1:00 PM ET Games
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland
Vegas Projected Score: Steelers 26.25, Browns 18.25
Fresh off lighting up Dallas’ secondary for 408 yards in last week’s shootout loss, Ben Roethlisberger treks to Cleveland to face a Browns pass "defense" that ranks No. 31 in DVOA and has given up multiple touchdown passes in 9-of-10 weeks, including six three-touchdown-pass games. Big Ben’s massive home-road splits are worth mentioning with an ugly 19:19 TD-to-INT ratio in away games since the beginning of the 2014 season. Whenever the Steelers go on the road, there is always some risk they will come out flat. Still, the sheer ineptitude of Pittsburgh’s Week 11 opponent locks in Roethlisberger as one of this week’s highest-upside fantasy starts. The Steelers need this win badly after losing four straight games and five of their last seven, and can't afford to take Cleveland lightly. The Browns are especially vulnerable in the downfield passing game, where DC Ray Horton's defense has given up a league-high 40 completions of 20-plus yards. Strictly in terms of matchup, Roethlisberger won't do better all year. DFSers should note that the total on Steelers-Browns had plummeted from 49.5 at open to 44/45 by Saturday. That is a significant line move. … Le’Veon Bell’s scoreless streak finally ended with a two-touchdown effort in last week’s loss to the Cowboys. Bell is a solid bet to reenter the scoring column against Cleveland, which has given up a rushing touchdown in 8-of-10 games and yields an AFC-high 31.8 rushing attempts per game. In addition to his rushing prowess, Bell is averaging a 7.5-60 receiving line on 9.3 targets per game since coming off suspension in Week 4. Always a high-floor, high-ceiling investment, Bell is the best fantasy running back play in Week 11.
Ben’s targets since he returned from a knee injury two games ago: Antonio Brown 29; Le’Veon 19; Eli Rogers 15; Jesse James 8; Sammie Coates 5; Ladarius Green 4. … Brown enters Week 11 with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 7-of-9 games and at least 11 targets in six of Ben’s seven full games played. Although Joe Haden has had some positive moments this year, he has been beaten for touchdowns by Nelson Agholor, Mike Wallace, Cole Beasley, and Martellus Bennett and has long struggled specifically against Brown, whose stat lines are 13-187-1, 10-139-2, 7-118-0, 5-116-1, 9-87-0, 6-92-1 over his last six meetings with Cleveland. … The Browns have been hurt by interior receivers Cole Beasley (6-56-1), Quincy Enunwa (4-93-1), Kendall Wright (8-133-1), Jarvis Landry (7-120-1), Jordan Matthews (7-114-1), and Steve Smith Sr. (5-60-1). Slot man Rogers logged a season-high 85% of Pittsburgh’s snaps in Week 10 and looks like a sneaky fantasy play in this matchup. While Coates has descended, Rogers’ role has been in ascent. Rogers led the Steelers in receiving (6-103) in Week 9 and posted 4-42-1 on five targets against Dallas. … Demoted in favor of Cobi Hamilton in last week’s loss, Coates played 3% of the snaps and is now looking like a drop candidate in season-long leagues while nursing fractures in his ring and index fingers. … The Browns bleed fantasy points to tight ends, but the Steelers’ tight end situation looks headed for a timeshare. Although Green logged just 16% of the snaps in his Week 10 debut, he drew only one target fewer than James (5), and Xavier Grimble stayed involved in multi-tight end packages. Green and James’ Week 11 box-score floors are concerning. I would chase Green’s upside if forced to choose between the two.
After surprisingly benching him during last week’s loss to Baltimore, the Browns are turning back to Cody Kessler against the Steelers. Kessler has finished higher than the fantasy QB21 in just 1-of-7 games, but he does have some lower-end two-quarterback-league appeal against a weak Steelers pass defense that ranks No. 21 in DVOA and is dead last in the NFL in sacks (13). With only one multi-touchdown-pass game and one game above 250 yards, however, Kessler hasn’t shown a high enough ceiling to be streamed in standard leagues. The windy forecast is especially concerning for weak-armed Kessler. … Gashed by Cowboys backs for a 25-127-2 (5.08 YPC) rushing line in Week 10, the Steelers’ run defense was dealt another critical blow when DE Cameron Heyward was diagnosed with a year-ending pectoral tear. While this is a favorable draw, Isaiah Crowell’s recent production is worrisome with under 30 rushing yards in five of his last six games. The Browns likely could have rushing success against the Steelers if they stay committed to it and game script provides them with the requisite opportunities. Confidence in Cleveland’s run game is just extremely low at the moment. Crowell is a high-risk flex option. I did like hearing Hue Jackson state this week that Crowell deserves more carries. Perhaps he’s the “squeaky wheel.” … Pittsburgh has been vulnerable to backs in the passing game, where they have allowed the NFL’s third most receiving yards (532) to the position. Duke Johnson is always a poor bet for touchdowns, however, and he has cleared 40 receiving yards in just 1-of-7 Kessler starts. The Browns have also made more use of Crowell as a receiver lately, cutting into Johnson’s involvement there.
Browns perimeter receivers Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman flip sides often and will run a similar number of routes at Steelers LCB Ross Cockrell and rookie RCB Artie Burns. Burns got torched by Dez Bryant (6-116-1) last week and was struggling badly before that. Whereas Coleman has played only six full quarters with Kessler, Pryor has spent far more time with the Browns’ rookie quarterback and established himself as the clearly superior fantasy bet. Coleman returned from his hand injury in Week 9 and has managed stat lines of 3-41-0 and 3-17-0 on target counts of 7 and 5. Although Coleman is an exciting talent with big-play ability, he is also a rookie wide receiver with a rookie quarterback in a sub-par passing game. Coleman hasn’t done anything that suggests he can be viewed as more than a boom-bust WR3/flex. Pryor has at least five catches in seven of the Browns’ last eight games. … Barnidge’s production has been in concerning descent with yardage totals of 66 > 42 > 23 > 8 on target totals of 7 > 7 > 3 > 4 over the past month. Barnidge remains scoreless on the year. There is a conceivable scenario in which the Browns play much of this game from behind and Pryor, Coleman, and Barnidge all see elevated usage because of it. At surface level, however, Coleman and Barnidge look like low-floor investments.
Score Prediction: Steelers 24, Browns 17
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Baltimore @ Dallas
Vegas Projected Score: Cowboys 26, Ravens 19
The Cowboys’ league-best running game gets its toughest challenge to date against the Ravens’ league-best run defense, which ranks No. 1 in DVOA and has held enemy backs to a combined 78-219-1 (2.81 YPC) rushing line over its last four games. Ezekiel Elliott has proven himself matchup proof time and again, however, while the projected script of this game bodes well for Elliott to see another massive workload and gradually wear down the road-tripping Ravens even if he struggles to find running room early on. Elliott has also begun making more big plays in the passing game, where the Ravens have yielded the NFL’s sixth most receptions to running backs (49). … The draw is also theoretically tough for Dak Prescott against a Baltimore pass defense that ranks No. 6 in DVOA and permits the NFL’s fifth fewest passing yards per game (210.2). Only 2-of-9 quarterbacks to face the Ravens this year have finished inside the top-12 fantasy passers on the week. While this doesn’t necessarily set up as a game in which Prescott offers a ton of upside, Prescott’s weekly consistency makes him a solid QB1 start in season-long leagues. Prescott has accounted for multiple touchdowns in seven straight games and maintains the potential to hit his ceiling on rushing production.
Prescott’s targets with Dez Bryant in the lineup this year: Bryant 50; Cole Beasley 47; Jason Witten 41; Terrance Williams 19; Zeke 13; Brice Butler 8. … Bryant enters Week 11 with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in four of his last five games, and got a significant matchup boost Friday when Ravens top CB Jimmy Smith (back) was listed as doubtful. Particularly in scoring position, the Ravens can have a funneling effect toward wide receivers because they play stout run defense and shut down tight ends. Baltimore has given up the NFL's second most touchdown catches (14) to enemy wideouts. ... Smith's absence may also force the Ravens to play more "two-man" coverages, assigning a safety to help the cornerback covering Dez and keeping eight defenders out of the box. That, of course, would improve Elliott's matchup. Any way you slice it, Smith is a massive loss for the Ravens' defense. … The aforementioned funneling effect can also benefit Beasley, who has at least six targets in four straight games and will mainly work against journeyman slot CB Jerraud Powers, who was Eli Rogers’ (6-103) primary burn victim two weeks ago. Beasley has been a reliable PPR play all year. He needs to score a touchdown to pay off in non-PPR leagues. … Witten is a tougher sell against a Ravens defense holding opposing tight ends to the league’s fourth fewest yards (320). Jordan Reed is the only tight end to clear 50 yards against Baltimore this year, and he needed eight catches and 11 targets to manage 53 scoreless yards.
