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Fantasy Football Matchups to Target, Avoid (Week 11) - Offensive Line Champs and Chumps

Jahmyr Gibbs - fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Bye weeks robbed us of some of the best fantasy players in Week 10. Thankfully, there were still plenty of fireworks, especially with a high-scoring matchup between the Chargers and Lions.

Of the teams who were playing, we got a pretty clean week from injuries among offensive line units. The most significant injury is potentially to Ravens’ left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who was forced to leave the game early against Cleveland with a knee injury. Other than that, there were few major injuries across the league.

Week 11 features four more bye weeks, although they won’t have much impact on fantasy teams. Still, finding the players in great offenses (and behind great offensive lines) could be key to putting together a team that can push for a fantasy championship. Check out the matchups to target and avoid below.

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Champ of the Week

Indianapolis Colts

Technically, the Patriots (76.9) had a better collective PFF grade than the Colts (74.9) in their German battle. However, the counting stats favored the Colts’ offensive line, so they got the nod in a close matchup of the best offensive line of the week.

All five of Indianapolis’ offensive linemen finished with a PFF grade above 66.0 against the Patriots, with the tackle duo of Bernhard Raimann (82.2) and Braden Smith (80.8) leading the way for the team. Indianapolis surrendered just three pressures in the passing attack. Indianapolis didn’t fare as well in the run game (2.7 yards per carry), but all of their linemen graded well as blockers.

 

Chump of the Week

Jacksonville Jaguars

This was an ugly, ugly week for Jacksonville’s offensive line against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Jaguars came into Week 10 with their ideal offensive line configuration, moving a healthy Walker Little to left guard now that Cam Robinson is back from suspension (Walker was immediately hurt upon Robinson’s initial return). The results weren’t great against a ferocious 49ers defensive line, with the unit combining to surrender two sacks and eight pressures.

Only one offensive lineman (right guard Brandon Scherff) had a PFF run blocking grade above 51.0 and an overall grade above 58.0. Things will likely get better for Jacksonville in easier matchups, but this effort perfectly captured the offense’s collective struggles this season.

 

Matchups to Target in Week 11

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Things haven’t gone as anticipated for the Chicago Bears’ offensive line this season. Their projected starting lineup in the summer has totaled a whopping zero snaps together thanks to a variety of injuries. Still, Chicago’s five starters (four projected) had their struggles against a very average Panthers defensive line in Week 10.

The Bears finished with a 64.7 collective PFF pass-blocking grade and a 60.1 overall grade in their Thursday night win against Carolina. Chicago allowed nine total pressures as well, although the Panthers weren’t able to convert any of those into sacks. One bright spot was the return of left tackle Braxton Jones, who finished first on the team in pass blocking (87.9 grade) and second overall (73.5).

The Bears will have their work cut out for them against a Lions defensive that has generated 194 pressures and 21 sacks this season. Look for Aidan Hutchinson (52 pressures) to live in the backfield this week.

Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos

The Vikings continue to stay competitive in the NFC thanks to an excellent offensive line that is keeping clean pockets for veteran quarterback Joshua Dobbs.

The Vikings allowed just six pressures against the Saints in Week 10’s convincing victory. Three different linemen (left tackle Christian Darrisaw, right guard Ed Ingram, and right tackle Brian O’Neill) finished with PFF grades above 73.0 and combined to allow one pressure. The Vikings are still a work in progress in the run game, but they are formidable as pass protectors.

That isn’t great news for a Denver Broncos defense that has stabilized but still struggles to generate consistent pressure with young edge rushers. Only three players on Denver’s defense have more than 20 pressures and two sacks this season.

 

Matchups to Avoid in Week 11

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

The Steelers have turned the right side of the offensive line over to rookie Broderick Jones, but the offensive line continues to struggle. Pittsburgh continues to rack up wins despite their offensive line. The collective unit allowed six pressures against the Packers in Week 10, but only one offensive lineman (right guard James Daniels) had a PFF grade above 70.0.

Jones has shown the talent flashes that made him a first-round pick in 2023 but has largely struggled in his last two games on the right side of the line. He’s yet to have a game with a PFF grade above 56.0 in his last two starts and now will draw a brutal matchup against Myles Garrett (43 pressures and 12 sacks) and Za’Darius Smith (33 pressures and three sacks).

The rest of Pittsburgh’s offensive line isn’t much better, so this game could come down to a defensive faceoff fitting of the AFC North.

Carolina Panthers vs Dallas Cowboys

Bryce Young’s struggles in the pocket are well-documented this season, especially when compared to C.J. Stroud’s resounding success with the Houston Texans. However, it is hard to completely put all of the blame on the 2023 first-overall pick when his offensive line has looked so bad.

Carolina’s five starting offensive linemen have allowed at least 11 pressures and four of five linemen have given up at least three sacks. Right guard Austin Corbett continues to struggle coming off a 2022 ACL injury, giving up three sacks and 11 pressures on just 139 pass-blocking reps.

The Panthers' offense will likely struggle once again in Week 11 facing off against the combination of Micah Parsons (53 pressures and eight sacks), DeMarcus Lawrence (26 pressures and three sacks), and Osa Odighizuwa (22 pressures and three sacks).



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