Wed Nov 13 10:28am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Carr can shine in Week 11
Well, it is do or die for many teams at this point of the season. Some teams need a win in the worst way to keep their playoff hopes alive. Time is running out for a lot of teams. Hopefully, your team is in position for a long playoff run. But if not, now is the time to make your move. There is still hope if you are sitting outside the playoffs. Things can turn around in a hurry. Don’t give up yet but get on that winning streak now.
Now for my random thoughts for the week. . . . .
I didn’t think there would be a player for a long time that could match Patrick Mahomes when it comes to excitement on the field, but I think Lamar Jackson rivals him as one of the most dynamic players in the league. Jackson sure is fun to watch. He is appointment television in my view. I just love watching this guy play. Mahomes and Jackson are quite the draw for the NFL. They are two of the big reasons why so many fans watch this game. And from a fantasy perspective, they are my top two fantasy quarterbacks right now. Not too shabby.
I said this earlier this season, but I don’t care how many times he turns the ball over. Jameis Winston is one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in the game. He is rated fifth overall at quarterback. He has four straight 300-yard games and six total this season. He also has touchdowns every game and multiple scores five games. His consistency in this pass-first offense makes him a great weekly start. He can turn the ball over every game as long as he keeps producing when on the field.
Don’t forget about Nick Foles. He is back in the starting lineup this week and takes over the starting duties for a team that has enjoyed plenty of success this year throwing the ball. Foles was looking good in Week 1 before getting hurt, going 5-of-8 for 75 yards and a touchdown. I think he could be a fantasy factor the rest of the way. Gardner Minshew is rated 13th overall at quarterback, so I think Foles can at least match that production for the Jaguars He certainly has the track record to do so.
If Tyler Lockett misses any time because of his leg injury, which seems very possible, I think D.K. Metcalf can be a legit No. 1 for fantasy teams while Lockett is out. Metcalf is showing signs of playing a bigger role in the offense to begin with, which is a great sign. He was targeted a season high 10 times last week and has six receptions each of his last two games. The rookie is a big-time talent that can be a big mismatch for defenses. I would be very excited to have him on my roster the rest of the way. I think good things are coming for Metcalf.
I would be worried if I had any Rams on my team. This team is trending the wrong way, mainly because Jared Goff has taken a step backwards this year. He just isn't playing near the level of last year. Cooper Kupp didn’t even catch a pass last week. Todd Gurley has been a disappointment all season. Things just have’t gone as expected for the Rams this year. The team does play well at home and against weaker defenses, but road matchups and tough defenses are their kryptonite.
I think the season of Allen Robinson is really being overlooked. This guy is having some kind of year if you consider Mitchell Trubisky is throwing him the ball. Trubisky is a train wreck, but Robinson is still 15th overall in fantasy receiver scoring. He has at least five receptions all but two games. I would love to see Robinson with a great quarterback throwing him the ball. He is a special talent at the receiver spot.
David Johnson just doesn’t look healthy. He played last week but obviously wasn’t 100 percent in the game. He had five carries for two yards. Kenyan Drake ended up getting more work and that should be the case going forward until Johnson is near his old self. For now, I think Johnson belongs on fantasy benches. I just don’t trust him. Remember, he has 40 or fewer rushing yards six of the eight games he has played. The only thing saving him all year was his work in the passing game.
As always, don’t forget to check out my weekly rankings here: Week 11 rankings.
News and Notes: The Ravens signed defensive tackles Domata Peko and Justin Ellis on Tuesday. The team is looking to add some depth at the position because of injury. Both veteran players could find their way in the rotation in the near future. . . . . Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is scheduled to hold a private workout for NFL teams in Atlanta on Saturday. The session will reportedly include an on-field workout as well as an interview.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders. Carr didn’t have a great game last week but his numbers have been solid all season. He has multiple touchdowns five of his last seven games and 240-plus passing yards five games. He has been getting it done for his fantasy owners, especially of late. He has 20-plus fantasy points three of four games. Expect his good production to continue this week against the Bengals. Cincinnati allows the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks and rank 22nd overall against the pass.
Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers. Samuel continues to find the end zone, scoring a touchdown last week. He has scores three of four games. His yardage numbers aren’t great but he is getting his catches and finding the end zone. Samuel has at least three receptions every game. He can find the end zone again this week against the Falcons, a team that has allowed 19-passing touchdowns. The Falcons allow the sixth most fantasy points to receivers.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers. Gordon finally got it going on the ground last week, rushing 22 times for 108 yards and a touchdown. He has scores four straight games and topped 100 total yards two straight. He is round into form at a good time for fantasy owners. He should keep up his hot ways this week against the Chiefs. Kansas City allows the second most fantasy points to running backs and rank 31st overall against the run.
Devin Singletary, RB, Bills. Singletary didn’t do much last week but his chances weren’t off the charts. He ran just eight times for 42 yards. He did catch three passes, though, giving him at least three receptions three straight games. Singletary is the top back in this offense right now and should lead the team in touches again this week against the Dolphins. Miami is 30th against the rush, allowing 146-rushing yards per game. The Dolphins allow the seventh most fantasy points to running backs.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos. Sutton might have a new quarterback throwing to him, but he continues to produce. He found the end zone his last time out and has at least three receptions every game this year. He also has more than 55 yards in all but a game. His numbers have been very consistent as the top receiver for the Broncos. Expect continued success this week against the Vikings, a team that has struggled to stop the pass. Minnesota allows the third most fantasy points to receivers.
Jordan Howard, RB, Eagles. Howard is playing his best football right now. He has scores two straight and 80-plus rushing yards each of those games. His value is trending up. But even with that all said, Howard can produce poorly at times. He has fewer than 10 fantasy points five games and has one or no receptions six of nine games. His lack of work in the passing game really hurts his fantasy value, especially when he goes up against a good rush defense. And the Patriots have a solid rush defense. New England is 11th against the run and allowed just five rushing touchdowns this year.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings. Diggs is back on one of his cold streaks. He has fewer than 50 yards two straight games. He has six games with fewer than 50 yards this season, producing wildly inconsistent numbers for his fantasy owners. He is always capable of the huge game, so he is tough to sit. But expect some mediocre production at times, especially this week against the Broncos. Denver has been very good against the pass, allowing the third fewest fantasy points to receivers.
Jared Goff, QB, Rams. Goff is a mes right now. He even lost out on some playing time to Blake Bortles last week, which isn’t a great sign for him. Goff didn’t score a touchdown last week and has one or no scores four of nine games. He has just one three-touchdown game this season. Goff has not come near his production of last season. He plays better at home but it is tough to start him this week because of his recent play and a matchup against the Bears. Chicago allows the seventh fewest fantasy points quarterbacks.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals. Fitzgerald tied a season high with eight receptions last week. He has at least five receptions all but three games. Unfortunately, those three games came the last four weeks. His play has dipped some in recent weeks. He really struggled against the 49ers two weeks back, catching four passes for 38 yards. He plays this same San Francisco team this week. The 49ers allow the fifth fewest fantasy points to receivers and are first overall against the pass.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos. Lindsay had 92 yards and a score his last time but had just nine touches in the game. This was a season low for Lindsay. This was the first time all year that Lindsay didn’t have double-digit touches in a game. Lindsay has struggled a little more in recent weeks, having fewer than 60-rushing yards two of three games. He could have more issues this week against a Vikings defense that shutdown Ezekiel Elliott last week. Minnesota allows the fifth fewest fantasy points to running backs and rank seventh overall against the run.
Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers. Samuel had the first 100-yard game of his career last week. He was targeted 11 times in the game, getting a ton of chances with Emmanuel Sanders banged up. Sanders could miss time, making Samuel the likely top target in the passing game. Samuel has at least three receptions three straight games. HIs production has been trending up, having 18 targets his last two games. He should get plenty of chances again this week against the Cardinals. Arizona is 31st against the pass, allowing 287-passing yards per game. Samuel is a good injury replacement or bye-week fill-in for Week 11.
Kyle Allen, QB, Panthers. Allen had the first 300-yard game of his career last week. And he did this on the road against a good Packers defense. Allen continues to gain confidence as the starter for the Panthers and his play seems to get better every week. He has three multiple touchdown games and 225-plus passing yards five of seven games. He can help as a spot starter in the right matchup. And a game this week against the Falcons is a good one for Allen. Atlanta did hold Drew Brees in check last week, but don’t look into that too much. The Saints just stalled in the red zone, but moved the ball well through the air. Atlanta is 25th against the pass and allow the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Brian Hill, RB, Falcons. Hill gets the start this week with Devonta Freeman hurting. He has been trending up even with Freeman on the field. Hill has scores two straight games and a season-high 71 total yards last week. Hill has some total yardage potential in a starting role and could be a good flex option in Week 11. Hill gets the Panthers, a team that allows the fourth most fantasy points to running backs.
Randall Cobb, WR, Cowboys. Cobb had his first 100-yard game of the season last week. He also scored a touchdown for the first time since Week 1. Cobb has at least six receptions two straight games. He is getting a few more looks in recent weeks, which is encouraging for his fantasy value. He has some value as a spot starter, especially if the Cowboys continue to have struggles running the ball. Cobb has a matchup to continue his solid play, getting the Lions. Detroit is 28th against the run and allow 26 points per game.
Gerald Everett, TE, Rams. Everett continues to emerge as a low-end No. 1 tight end. He had a season-high eight receptions last week. He has been targeted double-digit times three of five games. He isn’t a sure thing because of some up and down production, but is worth using as a streamer. He gets the Bears this week, a team that has struggled to stop the tight end. Chicago allows the fifth most fantasy points to tight ends. So despite what looks like a tough matchup for the Rams passing game, Everett is a good play in this one. He could get a lot of looks.
High/Low Scoring Games
Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.
High Scoring Games: Cowboys/Lions, Saints/Bucs, Falcons/Panthers, Texans/Ravens, Chiefs/Chargers.
Low Scoring Games: Broncos/Vikings, Jets/Redskins.
Bye Weeks: Packers, Giants, Seahawks, Titans.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has been on a roll recently, and that train shouldn't slow down on Sunday against Jacksonville. Gordon has posted 90 or more yards from scrimmage in four straight games, and he's about to face one of the worst rushing defenses in the entire league. The Jaguars have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards and second-most rushing touchdowns in the NFL, and Gordon has returned to his full form. Expect Gordon to be a linchpin in the Chargers offense this week, and he could be one of the highest-performing players across the league.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has once again proven that he can still be a productive fantasy weapon even when Melvin Gordon is fully healthy and performing, and he should continue some of that production this week against a Jacksonville defense that is extremely susceptible to running backs. Ekeler has touched the ball 34 times in the last three games, and he's racked up 247 yards on those touches, averaging 7.27 yards per touch. He's also scored a pair of touchdowns, and fantasy owners should look for him to be attacking the end zone once again this week. Since Ekeler is officially a backup, there's always the possibility of a dud if the coaching staff decides to push the ball elsewhere, but his recent production more than warrants continued use.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark has seen his role in the Jaguars offense fade some lately, but with rookie Gardner Minshew back at quarterback, Chark's in a good spot to get back to the level he was at early in the season. Chark averages more yards per reception with Minshew at quarterback and caught five touchdowns from the first-year passer. This week's meeting with the Chargers isn't a great one for Jacksonville's passing game, but if you're going to trust one of these receivers, it should be Chark.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley has been incredibly consistent over the past three games, so if you need a fantasy wide receiver who'll catch four passes for 50 yards, Conley's the guy for you. He doesn't have tremendous upside and has just two touchdown receptions on the year, but his current role with the Jaguars does give him a solid floor. Sometimes, that's what you need.
The Minnesota Vikings Defense is one of the top plays at the position in Week 14. They will square off with undrafted rookie quarterback David Blough and the Detroit Lions at home in an important divisional battle. Blough played well in a narrow loss to the Bears in his debut in Week 13, but he did throw an interception and took two sacks in the game. The Vikings average 2.8 sacks per game and have a chance to get after the rookie with the Lions offensive line struggling. The Vikings secondary has been atrocious lately and the Lions have some deep-threat weapons, but it's safe to count on Mike Zimmer's defense to rebound at home after last week's brutal effort against the Seattle Seahawks. Start them with confidence in Week 14 as they have a great chance at picking up sacks and turnovers for your fantasy squad.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is a WR2 with a wide range of outcomes in Week 14. It's been up-and-down for Diggs since Adam Thielen (hamstring) has been out as he has registered three monster fantasy outputs while also mixing in three very modest efforts. Detroit has struggled to defend the pass this year as they rank 26th in pass DVOA and are in the bottom-five in fantasy points allowed to the position. Though Diggs will likely see a lot of Darius Slay in coverage, the Vikings will find ways to scheme him open as their top receiving option. It should be noted that the passing game volume could take a slight hit with the Vikings favored by 13 points at home. Keep Diggs locked in as a solid WR2 with elite upside and a lower floor than most receivers in his range.
Don't let his touchdown reception last week fool you; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook has had limited upside all season and while he's unlikely to bottom out like he did in Gardner Minshew's first game as quarterback for the Jags, he's not a great option in Minshew's return to the starting role. Westbrook's targets and yardage have been smaller than most expected coming into this season, which makes it difficult to trust him, especially in shallower leagues.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette should be in line for a solid performance in Sunday's meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers allow the ninth-most PPR points to opposing running backs, and while in years past that PPR part of the equation wouldn't mean much to Fournette, he's been targeted 23 times in the passing game over the last two weeks. He's going to get a lot of touches on Sunday, and the Chargers are a team that he can exploit. Feel confident using Fournette as an RB1.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Olabisi Johnson remains in the mix as the Vikings No. 2 receiver with Adam Thielen (hamstring) out. Johnson had been playing at least 70% of snaps every week Thielen has missed, but he put up a 56% snap count in Week 13 as Laquon Treadwell carved out an increased role. Johnson finished with one catch for one yard in a loss to the Seahawks. "Bisi" has a much better chance to produce this week as the Lions Defense has gotten torched all season and shutdown corner Darius Slay will likely stick with Stefon Diggs all game long. As a reminder, Johnson is one game removed from catching six of nine targets for 35 yards in a comeback win over the Broncos in Week 11. There could be some volume concerns this week with the Vikings favored by 13 points, but Johnson is the Vikings backup receiver to take a chance on if you're in desperate need.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had his best game in a month last week when he completed 69% of his passes, but the Chargers still found a way to lose at the last second. This week, he'll face a porous Jacksonville defense that has been sliding recently. Though mediocre for the season, the Jaguars have fallen apart recently, allowing 26 or more points in four straight games. They've been ripped by opposing quarterbacks, allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last month. With LA desperately looking to nail down a win after so many close losses, expect Rivers to have the opportunity for a big game.
