Bye week: Dallas, St. Louis
Andre Brown, RB, New York Giants (vs. Green Bay, owned in 51% of Yahoo! leagues): We’ve been talking about Brown in this column for the past three weeks, so for those of you who had the foresight to acquire the New York running back, kudos. Shockingly, Brown is still available in 49% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues, but we don’t expect that number to hold steady in the wake of his 30-carry, 115-yard, one-touchdown effort against the Oakland Raiders last Sunday.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Atlanta, owned in 4% of Yahoo! leagues): Doug Martin and Mike James are out for the season, which opens the door for the two-year veteran out of Western Kentucky to make his mark. Rainey carried the ball eight times for 45 yards and a touchdown Monday night against the Dolphins while chipping in one reception for 11 yards. Note that he’ll be splitting carries with the next guy on this list.
Brian Leonard, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Atlanta, owned in 6% of Yahoo! leagues): With Martin and James out of action (see above), Leonard filled in on Monday night against Miami and racked up a season-high 20 carries for 57 yards with two receptions for another 16 yards. Note that he’ll be splitting carries with Bobby Rainey unless one of the two can step up and assume control of the starting job.
Josh McCown, QB, Chicago Bears (vs. Baltimore, owned in 7% of Yahoo! leagues): McCown steps back under center this Sunday for the re-injured Jay Cutler, which appears to be the popular call amongst Chicagoans. In three appearances this season, McCown has thrown for 538 yards (7.69 YPA) with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. And if the long-time journeyman finds a way to beat Baltimore while playing well on Sunday, don’t be surprised if a full-blown quarterback controversy breaks out in the Windy City.
Riley Cooper, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Washington, owned in 52% of Yahoo! leagues): How is this guy still available in nearly half of all Yahoo! fantasy leagues? All Cooper has done over the last two weeks is catch eight passes (11 targets) for 241 yards and five touchdowns. Note that Cooper has eclipsed 100 receiving yards in three of his last five starts.
Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams (Bye, owned in 44% of Yahoo! leagues): We can’t blame those of you who bailed on Austin after the rookie amassed 31 receptions for just 207 yards and two scores through his first nine games of the season. But the West Virginia standout is going to be a hot commodity following his Week 10 eruption to the tune of 138 receiving yards and two scores. However, be advised that Austin rolled up those numbers on just two catches, so the consistency factor here is relatively low.
Cooper has found the end zone five times over his last two starts.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tennessee Titans (vs. Indianapolis, owned in 2% of Yahoo! leagues): Is expected to handle the starting duties in Tennessee for the rest of the season now that Jake Locker has been lost for the year with a foot injury. Fitzpatrick played some decent football while spelling Locker last Sunday, completing 22 of 33 passes (66.7%) for 264 yards with two scores and zero interceptions. In addition, the Harvard product now has 70 career starts under his belt, so he shouldn’t be rattled by the situation. Consider Fitzpatrick a decent QB2 for owners in leagues with 12 or more teams.
John Carlson, TE, Minnesota Vikings (at Seattle, owned in 2% of Yahoo! leagues): With starter Kyle Rudolph (broken foot) out of action for the next four to six weeks, Carlson will enter the starting lineup for Minnesota. The former Seahawk hauled in a season-high seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown last Thursday night against Washington, but runs into the brick wall known as the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11. In addition, with all of the inconsistency plaguing the quarterback carousel in Minnesota this year, the upside in regards to Carlson is relatively limited.
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Detroit, owned in 15% of Yahoo! leagues): Makes for a decent WR3/4 option for owners in leagues with 12 or more teams after rolling up nine receptions for 127 yards and four scores over his last two outings.
Scott Tolzien, QB, Green Bay Packers (at NY Giants, owned in 1% of Yahoo! leagues): Looked serviceable against Philadelphia in place of the injured Seneca Wallace while completing 61.5% of his passes for 280 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Tolzien isn’t about to take the world by storm, but he does have a solid arsenal at his disposal (Nelson, Jones, Lacy) and gets to play at Giants defense on Sunday that is currently surrendering an average of 27.0 points per game (26th in NFL).
Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints (vs. San Francisco, owned in 40% of Yahoo! leagues): In leagues with 12 or more teams (especially ones that start three wide receivers), there is no good reason to explain why the rookie from Oklahoma is still on the waiver wire. Stills isn’t a high volume pass-catcher, but he’s a big-play threat on a big-play offense who has scored four touchdowns over his last four games.
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints (vs. San Francisco, owned in 16% of Yahoo! leagues): Don’t expect a big performance Sunday against the San Francisco defense and also keep in mind that Ingram’s Week 10 showing against the Cowboys (14-145-1) was likely fool’s gold. But it’s worth noting that the former Heisman Trophy winner is coming off the best game of his career and could finally be ready to emerge as the No. 1 back in New Orleans after spending two plus disappointing seasons with the club.
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans (vs. Indianapolis, owned in 10% of Yahoo! leagues): The upside here is minimal, but Walker is coming off his best performance of the season (4-62-1 on eight targets) and found the end zone once the Titans switched to Ryan Fitzpatrick following Jake Locker’s injury. The hope is that with Fitzpatrick under center, the backup signal-caller will use Walker as his security blanket.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Miami Dolphins (vs. San Diego, owned in 4% of Yahoo! leagues): Busted loosed Monday night against the Buccaneers with a career-high 11 receptions (14 targets) for 120 yards and two scores in a 22-19 loss. With Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline on the roster, we don’t expect Matthews to produce quality stat lines on a consistent basis. But the two-year veteran makes for decent WR depth in leagues with more than 12 teams.
New York Giants, D/ST (vs. Green Bay, owned in 27% of Yahoo! leagues): It’s been a shaky year for the Big Blue defense, but a questionable offensive line and third-string quarterback in the Green Bay Packers come to town on Sunday, offering fantasy owners a favorable Week 11 D/ST start option.
Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh