Nov. 19 – 5:30 PM
Let’s take a quick look at some of this week’s match-ups:
Jacksonville at Cleveland
This should be an ugly game and without a lot of fantasy impact unless you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel. MJD should have a field day against the 30th overall rushing defense. Colt McCoy and Blaine Gabbert will lead the aerial attacks. Blech.
Carolina at Detroit
Lions are quickly falling back to earth and they aren’t as cocky as they once were. Good. Humble pie is more filling than it looks. I’m still not ready to annoint the Lions as a sure-fire playoff team. Stafford and Megatron are playing well but the Lion’s offense has no second dimension. I believe Jahvid Best is about done as a NFL running back and I’m watching to see if Kevin Smith’s reps increase. I still believe he has the potential to be a productive back but too bad for him he’s back with the Lions.
On the other side of the ball, Cam Newton is in a fight for the rookie of the year with fellow rookie Andy Dalton in Cincinnati. Look for Carolina to mix in multiple designed runs for Newton to exploit Detroit’s slower defense and ground and pound with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
I believe Carolina could pull this game out but the Lions should win this one by 4.
Tampa Bay vs. Green Bay
Battle of the bays should be over quickly. Going to be a brisk Wisconsin morning at game time but Rodgers will come out hot. James Starks should get his standard 13 carries and the coaching staff has indicated they want to keep it that way to provide for fresh legs. Woo. The big back is averaging 4.6 ypc and I’d like to see what he could do with 20+.
Through the air, Rodgers should have little trouble finding seams in Tampa’s 28th ranked passing defense. But ranking 29th vs. the run, lanes should be available there as well. This game will be over by the second quarter.
On Tampa’s side of the ball, there just isn’t enough going on to make for any sort of fight. The running game is non-existent and LeGarrette Blount has been disappointing. Mike Williams is doing his best Michael Clayton impression and is having a horrible sophomore year. Look for a lot of Preston Parker on crossing routes.
Buffalo at Miami
You have to feel a bit bad for the Bills as they have, once again, started quickly only to quickly fade. After two ugly losses at the hands of the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo finally gets an easier match-up. Fred Jackson likely goes over 1,000 yards for the year and the questionable Steve Johnson will likely play again. It’s tough to sit Johnson under any circumstance but he does not play well hurt.
On the Dolphin’s side of the ball, Brandon Marshall is finally showing. He’s a start this week along with Reggie Bush, especially in PPR leagues. Outside of Marshall and Bush, start Davone Bess in your last flex spot in PPR leagues if you’ve got nothing better.
Oakland at Minnesota
Michael Bush should be starting in all formats. DMc is down again and they don’t need to rush him back. Denarius Moore is developing a nice chemistry with Carson Palmer but not enough to start regularly outside of your last flex. The young rookie erupted in week 10 with 123 yards and 2 touchdowns.
In Minnesota, sit everyone but Adrian Peterson. It’s shocking to me that they don’t get him the ball more in the passing game. They talk about it year over year and yet they still don’t exploit him in that phase of the game.
Dallas at Washington
Dez Bryant has been underwhelming but seems to be picking up momentum. Ultimately though, this game is all about DeMarco Murray once more. The young rookie has surprised nearly everyone with his toughness and ability to rack up big yardage but I caution all of you before annointing him a top 10 running back. He’s had a history of injuries and while he has looked great in three of his last four games, it’s still too early to jump to any conclusions. Felix Jones owners, it’s probably too late to get any value in trade for him.
I don’t like anything about Washington and don’t want to take any time to discuss them or Shanahan.
Cincinnati at Baltimore
I love everything this game represents. Ray Lewis looks to be giving it a go this week but you might want to consider sitting him if you have other options. The story here will be “which Flacco shows up?”. Flacco has been doing his best Jekyl and Hyde impression and Cincinnati’s aggressive defense could cause problems. I look for Ray Rice to get nearly thirty touches and have a bigger game than projected by most.
The Bengals push out the enigmatic Chad OchoCinco and Carson Palmer walks away. Enter rookies Andy Dalton and A.J. Green and through nine games, Dalton has this team sitting at 6-3. Dalton has all the look of a fiery, gritty, leader that knows how to win games. A.J. Green has the look of a dominant receiver for the next ten years. Expect Cinci to address their running back issues potentially in the first round of the 2012 draft.
I like the Bengal’s chance in this game but Baltimore wins a close one.
Seattle at St. Louis.
