Week 11 of the NFL season is already here and we are to the point where the “wait and see approach” of fantasy players is relatively mute. There is a large enough sample size on the entire pool of players to make educated decisions on who you should start or sit in your fantasy lineups. Some options are just staples in lineups and should never be moved in any circumstance (Peyton, Luck, Rodgers, Murray, D. Thomas, Gronk). The same thing works on the opposite in of the spectrum with fantasy players that have done little to nothing this season (Cam, Welker, Colston, Vernon Davis). The numbers are staring you directly in the face, do not ignore them.
Quarterbacks to Start
Robert Griffin III, Redskins: Robert Griffin got his feet wet 2 weeks ago against the Minnesota Vikings, and now after a few practices and even more time to get his body fully healthy after the bye, he is ready to be inserted in your fantasy lineup. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given up at least 15 fantasy points to every QB, save Austin Davis that they have faced this year. Top Bucs CB Alterraun Verner is expected to miss this game, and leaves no one in that secondary to stay in front of Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. RG3 should get back to his 2012 self and assist fantasy owners who have faith in him.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers: The 49ers have been up and down all season, and a lot of that has to do with the inconsistent play of QB Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has only thrown for 1 TD in 3 straight games, and has yet to rush for a TD all season. This week he gets the NY Giants secondary that is giving up the 5th most passing yards on the 2014 season. Kap will break his rushing TD drought and throw for multiple TDs against the Giants making him a top 10 play this week, and a perfect buy low for daily fantasy leagues.
Matt Ryan, Falcons: Ryan will be facing the reeling Carolina Panthers defense who is giving up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. The Falcons do not have a lot of weapons in their offense, but as long as Julio Jones and Roddy White are both healthy, Ryan will have enough to prop up his fantasy value. Last week against the Bucs, Ryan was 14-17 for 191 yards and a TD to the WR combo. The Panthers do not have the caliber of defensive backs to stop the Falcons dynamic duo, and Ryan should reap the benefits.
Quarterbacks to Sit
Mark Sanchez, Eagles: Sanchez has proven to be an adequate replacement for Nick Foles, but this is not the week to trust him in your fantasy lineup. The Packers defense allows the 10th fewest fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s and they boast a TD:INT ration of 13:12. Expect for Sanchez’ old turnover habit to rear its ugly head in this pivotal NFC matchup Sunday.
Cam Newton, Panthers: I saw the most alarming football stat ever today when ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Newton has been hit/sacked 531 times since he entered the NFL in 2011, almost double the next QB (272).
Most QB sacks or hits the past 4 season: Cam Newton 531 Ryan Fitzpatrick 272 Alex Smith 257 Joe Flacco 254
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 13, 2014
This tells me that Cam Newton’s struggles are consistent with overall wear-and-tear from his play over the last few seasons. I would have a hard time putting Cam Newton in any fantasy lineup for the rest of the 2014 season. If you are a Cam owner, I would suggest making a move for a permanent alternate solution. Alex Smith, Chiefs: If you like you fantasy QB’s CEILING to be 15 points, then insert Smith into your lineup. If you’re in need of a big bang from the QB position then look elsewhere. Running Backs to Start Le’Veon Bell, Steelers: Bell has been over 100 total yards in 8/10 games this season, and now faces a Tennessee Titans defense coming off of getting gashed by Justin Forsett and the Ravens in week 10. You can pencil Bell in for a 100 total yards, and I have a hunch that he will find the end zone on Monday Night Football.
Rashad Jennings, Giants: Jennings will be making his return after missing the last 5 games with a sprained MCL, and all the reports out of New York are that he looks 100% healthy and should expect a full workload for Sunday’s game against the 49ers. The Giants offense should see a boost with Jennings back in the lineup because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Expect Jennings to reach at least 80 total yards with the high probability of finding the end zone either on the ground or through the air.
Giants RB Rashad Jennings was at practice and appeared to be doing everything. Seems good to go for Sunday. — Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) November 13, 2014
Jerrick McKinnon, Vikings: Adrian Peterson will not make his NFL comeback for week 11 and this leaves McKinnon as the starter for at least 1 more week. McKinnon does the majority of his damage between the 20’s, while Matt Asiata has been the goal line back. With the Chicago Bears and their 19th ranked rushing defense coming to town, McKinnon may be primed to score his first TD of the season. Mckinnon is a low-risk, high-upside fantasy play for week 11, and if you own him, its would behoove you to get the little bit of use while you can.
Running Backs to Sit
Andre Ellington, Cardinals: Ellington faces the #1 ranked defense in the Detroit Lions for week 11. With a new QB in the lineup and coming off of an 18 carry 23 yard performance against the Rams, Ellington s a dangerous play for fantasy owners this week. Avoid at all cost in daily leagues.
Frank Gore, 49ers: Frank Gore scored his 1st rushing TD since week 2 against the Saints last week, and his fantasy owners came out of that game somehow less confident in Gore going forward. Anyone with 2 eyes and a basic football knowledge noticed how explosive Carlos Hyde looked last week. How can the 49ers staff look at the coaches tape and not incorporate Hyde into the game plan more against the Giants. Gore should not be trusted in your fantasy lineup for the week.,
Lamar Miller, Dolphins: Miller is still hurting from a sprained AC joint and only played 11 snaps versus the Lions in week 10. Coming off of a short week and facing the 7th ranked Buffalo Bills run defense, do not expect Miller to be fantasy relevant, let alone maintain a decent workload. The good thing about the game being on Thursday is that owners should have ample time to find a replacement.
Wide Receivers to Start
Randall Cobb, Packers: Jordy gets all the shine, but Cobb continues to be almost equally as productive. Cobb has scored in 8/9 games this season, and should be considered a must start in all leagues and formats.
Alshon Jeffery, Bears: Jeffery received 12 targets last week, and any receiver with that type of volume based workload is a must start for fantasy. Combine that with the fact that Brandon Marshall is hobbled by an ankle injury sustained in garbage time of the blowout loss to the Packers, Jeffery is set to carry an even larger workload for Sunday versus the Vikings. The Bears season is on the line, expect a decent showing from all of the studs.
Desean Jackson, Redskins: Jackson is averaging an astonishing 21.8 yards per catch, leading the NFL. The Bucs give up the 3rd most yards to opposing WRs, who are missing their top QB. D-Jax is going off this week and if you own him, make sure that he is firmly entrenched in your starting lineup.
Wide Receivers to Sit
Michael Crabtree, 49ers: Crabtree has at least 7 targets in 4 straight games and still can’t produce fantasy points. I fear that he might be dealing with some type of undisclosed injury and the 49ers have been running their passing offense through veteran Anquan Boldin. Crabtree should be on the bench until he shows signs of the explosiveness that we have come to know from him in past years.
Marques Colston, Saints: Colston has 1 double digit fantasy game this season. People who start Colston are the same type of people that stay with the same girlfriend because she “cooked a nice meal, 3 years ago.” Fantasy football is completely results based, and Colston has no business being in your fantasy lineup, let alone on your roster. Let it go.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals: Floyd has a total of 11 fantasy points in 3 Drew Stanton starts. Floyd has also had outputs of 0, 3, and 1 in his last 3 matchups. If you like winning, look elsewhere.
Tight Ends to Start
Travis Kelce, Chiefs: The Seahawks allow the 4th most yards to opposing TEs and Kelce is looking at an uptick in snaps because of an injury to Anthony Fasano. Kelce averages 8.8 fantasy points per game at home for the 2014 season, and with Sunday’s game being played in arrowhead stadium, he is worth a flyer for TE desperate teams.
Jordan Reed, Redskins: Reed has had an extra week of rest to get ready for this matchup with a shaky Tampa Bay defense, who has been suspect against TEs since trading away 2012 first round pick safety Mark Barron. Start Reed with confidence in what should be a fantasy bonanza for the Redskins.
Tight Ends to Sit
Heath Miller, Steelers: The Titans have not allowed more than 50 yards receiving to an opposing TE all season, and Miller has been disappointing to say the least this season. Miller is averaging 29 receiving yards per game and has only scored 2 TDs all season.
Zach Ertz, Eagles: Ertz looks to have been surpassed on the Eagles depth chart by Brent Celek, who received 8 targets last week and scored a TD. The QB change looks to have affected Ertz’ already diminishing fantasy value, and is completely untrustworthy in your fantasy lineup.