Here’s my inside look at some of the Week 11 matchups for fantasy purposes…
Week 11 Intel
Eagles: While it’s true that the Saints boast the NFL’s best run defense (2.89 ypc to RBs), they occasionally struggle in pass coverage.
The Saints, who play the 2nd most man coverage (51.3%), have given up some big games this season to WRs:
Kenny Golladay (NYG), John Ross (NYG-52-yard TD), Kadarius Toney (NYG), Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL), Olamide Zaccheaus (ATL), Kendrick Bourne (NE), Jakobi Myers (NE), DJ Moore (CAR), Chris Godwin (TB) all had good games against the Saints secondary and some of the big plays given up to those opposing WRs came from playing inside.
When you play a lot of man coverage, you’re going to see WRs singled up, especially in the slot (122.1 yards to slot WRs—NFL worst) or whoever is playing inside.
While he dropped a sure TD pass last week from Jalen Hurts, 2nd-year pro Quez Watkins is seen as a vertical slot by some, so this is a situation to watch today.
Their fantasy defense has been more miss than hit, but the Eagles were great on that side of the ball during last week’s surprising road win over the Broncos. And the Saints will be without 3 starting OLs today (LT-Terron Armstead-out, RT-Ryan Ramczyk-out, LG-Andrus Peat (IR).
During their last win at home, which just happened to be in November last year against the Saints, DT Javon Hargrave and DE Josh Sweat had two sacks each, which is worth noting for IDP owners. Hargrave got off to a slow start last year due to a pectoral strain, but had a much better second half and has been somewhat of a breakout star for the Eagles this season.
Panthers: Their fantasy defense was #1 in most scoring systems before losing rookie CB Jaycee Horn (broken foot) for the season in Week 3.
And they also suffered injuries at LB and in the secondary earlier this season, but the Panther defense is the healthiest it has been in several weeks.
With their schedule being very favorable for the next 3 weeks (vs WAS, at MIA, vs ATL), they’re certainly worth picking up and they were available in a lot of leagues this week.
Ravens: The team lists 2nd-year WR Devin Duvernay as starting WR Marquise Brown’s (thigh-out) backup, but Duvernay is much better playing inside.
His career took off in college when he was moved from the outside to inside in his final season at the University of Texas.
Duvernay (knee-questionable) was added to the injury report after being limited in Friday’s practice, so he’s not a lock to play.
Duvernay played the 2nd most snaps at WR in last week’s game and rookie Rashod Bateman played more snaps than Duvernay the week before, so you can expect both to play a lot of snaps today with Brown out (and assuming Duvernay is active).
Lions: It’s supposed to rain for most of the game today, but if you’re looking for a stash and hope player for the rest of the way, WR Josh Reynolds could be that guy.
Reynolds, as I mentioned here last week, was largely brought because of his familiarity with QB Jared Goff.
Reynolds also has good size (6-3), which is badly needed at WR for this team.
It would not surprise me if he winds up starting soon or sees a lot of snaps due to the lack of talent and depth at the position for this team.
“Look, he’s a long, linear guy. He has length, he’s got speed and he’s kind of a build-to-speed guy, but you see when he can get a step into his route, he’s pretty good. And he’s pretty fluid downfield, tracks the ball pretty well. So, I think he can help us in some of our 1-on-1 matchups, get a ball out there and let him go attack a corner 1-on-1. That’s kind of how we’ll try to use him a little bit as well. But, we also want to be smart. I mean, we don’t want to throw him into the wolves either, but he’s certainly going. We’ll get him in and get him going,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell said about Reynolds earlier this week.
49ers: 4th-year RB Jeff Wilson is slated to be the main ball carrier in place of injured rookie Elijah Mitchell (rib, broken finger/surgery-doubtful).
While the team said they’re going to give Mitchell a chance to play today, it’s hard for them to play him without practicing, as they don’t have a feel for how he could handle carrying the ball after he had surgery on his finger.
Rookie RB Trey Sermon, if Mitchell is inactive, will see work in back of Wilson. RB JaMychal Hasty (ankle-out) will miss his 2nd straight game.
For those looking to stream a defense, the 49ers got back starting S Jaquiski Tartt (knee) off IR yesterday and fellow starting S Jimmie Ward returned last week after missing one game and the 49ers defense shut down the high-powered Ram offense last week and also played well during Week 9’s road win against the Bears.
