Week 11 kicks off tonight with AFC North divisional rivals Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns going at it. The week is sure to ramp up the intensity as the playoffs are now nearing reach.
Let’s get into the starts and sits for the week:
Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr versus Cincinnati Bengals
Carr’s had an average season as he’s ranked 19th among all QB’s in scoring, but this week he gets a pristine matchup against the Bengals. Carr is coming off a weak 13.12-point performance against the Los Angeles Chargers, but the Bengals are ranked 32nd in pass defense by both DVOA and yards-per-pass-attempt (YPA). Lamar Jackson scored 33.42 points against the Bengals in three quarters last week, and though Carr doesn’t offer nearly the same upside (particularly as a rusher), he can produce a good day against a bad team.
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen versus Miami Dolphins
Allen is a player with many flaws, but his performance in fantasy football has generally been steady as he’s scored at least two touchdowns in every game for five weeks now. Allen is coming off a very strong 25.44-point performance against the Cleveland Browns in Week 10 and now gets the 30th-ranked pass defense by DVOA and 28th by YPA.
Other potential starts: Drew Brees versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jimmy Garoppolo versus Arizona Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz versus New England Patriots
Wentz has had an alright season as he ranks 14th among all QB’s in scoring, but he gets the almighty and vaunted Patriots defense coming off a bye in Week 11. The Patriots’ defense is ranked 2nd by pass defense DVOA and 1st by YPA. Not only that, but DeSean Jackson was placed on I.R. recently and Alshon Jeffery isn’t guaranteed to play either.
Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray versus San Francisco 49ers
Proceed with caution here as you should only bench Murray if you have a decent-to-strong option on your bench at QB. Murray played the 49ers’ defense in Week 9 and scored 23.04 points, proving he can put together a solid day against them already, and is the 5th-overall scoring QB in 2019. The same defense — which ranks 1st by pass defense DVOA and 2nd by YPA — just held potential MVP-winning QB Russell Wilson to 16.58 points.
Other potential sits: Matt Ryan versus Carolina Panthers, Philip Rivers versus Kansas City Chiefs
Atlanta Falcons RB Brian Hill versus Carolina Panthers
The Falcons are running out of bodies at the running back position, and that means Hill is next in line to receive a good volume of work. Both Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith are expected to miss this contest. Hill scored 14.10 points in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints as the lead back for majority of the game, and now gets the 32nd-ranked run defense by both DVOA and YPC.
Los Angeles Chargers RB’s Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler versus Kansas City Chiefs
At this point you’re likely starting either of Gordon or Ekeler if you have them, and you should continue to do so in Week 11 as the Chiefs’ run defense is ranked 31st by run defense DVOA and 30th by YPC. I’d feel comfortable about starting both, even if Gordon is primarily used as a runner and Ekeler as a receiver.
Other potential starts: Devin Singletary versus Miami Dolphins, Damien Williams versus Los Angeles Chargers
Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery versus Los Angeles Rams
Montgomery exploded in two of his past three weeks, scoring over 22.5 points in both contests, though his Week 10 amounted to a 6-point stinker against the Detroit Lions. This week, Montgomery will face the 3rd-ranked run defense by DVOA and 2nd-ranked by YPC. The Rams are a tough front to run against and Montgomery is currently limited on the Bears’ injury report.
New England Patriots RB Sony Michel versus Philadelphia Eagles
I’m all the way out on Michel in 2019. He only has four double-digit scoring performances this season and will face the potent run defense of the Eagles in Week 11. Michel isn’t even the highest-scoring RB in his own backfield and offers nearly nothing as a receiver.
Other potential sits: Derrius Guice versus New York Jets, David Johnson versus San Francisco 49ers
Carolina Panthers WR D.J. Moore versus Atlanta Falcons
Moore has been a top-10 receiver in the past two weeks combined, scoring 38.10 points and eclipsing 100-yards receiving in both weeks. The Falcons are the 31st-ranked pass defense by DVOA and 29th by YPA. Moore looks to be QB Kyle Allen’s top option.
Buffalo Bills WR John Brown versus Miami Dolphins
Brown is the Bills’ top option in the passing game, though there’s an argument to be made for WR Cole Beasley. Brown has been an incredibly steady and consistent player this season, scoring in the double-digits every single week but once in Week 3. The Dolphins are ranked terribly against the pass by all metrics, and with Brown’s QB being listed as a start, he should be too.
Other potential starts: Deebo Samuel versus Arizona Cardinals, Courtland Sutton versus Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk versus San Francisco 49ers
I can understand why you wouldn’t want to bench Kirk one week after scoring 37.80 points (the most of all WR’s), but the 49ers’ pass defense is a completely different animal than the Buccaneers’. Matter of fact, Kirk already played against the 49ers in Week 9 and scored only 3.60 points in that contest. I’d avoid majority of the 49ers’ offense in this one.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery versus New England Patriots
Something looks off about Jeffery this season, but nothing I can quite put my finger on. Jeffery has scored in the double-digits four times in the past six weeks, but the Patriots possess the best cornerback in football in Stephon Gilmore. The Patriots’ pass defense is built from a different cloth and Jeffery was a non-participant in Wednesday’s practice due to an ankle injury.
Other potential sits: Larry Fitzgerald versus San Francisco 49ers, Jarvis Landry versus Pittsburgh Steelers, Devante Parker versus Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen versus Atlanta Falcons
The combo of Olsen and his QB Allen have left a good amount of plays on the field, but he’s still one of the more consistent tight ends in the league. Olsen is on the start list for the same reason Moore made the WR list, because the Falcons’ pass defense has been shredded for majority of the season.
New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cook missed both the Week 7 and 8 contests due to injury, but returned to a strong 13.40-point performance in Week 10. This week, Cook gets to face the Buccaneers, who’re among the worst pass defenses in the league. Cook received a strong 10 targets last week, proving just how much Brees looks his way.
Other potential starts: Gerald Everett versus Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton versus Los Angeles Rams
Burton hasn’t scored more than six points in any game this season, didn’t practice Wednesday, is a forgotten man in the Bears’ offense, and now faces a tough Rams defense. Not only should Burton be glued to your bench, but you might be better served by dropping him altogether.
Denver Broncos TE Noah Fant versus Minnesota Vikings
Fant had a fantastic 20.50-point performance in Week 9 with new QB Brandon Allen, but majority of those points came on one play where he scored a 70+ yard touchdown. Fant has been largely irrelevant in his rookie season and now faces a tough defense that has trouble guarding receivers but not tight ends.
Other potential sits: Mike Gesicki versus Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills defense versus Miami Dolphins
The Bills’ defense is the 15th-highest scoring in 2019, but get a beautiful matchup against the Dolphins in Week 11. Start them with confidence, even if it is a Ryan Fitzpatrick revenge game!
Chicago Bears defense versus Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ offensive line is in a state of complete disarray. Two rookies, one second-year player with almost no experience, and a struggling guard moving to center who’s started 26 NFL games are among those starting. Khalil Mack and crew are going to tee off on QB Jared Goff.
Other potential starts: Minnesota Vikings versus Denver Broncos, New York Jets defense versus Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams defense versus Chicago Bears
Houston Texans versus Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are the best offense in football. QB Lamar Jackson is damn-near unstoppable. Bench the Texans in this one as they’re likely to concede a ton of points.
Philadelphia Eagles versus New England Patriots
The Eagles are somewhat disappointing compared to their talent level as they’re only the 17th-ranked scoring defense. They could have some success this week, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Head Coach Bill Belicheck will have his guys ready to go after a loss heading into their Week 10 bye week.
Other potential sits: Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus New Orleans Saints