Week 11 will leave many fantasy owners beginning plans for fantasy baseball after Monday night.
With three regular-season games remaining in most fantasy leagues, the time to throw logic out of the window is now for owners in need of a win to keep postseason hopes alive.
Fantasy owners who are in good shape cannot afford to ease up or get too creative as one play and/or injury can change the complexion of their teams.
START: Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers: Despite throwing for a season-low 187 yards in the Week 10 loss at the Dolphins, Herbert did connect on multiple touchdown passes for the sixth straight game. Facing a moribund Jets defense ranked 26th in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks will translate into big numbers for the rookie, who has quietly turned the Chargers into a top-10 offense.
SIT: Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers: Brady comes off his third 300-yard game of the season, but his owners should look elsewhere as he and the Bucs must contend with a stingy Rams defense that not only allows the third-fewest passing yards in the league but also ranks second only to the Colts in fewest fantasy points allowed per game to opposing passers.
START: D’Andre Swift, RB, Lions: His time has come in Detroit, so expect the Lions to continue giving Swift a high snap count, especially after he put up 149 yards and a touchdown from scrimmage in the Week 10 win over Washington. The rookie gets an even better matchup in a Panthers run defense ranked 29th in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing backs. Carolina also allows nearly seven receptions per game to opposing running backs, enhancing Swift’s upside in PPR formats.
SIT: Todd Gurley, RB, Falcons: Although Gurley has scored in three straight games, he has also failed to eclipse 70 rushing yards in four of his past five games and failed to top 3 yards per carry in three straight. He’s a heavily TD-dependent option going against a Saints defense that’s the stingiest in fantasy when it comes to opposing RBs. This is also a game where the Falcons could be forced to play catch-up, which would further depress Gurley’s value.
START: Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals: Kirk has found the end zone in four of his past six games, and the increased number of targets from QB Kyler Murray bolsters his chances of success against a poor Seahawks secondary that allows 21 completions and 270 yards per game to opposing wideouts. With much of the focus on WR DeAndre Hopkins, Kirk stands a chance to be an elite option in Week 11.
SIT: Travis Fulgham, WR, Eagles: Fulgham had just one reception on five targets in Week 10. Even against a Browns defense ranked 27th in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing receivers, the inconsistency of QB Carson Wentz, the increased usage of WR Jalen Reagor and the return of WR Alshon Jeffrey makes it unlikely Fulgham regains his early momentum.
START: Jared Cook, TE, Saints: As bad as the Falcons are against opposing WRs (31st in fantasy points allowed per game), they’re even worse against opposing TEs, ranking last. That makes starting Cook an easy call despite the fact he’s been targeted just five times in the past two games. Regardless of who fills in for the injured Drew Brees (Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill), expect Cook to be more involved this week.
SIT: Noah Fant, TE, Broncos: After scoring in each of the first two games of the season, Fant has failed to find the end zone while also failing to top 47 receiving yards in a game. Neither of those realities suggest starting Fant when the Broncos meet a Dolphins defense ranked ninth in fewest fantasy points allowed per game against TEs.
START: Jakobi Meyers, WR, Patriots: Meyers has been targeted 37 times in his past four games while establishing himself as Pats’ WR1. The only thing Meyers hasn’t done is catch a touchdown, an oversight that should change as he goes against a Texans defense that has allowed 18 scoring passes and ranks 22nd in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing wide receivers.
SIT: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans: Last week marked only the second time this season Tannehill has failed to throw multiple touchdowns, but he’s also gone four straight games without topping 250 yards. Neither trend bodes well for playing Tannehill against a Ravens defense that ranks seventh in fewest air yards allowed. Tannehill must also contend with the reality that Baltimore leads the league in blitz percentage (44%).
START: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: He’s been on a roll the past two weeks, amassing 639 passing yards with a 7:0 TD:INT margin. Expect Roethlisberger to remain a fantasy workhorse at the expense of the Jaguars, who are 30th in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing QBs while ranking last in yards allowed after completion.
SIT: Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals: While he returned to the lineup and rushed for 100 yards in Week 10, Drake must contend with a Seahawks defense that limited him to 34 yards on 14 carries in Week 7. The added risk with Drake is that backup RB Chase Edmonds will steal away snaps in obvious passing situations.
START: Austin Hooper, TE, Browns: Count on Hooper topping the one reception he had in Week 10 as he gets a matchup against an Eagles defense that has struggled against tight ends all season. Philadelphia is 26th in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing TEs and their recent woes against the run will open up the middle of the field for Hooper to create opportunities.
SIT: Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals: The talented rookie has two 100-yard outings over the past four games, but he and QB Joe Burrow will have to deal with a Washington Football Team that allows the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Don’t count on either Tyler Boyd or A.J. Green being fantasy options as well.
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