Although Joe Flacco paid off (QB7) against the lowly Browns in Week 10 and the Cowboys’ defense got lit up by Ben Roethlisberger (QB1), larger season-long sample sizes suggest it may not be a great idea to chase Flacco’s last-week points. Flacco has posted top-15 fantasy results in just 2-of-9 weeks, while only 3-of-9 quarterbacks to face Dallas have finished QB12 or better. We have a pretty good idea by now that Flacco needs to be in best-case-scenario spots to come through as a legitimate fantasy starter. He is best limited to two-quarterback leagues. … Kenneth Dixon finally showed some signs of life in last week’s win over the Browns, parlaying 11 touches into 80 yards from scrimmage on a season-high 32% of the snaps. Dixon outplayed Terrance West against Cleveland and his role should continue to grow as the superior all-purpose back. The Cowboys do not pose a friendly running back matchup, however, yielding a league-low 20.3 rushing attempts per game and the NFL’s third fewest rushing yards per game (82.6) while playing ball-control keepaway and holding opposing offenses to the fourth fewest snaps per game (60.9). This does not set up as a heavy-workload game for either Ravens back. West is a low-end RB2 play in non-PPR leagues. Dixon is a PPR-specific flex option. West and Dixon’s outlooks are further diminished by the Ravens’ loss of LG Alex Lewis (ankle).
Flacco’s targets since the Ravens’ Week 8 bye: Steve Smith Sr. 14; Mike Wallace and Dixon 11; Dennis Pitta 9; Breshad Perriman 8; Kamar Aiken 6; West and Darren Waller 5; Kyle Juszczyk 3. … Smith has the highest floor in Baltimore’s pass-catcher corps and the best Week 11 matchup, as he will spend most of this game in the coverage of Cowboys rookie LCB Anthony Brown, who is filling in for Morris Claiborne (groin). Smith’s slot routes versus Orlando Scandrick also won’t be as tough as usual with Scandrick clearly playing far short of 100%. Steelers slot WR Eli Rogers dropped a solid Week 10 line (4-42-1) on Dallas. … After drawing nine-plus targets in four straight games in October with Smith battling an ankle injury, Wallace’s target totals have dipped to 6 and 5 with Smith healthy the past two weeks. Only two wide receivers have gone above 75 yards against the Cowboys all year. Dallas has yielded the NFL’s 11th fewest receptions of 20-plus yards (27) and ninth fewest catches of 40-plus yards (4). With his volume down, Wallace needs to hit big plays to pay off as a fantasy start. … Pitta is always a tempting play because he sees consistent usage and has run into a lot of good matchups, but he isn’t knocking any of them out of the park. Devoid of big-play ability, Pitta is averaging a putrid 8.2 yards per reception and has cleared 60 yards in 1-of-9 games. He still hasn’t scored a touchdown since December of 2013. Regardless of his opponent’s weaknesses in tight end coverage, Pitta is a low-ceiling fantasy investment without a great floor. … Perriman has drawn target totals of 4 and 4 on snap rates of 50% and 48% since Smith came back. Despite last week’s touchdown, Perriman only has value in Dynasty leagues.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 27, Ravens 17
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Jacksonville @ Detroit
Vegas Projected Score: Lions 26.75, Jaguars 20.25
Still playing poorly but stringing together useful box-score results, Blake Bortles enters Week 11 with multiple touchdown passes in three straight games. Bortles gets one of his best matchups of the season against a Lions pass defense that ranks 32nd in DVOA and has allowed the NFL’s third most TD passes (20) and a league-high 112.4 passer rating. 7-of-9 quarterbacks to face Detroit have finished as the QB14 or better, while 5-of-9 have posted top-seven weeks and 7-of-9 have accounted for multiple scores. Bortles’ floor is always worrisome because he is so erratic on the field and needs his supporting cast to make plays on his errant throws, but Bortles’ plus draw and aggressive playing style render him a high-upside option. … After seemingly taking on a more balanced identity in interim OC Nathaniel Hackett’s first game as playcaller, the Jags reverted to their pass-first ways in last week’s loss to Houston. Bortles dropped back 51 times, while T.J. Yeldon (12 touches, 53% snaps) and Chris Ivory (11, 47%) resumed low-volume committee roles. The Lions always pose a favorable matchup for running backs, ranking No. 25 in run-defense DVOA and permitting the NFL’s sixth most catches (49) to the position. Unfortunately, Ivory and Yeldon are timeshare backs in a dysfunctional offense with low floors and low ceilings. As the Jags project to trail in this game, I would take superior receiver Yeldon if forced to pick from the two.
Bortles’ targets since the Jaguars’ Week 5 bye: Allen Robinson 53; Allen Hurns 40; Marqise Lee 31; Julius Thomas 29; Marcedes Lewis 18; Yeldon 17; Ivory 11; Ben Koyack 8. … One of the biggest reasons for Bortles’ box-score improvement is the improvement of Robinson, who is looking like his 2015 self again by reeling in high-difficulty catches and capitalizing on extreme volume with 12-plus targets in three straight weeks. Unless the Lions use Darius Slay in shadow coverage – something they’ve done infrequently this year -- A-Rob will run most of his routes at burnable Lions RCB Nevin Lawson, whom Pro Football Focus has charged with a generous 110.4 passer rating on throws into his coverage. Lawson stands 5-foot-9 1/2, 190 to Robinson’s 6-foot-3, 220. … Hurns also has a plus matchup against up-and-down Lions slot CB Quandre Diggs, although Hurns’ big-play potential has taken a hit running shorter interior routes. Hurns’ usage has also been inconsistent with Lee playing a target-commanding role. With a touchdown in just 2-of-9 weeks and only two games above 50 yards since Week 2, Hurns has regressed from an every-week WR2 last season into a shaky WR4/flex. … Based on where they typically align, Lee will get the toughest draw in Jacksonville’s pass-catcher corps against usual LCB Slay, who is expected back from a multi-week hamstring injury. Although Lee has been a consistent producer with four or more catches in seven of his last eight games, he is scoreless on the year and has only one target inside the opposing ten-yard line. … Betting against tight ends facing the Lions has been a losing proposition all season, and Thomas checks boxes coming off a ten-target game with three touchdowns over the last month. He has not cleared 30 yards since Week 2, however, and has increasingly lost playing time to Koyack, who logged a season-high 31% snap rate in last week’s loss to the Texans. Despite the gorgeous matchup, Thomas hasn’t graduated past being a touchdown-or-bust streamer.
Matthew Stafford returns from the Lions’ Week 10 bye for a below-average matchup against the Jags’ underrated pass defense, which ranks No. 13 in DVOA and has held 8-of-9 quarterbacks faced to 270 yards or fewer. Although Stafford turned in four games of three touchdown passes or more in the season’s first six weeks, he has gone six straight games without topping 270 yards in a Lions offense that has slowed down its pace in an effort to keep its leaky defense off the field. Expected to be an up-tempo, no-huddle team before the season, the Lions are instead running the NFL's third fewest offensve plays per game (59.7). Still the clear centerpiece and field general in a pass-first attack, Stafford is a respectable QB1 play in season-long leagues. The Lions’ nearly 27-point team total also suggests Stafford offers more upside than his recent performance and Week 11 matchup may indicate. … After returning from an early-season ankle injury, Theo Riddick piled up touch counts of 19 and 15 on snap rates of 85% and 70% in two games before Detroit’s bye. The Lions did make an effort to increase rookie grinder back Dwayne Washington’s involvement in Week 9, demoting Zach Zenner and giving Washington ten carries on 32% of the downs. Although Jacksonville poses a favorable matchup for Washington with a No. 28 run-defense DVOA rating, his ceiling appears to be in the ten-touch range. Because Washington has so little passing-game involvement, his presence on the field can telegraph to the defense that a run play is coming, making Washington easier to defend. Riddick should continue to operate as Detroit’s clear-cut lead back and is a solid RB2 play. Riddick has 15 or more touches in six consecutive games and ranks sixth among NFL running backs in receptions (35).
Stafford’s targets over his last two games: Golden Tate 21; Eric Ebron 18; Riddick 14; Marvin Jones 12; Anquan Boldin 7. … Tate shook off a brutal start to the season to pile up nine-plus targets in four straight games heading into Detroit’s Week 10 bye, retaking the Lions’ top wideout role from Jones. None of the Lions’ pass catchers have standout matchups against a solid Jacksonville secondary, but Tate can overcome tough draws with high-percentage manufactured touches and sheer volume. He isn’t asked to run isolation routes down the sideline like Jones is. Tate is a passable WR3 play in season-long PPR leagues. … Whereas Tate drew 43 targets from Weeks 6-9, Jones drew only 23 and hasn’t topped six targets in a game since the first month of the season. Jones will run most of his Week 11 routes at stout Jaguars RCB Prince Amukamara. Through nine games, only five opposing wideouts have reached 80 yards against Jacksonville. … Ebron was arguably the Lions’ most impressive player in the two weeks before Detroit’s bye, parlaying 18 targets into a combined 14-171-0 receiving line in tough matchups with the Texans and Vikings. The Jaguars have also been tough on tight ends this year, but Ebron’s pre-bye receiving performances were dominant enough that I don’t like the idea of betting against him as a season-long start. … Slot man Boldin is an unattractive dart throw when the rest of the Lions’ pass-catcher corps is at full strength. With Riddick and Ebron healthy in Weeks 8-9, Boldin managed target counts of 3 and 4, and he hasn’t topped 60 yards in a game all year. He’s a touchdown-or-bust WR4/5.
