Welcome to Week 11 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em.
As always, my DMs in our subscriber Discord (@GrahamBarfield) are open for any Start/Sit questions you may have, while Tom Brolley, John Hansen, and I will be streaming for subscribers on Sunday mornings to help answer any of your tough calls.
Unless stated otherwise, all of the data in this article is from Fantasy Points Data and specifically curated from the Data Suite. Our collection team has charted every play from every game over the last three seasons, and we will have fresh, weekly data imported into the tools on Tuesday mornings after the games.
Good luck this week!
Bengals at Ravens (TNF)
Lamar Jackson – After ripping off top-10 scoring weeks in 5 of his previous 6 starts, Jackson has slowed down with QB27 (vs. Seattle), QB16 (vs. Arizona), and QB16 (vs. Cleveland) fantasy scores. The good news is that Baltimore’s offense is humming, producing 11 TDs on 34 possessions over the last three weeks. The bad news is that Lamar has accounted for just two of those 11 TDs. That has to reverse course soon. Baltimore has the 6th-highest implied total (24.8 points).
Mark Andrews – The Bengals are allowing the 4th-most receptions (6.1 per game) and 3rd-most yards (66.9 per game) to opposing TEs.
Ja’Marr Chase – In four games without Tee Higgins over the last two seasons, Chase has gone for 5/124/1 (6 targets), 15/192/3 (19 targets), 7/50 (12 targets), and 10/119/1 (15 targets). That one down game (7/50 receiving) was against Baltimore. CB Marlon Humphrey (calf) is questionable.
Joe Burrow – For as good as he’s been as of late, the Ravens have held Burrow relatively in check. In four meetings against Baltimore DC Mike Macdonald’s unit, Burrow has completed 66% of his throws for a modest 5:2 TD-to-INT ratio and just 5.75 YPA. Burrow’s passing yardage totals against the Ravens are meager at best (215, 217, 209, and 222) and he’s been hemmed in the pocket with just 30 rushing yards (2 TDs) across these four starts. On the season, Baltimore is allowing a league-low 0.23 passing fantasy points per dropback. Burrow is more of a back-end QB1 this week. I prefer Sam Howell and Brock Purdy straight up.
Joe Mixon – As always, you’re rolling out Mixon as an RB2 and hoping that he scores once or twice with this offense back on track.
Gus Edwards and Keaton Mitchell – This is trending towards being a two-man backfield after Justice Hill played on a season-low 26% of the snaps in Week 10. Gus Edwards (11.6 XFP) and Keaton Mitchell (7.3 XFP) handled the majority of the backfield opportunities, and Mitchell’s day could have been even better if he and Lamar connected on a wheel route in the end zone. HC John Harbaugh said that it was a mistake not playing Mitchell more, and I expect him to have a sizable role on TNF. Much like De’Von Achane, the rookie Mitchell is an explosive play waiting to happen. The Bengals just got absolutely demolished by Devin Singletary for 150 yards and a TD. On the season, they’re allowing the 2nd-most YPC and 2nd-highest explosive run rate. Edwards and Mitchell are both upside RB3/FLEX options. Bengals DE Sam Hubbard (ankle) and Trey Hendrickson (knee) are questionable.
Zay Flowers – For fantasy, Flowers has settled in as a low-ceiling WR3. In 10 games, the rookie has finished higher than WR20 in Half-PPR leagues just twice. He’s finished worse than WR40 five times. Over the last four weeks, Beckham and Flowers both have 19 targets apiece. Rashod Bateman has 14.
Tyler Boyd – Gets the best matchup out of the Bengals WR/TE group. The Ravens are a neutral matchup vs. slot receivers (-0.03 adjusted FPG allowed), but tougher against outside receivers (-3.3 adjusted FPG allowed) and tight ends (-2.3). I’m playing Boyd over Ridley in a league.
Tanner Hudson – The Ravens' athletic LB/S corps is holding opposing TEs to 37.3 yards per game (4th-fewest) and a lowly 5.3 yards per target (2nd-lowest).
Trenton Irwin – Has run a route on 69% and 75% of the pass plays in two games with Tee Higgins out, pulling in 10-of-14 targets for 114 yards and a TD.
Steelers at Browns
Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren – The Steelers have morphed into one of the league’s most run-heavy teams. Since Week 4, they rank 4th in run rate over expected (+4.7%) – trailing only the Falcons, Bears, and Colts. Harris has at least 14 carries in 6 of his last 7 games. However, Warren continues to look incredibly explosive. Over the last two weeks, Warren has taken his 27 carries for 189 yards and added 5/34 receiving. His 51% snap rate last week marked a season-high. The Browns obviously present a tougher matchup, but this duo is back on the RB2/FLEX radar. With Deshaun Watson (shoulder) out, this game is even more likely to stay close and allow the Steelers to lean on the run.
Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt – Ford continues to get the majority of the work in between the 20s with a 64% snap rate in back-to-back games. He’s piled up 25 and 18 touches over the last two weeks. However, Hunt remains the Browns preferred red-zone back. Across their last 5 games together, Kareem Hunt has 14 carries inside-the-20. Ford has just 3. The good news is that Ford is dominating passing down work, and he has nearly tripled Hunt in routes (44 to 14) over the last two weeks. However, Ford’s lack of TD equity is going to keep him as a low-end RB2. Hunt is a TD-or-bust FLEX.
Diontae Johnson – Last week was a reminder of how quickly this passing offense can dry up with Pickett under center. After seeing at least 6 targets in three straight games since his return from injury, Diontae Johnson caught 1-of-4 targets last week. And that was with the Packers down top CB Jaire Alexander. Since their bye, Johnson has earned 33 targets (compared to 22 for Pickens), and he has seen a whopping 47% of the air yards. Most importantly, though, the Steelers’ overall passing volume is not great. Pickett is averaging a Mariota-like 23.5 pass attempts per game over the last four weeks. Johnson is a low-floor WR3/FLEX.
