By Cole Banker and Chris Blake
As we turn the page to Week 11, here is our list of players to be confident in and be skeptical of. To clarify, when we say we “love” a player, we mean that we expect him to outperform his projections for that week, and the opposite for players we “hate.” We are using PPR scoring when we refer to players’ rankings. Enjoy.
Quarterbacks we love this week:
Cole: Josh Allen (BUF) @ Miami
Allen has really settled in for the Bills and has become one of most consistent QB’s in the league in terms of fantasy production. Since his 3-interception outing against the Patriots, Josh has not thrown a single pick and has lost just one fumble during that span. Allen has put up more than 17 points in each of his last five games, and don’t expect that to change against a Dolphins defense that is the bottom third of passing defenses.
Chris: Derek Carr (OAK) vs. Cincinnati
The Raiders have forced themselves into the playoff conversation with a string of impressive offensive performances. Oakland has now scored at least 24 points in six straight games. Over the same span, Carr has thrown for 10 touchdowns while tossing just one interception. With offensive weapons at his disposal, Carr should be able to tear apart one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Bengals are allowing a league-worst 429.4 total yards per game, making them the third-easiest matchup for opposing fantasy quarterbacks so far in 2019. If you are in need of a streamer for Wilson or Rodgers, Carr is a solid option this week.
Quarterbacks we hate this week:
Cole: Kirk Cousins (MIN) vs. Denver
Kirk Cousins heads into Week 11 as the 8th ranked QB on the season, which is quite a feat considering his abysmal first four weeks. He seems to have established a connection with his top receivers, Diggs and Thielen, yet that is likely to be put on hold this Sunday. Cousins has had a cupcake schedule recently, facing the liked of the Redskins, Chiefs, Eagles, Lions, and Giants. None of these teams can compare to the challenge he’ll face Sunday afternoon against a surprisingly dominant Broncos secondary that has limited opposing QB’s to just 11 points per game. Leave Cousins on the bench this week.
Chris: Carson Wentz (PHI) vs. New England
Wentz draws a tough matchup in week 11 as the Eagles have to face New England off a bye week. The Patriots are one of the few teams that Wentz is yet to face in his NFL career, making Belichick`s tricks brand new to the 26-year-old. Furthermore, New England boasts one of the strongest secondaries in the league, including the frontrunner for the Defensive Player of the Year award in Stephon Gilmore. New England has allowed the second-least fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and paces the league in takeaways with 27.
Running backs we love this week:
Cole: Austin Ekeler (LAC) vs. Kansas City
Anytime the Chiefs and Chargers get together, you know there’s going to be some points put on the board. Last year, the teams averaged more than 60 total points in their two matchups, and this game script will favor Austin Ekeler. Ekeler hasn’t had the same production since Melvin Gordon returned, but the Chargers haven’t been in many high-scoring games since. Ekeler is the back you want in this Monday night matchup in Carson, and his pass-catching ability leaves him as a solid top-15 play this week.
Chris: Brian Hill (ATL) @ Carolina
Hill, a third-year running back out of Wyoming, is set to take on the lead back role for Atlanta with Devonta Freeman nursing a sprained foot and Ito Smith on injured reserve. He will get a favorable matchup against Carolina, who currently ranks near the bottom of the league with 136.7 rushing yards allowed per game. Hill mustered just over three yards per carry last week against a tough Saints run defense, but a heavy workload of 21 touches and almost no competition in the backfield should inspire confidence in fantasy owners for week 11.
Running backs we hate this week:
Cole: Phillip Lindsay (DEN) @ Minnesota
The Broncos backfield is trending towards an even split between Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, even though Lindsay is far more efficient, which is the nightmare fantasy scenario. The Broncos offense is not high-powered enough to sustain both running backs as fantasy relevant, especially this week against a Vikings defense that completely shut down Ezekiel Elliott in a winning effort in Dallas. Against a top tier rushing defense, I don’t have much confidence in either Denver back in Week 11.
Chris: Sony Michel (NE) @ Philadelphia
Michel has not been as productive in 2019 as he was in his rookie season just a year ago. The former Georgia Bulldog is averaging just 3.3 yards per attempt. With the pass catching duties going to James White, Michel`s main source of fantasy production comes one the ground. However, Philadelphia is giving up under 90 rushing yards per game. While the Eagles are stout against the run, the secondary is where teams have found success in attacking them. With that in mind, the game plan for Josh McDaniels and New England`s offense will likely be one that does not favor Michel.