Score Prediction: Lions 24, Jaguars 20
Tennessee @ Indianapolis
Vegas Projected Score: Colts 28, Titans 25
The white-hot Titans offense treks to Indianapolis for a probable shootout at domed Lucas Oil Stadium. Four of the last six quarterbacks to face the Colts have posted top-five fantasy results, while Indy has yielded multiple touchdown passes in six straight games -- to Aaron Rodgers, Nick Foles, Marcus Mariota, Brock Osweiler, Brian Hoyer, and Blake Bortles. Mariota has thrown multiple touchdown passes in six straight games with four top-five fantasy performances during that stretch. Put simply, Mariota is on a tear and there is every reason to believe he will stay hot against the Colts. … Despite playing the last two games through a troublesome toe injury, DeMarco Murray has logged touch counts of 19 and 21 on snap rates of 95% and 77% and has shown on the field that he is plenty healthy enough to keep producing at an elite RB1 clip. The Titans did mix in Derrick Henry for nine carries on 32% of the downs in last week’s win over the Packers. Not only do the Colts rank dead last in run-defense DVOA, they have given up the league’s eighth most receiving yards (449) to backs. Murray is seventh among NFL running backs in targets (46) and fourth in receptions (37). Henry maintains some flex appeal for season-long owners in injury-caused binds, although his ceiling is probably in the ten-touch range.
Mariota’s targets over his last six games: Delanie Walker 43; Rishard Matthews 33; Kendall Wright 27; Tajae Sharpe 26; Murray 22; Henry 8. … The Colts’ league-worst tight end defense yielded 8-82 to the Packers’ barely-there tight ends in Week 9, 10-114-1 to Chiefs tight ends in Week 8, 8-94-1 to Titans tight ends in Week 7, and 9-116-1 to Texans tight ends in Week 6. With eight-plus targets in five of his last seven games, Walker should stay hot in this up-tempo, likely high-scoring affair. … Still Tennessee’s only wide receiver playing full-time snaps, Matthews enters Week 11 with six TDs over his last six games. As Matthews mainly runs routes at left corners, he will avoid stationary Colts RCB Vontae Davis for most of this game and instead square off with more-burnable LCB Patrick Robinson, who got beaten for touchdowns by Randall Cobb and Davante Adams last time out. … After logging a season-high 68% snap rate in the Titans’ Week 9 loss to the Chargers, Wright was called out by coach Mike Mularkey for running an incorrect route that got Mariota intercepted and reduced to a 43% player in last week’s win over Green Bay. Held to 2-12-0 when the Titans hosted the Colts in Week 7, Wright is tough to trust as a rotational receiver on a run-oriented team. … Sharpe finally scored his first NFL touchdown against the Packers, but his playing time was also reduced (60%) and Sharpe is going to do most of his route running at RCB Davis. Walker and Matthews are the best plays in the Titans’ pass-catcher corps this week.
While the Titans’ offense has turned white hot, the same cannot be said for a Tennessee defense that has permitted five straight top-12 quarterback weeks to Cody Kessler (QB9), Andrew Luck (QB1), Blake Bortles (QB4), Philip Rivers (QB12), and Aaron Rodgers (QB3) while plummeting to No. 26 in pass-defense DVOA. Especially vulnerable deep, Tennessee has given up the NFL’s third most pass plays of 20-plus yards (38), while Luck happens to rank third among quarterbacks in 20-plus-yard completions (37). Critical LG Jack Mewhort (triceps) and RT Joe Reitz (concussion) are good to go coming off the bye after combining to miss four games leading into the open date. With his pass-catcher corps and line at full strength after a rest week, Luck offers a sky-high Week 11 ceiling. Luck is averaging 312 passing yards with a 9:2 TD-to-INT ratio through four home games this year. … Frank Gore enters Week 11 with 20-plus touches in five of his last seven games and has an above-average matchup against a Titans defense that has yielded a combined 53-279-1 (5.26 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs over the past three weeks. Gore totaled 83 yards and a touchdown on 22 touches when these teams met in Week 7. Gore has only shown a ceiling this year when he has scored twice in the same game, but his floor is almost always reliable as an RB2 play in season-long leagues.
Luck’s target distribution in Donte Moncrief’s three full games played: T.Y. Hilton 26; Moncrief 22; Jack Doyle 16; Phillip Dorsett 15; Gore 11; Dwayne Allen and Robert Turbin 8. … This is a great-looking draw for both Hilton and Moncrief against a Titans secondary that has been flamed for big games by Davante Adams (6-156), Jordy Nelson (12-126-1), Tyrell Williams (6-65-1), Allen Hurns (7-98-1), Hilton (7-133-1), Terrelle Pryor (9-75-2), Will Fuller (7-81-1), Michael Crabtree (8-102), Marvin Jones (8-118), and Stefon Diggs (7-103). Hilton already dusted the Titans once this year. Moncrief has eight touchdowns over his last ten full games played with Luck. … Dorsett has cleared 35 yards once since Week 1 and scored his lone touchdown of the season on a blown coverage against the Jaguars in Week 4. The high-scoring probability of this game and Dorsett's great matchup against weekly whipping boy Titans LCB Perrish Cox do give him some long-shot dart-throw appeal. … Perhaps things will change coming off the open date, but Doyle (74%) out-snapped and out-targeted (9) Allen (65%, 2) in the Colts’ pre-bye loss to the Packers and has been a more reliable possession target for Luck with both tight ends healthy. Doyle had his breakout game (9-78-1) against these same Titans in Week 7. Tennessee has yielded a tight end touchdown in three of its last four games. Until we see their roles flip – and I’m not entirely convinced it will happen – Doyle is the superior streamer play to Allen. On the year, Doyle leads the Colts in red-zone targets (9) and is second on the team in catches (36).
Score Prediction: Colts 30, Titans 28
DFS Players: Titans at Colts is the RotoGrinders Matchup of the Week. Some of RotoGrinders' top NFL minds break down this game from every angle and help prepare you to set winning lineups this weekend in daily fantasy football.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati
Vegas Projected Score: Bengals 25, Bills 22.5
Tyrod Taylor’s Bills return from their Week 10 bye to take on a weak Bengals pass defense that has slipped to No. 20 in DVOA while conceding top-14 fantasy quarterback results in seven of its last eight games, including multi-touchdown-pass performances to Eli Manning (3), Kirk Cousins (2), Tom Brady (3), Trevor Siemian (4), and Ben Roethlisberger (3) during that stretch. Cincinnati has also yielded the NFL’s seventh most quarterback rushing yards (145), while Taylor has at least five rushing attempts in 8-of-9 starts and a rushing touchdown in three straight. Taylor has been a top-12 fantasy quarterback in three of his last four games. He’s a high-floor fantasy play at Cincinnati who can offer upside with his legs. … The Bengals gave up a 12-63-1 rushing line to Isaiah Crowell in Week 8, 21-87-1 to Rob Kelley in Week 9, and 15-87 to Rashad Jennings last Monday night. Cincinnati has also yielded the NFL’s ninth most receptions (48) to running backs. This is an unimposing matchup for LeSean McCoy, who had the bye week to rest his hamstring after parlaying 25 touches into 120 total yards at Seattle in Week 9. McCoy now has 100-plus yards from scrimmage in 12 of his last 16 games. In both cash games and tournaments, McCoy is going to go undeservedly low owned in DFS this week.
Robert Woods has cleared 60 yards in just 2-of-6 games missed by Sammy Watkins, although his latest happened to be a stunning 10-162 eruption on Monday Night Football at CenturyLink Field. Woods runs most of his routes on the interior, where Sterling Shepard (5-42-1) and Odell Beckham (10-97-1) had their way with the Bengals in Week 10. Woods is a passable WR3 play in season-long PPR leagues. … Cincinnati’s tight end defense has also failed, yielding 8-71-1 to Giants tight ends in Week 10, 14-192-1 to Redskins tight ends in Week 8, and 12-210-1 to Patriots tight ends in Week 6. Unfortunately, Charles Clay is scoreless on the season and was held under 30 yards in three straight games before Buffalo’s bye week. Even in a great matchup, Clay’s lack of results makes him very difficult to trust. … Complementary receivers Marquise Goodwin (57%), Walter Powell (49%), Justin Hunter (30%), and Percy Harvin (24%) worked in a wide-ranging rotation in Buffalo’s Week 9 loss to Seattle. None of them are fantasy viable.
The Bills opened the season playing shutdown defense against one of the NFL’s easiest quarterback schedules, facing Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Carson Palmer, Jacoby Brissett, and Case Keenum in Weeks 1-5. They proceeded to give up top-15 quarterback finishes in each of their next four games, including top-12 performances to Ryan Tannehill (QB12), Tom Brady (QB3), and Russell Wilson (QB3) all in a row leading into Buffalo’s Week 10 bye. The Bills have plummeted to No. 22 in pass-defense DVOA. Although Buffalo’s pass rush remains a concern, this is not necessarily a daunting matchup for Andy Dalton, who has posted top-12 fantasy results in four of his last five games and has mouth-watering matchups in his pass-catcher corps, which we’ll get to below. I’m not sure Dalton offers enough upside for DFS, but I like him as a high-floor season-long start. … The Bills have pass-funnel tendencies because they shut down enemy ground games, holding running backs to 3.88 yards per carry and yielding the NFL’s third fewest receiving yards (243) to the position. Stud NT Marcell Dareus is expected back against the Bengals after battling a pre-bye groin injury. Jeremy Hill is a touchdown-or-bust flex option with under 60 yards from scrimmage in 5-of-9 games. Giovani Bernard is barely usable at this point with a touchdown in 3-of-9 games and catch totals of 1, 1, 3 since Tyler Eifert returned from his injuries.