Amari Cooper – The QB change from Watson to Dorian Thompson-Robinson is a massive bummer for Amari Cooper. In 5 full games with Watson under center, Cooper had 3/37, 7/90, 7/116/1, 5/139/1, and 6/98 receiving. In four games without Watson, the Browns top receiver has caught just 13-of-33 targets. Yikes. Back in Week 4, our collection team charted Thompson-Robinson as off-target on a whopping 32% of his throws. Just 56.8% of his passes were catchable. Cooper is a volatile WR3.
George Pickens – He scored a long 75-yard TD against the Browns back in Week 2 on a busted coverage, but his splits with and without Diontae in the lineup remain wide. In 22 career games with Johnson active, Pickens is averaging 45.9 receiving yards and 7.97 Half-PPR points on a per-game basis (vs. 89.2 YPG and 14.5 FPG in four contests without Johnson). CB Denzel Ward (neck) should be good to go.
Kenny Pickett – Across 21 career starts, Pickett has finished higher than QB15 once.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson – Fire up Steelers D/ST.
David Njoku – It’s a tiny sample, but Njoku’s usage was slightly better (19% target share | 4.9-yard aDOT) with the backup QBs in Weeks 4-8 than it was in five games with Watson (15% TS | 1.4-yard aDOT). Still, there are at least 12 TEs I’d play ahead of Njoku this week, including Logan Thomas and Cole Kmet.
Pat Freiermuth – Will return after missing four games with an aggravated hamstring strain. Cleveland remains the toughest defense against tight ends, allowing league-lows in receptions (2.4) and yards (22.7) per game.
Cardinals at Texans
C.J. Stroud – The Texans have finally leaned in on Stroud and the passing game, and the results are pretty much stellar. Over the last two weeks, Houston ranks 5th and 10th in pass rate over expectation, and Stroud has delivered to the tune of 470 yards (on 42 attempts) and 356 yards (on 39 attempts). Not bad! Stroud has finished as a top-12 scoring QB in six of his last 8 starts, and he catches a Cardinals secondary, allowing the 5th-most passing fantasy points per dropback (0.41).
Trey McBride – After ripping the Falcons for 8/131 on a team-high 9 targets, Kyler Murray and McBride showed mid-season chemistry in their first game. Without Zach Ertz (quad) over the last three weeks, McBride has received an unreal 38.2% of the first read targets. Just for reference, this would easily lead all TEs over the season (Kelce ranks 1st with a 27% first read share). Marquise Brown (23.5% first read share) is a distant second. There are only 6 TEs I’d rather have than McBride, and they are Kelce, Hockenson, Andrews, LaPorta, and Kincaid.
Kyler Murray – In his first game back from injury, he had his usual pocket mobility and burst, rushing for 6/33/1. Most importantly, the Cardinals held nothing back. They posted their first positive pass rate over expected (+1.8%) after nine straight games below average. Over the last five weeks, Houston has allowed a 69% completion rate, 8.1 YPA, and 305.3 passing yards per game to Ridder, Carr, Young, Mayfield, and Burrow. Wheels up.
James Conner – In his first game back, Conner was immediately re-installed as the bell cow. He handled 84% of the RB carries, 83.7% of the backfield XFP, and was on the field for 80% of the red-zone snaps. Houston is playing great run defense (3.37 YPC allowed | 3rd-fewest) to give us a little pause. However, with this game likely to be a shootout (47.5 over/under), Conner has more upside than usual as a volume-based RB2. Emari Demercado (toe) is out.
Tank Dell and Nico Collins – This is yet another spot for Texans receivers to provide upside as WR2/FLEX plays. The Cardinals are allowing the 8th-most receiving yards per game (129.6) and the 6th-most scheduled-adjusted fantasy points (+4.98) per game to outside receivers. In their six full games together, Collins (43) slightly out-targeted Dell (39), however, both wide receivers saw a near identical amount of Stroud’s air yards (31% share). The betting markets have set both Dell and Collins’ yardage over/under at 55.5.
Devin Singletary – After ripping the Bengals for 30/150/1 rushing, I’m expecting Singletary to maintain the lead role for the rest of the season. Ultimately, we’re playing Singletary in fantasy for his touchdown chances attached to CJ Stroud. The Cardinals have faced 20 carries inside-the-5 (goal-line), which is 2nd-most. Only the Panthers (1.7) are giving up more touchdowns per game to opposing backfields than the Cardinals (1.4). Houston has the 4th-highest implied total (26.5 points). Dameon Pierce (ankle) is out for a third straight game.
Dalton Schultz – The Cardinals have been really solid against tight ends (38.3 yards per game allowed | 5th-fewest) to throw a little cold water on what has been a white-hot connection with Stroud. I always lean toward great quarterbacks beating tough matchups, though. Schultz has reeled in 27-of-39 targets for 332 yards and 3 TDs and notched four top-12 scoring weeks in his last 5 games.
Marquise Brown – Just missed on a TD from Kyler, which would have saved his day for fantasy. Just as a reminder: last week was a brutal matchup. The Falcons are the 2nd-best defense by schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to outside receivers. I don’t expect that Rondale Moore will out-target Brown (8 to 4) again.
Chargers at Packers
Justin Herbert – Has finished as a top-8 fantasy scorer in 6-of-9 starts this season. Nice. Herbert had just four top-8 weeks last year.
Austin Ekeler – After running into four straight tougher defenses (vs. Chiefs, Cowboys, Jets, and Lions), Ekeler catches his first easier matchup here. The Packers just got absolutely destroyed by Steelers RBs for a combined 35.1 FP. On the season, Green Bay is allowing 139.9 scrimmage yards per game to opposing RBs (6th-most).
Keenan Allen – Since his “down” game in Week 4 vs. Raiders (3/32/1 on 4 targets), Allen has been funneled at least 9 targets in five straight games. In this span, he’s received 48%, 38%, 35%, 47%, and 46% of the first read targets. Is that any good?After banging up his shoulder last week, Allen practiced in full on Friday, and he is good to go. Packers stud CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) may miss another game.
