Welcome back for your Studs and Duds Week 11 edition!
What a weekend of football! Week 10 of the NFL season quickly quieted any talk of bad ratings and boring football. We saw 10 games decided by a touchdown or less, with two instant-classics between the Cowboys and Steelers, as well as the Seahawks and Patriots. Heading into week 11, the playoff picture is starting to take shape, both in the NFL and in your fantasy leagues.
You may not have much control over your favorite NFL team making the playoffs, but you have full control of your fantasy teams. Let’s make sure you solidify one of those coveted playoff spots! First things first though, how did we do last week?
Calls of the Week: Week 10
The Falcons continued their inability to cover a pass-catching RB, as expected. Darren Sproles only recorded 19 yards rushing on a day that saw Ryan Mathews explode, but in the passing game he excelled. Pulling in 8 of his 10 targets for 87 yards through the air, Sproles ended as a high-end flex play with 15.60 fantasy points in PPR leagues.
Tyrell Williams also enjoyed a big day. While only pulling in 5 of his 11 targets, he turned his small work-load into a 125 yard, 1 touchdown performance. This was good enough to make him a WR1 in PPR leagues, with 23.50 fantasy points on the day.
Fails of the Week: Week 10
I hardly expected such a massive performance from Doug Baldwin on Sunday Night. While his receiving yards weren’t record breaking, in the redzone, he got it done. His 3 touchdown performance elevated him to WR3 overall for the week, behind only Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson.
It’s time to give credit where it’s due. The 49ers put up a much better fight vs. the Arizona Cardinals than anyone had expected. My dud call-out of Kaepernick seemed like a lock at the time, but instead, he continued his fantasy success for a fourth straight game. It was his third 20+ point performance in leagues that award 6 points for passing touchdowns, making Kaepernick a suddenly appealing every week starter.
That’s enough of last week, let’s get into my studs and duds week 11 edition!
Bye Week: Falcons, Broncos, Jets, Chargers
Tyrod Taylor vs. Cincinnati Bengals
He’s making a resurgence in the name of running QB’s, letting his legs do a lot of the fantasy talking. His 330+ yards and 2 touchdowns vs. the Seahawks was quite impressive. This week he faces a Bengals unit that’s allowed the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QB’s. His rest-of-season schedule is quite nice as well if you need a new every week starter.
Kirk Cousins vs. Green Bay Packers
For a guy who’s only scored less than 20 fantasy points twice this year, he sure doesn’t get much love. The Packers defense is coming off an embarrassing week 10 that saw Mariota throw for 295 yards and 4 touchdowns. I’ll take Kirk Cousins at home vs. an obviously struggling Packers secondary.
Marcus Mariota vs. Indianapolis Colts
Just mentioned his awesome performance last week. Did not expect to see nearly 300 yards and 4 touchdowns, that’s for sure! This weeks match-up could be a little tougher, it being a division game vs. the Colts in Indianapolis. The Colts defense has let up points though, big points. They’ve allowed three 300 yard passing games and seven multi-touchdown performances to opposing QB’s this year.
Jay Cutler vs. New York Giants
The real Jay Cutler has returned ladies and gentleman! How bad must the Vikings defense be if they let this guy throw the ball all over the field on them? He returned to form in Tampa Bay, throwing for just 182 yards, 1 score and 2 interceptions. The Giants defense is much tougher than Tampas, and the game is in the Meadowlands. If for some crazy reason you have to start Cutler, I’m sorry.
Joe Flacco vs. Dallas Cowboys
Coming off a nice, cushy game vs. the Browns may make Flacco look like an appealing option this week. The fact that this was only the second game this year where he threw for multiple touchdowns (both against the Browns) may make your optimism fade. Flacco has been an awful fantasy QB this year, and pretty much is every year. Don’t fall into the trap! The Cowboys pass defense may be middle of the road, but Joe Flacco is bottom of the barrel.
Sam Bradford vs. Arizona Cardinals
He’s been an average QB at best this year, which makes him tough to rely on even in a plus match-up. This week’s trip to Arizona is anything but that. The Cardinals D/ST has allowed the 4th fewest fantasy points to opposing QB’s, having held four different opposing quarterbacks to ZERO passing touchdowns.
Running Back Studs
LeGarrette Blount vs. San Francisco 49ers
His ypc vs. Seattle was awful, but he found the endzone 3 times, putting him at 12 touchdowns on the year. If that weren’t crazy enough, now he faces a 49ers defense that’s allowing 160 yards and 1.5 touchdowns a game on the ground. They held tough vs. David Johnson last week, this is true, but the week prior they were shredded for 230+ yards by the Saints struggling run-game.
Duke Johnson Jr. vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
He’s been a tough cookie to crack this year. His stats suggest he’s having a pretty poor season, but in PPR leagues his 39 receptions has actually kept him relevant. The Steelers have allowed two 100-yard receiving backs, and just let up 95 through the air to Ezekiel Elliott on just 2 catches. Given their propensity to fall behind early, they should be forced to pass, opening up some prime opportunities for Duke to get just his second TD.
Spencer Ware vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He had a rough game back last week with the Chiefs falling behind early and forced to go to the pass. This week should be a nice get-right opportunity. The Buccaneers haven’t allowed a rushing TD since week 7, but they’ve been pretty bad vs. the run otherwise. This past week, they allowed Jordan Howard 100 yards on just 15 carries, that’s nearly 6.7 ypc.