Dalton’s targets since Tyler Eifert began playing full time two games ago: A.J. Green 29; Eifert 17; Tyler Boyd 11; Gio 6; Brandon LaFell 4; Hill 1. … Green has drawn at least eight targets in every game this year. Historically better on the road, Green’s catch totals in home games are 8, 10, 8, 9 with an absurd 135-yard average. A fantastic DFS tournament play, Green will have minimal ownership in a great matchup against Bills perimeter CBs Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby. Gilmore has had a terribly disappointing season, while Buffalo has considered benching Darby for sometimes-safety Corey White. FS Aaron Williams (neck) is out for the year and slot CB Nickell Robey-Coleman was benched this week for sixth-round rookie Kevon Seymour. It should be noted that Rex Ryan's Bills double teamed Green in last year's Week 6 game in Buffalo, holding him to 36 scoreless yards on seven targets. It should also be noted that Football Outsiders has the Bills rated dead last in defense against No. 1 wide receivers. … The Bills have given up big games to tight ends when they have faced quality ones, conceding 5-109 to Martellus Bennett, 8-103-2 to Jimmy Graham, and 5-109-1 to Rob Gronkowski. Eifert has stat lines of 9-102-1 and 3-96 since being restored to full-time usage and is a top-five tight end play this week. Eifert stands to benefit if the Bills sell out to stop Green. … Complementary pass catchers LaFell and Boyd have been non-factors since Eifert returned. After averaging six targets per game in the first seven weeks, LaFell has drawn target totals of 2 and 2 in Eifert’s two full games. Boyd is scoreless on the year with two games above 40 yards.
Score Prediction: Bengals 27, Bills 24
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City
Vegas Projected Score: Chiefs 26, Bucs 18.5
As Kansas City is favored by over a touchdown at home, this matchup sets up perfectly for Spencer Ware against a soft Bucs run defense that has been gutted for a combined 68-343-0 (5.04 YPC) rushing line by running backs over its last three games while yielding the NFL’s seventh most receiving yards (455) to the position this year. Although Ware had a predictably slow Week 10 against the run-tough Panthers, Ware significantly out-snapped (64%) and out-touched (16) Charcandrick West (31%, 5), retaking his feature back role in commanding fashion. In a week where the public will focus on players who have put more into the box score lately, Ware makes for a terrific DFS option and is viable in both tournaments and cash games. Ware is my second favorite running back play of Week 11, behind only Le'Veon Bell. … Alex Smith also has a plus draw against Tampa Bay, which has given up monster weeks to Derek Carr (QB1), Matt Ryan (QB1, QB6), and Carson Palmer (QB4) and ranks a middling 16th in pass-defense DVOA. Smith has shown minimal upside over the course of the season, however, clearing 290 passing yards in just 1-of-8 games with multiple touchdowns in 3-of-8. Smith is a viable streamer in season-long leagues. He has not demonstrated the upside of a quarterback we want to target in DFS.
Smith’s Week 10 targets in the absence of Jeremy Maclin: Tyreek Hill 13; Albert Wilson 7; Travis Kelce 6; Ware, West, and Chris Conley 3; Ross Travis 2. … Parlaying 11 touches into 101 yards in last week’s win over Carolina, Hill was the focal point of Kansas City’s passing offense on manufactured plays and quick hitters. Built on speed, agility, and run-after-catch ability, Hill’s game aligns nicely with Smith’s risk-averse playing style. Hill runs over a third of his routes in the slot, where the Bucs have had problems with Mohamed Sanu (5-74) and Seth Roberts (3-69-1) recently. … The rest of Kansas City’s pass catchers were Week 10 flops in a game where the Chiefs only had the ball for 25 minutes and Smith managed 178 passing yards. Nevertheless, Kelce enters another great-looking spot against a Tampa defense that got ripped for 4-78-2 by Falcons tight ends in Week 9, 6-67-1 by Raiders tight ends in Week 8, and 9-181 by Greg Olsen in Week 6. Smith had Kelce open for a sure touchdown in the fourth quarter of last week's win, only to miss him high. … Conley has consistently failed to deliver in prime opportunities. He is scoreless on the year and has cleared 60 yards in 1-of-9 games. … Wilson has target counts of 7 and 8 the past two weeks, but yardage totals of 25 and 42 to show for it. Hill is clearly the Chiefs’ more dynamic short-area receiver.
The Chiefs’ defense has had exploitable moments in road games this year, but they have held opponents to 16.5 points per game at Arrowhead and pose an uncomfortable Week 11 draw for Jameis Winston, particularly with OLB Justin Houston (knee, PUP) finally looking likely to make his 2016 debut. Kansas City ranks No. 8 in pass-defense DVOA and limits big passing plays, yielding the NFL’s ninth fewest 20-plus-yard completions (26) and fourth fewest completions of 40-plus yards (3). Winston remains a viable start in season-long leagues against a Chiefs defense that has allowed top-15 fantasy quarterback weeks in five of its last six games. A DFS concern is Kansas City’s potential ability to control this game with its rushing attack against Tampa’s soft front, slowing down pace and limiting the Bucs’ offensive volume. … Doug Martin returned from his hamstring injury in last week’s win and dominated the Bucs’ backfield until the game got out of hand, at which point Peyton Barber came on for mop-up duty in Tampa Bay’s 36-10 beatdown of the Bears. Martin didn’t quite look 100% yet, although that was expected. He logged 17 touches and should approach 20 against the Chiefs, who rank No. 19 in run-defense DVOA and allow 4.65 yards per carry to enemy backs. The spot obviously isn’t ideal for Martin as a road-dog running back, but his workload looks bankable and his efficiency is a good bet to increase from last week’s.
Winston’s targets since Vincent Jackson went on I.R.: Mike Evans 63; Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate 27; Cecil Shorts 17; Russell Shepard 9; Barber 6. … Evans’ slow Week 10 game (4-66-0) could be attributed to double teams by the Bears’ secondary, which resulted in abnormally high target counts for Brate (7) and Humphries (8). Much like Kelvin Benjamin (7-84), Allen Robinson (7-76-1), Donte Moncrief (4-41-1), Michael Thomas (10-130), Amari Cooper (10-129), and Antonio Brown (4-64-2) before him, Evans is an X-Iso receiver who primarily runs routes at right cornerbacks and will therefore avoid Chiefs LCB Marcus Peters for most of this game. As Kansas City’s Eric Berry-keyed shutdown tight end coverage should be able to put clamps on Brate, Evans is in a prime get-right spot in a game where the Bucs project to be trailing. It’s also worth noting that Peters got burned for a 38-yard touchdown by Devin Funchess in last week’s win over Carolina, then missed the entire practice week with a hip pointer. Listed as questionable, Peters looks unlikely to play. … Corresponding tight end stat lines given up by the Chiefs in those games were 5-39-0 (Greg Olsen), 2-21-0 (Julius Thomas), 2-36-0 (Jack Doyle), 2-44-0 (Coby Fleener), 2-25-0 (Clive Walford), and 2-15-1 (Jesse James). You’re on your own chasing after Brate’s last-week points.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 27, Bucs 17
Chicago @ NY Giants
Vegas Projected Score: Giants 26, Bears 18.5
A different quarterback in the comfy confines of MetLife Stadium this season, Eli Manning enters Week 11 with three or more touchdown passes in three straight home games and multiple TD passes in just 1-of-4 away games on the year. Much of that can be attributed to better home-game matchups as well as Odell Beckham’s superior performances at home, which we’ll get to shortly. PFF’s Pat Thorman has also noted the Giants average 9.6 more plays per game at home, where they run more no-huddle offense. The Giants’ utter inability to run the ball has stabilized Manning’s weekly volume with 35-plus attempts in eight straight games, while a healthy and more-effective OBJ raises Eli’s ceiling. Although the Bears’ pass defense has played well at times this year, Chicago has yielded top-ten fantasy quarterback finishes in three of its last five games to Jameis Winston (QB10), Aaron Rodgers (QB3), and Andrew Luck (QB8). This should be viewed as an average to above-average matchup for Eli. … Rashad Jennings reasserted himself as the Giants’ lead runner in last Monday night’s win over Cincinnati, parlaying 18 touches into 109 yards on a 60% playing-time clip. Paul Perkins played the remaining 40%, managing 31 yards on nine carries and missing his three passing-game targets. Although Perkins has looked like the more explosive option at times this year, he is not yet fully trusted in pass protection and would need to severely out-produce Jennings in order to overtake him, which obviously hasn’t happened yet. Neither Giants runner has an overly attractive Week 11 matchup against Chicago, which got back NT Eddie Goldman (ankle) last week and has held enemy running backs to a combined 81-263-2 (3.25 YPC) rushing line over its last four games. The projected positive script of this game does give Jennings some appeal as a flex play in season-long leagues. Jennings was the Giants’ clock-killing runner in last week’s win over the Bengals.
