Guest of the League
Aurelio Sanchez Memorial League Est. 2007
FFL: Playoff Week 1 | NFL: Week 14

Lineup Prep: Week 11

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.

HOT PLAYS

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. 

COLD PLAYS  

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.

SLEEPERS  

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 jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Greg Olsen Dec 5 1:10pm ET

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (concussion) is out of practice for the second straight day this week on Thursday. All signs are pointing towards Olsen sitting Week 14 out against the Falcons after suffering a serious head injury in Week 13. If you've been relying on Olsen in your tight end spot, it's time to make other plans for the first week of the fantasy playoffs. Ian Thomas should become the primary pass-catching tight end in Carolina if Olsen sits, and he'd have streaming TE2 appeal if that's the case.

From RotoBaller

Damien Williams Dec 5 1:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (ribs) remained out of practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Unless Williams gets in at least a limited practice on Friday, he's headed for his second straight missed game after getting injured in Week 11. With Darrel Williams (hamstring) on Injured Reserve, we could be looking at a committee approach with LeSean McCoy, Darwin Thompson and Spencer Ware in Week 14 against the Patriots. Even if Williams is able to play, he'd be an RB3/flex to fade in the fantasy playoffs. Thompson might have the most fantasy upside this weekend with the Chiefs limiting McCoy's touches down the stretch.

From RotoBaller

Adam Thielen Dec 5 1:00pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) is not practicing for the second straight day this week on Thursday. As of now, it's looking like Thielen can't be trusted to return in Week 14 against the Lions in a good matchup. Keep him locked to your bench unless something changes with his status on Friday. Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and Olabisi Johnson should remain the top three passing targets if Thielen misses another contest. Diggs went for seven catches and 143 yards in the last matchup with Detroit, so he'll be a high-end WR2 regardless of whether Thielen plays. Rudolph has become a touchdown hog with Thielen out of the lineup.

From RotoBaller

San Francisco 49ers Dec 5 1:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will face an extremely tough test in Week 14 against the San Francisco 49ers. Here's where the 49ers Defense ranks in several key categories: 45 sacks, second in the league, 134.2 pass yards allowed per game, first in the league and 29.4 pass attempts allowed, second in the league. Brees will potentially have to take on this fearsome pass rush without his starting offensive tackles, Andrus Peat (forearm) and Terron Armstead (ankle). Even in the offensive-friendly Superdome, Brees isn't dropping back to pass 40 times against this defense. Expect a more run-oriented gameplan from New Orleans, making Brees more of a QB2 this week.

From RotoBaller

Golden Tate Dec 5 1:00pm ET

Updating a previous report, New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion) is practicing in full on Thursday. Tate looks ready to return in Week 14 against the Eagles on Monday night after sitting out last week. With tight end Evan Engram (foot) also on track to make his return, Tate will be more of a PPR WR3 for fantasy owners with Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton also being involved. Quarterback Eli Manning is also expected to get the start under center with rookie Daniel Jones (ankle) not expected to play.

From RotoBaller

Gerald Everett Dec 5 12:50pm ET

Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. Everett missed the game last week and is in danger of sitting again in Week 14 against the Seahawks on Sunday night. If that is the case, Tyler Higbee, who caught seven of eight targets for 107 yards and a touchdown in Week 13, would be a low-end TE1 option again for fantasy owners struggling at the position in the first week of the fantasy playoffs. Everett will need to at least get in a limited practice on Thursday or Friday to have a shot at returning to the field this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Adam Vinatieri Dec 5 12:50pm ET

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (knee) is on the injury report for Week 14 against the Buccaneers after his knee flared up in warmups this past Sunday. Vinatieri missed all three of his attempts from 55, 52 and 46 yards on Sunday, with two of them getting blocked. With Indy claiming kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers on Wednesday, Vinatieri's status is very much up in the air for this Sunday. Vinatieri was limited in practice on Wednesday and isn't a good fantasy option, even if he's active this weekend. McLaughlin could become a worthy streaming consideration if he fills in at all for Vinatieri in the last four games.

From RotoBaller

Austin Ekeler Dec 5 12:50pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack (knee) is going on season-ending Injured Reserve on Thursday, according to a source. It's a big blow to Jacksonville's already weak run defense, especially with Chargers running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler coming to town in Week 14. The 24-year-old Jack totaled 66 tackles, half a sack and one interception in his 11 games this year for Jacksonville. Fantasy owners shouldn't be using the Jaguars Defense in the first round of the fantasy playoffs despite facing a slumping Chargers offense.

From RotoBaller

Daniel Jones Dec 5 12:40pm ET

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle) is not practicing on Thursday and is doing leg work in a boot with a trainer on the side. Dealing with a mild high ankle sprain, Jones is a long shot to suit up on Monday night against the Eagles and could also miss Week 15. It means that veteran Eli Manning will get another start in Week 14 against an old foe in the Eagles. Philly's secondary has plenty of concerns and was just roasted by the Dolphins. The G-Men could be getting both Evan Engram and Golden Tate back as well, but Manning remains a low-upside QB2 if he gets the start, as expected, on Monday.

From RotoBaller

Evan Engram Dec 5 12:40pm ET

New York Giants tight ends Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion) and wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion) are all practicing on Thursday. All three players have a chance of returning on Monday night against the Eagles, but they'll be tough calls in fantasy if they carry questionable designations and are game-time calls. Engram has disappointed this year because of injury, but he'll immediately return to being a TE1 if he's active. Tate's return would be good news for quarterback Eli Manning, who will likely start for Daniel Jones (ankle), but it will hurt Sterling Shepard's upside as a WR2 in a great matchup. Ellison would only be fantasy relevant if he starts and Engram sits. Philly's defense won't be as great of a streamer if New York gets all their offensive weapons back.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Howard Dec 5 12:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard (shoulder) is still not cleared for contact on Thursday. It's looking like Howard is in line to miss his fourth straight game unless he can get in a full practice on Friday or Saturday. Rookie Miles Sanders had a season-high 22 touches in the Week 13 loss to the Dolphins and continues to be the primary ball-handler in the backfield with Howard sidelined. Although the Giants defensive front has been stingy to running backs of late, Sanders would have RB2 upside yet again this week if Howard misses another game. Making things even tougher for Howard owners is the fact that the game this week is on Monday night.

From RotoBaller

Tony Pollard Dec 5 12:30pm ET

Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard (ankle) missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday and is questionable for Thursday night against the Bears. Pollard has just 58 carries for 264 yards and one touchdown on the season on the ground as the backup to Ezekiel Elliott, so he doesn't really have any standalone value to begin with. He has added 12 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown this year. Consider him a game-time decision against Chicago, but he should be nowhere near fantasy lineups to begin with.

From RotoBaller

Antwaun Woods Dec 5 12:30pm ET

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) missed practice all week and has been ruled out for Thursday night against the Bears. Also out are safety Jeff Heath (shoulder) and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (knee). Vander Esch is dealing with a pretty serious injury that could send him to Injured Reserve any day now. It's bad news for the interior of Dallas' defense, but Sean Lee is more than capable of picking up the slack if he can stay healthy himself. Vander Esch's absence is good news for the Bears ground game and running backs David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen on Thursday night.

From RotoBaller

Darrel Williams Dec 5 12:20pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs placed running back Darrel Williams (hamstring) on season-ending Injured Reserve on Thursday. In corresponding moves, defensive back Alex Brown was added to the 53-man roster and wide receiver Gehrig Dieter was signed to the practice squad. With Williams done for the year and Damien Williams (ribs) questionable to play in Week 14 against the Patriots, the Chiefs backfield might be down to LeSean McCoy, Darwin Thompson and Spencer Ware this Sunday. The Chiefs have been limiting Shady's repetitions to keep him fresh for the stretch run, so Thompson could have a sizeable role this weekend if Williams doesn't play. Consider McCoy on the RB2/3 borderline, while Thompson could be a fantasy wild card in both DFS and season-long leagues.

From RotoBaller

JuJu Smith-Schuster Dec 5 12:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) is unlikely to return in Week 14 against the Cardinals. Fantasy owners that own Smith-Schuster shouldn't be counting on him for their lineups in the first week of the fantasy playoffs. He might not even be a lock to make it back in time for Week 15. The bottom line is that Smith-Schuster has been one of the biggest WR busts in fantasy this year due to injury and the fact that Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) was hurt early in the season. James Washington continues to be the top wideout in Smith-Schuster's absence, but he'll be a volatile WR3 with Devlin Hodges at quarterback.

From RotoBaller

New York Jets Dec 5 11:20am ET

The New York Jets Defense has a good matchup on paper in Week 14. However, fantasy owners may want to think twice before starting this unit in the playoffs. The Dolphins have been a punch line most of this season but have actually won three of their last five games, scoring 20-plus points in four of those games. The Miami offense has looked good led by former Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who said he's feeling confident after hanging 37 points on the Eagles last week. The Jets defense was picked apart by Bengals QB Andy Dalton last week and now will likely be without stud safety Jamal Adams (ankle). The Jets could be used as a low-end starter, but other streaming defenses are likely to outperform Gang Green this week.

From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Dec 5 11:10am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was limited in Wednesday's practice with a hamstring injury. This is nothing new for the veteran wide receiver who has been limited in most practices this season, but hasn't missed any game action since September. Thomas will be active and play for the Jets this Sunday, but fantasy owners don't need to follow suit. Thomas has just one game in his last six with more than five targets and hasn't done much with the limited work he's getting. Starting QB Sam Darnold has been throwing more to Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder in recent weeks with Thomas fading to fantasy obscurity, even in a good matchup with Miami.

From RotoBaller

Atlanta Falcons Dec 5 11:00am ET

The Falcons Defense showed some glimpses of hope in Week 10 and Week 11, completely shutting down the Saints and Panthers. However, the past two weeks, they've struggled mightily and have allowed a total of 61 points. This week, the Falcons have their second meeting against the Panthers. While Kyle Allen could turn the ball over a few times and provide ample sack opportunities, the Panthers should still put a good amount of points on the board. The Falcons defense could be worth considering if you're in a pinch, but you're probably best off going in a different direction this week.

From RotoBaller

Younghoe Koo Dec 5 11:00am ET

Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has earned at least three field goal attempts in each of his four games with the Falcons. He's hit 12-of-14 attempts on the year. This week, the Falcons face the Panthers in a game that should feature a good amount of scoring. Expect Koo to have the opportunity to hit two or three field goals in the game with some extra-points as well, making him a strong starting kicker option this week.

From RotoBaller

Brian Hill Dec 5 10:50am ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill saw his workload heavily diminished upon the return of Devonta Freeman in Week 13. This week should be a similar story as the team faces the Panthers. Hill should see only around six or seven touches at best in the game, giving him little hope of a solid fantasy day. He can be left on waivers in all leagues at this point.

From RotoBaller