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Fantasy Football: Trust or Bust Week 11

Rich Hribar trusts Andre Ellington and tells us to stop ignoring Riley Cooper in fantasy football leagues.

Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington
Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington

Oct 27, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) carries the ball during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at University of Phoenix Stadium. Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

in Fantasy Football Trust or Bust, we will focus on who we deem as trustworthy starts and pepper in a few sits for your Points Per Reception (PPR) leagues.

TRUST

Andre Ellington @ JAC

Ellington has provided instant electricity with any opportunity he’s been given this season. His 78 touches are at least 55 fewer than all of the 10 other running backs in the league with at least 350 rushing yards and 200 receiving yards. He currently is sporting a beastly .39 FPPRR (Fantasy Points Per Route Run) score on is 132 snaps in route, catching 24 balls while being targeted once every 3.5 times he leaves the backfield on a passing play.

He’s also doing incredible things when given the chance in the running game.  23 of his 54 rushing attempts have gone for five yards or more and  14 of them (26 percent) have gone for ten or more yards. To put that in perspective, Chris Johnson has only 12 runs of ten or more yards on 150 carries and Adrian Peterson has just two more (16) on 173 carries. Even with Rashard Mendehall returning to the lineup, Ellington carried 11 times versus the Texans, so even if  a dozen to 15 touches is his ceiling, he can still do serious damage.

Even after stuffing the hot and cold Johnson last week, the Jaguars are still giving up the most fantasy points to running backs this season. That is in a large part to constantly playing in a game flow that is conducive to the opposition leaning on the run late in games and the ten rushing scores opponents have on them.  They’ve allowed at least 65 yards rushing to nine different backs and also have had five backs top 40 receiving yards in a game versus them this season. A weekly fringe RB2, Ellington is all systems go this weekend for your lineups.

Riley Cooper vs WAS

Keep ignoring him if you must, but Cooper is not going away. In the four games that Nick Foles has started, he has 18 receptions for 449 yards and six touchdowns on 24 targets. He’s topped 14 fantasy points and 85 receiving yards in all four games with three games of hitting the century mark through the air. In his 24 targets that came from other Eagles passers, Cooper had 10 catches for 104 yards and one touchdown. The chemistry is real.

This week, the hot duo get the fantasy friendly Washington secondary that has let other number two bananas torch them already this season. Washington has allowed at least 50 yards or a score to seven receivers that weren’t already leading their team in receiving coming in. Even if Cooper was a pure speculative add after his game in Oakland, trust him and Foles this week again.

Chris Ivory @ BUF

In an offense that has been as up and down as the Jets has been so far, it’s only natural that their running back situation be just as on and off. Ivory appears to have the bell cow role locked up as long as the game flow allows it. In the two recent games that the Jets have held the lead or stayed in the game, Ivory has carried 52 times for 243 yards and a score, topping 100 yards rushing in each. In the blowout loss against the Bengals, Ivory carried just six times and played just 12 snaps to Bilal Powell’s 44.

This is a week that the Jets can control tempo as long as Geno Smith protects the football. One way to ensure that is by running the ball effectively. The Bills are more than formidable against the run, allowing only two backs to score rushing, but were completely dominated up front by the Jets in their first meeting. In that game the Bills allowed a season high 182 yards rushing on 41 attempts, including 149 to Powell on 27 carries. If the Jets can dictate the game going they want, it will feature a lot of Ivory in Powell’s place this Sunday.

Mike Glennon vs ATL

Considering his surrounding situation, Glennon has performed admirably, albeit not tremendously, in his first six starts. He’s completed 60 percent of his passes for 218 yards per game with nine touchdowns and four interceptions overall. But without any real threat on offense other than Vincent Jackson the past four weeks, he’s thrown only one pick to six touchdowns and has scored 15 or more fantasy in three of those games.

Coming off of their first win of the season, Tampa will host a reeling Falcons team that has been fruitful for fantasy quarterbacks (including Glennon himself). The Falcons have allowed two or more touchdown passes in every game but one this season and six quarterbacks to top 250 passing yards in a game. Glennon made his third start on the road versus this very same team, passing for 256 yards and two scores while adding 13 rushing yards. His ceiling may not be very high, but owners with Tony Romo on bye looking for a safe floor this week may want to look to Glennon for low end starting quarterback numbers.

