Thanks for coming out Christine Michael. Honestly, has there been any stranger career than Michael’s? Let this move sink in for a minute. The Seahawks released the 15th best running back in Fantasy Football, a player with 565 total yards and seven touchdowns. Michael’s performance had already been declining while C.J. Prosise was impressing and Thomas Rawls about to return, but it’s still a shock.
Let this be a lesson to Fantasy owners. Too often, owners are hung up on name value or past performance instead of focusing on the results. Take Brandon Marshall for example, he’s benchable despite being a Top 5 receiver last year. How about Eric Ebron? People are still asking if he’s worth owning in comparison to mediocre options such as Dennis Pitta and Zach Ertz, yet he’s Top 10 in FPPG despite only have one touchdown. Sports are cruel, and sometimes you need to be a cutthroat owner. Fanmanship, nostalgia and name association have no place in Fantasy Football. Performance is all that matters.
As a reminder, if you missed this week’s Waiver Wire and Quarterback Streamers piece, click over to find help at every position, including quarterback streamers.
Week 11 QB Sleepers
Tyrod Taylor, BUF – Just reference this week’s waiver wire article. Taylor has finished as QB15 or better, including five QB1 performances, in every week since Week 1. That streak includes at least 15.8 Fantasy points in each game with four 20-plus point performances. The Bengals defense isn’t as tough as people assume, allowing the fifth most FPPG to quarterbacks with at least one passing touchdown allowed to every team except the Browns.
Week 11 RB Sleepers
Jordan Howard, CHI… Or… – As of today, Howard is the play, as the Giants defense still struggles in a few areas. The way to beat them is with solid No. 2 receiver play, tight ends and running between the tackles. That last part is a bit weird to see given their offseason signing of Damon Harrison, but the Giants are in the bottom 10 at stuffing runs up the middle but among the best at stopping outside and second level runs along with pass-catching plays. If Howard misses Week 11, look for Ka’Deem Carey to have the better game than Jeremy Langford given their abilities. Of course, all of this hinges on John Fox being being even slightly transparent in his plans.
Isaiah Crowell, CLE – Even before Ezekiel Elliott went ape nuts last week, the Steelers were among the worst at stopping running backs. Only the Chiefs (Spencer Ware still had 82 yards on just 13 carries) and Ravens failed to reach double digits against the Steelers with four teams topping 33 points! Crowell was quiet the last two weeks, but that was in a blowout loss to the Cowboys and against the league’s best run defense, the Ravens. In games with double-digit carries (seven), Crowell is averaging 13.2 FPPG with five touchdowns.
James Starks, GB – Starks is just an average running back talent wise, but the Packers trust him, the offense will give him red zone opportunities and the Redskins are on tap for Week 11. The Vikings were the first team all year that faced the Redskins and were unable to reach 12 Fantasy points for their running backs. The Redskins are allowing 4.6 yards per carry with 11 rushing touchdowns in nine games.
Week 11 WR Sleepers
Julian Edelman, NE – Edelman’s numbers aren’t far off from last year’s outside of the severe drop in touchdowns and less targets, which has a trickledown effect. In nine games last year, Edelman had 85 targets, 61 receptions, 692 yards and seven touchdowns. This year, he has 66, 48, 457 and one. Edelman is catching 73 percent of his targets versus 72 last year with an aDOT of 7.5 versus 7.6. Edelman has clearly lost a step with less yards after the catch, but he’s far from being done, especially if Rob Gronkowski is out this week. The 49ers provide Edelman with a great opportunity to post his best game of the season with a league high 15 receiver touchdowns allowed and 10th highest YPC at 13.2.
Devin Funchess, CAR – If you don’t look for sleeper opportunities in player matchups against the Saints, you’re doing Fantasy Football wrong.
Taking a step deeper into this matchup, the Saints have actually been solid against team’s No. 1 receivers but among the worst at stopping the secondary options. In fact, Demaryius Thomas was the first opposing No. 1 receiver to score against the Saints; all other six touchdowns were by secondary receivers. Funchess found the end zone in the first matchup and is a good bet to do so again.
Tyler Lockett, SEA – It’s still tough to trust a team’s third receiver, especially when that receiver regularly sees 60 percent or less of the snaps. However, Lockett is back to 100 percent healthy and is one of the best big-play threats in football. Lockett put up 72 yards on just three catches last week, and the Eagles have allowed the seventh most passing plays of 20-plus yards and fifth most of 40-plus yards. Those numbers will surprise many as will the fact that the Eagles are allowing the fifth most FPPG to receivers over the last four weeks with 746 yards and seven touchdowns.
Week 11 TE Sleepers
Vance McDonald, SF – McDonald has six targets in each of the last three games with 158 yards and score. Colin Kaepernick still struggles with short-to-intermediate throws, but he’s looking for McDonald consistently. The Patriots are a tough matchup, but we’re looking deep here, as Julius Thomas, Zach Miller (love him against the Giants) and C.J. Fiedorowicz are a bit too obvious.
Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings | Week 11 Flex Rankings
Final Sunday update around 12:30pm
Week 11 Blind Spot Players
In case you’re new to this, the Fantasy Blind Spot refers to players that you want to target in tournaments, such as the Millionaire Maker, etc… contrarian players if you will. They usually have one of the following characteristics:
1) have been performing well but haven’t had a breakout game or big enough numbers to get Fantasy players talking, and/or
2) are in a price range of other more popular option, and/or
3) have frustrated with disappointing performances but have a great matchup to finally break through
DraftKings Week 11 Sleepers
Andrew Luck $7200 – Is Luck not getting the respect he deserves? Whether in seasonal or DFS, the Fantasy community seems to be dismissive of Luck and his season despite averaging the fifth most FPPG in both. Luck had five 20-plus points games with two over 30, and the Titans are allowing the most FPPG to quarterbacks over the last four weeks. Luck kicked off that stretch against the Titans with 353 yards and three touchdowns, and the Titans allowed 991 yards and seven more touchdowns in the following three games.
Jonathan Stewart $5900 – Stewart is as volatile as they come.
You could get four points or you could get 25. The upside for 20-plus points makes Stewart enticing, as does the matchup with the Saints. The Saints have allowed the third most rushing touchdowns on the year, which included that bonanza by the Falcons earlier this year. It also happens to include Stewart rushing for two touchdowns in the first matchup. If you’re playing a slate with the Thursday night game, Stewart can give you a nice leg up… or leave you in the hole, but that’s why you can expect a low ownership.
Lamar Miller $5800 – A feature back at this price? It goes to show how frustrating Miller has been, yet again. Miller actually has played under 50 percent of the snaps in each of the last three games, but he does have six double-digit games with one outburst for 35.8 points against the Colts. The Raiders defense has been forgiving to running backs both running and catching the ball. That’s where the value lies with Miller this week, as the 1,301 total yards allowed by those Raiders give him a nice floor for 2x value with the upside to hit 4x on a big day.
Randall Cobb $5,900 – Not only has Cobb been quiet of late, partly due to his injury, Davante Adams has taken off the last four week with 99.3 points. Here’s the good… no, great news. Cobb is going to draw a lot of Kendall Fuller in coverage, and Stefon Diggs torched him (and Bashaud Breeland some) for 13 catches and 164 yards last week. Josh Norman will be busy with Jordy Nelson and Adams, which sets Cobb up to be the overlooked and high-ceiling play for the Packers.
Eddie Royal $3400 – Many will flock to Cameron Meredith with Alshon Jeffery suspended, but this matchup points to Royal having a good game. The Giants have done a great job at limiting team’s No. 1 options, and if Meredith is even slightly treated as such, it will be a tough day. As for Royal, quick, over-the-middle receivers have dominated the Giants this year, and Royal is the one that has chemistry with Jay Cutler. Look for Cutler and Royal to connect early and often, making 4x value a cake walk for Royal.
