The NFL season is moving right along and there’s no time to waste. If you’re reading this, you’re probably reading or listening to 100 other things and driving yourself crazy. I’ll be covering each game while Nate Henry chimes in on the most important games to give you extra Week 11 Start Sit information. Quick reminder: you can ask us and the rest of the #TFAFam your start/sit questions along with anything else in our free Slack community. Let’s go!
*Lines below are pulled from the FanDuel Sportsbook.
New York Jets at Washington Redskins
- Washington -1
- 38.5 O/U
On the surface, this is an ugly “don’t-even-care-about” kinda game. For fantasy purposes, however, it may not be as gross. Sam Darnold is in play as a streaming option this week for two reasons: Washington’s (lack of) pass rush and their secondary. Both of those rank in the bottom 8 of PFF’s grades, the most important being their pass rush. Darnold has struggled mightily against defenses that can apply pressure and/or create the illusion of it. Washington can’t do such things. On the other side, the Jets defense doesn’t fare much better, except their offense is somehow worse. Both Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson will tote the rock, however, against a surprisingly stout Jets run defense who have given up fewer than 85 total rush yards in 6 of 9 games. The Jets’ secondary is vulnerable but Dwayne Haskins has yet to show his first-round pedigree.
Start: Jamison Crowder, Sam Darnold, Le’Veon Bell, Terry McLaurin
Deep Play: Ryan Griffin
Sit: Everyone else. You’re welcome.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
- Indy -3
- 43.5 O/U
The return of Jacoby Brissett is welcomed after Brian Hoyer couldn’t lift the Colts past the Miami Dolphins last week. On the other side, Nick Foles returns from IR and slides back into the starting gig for the Jags. Neither defense has a spot you’re avoiding or going all-in on. Both teams are in the bottom six in neutral game script pace of play, so temper your expectations for your fantasy starters in what is looking to be a slow-paced divisional matchup.
Start: Leonard Fournette, Marlon Mack
Deep Play: Marcus Johnson
Sit: Zach Pascal
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
- Buffalo -6.5
- 40.5 O/U
This one is relatively simple: start your Bills players with confidence and cross your fingers and hope for the best with any Dolphins you’re forced to start. The Dolphins’ defense continues to be a fantasy target while their offense is a dart-throw.
Start: Devin Singletary, John Brown, Mike Gesicki
Deep Play: Albert Wilson
Sit: Kalen Ballage, DeVante Parker
Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions
- Dallas -5.5
- O/U not available
The key issue here is whether or not Matt Stafford plays due to his back injury, which is why the over/under for this game is currently off the books. Stafford’s availability would obviously boost the pass-catchers while Jeff Driskel would limit them, especially given the Cowboys’ passing defense. Dallas gives up the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and the second-fewest to wide receivers, while ranking seventh in PFF’s coverage grade. On the Lions’ side, there aren’t any matchups we’re shying away from. The only worry here would be the Cowboys jump out to a quick two-possession lead on a Driskel-led Lions team and get conservative, limiting the passing volume.
Nate’s Start: Michael Gallup – The Lions are giving up the most fantasy points to WRs in the entire NFL. That bodes well for Amari Cooper, who you start without hesitation, but it applies equally to Gallup, who you might be a bit more on the fence about. It’s possible that Dallas can ram it down Detroit’s throat with Zeke, but there should still be plenty of fantasy goodness for the Cowboys pass-catchers. In fact, if Matthew Stafford plays, I like Gallup even more.
Cody’s Start: T.J. Hockenson – Whether or not Matt Stafford plays, the Lions figure to be playing from behind most of this game and we’ve already laid out the case against Detroit’s receivers. Where the Cowboys are vulnerable, however, is to tight ends. They’re giving up the fourth-most half-PPR fantasy points per game to the position at 12.9. Hock hasn’t given fantasy players much to get excited about since week one, but he does have 13 targets over the past two weeks, with three catches and at least 47 yards in both games. With tight end being as thin as it is, Hockenson is a solid play in week 11.
