Posted: Wednesday, November 15, 2017
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 11 of the 2017 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 Drew Brees, 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 Derek Carr (OAK, QB)
The tough part of the Raiders schedule should now be behind them, and we should see that this week when New England makes the trip to Oakland. Carr is ranked 7th this week facing a Patriots defense that has given up the most yards through the air and the second most fantasy points to the position.
Start 'em Alex Smith (KC, QB)
Even though Alex Smith is the 3rd-best fantasy QB this season, he's been quiet as of late. Fresh off a bye, we expect to see him put up some nice numbers against the Giants and their 30th-ranked pass defense. Jared Goff and C.J. Beathard averaged almost 27 fantasy points the last two weeks against New York, so a solid stat line is not out of the question here.
Start 'em Tevin Coleman (ATL, RB)
As a handcuff, Tevin Coleman is a solid RB2. We don't expect Devonta Freeman to play this week so that puts Coleman into RB1 status even against a tough defense like Seattle. The Seahawks have given up at least 12 fantasy points to opposing #1's. Coleman should have volume this week and is ranked 9th in both standard and PPR scoring.
Start 'em Alvin Kamara (NO, RB)
The Saints have one of the most high-powered offenses...and it's not the passing game that's putting them on the map. They are the only team that you'll see each week in our rankings where the RB1 and RB2 are consistently inside the Top 10. He has scored four times in the last three games, and a matchup with Washington could see him in the endzone again.
Start 'em Sterling Shepard (NYG, WR)
We listed Sterling Shepard in our Start column last week and that paid off nicely. Given his volume, there's no reason to take him off the list just yet. He's facing a Kansas City defense that gives up the 5th-most yards per game and routinely gives up double-digit fantasy production to wide receivers.
Start 'em Jarvis Landry (MIA, WR)
The Bucs give up an average of 266 yards through the air, and while Jarvis Landry can be a bit inefficient with his receptions, he has enough targets to overcome that - particularly in a plus matchup. Robby Anderson put up 18.5 points against the Bucs last week. Double digit fantasy production is a foregone conclusion here. He's ranked 12th this week making him a low-end WR1/high-end WR2.
Start 'em Evan Engram (NYG, TE)
We like Evan Engram (ranked inside our Top 5 this week) for the very same reasons that we highlighted Sterling Shepard for. The Chiefs are susceptible to the pass, and even though they've been pretty tough on tight ends, several including AJ Derby, Jared Cook, Vernon Davis, and Zach Ertz have hit double-digit production. Engram has been hot in his rookie year placing him 4th among his peers in fantasy points. If you subscribe to the 'hot-hand' theory, then Engram needs to be in your lineup.
Start 'em Jared Cook (OAK, TE)
Before the bye week, Jared Cook hauled in 8-of-9 targets for 126 yards proving to be a mismatch for Miami's linebackers. He's ranked 6th this week because it's very possible that he repeats that same scenario against the Patriots. All of the receiving options in Oakland are in play this week.
Start 'em Los Angeles Chargers (LAC, DEF)Nathan Peterman
. Yep. That's the biggest reason why you'll find the Chargers ranked 2nd among all defenses this week on FFN. With a rookie QB under center, we anticipate plenty of pressure which translates to sacks and turnovers.
Start 'em Harrison Butker (KC, K)
Ranked 5th this week among kickers is Harrison Butker on a dynamic, high-scoring Kansas City offense. He's only the 13th-ranked kicker among his peers, but he also didn't play in Weeks 1-3. With an average of 11.6 fantasy points per game and fresh off a bye, Butker should be in all fantasy lineups. Believe it or not, he's still available in more than half of all Fleaflicker leagues.
Sit 'em Andy Dalton (CIN, QB)
Even though the Broncos gave up an average of 23 fantasy points to Brady and Wentz the last two weeks, they've held all other QB's to just 13 fantasy points. Denver gives up the 8th-fewest yards through the air (204 yards/gm) and Dalton has a 13-8 TD to INT ratio on the season. This is a tough matchup which is why you'll find him ranked 19th this week.
Sit 'em Matt Ryan (ATL, QB)
Matty Ice is ranked 17th this week making him an option in SuperFlex leagues, but not such a good choice in season-long leagues or DFS. Seattle has given up an average of just over 11 fantasy points to QB's, and while they may have lost Richard Sherman, their defense still has shutdown ability.
Sit 'em Alfred Morris (DAL, RB)
With Zeke's suspension, many fantasy owners expected solid production from Alf Morris. While he led the backfield in touches last week, he couldn't make them count. He's ranked 40th this week against the Eagles who have given up the fewest yards per game on the ground (66.4) and have largely kept running backs in check.
Sit 'em C.J. Anderson (DEN, RB)
C.J. Anderson's volume is half of what it was at the start of the year. He hasn't seen the endzone since Week 2 and hasn't had a solid stat line since Week 4. He's losing work to Devontae Booker, and even though the matchup is favorable on paper, he'll need more touches to make it worthwhile. He's ranked 39th this week putting him in flex range at best.
Sit 'em Kelvin Benjamin (BUF, WR)
Ranked 35th this week is Kelvin Benjamin who has a ton of talent but didn't produce in the lopsided loss to the Saints in Week 10. His first start as a Bill was disappointing. With news this week that the Bills are sitting Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman. This is an odd decision by the Bills leaving us to wonder what kind of production is going to be possible from Benjamin who faces the 11th-ranked Chargers secondary.
Sit 'em Jordy Nelson (GB, WR)
Who would have ever guessed that we'd see Jordy on the sit list? He's ranked 36th this week (one spot behind Benjamin) facing a Ravens defense that has given up the 3rd-fewest yards through the air and only allowed one wide receiver to see 20 fantasy points (Michael Crabtree 20.2 pts in Week 5) largely keeping most in single digits. Brett Hundley seems to have more of a rapport with Davante Adams than Nelson who has just eight catches for 68 yards in his three games with Hundley. Sadly, Jordy is no more than a low-end WR3 this week.
Sit 'em Benjamin Watson (BAL, TE)
The Packers have only allowed one tight end to reach double digit fantasy points and that was only in PPR formats (Jason Witten 12.1 points in Week 5). As tough as the Ravens defense can be, their offense leaves a lot to be desired. Other than a breakout game in Week 2, Watson has been very quiet averaging just 29 yards per game.
Sit 'em Martellus Bennett (NE, TE)
I don't know if we'll ever know the true story about what happened between Bennett and the Packers, but what we do know is that he continued his streak of mediocrity. He saw just 7 snaps with New England and pulled in 3 catches for 38 yards. With a bum shoulder, playing behind Gronk, and not seeing many 2-TE sets, Bennett is still not startable even in a plus matchup.
Sit 'em Atlanta Falcons (ATL, DEF)
The Seahawks give up the 11th-fewest fantasy points to defenses this year. Russell Wilson has bounced back nicely from last season and has returned to fantasy glory as the #1 fantasy QB
after 10 weeks. That's a lot to ask of the Falcons defense which is why they are ranked 20th this week putting them well outside the streaming option.
Sit 'em Steven Hauschka (BUF, K)
At one time, Steven Hauschka was one of the best fantasy kickers. That was a different time and a different team. He's been inconsistent with his production and can't be counted on this week against the Chargers.