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From the Godfather: Week 11

Sat Nov 16 5:23pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Contributing Writer

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 cwiegert@cdmsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.

Player Notes
Philip Rivers Dec 13 6:10pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is coming off a phenomenal game in Jacksonville, but he'll have his work cut out for him this week when the Minnesota Vikings come to town. Rivers will be squaring off against a top-10 defense versus opposing quarterbacks, and Minnesota's defense is tied for third in interceptions this year. With Rivers' penchant for turnovers this season, that could spell disaster for the 38-year old QB. The good news is that all of his offensive weapons will be healthy, but he's still a risky start.

From RotoBaller

Gerald Everett Dec 13 5:50pm ET

Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett will miss his third straight outing Sunday versus the Dallas Cowboys due to a knee injury. Everetts absence will pave the way for Tyler Higbee to once again take over the primary tight end duties, which he has capitalized upon to deliver back-to-back 100-plus-yard efforts, putting him once again in line for TE1 status during season-long playoff matchups. After having combined for just three targets in his last two games played, Everetts next chance at suiting up comes next Saturday when the Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers, although there is no guarantee that Everett can reclaim his former starting status in the wake of Higbees explosive play.

From RotoBaller

Washington Redskins Dec 13 5:30pm ET

The Washington Redskins Defense has played well enough to win two of its last three games, and kept the third respectable in a tough road matchup with the Packers last week. Up next is an Eagles offense that has struggled at times to score points, and whose depth at WR will be tested with Alshon Jeffery out for the year and Nelson Agholor on the pessimistic side of questionable for this matchup. Washington pressures opposing quarterbacks at the NFL's third-highest rate, and ranks top-10 in turnover rate as well. If the Redskins can contain Philly's rushing attack and accomplish the more difficult task of holding Zach Ertz in check, there is a scenario in which this unit could return start-worthy fantasy value in a potentially low-scoring game. Search elsewhere if you can help it, but the Redskins could serve as a high-risk, high-reward last resort if you're scrambling.

From RotoBaller

Paul Richardson Dec 13 5:23pm ET

Washington Redskins WR Paul Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 13, and has been ruled out for Week 15.

Fantasy Spin: Terry McLaurin will continue to be the main option in the passing game and should be the only Redskins receiver used in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Wil Lutz Dec 13 5:20pm ET

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz could be busy against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. The 25-year-old has made at least two field goals in five straight games and at least four extra points in three of the last five. He'll face a Colts Defense that has given up 30-plus points in back-to-back games. Lutz should be able to stay hot in Week 15 and is a must-start.

From RotoBaller

Mike Evans Dec 13 5:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 15 against the Detroit Lions. LB Anthony Nelson (hamstring) was limited in practice all week, while DL Beau Allen (ankle) did not practice Friday, Dec. 13; both players have also been ruled out. OT Donovan Smith (ankle, knee) did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. OG Alex Cappa (elbow) and QB Jameis Winston (thumb, knee) practiced in full Friday and are listed as questionable. Ndamukong Suh (non-injury) did not practice Friday but is expected to play. OT Demar Dotson (non-injury), WR Scott Miller (hamstring) and LB Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) practiced in full Friday and have been removed from the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Howard Dec 13 5:13pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles RB Jordan Howard (shoulder) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is listed as questionable for Week 15.

Fantasy Spin: Howard probably will be a game-time decision, so fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his status. He has missed the last few weeks and probably would only receive a handful of carries if he plays. He can be avoided in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jared Cook Dec 13 5:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook (concussion) gets a good matchup against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. Cook was able to practice again today, this time without the non-contact jersey. He has a pretty good chance of suiting up on Monday night. What a game it was for Cook against the 49ers- he caught both of his passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns before leaving with the injury. Cook and Drew Brees have been seeing eye-to-eye lately, resulting in at least six targets for Cook in three of his last five games. He has played himself into must-start territory at the thin tight end position and could be looking at another good game against the Colts' 22nd-ranked pass defense.

From RotoBaller

Kelvin Harmon Dec 13 5:10pm ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Kelvin Harmon could benefit from a tough Eagles run defense on Sunday. While Washington clearly prefers to run the ball and limit what is asked of Dwayne Haskins through the air, the Redskins may not be able to get away with that game plan against a Philly defense holding opposing running backs under four yards per carry. As such, the matchup may force Washington's hand into a more pass-heavy approach than it's comfortable with. If that's how it plays out, Haskins can't just throw the ball exclusively to Terry McLaurin and Chris Thompson all day. Someone else will have to find a way to contribute, and Harmon's chances were fractionally increasing in the three games prior to last week's one-catch, four-target outing. The risk here speaks for itself, but there's at least the possibility that game script works in Harmon's favor this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Dec 13 5:03pm ET

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (elbow) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is not on the injury report for Week 15.