Nate’s Sit: J.D. McKissic – An opportunity has certainly arisen for McKissic without Kerryon Johnson or Ty Johnson, but McKissic isn’t built for 30 touches in a game. He probably will see a lot of targets, as I project Detroit to lose this game, but he’s unlikely to find the endzone. If Stafford plays, his target volume will decrease because Stafford will need to keep chucking it deep. Meanwhile, if Driskel plays, Driskel’s well-documented inaccuracy problems will likely hinder McKissic’s production. Either way, he’s not a great play in Week 11.
Cody’s Sit: Detroit Wide Receivers – All three of Detroit’s receivers could be facing individual matchup problems with the Cowboys secondary. For Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, both Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie are 6’0″+ and over 200 pounds while testing in the low 4.4 40 range. Slot receiver Danny Amendola will be looking across at Jourdan Lewis, which PFF has ranked clearly in favor for Lewis, as the matchup for Amendola is ranked as one of the top-12 worst on the weekend.
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
- Baltimore -4.5
- 51.5 O/U
There are going to be a lot of eyes on this game on Sunday as we get one of the best quarterback duels we’ve had all year. The Ravens defense has been coming on strong as of late with their secondary getting healthy and the acquisition of Marcus Peters. I’d temper expectations for DeAndre Hopkins but you’re not sitting him. The Ravens have also given up the sixth-fewest total fantasy points to tight ends, but when you take a closer look, they really haven’t played any marquee players at the position. Travis Kelce has been the only tight end even worth mentioning and he hung 7-89 on them. Maybe we see more two tight end sets from Houston in an effort to protect Watson as well as create matchup problems in the middle of the field. Houston’s defense, on the other hand, has battled injuries and losses all year. There aren’t any spots on the Texans’ defense where I’d tell you to completely stay away from.
Nate’s Start: Marquise Brown – I really think this game is going to be a shootout between two dynamic quarterbacks, ready to duel it out. Brown has been relatively consistent, albeit in a somewhat limited fashion. He was only on the field for 40% of snaps last week, but don’t let that number scare you because Baltimore was winning by so much that he wasn’t needed. He still saw 4 targets in limited playing time. He will have to play more in a much tougher matchup (expect close to 70% snap share). Brown is Baltimore’s best and most dynamic pass-catcher. Find a way to get him in your lineup in this game.
Cody’s Start: Duke Johnson – The committee for Houston has been a mess in general but if you can predict the flow of the game, things clear up. When Houston trails, Johnson is more involved over Carlos Hyde. This is what we should expect for this game, and with Baltimore’s secondary potentially giving Houston’s receivers some trouble, Johnson could be relied on.
Nate’s Sit: Carlos Hyde – Hyde is extremely game-script dependent. He thrives in games where he gets a lot of carries, and those games usually only occur when Houston is winning. In a shootout like this game, I think the Texans will rely more heavily on Duke Johnson. Also, Baltimore has a strong run defense, so I’d pivot off Hyde if you can.
Cody’s Sit: Texans Receivers not named DeAndre Hopkins – Will Fuller has gotten in limited practices this week and could be returning. If he does, there’s no way you can trust someone with his injury history coming back from a soft tissue issue. If Fuller doesn’t return, Kenny Stills can’t be relied upon either. Despite being in two favorable matchups against Oakland and Jacksonville with Fuller sidelined, Stills’ line looks like this: 7-74 on 9 targets. In a game where the matchup isn’t great but points on the scoreboard should be abundant, Stills needs to remain on your bench (or waiver wire).
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
- Carolina -4
- 49.5 O/U
In this NFC South divisional battle there are some clear fantasy matchups we can exploit. The Falcons have been more respectable against the run than the pass, but you’re obviously not debating even for a nanosecond sitting fantasy football’s MVP in Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers have been a true run funnel, as they’ve given up the third-most half-PPR fantasy points per game to running backs while allowing over 225 passing yards in a game just three times this year.
Nate’s Start: Curtis Samuel – Despite a surprisingly strong play last week, Atlanta’s defense tends to get beat deep. Samuel has a 14.0 aDOT on the season and he’s actually the preferred deep option for the Panthers (DJ Moore’s aDOT is 10.4). The Panthers are also surprisingly concentrated (only 2 targets went to someone not named McCaffery, Samuel, Olsen, and Moore in Week 10). I really like Moore too in this matchup too, so play both Carolina Panthers WRs.
Cody’s Start: Kyle Allen – Allen had his first 300-yard game of his career last week against a tougher Green Bay secondary. Although the Falcons somehow limited the New Orleans Saints offense, I can’t see a repeat performance here. Allen is safe as a streaming option this week and shouldn’t have any trouble against Atlanta.
Nate’s Sit: Jaeden Graham – with Austin Hooper definitely out this week (and several more), don’t simply assume that Hooper’s vacated targets will go to the Falcon’s third-string TE. Some TE needy teams may consider Graham as a streamer, but I’d caution against it. The Falcons have operated without a dynamic TE for many years before Hooper became the go-to target he has become in 2019. Instead, I’d imagine someone like Russell Gage steps up and takes some of Hooper’s targets rather than Graham.
Cody’s Sit: Nobody??? – I truly don’t think you have to sit any of your “normal” fantasy players in this game. Sure, you could look at someone like Russell Gage but you probably (hopefully) weren’t relying on someone like him anyway.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay
- New Orleans -4.5
- 49.5 O/U
Another juicy NFC South matchup. This also means another no-holds-barred, start-em-all kind of game. An important injury to watch here is Marshon Lattimore as he has yet to practice this week with a hamstring injury. You weren’t sitting Chris Gawd-win or Mike Evans either way, but this could make life a lot easier for the Bucs receiving corps. Alvin Kamara’s rushing expectations need to be dialed back a bit going against Tampa’s top-ranked rush DVOA unit, but he’ll get his in the passing game.
Nate’s Start: Jared Cook – Tampa Bay ranks 31st against the TE position. Cook just saw 10 targets in his first healthy game in several weeks and had the third-most air yards among TEs on the week (89). These numbers are a bit inflated by the surprisingly negative game script, but still, I think Cook has settled in nicely as Brees’s 3rd option. I’d bank on a TD in week 11 too.
Cody’s Start: Tre’Quan Smith – I went with a deeper play here because you’re literally starting everyone else from this game. In Smith’s first game since Week 2, he jumped right back into the offense and played 83% of the snaps and ran the second-most routes on the team. With everyone producing against Tampa’s secondary, you can start Smith if you’re in a deep league.
Nate’s Sit: O.J. Howard – Everyone wants to rush to say that O.J. Howard is back because he had a decent game last week. However, that decent game came against the Cardinals, who are easily the worst at defending the TE position in the NFL. Arians likely scripted some plays for Howard against such an obvious weakness, and he still ended with only 43 yards. Temper your expectations with Howard against a much better defense.
Cody’s Sit: Ronald Jones – RoJo is going to face a tougher matchup this week after posting his best fantasy outing of his career so far. The majority of his statistical output came on the back of his 8/77 receiving line. Arians recently came out and said RoJo can do even more in the passing game but I’m not buying into it for this week. If there’s anyone to sit in this game, I’ll bench Jones.
Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings
- Minnesota -10.5
- 40.5 O/U
Talking about this game feels like a massive letdown after the past few, but there’s still some fantasy nuggets to be found. For as good as the Vikings defense has been in recent years, their secondary has been exposed this season. Minnesota is giving up the sixth-most half-PPR fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Marvin Jones’ four touchdown game is going to have some say in that, but other offenses have put up solid numbers against them as well. Minnesota has also allowed the third-most catches to tight ends this year. For Denver, their defense has been heating up as of late. After literally getting run all over by Leonard Fournette in Week 4, the Broncos have given up over 100 total rushing yards just once. During that same span (5 games), their secondary has allowed over 200 passing yards only twice.
