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Week 11 Matchups - Fantasy Football Game Breakdowns (Part 2)


Welcome to the second part of our Week 11 matchups analysis and starts/sits column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every matchup from every Sunday game to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. We'll also be updating this as injury reports come in, so check back often for the latest advice.

This article will cover the late slate of games, beginning after 4:00 pm EST on Sunday as well as the Sunday night game. Don't forget to see our early game matchups analysis here and look for our MNF matchups analysis as well.

Check back here each week to get advice for your toughest start/sit decisions and take a look at our consensus rankings each week. For start/sit advice or anything fantasy football-related, find me on Twitter @Pfunk00 and I'll be glad to offer help.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

4:05 PM ET Games

The last of the heavy bye weeks is upon us, with the AFC East taking a break, alongside San Francisco and Cleveland. It's not a huge loss for fantasy owners in general but it does keep our late slate at three games again. Philadelphia travels to New Orleans in what promises to be a spirited battle of passing offenses. The marquee match in the evening pits two NFC North teams battling for supremacy of the division in a year where Green Bay once again looks beatable. Will it be a shootout or will the defenses reign superior? Let's take a closer look to find out.

 

Broncos at Chargers

Matchups We Love:

Phillip Lindsay (RB, DEN)
Lindsay has performed like a high-end RB2 most of the season and should continue that trend this week. He'll see a slight downtick in usage now that Freeman is playing again, but not enough to put him on the bench. The Chargers have been susceptible to the run at times; better for Lindsay, they've allowed the third-most receiving yards to running backs. Lindsay could see more catches as a result of dumpoffs if the Broncos have to play catch-up, especially without DT around.

Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC)
Gordon has been a stud all year and the Broncos defense should do nothing to prevent him from another top-1o finish. Gordon didn't have a lot of success against Denver last year, totaling 92 yards on the ground in two games. He ran for 205 yards against Denver in 2016, however, and this year's unit is far worse against the run, ranking 12-worst at holding RBs from scoring in fantasy. Gordon maintains a high floor in PPR with at least four targets in every game and should be a strong RB1 once more.

Jeff Heuerman (TE, DEN)
We're not expecting the higher man to repeat his previous output of 10 catches with a touchdown, as he's never been a big pass-catching threat in his three-year career. In fact, in that game, he exceeded his catch totals from each of his first two seasons. He does need to be looked at, especially for those needing a replacement for Gronk, Kittle, or Njoku this week. Heuerman leads the team in red zone targets (13) and could keep benefiting as a large target now that Demaryius Thomas isn't available as an option.

Matchups We Hate:

Case Keenum (QB, DEN)
The early-season promise Keenum showed within this offense has gradually faded to the point we should expect mediocrity. Demaryius Thomas isn't around, leaving a rookie as his No. 2 target. The Broncos will likely keep the ball on the ground as much as possible with Freeman expected back this week, limiting Keenum's upside. The Chargers aren't a dynamic pass defense, but they've only allowed one 300-yard passer this year - Jared Goff. There's little reason to trust Keenum in a tough road matchup.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)
It was easy to love Allen against the Raiders last week but it's a slightly different story in Week 11. Chris Harris will present much stiffer competition and Allen has not enjoyed much success against Denver in the past. In six regular-season games facing Denver, Allen averages 4.3 receptions and 39.5 yards and has never even reached 75 yards in a game. His relatively high floor keeps Allen on the WR3 spectrum in PPR leagues at least.

Mike Williams (WR, LAC)
After scoring his first NFL touchdown in Week 2 and another pair of scores in Week 3, it seemed like the floodgates might open for Williams this season. Hasn't happened. Williams has scored twice more since then, but those were his only catches of the game. In fact, since Week 3 Williams only has one game with more than one reception and wasn't even targeted against Oakland last week. He is completely touchdown-dependent and can't be considered more than a desperation play in standard leagues.

Other Matchups:

Philip Rivers (QB, LAC)
If you look at Rivers' season-long stats, you love having him as your quarterback. He has been Mr. Consistency, tossing at least two or three TD in every single game while being picked off four times all year. There is a scenario where this could fail you, however, as the big-scoring weeks haven't been there either. Rivers has no four-TD games and has gone over 300 yards just three times. He's also finished under 230 yards on four occasions. Rivers hasn't faced the Broncos yet this year, but he finished under 200 yards in three of the last four games against them. Rivers is a high-floor play as usual, but if you need more upside from your QB you could pivot elsewhere if the opportunity presents itself.

Royce Freeman (RB, DEN)
The rookie is expected to return from his high-ankle sprain this week, but it's unclear how many snaps he'll see. He has been effective in spurts but is averaging 10.1 carries per game and will play behind Lindsay, thereby capping his fantasy appeal.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)
We mentioned last week how Ekeler is one of the leaders in points per opportunity and always a threat to hit a home run. The problem is he just hasn't gotten many opportunities lately. Other than the Tennessee game in London, when Gordon didn't suit up, Ekeler is averaging six carries and 2.3 targets per game. That's simply not enough to keep him on the flex radar. He is a smart stash for the playoff push in case Gordon gets dinged up again but no more.

Courtland Sutton (WR, DEN)
There was no noticeable bump in usage or production in Sutton's first game without Demaryius Thomas around, as he was targeted five times in Week 9. He could see more work this week following the bye and a chance to become more comfortable with his new role. Sutton has a favorable matchup with CB Michael Davis that he could turn to his advantage, giving fantasy owners in 14+ team leagues a reason to consider him during this expanded bye week.

Emmanuel Sanders (WR, DEN)
You'd figure Sanders would get a boatload of catches now that he's the No. 1 receiver in Denver. It didn't really happen in Week 9, as he caught six of nine targets for 47 yards. His target share has been mostly dependent on game script, growing exponentially when the Broncos have been down big in the second half. The Chargers are 7-2 and playing great but they haven't been blowing out opponents like their L.A. counterparts, the Rams. They had one big win over Cleveland and two walks in the park against the Raiders but otherwise have been able to win close games. Not only is Sanders far from guaranteed a huge game, he faces PFF's highest-rated coverage cornerback, Desmond King. It's hard to sit him, so just temper expectations for Week 11.

Tyrell Williams (WR, LAC)
Williams is behind only Allen and Gordon for target share, registering 26 catches on 36 targets. For Tyrell Williams, volume isn't quite as important seeing as how he averages 19.1 yards per catch. His three-game TD streak ended last week, leaving owners with one of his typical performances when the big play isn't there - 46 yards on a handful of receptions. His floor isn't as low as Mike Williams, so you could consider him as a WR4 in this bye-heavy week with the hope for a trip to the end zone.

 

Raiders at Cardinals

Matchups We Love:

David Johnson (RB, ARI)
If you bought low on Johnson earlier this season, you are finally being rewarded. DJ came within two yards of his first 100-yard rushing game this season and finished with 183 total yards and two TD. In a game where they'll face little resistance, Johnson could easily see season bests in rush attempts and yards. He's a no-brainer in season-long leagues and sure to be the chalkiest play on the board in DFS.

Doug Martin (RB, OAK)
It's counterintuitive to trust a running back on a terrible team expected to lose on the road. There are a couple of factors working in Martin's favor this week: 1) The Raiders simply have nobody left to throw to and will likely keep the ball on the ground as much as possible. 2) Arizona's run defense is still among the worst in the league, allowing the fourth-highest fantasy PPG total to running backs. Yes, even worse than Oakland. Martin picked an odd time to have his career revivial, averaging 4.3 yards per carry despite playing on a team with no hope for the near future. For this particular week, Martin could be a highly undervalued RB3/flex.

Larry Fitzgerald / Christian Kirk (WR, ARI)
Both starting WRs on Arizona have plus matchups and could easily find their way into the end zone. Fitz finally looks healthy and has caught 14 passes the last two games under a new offensive coordinator. Kirk disappointed last week but has seen at least six targets each of the last four games and could delight as a flex play this week.

Ricky Seals-Jones (TE, ARI)
It's coming. Any day now, we'll experience the RSJ breakout. At least I think so... Seals-Jones did see a big bump in usage with Byron Leftwich at OC last week, catching five of nine targets for 51 yards. If he can just find the end zone, something he's done only once this year, then he will jump onto the TE streaming scene as this offense expands the passing game. There is a good chance Seals-Jones delivers value this week, as the Raiders are fifth-worst against tight ends and getting steadily worse as they ditch veteran defenders to make way for next year's draft picks.