Running Back Duds
Todd Gurley vs. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have absolutely locked down opposing RB’s as of late, holding red-hot Melvin Gordon to just 2.9 ypc last week in San Diego. Fantasy owners were salvaged with receiving stats, something Gurley hasn’t been involved in much this year. In Goff’s first start Gurley should be given plenty of opportunities to get things going, I’m just not confident he’ll be able to do so.
Chris Ivory vs. Detroit Lions
He followed up his big 107 yard performance vs. the Chiefs with an absolute dud vs. the Texans, managing just 31 yards on 9 carries. The Jaguars backfield is a mess, and with Bortles and Robinson finally getting on the same page, it’s likely to stay that way. The Lions defense has been pretty solid vs. the run, not allowing a 100 yard rusher since week 4 and giving up just 1 rushing touchdown all year.
Rashad Jennings vs. Chicago Bears
Finally saw Jennings put together a solid outing last week vs. the Bengals on Monday Night Football. As tempting as that may be to jump all over against a struggling Bears team, I’d look elsewhere. The Bears run defense has been an absolute beast this year, allowing just four 10-point performances to opposing fantasy backs. Three of those came in the first 3 weeks of the season.
Wide Receiver Studs
Donte Moncrief vs. Tennessee Titans
In his two games back from injury he’s managed a touchdown and 40 or more yards in each game. He’s clearly a favorite of Lucks in the endzone, and this weeks match-up vs. the Titans should have his owners chomping at the bit. The Titans have allowed SIX 100-yard receivers this year, and give up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing pass-catchers.
Michael Thomas vs. Carolina Panthers
He and his fantasy owners experienced their first real down game of the season last week vs. the Broncos vaunted pass defense. Things should be a lot easier this week against a Panthers defense that’s allowing the 7th most points to opposing receivers. In their first match-up back in week 6, he put up a 5/78/1 stat line.
Jamison Crowder vs. Green Bay Packers
He’s become the clear favorite of Cousins in the receiver group. He followed up back to back 100 yard games before the bye with a meager 4/37/1 stat line vs. the Vikings. This week’s match-up should open things up a little more, given the Packers defense has allowed 6 touchdowns to opposing receivers over their last 3 games.
Wide Receiver Duds
Jeremy Kerley vs. New England Patriots
He’s been a terribly hard player to rely on. His three big games on the year show he has the talent, but the state of the 49ers has left many to wonder “what could have been”. The Patriots defense is coming off an uncharacteristically bad day defensively, something they’ll likely look to lock down. On the season, they’ve given up the 9th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers.
Stefon Diggs vs. Arizona Cardinals
Three straight beast-mode games has him sitting pretty as a top 10 WR in most fantasy rankings over the past three weeks. This week should prove a little tougher, as Patrick Peterson tries to lock the young stud down. The Cardinals allow the 4th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers, having yet to allow a 20-point performance in standard leagues, and allowing just two in PPR leagues.
Jordan Matthews vs. Seattle Seahawks
He’s turned in three solid performances in a row in PPR leagues, but still leaves a lot to be desired in standard formats. Despite his recent success, I’m giving the nod to the hot-at-the-right-time “Legion of Boom”.
Tight End Studs
CJ Fiedorowicz vs. Oakland Raiders
He’s been a hot name amongst fantasy TE’s as of late, so the pickings must be slim. Despite the Texans offensive struggles, their TE’s have been surprisingly active. Both CJ and Griffin are top 21 in TE targets, with CJ’s 3 touchdowns giving him the edge. Oakland has allowed 5 touchdowns to opposing TE’s this year, and allow the 11th most points to the position.
Julius Thomas vs. Detroit Lions
Thomas’ red-zone presence cannot be denied. With 3 touchdowns in his last four games, this weeks’ match-up vs. the Lions is almost “too good to be true”. The Lions have allowed a league-high NINE touchdowns to opposing TE’s.
Jesse James vs. Cleveland Browns
He’s cooled off quite a bit as of late, but this match-up can’t be overlooked. James has made the best of his opportunities, pulling in over 70% of his targets. The Browns have allowed 9 touchdowns and three 100-yard receiving TE’s, making this a prime week to roll-out Mr. James.
Tight End Duds
Cameron Brate vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Coming off three huge performances, Brate is quickly putting himself right at the top of the TE pool. Unfortunately, this week should prove to be his most brutal match-up yet. The Chiefs defense has been nothing short of dominant vs. the TE dating all the way back to last year. They’ve yet to allow 50 yards receiving to a TE, and have given up to just 1 score.
Jimmy Graham vs. Philadelphia Eagles
He’s currently third in total TE points in PPR leagues, so in no way am I asking you to sit him. Perhaps lowering your expectations is best, though. The Eagles defense has been fantastic vs. opposing TE’s, allowing 50+ yards just twice, and two total touchdowns.
Zach Ertz vs. Seattle Seahawks
On the flip side, Eagles TE Zach Ertz has actually played pretty well as of late, pulling in 14 receptions for 152 yards. However he’s been inconsistent at best, having been mostly dropped before now, being just 59% owned in Yahoo leagues. The Seahawks defense didn’t hold up well vs. New England, but had been dominant beforehand. Even with the Patriots TE’s going off, they’ve allowed just 1 touchdown to an opposing TE.
That’s all for your Studs and Duds Week 11 edition!
Whether you agree or disagree, reach out on Twitter @the1andonlypz and let’s discuss! As always, enjoy another week of great football action, and best of luck to you in your fantasy match-ups!