Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 11
Start/Sit Week 11
Underdogs have reigned supreme across the last few weeks of the NFL. Week 10 started with a shocking upset in South Beach on Thursday Night Football, as the Miami Dolphins defense shut down Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in a decisive 22-10 win. Several blowouts ensued throughout the Sunday slate, led by Dallas' dominance over Atlanta and New England's throttling of the Cleveland Browns. Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdowns in a bounce-back effort on the road against the Raiders, while Carolina and Philadelphia both won decisively as underdogs on the road. The highly-anticipated return of Aaron Rodgers against Russell Wilson led to three interceptions and zero touchdowns in a 17-0 defensive battle at Lambeau Field. Taylor Heinicke avenged Washington's playoff loss from last season with a masterful performance. At the same time, the defense forced Tom Brady to throw two interceptions in arguably the biggest upset amongst many this past weekend.
Tight ends and wide receivers proved to be the most consistent in Week 10 compared to the running backs, as Darrel Williams, Rhamondre Stevenson, and AJ Dillon comprised the top three running back finishes in PPR leagues. Quarterbacks like Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers all struggled in games they were expected to dominate. Cordarrelle Patterson finally ended his hot streak, falling to an RB45 finish, and Mike Williams continued to be locked down against an inconsistent Minnesota Vikings defense that yielded a disappointing WR4 finish. These are just some of the incredibly unpredictable outcomes that serve as a microcosm of the most parity-filled league in professional sports.
Week 11 will only send the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams to their Bye, adding an extra game to the slate compared to Week 10. This leaves quite a few players to analyze ahead of setting Week 11 lineups, adding a layer of frustration and indecision. Therefore, I've focused on some of the most challenging players to assess and explain why each is worthy of their start or sit designation in Week 11. After all, there are only four weeks left to improve your chances of earning a fantasy playoff berth.
AJ Dillon (RB) Green Bay Packers
This is an easy recommendation after the unfortunate knee injury Aaron Jones suffered against Seattle. However, even before Jones' injury, Dillon saw more carries and converted two goal-line carries to hit paydirt and seal the Packers' eighth win of the season. Dillon still only drew two targets from Aaron Rodgers but caught both for 62 yards, adding a massive boost in his total production, which launched him to an RB3 finish in PPR formats.
AJ Dillon is ready to step up 💪 pic.twitter.com/GtwGMMbhAG— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) November 15, 2021
In Week 11, the Packers have a tough divisional road battle against the Minnesota Vikings. The latter is coming off an impressive win of their own after limiting Austin Ekeler to 44 rushing yards and 15 receiving yards in Week 10. Dillon remains a high-end RB2 in the starting role regardless, as the rushing volume will be there in any matchup as the Packers' only alpha running back for the next couple of weeks. However, temper expectations for a multi-touchdown game against a Vikings' run defense that ranks 12th against opposing running backs.
Mark Ingram II (RB) New Orleans Saints
Mark Ingram has been born anew during his return to New Orleans. The veteran running back looked solid with a heavy workload in place of Alvin Kamara during a Week 10 loss to the Titans, averaging 3.8 YPC and converting a 13-yard rushing touchdown in an explosive zone-run to the perimeter, beating several defenders in close pursuit. Don't let his age and role with the Saints scare you off of keeping Ingram in lineups against the Eagles in Week 11. Even if Kamara returns from a knee injury that sidelined him all week at practice, Ingram stands to be more of a 1B than an occasionally used change-of-pace back. Ingram saw seven targets without Kamara but five against the Falcons during their Week 9 loss, meaning he holds enough standalone value as an RB3 with RB2 upside if he can see goal-line touches. Philadelphia is piecing it together offensively, but defensively, the Eagles are allowing the eighth-most points to opposing running backs this season. Nevertheless, Ingram should be kept in lineups in a matchup that could yield sneaky production on the road in Philadelphia. Especially with Trevor Siemian under center, who targets his running backs and tight ends more than the Saints' wide receivers, elevating Ingram's floor if Kamara returns.
Kenyan Drake (RB) Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders fell flat against a potent Kansas City Chiefs offense in Week 10, which left the offense one-dimensional while scrambling to play catch up. Most surprising was the Chiefs' defense, which is steadily improving after an embarrassing string of performances earlier in the season. In the passing game, Derek Carr is focused mainly on Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow, as they combined for 16 of the 35 passes Carr attempted. This left Kenyan Drake and Josh Jacobs with virtually no opportunity to rattle off rushing attempts. Even worse, Drake fell behind Jacobs with three targets, while neither could make a splash play in the passing game. So why recommend Drake? The team will host the Cincinnati Bengals off of their Bye in Week 11, which presents a get-right game for the entire Raiders' offense. The Bengals are bottom-12 in running back and wide receiver fantasy points allowed this season. Drake has made a living in the passing attack for Las Vegas in his first year with the team, producing double-digit fantasy outings in consecutive weeks against the Broncos and Eagles. Carr has attempted 35 passes or more in six games this season and will undoubtedly surpass this threshold in Week 11, benefiting Drake and elevating him into an RB3 floor play with RB1 upside.