Matchups We Hate:

Derek Carr (QB, OAK)
To be honest, the matchup doesn't matter. Carr is playing his part in helping the team secure the top overall draft pick, taking 11 sacks, throwing no touchdowns, and averaging roughly seven yards per attempt the last two weeks. The team traded Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson has been ruled out with a knee injury, and Martavis Bryant may miss the remainder of the season with a PCL injury. With Brock Osweiler and Josh McCown on bye this week, Carr must be considered the lowest-ranked QB for Week 11. That also puts Arizona's defense in play as a desirable streamer based on sack projections. They got to Patrick Mahomes five times last week, the most he's been sacked all season, so imagine how successful this DEF could be against Carr.

Seth Roberts / Brandon LaFell (WR, OAK)
Someone has to catch passes in Oakland, right? Wrong. So wrong. That's what we said once Cooper was traded, yet Nelson totaled three catches for 30 yards and Bryant totaled five catches for 46 yards in the last three games. Those are combined totals, mind you, for the Raiders' WR1 and WR2. There's a chance one of these players catches a garbage time TD - are you willing to burn a roster spot to take that chance?

Other Matchups:

Josh Rosen (QB, ARI)
Rosen is taking small steps forward as the Cards loosen the leash a bit, raising his average completions and attempts to 21 and 39, respectively, the last three weeks. Turnovers are still an issue though - Rosen has thrown six INT the past three contests. If he can up his accuracy by utilizing Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson more, good things will happen. Seems obvious, doesn't it Mike McCoy? Anyway, Rosen has a cake matchup but his upside may be capped by the lack of need to air it out.

Jalen Richard (RB, OAK)
If you need a few points to get you by in a full PPR league, Richard can deliver just that and only that. Yet to score this year, the hopes for a trip to the end zone diminish each week. Still, Richard averages 5.3 receptions and 44.4 receiving yards per game which gives him a decent floor. Those numbers could increase as the Raiders find themselves with nary a healthy WR.

Jared Cook (TE, OAK)
The same logic applies to Cook as it does for the Oakland wideouts. He'll have to get some targets but chances for a touchdown look slim at best. The Raiders have scored nine points in the last two weeks. Cook could be utilized if your waiver wire is thin and you need a bye-week filler but Seals-Jones looks to be a better option.

 

Eagles at Saints

Matchups We Love:

Drew Brees (QB, NO)
Brees is enjoying another historic season, posting a 21/1 TD/INT rate and an insane 77.3% completion percentage. Before the season, seeing the Eagles on the schedule could have been cause for concern, but they've been uncharacteristically generous to passers and are now without Ronald Darby and possibly Jalen Mills too. Brees should comfortably finish as a top-five fantasy QB.

Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)
Is Wentz up to the challenge of matchup blows with Brees? He's averaging 306 yards per game and has a nice 15/3 TD/INT rate himself. The Saints are the absolute worst pass defense in the league now that the Bucs managed to contain Alex Smith last week, so this matchup figures to be a chance for Wentz to spread the ball around to his receivers all day long and rack up points.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)
You don't sit Kamara. That said, even if he isn't going to visit the end zone two or three times (he just might), he may not have one of his best games of the year up against the Eagles. They limit opposing runners quite a bit, but they have allowed the eighth-most receiving yards to running backs this season. Kamara came away just fine against tough defenses like Baltimore and Minnesota earlier this year thanks to his extensive red zone usage.

Michael Thomas (WR, NO)
Thomas is reverting back to his early-season target hog ways out of sheer necessity. With Ted Ginn and Cameron Meredith on IR and a rookie lining up opposite him, Thomas will see double-digit targets more often than not down the stretch. If he truly is matched up with Chandon Sullivan, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia State, then Thomas could feast like we haven't seen since... well, two weeks ago.

Alshon Jeffery (WR, PHI)
Jeffery hasn't had a fantasy-relevant game since Week 7, mainly because Wentz loves his tight end so damn much. If the individual matchups play out as expected, it could take a turn in Jeffery's favor as he gets newcomer Eli Apple whereas Ertz could be limited by New Orleans' propensity to stop the run and defend short and intermediate passes while leaving their CBs exposed. Jeffery can be considered a WR3 in a game that should feature plenty of passing.

