Sat Nov 16 5:23pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Week 11 has four teams on the bye: Tennessee, Seattle, Green Bay and the New York Giants
I’m not sure Miami can be considered the gimme still, having won two games while Cincinnati hasn’t won. And Washington has only won a game. The battle for the first pick in next year’s draft is slipping away from the Dolphins.
But let’s be clear, they still have the weakest talent in the league. So yes, I like some Bills players this week and expect their defense to be a top play. You can play Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, John Brown and Cole Beasley, and expect plus fantasy points from all. And if you’re seeking a tight end, Dawson Knox could outpoint a lot of other tight ends this Sunday.
Another gimme team this week should be the Raiders at home against the winless Bengals. Cincy is bad on both sides of the ball, so the Raiders defense against the rookie quarterback could put up some points. Josh Jacobs is a top running back play. Derek Carr is a quarterback streamer. And Darren Waller will be a top tight end play.
The battle of good versus bad this week is San Francisco against Arizona. The 49ers will rebound from last week’s first loss. The Cardinals have played better the last few weeks, but they’ll be running into a buzz saw when they visit San Francisco. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be at his best with or without Emmanuel Sanders. Deebo Samuel has become a reliable receiver and elusive runner after the catch, and a good play for fantasy managers this week. It would be a bonus if George Kittle could return because Arizona’s defense makes most tight ends look like All Pros.
The other almost good versus bad is Carolina (almost good) against Atlanta (really bad). I’m not sure how that game against New Orleans happened, but it wasn’t the real Atlanta team we’ve seen this year. I expect that team to be back against the Panthers. Christian McCaffery is licking his chops. But in what is looking like a very one sided game, a smart approach might be not to overwork your best player. Kyle Allen could have a big game throwing the ball, and both D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel can pass the century mark in receiving yards. Plus, Greg Olsen will get his share and red-zone looks. Not much to like on the Falcons side, but Brian Hill will see the ball a lot with Devonta Freeman out. The Panthers have allowed running backs 12 touchdowns the last four games, making Hill a great sleeper play.
There’s an interesting bad versus bad game this week with the Jets at Washington. I wouldn’t play anyone from either team. Tt could be ugly!
Quarterbacks: Other than those mentioned above, both Drew Brees and Jameis Winston could have big days in their shootout. The experts predict a lot points being scored in this one, so both quarterbacks are great plays. And usually the losing team’s quarterback puts up the most points because they’re playing catch up, making Winston the better play. A sleeper play could be Nick Foles returning to action for the Jaguars at Indianapolis. Foles' schedule the next four weeks is favorable, so if he’s available on your waivers, go get him.
Running Backs: Ezekiel Elliott and Josh Jacobs are going against two rushing defenses that can’t stop a cold. Both will have 100-plus rushing days and should visit the end zone. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon gets a Chiefs rushing defense that made Derek Henry look all world last week. The only thing that could slow him down is playing from behind. A sleeper pick could be the Eagles back Miles Sanders going against New England. With Jordan Howard banged up a bit, Sanders has the type game that could exploit the Patriots defense.
Wide Receivers: Mike Thomas, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should reap the benefit of the shootout, making all good plays. D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are a similar situation for the Panthers. Julian Edelman returns from the bye and will be unstoppable against the porous Eagles secondary. A sleeper pick is Courtland Sutton, who could do well against the Vikings if they can find a quarterback to get him the ball. Ravens receiver Marquise Brown will have a big day against the Houston secondary because they don’t have anyone who can keep up with him. Look for Lamar Jackson to drop a couple bombs to him.
Tight Ends: This could be one of Eric Ebron’s two touchdown weeks, especially if Jack Doyle is limited against the Jags. My sleeper pick is Houston’s Darren Fells at Baltimore.
Defense: Buffalo stays at top my list at Miami. And the Raiders will be good against the hapless Bengals. But the top play is the Patriots, who have a history of extra good play after a bye and a loss. I almost feel sorry for the Eagles.
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning is 'very likely' to start against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, Dec. 9, according to head coach Pat Shurmur.
Fantasy Spin: An ankle injury is the culprit for Daniel Jones, who is expected to give way to Manning on MNF. It would certainly be a nice moment if Manning stepped in and led his team to an upset win in prime time, but it seems unlikely given the team's overall struggles and Manning's before he got benched. He's not worth rolling the dice on.
