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FFL: Week 11 | NFL: Week 11

NFL television ratings see increase for most packages

Fri Nov 9 3:14am ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer

Players: Jared Goff, Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes

In this Jan. 12, 2016, file photo, Chairman CBS Sports Sean McManus participates in the "CBS Sports" panel at the CBS 2016 Winter TCA, in Pasadena, Calif. After years of declines, NFL television ratings are showing modest gains. Three of the leagues television partners have shown increases after the first nine week of the season while one remains flat. That is welcome news after ratings decreased 9.7 percent last season and 8 percent in 2016. CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, whose network has Super Bowl 53, has been pleased with advertising sales for the rest of the season and the Feb. 3 game in Atlanta. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)


In this Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) in action during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland. After years of declines, NFL television ratings are showing modest gains. Three of the leagues television partners have shown increases after the first nine week of the season while one remains flat. That is welcome news after ratings decreased 9.7 percent last season and 8 percent in 2016. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)


After years of declines, NFL television ratings are showing modest gains.

Three of the league's television partners have shown increases after the first nine week of the season while one remains flat. That is welcome news after ratings decreased 9.7 percent last season and 8 percent in 2016.

''I'm glad the league has turned the corner. The top teams are very exciting and there are plenty of high-scoring games,'' said Neil Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports who now runs his own sports television consulting company.

Pilson said a major ratings driver has been the emergence of young quarterbacks like the Rams' Jared Goff, Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and Bears' Mitchell Trubisky. That has created a buzz not only with their teams but throughout the league.

Another factor is that player protests against social and racial injustice during the national anthem have not been a major storyline this season. Pilson noted that ''a few of those folks who said they were going to stop watching I don't know how many did.''

NBC's ''Sunday Night Football'' package has shown the biggest improvement with an eight percent increase from last season. It is averaging 19.7 million viewers, compared to 18.3 million last season.

This past Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots averaged a league-high 23.7 million, and was the largest prime-time audience on any network since ABC aired the Academy Awards in March. NBC has seen increases all but one week compared to last season.

''We're looking forward to the second half of our schedule, which features many crucial divisional matchups, the Thanksgiving night game, plus the Week 17 flex game. We expect `Sunday Night Football' to finish atop the prime-time rankings yet again,'' NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said in a statement.

ESPN's ''Monday Night Football'' is averaging 11.418 million, which is up three percent (11.135 million). Pilson has been critical of scheduling for Thursday and Monday nights in past seasons, but he said the league has made improvements in those areas. ESPN will have one of the marquee games of the season on Nov. 19 when Kansas City faces the Los Angeles Rams in Mexico City.

''For years I thought that they were burying those two nights but they have improved dramatically,'' he said.

CBS' Sunday afternoon games are averaging 15.713 million viewers, which is up one percent from last season (15.528 million). This past Sunday's slate of five games, which was headlined by Pittsburgh at Baltimore, had a 10.0 household rating, which was up 23 percent from the same week last season.

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, whose network has Super Bowl 53, has been pleased with advertising sales for the rest of the season and the Feb. 3 game in Atlanta.

''There are a number of very good stories. Kansas City is a team of national interest, Mahomes has become a legit star and a lot of the big teams - including New Orleans, Pittsburgh and New England - are playing very well,'' he said.

Fox's Sunday afternoon coverage is averaging more viewers than CBS at 17.299 million, but this is a decrease of less than one percent from last season (17.414 million).

The only package that has sharply declined is Thursday Night Football. It is averaging 12.522 million viewers in its first season on Fox, which is down from the 14.134 million on CBS last season. Fox though is hopeful that the numbers can rebound over the next month, which includes Green Bay at Seattle (Nov. 15), New Orleans at Dallas (Nov. 29) and the Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City (Dec. 13).

Pilson and McManus both think the league's overall improvements could carry through the second half. That's even better news for McManus, as he sees a number of potential Super Bowl matchups that would bode well for CBS.

''I'm encouraged. There are a lot of good storylines that will carry throughout the next couple months,'' he said. ''With so much going on that is negative people are looking for an escape and football provides that for a lot of people.''