Golden Tate (WR, PHI)
It was a lackluster debut for Tate, who caught two of four targets for 18 yards. He only saw 18 snaps, however, as he was being eased into the offensive scheme. That number should jump up this week, as they're going to need him in this matchup. Tate will square off against slot corner P.J. Williams, who has struggled all season long. We don't know what his ceiling is in Philly with Ertz and Jeffery around but this is a good time to find out, as the matchup won't get any better.

Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)
Is Ertz the best tight end in the league now? It's hard to argue against him after posting a career-high 14 catches for 145 yards last week, extending his receptions lead at the position. The Saints are stingy against tight ends, allowing 5.1 fantasy PPG to the position, but Ertz has such a high floor it doesn't matter. Only three times this year has he wound up with less than 50 yards and he scored in two of those games. Ertz may post slightly lower totals than usual, especially if Tate sees more action, but he's still firmly atop the TE ranks.

Matchups We Hate:

Josh Adams / Corey Clement / Wendell Smallwood (RB, PHI)
New Orleans is still the top-ranked run defense and this is still a three-headed RBBC with no clear winner in sight. Doug Pederson has said that Josh Adams deserves more touches, which may happen eventually. Not this week, as everything about this matchup and potential game script screams of a pass-heavy offense for the Eagles.

Nelson Agholor (WR, PHI)
A move to the outside didn't hurt Agholor as much as expected, at least not so far. He posted a five-catch, 83-yard game against Dallas, although much of that yardage came on one play. The reality is that Agholor won't disappear completely from the offense but his upside is too limited with so many other receivers in the mix. His draw of Marshon Lattimore on the other side should give him a tougher time than Jeffery or Tate as well.

Benjamin Watson (TE, NO)
If you believe in mathematical patterns, Watson could have a nice game in Week 11. He came away with six catches, 43 yards and a TD in Week 7, nothing in Week 8, three catches for 62 yards and a TD in Week 9, then one catch for one yard in Week 10. You're better off playing the matchup, however, which shows that the Eagles are third-best at defending the tight end this season. Watson is still a TD-dependent streamer for those needing a quick fix.

Other Matchups:

Mark Ingram (RB, NO)
Last week figured to be an Ingram game as the overmatched Bengals laid down early on defense. This time things won't be as easy. Philly allows the fifth-fewest fantasy points to RBs and second-fewest rushing yards, behind only New Orleans. Ingram has taken a backseat to Kamara in tougher matchups and could find it hard to generate any big plays in this game. He remains on the flex radar because, well, he plays for the Saints.

Keith Kirkwood (WR, NO)
If a third WR makes a dent in the fantasy scoreboard for New Orleans this week, it won't be Brandon Marshall. It could be Kirkwood, who was signed off the practice squad last week and promptly caught two passes for 45 yards. Austin Carr has been on the active roster all season yet took a backseat to Kirkwood, taking 14 fewer snaps and an equal number of targets. The Saints enjoy surprising opponents (and fantasy owners) so don't be surprised if Kirkwood steps up to make a play or two. He isn't more than a GPP bargain play though.

Tre'Quan Smith (WR, NO)
It has been a disappointing turn of events since Smith broke out with 111 yards and two scores in Week 5. Those who scrambled to add him off waivers have been left with eight catches and 85 yards over the last four games, including a fat goose egg in Week 10. He's still part of this offense, seeing more offensive snaps than even Michael Thomas last week, so don't give up hope yet. Smith could take advantage of an injury-riddled Eagles secondary to post another big game, although the floor is also rock-bottom.

 

Sunday Night Football - Vikings at Bears

Matchups We Love:

Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)
The notion that Trubisky could be this year's Jared Goff doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore. Through nine games, Trubisky has 2,304 passing yards, a 19/7 TD/INT rate and six victories under his belt. After nine games last year, Goff had 2,385 yards and a 16/4 TD/INT rate with a 7-2 record. The difference is that Trubisky is more mobile (and doesn't have Todd Gurley in the backfield) so he's been able to run for 320 yards and three TD himself, while Goff has run for 149 yards over his career so far. Trubisky brings a high floor due to his legs and the creativity of his offense. While the matchup is not an easy one, Trubisky sits right on the cusp of the QB1 conversation this week and can be recommended more so than Cousins. Not necessarily a love, Trubisky is nonetheless a fantasy starter most weeks and shouldn't be benched because of Minnesota's defense

Adam Thielen (WR, MIN)
It's been two weeks without a 100-yard game! Sell Thielen! OK, one of those was a bye week and the other qualifies as his first dud of the season. He still scored a touchdown and he's still the leading receiver in the NFL. Thielen is just fine as your top receiver this week, as the one area the Bears have struggled with at times is allowing big plays to receivers. Bryce Callahan has been great in the slot this year but Thielen is sure to get his share of receptions even if it isn't his best game of the year.

