Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 11
As we now approach the final stretch before the playoffs, every single game matters just that much more for fantasy football managers looking to keep their postseason aspirations alive. We saw another week of devastating injuries, breakout performances, and disappointing results across the league. With another four teams on bye for this weekend, the supply of players available is once again scarce. We will take a look at the players and the matchups to take advantage of and the ones to shy away from.
Recapping last week
It was a tough week that had a lot of good matchups go to waste because of inclement weather conditions across the league. Tua Tagavailoa finished as a top-15 option while Jared Goff and Ryan Tannehill both landed in the QB18-20 range. J.D. McKissic turned out to be a top-20 play and Jerick McKinnon predictably struggled with a finish outside the top-36 but Phillip Lindsay only had two yards on the ground. Darnell Mooney finished outside the top-50 unfortunately and Jarvis Landry didn’t do much in poor weather while Marvin Jones surprisingly had a top-10 performance. Dallas Goedert had a top-15 day while Jared Cook did indeed have a poor performance with a goose egg. With that, we’re on to Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 11!
Teams on bye: San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 11 QB’s
Steelers vs Jaguars
ESPN Starting Percentage: 30.2%
At a position where we saw some quarterbacks get off to hot starts before faltering as of late like Russell Wilson for example, Roethlisberger appears to be warming up. He has two straight games of at least 300 yards and three touchdowns as he works with one of the league’s best wide receiver trio in Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and Juju Smith-Schuster. He faces a Jaguars defense in Week 11 that has given up at least 275 yards and two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in three of their last four games. Another encouraging sign is that the Steelers seemed intent on involving their passing game despite having a comfortable lead against the Bengals last week. Let’s hope we see that again as Big Ben enters Week 11 as a top-eight to ten option at QB.
Patriots vs Ravens
ESPN Starting Percentage: 14.7%
Despite only throwing for 200 or more yards in one of his last three games, Newton has turned a corner by limiting his turnovers and continuing to do work in the run game. He has at least one rushing touchdown in each of his last three games and finally threw his first passing score since Week 3 and is without a turnover in each of his last two games. He has also been accurate and completed more than 75% of his passes in each of the last two games. Newton’s lack of a solid passing ceiling limits him but his rushing upside is second to only Kyler Murray at the quarterback position. He faces a Texans defense that has only forced two interceptions all season and allowed rookie Jake Luton to throw for over 300 yards and score a touchdown on the ground as well. Newton is a top-12 option in Week 11.
Saints vs Falcons
ESPN Starting Percentage: 0.2%
With the recent news that Drew Brees will miss time with multiple cracked ribs and a collapsed lung, Winston appears to be the next man up for the Saints at quarterback. However, Taysom Hill looms in the background as an infrequent substitution nuisance for those who may want to bank on Winston. That’s also not the mention that Winston is on a team with one of the best wide receivers and running backs in the game but not the weapons he saw in Tampa Bay that allowed him to pass downfield as much as he did. Winston did OK in relief of Brees in Week 10 but didn’t push the ball downfield and almost had an interception. Even in a plus matchup, Winston isn’t someone to trust for Week 11.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 11 RB’s
Patriots vs Texans
ESPN Starting Percentage: 9.2%
Harris has three straight games of at least 14 carries and averaging five or more yards per carry. He has two games of 100+ rushing yards in that span including a career-high 121 yards in Week 10 against a tough defense in the Ravens. Harris has entrenched himself as a “poor man’s Derrick Henry” as a running back who churns yards on the ground with minimal involvement in the passing game (only two receptions on the season). Harris will always be capped because of that and Newton’s goal-line work but Harris continues to run for plenty of yards and now faces a Texans defense that has given up at least 77 yards and a touchdown to an opposing running back in each of the last four games. That includes Week 10 where both Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb ran for over 100 yards. Harris will be a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 in Week 11.
Colts vs Packers
ESPN Starting Percentage: 15.6%
While the Colts’ backfield has been a mess to figure out as of late, Hines may have separated himself from Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Taylor with his Week 10 performance. Hines ran for 70 yards and a touchdown while garnering 45 yards receiving and another touchdown on 17 touches. He and the Colts now face the Packers in Week 11, who have been one of the most generous defenses for opposing running backs in fantasy football. They’ve given up five total touchdowns in the last three games and 100 or more rushing yards in two of those last three games to opposing running backs. In an offense without many viable wide receivers and tight ends to turn to, Hines may continue to be one of the team’s top passing options in addition to potentially their lead back going forward. He’s a low-end RB2 with top-15 potential in Week 11.
