Matt Nagy is getting closer and closer to stopping the fight. Two weeks after he kept Mitchell Trubisky’s car in neutral against the Eagles, he pulled it off the road altogether vs. the Rams. A “hip injury” was the official stated reason, an explanation both Nagy and Trubisky went along with, but the sideline body language told a different story. After Nagy provided a consoling moment, Trubisky stood around in a ballcap away from team doctors.
Maybe Nagy and Trubisky have genuinely rationalized that it was not a real benching. Whatever it was, it was a precursor. Quarterbacks who have been benched once will be benched twice. The cork does not go back into the bottle. Even if the injury is genuine, that would hardly be a reassuring development. One of the only things that kept Trubisky afloat in 2018 fantasy leagues was his rushing yardage. It disappeared after his Week 11 shoulder injury, and won’t be returning following this Week 11. More ailments would mean an even less dynamic player.
Shockingly bereft of big-play ability despite having a trio of big-play wideouts at his disposal, Trubisky has no viable path to upside. With his downside already through the floor, there is no longer a case to be made for him in either real life or fantasy. He’s reached the point his career where he needs to be rebuilt, and that is not going to happen with a desperate 4-6 team chasing last year’s faded glory. If Trubisky’s hip magically heals and he remains under for Weeks 12 and 13, he will be greeted by a pair of inviting matchups in the Giants and Lions. The most likely outcome is that it is he who rolls out the red carpet for his beleaguered foes, and not vice versa.
Five Week 11 Storylines
Marlon Mack reaches 100 yards for the first time since Week 5 before breaking his hand. All floor, no ceiling of late, Mack was rumbling toward a gloriously-painted vaulted number before suffering the fracture. Fantasy owners had largely already gotten what they came for, with a rugged 13-yard touchdown amongst Mack’s 109 yards on the ground, but the injury cost all involved a shot at a week-winning type effort. That point was underscored by journeyman Jonathan Williams checking in and finishing with an additional 13/116. With Jordan Wilkins sidelined with an ankle injury, it should be Williams who leads the Colts’ backfield for Thursday’s short-week matchup with the Texans’ reeling defense. In the final week with byes, Williams will be a plug-and-play RB2. Nyheim Hines, who caught just three passes on Sunday, will be a faint FLEX in the fantasy night sky.
Kyle Allen stops being subtle in his Cam Newton remembrance campaign. Even as he did things like nearly rally the Panthers to a road win in Green Bay, Allen kept offering little reminders that Panthers fans and football observers writing Newton’s Carolina obituary might be biting off more than they could chew. Sunday, he showed how far the Panthers really are from finding an escape hatch from their aging and expensive franchise player. There are real concerns with 30-year-old Newton’s recent injury history, but even at next year’s $23 million cap number, he remains the only quarterback solution on the Panthers’ roster. Now the owner of just one more touchdown (10) than interceptions (nine), Allen tacked on five sacks and an intentional grounding penalty vs. the Falcons’ resurgent defense. The second-year pro has produced multiple scores in just 3-of-8 appearances. Allen has been great for a backup. He simply hasn’t been anything more.
Bo Scarbrough wins Lions’ lead back contest. On the 53-man roster for fewer than 24 hours at game time, Scarbrough didn’t seem like a candidate to start against the Cowboys. But start he did before decisively winning the snap and touch battles. Scarbrough was on the field for 31 plays to Ty Johnson’s 18 and J.D. McKissic’s 14, handling the ball 14 times to Johnson’s three and McKissic’s six. Both powerful and athletic, Scarbrough broke tackles and piled up yardage after first contact. He certainly seemed to be the best player so far to get a crack at it in the Lions’ post-Kerryon Johnson backfield. Although he is strictly a two-down talent, Scarbrough will be worth the late-season FAAB and waivers plunge. The Redskins are the softest of Week 12 matchups.
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Courtland Sutton continues his emergence in Minnesota. Straight up bullying Xavier Rhodes, Sutton procured one of the only things that had been in short supply for him this season, a 100-yard day. It was Sutton’s first 100-yard effort since Week 1, though he averaged 72 in the eight-game interim. Sutton could have been even more of a box score stuffer, but Brandon Allen missed him on a probable 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage (it would have also been reversed by a Broncos penalty, anyways). Sutton also tacked on a 24-yard DPI that brought the Broncos down to the Vikings’ three-yard line, and contributed a 38-yard pass to Tim Patrick on a trick play. Winning 1-on-1 matchups no matter who is at quarterback, Sutton could soon be catching passes from deep-ball specialist Drew Lock. It does figure to be Allen under center for this week’s tough matchup with Tre’Davious White and the Bills.
Jameis Winston throws like 8,000 more interceptions. It was yet another embarrassing day for Winston, who finished with four picks for what felt like the 10th time this season. In actuality, it was “only” the second, but Winston now has 21 turnovers compared to 19 touchdowns. He’s on pace for 29 interceptions, which would be the most since Brett Favre in 2005. Winston keeps laying bare all his alibis. It’s not his supporting cast, which is elite. It’s not his coaching, which has been upgraded. It’s Winston. Although he’s still somehow only 25 years old, Winston is in the final year of his rookie deal. There is no longer any mystery. Although capable of instant offense, he’s more prone to drive-derailing mistakes. He is a Fitzpatrick-ian backup, one who will nevertheless remain a fantasy QB1 for however long he keeps his job this season.