Matchups We Hate:

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)
The Bears have mostly owned opposing QBs not owned Aaron Rodgers this year and that's with Khalil Mack out for two games. They lead the league in interceptions and are one sack away from the lead there too. Cousins has excelled in games that turn into shootouts with elite QBs (Rams, Saints, Packers) but has been pretty ordinary otherwise and currently ranks as the fantasy QB14. This game could feature more scoring than you'd expect but not enough to keep Cousins in most lineups unless you don't have a better backup plan.

Jordan Howard (RB, CHI)
There's not much to like about Howard these days. He is fresh off another putrid performance, running 11 times for 21 yards in Week 10. Only twice has he carried the ball more than 15 times in a game, once since Week 3. There's always hope for a touchdown but the Vikes have only given up two on the ground to a running back all year. This isn't the week to hope he turns things around.

Dalvin Cook / Latavius Murray (RB, MIN)
The matchup must be hated since the Bears allow the fewest fantasy points to running backs and will be at home where they're even tougher. Cook is always one play away from taking it to the house and is too talented to bench in most standard leagues but don't expect much. Murray will be completely depending on red zone touches to turn in a score to salvage his day.

Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN)
Maybe the bye week will fix things for Rudolph. Probably not, as health is not an issue. It's a matter of usage, which won't see a dramatic increase with Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs back on the field.

Other Matchups:

Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI)
The story doesn't change with Cohen, even if the results do. He will get between 10-15 touches per game, has a decent floor in PPR leagues, and always has a chance to break off a huge chunk play. He could well be utilized more in the passing game this week, so keep him firmly planted as an RB3/flex.

Allen Robinson / Anthony Miller / Taylor Gabriel (WR, CHI)
The toughest call to make in the matchup is whether to trust any Bears receiver and which one. Gabriel seems to have been phased out of the offense as a primary threat, merely catching a couple of intermediate routes each game, so it's easy to rule him out. Miller, by contrast, has been coming on and just put up his first 100-yard game last week. That came against a decimated Lions secondary that gives up plenty of points to slot receivers, though. Robinson can be dominant when healthy, as he proved last week with a season-high 133 yards and two touchdowns. He's also disappeared at times. The Vikings have a talented trio of young corners that has underperformed in 2018 after dominating in 2017. If Xavier Rhodes is back to his old self and this defense, which has held opponents to 177 passing yards per game over the last four with Everson Griffen back, can live up to its potential, Robinson will have a tough time generating production and none of these receivers may be especially appealing. Miller should be faded despite last week's success. Robinson has the most appeal thanks to his size and red zone usage but is a fringe WR3 at best.

Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN)
Diggs swears up and down that he is playing in Week 11, so we'll take his word for it. If so, he faces Kyle Fuller and a tough Bears defense. While they have allowed big plays to wideouts, Diggs has a knack for underperforming when not fully healthy. He is a boom-bust play this week.

Trey Burton (TE, CHI)
The matchup is neither here nor there for Burton. All-Pro safety Harrison Smith will do his best to keep Burton out of the end zone but the Vikings haven't completely shut down tight ends this season. In a week without George Kittle, David Njoku, or Rob Gronkowski available, Burton can find his way into the top-10 TE ranks.

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There were a lot of fantasy football busts at the tight end position in 2019, but there were also a lot of breakout stars. The 2018 season saw Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz break the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a tight end, while San Francisco’s George Kittle broke the record for most... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Courtland Sutton

With the conclusion of Super Bowl LIV, football season is over for many people. But for anyone that plays in a dynasty fantasy football league, the season is never over. For the fantasy addicts out there, now is the time to start preparing. In today's column, we will take a look at wide receiver Courtland... Read More