Eli’s targets in two games since the Giants’ Week 8 bye: Odell Beckham 21; Will Tye 15; Sterling Shepard 13; Jennings 9; Jerell Adams 7; Perkins and Roger Lewis 6; Victor Cruz 1. … Whereas Beckham has failed to clear 75 yards in any of his four road games this season, he has posted stat lines of 10-97-1, 4-46-2, 8-222-2, 7-121-0, and 8-86-0 at MetLife Stadium. Beckham has nine-plus targets in eight straight games. The Bears took away Mike Evans (4-66-0) with loaded Week 10 coverage, but the Giants’ increased movement of OBJ all over the formation makes him harder to double team. On the season, Chicago has allowed the NFL’s fourth most catches (136) and eighth most receiving yards (1,687) to enemy wideouts. … Shepard hasn’t cleared 50 yards since Week 3, but he has scored a touchdown in consecutive games and would stand to benefit if the Bears sell out to stop Beckham. … Tye has taken over as the Giants’ lead tight end, logging target counts of 7 and 8 on snap rates of 72% and 79% since New York’s Week 8 bye. Larry Donnell isn’t playing at all anymore. The Bears have been tough on tight ends for most of the season, but they did allow 9-111-1 to Bucs tight ends last week, mainly as a function of Chicago’s insistence on not letting Evans beat them. A similar scenario could play out this week, of course. Tye is a sensible tight end streamer whose outlook would improve if Cruz (ankle) is in any way limited after missing Week 10.
Coming off a four-turnover meltdown in Tampa Bay and now without Alshon Jeffery (suspension), stud RG Kyle Long (ankle), and RT Bobby Massie (concussion), Jay Cutler is an appealing target for streamers of the Giants’ D/ST, which has ten sacks over its last four games and has allowed 24 points or fewer in six straight weeks. Cutler is a two-quarterback-league option to avoid against the G-Men, who have permitted just one top-12 fantasy quarterback finish through nine games and only two top-15 weeks. … Jordan Howard survived last week's Achilles' scare to practice in full all week and will be all systems go against the G-Men. Howard’s matchup is below average against a Giants run defense that ranks No. 12 in DVOA and has yielded the NFL’s fourth fewest receiving yards (245) to running backs. Howard maintains value in season-long leagues through volume and consistent production whenever he gets it. In the five games where Howard has handled at least 15 touches this year, the rookie power back has cleared 100 total yards four times and scored three TDs.
The strongest Week 11 play in Jeffery’s absence is Zach Miller taking on a Giants defense that has given up the NFL’s eighth most receptions (52) and ninth most yards (585) to tight ends. Over their last three games, the G-Men have been hit for 3-96 by Tyler Eifert, 8-97 by Zach Ertz, and 7-55 by Lance Kendricks. Miller led the Bears in targets in Cutler’s Week 9 start (10) and finished second (7) behind Jeffery (9) in Week 10. … Cameron Meredith is also back in play, although he has drawn target totals of 2 and 2 since Cutler took back over as the Bears’ quarterback and could end up drawing a lot of Janoris Jenkins, who has been a borderline-shutdown corner this year. Still, Meredith stands 6-foot-3, 207 and has the body type of a receiver Cutler might suddenly begin force feeding targets. For Week 11, I’m viewing Meredith as a boom-bust WR3 with some low-cost DFS tournament appeal. … Another candidate for increased usage is slot man Eddie Royal, who finally returned from his toe injury in last week’s loss to Tampa Bay but logged just two targets on 73% of the snaps. Royal’s matchup is good against a Giants defense that has struggled against slot receivers Jordan Matthews (6-88), Tavon Austin (10-57-1), Randall Cobb (9-108), Cole Beasley (8-65), Willie Snead (5-54-1), and Jamison Crowder (4-78-1). Royal’s usage is unclear, however, and the Bears’ passing game as an entity is dangerous to trust. … The Bears’ new No. 2 perimeter wideout figures to be either Josh Bellamy or Marquess Wilson. Bellamy has mostly played special teams for Chicago. Wilson broke his foot in spring practices, opened the season on the PUP list, and resumed practicing two weeks ago. Wilson has some long-shot Dynasty-league appeal.
Score Prediction: Giants 27, Bears 13
Arizona @ Minnesota
Vegas Projected Score: Cardinals 20, Vikings 20
Although “at Minnesota” looks imposing on paper, Mike Zimmer’s run defense hasn’t been so imposing on the field, surrendering a combined 131-605-2 (4.62 YPC) rushing line to enemy running backs over its last six games while yielding the NFL’s 11th most receiving yards (395) to the position. The Vikings were pounded for 26-122-0 (4.69 YPC) by Redskins backs in last week’s loss. David Johnson enters Week 11 with 100-plus total yards in ten straight games and ten TDs through nine games this year. He is an elite RB1 play in this overrated matchup and will have minimal ownership in DFS, where he makes for an intriguing tournament option. … Because their offensive line wasn’t getting much interior push versus the 49ers, the Cardinals made the mistake of putting last week’s game into the hands of Carson Palmer, who proceeded to commit three turnovers in a near loss to a 1-8 team. Palmer has finished as a top-15 fantasy quarterback in just one of his last six starts, absorbing 22 sacks with 11 turnovers during that stretch. Week 11 opponent Minnesota has allowed just one top-16 quarterback finish over its last eight games and ranks No. 5 in pass-defense DVOA. This is a get-right spot for the Vikings’ fantasy D/ST and a difficult one for Palmer, who is sorely missing LT Jared Veldheer (triceps) and RG Evan Mathis (ankle).
Palmer’s targets coming off Arizona’s Week 9 bye: Larry Fitzgerald 18; Johnson 7; Michael Floyd, J.J. Nelson, and Jermaine Gresham 6; John Brown 4. … Plagued by ankle and MCL injuries, Fitzgerald has still delivered six-plus catches in five straight games and 70-plus yards in three straight. As Fitzgerald runs nearly 70% of his routes in the slot, he is also the Arizona receiver least likely to face Minnesota’s stingy perimeter coverage. Fitzgerald runs the most tight end-like routes in the Cardinals’ pass-catcher corps. The Vikings have been skewered by Redskins tight ends (5-107-1), Eric Ebron (7-92), and Bears tight ends (9-101) over their last three games. … The outlooks for Arizona’s outside receivers are murkier due to matchup and playing-time concerns. Nelson (2-29) opened Week 10 in two-wide sets, but his playing time was reduced after two costly early-game errors. Floyd (5-101) proceeded to turn in his season-best game, but Floyd is always very hard to trust. Brown (2-30) has been battling sicknesses all year. Just four wide receivers have cleared 65 yards versus the Vikings through nine games. One of Floyd, Nelson, and Brown will probably have a solid Week 11 box score. I really don’t pretend to know who it will be.
I mentioned above how this game sets up poorly for Carson Palmer. It is even more concerning for Sam Bradford, who lost LT Jake Long (Achilles’) for the season in Week 10 and will be a sitting duck against a Cardinals pass defense that ranks No. 3 in DVOA and No. 8 in sacks (24) and has allowed a league-low six touchdown passes. Bradford is barely worth two-quarterback-league consideration in the NFL’s least-talented offense. The Vikings haven’t scored more than 20 points in a game since Week 5 and are tied for last in the league in yards per play (4.7). … The Vikings continued to employ an ineffective three-way RBBC in last week’s loss to Washington, giving Matt Asiata 10 touches, Jerick McKinnon 9, and Ronnie Hillman 4. The Cards rank No. 9 in run-defense DVOA and rendered Carlos Hyde and DuJuan Harris non-factors on the ground in last week’s win over San Francisco, holding them to a combined 18-28-0 (1.56 YPC) rushing line. Minnesota’s backfield is safe to avoid in Week 11 fantasy lineup decisions.
Bradford’s target distribution in two games with Pat Shurmur as OC: Stefon Diggs 29; Cordarrelle Patterson 12; Kyle Rudolph 11; Adam Thielen 10; McKinnon 4; Charles Johnson and Asiata 3; Hillman 1. … Diggs has vacuumed targets (14, 15) through two games under Shurmur as the focal point of a quick-hitting offense designed to mitigate Minnesota’s pass-protection woes. Now running nearly 70% of his routes in the slot, Diggs draws an Arizona defense that has given up high-volume games to fellow interior receivers Jeremy Kerley (8-102-1 and 7-71-1), Doug Baldwin (6-69), Julian Edelman (7-66), and Adam Humphries (6-67). On Wednesday, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians did state that Patrick Peterson will chase Diggs into the slot, something Peterson dabbled with against Baldwin earlier this year. While this may make Diggs a weaker DFS play, he remains a strong season-long fantasy bet with the kind of skill set that can give longer-limbed, heavier Peterson fits. … As just two wide receivers have reached 75 yards against the Cardinals all year, Patterson and Thielen look like smart fades with low floors and low ceilings. Kerley is the only wide receiver to score a touchdown against Arizona since Week 5. … After seeing only three targets in Shurmur’s first game calling plays, Rudolph bounced back for a 5-69-1 line on eight targets in last week’s loss to Washington. Rudolph’s Week 11 matchup is horrific against a Cardinals defense yielding league lows in catches (26), yards (246), and touchdowns (0) to tight ends. Still, Rudolph is hard to get away from in season-long leagues, where he’s been an every-week starter, ranking third at the position in targets (65), ninth in catches (37), 11th in yards (392), and tied for first in touchdowns (5). Rudolph also had a solid game (6-67-0) when these teams met in Week 14 last year.
