Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 11 of the 2015 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Tony Romo (DAL, QB)
Tony Romo is back and Cowboys fans couldn't be happier. There's always the risk that Romo will be rusty in his first game back since breaking his collarbone in Week 2, and with the Dolphins giving up 255 yards per game through the air, we think he's going to come out swinging.
Start 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
It's not often this year that we've seen Matthew Stafford on the start list, but Stafford comes into this week's rankings at #6. He'll face an Oakland defense that gives up the 2nd-most passing yards per game (293).
Start 'em Charcandrick West (KC, RB)
Coming into this week's ranking at #3 is Charcandrick West against a San Diego defense that gives up the 5th-most rushing yards per game. Both James Starks and Jeremy Langford put up 20 points against them, and with the way that West has been running, 20 points is not unreasonable.
Start 'em Darren McFadden (DAL, RB)
The starting gig in Dallas still belongs to Darren McFadden, and the return of Tony Romo can only help him by keeping the defense honest. The Dolphins give up the 2nd-most yards on the ground making this as sweet a matchup as Run DMC is going to get this season.
Start 'em Michael Crabtree (OAK, WR)
The passing game in Oakland is firing on all cylinders right now. Don't be surprised to see Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper split the field against Detroit this week and their 9th-worst pass defense.
Start 'em Sammy Watkins (BUF, WR)
If you're looking for a buy-low candidate, Sammy Watkins should be on your radar. His upswing continues this week against the Patriots who are very tough on the run but give up the 10th-most passing yards. Watkins is ranked 20th this week and should easily finish as a solid WR2.
Start 'em Charles Clay (BUF, TE)
Charles Clay is ranked 13th this week, and even though he's ranked as a TE2, he has an opportunity to produce fringe-TE1 numbers. With a healthy Tyrod Taylor, Clay could be the perfect bye-week replacement.
Start 'em Jason Witten (DAL, TE)
A rising tide lifts all boats and with Tony Romo back under center, his safety blanket becomes a better fantasy option again. Jason Witten's consistency took a hit when Romo was injured. He should be back to normal this week.
Start 'em Seattle Seahawks (SEA, DEF)
Ranked #1 this week is a resurgent Seattle defense that gets to face the dysfunctional San Francisco 49ers. Blaine Gabbert through 2 picks last week and only 185 yards. That's like chum for a Seahawk.
Start 'em Cairo Santos (KC, K)
If you had to guess which player was going to put up the most points in last week's Broncos vs Chiefs game, would you have guessed Cairo Santos? His five field goals lead the Chiefs to a win and a matchup with the Chargers who give up the 6th-most fantasy points to kickers is just what the doctor ordered.
Sit 'em Kirk Cousins (WAS, QB)
After absolutely shredding the Saints last week for a huge fantasy day, Kirk Cousins will face a much better defense this week in Carolina so don't expect a repeat of last week's performance. The Panthers give up the 11th-fewest passing yards and the 8th-fewest fantasy points.
Sit 'em Brock Osweiler (DEN, QB)
As tempting as it might be to put Peyton Manning's replacement in this week (available in almost 90% of leagues), don't rush out to get Brock Osweiler. Chicago gives up the 4th-fewest yards per game through the air making it a tough matchup.
Sit 'em Melvin Gordon (SD, RB)
So many expectations for Melvin Gordon this year and he has failed to live up to them. The Wisconsin Badger faces a Kansas City defense that gives up the 8th-fewest yards per game on the ground. The Chiefs allow an average of just 7 fantasy points per game making Gordon's matchup awfully tough.
Sit 'em Eddie Lacy (GB, RB)
Sorry folks, it's still not time to try and put Eddie Lacy back into your lineups. HC Mike McCarthy said this week that James Starks will get the start but Lacy will be in for the 2nd series. In any event, limited involvement and a recovering injury makes Lacy difficult to trust yet.
Sit 'em DeSean Jackson (WAS, WR)
Ranked #38 this week among wide receivers, the expectations for DeSean Jackson are low enough that he's not even a WR3/Flex candidate right now. Against the Saints and the fantasy points they bled last week, DJax could barely catch a whiff. Carolina is much tougher than New Orleans making this a tough matchup.
Sit 'em Anquan Boldin (SF, WR)
Fitzgerald and Floyd put up big numbers last week against Seattle, but that has been the exception rather than the norm this year. In fact, other than Randall Cobb in Week 2, no wide receivers have seen double digits. The San Fran offense has been terrible making Boldin a tough start.
Sit 'em Jordan Cameron (MIA, TE)
Ranked #21 this week among TE's is Miami's Jordan Cameron who has failed to be fantasy-relevant this season. That's not likely to change this week against Dallas who gives up the 9th-fewest fantasy points to the position.
Sit 'em Vernon Davis (DEN, TE)
At some point Vernon Davis is going to become useful to fantasy owners again, but that may not happen this week against a tough Bears defense that has given up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to other tight ends this season.
Sit 'em Minnesota Vikings (MIN, DEF)
The Vikings and Packers are playing for first in the NFC North, and while the Packers offense has been sputtering over the last few weeks, an angry Aaron Rodgers is likely to light up the Minnesota secondary.
Sit 'em Adam Vinatieri (IND, K)
Few players have the history and point production capabilities as Adam Vinatieri, but on a struggling Colts team facing a Falcons team that gives up the 3rd-fewest points to kickers, we expect Adam to struggle.