We’re heading into the final week that features teams out on a bye as Cleveland, the New York Giants, New Orleans and Pittsburgh have their open dates. Week 11 also features a plethora of backup quarterbacks making appearances due to injuries and/or benchings. Brock Osweiler, Mark Sanchez, T.J. Yates, Matt Hasselbeck, and Blaine Gabbert are all slated to call signals for their respective teams this week. What a time to be alive.
As we’re running down the stretch, hopefully you’re manicuring and making moves to solidify a playoff spot in your fantasy league(s). With three offenses wielding strong fantasy options out on a bye, this week may be a little tricky to maneuver. Luckily, it’s shaping up to be a relatively light injury week for the most part. With that said, let’s delve into Wednesday’s news.
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On the subject of backup quarterbacks from the introduction, Sam Bradford’s MRI revealed he separated his left (non-throwing) shoulder in Week 10 and is also in the league’s concussion protocol for a concussion sustained during the same game. Mark Sanchez is slated to start in Week 11 at home against a Bucs’ defense ranked 24th in Football Outsiders’ Pass Defense DVOA metric. Bradford apparently wants to try and play through his shoulder injury – but even if he can – he’ll still have to clear concussion protocol in the coming days.
When Sanchez started as the Eagles’ quarterback in Weeks 8-16 in 2014, he completed 64.1% of his passes, threw for two touchdowns in 6-of-9 games and had five outings with at least 290 passing yards. His low-water mark for fantasy points scored during that nine game span was 8.1 points while Sanchez scored 20-plus fantasy points four times.
Continuing the theme of injured starting quarterbacks: Brian Hoyer (concussion) is likely out for Week 11. T.J. Yates will start in Hoyer’s place at home against the Jets. Hoyer didn’t practice on Wednesday and the Texans signed Brandon Weeden signifying they’re certainly fearful Hoyer could miss Week 11. This is an interesting spot for the Texans for a multitude of reasons. First, the Texans are averaging the most plays per-game (72.8) and are second in offensive pace (23.5 seconds per play). Houston has run a lightning-fast offense in terms of plays and pace, but I think they’ll struggle to move the ball effectively with Yates at the helm. Houston gets a Jets’ secondary that has cooled off, but still ranks 6th in Football Outsiders’ Pass Defense DVOA and is allowing the fourth-fewest yards per pass attempt to opposing quarterbacks (6.51). Fire up the Jets’ D/ST this week.
Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed on Wednesday that James Starks will remain Green Bay’s starting running back in Week 11. With Eddie Lacy (groin) out in Week 10, Starks handled 21 touches and played on 94.3% of the Packers’ snaps. Lacy’s 2015 has clearly not gone to plan and the Packers’ really don’t have any reason to go back to him as the clear starter in the near future. He at least did practice in full on Wednesday.
An update for Thursday Night Football between the visiting Titans and host Jaguars: Kendall Wright (MCL) has been ruled out, marking his third-straight missed game. Dorial Green-Beckham, Harry Douglas and either Rico Richardson or Tre McBride will start in three-wide receiver sets. T.J. Yeldon (foot) is questionable for the date with the Titans. He was in a walking boot on Monday and did not practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. Even at less than 100%, Yeldon will still be the volume-driven RB2 play he has been all year against a Titans’ rush defense ranked 20th in fantasy points allowed per rush attempt (0.54) and 18th in yards per carry allowed (3.92).
Both John Brown and Michael Floyd did not practice on Wednesday. Both are nursing hamstring injuries. It’s worth noting Brown only played 67% of the Cardinals’ snaps on Monday Night Football in Week 10. Mike Floyd’s resurgence in Arizona’s attack has also certainly hampered Brown’s viability in fantasy as well. Michael Floyd has eight or more targets in 3 of his last 4 games. His PPR finishes during that span are: WR25, WR21, WR16, bye and WR2.
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The Cowboys signed RB Robert Turbin after cutting the fantasy industry’s Loch Ness Monster, Christine Michael. … Ryan Mathews (concussion) is in the league’s concussion protocol and didn’t practice Wednesday. … Ryan Fitzpatrick (thumb) participated in individual drills on Wednesday and is expected to start in Week 11. … Vincent Jackson (knee) is expected to miss Week 11 against the Eagles. … Alshon Jeffery (groin) was ‘limited’ on Wednesday. He only played 53.8% of the Bears’ snaps in Week 10. … Matt Forte (knee) was ‘limited’ as well. … Emmanuel Sanders (ankle, shoulder) did not practice on Wednesday. … Ladarius Green (ankle) and Malcom Floyd (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday. Antonio Gates (knee) was limited. … Carlos Hyde (foot) did not practice on Wednesday. … Finally, Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) was ‘limited’ on Wednesday.