Cole Beasley (WR) Buffalo Bills
Stefon Diggs had his first massive performance of the 2021 season against the Jets in Week 10, soaking up 13 targets and relegating the rest of the Bills' offense to three or fewer targets. Cole Beasley has been a favorite target for Josh Allen this year, as he saw nine or more targets in three consecutive weeks before producing a dud performance on a fraction of the opportunity in Week 10. Don't let Week 10 keep you jaded against plugging Beasley back into lineups as a WR3/Flex play against an Indianapolis Colts defense that allows the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Their defense is effective against the run, which is already an afterthought in OC Brian Daboll's offense. Expect Josh Allen to return to 40-plus pass attempts against a vulnerable Colts secondary in their return to Buffalo in Week 11. Beasley could surpass 60 receiving yards for the fifth time this season in a game where a touchdown favors the Bills with the over/under point total set at 49 points. Disregard your fear and roll the veteran slot receiver back into lineups as a safe WR3 with WR1 upside against the Colts in Week 11.
Hunter Renfrow (WR) Las Vegas Raiders
It should no longer feel weird to plug Hunter Renfrow into lineups with confidence. Even before his expanded role in the absence of the Henry Ruggs tragedy, the third-year wideout has been flashing impressive route running, leading to more opportunities in the passing game from Derek Carr. The Raiders have attempted the fourth-highest passes on the season (347), and Carr has done so with quality precision, completing 67 percent of his passes. In Week 10, Renfrow led the team in targets (9) and has seemingly replaced star tight end, Darren Waller, as the most reliable receiving option on Las Vegas. He is trending in the right direction, seeing targets of 8-9-9 in his last three games, which makes Renfrow a quality WR2 against a lackluster Cincinnati pass defense. The Raiders and Bengals are both coming off of losses and will be airing it out quite a bit in Allegiant Stadium, so keep Renfrow inserted in lineups during Week 11.
Jakobi Meyers (WR) New England Patriots
The New England Patriots' onslaught of the Cleveland Browns in a 45-7 rout allowed Jakobi Meyers to finally end his touchdown reception slump that lingered into his third season in the league. Meyers and Kendrick Bourne led the wide receiving corps with four targets each against the Browns, with Meyers hauling in an 11-yard pass from back-up quarterback Brian Hoyer in the closing minutes of their blowout win. Meyers has had the opportunity throughout the season, and Mac Jones is only improving as a passer as each week goes by. However, as a result of blowing out opponents in the last two weeks, Meyers has only seen four targets in each win. This is a far cry from the 26 targets he saw in Weeks 3 and 4, leading to 164 receiving yards. Still, if he can continue playing 86 percent of the team's offensive snaps, Meyers is the definitive WR1 for Jones, which is a great position that will lead to consistent fantasy production. The Patriots will play an Atlanta Falcons defense that just surrendered 43 points and over 300 passing yards to Dallas in Week 10, meaning Meyers could be in store for a double-digit target share mirroring his numbers earlier in the season. This makes him a solid WR3 on the road in a dome environment against a vulnerable Falcons pass defense.
Hunter Henry (TE) New England Patriots
Mac Jones has developed excellent chemistry with tight end Hunter Henry in their first ten games together, as the fifth-year tight end currently sits with seven touchdowns on the season. This leads all tight ends, and he has also seen nine red zone targets and five end zone targets on just a 12.9 percent target share. Jonnu Smith is not a threat to Henry when he's healthy, averaging only 5.7 yards per target versus the 8.4 yards Henry is averaging. This demonstrates the different approaches used by Patriots' OC Josh McDaniels, relying on Henry as an elite red zone weapon for his rookie quarterback to lean on while using Smith on underneath routes and as a ball-carrier to add a wrinkle to the offense.
Henry has three touchdowns in his last two games and will have every chance to extend this streak against a bad Atlanta defense in Week 11. Even without a touchdown, Henry is a top-ten tight end in PPR leagues, making him a quality starter due to his downfield targets and red zone efficiency.
Ryan Tannehill (QB) Tennessee Titans
The loss of Derrick Henry and Julio Jones to injury would have rattled quite a few quarterbacks. Not Ryan Tannehill. In his third season with the Titans, Tannehill has led their competitive spirit with four impressive games with multi-touchdown performances. This includes a rushing touchdown in four of his last five games, stabilizing the five interceptions thrown before a turnover-free performance in Week 10. His ability to navigate the goal-line in various formations is key to his fantasy upside. Still, as long as A.J. Brown continues to be healthy, Tannehill will throw for at least 200 yards and a touchdown in every remaining game. The Titans will host the Houston Texans in Week 11, who have surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Don't doubt Tannehill in a plus-matchup riding a winning streak. He offers additional value as a ball-carrier near the goal-line and is mobile enough to take advantage of any blown coverages against the Texans. Tannehill is a QB1 in Week 11, making him worthy of inserting into lineups.
