Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2016
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 11 of the 2016 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.
Please Note: 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 Marcus Mariota (TEN, QB)
We recommended Marcus Mariota last week and it paid off, so let's go to the well once more. Ranked 7th this week, he'll face an Indy team that gave up 26 points to Aaron Rodgers last week and 288 yards through the air on average every week (2nd-worst in the NFL). With an incredible ground game keeping defenses honest, Mariota should be able to put up solid numbers again this week.
Start 'em Kirk Cousins (WAS, QB)
Ranked 10th this week is Kirk Cousins who may not be lighting the world on fire, but should shine brightly against the Packers on Sunday night. Green Bay has given up 21 fantasy points to QBs over the last 4 games.
Start 'em Theo Riddick (DET, RB)
Fresh off a bye week, Theo Riddick should be poised to continue his fantasy relevance. Ranked 11th on FFN this week, Riddick faces a Jacksonville front that has given up the 4th-most yards to opposing rushers and should be able to make the most of his opportunities this week.
Start 'em Latavius Murray (OAK, RB)
It's been difficult to project what Latavius Murray will do from week to week, but his matchup against Houston should help pick things back up. With a great offensive line, Murray should continue to see the bulk of the touches in that backfield. Opposing rushers have seen double digits in all but two games this year.
Start 'em Julian Edelman (NE, WR)
With Rob Gronkowski out and a sweet matchup against the 49ers, Julian Edelman should return to fantasy glory this week - especially in PPR formats where an increase in targets will really help. The Niners have given up double digit points every week making Edelman's #7 ranking this week a must start.
Start 'em Donte Moncrief (IND, WR)
Ranked 17th among WRs on FFN this week is Donte Moncrief who did not get to play against Tennessee in Week 7 where T.Y. Hilton put up 19 points (26 PPR). The Titans give up the 9th-most yards through the air (267 yards) making Moncrief a legitimate WR2 this week.
Start 'em Martellus Bennett (NE, TE)
This is not even close. With Gronk out, Bennett is a must-start in a plum matchup. While the Niners have done a great job holding opposing TEs to 5 points or less since Week 5, they haven't faced a quality QB/TE combo since then (Graham took them for 14 std/20 ppr in Week 3 and Olsen took them for 18 std/23 ppr the week prior). Expect Brady and Bennett to connect in the endzone.
Start 'em Jack Doyle (IND, TE)
The last time Jack Doyle faced the Titans in Week 7, he turned in a fantastic 9 catches for 78 yards and a score. The Titans allow the 5th-most yards to the position and almost double digit fantasy production. Indy should be able to capitalize on their passing attack giving Doyle his #11 ranking on FFN this week.
Start 'em Miami Dolphins (MIA, DEF)
With rookie Jared Goff starting under center for the first time, how can you not like the Miami Dolphins defense this week? They're ranked 5th facing a Rams offense that just can't seem to get going and is clearly back in rebuilding mode and it's Dolphins-owners who are going to take advantage of that.
Start 'em Chris Boswell (PIT, K)
Need to stream a kicker this week? Try Chris Boswell against the Cleveland Browns who have given up the 2nd-most points on the scoreboard this year.
Sit 'em Carson Palmer (ARI, QB)
One name that looks oddly out of place this week is Carson Palmer. Ranked 22nd among QBs this week, he'll face a tough battle against the 6th-ranked Vikings secondary. No QB has scored more than 18 points against Minnesota and the Vikes kept Wentz, Osweiler, and Manning to under 10 fantasy points. Even Cam Newton managed just 13 points. Tough matchup.
Sit 'em Sam Bradford (MIN, QB)
Suiting up across the field from Carson Palmer will be Sam Bradford - a relatively nice surprise this year; however, he'll struggle against Arizona's 2nd-ranked pass defense that gives up just 195 yards through the air. While Kaepernick did well against the Cards last week (an anomaly), the birds kept Cam Newton and Russell Wilson to just an average of 10 fantasy points.
Sit 'em Thomas Rawls (SEA, RB)
We expect Thomas Rawls to suit up and play this week, but don't rush to plug him into your lineups just yet. His workload has yet to be determined and there's no denying that C.J. Prosise has done well in his absence. He's facing a Philly front that kept both Devonta Freeman and Rashad Jennings to under 10 points the past two weeks.
Sit 'em Terrance West (BAL, RB)
We've given Terrance West the benefit of the doubt and he's failed to live up to even modest expectations. He continues to lose work to Kenneth Dixon, and with a banged up offensive line, West may struggle a bit to hit his #25 ranking on FFN against a Dallas D that gives up the 3rd-fewest yards on the ground.
Sit 'em Cameron Meredith (CHI, WR)
With Alson Jefferey out for the next four games (substance abuse violation), it might be tempting to put Cam Meredith into your lineups. It's tough to know what we're going to see with Jay Cutler back under center. After all, he's only targeted Cam 3 times since coming back. He's ranked 36th making him a low-end WR3 or a flex play.
Sit 'em Kenny Britt (LA, WR)
Combine the fact that rookie Jared Goff will start under center with the fact that the Miami defense has really come on strong as of late (9th-fewest yards through the air this year) and it could be a tough outing for Kenny Britt this week. He's ranked 32nd among WRs putting him in WR3/Flex range.
Sit 'em Jason Witten (DAL, TE)
We think that Jason Witten is over-ranked this week at #10 and will have a difficult time finishing the week that high. Baltimore gives up the 3rd-fewest yards through the air and has not allowed a TE to score more than 5 std fantasy points (Jordan Reed in Week 5) all year. Witten will likely hit his floor this week.
Sit 'em Baltimore Ravens (BAL, DEF)
The Ravens have been impressive on defense this year, and while the talent is still there, they may struggle against Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott will wear the Baltimore line down with a solid ground and pound game.
Sit 'em Chandler Catanzaro (ARI, K)
The Vikings have allowed the fewest points on the scoreboard this year and just 7 fantasy points to kickers making Chandler Catanzaro a less-than-ideal kicking option this week.