Score Prediction: Vikings 17, Cardinals 16
4:05 PM ET Game
Miami @ Los Angeles
Vegas Projected Score: Dolphins 20.75, Rams 19.25
After managing 80 scoreless yards in last week’s upset of San Diego, Jay Ajayi gets a tougher Week 11 draw in Los Angeles, where the Rams rank No. 8 in run-defense DVOA and have held enemy backs to an 80-283-1 (3.54 YPC) rushing line over their last four games. Jets backs did drop 25-139-0 (5.56 YPC) rushing on L.A. last week, however, while Ajayi’s volume remains bankable with 20-plus touches in four straight games. Very much the foundation of Miami’s offense, Ajayi established another season high for playing time (75%) against the Chargers and continued to show his big-play ability on second-half runs of 40 and 21 yards. Regardless of matchups, Ajayi has settled in as an elite every-week RB1 in season-long leagues. On the road against a strong defensive front and missing LT Branden Albert (wrist) and C Mike Pouncey (hip), however, Ajayi is a risky investment in DFS. … The Week 11 outlook is more dim for Ryan Tannehill, who played his best game of the season against San Diego but is unlikely to repeat. The Rams have held 7-of-9 quarterbacks faced to fantasy finishes of QB16 or worse and are healthy up front after DEs Robert Quinn and William Hayes and NT Michael Brockers all battled early-season injuries. Matthew Stafford (4), Jameis Winston (3), and Tyrod Taylor (2) are the only three quarterbacks to drop multiple TD passes on the Rams this year. Russell Wilson (0), Eli Manning (0), Cam Newton (1), Carson Palmer (1), Bryce Petty (1), and Blaine Gabbert (1) all failed. Tannehill has under 35 pass attempts in six straight games and multiple touchdown passes in just four of his last 14 starts. His outlook is further diminished by the abscences of Albert and Pouncey.
Tannehill's targets over his last seven games: Jarvis Landry 44; DeVante Parker 35; Kenny Stills 27; Damien Williams 14; Ajayi 11; MarQueis Gray 10; Dominique Jones 9; Kenyan Drake 6. … Landry has an unimposing Week 11 matchup against tiny Rams slot CB Lamarcus Joyner, but Landry has been held under ten targets in five straight games and has scored in just 1-of-9 games this year. In Miami’s run-first offense, Landry has devolved into a low-ceiling WR3. … It’s no coincidence that Tannehill and Parker’s best games of the season coincided in last week’s upset of San Diego. Parker turned eight targets into 103 yards, repeatedly burning Bolts fill-in RCB Craig Mager. Parker remains scoreless since September and has reached five targets in just two of his last six games. His Week 11 matchup doesn’t stand out as attractive or daunting against Rams perimeter CBs Trumaine Johnson and E.J. Gaines. Parker remains a boom-bust WR4/flex with obvious talent but just-as-obvious inconsistency. … Stills caught a touchdown on a gorgeous throw from Tannehill last week, but he has drawn three targets or fewer in five of his last six games. Stills is a low-volume role player in a low-volume passing offense and therefore almost impossible to project for big games before they happen. Stills had some buzz in the fantasy community before Miami’s Week 9 game against the Jets – and for good reason – but he proceeded to flop (1-11-0).
With so much unknown as Jared Goff plays his first meaningful NFL snaps, the Rams’ passing game looks like a full Week 11 fade. The No. 1 pick in April’s draft, Goff completed 44.9% of his 49 preseason passes for 232 yards (4.7 YPA) with two touchdowns and four turnovers, taking four sacks and fumbling three times. He left multiple preseason games due to injury. Just a week ago, Rams brass told us Goff was not yet ready. Maybe Goff is now suddenly ready and will go out and light up the Dolphins. Until we see Goff do something positive, however, I personally am going to be betting on the defenses facing him and against Los Angeles’ pass catchers. … Todd Gurley is scoreless in four straight games. He has not reached 4.2 yards per carry in a single game this year. Regardless of opponents, the story is the same for Gurley each and every week. You cross your fingers he catches a few passes and maybe scores a touchdown.
Score Prediction: Dolphins 23, Rams 13
4:25 PM ET Games
New England @ San Francisco
Vegas Projected Score: Patriots 32, 49ers 19
A recommended “sell high” in some season-long fantasy circles after Tom Brady returned from his four-game ban, LeGarrette Blount has instead remained a fantasy week winner in a high-volume, high-scoring role as the finisher for arguably the league’s top offense. Blount has eight TDs in Brady’s five starts, seeing touch counts of 18, 15, 25, 18, 21 on a Patriots team that seems committed to staying balanced. With Rob Gronkowski (lung) and Chris Hogan (back) out and Brady (thigh) mildly banged up, this is another opportunity for the Pats to put the ball in Blount’s belly against the NFL’s worst run defense. David Johnson’s poor Week 10 rushing efficiency (2.89 YPC) against the 49ers seemed more symptomatic of Arizona’s floundering run game as a whole. Missing LT Jared Veldheer and RG Evan Mathis, Johnson has failed to clear 3.5 yards per carry in three straight games. The 49ers are allowing league highs in running back carries per game (30.2), running back rushing yards per game (159.0), and running back touchdowns per game (1.7). … James White’s snap rates have trended downward (61% > 42% > 49% > 44%) over the past four weeks with only 12 combined touches over his last three games. His usage will further dwindle if Dion Lewis (knee) debuts this week. Lewis made the team flight on Saturday, so it would not be surprising if he logged 6-9 touches against the Niners. … Brady carved up Seattle for 316 yards at 9.9 yards per attempt in last Sunday night’s loss, but he came away with zero touchdowns due to Blount's repeated goal-line vultures. I’m fully expecting a Brady bounce back against a 49ers defense that allows enemy offenses to fire off a league-high 71.7 plays per game and has given up multiple touchdown passes in seven of its last eight. Brady has been a top-eight weekly scorer in 4-of-5 starts and a top-three scorer in 3-of-5. Look for this to begin as a "Brady Game" that eventually turns into a "Blount Game." That's typically the Patriots' recipe against clearly-inferior opponents.
Brady's Weeks 5-10 targets: Julian Edelman 44; Rob Gronkowski 33; White 29; Martellus Bennett 27; Chris Hogan 15; Danny Amendola 9; Malcolm Mitchell 6; Blount 3. … Edelman has drawn target counts of 10, 7, 10, 8, 9 in Brady’s five starts and in Week 11 takes on a San Francisco secondary that has yielded a league-high 15 touchdown catches to wide receivers. Edelman is running about half of his routes in the slot. The 49ers got hit hard by fellow interior option Larry Fitzgerald (12-133) last week. … Bennett deserves to be a popular Week 11 DFS play in the absence of Gronk (lung). Bennett has been incredibly efficient this season with a career-high 81% catch rate, and he has three 100-yard games. Bennett logged snap rates of 97% and 100% when Gronkowski missed Weeks 1-2. … The Patriots ruled out Hogan (back) on Friday, so Amendola and Mitchell will round out New England's three-receiver set alongside Edelman. Considering the overall likelihood of Patriots passing-game success, it would not be surprising if one or both had a solid game. A fourth-round pick out of Georgia with 4.45 wheels at 6-foot, 198, Mitchell has an Emmanuel Sanders-like skill set. He has flashed big-play ability on intermediate routes in limited opportunities since the preseason. Amendola has been a bit player in the Patriots' offense this year, but his five red-zone targets are as many as Gronkowski's and only one fewer than Bennett's six.
A top-eight fantasy quarterback in back-to-back games, Colin Kaepernick is this week’s top streamer against a weak Patriots pass defense that ranks No. 27 in DVOA and has failed to generate pressure all season. New England has also played the NFL’s easiest quarterback schedule. When tested by semi-competent passers, they’ve been ripped up by Russell Wilson (QB4), Ryan Tannehill (QB7), Andy Dalton (QB11), and Carson Palmer (QB12). Tyrod Taylor has two top-15 fantasy finishes against New England. The other quarterbacks they’ve faced are Landry Jones, Cody Kessler/Charlie Whitehurst, and Brock Osweiler. … Carlos Hyde returned from his shoulder injury in last week’s loss to Arizona and was utterly ineffective, managing 14 yards on 13 carries and doing more to damage the 49ers’ run game than help it. With Kaepernick installed at quarterback and DuJuan Harris in the backfield, San Francisco’s rushing offense was previously making legitimate strides. Hyde’s return reduced Harris to a five-touch back on 33% of the snaps. Although Hyde had some early-season fantasy success by scoring short touchdowns, he has cleared 80 rushing yards in just 4-of-14 career starts, has cleared 20 receiving yards in 2-of-14 starts, and is averaging 3.85 yards per carry since succeeding Frank Gore as the 49ers’ “running back of the future” two years ago. The Patriots’ defensive strength is against the run, where they rank No. 4 in run-defense DVOA and allow the NFL’s seventh fewest running back rushing yards per game (78.9). If the 49ers are going to have a running game on Sunday, it will probably happen on Kaepernick’s legs.
