Fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
Week 11 is filled with quarterback intrigue. This isn’t the fun and exciting intrigue when you look for in a good movie on Netflix. This is a potentially horrific week for fantasy football production across the board.
There is an unbelievable amount of murky quarterback situations, so make sure to read all the way down to the bottom where I list the different teams with issues under center.
As for my main players, I kept to the more popular options in more stable situations to add value. But honestly, with all of the potentially bad quarterback play, maybe no one is a true fade this week. Maybe we’re all just grasping at straws during a tumultuous time.
Andy Dalton at Arizona for $7,000 - Last week Dalton played his worst game so far this season, by a long shot. He only threw for 197 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. To be fair, I don’t think that the “Old Andy Dalton” is here to stay. I do think, however, that Andy Dalton is a matchup play. This week he’s in a bad matchup so I’m not putting him in my lineups. Only two quarterbacks have thrown for more than 250 yards against the Cardinals. That was Joe Flacco in Week 7 with 252 yards and Drew Brees in Week 1 with 355 yards. Both of them also left that game with only one touchdown to match their one interception. No quarterback has gone for more than 20 FanDuel points facing Arizona. Simply put, there is no upside.
Matt Forte versus Denver for $7,800 - Forte sat out of Thursday’s practice because it was on turf, not because he can’t play. There’s still a question as to whether he will suit up on Sunday and how large of a role he will play when he gets back. If Forte plays, he will likely share carries with his backup, Jeremy Langford. This is terrible news for FanDuel players because we lose two stud backs at one time. Langford has been fantastic since coming in for Forte and put up back-to-back 20+ point FanDuel performances. Even after a couple rough weeks, Denver is still a tough matchup. I would suggest staying away from both running backs until we see how this all shakes out.
LeSean McCoy at New England for $7,500 - This one hurts me a little because McCoy has been great, putting up back-to-back games with 100+ rushing yards. Unfortunately, there are some factors working against him this week that have nothing to do with him or his talent. First, New England has a stout running defense and only allow an average of 71.9 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs. Second, you have to throw against the Patriots to keep up, especially on their turf. And before you get excited at the thought that McCoy could get involved with the passing game, New England only allows an average of 39.6 receiving yards to running backs. Third, Karlos Williams is only the second player to score a touchdown in each of his first six games. I think Rex Ryan is going to look for Williams in the red zone so he can reach seven games in a row. Ryan is the kind of coach that likes to get his players records. I think McCoy will be fine, but not great, due to all of these factors. When you’re trying to win a big tournament you need great.
A.J. Green at Arizona for $8,200 - Fading A.J. Green is really Part 2 of the Andy Dalton story. Arizona gives up the 11th fewest FanDuel points to opposing wide receivers and are even better at home. Also, A.J. Green isn’t putting up the kind of numbers required for a player priced over $8,000. He only has two game with 20 or more FanDuel points on the season. Worse than that, he has four games with less than 10 points, two of which were his last two performances. Save your money and find someone in a better situation.
Demaryius Thomas at Chicago for $7,700 - This week marks the beginning of backup quarterback Brock Osweiler’s career. We know very little about how Osweiler will perform during a regular season game in the National Football league. I can tell you that last week, in a quarter and a half, Osweiler put up 146 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception and ran the ball for 18 yards. Yeah, that doesn’t really help us when it comes to assessing what that offense will look like moving forward. Thomas is cheaper than usual, so he’s tempting. However, all signs point to this offense being conservative and leaning on their defense to get Brock through his first NFL start. Thomas could be the lifeline for a new signal caller, or he could be a decoy while Osweiler completes shorter passes to some of the utility guys to move the ball down the field. It’s the uncertainty that makes me want to shy away.
Antonio Gates at Kansas City for $5,900 - Antonio Gates is again listed as questionable with his knee injury. More than likely he will play through it, but at what level? Gates continues to talk about how this injury is affecting him and how he’s not at 100%. Also, Kansas City has given up the absolute fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. In a bad matchup on a bad knee, fading Gates only makes sense.
Here are some bizarre quarterback situations that could turn your FanDuel day upside down:
Tony Romo (DAL) – Romo will make his much anticipated return this week at Miami. The team needs to win and they obviously can’t win without him. Hopefully he’s completely up to snuff and can ease right back to where he left off, but it’s hard not to expect some bumps in the road while getting back into rhythm.
Brock Osweiler (DEN) –Some say that the Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl if Osweiler can simply hold onto the ball and with that stellar defense, it’s hard to argue otherwise. That’s exactly why you should expect a conservative game plan that focuses on minimizing turnovers.
T.J. Yates (HOU) – Hoyer is in concussion protocol. Yates is newer to the team and came on once the coaching staff had it’s fill with the Ryan Mallett antics. A frustrated New York Jets team isn’t the friendliest of matchups. Even more scary, Yates’ backup is Brandon Weeden. Eek!
Matt Hasselbeck (IND) – He’s efficient and won’t turn over the ball. In two games he never threw for more than 282 yards and he only scored three touchdowns. He’s not going to run around much, so the upside here is minimal (at best).
Ryan Fitzpatrick (NYJ) – Fitzpatrick underwent hand surgery on his non-throwing hand last week and is expected to play. If that sentence sounded as crazy to you as it did to me, look for some Geno Smith playing time. Also, Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions last week. It seems like that hand injury is affecting him in one way or another. He’s practicing in full and he’s tough guy, but this is asking a lot out of anyone.
Mark Sanchez (PHI) – Technically, the Eagles have not ruled out Sam Bradford, but I am. Bradford still isn’t practicing because he’s going through concussion protocol. Then he also needs to deal with his separated shoulder. Sanchez was a pretty decent backup quarterback last year, and it is telling that Chip Kelly’s first off-season move was to resign Sanchez. Last year he threw for 2,418 yards in nine games, but he also threw 11 interceptions. Look for much of the same. The good news is that Sanchez loved throwing to Jordan Matthews last year, so maybe Matthews can bounce back to FanDuel relevance.
Blaine Gabbert (SF) – Your eyes do not deceive you. Blaine Gabbert is a starting quarterback. In Week 9, the Atlanta Falcons went into their game cocky and unprepared because they also thought that Gabbert couldn’t possibly be a starting quarterback. The Falcons were wrong, and they lost. Don’t look for Seattle to make the same mistake. They will expose Gabbert and the whole 49ers organization.
Case Keenum (STL) – This guy hasn’t played a snap as a Ram in the regular season, so we have literally nothing to go off of. It’s a great matchup and he can’t be too much worse that Nick Foles, so there is a decent floor. Keenum is the kind of player that loves to throw the ball and Baltimore gives up the second most FanDuel points to opposing quarterbacks and the absolute most points to opposing wide receivers. This is the best week for him to start, but still a dart throw.
The water is getting choppy, but you’re here doing your research. You’ll be fine. Good luck in Week 11.