Dolphins: As tough as it is to watch their passing game, Tua Tagovailoa is a clear upgrade over Jacoby Brissett.
Brissett was late on throws last week against the visiting Ravens and Tagovailoa, if he does anything well, is much more decisive, which is welcome news if you have TE Mike Gisicki or WR Jaylen Waddle on your roster(s).
Brissett has a long winding up and has trouble shortening up throws, which is one of the reasons why teams only see him as a backup QB.
Seahawks: You might have heard that HC Pete Carroll said he wants 4th-year RB Rashaad Penny to have an expanded role now that starting RB Chris Carson (neck surgery) will miss the rest of the season.
“I’m really looking forward to Rashaad, I’m looking forward to see where he goes and what he can contribute this week. He has a really good role for us, and we are anxious to see him get going, obviously, for the reasons why. It’s really his time to help us. As we go through the next couple of weeks, you will see him continue to be a big part of it.”
The team planned to expand his role late last season, I’m told, but he was still having recurring issues coming off major knee surgery.
Penny, who is on the final year of his rookie contract (team declined his 5th-year option), could see double-digit carries today as long as the team isn’t behind in the game and Carroll has made it clear he wants to see more out of their running game.
Off the Injury Report For Week 11
Note: The following players were listed with an injury in Week 10 or were listed with one prior to their bye last week.
Trevor Lawrence/QB/Jaguars (ankle): If you’re in a deep league or are in a league where you can start two QBs, you don’t have to worry about his injury, which he was only dealing with for one week.
Zack Moss/RB/Bills (concussion): He came out of last week’s game well and suffered no lingering impact from suffering a concussion prior to last week’s game.
Rex Burkhead/RB/Texans (hip): The versatile back can be sneaky good once in a while for fantasy purposes, but often breaks down physically. And he has dealt with some lingering injuries this season, but is finally off the injury report this week.
A.J. Brown/WR/Titans (knee): Any time he’s listed on the injury report with “knee” it’s a small concern because he had scopes done on both knees after last season ended. He was also listed on the injury earlier this season (eek 3) with what I’m told was just soreness and there was nothing wrong. And this time around, he was removed from the injury report after being there for just Week 10.
Corey Davis/WR/Jets (hip): He was listed on the injury report with his injury for 4 weeks, but is now off of it.
Hunter Renfrow/WR/Raiders (ankle): He “tweaked” an ankle weeks ago, I’m told, but was not listed with an injury until Week 10, but is now off the injury report. And the 3rd-year pro has become increasingly important to their passing game and QB Derek Carr has shown a lot of trust in him this season.
Kadarius Toney/WR/Giants (thumb): He has been on the injury report several times this season (Week 1-hamstring, Week 3-ankle, Week 6-ankle, Week 7-ankle, Week 8-ankle, Week 9-thumb), but is finally off of it in Week 11. Their bye week clearly helped him get healthy. So, let’s hope he can keep it that way and OC Jason Garrett needs to get him way more involved in the offense going forward.
T.Y. Hilton/WR/Colts (concussion): For the first time all season, the veteran pass catcher is not on IR or listed on the injury report. So hopefully he can start contributing more of a role going forward.
Rondale Moore/WR/Cardinals (neck, concussion): If you’re in a deeper league and need him as a bye week replacement, the rookie is off the injury report.
Christian Kirk/WR/Cardinals (thumb): The 4th-year pass catcher was dealing with a minor injury and is now off the injury report after just a one week stay. It’s an important season for him as he’s in the final year of his rookie deal.
John Ross/WR/Giants (quadriceps): With WR Dante Pettis out for the rest of the season (shoulder surgery) and veteran WR Sterling Shepard (quadriceps) out again, Ross will remain in their rotation and he continues to be a deep threat for them. He showed up on the injury report before their bye week, but is now off of it.
George Kittle/TE/49ers (calf): It has been a while since the versatile veteran TE has been off the injury report (Week 2), but he’s finally off of it in Week 11. And considering his large injury history, this is really welcome news if you have him on your fantasy roster(s).
Dawson Knox/TE/Bills (broken hand): One of the issues with Knox, as high as I’ve been on him since he was drafted, was his injury history. And, he spent time on the reserve/COVID-19 last season. However, his broken hand has healed well enough to finally be off the injury report.