Zack Moss (RB) Buffalo Bills
Buffalo has one of the most pass-centric offenses in the league under OC Brian Daboll. Second-year running back Zack Moss has had a nice season for the Bills, but he is highly inconsistent with his usage in the passing game, winding up without a target against a Jets team in Week 10 that ranked 32nd against fantasy running backs. Josh Allen shifted away from targeting Moss and Devin Singletary while cruising to a 45-17 win, which didn't wind up feeding many carries to either running back. Instead, Moss has seen his carries capped at eight or fewer in four straight games. He's seen four or fewer targets in four of his last five outings and has only surpassed 20 receiving yards twice during this span. Unless he falls into the end zone, Moss is a low-end RB3 at best in Week 11 against the Colts, as he plays fewer offensive snaps than Singletary. He should remain on fantasy benches against a stingy Colts run defense that ranks third-best against fantasy running backs.
Marvin Jones Jr. (WR) Jacksonville Jaguars
Marvin Jones is a difficult player to assess because he sees enough opportunity to warrant finishing most weeks as a solid WR3. Instead, the veteran wideout has struggled in his first year with Jacksonville, posting three consecutive duds after a seven reception, 100-yard outing with a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in Week 6. Jones has been held to 35 yards or less, and the targets have shifted to underneath and intermediate routes, measuring out between 4.2 and 5.8 yards per opportunity. LaViska Shenault Jr. out-targeted Jones against a bad Colts defense in Week 10, and his outlook remains bleak against a talented 49ers pass defense. While many view the 49ers as an easy defensive test to face this year, the secondary has allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts. Tight end Dan Arnold has taken over as arguably Lawrence's favorite target since being dealt from Carolina a few weeks ago. Red flags surround Jones against the 49ers in Week 11, making him a prime sit candidate.
Tyler Boyd (WR) Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals struck gold with Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which has spelled doom for Tyler Boyd's fantasy value this season. The sixth-year wideout has seen his target share dip wildly in unpredictable ways while managing to turn in a couple of solid performances against teams like the Jaguars and Jets. The Raiders are sixth-best against opposing wide receivers on the season, and his usage is certainly trending in the wrong direction, as he only totaled two targets. At the same time, Chase and Tee Higgins combined for 21 opportunities in a Week 9 blowout loss to Cleveland. When playing well, the Bengals tend to stick with their running game, and when they are losing, Boyd is fed shallow target depth to convert the chains instead of delivering explosive downfield catches. He should be avoided in Week 11 lineups off the Bye Week, as Joe Burrow has shown his tendency to favor Chase and Higgins throughout the season. The Raiders are a difficult matchup and make it an easy decision to bench Boyd.
Jared Cook (TE) Los Angeles Chargers
Veteran tight end Jared Cook has seen competition from Donald Parham Jr. in recent weeks, which has led to the towering second-year tight end securing a touchdown and 56 yards in the Chargers' last two contests. Cook, however, has seen his targets steadily drop across the last month, going from 7-5-4-3. This is undoubtedly a discouraging trend, as Parham has been the preferred downfield target for Justin Herbert from the Chargers' tight end room. In addition, Pittsburgh is in the top third of the league defending opposing tight ends, and the Chargers offense has struggled as of late, with Herbert being held under 200 passing yards in two of their last four games. As a result, this has led to a 1-3 record, and Cook is certainly not the player to benefit if the offense figures out a way to unlock itself against a difficult defensive opponent in Week 11. So steer clear of Cook and keep him benched until things improve for Los Angeles.
Carson Wentz (QB) Indianapolis Colts
The Colts extended their winning streak to four games in a gritty win against the Jaguars in Week 10. Jonathan Taylor and the Colts' special teams unit are the players to praise for this effort, as Carson Wentz's only positive was avoiding turnovers. After a brilliant October, the quarterback has regressed into a more conservative offensive attack, attempting under 35 passes in four of Indianapolis' last five games. While he tossed two or more touchdowns in all of these wins, the Jaguars stifled Wentz in the passing game, forcing him to attempt a meager 5.3 yards per pass. Wentz does not hold the rushing upside he once did in Philadelphia, which makes it even riskier to rely on him as a low-end QB1 streamer against the league's best defense on the road in Buffalo for Week 11. Michael Pittman Jr. will draw Tre'Davious White in coverage, leaving Jonathan Taylor to once again preserve the team's winning streak against the number-one ranked rushing defense. Wentz has made poor decisions under pressure all season, so avoid the potential dud he is destined to produce in Week 11 by sitting him on the bench.
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Matt is an avid writer and enjoys analyzing the game within the game that is fantasy sports. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his fiancé and three pets, which typically involves some type of outdoor exercise or adventure. He likes to read, listen to Podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the fantasy sports industry. Pat McAfee is a massive inspiration to Matt, along with his parents and friends. He is guilty of ordering the same menu item at restaurants.