BIG fantasy performances have come against the Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals respectively.
Frankly, Chark’s struggles have more to do with the Jaguars’ quarterback play as opposed to his own. Despite the Green Bay Packers being down their top 2 cornerbacks last week Chark had an underwhelming 4/56/0 performance. In Week 11, game script may stabilize his floor but I can’t bring myself to play him. Sit em.
START Logan Thomas vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Several weeks ago I underestimated Logan Thomas’ growth as a tight end. I’ve learned many a lesson this season, including that Logan Thomas is a viable option in the fantasy football tight end wasteland. The Washington Football Team faces the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11. I attempted to take advantage of the Bengals matchup a week ago, however, Eric Ebron only managed 2/38 on six targets. I’m going back to the well considering that the Bengals allow the 2nd most fantasy points per game (10.9) to the tight end position. Not to mention, Alex Smith has always had an affinity for targeting the tight end position. Start em.
Best of luck this weekend. Remember always start your STUDS and I take ZERO responsibility if these Start/Sit recommendations are wrong. Also, if my calls are right make certain you tell a friend. Start/Sit.