Player Notes
K.J. Wright Nov 14 10:53pm ET

Seattle Seahawks LB K.J. Wright (knee) will be a game-time decision for the Week 11 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Kendell Beckwith Nov 14 10:43pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Kendell Beckwith (ankle) has a chance to play in the Week 11 game, but head coach Dirk Koetter said it is too soon to determine his status for the game.

Jamison Crowder Nov 14 10:13pm ET

Washington Redskins WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) is still not 100 percent at this point, but his MRI did not show any more damage to his ankle. Head coach Jay Gruden said he expects Crowder to return soon.

Fantasy Spin: Crowder may not be able to play this week but could return to the lineup in the next week or two. Owners in all leagues should avoid Crowder until he is able to participate in practice.

Timmy Jernigan Nov 14 10:03pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DT Timmy Jernigan (back) has a chance to play in the Week 11 game, according to head coach Doug Pederson.

T.J. Jones Nov 14 9:20pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver TJ Jones saw his most snaps (50) of the season in Week 10 due to Marvin Jones (knee) being forced to leave the game in the third quarter. However, it didn't lead to increased production as the former caught just one pass for 12 yards. This week against Carolina, if Marvin Jones is unable to suit up then expect TJ Jones to line up opposite of Kenny Golladay, making the available Jones a dart-throw DFS play but nothing more. Although, if Marvin Jones is able to play, it takes away any fantasy value of TJ Jones.

From RotoBaller

Blake Bortles Nov 14 9:20pm ET

The Indianapolis Colts defense has seen a drastic fall in their sack totals, with only four across their last five games compared to 17 in the first four weeks of the 2018 NFL season. They also failed to produce a single turnover against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week while giving up 21 fantasy points toBlake Bortles. That being said, the Tennessee Titans are completely erratic when it comes to turnovers and have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to team defenses on the year. Don't let the Titans stunning victory over the New England Patriots fool you too much, as the Colts defense could surprise many fantasy owners with a big day in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Eric Ebron Nov 14 9:00pm ET

The Indianapolis Colts have heavily featured their tight end group in the passing game as evidenced by six of their last passing touchdowns coming from the motley crew of Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, and Mo Alie-Cox. Colts tight ends have been targeted in the red zone the most of any team in the NFL this season and their top-two options should have solid fantasy outings against the Tennessee Titans in Week 11. Doyle continues to operate as the No. 1 option, leading the group in snaps and routes run on offense which should ultimately result to another big game akin to his six reception, 70 yard and a touchdown game in Week 8. Ebron might have run only 12 pass routes last week, but his three touchdowns makes it clear that he remains a great play due to his scoring upside week in and week out. With Indianapolis likely to continue featuring its tight ends, plug Doyle and Ebron into your lineups.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Golladay Nov 14 9:00pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught six passes in Week 10, the same amount he caught over weeks 7-9 combined. He also found the end zone for the first time since Week 5. These are the results fantasy owners were expecting when Golden Tate was traded away. This week at home against Carolina, Golladay has a chance to have another solid showing with the Lions looking to break a three-game losing skid. His teammate Marvin Jones (knee) left Sunday's game in the third quarter, leading to a missed practice on Wednesday; he is considered day-to-day. If for some reason Jones doesn't play against Carolina, Golladay should easily see double-digit targets. Look at the second-year man as a WR2 with upside in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Theo Riddick Nov 14 8:50pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick recorded his highest receiving yardage total of the season last Sunday against the Bears, catching six passes for 60 yards. Serving as the Lions pass-catching back, the 27-year-old returned two weeks ago from a knee injury and has since caught 13 of 15 targets. This week, the Panthers present a challenge for a player like Riddick, as they have allowed the fourth fewest receptions to running backs this season. Keep in mind that Detroit has trailed in each of the past three games, thus forcing them to throw consistently. Look for Detroit to do whatever they can to break the three-game losing streak this Sunday at home, meaning Riddick has some flex appeal but nothing more.

From RotoBaller

Paxton Lynch Nov 14 8:43pm ET

Free-agent QB Paxton Lynch (Broncos), WR Tre McBride (Jets) and WR Tavarres King (Vikings) worked out for the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Deion Jones Nov 14 8:43pm ET

Atlanta Falcons LB Deion Jones (foot) is making progress, according to head coach Dan Quinn, but the team is going to make sure he's 100 percent ready first before putting him back on the field.

Kerryon Johnson Nov 14 8:40pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson scored a rushing and a receiving touchdown last week against the Bears, but outside of that was very average against a good defense. This week, Johnson has another questionable matchup against the Carolina Panthers. The rookie's yardage totals have suffered recently because the Lions have trailed in each of the past three games. Detroit will need to get ahead early or keep it close throughout to get Johnson opportunities on the ground. However, if they do get behind again, Johnson can still get it done in the passing game, having seen 20 targets since Week 8. Clearly the return of Theo Riddick hasn't affected how the Lions will use the Auburn product. Look at Johnson as a flex play with RB2 potential.

From RotoBaller

LeGarrette Blount Nov 14 8:40pm ET

Detroit Lions running back LeGarrette Blount hasn't crossed the goal line in three weeks and has totaled only 15 yards rushing in the same period. That is all you need to hear when breaking down Blount's fantasy value. Making his case even worse is the fact that Kerryon Johnson received a goal-line carry last week that ended up as a touchdown for the rookie. It's obvious the team is losing their interest in Blount as a factor in the offense. Keep him on waivers in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Nov 14 8:33pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is 'still hopeful' he'll have WR A.J. Green (foot) back on the field for the team's Week 11 game Sunday, Nov. 18, versus the Baltimore Ravens.

Fantasy Spin: It seems a lot more likely than not that Green will remain out through Week 11, as his injury has kept him sidelined for only one game thus far when his original timetable called for him to miss more time than that. Either way, he's a WR1 whenever he gets back, but his owners should begin preparing for another week without Green's services.

Nick Vigil Nov 14 8:33pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals LB Nick Vigil (knee) is making progress in his recovery but is not expected to play in the Week 11 game.

Andrew Luck Nov 14 8:30pm ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has thrown three or more touchdown passes in six consecutive games, the longest streak since Tom Brady's 10 back in 2007. Despite heading into a Week 11 tilt with a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the fewest offensive touchdowns, points per play, and touchdown conversions in the red zone on the season, Luck's hot hand is too hard not to ride. For fantasy owners in need of reassurance, Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers, and Deshaun Watson all managed to put up 20-plus fantasy points against the Titans in previous weeks. Plug and play Luck as a QB1 with confidence for fantasy purposes.

From RotoBaller

Matthew Stafford Nov 14 8:10pm ET

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has a decent matchup at home with the Carolina Panthers this Sunday. Stafford saved his Week 10 stat line with two garbage-time touchdowns against the Bears; however, he did toss two interceptions. The Panthers are in damage control after getting torched by Ben Roethlisberger for 5 touchdowns last Thursday. With the Lions back home after two straight road games, Stafford will be looking to get back to winning ways. Since Golden Tate was traded, Kenny Golladay has been up-and-down, while Marvin Jones injured his knee last Sunday and did not practice Wednesday. Pay attention to his designation for the game, but if he plays look at Stafford as a QB2 against the Panthers.

From RotoBaller

Dwayne Harris Nov 14 8:03pm ET

Oakland Raiders WR Martavis Bryant (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 14. CB Gareon Conley (groin), C Rodney Hudson (ankle), OG Kelechi Osemele (knee), LB Kyle Wilber (knee) and CB Daryl Worley (shoulder) were limited during practice. OG Jon Feliciano (ribs), WR Dwayne Harris (foot), OG Gabe Jackson (pectoral) and OT Kolton Miller (elbow, knee) fully participated in practice.

Doug Martin Nov 14 7:53pm ET

Oakland Raiders RB Doug Martin (hip) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Fantasy Spin: Martin has received at least 10 carries in each of the last three games and has rushed for at least 60 yards in two of the games. He should have some success against the Arizona Cardinals and can be at least a flex option in standard leagues.

Larry Fitzgerald Nov 14 7:53pm ET

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (non-injury) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Fantasy Spin: The veteran was simply just getting a day off in order to manage his reps. He'll be out there come Sunday, but at this point in time, it's under the status of a WR3 with inconsistent freshman Josh Rosen throwing him the football.