Oakland Raiders LB Quentin Poling and OG Kyle Kalis were released from the practice squad on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
San Francisco 49ers WRs Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd (back) will not be activated from the Reserve/Injured list and will miss the remainder of the 2019 season, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.
The San Francisco 49ers re-signed free agent CB Antone Exum to a one-year contract on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Former Philadelphia Eagles WR Mack Hollins was claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, Dec. 4. The Dolphins also signed C Evan Brown off the New York Giants practice squad, waived/injured CB Ken Crawley (shoulder) and waived OG Chris Reed.
Los Angeles Rams TE Gerald Everett (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Everett did not play last week because of the injury and could miss another game if he does not practice this week. Fantasy players should look for other options to use and keep Everett on the bench.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (hamstring) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Hill has been targeted at least eight times in four of the last five games and will continue to be one of the main options in the passing game for the Chiefs. He should be a starting option in all leagues this week.
Kansas City Chiefs CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), CB Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and RB Darrel Williams (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. DE Frank Clark (shoulder) was limited during practice. OT Eric Fisher (groin), CB Kendall Fuller (thumb), S Jordan Lucas (shoulder), DT Derrick Nnadi (elbow) and DE Alex Okafor (ankle) fully participated in practice.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (back) said his back is healing "as it should" and that the injury won't be something that's an issue in 2020 or beyond. Stafford will miss his fifth straight game in Week 14 against the Vikings, though, and it seems unlikely he'll return in 2019. The Lions are 0-4 in Stafford's absence and are now down to third-stringer David Blough after Jeff Driskel (hamstring) was put on Injured Reserve last weekend. Before his injury, Stafford had 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns in the first eight games of the season. He was on pace to set career highs in passer rating (106) and yards per attempt (8.6). Heading into next season, Stafford will be a highly coveted high-end QB2 for fantasy owners.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (rib) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Williams may have a chance to play in the Week 14 game but probably will have to practice at some point this week. Fantasy players will need to check on his status later in the week because he should be a starting option if he plays.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Mahomes has thrown for under 200 yards in each of the last two games and has only two touchdowns during that span. He will be facing a tough New England Patriots defense this week but can still be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.
New England Patriots DE Byron Cowart (head) and C Ted Karras (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. LB Ja'Whaun Bentley (knee), OT Marcus Cannon (illness), SS Patrick Chung (heel) and CB Jason McCourty (groin) were limited during practice.
Seattle Seahawks FB Nick Bellore (quadriceps), TE Luke Willson (hamstring), OT Duane Brown (biceps, knee), CB Neiko Thorpe (core) and LB Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. TE Jacob Hollister (quadriceps), OG Mike Iupati (neck), DE Ziggy Ansah (neck) and DE Jadeveon Clowney (core) were limited during practice.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu has been held to 23 yards or less in three of the four games he has played for the Patriots and has not shown good chemistry with Tom Brady. He could be a flex option in some leagues but is not a must-start option.
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (elbow, toe) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Brady is coming off one of his better games of the season last week but only has five touchdowns in the last four games. He will be facing an improving Kansas City Chiefs defense this week but could still be a low-end No. 1 quarterback in some deeper leagues.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman has been a limited participant for most of the season but has not missed any game. He continues to be the main option in the passing game for the Patriots and is a must-start option in fantasy leagues.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller was held to only eight yards in the Week 13 game but posted 140 yards in the previous game, so he is not been a reliable fantasy option in 2019. He has been targeted at least six times in six of his nine games this season and should still be at least a flex option in leagues.
Houston Texans RB Taiwan Jones (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. CB Gareon Conley (hip), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring, toe), LB Brennan Scarlett (shoulder) and DE Carlos Watkins (hamstring) were limited during practice. DE Angelo Blackson (shoulder) fully participated in practice.
Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman (ribs) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Freeman probably will be able to play this week, but fantasy players should check on his status later in the week. He has received under 10 touches in each of the last four games and has been held out of the end zone during that span. He will be facing a good Houston Texans defense this week and can be avoided in some leagues.
Denver Broncos OG Ronald Leary (concussion), S Will Parks (hand) and LB Malik Reed (ankle, shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (leg), LB A.J. Johnson (knee), OG Connor McGovern (back) and LB Von Miller (knee) were limited during practice. DT Shelby Harris (ankle), OT Ja'Wuan James (knee), WR Tim Patrick (shoulder) and DT Mike Purcell (knee) fully participated in practice.