The New York Giants ruled out both tight ends Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion) for Monday night. That means Kaden Smith will get another start. He could be put into DFS Showdown slates, but he's not a recommended option in season-long playoffs given the Giants' full complement of healthy wide receivers.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will miss Monday night's game with an ankle injury. As has been expected all week, Eli Manning will get the start and becomes a low-end QB2 option in season-long leagues. This improves Saquon Barkley's value a little since Manning dumps off to running backs more than he runs, but it doesn't do much to the value of the Giants' wide receivers. Perhaps a slight bump down for Golden Tate since the two have never played together.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell will likely see extended playing time again this week in the absence of top wideout Adam Thielen (hamstring). Treadwell caught one of his two targets for a wide-open 58-yard score last week, but he should not be considered as a starting option in Week 14. The fourth-year wideout has seen one or zero targets in five of his seven games played - that fact alone should have you looking elsewhere for desperation streaming options. He'll compete with Olabisi Johnson, Kyle Rudolph, and Dalvin Cook for (likely) limited targets behind Stefon Diggs this week. If you must have a backup receiver from this game, look to Johnson with his higher snap count and target-share.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew is the starter again, but his first start since reclaiming that role comes in a bad situation. The Jags play the Chargers, who've allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing passers this season. The safest bet for you in a season-long fantasy league is to do what you can to avoid playing Minshew this week, though he's not the worst option in a two-quarterback league. He threw for 147 yards and a touchdown in one half of play against Tampa.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is in line for a big game in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions. Cousins has become a model of consistency, tossing multiple touchdowns in seven of his last eight games played and completing 69.3% of his passes to this point in the season (at 8.5 yards per attempt). The Detroit Lions Defense has been getting demolished by opposing fantasy quarterbacks all season, including in Week 7 when Cousins exploded for 338 yards and four touchdowns. The only possible concern for his outlook this week is volume as the Vikings are favored by 13 points and may look to lean on the run. He'll need David Blough and the Lions offense to put up some points in order to approach his ceiling this week, which shouldn't be counted on. Still, start Cousins as a low-end QB1 in this extremely favorable matchup at home.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) isn't even a guarantee to suit up against Denver in Week 14, but if he does, he faces a Broncos Defense that's allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Fuller played 75 percent of Houston's snaps last week, but had just one catch for eight yards. His other target was an end zone one that was initially ruled a touchdown, but two targets for the speedster isn't great. I'd expect we see a little more usage if he plays this week, but if he's not at 100 percent, it'll be tough to trust him in your lineups in shallower leagues.
Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills caught his first touchdown since Week 1 in last week's meeting with New England, but his inconsistent role means you're unlikely to get much out of him in Week 14 against Denver. If Will Fuller (hamstring) misses the game, Stills has value, but it's worth noting that Stills has 50 or more receiving yards in just four games this year and has major fantasy downside.
Houston Texans tight end Darren Fells caught another touchdown last week. He also finished with two catches for 23 yards, his fourth game in a row with two or fewer catches. It's clear that Fells has a very defined role in this offense: quarterback Deshaun Watson will look for him near the goal line or in short yardage situations, and that's about it. Of his 28 catches, nine were in the red zone, and seven of those went for touchdowns. If you need a prayer, Fells is as likely as any non-elite tight end to score, but he won't put up huge yardage totals, so you're assuming a lot of risk.
Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson saw his most targets and tied for his most carries of the season against the Patriots in Week 13 while playing a season-high 67 percent of offensive snaps, a sign that the pass-catching back might be moving towards a larger role in this offense. That gives him some intriguing upside in Week 14 against a Denver team that's done better against running backs on the ground than through the air. This could be a game that favors Johnson over teammate Carlos Hyde, though Johnson's still no more than a PPR RB3 because of the downside he presents, like the fact that in Weeks 11 and 12 he combined for just 12 receiving yards.
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins faces a tough one on Sunday, as Houston faces a Broncos team that allows the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Add in that Hopkins has been targeted eight times in each of the last two games after a five-game stretch with double-digit targets and you get some reason for concern. Not enough concern to even think about benching Hopkins, as his upside is just too big. Maybe you don't play him in your DFS lineup this week because of the matchup, but you have to play him in season-long leagues and hope his talent and his usage help him to a strong day.