Aaron Jones – Over the last two weeks, Jones’ role has expanded, and he’s dominating the valuable touches in this backfield. He’s handled 71% of the backfield expected fantasy points, and most importantly, Jones has regained the red-zone role. Inside the 20, Jones has out-snapped AJ Dillon by a 16 to 8 margin and has 9 carries to Dillon’s 4 over the last two weeks. Even if he finds tough sledding on the ground again, Jones has at least 5 targets in four straight games since returning from a hammy strain.
Christian Watson – Combined with erratic QB play from Love and a role in this offense that doesn’t give him any layup looks near the line of scrimmage, Watson’s fantasy season is looking extremely bleak. Just 3 of Watson’s 7 targets were catchable last week. For the season, Watson ranks 68th among WRs in catchable targets per game (3.3). Regardless, the team’s targets are too spread out now. Over the last four weeks, the Packers have 6 players seeing between 9-16% of the targets.
Romeo Doubs – TD-or-bust WR4. Doubs ranks 42nd among WRs in catchable targets per game (4.8). He has not topped 35 yards in a single game that he’s played with Christian Watson this season.
Quinten Johnston – In 6 games without Mike Williams (knee), the rookie Johnston has reeled in 13-of-20 targets for just 136 yards. He scored his first TD last week, and his route share has climbed to 87% and 81% over the last two games. Still, he’s just not getting open and earning targets. Jalen Guyton has 8 targets over the last two weeks. Johnston has 7.
Jordan Love – Continues to frustratingly mix in dimes with errant throws. For fantasy, Love has finished outside of the top-15 scoring QBs just twice in 9 starts. However, his ceiling has been limited, and he’s produced just two top-10 scoring weeks. He definitely has some streaming appeal this week. Chargers HC Brandon Staley’s defense is getting blasted for the 2nd-most yards allowed per possession (36.0) and the 4th-most TDs per possession (25.3%). Los Angeles is allowing a league-high +5.0 schedule-adjusted FP above average to quarterbacks.
Luke Musgrave – Has ripped off a few explosive plays of 25 and 36 yards over the last two weeks, but he still is not seeing enough volume to really get excited about putting him in lineups. Musgrave has seen five or more targets in 2-of-9 games. If you’re desperate, he is my favorite streamer play of the week as we continue to chase this dreadful defense. The Chargers are allowing the most receptions (6.6 per game) and 2nd-most yards (68.3 per game) to tight ends.
Jayden Reed – Remains a part-time, slot-only player. Over the last two weeks, Reed has run a route on just 42% and 51% of the pass plays. Still, he’s the Packers best receiver right now.
Yards per Route Run vs Man and Zone— Chris Wecht (@ChrisWechtFF) November 14, 2023
- Jayden Reed the best WR on the Packers
- The Rashee Rice breakout is coming
- 2022 elite WR2s Tee Higgins/Devonta Smith not really separating this season pic.twitter.com/lomdlK0Rr6
Giants at Commanders
Sam Howell – After going into Seattle and dropping 24.2 FP against a surging Seahawks defense, Howell has finished as a top-15 weekly scorer among QBs in 8-of-10 games. Despite all of the sacks early in the season, it seemed like Howell was going to be a solid streamer for 1-QB leagues and a great SuperFlex play. What we’re getting is even better. Howell has been playing faster and getting the ball out quicker over the last three weeks, and the results have been fantastic for fantasy. Coupled with an extremely pass-heavy gameplan – only the Chiefs and Bengals pass at a higher rate above expectation – Howell is a locked-in QB1 for the rest of the way. Over the last three weeks, Howell has attempted at least 44 passes in every contest and he is averaging 344.7 passing yards per game as a result. After taking 5.7 sacks per game in Weeks 1-7, Howell has absorbed just 7 sacks total in his last three starts.
Terry McLaurin – The Commanders are just pressing the gas even harder on the passing pedal. Over the last three weeks, Washington ranks first (+19%), third (+11%), and first (+13%) league-wide in pass rate over expectation. As a result, McLaurin is getting career-best volume with eight or more targets in 6 of his last 7 games. He went for 6/90 receiving vs. the Giants in Week 7.
No team plays more man coverage than the Giants (42.3%), and McLaurin (28) easily leads the team in targets vs. man looks ahead of Logan Thomas (17) and Curtis Samuel (16).
Saquon Barkley – Washington’s defense has been shredded by opposing RBs since trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Over the last two weeks against the Patriots and Seahawks, the Commanders have allowed 40/211/1 rushing (5.3 YPC) and 12/139/1 receiving. That gives a little hope. The Giants have the lowest implied total (13.5 points) on the slate.
Brian Robinson – By hook or by crook (or by broken play like last week), Robinson keeps scoring touchdowns. He has found the end zone in 7-of-10 games this season. This is a great spot to chase another TD. The Giants have faced 20 carries inside-the-5 (goal-line), which is tied with the Cardinals and Chargers for the 2nd-most. New York is allowing 1.2 TDs per game to running backs (tied for 5th-most).
Update – Antonio Gibson (toe) missing this week boosts Robinson’s projection, and he is now Must Start.
Jahan Dotson – After going for 17/220/2 receiving (on 26 targets) in his three previous games, Dotson goose-egged again last week.
Curtis Samuel – Was limited again last week (51% route share) as he deals with a toe injury. Samuel has turned his 18 targets into 53 yards in his last 3 games.
Every New York Giant not named Saquon Barkley – Over the last two weeks, Giants wide receivers have combined to catch 19-of-35 targets for 163 yards. That’s good for 4.7 yards per target. Brutal. Daniel Bellinger has 5/77 receiving on six targets in Weeks 9-10.
Logan Thomas – As always, he’s in play as a back-end TE1 attached to an extremely pass-heavy offense. Thomas has at least 4 receptions in five of his last 6 games.