Wide receivers we love this week:
Cole: Marquise Brown (BAL) vs. Houston
It’s been an up and down rookie season for Hollywood Brown, as he is still getting over an ankle injury that forced him to miss 3 games and part of another. When active, however, Brown has established himself as Baltimore’s go-to deep threat, and in Ravens offense that is no stranger to putting points on the board, he has every-week boom potential. This week’s matchup against the Texans should be just that, and Brown should be able to exploit the vulnerable Houston secondary that enters Week 11 having given up the 4th-most points to opposing WRs.
Chris: Deebo Samuel (SF) vs. Arizona
After Emmanuel Sanders went down with a rib injury on Monday night, Deebo Samuel stepped into the wide receiver one role, catching eight passes for 112 yards on 11 targets. With Sanders likely out or limited against the Cardinals in week 11, Samuel will continue to be a top option for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The matchup also points to a big week for Samuel, as Arizona is allowing the second-most passing yards per game this season, trailing only the Buccaneers. The last time these two teams met – just two weeks ago – Garoppolo threw for four touchdowns and over 300 yards.
Wide receivers we hate this week:
Cole: Cooper Kupp (LAR) vs. Chicago
An uncharacteristic goose-egg from Cooper Kupp in Week 10 leaves many fantasy owners scratching their heads, as Kupp has been nothing short of brilliant in the first nine weeks of the season. However, Week 10 is a huge cause for concern. The Rams have been sputtering offensively as of late, and they face a tough Bears secondary in primetime Sunday night. The Rams offense should eventually return to form and Kupp still possesses big play ability, leaving him as a solid top-10 receiver the rest of the year, just not this week.
Chris: Allen Robinson II (CHI) @ Los Angeles Rams
Robinson gets wide receiver one treatment in week 11 as he will likely be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey. Since acquiring Ramsey via trade, the Rams are yet to allow and opposing wide receiver one to get into the end zone. Additionally, Robinson has not scored a touchdown since week seven. Furthermore, both Mitch Tubisky and Allen Robinson have performed worse on the road in their careers. With Trubisky under center and Ramsey guarding Robinson, there are likely better options this week on waivers.
Tight ends we love this week:
Cole: Greg Olsen (CAR) vs. Atlanta
Olsen had a season-high 9 receptions and 98 yards in Week 10’s snowy loss in Green Bay, and I would expect similar production out of the veteran tight end on Sunday against a generous Falcons defense. Kyle Allen is not one to air it out, so Olsen should cash in on his typical short-medium routes. Look for another solid outing from the old-timer against the Falcons.
Chris: Jared Cook (NO) @ Tampa Bay
They said Bruce Arians would improve the passing game, but who knew they meant for both teams? Tampa Bay has been dreadful at defending the pass, and the tight end position has been no exception. The Buccaneers are allowing the second-most points per game to opposing fantasy tight ends this season. Enter Jared Cook, who saw double digit targets in his return from injury last week. When New Orleans played Tampa Bay earlier this year, Cook scored a season-high 14.1 fantasy points. The veteran tight end has a chance for another big game in week 11.
Tight ends we hate this week:
Cole: Mark Andrews (BAL) vs. Houston
Frustratingly for fantasy owners, John Harbaugh’s consistent use of three tight ends has limited Andrews’ ceiling in a run-heavy Ravens offense. As bad as the Texans’ secondary has been this year, they have surprisingly been above average in defending tight ends, holding the position to less than 6 points per game. Andrews is in a tough position the rest of the year
Chris: Zach Ertz (PHI) vs. New England
Ertz enjoyed his best game of the season against Chicago before Philadelphia`s bye, however, he will have to navigate a tough New England defense in week 11. The Patriots` strong linebacker unit has led the defense to allow the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year. The Patriots have shown that running the ball is the best way to attack their defense, giving Eagles running backs a larger role this week and minimizing Ertz`s opportunities in the passing game. Ertz is still one of the best tight ends in the league, however, cool your expectations for him in this contest.
Defenses to Stream:
Cole: Los Angeles Rams (vs. CHI)
Chris: Minnesota Vikings (vs. DEN)
Defenses to Avoid:
Cole: Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL)
Chris: Baltimore Ravens (vs. HOU)
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org