Start: Dalvin Cook, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant
Deep Play: Irv Smith
Sit: Stefon Diggs
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
- San Fran -10.5
- 44.5 O/U
San Fran is coming into this game pretty banged up with the fantasy-relevant injuries being George Kittle, Matt Breida, and Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders has a chance to play as a game-time decision but Kittle is out for the second week in a row. I would think Breida would also miss this game, but he’s a cyborg who only gets stronger with each injury. The Cardinals offense showed glimmers of what we’ve wanted it to be in Week 10, with Kyler Murray ending up as QB4 on the week behind 324 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. An encouraging sign for Murray was his 11.6 aDOT on the week, hopefully leading to more downfield throws versus the horizontal passes we’ve seen more often. The Cardinals are allowing the ninth-most half-PPR fantasy points per game to receivers, while allowing the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. The 49ers defense is on the other side of the spectrum, though they have allowed the twelfth-most half-PPR fantasy points per game to running backs if we’re looking for a silver lining.
Start: Christian Kirk, Deebo Samuel, Tevin Coleman
Deep Play: Rob Dwelley, Raheem Mostert
Sit: David Johnson
New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles
- New England -3.5
- 45 O/U
This game was a circle-your-calender type of game at the outset of the season. Now? Not so much. The Eagles offense, particularly their passing game, has fallen short of expectations. Philly’s offensive pass DVOA ranks 17th while New England’s defensive pass DVOA is second in the league. I’m not sure, but that doesn’t seem great. New England’s rushing offense shares a similar fate against Philadelphia’s rushing defense, as their DVOA’s are 19th and 8th, respectively. Each team has a distinct matchup advantage. For New England, it’s clearly going against Philly’s pass defense. Although the Eagles have gotten healthier, they’re still vulnerable on the back end. Philadelphia’s path to success will be with their ground game. Over the past two weeks, the Patriots have allowed at least 159 yards on the ground to Cleveland and Baltimore. Philadelphia carries PFF’s top-ranked run blocking unit while New England’s rush defense ranks 24th.
Nate’s Start: Tom Brady – Philadelphia is ranked in the top 10 against the run, but in the bottom 10 against the pass. That lends itself more towards a pass-first offensive game plan. Perhaps surprisingly, Brady ranks 11th on the season as a QB, he’s forming a nice connection with Mohammud Sanu, and he doesn’t make too many mistakes. I think he’s a top 10 play this week.
Cody’s Start: Jordan Howard – It feels gross, but as outlined above, I think we see Howard involved early and often in this game. The Eagles will want to keep New England off the field as much as possible for starters, and it’s clearly the best way to attack their defense.
Nate’s Sit: Sony Michel – For almost the same reasons discussed above regarding Brady, I think Michel is a sit this week. Belichick is no fool, and he is likely aware that he can’t just bully Philly’s on the ground to win. That means a lot of James White and Rex Burkhead, who play at the expense of Michel. Michel’s only hope to return value is to get a goal-line carry that he converts because he has next to no involvement in the NE passing game. In non-positive game scripts, Sony is lucky to get 30% snaps. As such, I’m projecting that NE scores in other ways or with Sony on the bench.
Cody’s Sit: Zach Ertz – Other than trying to stop the run, Ertz will easily be the Eagles top offensive weapon with Alshon Jeffrey likely sidelined. We all know the narrative regarding Belichick and his defensive strategy, and I think Ertz gets that treatment on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders
- Oakland -11.5
- 48.5 O/U
According to Football Outsider’s Weighted Defense metric (less importance placed on games earlier in the season), the Raiders come in at 29th while the Bengals are dead last. According to PFF, it’s much of the same with Cincy ranked 30th and the Raiders ranked 31st. The highest PFF grade for either team? The Bengals with a 21st-ranked tackling grade. That’s literally the best thing we can say about either team defensively. The only issue with this game is the Cincinnati offense. Having said that, I was a bit surprised seeing the spread and O/U for this game.
