Fantasy Line-Up Primer - Week 11

Arian Foster is on fire in our fantasy league and he will have the chance of scoring big when the Texans host the weak Jaguars. Aaron Rodgers will be back in action against a Detroit defense that could not stop Minnesota last week. Peyton Manning and the Broncos host the Chargers with a chance of expanding their divisional lead to three games. The Steelers and Ravens and 49ers and Bears will collide in defensive battles at Pittsburgh and San Francisco on Sunday and Monday night respectively. Four starting quarterbacks left the field injured in Week 10 and their recovery will be crucial for fantasy predictions. Week 11’s action in the NFL definitely presents key matchups to be analyzed before finishing our final fantasy line-ups.

Quarterbacks

Start them:

Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($4m) is back after a well-deserved bye week. The Packers need a win at Detroit to keep pace with the Bears in their division, and that will translate into plenty of passing yards and touchdowns from Rodgers. Robert Griffin III, Redskins ($2m): Things are not working for the Eagles lately with five loses in a row, RG3 should take advantage of the situation, bouncing back with a huge game to get the Redskins back in the winning column. Carson Palmer, Raiders ($2m) is already third in the NFL in passing yards with 2,723 in the season. Saints and Raiders will be engaged in an aerial battle at Oakland with Palmer again posting huge numbers. Drew Brees, Saints ($4m) will also record high passing figures on Sunday.

Sit them:

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins ($1m): After Sunday’s horrible performance (three picks, zero touchdowns), better to keep him on the fantasy bench against a Buffalo defense that will definitely come after him tonight. Brandon Weeden, Browns ($1m): The Cowboys have allowed less than one aerial touchdown per game this season, so Cleveland’s offensive strategy for Sunday should be base around the run. Joe Flacco, Ravens ($3m): The Steelers rank first in the NFL in pass defense, surrendering only 171 yards per outing. In the last three games, Pittsburgh’s defense has only allowed one touchdown pass.

Running backs

Start them:

Reggie Bush, Dolphins ($3m): It is now or never for Bush and the Dolphins. A loss at Buffalo will kill Miami’s slim playoff hopes. The Dolphins have lost the last two with Bush rushing for only 65 yards combined in both games, but tonight he will be up against the worst run defense in the NFL. The Bills give up an average of 5.5 yards per rushing attempt having surrendered the most touchdowns on the ground in the league this season: 16. Doug Martin, Buccaneers ($1m): He made a good impression in his NFL debut against the Panthers, rushing for 95 yards. He is playing much better lately, so he should have a huge game at Carolina. Arian Foster, Texans ($4m): To top the 100-point mark in a given week, starting an elite back is a must. As Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson will have a bye week this time, including Foster in a fantasy line-up should be almost mandatory. Having scored a touchdown in each game this season, he leads the NFL in touchdowns and will face Jacksonville: the team that has allowed the second most rushing touchdowns in 2012 (14).

Sit them:

Michael Turner, Falcons ($4m): Something is not working with him this season, so it would be safer to bench him this week. On Sunday at New Orleans, against the worst NFC rushing defense, Turner only gained 15 yards in 13 attempts. Rashad Jennings, Jaguars ($1m): Jacksonville’s backfield has lost its punch since Maurice Jones-Drew’s foot injury. Jennings will not recover it at Houston, facing a Texans defense that is third in the NFL against the run and is the only one in the league that has not allowed a score on the ground this season. Willis McGahee, Browncos ($3m): The Chargers own the second best run-defense in the NFL and have only allowed one back this season (Cleveland’s Trent Richardson) to rush over 100 yards against them.

Wide receivers

Start them:

James Jones, Packers ($1m): Jordy Nelson will probably be back this week, but Greg Jennings will stay sidelined due to a groin injury. Jones, who ranks second in the NFL with eight receiving scores, will have plenty of chances of emerging as Rodgers go-to receiver, mainly close to the Lions end zone. Cecil Shorts, Jaguars ($1m): If you are looking for a cheap wide out to save some fantasy budget for other positions, Shorts could be the answer. He leads the Jaguars in every receiving category, having caught four touchdown passes this season. A.J. Green, Bengals ($4m): He always finds a way to deliver. Green leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns (9) and has had a scoring grab in every game since Week 2. Danny Amendola, Rams ($2m): Last week at San Francisco, he caught 11 passes (102 yards) while the other nine Rams receivers had just 17 between them. Amendola will be targeted for sure against the Jets, gaining another big chunk of yards.

Sit them:

Mike Wallace, Steelers ($3m): With Ben Roethlisberger already ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Ravens defense, Wallace’s chances of having a big performance are very slim. Michael Crabtree, 49ers ($2m): There is no question he is the top player in the 49ers receiving corps, but if Alex Smith can’t play on Monday night, forget starting Crabtree or any of San Francisco’s wide outs against a Bear defense that leads the league with 19 interceptions, having returned seven of them for touchdowns. Anquan Boldin ($3m): The Steelers defense has not allowed an opposing player to receive for 100 or more yards since Week 1 at Denver.

Tight ends

Start them:

Brandon Myers, Raiders ($1m): Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez caught 11 passes for 122 yards and two scores against the Saints defense last week, now it is Myers’ turn.  Rob Gronkowski, Patriots ($4m) only caught three balls against Buffalo, but one of them was for a score. He is second in the league with eight receiving touchdowns, including five in his last three games. Antonio Gates, Chargers ($3m): After a slow start this season, Gates has really bounced back in the last four weeks with a total of four touchdown receptions including two the first time these two teams met.

Sit them:

Vernon Davis, 49ers ($3m) is struggling with zero touchdown catches in his last six games. Facing the Bears defense probably with San Francisco’s backup quarterback throwing the ball does not look like the best scenario for Davis to bounce back. Kellen Davis, Bears ($1m): Chicago is having huge problems in replacing Greg Olsen. Davis, who left Sunday night game at Houston injured, has been able to catch only one pass in his last two outings.  

Kickers

Start them:

Matt Bryant, Falcons ($1m) represents a very solid pick at the position with the Falcons hosting the Cardinals. Bryant ranks third in the NFL in scoring with 91 points. Shayne Graham, Texans ($1): With his team facing weak Jacksonville, he will see plenty of action on Sunday.

Sit them:

Matt Tucker, Ravens ($1m): The rookie has a cannon leg, but Pittsburgh is the toughest NFL stadium for kickers and the Steelers defense will not give him many chances of coming onto the field on Sunday night.

Team defenses

Start them:

Atlanta Falcons ($1m): No team allows more sacks in the NFL than Arizona (41) and Atlanta should take advantage of it to get back into the winning ways this week. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($1m): Tampa Bay has recorded the third most interceptions this year in the NFL (15). The Broncos defense abused the Panthers offense last week... the Bucs are the next team up. Houston Texans ($2m): This unit might be expensive, but there is probably not a better occasion to start it than this one. Houston, the number two defense in the league, hosts Jacksonville which owns the worst offense in the NFL.

Sit them:

Indianapolis Colts ($1m): The Colts defense had a great fantasy performance at Jacksonville last Thursday, but they still rank last in the league in forced turnovers (6) and interceptions (4). Against a Tom Brady-led offense, New England is not the best place where these numbers will be reversed.