Week Eleven is underway, and there are plenty of matchups to sort through. Let's get to it!
Week 11 Matchups: Fantasy Analysis & Sit/Start Advice
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday 11/17, 1PM
Match-up We Love: Jordan Cameron, TE
The Bengals defense has been very solid this year, and especially tough on tight ends, but Jordan Cameron seems to be the exception. In their first matchup this year, Cameron was able to torch the Bengals defensive unit for 10 catches, 91 yards, and a score. Jason Campbell has been hot since taking over the quarterback job in Cleveland, but he's sure to have his hands full against the Bengals this week, and that means plenty of check down targets for Cameron.
Analysis: It's a tough match-up on paper, but Cameron has proven to be a must start TE this year. Start him with confidence.
Match-up We Hate: Jason Campbell, QB
If you needed a quarterback and picked up Jason Campbell, you may want to look elsewhere this week. Yes, he's been on fire lately, and yes Cameron could have a big game, but there's a reason this guy is a career back-up. The more he plays, the more his game will be exposed, and I wouldn't be surprised if that starts this week against a tough Bengals defense in Cincy. In fact, the Bengals defense has allowed fewer than 10 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks at home this year, meaning Campbell could be in for a long day.
Analysis: Sit Jason Campbell and look for a better matchup this week.
Key Injuries: Jermaine Gresham TE, CIN (probable), Michael Boley LB, CIN (probable), Willis McGahee RB, CLE (probable), Jason Campbell QB, CLE (probable)
Start 'Em: Willis McGahee, Jordan Cameron, Josh Gordon, Greg Little, Browns DEF, Andy Dalton, AJ Green, Giovanni Bernard, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eiffert, Bengals DEF
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday 11/17, 1PM
Match-up We Love: Vincent Jackson, WR
I haven't been a fan of Vincent Jackson for much of this season, and since losing his starting running back and receiving mates in Doug Martin and Mike Williams, respectively, Jackson has struggled. He hasn't struggled as much as Atlana has defending against the past, however, so a return to some good production could be in the cards. I'm not sure Jackson will duplicate his 138 yard, 2 touchdown performance he had against the Falcons in week 7, but don't be surprised if he puts up a solid, double-digit fantasy performance in this match-up.
Match-up We Hate: Tony Gonzalez, TE
Speaking of guys who have under-performed since losing teammates, Tony Gonzalez is a matchup we want to avoid this week. He's faced double teams constantly, especially in the red zone, and will be matching up against a very tough Tampa defense. Throw on top of that the fact he's nursing a toe injury, and it's easy to see that expectations need to be tempered for Gonzalez this week.
Analysis: Start Tony Gonzalez if you must, but I'd look at other matchups first.
Key Injuries: Jason Snelling RB, ATL (questionable), Harry Douglas WR, ATL (questionable), Vincent Jackson WR, TB (probable)
Start 'Em: Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson, Harry Douglas, Tony Gonzalez, Vincent Jackson, Tim Wright, Bucs DEF
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills, Sunday 11/17, 1PM
Match-up We Love: Bills DEF
I actually really like both defenses here, but I'm choosing the Bills over the Jets because of their overwhelming availability in most leagues, as they are on waivers in 60-90 percent of leagues depending on which game you play. If you need a defense this week, it may make sense to grab the Bills, as the Jets offense has been fantasy gold for opposing defensive units at times this year. Opposing home defenses have averaged more than 15 fantasy points against the Jets this year, and while I wouldn't expect that many points, it's not out of the realm of possibilities either.
Analysis: If the Bills defense is available in your league and you need a solid D, grab them and use them with confidence.
Match-up We Hate: CJ Spiller & Chris Ivory, RBs
This is particularly painful for me to pick these two here, as I have no choice but to start both of these guys this week in the RotoBaller.com league. Needless to say, my team is a ship that's sinking fast, but I digress. Both Spiller and Ivory have been coming on strong lately, but they are still unreliable options, and with each guy facing a tough match-up this week, it's probably smart to look elsewhere for safer options. I have absolutely no trust in Ivory, who has yet to put up double-digit fantasy point totals in consecutive weeks, and while I feel Spiller is a much more trustworthy option, he absolutely has the tougher match-up against the impressive Jets' front line. Talk about a "rock and a hard place".
Analysis: It's understandable if you have to start Spiller, but you should really temper expectations. As for Ivory, I'd sit him and look for other, more favorable match-ups.