Buccaneers vs Rams
ESPN Starting Percentage: 46.5%
Even after rushing for 192 yards and a touchdown in Week 10, I’ll sit here confidently saying that Jones is not a reliable running back to trust in fantasy football. He had three straight games of 100+ rushing yards from Weeks 4-6 but then had 56 combined rushing yards in his last three games before this Week 10 explosion. Jones’ usage and production are hard to pin down, especially with Leonard Fournette still looming in the background and the team’s primary receiving option out of the backfield. Now he faces the Rams, who have given up 50+ rushing yards only once and two rushing touchdowns total in the last six games to opposing running backs. It’ll be hard to bench Jones after his career-high performance but he shouldn’t be viewed as more than a RB3/FLEX option and a risky one at that.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 11 WR’s
Cowboys vs Vikings
ESPN Starting Percentage: 15.7%
While it’s a dangerous notion to trust the Cowboys offense with Dak Prescott out, Andy Dalton represents a major upgrade over recent starters Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert. In Dalton’s only start of the season, Cooper had seven receptions, 79 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. Cooper may not be the WR1 in fantasy like he was when Prescott was under center but he is a trust-worthy WR2 going forward. He now faces a Vikings defense that has given up 16 receiving touchdowns and nearly 200 receiving yards per game (on average) to opposing wide receivers. This may be a week where we see Cooper sneak back into WR1 territory as a top 15-18 option.
Patriots vs Texans
ESPN Starting Percentage: 7.5%
Meyers continues to operate as the team’s number one receiver and is very much being treated like one. He has 37 targets in his last four games, including 21 in the past two. He also had a trick play dialed up where he connected with Rex Burkhead for a 24-yard touchdown in Week 10. Meyers now faces a much better matchup in the Texans who had given up six receiving touchdowns over their previous three games (excluding their Week 10 against the Browns where they dealt with high winds, hail and lightning through the afternoon) with two 140+ receiving yard performances. The entire Patriots offense is playing much better as of late and they now face a much easier defense than the Ravens this past weekend. Meyers will be a high-end WR3/FLEX option with the potential for much more in Week 11.
Panthers vs Lions
ESPN Starting Percentage: 72.1%
After posting 99 or more receiving yards in four of his first five games, Anderson has only hit 75 yards once in his five most recent games. He also only has one receiving touchdown, which he scored in the season opener. Anderson continues to be targeted plenty with at least eight in three of his last four games but now he may be without starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in Week 11. Plus, he faces a Lions defense that has only given up 75 or more yards twice in the past five games and only one receiving touchdown to opposing wide receivers during that span as well. Much like Ronald Jones, Anderson will be tough to sit but he can’t be trusted as more than a risky WR3/FLEX option in Week 11 if Bridgewater sits.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 11 TE’s
Washington Football Team
ESPN Starting Percentage: 13.4%
Thomas has been a frequent flyer on this list in 2020 as he continues to put up solid numbers yet is still vastly under-utilized in fantasy football. He now has six targets in each of his last two games and has at least 60 yards in two of his last three games. As the clear number three option in Washington’s passing game, Thomas will continue to be a low-end TE1 option. That’s even more so the case if we see anywhere close to the 55 passing attempts that Alex Smith had in Week 10. Thomas now faces a Bengals defense that has given up the seventh-most receptions, third-most receiving yards, and tied for the third-most receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. Thomas will be a top-eight to ten option in Week 11 at tight end.
Eagles vs Browns
ESPN Starting Percentage: 32.0%
This is more indicative of the Eagles’ porous passing offense than Goedert’s ability. Carson Wentz continues to struggle massively and the entire skill player group of the Eagles suffers because of it, Goedert included. He had a respectable four receptions and 33 yards on six targets but he now faces a Browns’ defense that has been stingy against tight ends as of late. They have only given up more than 30 yards receiving twice and only one receiving touchdown combined in the last five games. Goedert will still qualify as a top-12 option simply by default but he should be viewed more as a top-15 option in Week 11.
Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Gridiron Experts. He has previously written for sites such as ESPN, SBNation, FFToday & Inside The Pylon. He also was the co-host for the highly-rated fantasy football podcast Overtime Ireland for several years. You can find him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL