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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said that wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside "needs to take a big jump" in 2020 now that he's "fully healthy." Arcega-Whiteside was a rookie sleeper candidate in the preseason for the Eagles, but he never really panned out in 2019, but perhaps a lower body injury played a part in slowing him down. Drafted in the second round last year, Arcega-Whiteside had just 10 catches on 22 targets for 169 yards and a touchdown in 16 games (five starts), and that was with DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor all missing time with injuries. Agholor is gone and Jeffery is still a question mark due to injury, so the 23-year-old should get more opportunities to show his stuff this season. However, fantasy managers will want to see it before they take action on the waiver wire in most single-season formats.
Miami Dolphins running back Jordan Howard (shoulder) said he's 100 percent after dealing with a shoulder injury that slowed him down late last season with the Eagles. Howard sat out the final seven regular season games and also didn't play in the wild-card game because of the injury. He had 119 carries for 525 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and six touchdowns before the shoulder ailment, though, but he only contributed a career-low 10 receptions for 69 yards and a TD. Howard's lack of contributions in the passing game made him more of a touchdown-dependent RB3/flex, but he could have an opportunity to exceed fantasy expectations in Miami if he's given a bigger role. The ineffective Kalen Ballage sits behind him on the depth chart, but the Dolphins will surely address the position in the draft. For now, consider Howard a touchdown-dependent low-end RB2, at best.
The Detroit Lions agreed to terms with former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison on a one-year deal for $910,000 on Sunday. Allison will also receive a $137,500 signing bonus, which is the maximum for the veteran minimum. The 26-year-old had a career-high 34 catches in 2019 for only 287 yards (career-low 8.4 yards per catch) and two touchdowns in 16 games (six starts). Even with the Packers desperately looking for somebody to step up in the receiving game behind Davante Adams last season, Allison wasn't able to rise to the occasion. He won't have much of a chance for consistent playing time in his new home either, with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola ahead of him. You can ignore Allison in standard-sized leagues unless an injury opens up a starting spot for him.
The Washington Redskins agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with cornerback Ronald Darby on Sunday, according to a source. Darby will likely compete for a starting spot in D.C. The 26-year-old former second-round pick of the Bills back in 2015 spent the last three seasons in Philadelphia, but he played in just 28 games over that span due to various injuries. Darby had 37 tackles (34 solo), two interceptions and 11 passes defensed in his 11 games played for the Eagles in 2019. Washington's defense will try to improve on their showing from last season, and having head coach Ron Rivera should help them in that effort.
Houston Texans WR Randall Cobb said he feels better than he has in at least five years after focusing on improving his hamstring strength during his time with the Dallas Cowboys.
Fantasy Spin: Cobb's 828 yards last year were his most since 2015, and he averaged a career-high 15.1 yards per reception. Following the surprising trade of DeAndre Hopkins, Cobb could find himself a key part of the Houston passing game.
The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a one-year, $3 million fully guaranteed deal with defensive end Derek Wolfe on Saturday. Wolfe can earn $3 million more in incentives. He chose Baltimore over the Texans. One of the strongest defenses in the league gets even stronger on their defensive line with the Wolfe signing. The 30-year-old was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2012. Despite playing in just 12 games due to injury in 2019, he racked up a career-high seven sacks while recording 34 tackles (23 solo), eight tackles for loss, 12 QB hits and one forced fumble. Wolfe can be effective in doses for Baltimore, but he isn't all that attractive in IDP leagues, especially at his age.
Free-agent DT Mike Daniels (Lions) was talking with the Baltimore Ravens before the Ravens decided to sign DE Derek Wolfe.
Unrestricted free-agent DE Derek Wolfe (Broncos) reached an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens to sign a one-year deal worth up to $6 million, a source said Saturday, March 28.
The Kansas City Chiefs are re-signing wide receiver Demarcus Robinson to an undisclosed one-year deal on Saturday, according to a source. Robinson had the best season of his career in 2019, catching 32 passes for 449 yards (14 yards per catch) and four touchdowns in 16 games (10 starts). The former fourth-round pick in 2016 plays in one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL with Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball, but he's also behind Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman in the receiving pecking order. Watkins may not be back and Robinson can provide some big games, but those games will continue to be hard to predict as a fantasy owner. He'll be most useful as receiver depth in deeper leagues.