Uh …. no. One note though. Marshawn Lynch is looking like a true RB2 again.
Arizona at San Francisco
What has happened to Vernon Davis? Whether due to system or chemistry issues, V.D. has underwhelmed. He is the leading receiver in San Fran but on pace for less than 700 yards, a disappointment. Crabtree is fading quickly, at least related to the expectations of many when drafted.
Watch Frank Gore’s status Sunday AM as Kendall Hunter could be starting. If Hunter starts, it’s a great match-up for him. I’ve been anxious to see Hunter in extended action. I still believe he could be the best long term running back prospect from the 2011 class.
On Arizona’s side of the ball. I said it last year and I’ll say it again. I like what Skelton offers and he’s showing it again. He needs another couple of games to get comfortable and what does Whisenhut do when Kolb is ready to return? Kolb has not been impressive in any stretch in the NFL and we had doubts when he went to the Cards. We still do.
Welcome back Larry!
The Cardinals need a consistent running back presence. Wells isn’t it.
Tennessee at Atlanta
Speaking of “Welcome back”. Chris Johnson finally remembers that he does have ability beyond what he has shown thus far in 2011. But can he continue his productivity against a stout Atlanta defense? I don’t think he breaks 100 yards but I think he finds the end zone and has a noteworthy day.
Matt Ryan won’t have Julio Jones again but Harry Douglas is stepping up. Look for Roddy White to get a lot of targets and Michael Turner to pound it early and often. Matt Ryan is starting to get into a rhythm but he’s vastly under-performed my expectations this year. Aside from Chris Johnson, there’s been no more disappointing player in my estimation, at least related to my expectations.
San Diego at Chicago
Must win for the Chargers. Norv has his team under-performing again, something I’ve come to expect. Rivers is looking incredibly average for the first time in his career and Gates is about done. VJax is shaping up exactly as we expected him to, dynamic but very inconsistent. Ryan Mathews is finally looking the part of at least a solid RB2, but he needs to shake the injury bug. Vjax is very playable this week and most of other Chargers are reasonable starts.
On Chicago’s side of the ball, start Forte’ and forget the rest unless you’re in a pinch. Bennett is starting to show up and if he can shake the injury bug, has a chance to be a consistent WR3 down the stretch.
Philadelphia at New York Giants
Brandon Jacobs is starting again while Bradshaw watches from the sidelines. Eli Manning is a consistent yet unflashy performer at quarterback and Mario Manningham is a very capable WR2. Start both this week. Nicks still doesn’t appear to be over his hamstring but you can’t sit him as long as he’s starting.
New York’s solidly average defense has some holes that could be leveraged by Michael Vick. Problem is, it appears that Vince Young is starting, Jeremy Maclin is out and DeSean Jackson is sulking. Look for a a ton of LeSean McCoy this week, in the running game, passing game and, heck, I’ll even predict he throws a pass.
I just don’t think Philly can overcome the injuries to win one in New York.
Kansas City at New England
New England is going to absolutely slaughter the Chiefs on Monday night. Brady has a ridiculously easy schedule through the remainder of the year and it starts this Monday. The Chiefs are without the boring Matt Cassel and Tyler Palko will get the call. I expect that we could actually see Ricky Stanzi in the second half and I’m intrigued.
For those of you that follow me in depth, you’ll remember who my 2007 super-deep sleeper was. Or maybe not. None other than Jackie Battle out of Houston. It’s great to see him finally get some love from the fantasy world. Watching him run, however, I’m not seeing enough to remain hopeful that he remains a fantasy producer for long.
Dwayne Bowe is likely in your lineup this week but even against New England, how much can you really expect from him? If you have a difficult choice between Bowe and another player, this may be the week to sit him.
Good luck in all of your games!
It appears as though week 11 is M.A.S.H. week in the NFL.
Sorry about the missing blog in week ten. Was traveling a bit and time just got away from me. Hey! Us fantasy nerds deserve a little break now and again. 🙂
Done for the time being are Matt Cassel, Matt Schaub, Michael Vick, Ahmad Bradshaw (again), Malcolm Floyd, Kevin Kolb, Jahvid Best (still), Julio Jones (again), and LaDanian Tomlinson (who cares). Very questionable are the likes of Jeremy Maclin, A.J. Green, Jacoby Ford, Darren McFadden, Steve Johnson and perhaps even Frank Gore. On a lesser note, Carolina’s Mike Goodson is done for the year. Actually, Goodson was done for the year when the Panthers resigned DeAngelo Williams.
For the record, there’s a lot of conflicting information out about Matt Schaub but all signs point to him being done for the year.
Congrats to Michael Bush on a solid week. He’s playing for a contract in 2011 and he’s making his case for a starting gig!
If you are counting on Tim Tebow to carry your offense into the post season, I hope you still have time under your trade deadline to get something done. He’s quickly running out of time for his career. Next time he comes out of a game I believe will be his last as a starter.
Speaking of “last as a starter”, Curtis Painter is very close to his last game as a starter, if he hasn’t already played it. If you are extremely desperate, you should be picking up Dan Orlovsky. Yuck. The most interesting news coming out of Indi is that Peyton Manning whose career clock may have expired and has given Bill Polian his vote of confidence regarding a potential pick of Andrew Luck.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Arizona slinger, John Skelton. It’s not that I was overly high on Skelton before he played his first snap. But in watching those first snaps, as well as most of his remaining snaps of 2010, I saw a few things that lead me to believe that Skelton may have a future in the NFL. He throws a nice ball and has a nice blend of pocket presence , confidence and poises that you don’t see in most young quarterbacks. Skelton didn’t improve his low accuracy % this past weekend, which has been less than ideal in nearly every start, but he hasn’t looked horrible. I’d like to see him under center for another two weeks and it may be difficult to pull him back out with two wins in two games … doubling the number of wins that Kolb was able to generate in seven games.
Need a deep-deep pick up this week? Take a look at Louis Murphy with the Raiders in need of any healthy receiver. We’ve liked Murphy for some time now but have cooled on him in 2011. He’ll have a chance for significant snaps in week 11.
Jet’s RB Joe McKnight makes for a nice pick up this week if he is somehow still available. McKnight has shown some ability, including the ability to fumble, in spot duty and there’s been talk on an increasing role for him. He’s got the build, speed and dynamic that he could be productive with the right conditions. Week 11 could be it with L.T. on the sidelines. Of course, coach Ryan has also mentioned McKnight playing cornerback in the future – not something you’d consider if you thought there was potential at running back. Who knows?
Why is Tarvaris Jackson still in the picture and still getting press time?
I get the feeling that Jahvid Best’s career is about finished. He’s really been struggling to get back from yet another concussion and at this point you have to worry about the kid’s health. I know it’s tough for these kids to consider the remainder of their lives without football in the near-term, but you just hope that they are getting good consult from those with HIS best interest in mind. He needs to walk away now while he can still remember his college career.
Doing his best Phoenix (the bird) impression, Marshawn Lynch has been turning heads in Seattle, in addition to fantasy football coaches nationwide. With a tasty match-up vs. St. Louis in week 11, coming off two back to back on hundred yard games as well as five touchdowns in his last six games, Lynch is making his case to be a capable low-end RB2. This week, in fact, I have him rated as a solid RB2. I’d like to see a multiple touchdown game from him, but either way, he’s making a case to get paid by the Seahawks as he’s in the final year of his contract.
Frank Gore looks to be a true game time decision this Sunday. Should he not go, Kendall Hunter makes for a great play against the RB-friendly Cardinals. I’m really looking forward to see Hunter get a few starts to see what he can string together.
Beanie Wells. Sigh.
Wouldn’t you like to see what James Starks could really do if given 20+ carries on a regular basis? I would.
I really seem to have been wrong on DeMarco Murray. He looks extremely capable and I’m seeing a dynamic that I just didn’t see before. Whatever it is that he’s found, Murray owners have to hope that he keeps hold of it. He’s been very impressive.
Hey! It’s the Vince Young show in Philly. Sorry Philly!
I finally dropped Heinz Ward in all leagues. He’s been a great receiver over the years and I love the way he plays the game. But with a threesome of Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, the youth movement in Pittsburgh is on – and they look very good.
A.J. Green owners got a scare but, as it turns out, it’s just a hyper extended knee. He may miss week 11, but I’m not counting on it. Hyper-extensions are frequently a 3-5 day affair.
I’m not going to mention Chris Johnson this week, or his week ten performance against a terrible Carolina run D. Let’s just see what he can do against Atlanta’s accomplished run defense and we’ll go from there.
Cleveland needs to spend a lot of picks on receivers. Their entire group is terrible and McCoy is taking the fall.
Roy Helu and Ryan Torain owners, I warned you about Shanahan and his antics. Sometimes I believe he does it just because he can.
That’s all for now. More later. Get your lineup questions in and let’s have some fun this week!
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