Titans at Jaguars
Travis Etienne – Has finished as the RB10 or better in weekly scoring in 6-of-9 starts. The Titans usually stout run defense has shown a few signs of cracks, and have allowed 4.62 YPC and 107.8 rushing yards per contest over their last 6 games.
Derrick Henry – As expected, Henry (11/24 rushing) was limited last week against Tampa Bay’s tough front seven. Opposing defenses are loading the box and stuffing run lanes against the Titans. Over the last three weeks, Henry has faced 8 or more defenders in the box on 64% of his carries. This is another tough spot. Jacksonville has played the run well all season (3.52 YPC allowed | 8th-fewest). As always, Henry is a volume-based RB2 when the Titans are underdogs (+7 vs. Jaguars). Over the last three seasons, Henry averages 22.5 Half-PPR points per game in wins but that dips to 13.7 FPG in losses.
Christian Kirk – After his weird Week 1 no-show, Kirk has turned into the only consistent piece of this passing game. For fantasy, he’s finished as a top-25 scoring wide receiver in seven of his last 8 games. The Titans are allowing 15.4 receptions per game to WRs (2nd-most).
Evan Engram – You’re likely forced to start him. Tight end falls off a cliff after the top-8 (Kelce, Hockenson, Andrews, Kincaid, LaPorta, McBride, Kittle, and Schultz). Engram is a back-end TE1, once again. He’s seen at least 18% of the first read targets in 8-of-9 games, but still has zero end zone targets.
DeAndre Hopkins – If the Titans can keep Levis clean in the pocket for long enough, this is another great spot for Nuk. The Jaguars are allowing the 2nd-most yards per game (137.2) to opposing outside wide receivers, and top CB Tyson Campbell is dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. He’s seen 22%, 31%, and 26% of the first read targets with Levis under center. Treylon Burks (concussion) is out again.
Calvin Ridley – Trevor Lawrence’s continued struggles obviously did not help Ridley (2/20 receiving on 3 targets) against the 49ers. However, Ridley getting shut down against physical, press coverage is not a new theme this season. With Zay Jones (knee) out, the Jaguars are sticking Ridley on an island at X-receiver. At his best, Ridley is a flanker, and clearly, the Jaguars are going to have to do a better job at scheming him open. He’s shaping up as an expensive version of Gabe Davis. As always, the Titans are a target for opposing outside receivers, and that’s keeping Ridley on the board as a WR3/FLEX. Tennessee is giving up the 5th-most schedule-adjusted FP above average (+5.8) to opposing outside receivers.
Trevor Lawrence – For fantasy, Lawrence has yet to finish higher than QB10 in weekly scoring in any game this season. He flashed a ceiling last year – he finished as a top-5 scorer among QBs five times – but we haven’t seen anything close to that this year. With one or fewer passing TDs in 7-of-9 games this season, he just isn’t offering enough weekly upside. The Titans allowed 278 yards and 2 TDs to Baker Mayfield last week to give us a glimmer of hope. I’d play Howell, Purdy, Dobbs, and Fields ahead of him.
Will Levis – The Titans pass blocking collapsed against the Buccaneers last week. Levis was pressured on a whopping 49% of his dropbacks, and like many rookies, he’s struggled when under duress. Levis is completing 67% of his throws for 7.1 YPA from a clean pocket, which is strong. When he’s pressured, Levis has completed just 29% of his passes for 5.0 YPA. He’s only in play for SuperFlex/2QB leagues.
Chig Okonkwo – Has not cleared more than 35 yards receiving once this season.
Kyle Philips – Thin dart throw with Treylon Burks (concussion) out another game.
Bears at Lions
Amon-Ra St. Brown – Has seen 7 or more targets in an almost unbelievable 27-of-31 games since becoming a starter in the middle of his rookie 2021 season. He’s taken his game to another level this season with his inside and outside versatility, and St. Brown has finished as a top-20 scoring WR in 7-of-8 games as a result.
Sam LaPorta – Was the only player left out of the scoring last week. Not much was left after St. Brown (8/156/1 receiving) lost his mind. Last week was just the third time (in 9 games) that he did not finish as a top-12 scoring option among tight ends. We’re going right back to LaPorta as a front-end TE1.
Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery – Now that both of these backs are healthy, we knew that Gibbs would continue to get the bulk of the passing down work. This is no surprise, but Gibbs ran 17 routes (5 targets) to Montgomery’s 6 (zero targets) last week. What was unexpected was Gibbs getting 5 red-zone carries in total, and both of the short goal-line plunges. Gibbs previously had just two red-zone carries in 3 games played with Montgomery. I thought that this would be more of a backfield split moving forward, but the arrow is all the way up on Gibbs after he handled a nice 69% of the backfield XFP in Week 10. Chicago is playing stellar run defense (3.0 YPC allowed | fewest), but I can’t take either of these two out of a lineup. Only the Dolphins (29.3 points) have a higher implied team total than the Lions (28.3).
Jared Goff – His home/road splits are favorite/underdog splits disguised. In his 12 games as a favorite since the start of 2022, Goff is averaging 302.3 yards and 2.33 passing touchdowns per game with a stellar 8.5 YPA. As an underdog, Goff dips to 236.9 YPG, 1.1 TDs per game, and a sub-par 6.8 YPA. In these 12 games as a favorite, nine of them were at home in Detroit.
As double-digit home favorites, Goff is a locked-in QB1. The Bears have allowed at least 16.7 FP to 7-of-10 QBs this season (Cousins, O’Connell, and Young are the only ones who failed to do so).
Justin Fields – After missing the last 5 games with a thumb injury, Fields is practicing in full for Week 11 and he will start. Just as a reminder, Fields is averaging 20.2 fantasy points per start this season despite all of his poor play and the Bears' issues offensively. His 20.2 FPG makes him the QB3 in points per game over Justin Herbert (20.1) by a nose hair. At the absolute worst, Fields is the QB15 on this slate. I would start Howell, Purdy, and Dobbs ahead of him. At best, he’s back to 100% and he gets his usual 5-8 designed carries. The Lions have only faced two mobile quarterbacks this season, and allowed 6/45 rushing to Patrick Mahomes (Week 1) and 9/36/1 to Lamar Jackson (Week 7).
