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3 Fantasy Football Players Sending Out Warning Signals After Week 11


By Georgia National Guard (Flickr: Playoff Pass) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsSo here we are, dear reader, with my last warning signs article for the season. The fantasy football playoffs are coming up, and most of you are either past or approaching your trade deadline.

At this point in the season, you should know which players are going to help you or hurt you get that coveted championship. You know who to count on, and who's been pulling their weight all season for you. And you should have a pretty good feel for who has the ability to disappoint you week to week.

But before I walk off into the sunset, let me leave you with three more players I'm worried about for Week 12 and beyond, for old time's sake.

 

Players That Are Making Me Nervous For Week 12

Julio Jones (WR, ATL) - 96 % owned on Fleaflicker

This article may be coming a little late, since of the 11 games played this season, Julio only has four where he has scored above 10.0 fantasy points in standard leagues. However, the blame doesn't really fall at Julio's feet. Some might think it's Matt Ryan's fault, but that isn't fair either. Truth be told, it's the offensive line that's to blame.

The Falcons O-line has looked softer than a bunch of baby chicks all season, and they've allowed way too much pressure on Matty Ice. Now class, what happens when you allow pressure on a quarterback? Correct! He doesn't have as much time to make accurate throws to his wide receivers. You're so smart, class!

Granted, we are talking about easily one of the best young players in the game when it comes to Julio Jones. But even his immense talent level can't make up for the lack of protection afforded by the Falcons O-line. I wouldn't be too worried about Julio, but I also wouldn't think of him as the same level of receiver that he has been in the past. Josh Gordon is coming back this week, and as I said in the moderated chat the other night, he is someone I'd rather own the rest of the season than Julio Jones. That's how little faith I have in the Falcons O-line right now (and how awesome Josh Gordon is when he's on the field).

 

Philip Rivers (QB, SD) - 96 % owned on Fleaflicker

Remember when Phillip Rivers had a bad game to start the season so I dropped him right away in one league? Remember how he then made me feel like an idiot when he put up a 25+ fantasy point game against Seattle and continued to look good until about Week 9? I sure do! So what happened in Week 9 that has seen Rivers's stock float away? He got absolutely dominated by the Miami Dolphins.

There's no shame in getting dominated by the Dolphins this year. They're one of the best defenses in the league, but to put up only 0.82 fantasy points as a professional quarterback is a disgrace.  Your grandma could put up more fantasy points than Rivers did in that game, but then everyone knows your grandma has a cannon for an arm.

But this isn't just about that game. It's about what's happened since. As disgraced as he was, Rivers then had a bye at the perfect time to get his head together, except a funny thing happened. He came out against the Raiders and put up less than 12 fantasy points-- yeah, the same Raiders who had to dig a hole and bury their shame in it because they are so bad this season. Those Raiders.

This is a long way of saying I've lost all faith in Rivers, and you should too. If he can't even handle the Raiders, how can you realistically trust him in your fantasy playoffs? The short answer is that you can't.

 

Steve Smith, Sr (WR, BAL) - 91 % owned on Fleaflicker

Towards the beginning of this season, I had Torrey Smith on this list because he was laying stinker after stinker in his owners' lineups. That was largely because Steve Smith was dominating targets and receptions. In fact, Smith Sr saw double-digit targets in three of his first six games. Not only was he seeing a ton of targets, he was making the most of them, posting four 100+ yard games in the Ravens first six games.

However, since game six of the season, it's been a different story. Smith Sr has only broken 50 yards once since then, and only seen double-digit targets once, in Week 8 when he totaled 35 yards. It's possible that age caught up to Smith Sr, but it's more likely that the Ravens wanted to get the younger Torrey Smith involved. Since Week 6, Torrey Smith only has one game under 50 yards, and three touchdowns in four games.

The two Smiths seem to be having inverse seasons from one another, but I expect the trend to continue in Torrey Smith's favor. However, the Ravens did just have their bye in Week 11, and that might have given the elder Smith the time he needed to rest his legs. They also face the Saint, who are giving up a ton of fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the last five games. Facing the Saints may be the blessing in disguise Steve Smith needs, but there are plenty of options I'd roll out over him right now.

 

Closing Thoughts for Week 11

 I just wanted to say I had a great time writing this article for you all this season. It was really cool to see an idea I had for one week turn into an eleven-week thing. Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope you all enjoyed the experience as much as I did!

See you all in my weekly running back articles,

- Rek