Sunday Six Pack: Week 11

Ryan Finley

Time to crack open six more cold questions for this weekend’s NFL action. To say it started with a crazy Thursday night is a gross understatement. What was another boring Thursday night matchup with two disappointing teams turned into a cage match at the end.

With the Myles Garrett craziness over, let’s get to week 11…

1.) Will the real Ronald Jones please stand up?

The former USC running back was the laughing stock of dynasty last year and through the off-season. Jones was a highly-touted running back in the 2018 draft, and he seemingly fell into a great situation when he was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He only had to beat out guys like Peyton Barber, after all, right? Shows what we know. Jones had a nearly invisible rookie year where he compiled all of 77 yards from scrimmage and squeaked out one touchdown. Many left him for dead, as you can clearly see from his ADP:

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However, as we see again and again in fantasy, things change. In 2019 Jones has posted more than respectable numbers with 103 carries for 410 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also starting to see an uptick in usage in the passing game with 16 catches for 201 yards. Bruce Arians is now singing his praises as he’s taken over the lead role in Tampa Bay. Is he on his way to superstardom? Probably not. But can he keep this up?

2.) Should we worry about George Kittle?

The tight end position, as in most years, has been a total nightmare. Either you have one of the top three or four guys, or you’re throwing darts. And most people throw those darts poorly. Kittle has been one of those rare, reliable options at the position, as he has averaged over 14 points per game in PPR. He missed week ten with his injury, and we still don’t know his final status for this weekend’s contest. If we don’t even know if he will play, will he be effective if he does? Is this going to turn into a longer-term issue? Hopefully, Kittle owners had a plan B in place, as all that’s on the waivers at tight end are plan E or plan F tight ends.

3.) What can we learn from Dwayne Haskins this weekend?

This doesn’t mean as much in standard leagues, but in superflex and two quarterback formats, it’s a big question. (On a side note, if you’re not playing superflex, why not?) Haskins went off as the second quarterback in most rookie drafts this past off-season. The Ohio State product has great size for the position as well as a huge arm. We just haven’t really seen that quite yet. The good news here is that interim head coach Bill Callahan has named Haskins the starter for the remainder of this season. It makes a lot of sense given Washington’s current record, but you can’t always assume rational coaching. The Jets may be a good matchup to start to see what Haskins can do. The Jets rank in the top 15 overall defensively, but rank 24th against the pass.

4.) Can you trust Damien Williams?

Folks loved to argue about Williams after his breakout end to 2018. It was the “he couldn’t win the starting job in MIAMI” crowd vs the “I want all the Kansas City offense, he looks great” crowd. I fell into the latter group and expected more from Williams this year. So far, it hasn’t panned out as I and many others had hoped. He only started three games in 2018, but managed over 400 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns. Williams has produced here and there in 2019, with strong performances in weeks one (18.5 points) and nine (20.5 points), but in between those two performances is a whole lot of “meh.” He’s also been going back and forth with veteran LeSean McCoy all season. This weekend might tell us where Andy Reid’s head is at regarding his backfield. I for one hope it’s centered around Williams.

5.) Who is Brian Hill, and will we still care next week?

Devonta Freeman has been ruled out for week 11 with an ankle injury. With Ito Smith already out as well, the next guy up in Atlanta will be Hill, a darling pickup for many on waivers this week. So who is Brian Hill? Drafted in the fifth round in 2017 out of Wyoming, Hill has the size of an NFL running back, and a good mix of power and balance. He’s also said to be a high effort guy, and he will be the primary back this weekend against the Carolina Panthers. Although we typically see the Panthers as a stout defensive team, they have been gashed against the run all season, and they are currently ranked dead last against the run by Football Outsiders. All the pieces are in place for us to see what the Falcons have with Hill. With Freeman’s injury history and the current depth chart, Hill could potentially be a long term value in fantasy.

6.) Am I a contender or not?

If you’ve been waffling at all, now is the time to decide which side of the ledger your dynasty teams fall on this season. Some think even just making the playoffs is worth the effort, others not so much. Here’s a great piece on that from Brian Malone back in 2015. Take a hard, honest look at your team and make a call. If you’re a contender, you still have time to target some cheap vets to try to get you over the hump. If not, you have time to sell your depreciating assets and think about next year. One caveat here is that this has been one of the more difficult seasons for acquiring picks in many of my leagues. Most folks just don’t want to give up their 2020 draft assets. So if you are a seller, don’t get desperate and give up too much value for paltry returns.

That’s all for this week, enjoy the games this weekend!