Start: Josh Jacobs, Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd
Deep Play: Foster Moreau, Tyler Eifert
Sit: I mean, it’s not like this game is full of fantasy studs so you aren’t risking much sitting anyone outside of the top 3-4 options.
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams
- Los Angeles -6.5
- 40 O/U
Similar to the NE/PHI game, this one was looking like must-watch TV just 3 months ago. Both quarterbacks have been tough to watch as they’ve both looked clueless at times during the season. Neither run game has been anything special and the passing games have gone as the undependable quarterback play has gone. To make matters worse here, both teams have suffered injuries to key starters. Offensive lineman Kyle Long and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks are on injured reserve for the Bears and they may also be without David Montgomery, Danny Trevathan, and both of their top-two tight ends. For the Rams, offensive linemen Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen are on injured reserve along with safety John Johnson. Brandin Cooks will miss another game as he works through his concussion issues. Neither team has a matchup here that is an obvious go-to for fantasy purposes and the low 40 point over/under shows that.
Start: Cooper Kupp
Deep Play: Josh Reynolds
Sit: Allen Robinson
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers
- Kansas City -4
- 52.5 O/U
I was getting a bit depressed typing up the CHI/LAR game but thankfully I have this game in Mexico to save me! There are plenty of fantasy matchups to talk about, so let’s jump in. For the Chiefs, they have become a run funnel defense as they rank 31st in rush DVOA and 5th in pass DVOA. They’re giving up the second-most rushing yards per game as well as the second-most total rushing yards, behind only Cincinnati. After giving up 350 passing yards to the Nick Foles/Gardner Minsew duo in Week 1, Kansas City has given up over 250 passing yards just three times. The Chargers have been a mixed bag all season, allowing Jacoby Brissett and the Colts to rack up 376 yards of offense Week 1 but then limiting the Packers to just 184 total yards in Week 9. Regardless, you’re not avoiding anyone for Kansas City as there aren’t any stay-away matchups the Chargers present defensively.
Nate’s Start: Damien Williams – For two straight games, Williams was on the field for more than 70% of the snaps. He got 19 carries in week 10 and ran a route on 53% of Mahomes’ dropbacks leading to 5 catches (and almost 6 – the 6th called back by penalty). That’s elite usage in an elite offense. Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy was a surprise inactive last week, seemingly because he’s too old. Even if McCoy is active in Week 11, he likely won’t play all that much to continue to “save him for down the stretch”. This all bodes well for Williams who plays a mediocre LAC run defense (26th). Fire him up with confidence.
Cody’s Start: Melvin Gordon – This is an obvious one, but this game is full of those. You aren’t going to get cute here and not play any of your top options. The Chiefs just let Derrick Henry go for 188/2 on the ground last week and the Chargers would be wise to follow a similar game plan with Gordon.
Nate’s Sit: Mecole Hardman – It’s truly hard to recommend that you sit anyone on the Chiefs right now, but Hardman’s playing time and volume do not justify a spot in your starting lineup. Last week, if you started Hardman, you were thrilled with his 15.6 fantasy points, but he did all of his damage on one single, broken play. Hardman saw only 1 target last week, and none the week before. His snap percentage hasn’t topped 25% in over three weeks. You are chasing points if you start Hardman, and it might work out again simply because he is so fast, but fantasy is a game of odds, and the odds suggest that a player playing this little and being targeted rarely won’t produce.
Cody’s Sit: Chiefs’ Running Backs – If I’m forced to sit someone from this game, I’ll take the entire Kansas City rushing attack. The only reason for this is the headache of a committee they’ve been running out nearly every week. McCoy was a healthy scratch last week but then Damien Williams went and fumbled which was returned for a Tennessee touchdown. I’d expect Shady to be out of the dog house and to muddy up these running back waters again in Week 11.
Whew! There you have it. 3,600 words on Week 11 and our start sit decisions that came along with it. Let us know if you found this helpful by hitting us up on Twitter or jumping into the Slack chat. Good luck to you and your fantasy squads in Week 11!