Kaepernick’s Weeks 6-10 target distribution: Quinton Patton 29; Jeremy Kerley 25; Vance McDonald 20; Torrey Smith 16; Garrett Celek 9; Shaun Draughn and Harris 8. … Held below 25 yards in each of Kap’s first three starts, slot man Kerley suddenly exploded for 7-71-1 on seven targets in last week’s loss to Arizona. This feels like a classic point-chasing situation, but it is true that New England has struggled with interior receivers all season, most recently Doug Baldwin (6-59-3) but also Larry Fitzgerald (8-81-2), Jarvis Landry (10-135), Robert Woods (7-89), Andrew Hawkins (4-56-1), and Tyler Boyd (4-79). … The other 49ers pass catcher worth a Week 11 look is McDonald, who has drawn six targets in three straight games with snap rates of 77%, 70%, 70% during that stretch. McDonald is a legitimately good athlete with a 93rd-percentile SPARQ score and 18.4 yards-per-reception average. In a game where the 49ers project to be trailing, McDonald has streamer appeal with big-play potential and his usage on the rise.
Score Prediction: Patriots 30, 49ers 23
Philadelphia @ Seattle
Vegas Projected Score: Seahawks 24.75, Eagles 18.25
Beginning to look much more like his 2015 second-half self, Russell Wilson has turned in consecutive fantasy finishes of QB3 and QB4 in Seattle’s increasingly pass-first offense, which is officially now a shotgun-spread attack and has added a new dimension with the installation of all-purpose threat C.J. Prosise at feature back. Week 11 opponent Philadelphia has yielded multiple touchdown passes in four of its last six games and is now traveling cross country to CenturyLink Field, where the Seahawks are 4-0 this season and typically have a decided edge on opponents. Despite the theoretically difficult matchup with an Eagles pass defense that ranks No. 1 in DVOA, I am now valuing Wilson as a low-end QB1 with high-end QB1 upside based on his dramatic uptick in recent play and more fantasy-friendly offense. … Prosise logged career highs in touches (24) and snaps (77%) in last week’s breakout game in Foxboro, not only handling between-the-tackles work but turning short grabs into chain-moving gains and making downfield catches as well. The Seahawks used Prosise as a mismatch-creating passing-game weapon. Christine Michael was cut on Tuesday and Thomas Rawls is unlikely to be ready for a high-volume role after missing the last two months. Although nothing about Prosise’s matchup stands out against a solid Philly defense, all-purpose, high-volume usage tends to make running backs matchup proof. At 6-foot-1, 220 with 4.48 speed and experience at wide receiver, Prosise profiled similarly to David Johnson coming out of college. While not quite as physically dominant, Prosise has major stretch-run potential as a dynamic playmaker in a fast-improving spread attack with high-scoring potential should he continue to lead Seattle’s backfield in touches. Prosise has led the Seahawks in receiving yards in two of their last three games.
Wilson's target distribution since Seattle's Week 5 bye: Jimmy Graham 36; Doug Baldwin 34; Jermaine Kearse 27; Tyler Lockett 19; Prosise 15; Paul Richardson 9. … Betting against Graham has been a losing proposition almost all year, although it should still be noted that Philadelphia has yielded league lows in catches (26) and yards (246) to tight ends. The best tight ends they have faced are Kyle Rudolph (5-55-0), Zach Miller (4-33-0), and Jason Witten (2-16-1), however. … Baldwin is likely to draw a combination of rookie Jalen Mills and FS Malcolm Jenkins in the slot. It is a good matchup, and Baldwin could see enhanced volume should the Eagles’ talented linebackers and safeties give Graham fits over the middle and in the seams. On the season, Baldwin leads the Seahawks in both red-zone targets (9) and targets inside the ten-yard line (3). … Lockett finally showed signs of life with 72 yards on six targets in last week’s win over New England, although he played only 60% of the snaps and remains a rotational receiver. Only five opposing wide receivers (Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones) have hit 80 yards against the Eagles through nine games. Lockett remains a big-play-dependent dart throw.
This is an exceptionally tough spot for the Eagles’ offense, which pulled off last week’s win over Atlanta by milking clock and keeping the Falcons’ offense off the field. Philly’s offense out-snapped Atlanta’s 76 to 48 and won the time-of-possession battle 38 to 21, a scenario that almost certainly won’t repeat at CenturyLink Field. Carson Wentz has been a fantasy disaster with weekly finishes of QB23, QB22, QB29, QB29, QB23 over his last five games. Wentz is an extremely poor bet to turn things around on the road against a Seahawks pass defense that ranks No. 7 in DVOA. Wentz’s pass catchers are also banged up. Jordan Matthews (back) and Zach Ertz (hamstring) both missed practice time this week, although they are expected to play. … In the same week coach Doug Pederson publicly declared Darren Sproles the Eagles’ lead runner, Pederson reinstalled Ryan Mathews (21 touches, 33% snaps) as Philly’s main back against the Falcons. Rookie Wendell Smallwood’s (13 touches, 24%) involvement also spiked, while Sproles (39%) continued to lead the backfield in playing time but saw only ten touches in a ground-and-pound approach. Due to Seattle’s imposing pass rush and the improbability Philadelphia will be able to run the ball successfully on the Seahawks’ No. 2 DVOA-rated run defense, Sproles figures to rise back atop the pecking order in this particular matchup. Sproles still paid PPR dividends with eight receptions against the Falcons and maintains the most stable role. Mathews will continue to be a high-risk RB2/flex option due to his volatile usage and bad Week 11 matchup. Mathews has reached double-digit touches in just two of the Eagles’ last five games. Seattle has limited enemy running backs to a combined 157-538-4 (3.43 YPC) rushing line over the past six weeks.
Wentz’s target distribution since the Eagles’ Week 4 bye: Jordan Matthews 49; Sproles 34; Nelson Agholor 33; Zach Ertz 28; Dorial Green-Beckham 26; Mathews 10; Trey Burton 9; Bryce Treggs and Smallwood 3. … Matthews enters Week 11 with target counts of 15, 10, 10 over his last three games. He remains a stable weekly floor play with 65 yards and/or a touchdown in 8-of-9 games. Running 70% of his routes in the slot, Matthews has the best Week 11 matchup in Philly’s pass-catcher corps against Seattle’s slumping interior defense, which has been hit by Julian Edelman (7-99), Robert Woods (10-162), Willie Snead (6-56), and Larry Fitzgerald (9-70) over its last four games. … The only other playable Eagles pass catcher is Ertz, who has come on somewhat strong out of necessity with target counts of 8 and 7 the past two weeks, resulting in 8-97 and 6-55 receiving lines. The Seahawks have played lights-out tight end defense most of the year, although Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski did combine for 10-158 against them last Sunday night. As a talent, Ertz is in neither Bennett nor Gronkowski’s wheelhouse, of course. Still, this is a game where the Eagles may have to throw the ball voluminously to move the chains, and their perimeter wideouts are virtually certain to be non-factors. Green-Beckham, Treggs, and Agholor combined for seven receiving yards on five targets between them versus Atlanta.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 24, Eagles 14
Sunday Night Football
Green Bay @ Washington
Vegas Projected Score: Redskins 26.5, Packers 24
One of fantasy’s highest-floor quarterback plays all season, Kirk Cousins enters Week 11 with top-14 weekly finishes in seven of his last eight games and 260-plus yards in five straight. He has produced against good and bad defenses alike and in Week 11 faces a Packers defense that has fallen off a cliff, surrendering point totals of 33, 31, 47 over the past three weeks with 30-plus points allowed in four of its last five games. Cousins has multiple touchdown passes in three straight home games and should stay hot in this possible shootout. … As Matt Jones was healthy scratched, Rob Kelley dominated the Redskins’ Week 10 backfield with 23 touches on a season-high 67% snap rate. Pass-game specialist Chris Thompson mixed in for seven touches on 33% of the downs. While the Packers’ No. 5 DVOA-ranked run defense is no joke, Green Bay has coughed up six running back TDs over its last three games, and Washington seems likely to stay in positive enough script for Kelley to stay fed. Thompson will likely only pay dividends if the Redskins fall behind. Getting what’s blocked and sometimes more, and keeping the chains moving with hard-charging between-the-tackles running, Kelley has earned RB2 treatment in season-long leagues regardless of matchups. Kelley’s floor remains concerning if game flow goes south. He has only four passing-game targets all season and would be replaced by Thompson in that scenario.
After last week’s surprise clunker (2-41-0) versus Minnesota, this should be an easy bounce back for Reed against a Green Bay defense that got hit for 10-133-2 by Titans tight ends in Week 10 and 7-83 by Colts tight ends in Week 9. Reed had Vikings LB Chad Greenway beaten for a TD last week, only for Cousins to narrowly overshoot him. With Rob Gronkowski (lung) out against San Francisco, Reed and Delanie Walker (@ IND) are neck and neck for this week's No. 1 tight end play. … Davis has found ways to produce in consecutive games (5-93-0, 3-66-1) with Reed healthy despite snap rates of 43% and 54% on target totals of 5 and 3. Davis is a low-volume, part-time player, but he is playing legitimately outstanding football this year and has a plus draw in a potential shootout. Davis is still best viewed as a low-floor streamer. … Packers slot CB Micah Hyde got burned for touchdowns by Rishard Matthews and Kendall Wright in Week 10 and offers an attractive matchup for Crowder, who has a touchdown and/or 100-plus yards in four straight games and is seeing consistent playing time again. Fellow slot men T.Y. Hilton (6-82), Mohamed Sanu (9-84-1), and Cole Beasley (6-58-2) have all given Green Bay recent fits. … Garcon led the Skins in targets (10), catches (6), and receiving yards (81) in last week’s win over Minnesota, benefiting from DeSean Jackson's (shoulder) absence. Pro Football Talk reported Saturday that Jackson is due back versus Green Bay. As windy conditions are expected at FedEx Field, I prefer the Redskins' interior pass catchers to perimeter threats Garcon and D-Jax in this game.
A top-three fantasy quarterback in four straight weeks, Aaron Rodgers has averaged 45.8 pass attempts and 4.2 rushing attempts over his last six games. This game’s shootout potential and Rodgers’ extreme volume give him a comfortable floor, even if the matchup isn’t ideal. The Redskins rank a respectable 14th in pass-defense DVOA and have surrendered multiple touchdown passes in 2-of-9 games while conceding just seven touchdown passes over their last eight games. … James Starks returned from his knee injury against Tennessee and took over as Green Bay's lead back after Ty Montgomery missed two first-quarter blitz-pickup assignments that resulted in sacks. On both plays, Montgomery too quickly broke into a route instead of staying in to block. Montgomery went on to manage five touches on a 28% playing-time clip, seeing most of the rest of his action in garbage time alongside Brett Hundley. Starks wound up with ten touches on 71% of the snaps. Until further notice, Starks needs to be approached as the Packers’ lead back and a viable RB2/flex option against Washington’s No. 30 DVOA-rated run defense. As the Packers can't trust Montgomery to be on the field with Rodgers, fantasy owners won't be able to trust Montgomery, either. We also shouldn't trust Packers OC Edgar Bennett's post-game explanation for why Montgomery barely played, blaming it on a "rep count." Montgomery flat out got benched. It would be a surprise if mid-week waiver claim Christine Michael made any Sunday night impact, although his addition could conceivably end the Montgomery-at-running-back experiment for good if Michael eventually earns playing time.
The Packers resumed using four-wide sets with concepts designed to beat man coverage in last week’s loss to Tennessee. Although Green Bay’s offense still had ups and downs due to protection leaks caused by Montgomery's miscues and later LT David Bakhtiari (knee) and RG T.J. Lang’s (ankle) injuries, Jordy Nelson (12-126-1) and Davante Adams (6-156) came away with big box-score games. While more spread usage would help the receivers’ chances of getting open, it is likely that we’ll see Josh Norman chase Jordy for most of Week 11, with struggling RCB Bashaud Breeland on Adams and rookie slot CB Kendall Fuller on Randall Cobb. … Adams stands out with the best matchup in Green Bay’s pass-catcher corps, and his volume is bankable with at least eight targets in five of his last six games. … Nelson theoretically has the toughest draw, although there were similar concerns when the Packers faced Desmond Trufant, Vontae Davis, and Darius Slay. Respectively, Jordy emerged from those games with receiving lines of 4-94-1, 7-94-1, and 6-101-2. As Nelson’s slot usage has increased in Green Bay’s spread passing game, interior routes give him another avenue to avoid Norman, who only matches up on the perimeter and plays just 5% of his snaps in the slot. … Cobb saw eight targets against the Titans, but he managed 4-31-0 receiving and has cleared 60 yards in just 2-of-8 games. It is concerning that Cobb (hamstring) remained limited in practice this week. This game’s shootout potential and Cobb’s plus matchup against Fuller still give him upside as a WR3 play in season-long leagues. … Richard Rodgers has target totals of 10 and 7 the past two weeks, but only one game over 30 yards all year. He is tough to back as a streamer with Green Bay’s wideout corps at full strength. Jared Cook (ankle) also practiced fully this week and looks likely to cut into Rodgers’ playing time.
Score Prediction: Redskins 30, Packers 24
Monday Night Football
Houston vs. Oakland
Vegas Projected Score: Raiders 25.75, Texans 20.25
Monday night’s game in Mexico City sets up beautifully for white-hot Latavius Murray, whose Raiders are favored by 5.5 points against a Houston run defense that ranks No. 24 in DVOA and has been clipped for a combined 65-311-2 (4.78 YPC) rushing line by enemy backs over its last three games. Since returning from a turf toe injury in Week 7, Murray has amassed touch totals of 20, 16, 21 with five touchdowns in three games. Rookies Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington have stayed involved as rotating change-of-pace backs, but neither has posed a threat to Murray’s place atop the pecking order since the first few weeks of the season. In DFS contests that extend into Monday night’s game, I like the idea of using Murray and the Raiders’ defense together in a correlation play. … The matchup isn’t as appealing for Derek Carr against a Texans pass defense that ranks No. 11 in DVOA and has permitted top-12 fantasy quarterback finishes in just 2-of-9 games. Houston has yielded the NFL’s third fewest passing scores (8) and passing yards per game (196.8). Carr’s aggressive passing style and playmaking wideouts always give him enough upside to run in season-long leagues, but I wouldn’t bet on this being one of his best games.
Carr’s targets since Latavius returned three games ago: Michael Crabtree 33; Amari Cooper 28; Seth Roberts 19; Murray 13; Clive Walford 9; Jalen Richard 6; Mychal Rivera 5; Andre Holmes 4; Washington and Jamize Olawale 3. … The Texans have allowed just five 70-plus-yard games to enemy receivers through nine weeks. The Raiders’ best bet to clear that mark is Cooper, who has drawn eight-plus targets in 7-of-9 games. Cooper will mainly run his Week 11 routes at Texans RCB A.J. Bouye, who has played well this year but missed last week’s win over Jacksonville with an ankle injury and is a former undrafted free agent out of UCF with 4.55 speed to Cooper’s 4.42. … Crabtree will deal more with LCB Johnathan Joseph, who checked Marqise Lee (4-50-0) in Week 10 and is the kind of crafty veteran capable of matching wits with Crabtree’s savvy route running. Crabtree remains a solid start in season-long leagues with five games of seven-plus receptions and a team-high six touchdown catches. … The Raiders’ complementary pass catchers are usually safe to ignore. The Texans allow the NFL’s fifth fewest fantasy points to tight ends and Walford has seen below five targets in seven straight games. Roberts quietly leads the Raiders in red-zone targets (11), but his floor is rough if he doesn’t hit pay dirt. Roberts has one game above 50 yards all season and zero games above 70. He’s entirely touchdown or bust.
Quietly improving defensively after a painful start to the season, the Raiders have gone four straight games without allowing a top-12 fantasy quarterback while yielding consecutive point totals of 20, 24, 16, 26 in that window. Although some of the improvement has been opponent driven during a stretch of Trevor Siemian, Blake Bortles, Alex Smith, and Jameis Winston, it is also true that Oakland’s Week 11 opponent is its weakest yet. The Texans’ offense ranks dead last in the NFL in yards per play (4.7) and 29th in points per game (17.9) and is bad enough that the Raiders’ fantasy D/ST is worth teeing up as a streamer. Brock Osweiler has zero fantasy finishes above QB15 this year and zero games of 270 passing yards and is always a mere two-quarterback-league option regardless of opponent. … Oakland tightened up its run defense in a two-game sample before its Week 10 bye, holding Broncos and Bucs running backs to a combined 36-119-1 (3.31 YPC) rushing line in Weeks 8-9. While I’m not quite ready to declare the Raiders’ run defense an imposing matchup, the improvement is notable for the Week 11 cause of Lamar Miller, whose inability to effectively handle workhorse usage seemingly becomes more evident by the week. Miller has battled shoulder and ankle injuries recently, and in Week 10 logged only 15 touches on a season-low 38% of the snaps while Akeem Hunt (9 touches, 30%) added a spark off the bench with 53 total yards and Alfred Blue (7 touches, 32%) stayed involved as a big-back complement. Blue (calf) won't play this week, but Hunt has earned a role in this emerging RBBC. Miller is a mid-range RB2 in season-long leagues.
DeAndre Hopkins will spend most of this game running routes at Raiders LCB David Amerson and RCB Sean Smith, who both have top-17 pass-coverage grades among 116 qualified cornerbacks at Pro Football Focus. While I would argue Amerson and Smith have not played quite as well as those PFF ratings indicate, Hopkins has been extremely inefficient for his own part with just two games over 60 yards all season despite drawing eight-plus targets in 7-of-9 games and a whopping 11.8-target average over the last month. Falling short of expectations even in the best matchups, Hopkins is a mere low-end WR2/high-end WR3 play in season-long leagues. … Hobbled rookie Will Fuller is apparently due back from his hamstring injury this week. Fuller remains a significant health risk and has cleared 40 yards just once since Week 2. … C.J. Fiedorowicz flopped (3-26-0) in last week’s matchup with Jacksonville’s tight end-stingy defense, but he played a season-high 87% of Houston’s snaps and remains usable for season-long owners in tight end binds, which are common at the weakest position in fantasy football. The Raiders are middling or worse in tight end defense, yielding the league’s 15th most yards (523) and sixth most scores (5) to the position. Fiedorowicz has drawn no fewer than five targets in six straight games.
Score Prediction: Raiders 24, Texans 17