Week 11 Fantasy Football: Last-Minute Lineup Advice

Marshawn Lynch

It’s week 11 in fantasy football, and time for another Sunday Stat Day, where all the significant stories and impactful numbers have their place. Here is the most relevant last-minute advice to make start and sit lineup decisions for your fantasy football team.

Carson Palmer is out for the season after tearing his ACL again. Drew Stanton will return to the starting lineup, where he was weeks two through five. During his three starts, the former Michigan State passer completed 48.9 percent of his passes for 176.3 yards per game, while throwing no interceptions and two scores. John Brown caught nine of 17 targets for 84 yards and both of the touchdowns over this stint. Larry Fitzgerald caught 12 of 24 targets for 142 yards, and Michael Floyd caught seven of 22 for 140 yards. If you’re an Andre Ellington owner, you’ll be happy to hear he averaged 106.7 total yards and 0.7 scores during the Stanton starts.

This season, Julio Jones is averaging 6.8 grabs for 94.8 yards and 0.3 touchdowns. Four-time Pro Bowler Roddy White catches 4.9 passes for 61.4 yards and 0.5 scores per game. Since week eight, Steven Jackson ranks eighth in the NFL in carries (17.0) and 11th in yards per game (70.5).

On the heels of a blowout 45-21 loss to the Eagles on Monday night, Carolina will host Atlanta’s 32nd ranked pass defense this Sunday. The Falcons have allowed 12 passing touchdowns and 280.8 yards per game. Despite being sacked nine times and throwing three interceptions, Cam Newton still threw for a fantasy-pleasing 306 yards and two touchdowns. Kelvin Benjamin fans suffered through 50 minutes and 55 seconds of seeing him with just one catch for nine yards. But then garbage time kicked in. In less than four minutes time, the 6-foot-5 rookie beast pulled down a 21-yard touchdown pass and a 40-yard scoring grab. Newton’s day was salvaged for 12.8 standard points, and Benjamin blew up for 19.0, the sixth best wide receiver performance of week 10.

They’re back, and you love it. Time for more of “DeAngelo and J-Stew.” The once-$80 million backfield is reunited, and last week combined for 107 yards of offense, including a touchdown for Jonathan Stewart. Since Stewart joined the league in 2008, he and DeAngelo Williams have played 68 of 108 possible games together. When united, Williams averages 14.4 touches for 74.1 total yards and 0.6 scores, while Stewart puts up 11.5 touches for 57.3 total yards and 0.4 touchdowns each game.

For those new to the show, former general manager Marty Hurney (who is “former” almost entirely for these decisions) shocked and rocked the football world by giving Williams a $43 million contract in 2011, and Stewart $36.5 million in 2012. Oh, and Mike Tolbert was also thrown $10 million for a four-year deal in 2012. That, friends, is how you lock up $89.5 million solely on tailbacks. In dead money, Carolina still owes $13.6 million to Stewart, $6.6 million to Williams, and $1 million to Tolbert. Williams and Stewart remain under contract through the end of 2017, and Tolbert through 2015.

Like the Panthers, Chicago is reeling from a monstrous primetime loss. Green Bay routed the Bears 55-14 on Sunday Night Football, as Jay Cutler gave up three turnovers. Brandon Marshall still managed respectable numbers, catching eight of 10 targets for 112 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown. That was Cutler’s only score of the night, while passing for 272 yards. After nine games, Marshall has caught 4.7 passes for 55.1 yards and 0.7 scores per game, while Alshon Jeffery has averaged 4.9 receptions for 69.6 yards and 0.3 touchdowns.

Giovani Bernard missed practice all week, and is not expected to play Sunday in New Orleans. Jeremy Hill‘s third straight start will come against the Saints’ 11th ranked run defense. Through two starts, the rookie has used 38 touches to produce 224 total yards and two touchdowns, while facing the 26th and 28th ranked run defenses. Bernard owners are likely dissatisfied to see a potential committee on the way for the young rushers. New Orleans allows 106.8 yards and 1.1 scores on the ground each week.

On Friday, head coach Mike Pettine said of Jordan Cameron‘s ability to return this season, “You don’t know. It’s a touchy subject.” Pettine also recognizes that the symptoms can come and go. Last year’s Pro Bowl tight end has certainly been a disappointment to fantasy owners and Browns fans alike. It’s week 11, and Cameron has amassed 13 catches for 250 yards and one touchdown.

Last week in Cincinnati, each of the three Cleveland running backs scored a touchdown. Isaiah Crowell got 12 carries for 41 yards and Ben Tate rushed 10 times for 34 yards. Terrance West was the lead back, however, getting 26 carries and putting up 94 yards (3.6 yards per attempt). The rookie led the backfield in week 9 as well, when he ran 15 times for 48 yards. Tate was the only other running back with carries that day, producing just three yards on 10 carries. Writer Brian Dulik of the Chronicle-Telegram reported that “When Pettine was pressed on the running back rotation, he made it clear that West had earned the starting job.” Dulik went on to mention, “Pettine, though, stopped short of announcing West as the starter Sunday.”

Montee Ball is probable to play his first game since week 5, when he fell to the ground, untouched with a severe groin tear. Mike Klis of the Denver Post said this week, “Ball is going to play. I’m not sure if he starts. But he’s going to play. Personally, I’d start Anderson. I think he’s the Broncos’ best running back. It’s easy to make that claim this week, but even when he was getting one or two carries a game it seemed like he was slashing for 5 yards or so.” Last week against Oakland’s 27th ranked run defense, Anderson went off with 17 touches for 163 total yards, including an electric 51-yard touchdown catch. The Rams’ 25th ranked run defense host Denver this week.

Reggie Bush did not practice this week, and may miss Sunday’s game in Arizona. Last week, Joique Bell got 12 touches for 81 total yards. Bush had five touches for 25 yards, and Theo Riddick used five touches to produce five yards of offense. Calvin Johnson made his triumphant return last week against Miami, catching seven of 15 targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. It was Megatron’s first game since playing on a limited basis in week 5. Even with Johnson back, Golden Tate made 11 receptions from 13 targets for 109 yards.

Green Bay
The R-E-L-A-X era Aaron Rodgers has completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 285.0 yards, 3.3 touchdowns, and 0.3 interceptions per game. During this period, the Packers passer ranks sixth in yards per game, second in average scores, and third in picks per week.

Houston had their bye last week, and Ryan Mallett was named the new starter. In his career, the former Patriot has thrown four passes for one completion, 17 yards, and an interception. Mallett played three NCAA seasons, including two at Arkansas. During his two Razorback years, he completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 7,493 yards, 62 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. Mallett’s passer rating was a near-perfect 158.1, while averaging 288.2 yards, 2.4 scores, and 0.7 picks. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was the offensive coordinator when Mallett backed up Tom Brady in New England. On August 31, Houston sent a 7th round draft pick to the Patriots in exchange for the young quarterback.

Andrew Luck ranks first in the NFL with 43.7 passes and 342.8 yards per game, and his average of 2.9 touchdowns ranks second among all passers. T.Y. Hilton leads all Colts with 86 targets, 56 receptions, and 937 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw produces 79.3 total yards from 13.0 touches each week, while Trent Richardson averages 15.9 touches for 70.6 total yards. Within the opponent’s 5-yard line, Richardson has eight carries for two touchdowns, where Bradshaw has three rushes for one score.

Kansas City
Since week 4, only Arian Foster has more total touchdowns (9) than Jamaal Charles (8). The Chiefs’ feature back ranks sixth among all running backs this season with 14.4 fantasy points per week. Since week 4, Charles ranks fourth with an average of 18.4 points.

The Dallas rumors have legs about them. Adrian Peterson is due just $2.4 million in dead money from the Vikings after this season, but if he stays, Minnesota owes him at least $15 million each year through 2017. Jerry Jones is brilliant to use Peterson as leverage against DeMarco Murray. And whether or not All Day becomes America’s back, Murray does not deserve top dollar. Plenty of NFL players have been stellar for one season. It’s those who put up perennial Pro Bowl stats who have earned the big money.

Peterson remains hostage to the league’s elongated review. His official hearing is scheduled for this Monday, November 17, and resolution due by November 22 at the latest. Keep him on the bench, as he and Josh Gordon each could provide some needed playoff boosts.

New England
After losing to the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in week 4, the Patriots have gone 5-0, outscoring opponents by 40.2 to 21.6 in each contest. Tom Brady has been on fire, completing 67.5 percent for an average of 320.2 yards, 3.6 touchdowns, and 0.2 interceptions. Since that pivotal loss when Kansas City reclaimed the world record for crowd noise, New England’s field general has led all fantasy players with 27.2 fantasy points per game.

New Orleans
Drew Brees has completed the second most passes this year (257) for the third most yards per game (312.9).

Since week 8, Mark Ingram‘s 20.1 fantasy points per week rank third among all running backs. He has scored three times in three weeks while ranking first in the NFL in carries (81) and yards (392).

New York Giants
Rashad Jennings is expected to return for his first game leaving week 5. Since that game, Andre Williams has gotten 17.0 touches for 55.4 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns per week.

Odell Beckham Jr. made his NFL debut in week 5, and has led the team with 25 receptions, 370 yards, and three touchdowns ever since.

Since week 8, Mychal Rivera stands atop all NFL tight ends with 28 targets. Only Jimmy Graham has more receptions (22) than Rivera (21) at the position during this time. Rivera has 185 yards and three scores over the last three weeks. The Raiders travel to San Diego Sunday, where the ninth ranked pass defense will host. The Chargers also allow the sixth fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends (5.0 per week).

Last week in his first NFL start since 2012, Mark Sanchez completed 54.1 percent of his passes for 332 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Only DeMarco Murray has more carries this season (244) than LeSean McCoy (173). Philadelphia’s rusher ranks sixth with 641 yards and fifth with 353 yards after contact. McCoy’s 26 red zone attempts rank fourth in the NFL.

After setting an NFL record with 12 touchdowns over two weeks, Ben Roethlisberger was held to one score and two interceptions in week 10 against the Jets. Since week 8, he leads the NFL with 1,205 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. For the season, Roethlisberger’s 3,063 yards rank second only to Andrew Luck (3,085 yards), and he leads all passers with 261 completions.

San Diego
Branden Oliver rose to the lead back in week 5, and has averaged 20.8 touches for 94.6 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns each week since. Opening day starter Ryan Mathews is probable to return this week from a knee injury that has sidelined him since September. He played the first two weeks this year, garnering 13.5 touches for 58.5 total yards and 0.5 scores in each game.

San Francisco
Last week, Frank Gore ran 23 times for 81 yards and a touchdown, while Carlos Hyde had four carries for 36 yards and a score. Within the opponent’s 5-yard line this season, the rookie has five attempts to Gore’s three, where each have scored once.

No one has been sacked more than Colin Kaepernick, who has been taken down 31 times this year.

Marshawn Lynch ran 21 times for 140 yards and four touchdowns last week, and added one catch for 23 yards. Among all running backs, he ranks sixth in attempts (153), fifth in yards (693), third in yards after contact (411), and second in missed tackles (43). Lynch leads the NFL with 9 touchdowns and 37 red zone carries. Beast Mode also has 20 attempts within the opponent’s 10-yard line, and 11 carries within the opponent’s 5-yard line, which are both tops in the league.

St. Louis
Shaun Hill will make his first start for the Rams this Sunday after sitting out multiple weeks while nursing an injury. The journeyman backup passer has a career 61.9 completion percentage, and has thrown 41 scores and 24 interceptions since 2005. Hill played some of week 1’s game, connecting on 61.5 percent for 81 yards and a pick.

Since week 7, Tre Mason has 58 carries for 230 yards and a touchdown, while Benny Cunningham has 14 rushes for 52 yards and a score. Zac Stacy has run just five times over this span, playing just 16 of St. Louis’ 301 offensive snaps. Tough numbers for a player taken 31st overall in 2014 redraft leagues.

Tampa Bay
There is one bright star to Tampa Bay’s 1-8 season, and his name is Mike Evans. The 6-foot-5 rookie leads the team with 585 yards and five touchdowns. Over the last two weeks, Evans ranks second in the league with 249 receiving yards. The Buccaneers travel to Washington this week to face the NFL’s sixth ranked pass defense, who also allow the 10th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends (9.0 per week)

A record will be set on Monday Night Football, and it’s one that involves the quarterbacks. Just four weeks ago, Ben Roethlisberger faced Ryan Fitzpatrick and the mark was set, 25 combined letters between the last names of the two passers. This week, rookie Zach Mettenberger will be proud to push that one aside when he and Big Ben combine for 26 letters in Monday night’s “Battle of the Bergers.” In his two NFL starts, Mettenberger has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for an average of 239.0 yards, 1.5 touchdowns, and 1.0 interceptions.

Robert Griffin III made his first start last week, after missing several weeks with a dislocated ankle. The third-year veteran completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 251 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in the 29-26 loss to the Vikings. Washington gets to host Tampa Bay’s 31st ranked pass defense this week.

This season, Alfred Morris ranks eighth in the NFL in yards (609), sixth in yards after contact (350), fourth in scoring (6 touchdowns), and second with 27 red zone carries.

Stats and data courtesy of pro-football-reference.com, footballguys, espn, myfantasyleague.com, and profootballfocus.com.

author avatar
Dave Major
Senior Fantasy Analyst for @XNSports. While not wasting immeasurable time as a stand-up comic in New York, Dave Major can be found watching three football games at once and telling people how to live their fantasy lives. If you're out of ideas, use your one phone call on !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');