DJ Moore – He’ll be thrilled to have his QB back. After exploding for 27/531/5 (on 34 targets) with Justin Fields in Weeks 1-5, Moore’s season came to a screeching halt over the last 5 games with Tyson Bagent (25/252/0 on 37 targets). Downfield passing completely evaporated with Bagent under center. Moore brought in just 6 receptions for 97 yards (11 targets) on throws of 10 or more yards downfield with Bagent. With Fields in Weeks 1-5, Moore caught 10-of-16 targets for 264 yards on passes of 10 or more air yards.
Cole Kmet – As a reminder, Kmet averaged 10.5 FPG (TE6) in Weeks 1-5 with Fields under center, and he was the TE9 by target share (18.4%). At worst, the Lions are a middling matchup. Detroit is allowing 55.5 yards (14th) and 10.8 fantasy points (7th-most) on a per-game basis to tight ends.
Khalil Herbert (ankle) has returned to practice after missing the last five games.
There is no denying that D’Onta Foreman’s recent strong running will keep him involved no matter what. On the year, Foreman is averaging 2.60 yards after contact and 0.21 missed tackles forced per carry. Herbert is averaging 2.65 YAC and 0.37 MTF per carry.
For this week, I expect Foreman to operate as the lead back on early-downs. The rookie Roschon Johnson is a core special teamer, and he’ll stay involved on passing downs. Over the last three weeks, Johnson (36% route share) ran more routes than Foreman (22%) and Darrynton Evans (11%).
If you need to play Foreman, there is a little hope. Detroit’s usually stout run defense has allowed 58/261/3 rushing (4.5 YPC) over the last three weeks to Baltimore, Las Vegas, and the Los Angeles Chargers.
Josh Reynolds and Jameson Williams – Reynolds has seen 12% or fewer of the targets in four straight games. Williams keeps making mental mistakes and running the wrong routes. In five games, Williams’ route shares (routes divided by team pass plays) are as follows: 43% > 19% > 43% > 32% > 46%.
Raiders at Dolphins
Josh Jacobs – With Aidan O’Connell under center, the Raiders have posted back-to-back season highs in run rate over expectation at +10.3% and +10.2%.
Tua Tagovailoa – In 9 games before the bye, Tua finished as a top-15 scorer six times and notched four spiked weeks as a top-8 quarterback.
De’Von Achane and Raheem Mostert – Coming out of their bye, the Dolphins will get Devon Achane (knee) back with little or no restrictions for Week 11. On Wednesday, HC Mike McDaniel said that Achane was “untackleable” in practice this week. As a reminder, Achane led this backfield by a slim margin in carries (37 to 30) and routes (48 to 40) in Weeks 3-5 ahead of Raheem Mostert. Most importantly, Achane was the clear lead back in the red zone. In their three games together, Achane out-snapped Mostert by a 65% to 30% margin inside-the-10. Achane was loaded up with 7 carries (and 4 targets) inside-the-10 in just three games. The diminished red-zone usage is obviously a concern for Mostert moving forward.
As ever, Las Vegas is an easy unit to run on if you just avoid Maxx Crosby’s side. The Raiders are allowing 4.24 YPC (8th-most) and 145.5 scrimmage yards to opposing backfields (2nd-most).
Jaylen Waddle – The Raiders play the 7th-most zone coverage (76.3%), which should help Waddle stay heavily involved. In their 8 games together, Hill has 28% of the targets vs. zone coverages compared to 21% for Waddle. Hill's shredding zone looks to the tune of 3.64 YPRR (league-best). However, Waddle (2.89 YPRR | 11th-best) is not too far behind. Waddle got rolled up on and injured his knee in their game against the Chiefs, which limited him to a 53% route share. He should be full-go, and he is not on the injury report heading into Week 11.
Davante Adams – In three games with Aidan O’Connell under center, Adams has posted 8/75 (vs. Chargers), 4/34 (vs. Giants), and 6/86 (vs. Jets). On the positive side of things, Adams is getting funneled the ball with 50%, 32%, and 50% of the first read targets. The bad news is that just 68% of Adams’ targets have been catchable in these three games. We’re still dealing with a small sample size, however, Adams’ catchable ball rate was 79% with Garoppolo (5 games). He’s a volume-based WR2/FLEX.
Aidan O’Connell – Fire up Dolphins D/ST. Miami’s defense is starting to trend up with Jalen Ramsey (7 missed games), Xavien Howard (2 missed games), EDGE Jaelen Phillips (3 missed games), and S Jevon Holland (one missed game) all on the field together for just the second time all season. Raiders stud LT Kolton Miller (shoulder) is in danger of missing another game.
Jakobi Meyers – Meyers’ season is trending down with the QB change. In four games with Garoppolo, he showed out with 9/81/2, 7/85, 7/75/1, and 5/61/1 receiving. He has not come close to that type of connection with the rookie. In three games with O’Connell, he’s tallied just 2/33, 2/38, and 2/21. Overall, Meyers’ target share has dipped from 26% with Garoppolo to a lowly 12% with O’Connell.
Cowboys at Panthers
Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb – Over the last four weeks, Prescott has completed 72% of his throws for 9.7 YPA and 338.5 yards per game with a 12:2 TD-to-INT ratio. Is that any good? He’s also started to run again, which is obviously huge in fantasy. After barely running at all in Weeks 1-5, Prescott has added 90 yards and 2 TD on 19 carries over his last four starts. With an unguardable CeeDee Lamb and pass-heavy game plan every week, Dallas’ passing offense is hitting the highest end of its ceiling. Since Week 6, only the Bengals (+18%), Chiefs (+13%), and Commanders (+10%) rank higher in passes over expectation than the Cowboys (+9%).
Dallas’ playoff fantasy schedule (Weeks 15-17) looks filled with potential shootouts (at Buffalo, at Miami, vs. Detroit).
Tony Pollard – The bottom line is that in an A+ spot last week, Pollard came up small once again. He finished his day with 15 carries for 55 yards, and he did not have a single target. Pollard has 22 carries inside-the-10 this season, but just 2 TDs to show for it. And both of those scores came all of the way back in Week 1.
This is one of the unluckiest streaks I’ve seen from a lead RB on a great offense, but the elephant in the room here is that Pollard is no longer the explosive playmaker that he once was. Pollard’s yards after contact (2.51 per carry) and missed tackles forced (0.13 per carry) severely lag behind last season (3.84 YAC | 0.19 MTF). As a result, his explosive run rate (15+ yard gains) has been halved from 8.8% to 4.4% year over year. This unlucky touchdown runout, combined with Pollard’s steep drop in efficiency, has created a perfect storm. Dallas has two mouth-watering matchups on tap vs. Carolina and Washington in Weeks 11-12, so hopefully Pollard finally gets right in the TD department.
I was heavily drafting Pollard and feel your pain, however, we have to give this one more ride. Carolina has faced 30 (!!) carries inside-the-5, which is 10 more than the next closest team. No defense is allowing more touchdowns per game (1.7) to opposing backfields than the Panthers. I can’t wait to see how this goes wrong.
Jake Ferguson – Has scored a TD in three straight games as targets continue to find him in one of the most pass-heavy offenses. Peyton Hendershot (ankle) can return off of I.R. this week.
Adam Thielen – Due to a regressing Bryce Young, Thielen has cooled off with 19 receptions for 149 yards and zero scores over the last three weeks. HC Frank Reich is taking play-calling duties back over, and it’s at least notable that Thielen’s downfield targets dried up in the three games that OC Thomas Brown called the plays. From Weeks 8-10, Thielen’s aDOT dipped to 4.3 yards – which is way down from his 7.7-yard aDOT in Weeks 1-7 with Reich calling the plays.
Chuba Hubbard – He’s just as mid as Miles Sanders this season. In his four-game stretch as the starter, Hubbard has produced 59/197/1 rushing (3.3 YPC) and added 9/54 receiving. As a result, Hubbard’s snaps have declined in four straight games (77% > 67% > 65% > 50%). I have no interest in putting him into lineups against Dallas. The Panthers are implied to score 15.8 points (3rd-fewest).
Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks – These two showed signs of life for the first time all season thanks to Dak Prescott’s dot show vs. the Giants. Outside of the interception, Dak was near perfect last week. Cooks had not cleared 50 yards in any game prior to Week 10’s explosion (9/173/1). Gallup has been demoted to part-time (46% route share over the last three weeks). Second-year WR Jalen Tolbert is getting a merit-based promotion, and his routes (18% > 37% > 42% > 63%) continue to climb.
Bryce Young – HC Frank Reich is taking play-calling duties back over. That’ll fix it, I’m sure.
Jonathan Mingo and DJ Chark – After missing last week with an elbow injury, Chark will return for Week 11.
Buccaneers at 49ers (4:05pm ET)
Mike Evans – In his 8 full games, Evans’ weekly finishes are WR13 > WR2 > WR20 > WR44 > WR7 > WR29 > WR19 > WR5.
Brock Purdy – Dating back to last year, Purdy has finished as a top-15 scoring QB in 11-of-15 starts (73%). Only the Chargers (315.7) are allowing more passing yards per game than the Buccaneers (285.3).
Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk – Last week marked the first time that Aiyuk’s target share dipped below 20% in a single game this season. That will surely turn around here. Deebo got more “wide back” usage and cashed in on a 23-yard rushing score. Samuel has totaled 63, 101, 131, 85, and 59 scrimmage yards in the 5 full games that he’s played this season. Absolutely nothing is threatening about this matchup. The Buccaneers are allowing the 4th-most yards to outside receivers (132.0), and the 2nd-most yards to slot receivers (102.8).
Rachaad White – It has not always been pretty, but White has finished as a top-20 scorer among running backs in 5 of his last 6 games. The Buccaneers are going to continue to struggle to run the ball, but White just has such a strong floor, thanks to his involvement in the passing game. He’s running a route on 61% of the Buccaneers pass plays, which trails only Kyren Williams (71%), Christian McCaffrey (67%), and Bijan Robinson (63%) among RBs.
George Kittle – In the five contests that he’s played with both Samuel and Aiyuk on the field for the entire game, Kittle has seen 6, 3, 1, 4, and 4 targets. In those games, he’s posted 3/19, 3/30, 1/9, 3/67/3, and 3/116/1 receiving. With the understanding that his overall volume is lower with Aiyuk, Samuel and McCaffrey all getting their looks, Kittle still obviously offers massive upside. The only tight ends I’d play ahead of Kittle are – Kelce, Hockenson, Andrews, LaPorta, Kincaid, and McBride.
Chris Godwin – By expected fantasy points, Godwin (13.9 Half-PPR) still lags behind Mike Evans (15.3). That is probably not to the degree that you expected. Both things can be true: Godwin is due for a bounce-back game. However, his overall volume remains lower with Mike Evans playing so well. Godwin is averaging 7.1 targets per game, which is way down from the 9.4 T/G and 9.1 T/G he saw in two seasons with Tom Brady. As massive road underdogs (+11), the Buccaneers are going to have to throw it here. The 49ers and Eagles are both allowing a league-high 10.6 receptions per game to opposing outside receivers.
Baker Mayfield – The 49ers defense shut down the Jaguars last week, forcing Lawrence (17/29 passing for 185 yards) into 3 turnovers and 5 sacks. With Chase Young added, the 49ers can get Nick Bosa into more one-on-ones. San Francisco is allowing the 3rd-fewest passing fantasy points per dropback (0.29). Tampa Bay has the 2nd-lowest implied total on the slate (14.8).