Key Injuries: Steve Johnson WR, BUF (out), Jeremy Kerley WR, NYJ (out), Kellen Winslow TE, NYJ (probable)
Start 'Em: Geno Smith, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Kellen Winslow, Jets DEF, EJ Manuel, CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson, Scott Chandler, Robert Woods, Bills DEF
San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints, Sunday 11/17, 4:25PM
Match-up We Love: Frank Gore, RB
Frank Gore has once again shaken off the "down side of his career" talk to become one of the more reliable rushers this year. The Niners have had their troubles throwing the ball at times this year, and have leaned on Gore heavily at times. Each time Gore has answered the call, and there is a good chance that could happen again this week, against a Saints defensive unit that has played the pass well, but struggled with the run in recent weeks. Just look at what DeMarco Murray and Chris Ivory have done to them, and it's easy to predict a very good day for Gore. It doesn't hurt that Gore has had some of his best performances this year when we select him as a match-up we love...just sayin'.
Analysis: Frank Gore is a must start this week.
Match-up We Hate: 49ers DEF
The 49ers are one of the premier defenses in fantasy football, and have been putting up impressive point totals in recent weeks, but few if any defenses are must-starts every week. I wouldn't use the Niners against Drew Brees and company, as Brees is usually murder on an opposing defenses' fantasy point totals. Team defense is the easiest position to find a solid matchup for on waivers, so it may benefit you to check the waiver wire before committing to starting the San Fran defense.
Analysis: Start the Niners defense at your own risk.
Key Injuries: Vernon Davis TE, SF (questionable), Mario Manningham WR, SF (questionable), Frank Gore RB, SF (probable), Jimmy Graham TE, NO (probable), Benjamin Watson TE, NO (probable)
Start 'Em: Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Saints DEF, Collin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Anquan Boldin, 49ers DEF
Arizona Cardinals @ Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday 11/17, 1PM
Match-up We Love: Andre Ellington, RB
He may not be starting, but he's still the guy to own in the Arizona backfield, and he's a must start against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. What can I say about anyone who matches up against Jacksonville that I haven't said a thousand times, and with the exception of the Titans defense last week, I've been right. The Jags finally won last week, but it's not like that is going to flip some switch and turn them into a team that other teams don't want to play. Running backs have put up impressive numbers against the Jags' defense all year, and especially in the recent weeks. This makes Andre Ellington a must start, period.
Analysis: Get Andre Ellington into your lineups ASAP.
Match-up We Hate: Cecil Shorts, WR
You can basically put anyone with a Jaguar on their helmet here, but I would particularly avoid wide receiver Cecil Shorts this week. For starters, he's solid, but he plays much better when Justin Blackmon is on the field. He also plays a position that plays right into the Arizona defense's strength, their secondary. Expect him to draw plenty of coverage from Patrick Peterson this week, and that's not a match-up I want to take my chances on. The WR position is the deepest in fantasy football, so there surely are better match-ups out there.
Analysis: Sit Cecil Shorts this week.
Key Injuries: Paul Posluszny LB, JAX (questionable), Cecil Shorts WR, JAX (probable), Mike Brown WR, JAX (probable), Maurice Jones-Drew RB, JAX (probable), Michael Floyd WR, AZ (questionable)
Start 'Em: Maurice Jones-Drew, Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Ellington, Rashard Mendenhall, Cardinals DEF
Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants, Sunday 11/17, 4:25PM
Match-up We Love: Giants DEF
The Giants defense has finally come to life, having scored more than 40 fantasy points over their last three games. After a rough start, things seem to be breaking right for the G-Men at every turn, and that could continue this week against the Rodgers-less Packers at home. If you need a defense this week in deep leagues, give the Giants a look, as the Packers starting quarterback is going to be Scott Tolzien. Need we say more?
Analysis: I refuse to call the Giants defense a must start, but they're close. They could make for a nice sleeper this week if you need a defense.
Match-up We Hate: Jordy Nelson, WR
Jordy Nelson is currently the only option in the passing game that opposing defenses have to be worried about on a consistent basis. Without Aaron Rodgers last week, Nelson had his second lowest fantasy point total this year. As stated above, his QB will be Scott Tolzien. I wouldn't be surprised to see Nelson in double coverage all day, or for Green Bay to rely heavily on the rushing attack at the expense of targets to Nelson.
Analysis: It's hard to bench a guy like Jordy Nelson, but he's not worth the risk if you have better matchup options. Use him at your own risk.
Key Injuries: Aaron Rodgers QB, GB (out), Clay Matthews LB, GB (probable), Corey Webster CB, NYG (out), Jason Pierre-Paul DE, NYG (questionable), Brandon Jacobs RB, NYG (questionable)
Start 'Em: Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Myers, Giants DEF, Jordy Nelson, Eddie Lacy, James Jones, Packers DEF
Check back later for our second installment of this week's match-ups, and as always, feel free to check out the RotoBaller.com chat room for any up to the minute advice you may need. Good luck!