BUST

Philip Rivers @ MIA

Rivers began the season as good as anyone not named Peyton Manning. In his first four games, Rivers completed 74 percent of his throws, with two 400 yard passing games and an 11 to 2 TD/INT ratio, scoring  over 20 fantasy points in the three of those games. Since then, he’s been very average, throwing seven touchdowns to five interceptions with only one scoring toss in three of the five games. He’s failed to score 20 points since week four while being held under 16 points three times.

Miami has been tough on fantasy quarterbacks since being torched by Drew Brees in week four. In the five games since, the most points they’ve allowed to a fantasy signal caller is 11 to Joe Flacco and have held four consecutive quarterbacks in single digits. In the past month, they are surrendering only 213 yards per game passing, with only two combined passing scores while picking off seven passes.

Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller vs NYJ

In the midst of going to a new a quarterback nearly every week, the Bills have still maintained a solid rushing game nearly all season. They rank third overall in rushing yards (1,407) and second in attempts (325).

Despite Fred Jackson being ranked as the ninth highest scoring fantasy back, his production has inevitably regressed. In the first five games to start the season, Jackson carried 65 times for 309 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and four scores while averaging 17.1 points per game. In the five games since, he’s carried a nearly identical 64 times for 248 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and only two scores for 12 points per game. His saving grace is he is still catching passes, snagging 14 over that same time frame.

Spiller has been a roller coaster ride with more low points than thrills so far this season. Playing through knee and ankle ailments, he’s shown flashes of the explosion that had owners so excited to target him in the top five of their drafts this summer. His best games have been versus stout fronts like Carolina, Kansas City, Cleveland and Cincinnati while scoring duds against Pittsburgh and Miami. He also has been nonexistent season long in the passing game, failing to have more than three catches in any game since week two.

This week the Buffalo duo will face the meanest young defensive line and the league’s best rushing defense. The Jets are allowing a league low 73.8 yards per game on the ground and a lowly 3.1 yards per carry to opposing rushers.  Jackson was the only back to reach 70 yards against them on the season, and 59 of his 72 yards came on one run. Since that week three game, no back has had more than 50 rushing yards on them and only Pierre Thomas has had more than 40 receiving yards out of the backfield facing the Jets.

T.Y. Hilton vs TEN

Taking full advantage of the opportunity created by the season ending injury to Reggie Wayne, Hilton has been the only reliable Colts starter over the past two weeks. Playing on 86 percent of their snaps, after playing on only 63 percent over the first seven weeks, T.Y. has gotten nothing but Thank You’s from fantasy owners and Andrew Luck.

When Luck has targeted Hilton, he has completed 14-of-20 attempts for 251 yards (17.9 yards per catch) and three touchdowns. When passing to anyone else, he has completed just 33-of-67 attempts (49.3 percent) for 373 yards (11.3 yards per reception) for one score and three interceptions. If the Colts are going to make a legitimate run, they’ll need more playmakers to step up other than Hilton.

This will be a good week to start for one of those other guys to step up, because Tennessee has just mushed opposing wide receivers. The Titans have allowed only two receivers to score all season (Jericho Cotchery and DeAndre Hopkins) and none since week two. The only receivers to reach 80 yards through the air on them were Hopkins and Donnie Avery.

A large part of that is due to the smothering coverage of Alterraun Verner, who should lock up with Hilton plenty on Thursday night. Per Pro Football Focus, Verner has allowed only 17 of the 42 attempts into his coverage to be completed for 278 yards. He has yet to surrender a touchdown to go with five interceptions in route to a league low 23.8 quarterback rating when the opposition challenges him. In a short week, it could be a long night for the Colts passing game.

Full Disclosure From Week 10

TRUST

PPR PTS

RESULTS

Christian Ponder

14.3

QB12

Lamar Miller

3.1

RB475

Maurice Jones-Drew

17.4

RB10

Emmanuel Sanders

7.8

WR41

Jordan Reed

18.2

TE3

BUST

Cam Newton

6.5

QB27

Ryan Mathews

13.1

RB18

Larry Fitzgerald

5.3

WR58

SEASON RESULTS

W

L

TRUST

27

26

BUST

21

16

 

*Stats used were provided from ProFootballFocus, Pro-Football-Reference, NFLData.com.

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