Cade Otton – The 49ers are allowing 4.1 yards per target to tight ends (fewest). Their athletic LB/S corps are erasers. The next toughest secondary against TEs are the Ravens (5.3 YPT).
Seahawks at Rams (4:25pm ET)
Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua – In the three games that this duo played together with Matthew Stafford, we saw an incredibly concentrated offense. From Weeks 5-7, Nacua earned 33% of the targets, and Kupp was at 30%. Hilariously, Tyler Higbee was the next closest teammate with a lowly 10% target share. I still lean towards this being a tough matchup against the Seahawks, with Riq Woolen and Devon Witherspoon patrolling the field. Opposing wide receivers are averaging a league-low 5.7 yards per target vs. Seattle since Week 4 (when Woolen and Witherspoon got healthy). Still, Kupp and Nacua are strong WR2s given their talent and volume.
Ken Walker – The rookie Zach Charbonnet is playing more, but his role is largely on passing downs. Charbonnet is running a route on 50% of the pass plays (compared to 21% for Walker) because Seattle really trusts the rookie in pass protection. Still, Walker is getting the majority of the valuable touches in this backfield. Over the last three weeks, Walker has handled 60.3% of the backfield expected fantasy points and 70.5% of the RB carries. Most importantly, he has out-snapped Charbonnet by a 4 to 1 margin inside-the-10. For now, Charbonnet is being kept at arm’s length. Walker is an upside RB2.
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett – Ultimately, you’re putting this duo into lineups as upside WR2/FLEX plays once again. This matchup favors Lockett slightly, though. The Rams play the 9th-highest rate of zone coverage (76%), and Lockett has out-targeted Metcalf by a 43 to 36 margin against zone looks in 8 games played together. Geno Smith just funnels the ball to Metcalf against man-to-man coverage. Metcalf gets 34% of the targets compared to 22% for Lockett vs. man coverage looks.
Update – Lockett did not practice all week with a nagging hamstring injury. He’s a game-time decision, so make sure you have a backup plan if you are relying on him. Lockett’s injury boosts up Metcalf and Smith-Njigba a few spots in rankings.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba – In five games since their Week 5 bye, JSN has continued to ramp up as a bigger piece of the offense. In this span, he’s averaging 4.2 receptions and 52.6 yards per game. If you need to go to him as a WR3 or FLEX play, the Rams are a target for slot receivers. Los Angeles is allowing the 6th-most yards per game (91.9) to opposing slot wideouts.
Matthew Stafford – Thankfully, Stafford will not miss any more time with his thumb injury. He returned to full practice all week. Stafford’s ‘real life’ play has not mirrored his fantasy results. While he’s feeding Kupp and Nacua, we have yet to see Stafford finish higher than QB15 in weekly output. There is room for more. HC Sean McVay might just ramp up the passing volume and let Stafford chuck it in the back half of the season. The Rams were 11th in pass rate over expected (+3.3%) in Weeks 1-7 with a healthy Stafford. T Rob Havenstein (calf) should return after missing the last two games.
Geno Smith – He came through for us last week as a streamer, but this is a much stronger week for quarterbacks. At least 15 quarterbacks project better than Smith. Hopefully, you have options with a little more upside. Geno remains a great starter in SuperFlex/2QB leagues.
Royce Freeman and Darrell Henderson – Next week Kyren Williams (ankle) will be eligible to return off of I.R. We’ll get one more week of a split backfield here. In the three games before the bye, Henderson (56% snap rate) played ahead of Freeman (44%) by a slim margin. Henderson had 40 carries to Freeman’s 33. If you are forced to start one of these two, this matchup is sneaky. Seattle’s defense has allowed a whopping 626 scrimmage yards and 6 TDs to Cleveland, Baltimore, and Washington over the last three weeks.
Tyler Higbee – He caught 10-of-17 targets for 90 yards in five games with Cooper Kupp in Weeks 5-9.
Bills at Jets (4:25pm ET)
Josh Allen – We have to give some serious respect where it's due to this Jets defense. In his last three meetings with New York, Allen has thrown for just 205, 147, and 236 yards with a 2:5 TD-to-INT ratio. On the year, only the Ravens (0.23) are allowing fewer passing fantasy points per dropback than the Jets (0.27). The only good news is that the Jets are giving up 24.4 rushing yards per game off of scrambles (2nd-most), giving Allen some upside as a runner in this spot.
Stefon Diggs – One of the most wild statistics this year: The Jets are allowing a league-low 11.5% catch rate (3 receptions for 86 yards on 26 targets) on throws of 20 or more air yards this season. That’s true shutdown coverage from Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed. Even though Josh Allen has been held in check in his last three meetings with the Jets – relative to his standards – Diggs has posted 5/95, 3/37, and 10/102/1.
Dalton Kincaid – Besides one drop last week, his connection with Josh Allen has been near perfect over the last month (28 receptions on 32 targets for 272 yards and 2 TDs).
Breece Hall – After the Bills run defense got shredded by Miami (15/110/2 rushing) and Jacksonville (29/144/2 rushing) in back-to-back weeks, they’ve tightened considerably over the last four weeks. In this span, the Bills have allowed just 255 yards and 2 TDs on the ground (3.26 YPC). Unfortunately, this likely continues a rough four-week stretch for Hall and the Jets run game. Among the 47 RBs with at least 50 carries on the season, Hall ranks 1st in yards after contact per carry (3.61) but 29th in before contact yards (1.26 per carry).
Garrett Wilson – Literally the only thing the Jets are doing right is feeding Wilson when they throw. He has 7 or more targets in eight straight games, and he’s averaging 6.3 receptions for 76 yards on 11.3 targets per contest in this stretch. He’s only connected on 1-of-5 end zone targets from Zach Wilson – and we’re obviously not getting many explosive plays here – so that’s why he’s only scored once all season. Wilson is dealing with an elbow injury, but he will play.