Unrestricted free-agent WR Demarcus Robinson (Chiefs) will re-sign with the Kansas City Chiefs on a one-year deal, a source said Saturday, March 28. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Fantasy Spin: It seemed like Robinson, 25, may have had a market elsewhere, but returning to the Chiefs on a one-year deal could position him for a better run at free agency in 2021. Robinson showed capable of being a capable fill-in for the Chiefs early in the year when Tyreek Hill was injured. A Week 2 explosion vs. the Oakland Raiders (6-172-2) accounted for 38 percent of his total receiving yardage on the year and half of Robinson's touchdown production. The chances to flash will be there, but his fantasy football worth is zero without an injury to Hill or Sammy Watkins. It is still possible the latter is released due to carrying a $21 million cap hit, which would make Robinson a draftable option. Monitor how KC handles Watkins' contract situation in the coming weeks.
Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Devin Funchess received a one-year, $2.5 million contract, which includes a $1 million signing bonus, $1.2 base salary, $50,000 workout bonus and $15,625 each game active. The deal also contains another $3.75 million in incentives, bringing the max to $6.25 million.
Free-agent CB Ryan Smith on Saturday, March 28, was re-signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida is a potential candidate to be traded, in the opinion of Spotrac.com.
Fantasy Spin: Breida saw a decline from his career numbers of 2018 (1,075 total yards, five TDs), totaling 743 yards and two scores last season. More alarmingly, he only had nine rushing attempts for 19 yards during the Niners' three-game ground-heavy run to the Super Bowl and with San Fran already rostering Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson and possibly getting Jerick McKinnon back after a pair of seasons missed to injury, don't be surprised to see Breida dealt.
Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel is a potential candidate to be traded, according to a list put out by Spotrac.com.
Fantasy Spin: Samuel's receptions, touch count and yards from scrimmage have gone up in each of his three seasons, resulting in a 73-touch, 757-yard-7-TD stat line last season, but now with the Panthers adding another speedy weapon in free-agent WR Robby Anderson, Samuel may indeed be expendable. He's a WR4 currently, but could bump up a level if traded to the right team.
The Denver Broncos re-signed defensive lineman Shelby Harris to a one-year deal that includes $2.5 million in guarantees on Saturday, according to a source. Harris can make up to $3.25 million with incentives. Denver's D-line should be pretty imposing in 2020 with Bradley Chubb, Von Miller, Jurrell Casey and Harris all in the fold. The 28-year-old former seventh-round pick of the Raiders in 2014 had a career-high six sacks in 2019, including 49 tackles (28 solo), eight tackles for loss, six QB hits, nine passes defensed and one forced fumble in all 16 games. He was a nuisance on the interior against opposing signal-callers, mainly deflecting passes at the line of scrimmage.
Free-agent defensive end Michael Bennett said that he wants to play in 2020, according to a source. Bennett played for both the Patriots and Cowboys last season and had 6.5 sacks, 32 tackles (24 solo), 14 tackles for loss and 15 QB hits in 16 games (one start). He's entering his age-35 season, so Bennett doesn't have a whole lot left, but he can still be productive in a rotational role and can provide veteran leadership to a locker room. Bennett spent five years with the Seahawks from 2013 to 2017 and wouldn't mind returning to Seattle to finish up his career. He had his best seasons with the Seahawks, making three straight Pro Bowls from 2015-17.
Along with Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, the Eagles picked up the 2021 options on quarterback Carson Wentz, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, defensive end Brandon Graham and offensive guard Isaac Seumalo on Friday. All the moves were procedural. Wentz is scheduled to make $1.38 million and $15.4 million in base salaries the next two seasons as part of the four-year, $128 million extension he signed last year. He has been injury prone so far in his career, but he completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 4,039 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a barren receiver corps in 2019. Jeffery had surgery for a Lisfranc foot injury and played in only 10 games last year, catching 43 passes for 490 yards and four touchdowns. He's become less dependable for fantasy owners heading into his age-30 season.
Free-agent TE Eric Tomlinson (Raiders) is signing with the New York Giants, the team announced Saturday, March 28.
The Philadelphia Eagles have exercised the contract option of DL Malik Jackson. He had a $2.4 million option that had to be exercised or his 2020 salary would have increased to $10 million; instead, he will earn a base salary of $1.05 million this year.
Free-agent DE Michael Bennett (Cowboys) is interested in playing during the 2020 season, according to a source.