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 email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon hung 99 rushing yards on the Denver Broncos two weeks ago, and he'll need to find that same charge this week when he squares off against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are allowing the 6th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this year, so Gordon will have to be at the top of his game if he's going to have a solid day. Gordon has topped 90 scrimmage yards for five straight weeks, but Minnesota is easily the best defensive front he's seen since he returned to full usage. Expect it to be hard slogging for Gordon, and don't be surprised if he posts his first poor day since he took over the full workload.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has been on fire recently, recording a touchdown in three of his last four games and topping 100 yards receiving on two occasions. Ekeler also chipped in a 101-yard rushing day last week. Ekeler has proven time and time again that he has the playmaking ability to bust huge gains on limited touches, but he'll be going up against another strong defense this week. Minnesota has had a top-10 rushing defense all season, and last time Ekeler faced a strong defensive front, he was held to 16 yards on nine carries. It's unlikely Ekeler will be able to break a lot of big plays this week like he did in Jacksonville, but hopefully he can still weave his way into the end zone for a score.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.