James Cook – The Bills finally got their ground game going last week but shot themselves in the foot for nearly half of the game by benching Cook after he fumbled on the opening play. Cook shredded the Broncos for 12/109 rushing, and he could have had a monster day – and helped the Bills win – had he not been benched. Cook’s 46% snap rate last week marked a six-game low. As always, Cook’s TD chances are a concern. Latavius Murray leads the team with 14 carries (3 TDs) inside-the-10 while Cook has 9 carries (1 TD). Josh Allen has 5 TDs on his 8 carries inside-the-10.
It might be one more week until the Bills activate Leonard Fournette off of the practice squad.
Bills HC Sean McDermott on the potential use of current practice squad RB Leonard Fournette on game day: "If not this week, then certainly in the weeks ahead, it's going to be a big time consideration for us."— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) November 17, 2023
Gabe Davis – In his last three meetings with the Jets, Davis has 2/33, 3/31, and 2/32 receiving on 5, 4, and 5 targets. That’s so Gabe.
Tyler Conklin – Has quietly tallied 13/136 receiving on 13 targets over the last two weeks after he goose-egged (0/0) Week 8.
Vikings at Broncos (SNF)
TJ Hockenson – This season, Josh Dobbs has targeted his tight ends on 33% (!!) of his pass attempts. Hockenson has 18/203/1 (on 27 targets) over the last two weeks. No defense is allowing more yards per game (68.9) to tight ends than Denver.
Josh Dobbs – Across his last 9 starts, Dobbs has finished as a top-10 scorer 5 times. His worst scoring week in this stretch is QB19. With 40 or more rushing yards in seven of his last 9 games played, Dobbs’ legs give us a good floor to work with in fantasy. The Broncos defense is no longer a sieve, but Dobbs’ rushing and Justin Jefferson’s return puts him squarely on the QB1 radar.
Javonte Williams – After it looked like this might be a three-man committee, Williams is dominating the money touches. Over the last three weeks, Williams has garnered 65.1% of the backfield expected fantasy points and he’s handled 80% of the RB carries. Most importantly, Javonte is getting all of the red-zone work. He's received 14-of-15 backfield opportunities (carries + targets) in the red-zone in this span.
Ty Chandler – Those best ball teams with late round Chandler are alive. Alexander Mattison is questionable with a concussion, and there is an obvious risk that he could lose his job for the rest of the season if Chandler runs well. Mattison is averaging career-lows in YPC (3.5) and yards per target (4.6). The Vikings are generally really sharp, but it still blows my mind that they went into this season with Mattison as their starter. At worst, Chandler is a back-end RB2. The Broncos have improved defensively, but they still struggle against the run (5.38 YPC allowed | most). Kene Nwangwu will backup Chandler.
Courtland Sutton – After that ridiculous throw from Wilson and toe tap TD last week, Sutton has scored a TD in 7-of-9 games this season. No defense blitzes more than the Vikings (47%). Sutton (13) and Jerry Jeudy (11) lead the team in targets when Wilson is blitzed, while no other Bronco has more than 4 targets. As ever, Sutton is on the board as WR3. Jeudy is a bye week/injury desperation play.
Jerry Jeudy – He’s finished better than WR30 once all season. Marvin Mims set a season-high route share (73%) last week, tied with Jeudy.
Eagles at Chiefs (MNF)
Jalen Hurts – Has finished as a top-10 scoring QB in eight straight games, and he ripped off five straight top-4 scoring weeks before the bye.
D’Andre Swift – Since Week 1, Swift has handled at least 17 touches in eight straight games, and he’s averaging 20.4 touches per game in this span. This is everything long-time Swift truthers (like myself) could have hoped for. In his 8 games as the starter, he’s the RB10 by FPG (14.5 Half-PPR). The only small problem is that Jalen Hurts is capping Swift’s touchdown upside. On plays inside-the-10 (red-zone), Hurts has 20 carries (7 TDs) while Swift has 19 carries (3 TDs). The Chiefs are allowing 4.64 YPC (5th-most) and a 51.5% success rate (6th-highest) on zone-blocking runs, and that is the foundation of the Eagles run game (69% of Swift’s carries are zone-blocking).
Devonta Smith – With Dallas Goedert (forearm) out at least 2-3 weeks, the Eagles will need Smith to step up a little bit more. A.J. Brown is dominating targets here in totality (90 to Smith’s 58), however, the distribution has been a little tighter when the Eagles face two-high safety coverage. Brown is absolutely dominating targets (34% share) against one-high safety looks, but his target share dips to a more modest 24% against two-high. That’s important for this week because no defense is playing more two-high coverage than the Chiefs at 65%. The league average rate is 48%.
Smith has been far more efficient against two-high shell coverage and is averaging 2.03 YPRR compared to just 1.27 YPRR vs. one-high safety coverage.
Isiah Pacheco – With up and down usage in the pass game all season, Pacheco has settled in as a TD-dependent RB2/FLEX. This game has obvious shootout appeal – which gives Pacheco decent TD equity – but the Eagles present a tough matchup on the ground. Philadelphia is allowing 3.51 YPC (7th-fewest), and despite regressing defensively year over year, they have not faced many goal-to-go chances. Opposing running backs have just 4 carries inside-the-5 against the Eagles this year (second-fewest only to the Chiefs – 2).
Rashee Rice – We need his role to ascend out of the bye. Rice’s route share had risen in four straight games (19% > 39% > 56% > 59%) before he, once again, was a part-time player in Week 9 with a 47% route share. I expect HC Andy Reid to be rational and elevate the Chiefs only good wideout for the back half of the season. This is an awesome matchup, and Rice has underrated upside if he is closer to full-time. The Eagles are allowing the 3rd-most fantasy points per game to opposing outside receivers (24.1), and the most to slot receivers (19.5).
Best and Worst Games
Rankings derived from my Pace/Plays/Passing game model.