Zach Miller $3800 – Staying in this game, you saw what Tyler Eifert did against the Giants, right? Going back to Jason Witten in Week 1, quality tight ends give the Giants fits. They just can’t defend them. As mentioned with Royal, Cutler has chemistry with certain players already, and that includes Miller over Meredith as well. With the Giants struggling against solid tight ends and many off Miller after being disappointed last week, he makes for a nice pivot play off Martellus Bennett and Julius Thomas.
FanDuel Week 11 Sleepers
Eli Manning $7700 – Despite three games of 20-plus points in his last four, people still love to hate Manning. It’s probably his stink face…
but Manning is showing yet again that his ceiling can be as high as the greats. In those three games, Manning is averaging 300 yards and over three touchdowns. The Bears have allowed at least 228 yards and a touchdown in each of the last five games with Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers and Jameis Winston averaging 320 and over two touchdowns in three of those matchups (other two were Blake Bortles and Sam Bradford). Hate the face, just don’t hate the game.
LeSean McCoy $7500 – Given LeGarrette Blount’s price being $200 cheaper, don’t expect many McCoy owners this week. That’s why you can reap the value if McCoy can put up a big day, and the matchup says that’s likely, despite the assumption that the Bengals defense is one to avoid. McCoy has double-digit points in every game this year with three high scores of 19.8, 25.1 and 32.7. You can look for one of those against a Bengals defense allowing the 12th most FPPG to running backs. It’s not an amazing number, but it shows their defense is not to be feared. Heck, they could stop Rashad Jennings late last week. In addition, the Bengals have allowed 384 yards and three touchdowns to running backs in the passing game. If you don’t think the Bills and McCoy will look to take advantage of that, you’re crazier than Rex Ryan is.
Latavius Murray $6400 – This has little to do with the three-touchdown game against the Broncos and more to do with the one way you beat the Texans is on the ground. The Texans are the third toughest matchup for receivers but rather weak against the run. In fact, before the Lions and Jaguars (you know how poor their rushing attacks are), the Raiders had given up at least 108 rushing yards or a touchdown in every game including three games with two rushing scores allowed. As for Murray, in games with at least 14 touches, he’s averaging 20.1 points.
Rishard Matthews $6000 – Since Matthews started to see his usage/snaps increase in Week 6 (and the Titans stopped being knuckleheads), he’s averaging 1.97 Fantasy points per target, more than anyone else with at least 25 targets on the year. Even if you only take the last four games where he was treated as a starter, the number is still 1.70, only behind Kendall Wright and Kenny Stills. The reason I included that one week difference is because many complain about his inconsistent target volume, but you can see that Matthews is highly productive on a per target basis and could do plenty with little. In fact, since Week 5, he’s catching 72.7 percent of this passes. When you factor in a Colts defense that just allowed five touchdowns to receivers in the last two games, you can see the appeal with Matthews.
Steve Smith $5500 – If nothing else, it’s fun owning Smith so you can root for this beast of a player. Smith has three double-digit games on the year, which makes him a good bet for 2x-plus value along with a 21.1-point outing against the Raiders. The Cowboys secondary has been decimated by injuries, and the receivers that have scored touchdowns against them are mainly No. 2 options and middle-of-the-field players (Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, Jamison Crowder, Jeremy Kerley, Brandon LaFell, Randall Cobb, Jordan Matthews, Terrelle Pryor, Antonio Brown and Eli Rogers). That sets Smith up for the bigger day than Mike Wallace (unless Wallace hauls in one of his 90-yard bombs, which is possible too).
C.J. Fiedorowicz $5100 – The Raiders are generally weak on defense, and when it comes to defending tight ends, they have allowed the eighth most FPPG. In fact, the Falcons and Chargers put up 20-plus points on the Raiders with their tight ends, and both the Jaguars and Buccaneers found the end zone. Fiedorowicz is a roller coaster of performances and is a tad touchdown reliant, but this is a matchup where he can score and find 3x value. Of course, Martellus Bennett and Julius Thomas are the obvious plays, but if you want to go contrarian, well, here you go. If the other two hit as expected and CJF goes quiet this week, that’s the risk in a contrarian pick… but I’ll also be in hiding.
Image Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire
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