Fantasy Spin: Brady has not been as productive this season as he has been in the past but should have success against the Cincinnati Bengals. He can be considered a low-end No. 1 quarterback in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

T Y Hilton Dec 13 5:03pm ET

Indianapolis Colts OL CB Kenny Moore II (ankle) and OL Le'Raven Clark (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 13. CB Pierre Desir (groin) and WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) were limited.

From TheHuddle

Nelson Agholor Dec 13 5:03pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is listed as questionable for Week 15.

Fantasy Spin: Agholor missed all three practices this week and probably will not be able to play this week. Fantasy players should look for other options to use even if Agholor is active for the game.

From TheHuddle

Jared Cook Dec 13 5:03pm ET

New Orleans Saints LB Kiko Alonso (quad), OT Andrus Peat (forearm), S Vonn Bell (knee) and CB Patrick Robinson (calf) did not take part in practice for a second straight day Friday, Dec. 13. OT Terron Armstead (ankle), DE Cameron Jordan (abdomen), C Will Clapp (elbow), LB A.J. Klein (knee) and FB Zach Line (knee) were limited. TE Jared Cook (concussion) was upgraded to a full practice Friday, while QB Drew Brees (elbow) also participated in full.

From TheHuddle

Tre'Quan Smith Dec 13 5:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receivers Tre'Quan Smith and Ted Ginn both get favorable matchups against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. The problem is, neither has put together a consistent body of work this year. Smith caught his third touchdown of the year last week but hasn't seen more than four targets in a game this year. Ginn exceeded 50 yards for the first time since Week 1 last week. Both are boom-or-bust WR4 options for Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Terry McLaurin Dec 13 5:00pm ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin's Week 15 opponent is an Eagles Defense that has allowed opposing wideouts to average 14.75 yards per reception. Philly has also surrendered 18 touchdowns to the position, which is tied for the fourth-highest total in the league. As always, McLaurin's fantasy profile is limited by suspect quarterback play and an all-around below-average offense, but the Redskins' number-one WR carries some promise into this matchup. What's more, many fantasy owners are reeling from injuries to weekly starting options like Mike Evans, Marvin Jones, Calvin Ridley and D.J. Chark. If you find yourself among those afflicted by any of these casualties, there are worse replacements out there than McLaurin.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Dec 13 4:53pm ET

New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is listed as questionable for Week 15.

Fantasy Spin: Sanu will have a favorable matchup if he is able to play this week. He has not been a big factor since joining the Patriots but could be at least a flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Matthew Stafford Dec 13 4:53pm ET

Detroit Lions OG Joe Dahl (back, knee), LB Jarrad Davis (ankle, knee), DT A'Shawn Robinson (shoulder), QB Matthew Stafford (hip, back) and OT Ricky Wagner (knee) were unable to practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. DT John Atkins (illness) and RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) did not practice Friday, Dec. 13, and are listed as questionable. LB Christian Jones (shoulder) was limited in practice all week and is also listed as questionable. DT Damon Harrison (calf, knee, shoulder, rest) was limited in practice Friday but has been removed from the injury report. CB Jamal Agnew (ankle), DE Austin Bryant (hip), P Sam Martin (abdomen) and CB Rashaan Melvin (ribs) practiced in full Friday and also no longer appear on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Michael Thomas Dec 13 4:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. Thomas is coming off a great game against the 49ers' league-best pass defense, in which he saw a season-high 15 targets. Double-digit targets are a lock for Thomas again this week, considering how much stronger the Colts have been against the run than the pass. New Orleans may also be without tight end Jared Cook (concussion), which would free up some more targets for Thomas. Fantasy owners of the All-Pro receiver should have him locked into their lineups this week.

From RotoBaller

Chris Thompson Dec 13 4:50pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson's fantasy value for Week 15 is likely to hinge on whether or not Adrian Peterson is able to get anything going on the ground against the Eagles. Philly is one of the least friendly fantasy defenses for running backs, which lends itself to the idea that Peterson may struggle. If such is the case on Sunday, the Redskins may have to turn to Thompson as the pass-catcher in order to move the ball. Dwayne Haskins hasn't shown anything that indicates the Redskins should be ready to trust him to launch the ball downfield for an entire game, so Thompson could be set up for a decent PPR day in the short-range passing game if this contest breaks right for him. He's coming off an eight-target outing in Week 14. Thompson isn't without his fair share of risk, but there is a clear path to opportunity here for fantasy owners scrambling to find a flex option in PPR leagues.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Dec 13 4:43pm ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 13, and is listed as questionable for Week 15.

Fantasy Spin: Edelman will be in uniform this week despite being listed as questionable. He will continue to receive plenty of targets in the passing game and should be at least a No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle