FANTASY PLAYS: Players to start and sit in NFL Week 11
Week 11 has strong potential. Monday night's Chiefs-Rams showdown is the desert following a Sunday main dish that will have at least three games with high-scoring upside (Cowboys-Falcons, Buccaneers-Giants, Eagles-Saints) with Panthers-Lions and Titans-Colts having a chance to turn the whole week into a fantasy wonderland.
While scoring will be abundant and must-starts overflow, keep in mind there are some players who, even in those potential slugfests, will be best served on the sidelines rather than indulging in the fun.
START: Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles: Wentz has six straight games with at least two touchdown passes and has attempted at least 35 passes in all but one of his starts. That's a strong combination going against a Saints defense that is 28th in net passing yards allowed and 31st in average fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. With the Eagles struggling to run the ball (22nd overall), it would not be surprising if Wentz finished north of 50 pass attempts in what will be a marathon shootout.
SIT: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: The Jaguars lead the league in fewest passing yards allowed and have allowed just 12 touchdown passes. Roethlisberger has rarely had success against the Jags, sporting a mere 80.8 rating with a 10-8 TD:INT margin in seven career games versus Jacksonville. He also feels the wrath of the Jaguars' pass rush, having been sacked 22 times (3.1 per game). Roethlisberger will get a touchdown or two, but don't count on him being a fantasy factor.
START: Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys: Unlike Derek Carr and the Raiders, Dak Prescott has treated Cooper as a WR1, having thrown to him 18 times in his first two games with Dallas. He gets a great matchup in the form of a Falcons defense that ranks 30th in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing receivers and ranks 27th in receiving yards allowed. In what should be a track meet, Cooper will get 10-plus targets and is a strong bet to record his first 100-yard afternoon with his new teammates.
SIT: Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals: Without A.J. Green in the lineup in last week's loss to the Saints, Boyd faltered as the featured receiver, catching only three passes. Things will get a lot worse before it gets better, as Boyd much contend with Baltimore's lockdown of a pass defense that is second in both fewest receiving yards allowed and fewest yards per catch. While Boyd should see more than the four targets he got last week, it's hard to envision him doing significant damage against the Ravens' secondary.
START: Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears: He will lose some value in non-PPR formats, but Cohen is a worthy start in PPR leagues as he takes on a Vikings defense that has struggled all season with stopping pass catching backs. Minnesota allows more than 10 yards per catch to opposing backs, which plays into the strengths of Cohen, who has had four games this season with at least six receptions and at least 69 yards receiving. Whatever he gets on the ground is gravy compared to what he can do as a receiver.
SIT: Josh Adams, RB, Eagles: One of the hotter pickups on the waiver wire, Adams has averaged better than six yards per carry in his last three games and is expected to see more touches against the Saints. Back away, at least for this week, as the Saints allow a league-best 80.1 yards per game and a paltry 3.7 yards per attempt. Although the presence of Adams could break up the logjam that is the Philadelphia backfield, it's a fool's errand to run him out there on Sunday.
START: Eli Manning, QB, Giants: Monday night's win over the 49ers was perhaps the first sign of what the Giants' offense can do. They'll give a second lesson to the Buccaneers, who are 29th in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Tampa Bay is also 31st in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing receivers, making Sterling Shepard a good tag-along to Odell Beckham Jr. Manning has yet to record a game this season with better than 25 fantasy points, but if he gets going early, he has a great chance to exceed 30 FP.
SIT: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers: The early season PPR sensation has cooled off considerably, recording a combined seven touches in his last two games while going without a target in last week's win over the Raiders. Ekeler's value wanes if he's not involved in the passing game, something that could dip further as the Broncos allow an average of just 34.3 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. The risk far outweighs the reward here.
START: Levine Toilolo, TE, Lions: Toilolo has been targeted just six times this season, but with Detroit's depth at the position thinned by injuries, Toilolo falls into a potential goldmine of an opportunity when he lines up against a Panthers defense that is the worst in fantasy when comes to stopping opposing tight ends. Carolina has allowed eight touchdowns to tight ends this season, and if the Lions are put into a pass-heavy mode in order to stay in the game, those willing to gamble on Toilolo will see him get targeted frequently by Matthew Stafford.
SIT: Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers: Since being targeted a season-high 11 times against the Eagles in Week Seven, Funchess has been targeted a combined 13 times with only 10 catches for 103 yards and no touchdowns to show for it. The Lions have been sneaky good against the pass, ranking eighth overall in fewest net passing yards per game. With Cam Newton feeding the ball to Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen on a consistent basis, Funchess has become the forgotten man in the Panthers' offense. Fantasy owners should follow Cam's lead and stay away from Funchess as well.
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