Fri Nov 15 10:41am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Jackson should continue to roll
We are back to only four teams being on a bye for Week 11, leaving us with a few more options to choose from in DFS. While we generally have plenty of viable targets at most positions, tight end will be a little tricky to navigate with the dearth of quality candidates. Let’s dive into the slate and discuss some players to consider across the price scale, as well as a few to avoid.
Top-tier option: Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. HOU ($7,100): This should be a fun game between two of the better quarterbacks in the league. Jackson is coming off of a steamrolling of the Bengals in which he threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns. He also chipped in 65 yards and a score on the ground. His ability to contribute in both areas leaves him with a high floor. To further strengthen his case, the Texans have allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game in the league.
Cheap target: Derek Carr, OAK vs. CIN ($5,800): The Raiders pulled off a big win over the Chargers last week, but Carr had a quiet showing with 218 passing yards and one touchdown. Before that, he had thrown for at least two scores in three straight games. He’s historically been more productive at home and has a great matchup against the Bengals, making him worth a look if you want to take a cheaper route at the quarterback spot.
Player to avoid: Carson Wentz, PHI vs. NE ($6,000): Wentz has seen his production nosedive this season, averaging only 228.9 passing yards per game. On top of that, he’s thrown exactly one touchdown pass in four of his last five games. He does have limited options at wide receiver, which will be the case again in Week 11 with DeSean Jackson (abdomen) out. Alshon Jeffery is also battling an ankle injury, which would really put Wentz behind the eight ball if he can’t play. Add in this matchup against the Patriots’ stout defense and it’s difficult to justify adding him to your entry.
Top-tier option: Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. ATL ($8,600): I’m not sure how you can fade McCaffrey at this point. He once again dominated last week, posting 141 total yards and a touchdown against the Packers. He’s recorded at least one touchdown in all but one game this season and has posted three touchdowns in a game twice. That’s the type of production worth paying up for.
Cheap target: Brian Hill, ATL at CAR ($3,000): Expect Hill to be the cheap chalk play of the week. He’s likely going to be busy out of the backfield with Devonta Freeman (foot) expected to be sidelined. Not only that, Ito Smith (neck) is already on IR. Hill played well last week against the Saints, turning 20 carries into 61 yards and catching a 10-yard touchdown pass. With the Panthers allowing the fourth-most rushing yards per game, he could provide tremendous value.
Player to avoid: David Johnson, ARI at SF ($6,500): What a disaster last week was for Johnson. He couldn’t get anything going against the Bucs, rushing for two yards on five carries and catching his only target for eight yards. Even more disturbing is that he was only on the field for 42.9 percent of the Cardinals’ offensive snaps. Meanwhile, Kenyan Drake was on the field for 64.3 percent of them. With the 49ers having one of the best defenses in the league, it’s difficult to envision Johnson being successful in what will likely be another limited role.
Top-tier option: Michael Thomas, NO at TB ($8,300): This has the makings of a perfect-storm matchup. Thomas is already one of the most productive receivers in the league, posting 86 receptions for 1,027 yards and four touchdowns through nine games. Meanwhile, the Bucs have allowed the most passing yards per game. I rest my case.
Cheap target: D.J. Moore, CAR vs. ATL ($6,000): McCaffrey isn’t the only player on the Panthers worth targeting this week. Moore is coming off back-to-back 100 yard games and has now received at least 10 targets in a game five times. He has clearly developed a good relationship with Kyle Allen, who it set to start at quarterback for the rest of the season with Cam Newton (foot) on IR. The Falcons have allowed the eighth-most passing yards per game, so don’t sleep on Moore at this reasonable price.
Player to avoid: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI at SF ($6,100): Fitzgerald took advantage of a cushy matchup against the Bucs last week by catching all eight of his targets for 71 yards. He failed to record a touchdown, though, and hasn’t found his way into the end zone since Week 3. When these two teams met in Week 9, the 49ers held him to four catches for 38 yards. Moore has significantly more upside and is $100 cheaper, so rolling with Fitzgerald is probably not a wise choice.
Top-tier option: Travis Kelce, KC at LAC ($6,300): George Kittle (knee) and Austin Hooper (knee) are expected to be sidelined this week and Evan Engram is on a bye, so we are missing several of the top tight end options. If you want to play it safe at the position, Kelce is probably the way to go. He caught all seven of his targets last week for 75 yards and a touchdown in what was the return of star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Even with Mahomes having to miss some time, Kelce has recorded at least 58 receiving yards in all but one game this season and has caught at least seven passes five times.
Cheap target: Jared Cook, NO at TB ($4,500): The Saints offense struggled Week 10, scoring just nine points against the Falcons. Outside of another strong performance from Thomas, Cook also provided value by catching six of 10 targets for 74 yards. Having Drew Brees back under center is key since he’s attempted at least 43 passes in all three of the full games that he has played. Teddy Bridgewater averaged only 33 pass attempts across his five starts. With how poorly the Bucs have defended the pass, Cooks has the potential for a big afternoon.
Player to avoid: T.J. Hockenson, DET vs. DAL ($4,400): The big question mark surrounding the Lions is the status of Matthew Stafford (back), who was sat out last week and didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday. If he’s unable to return, Jeff Driskel will once again start at quarterback. Hockenson has only surpassed 50 receiving yards in a game two times this season, leaving him with very little upside, especially if he has to catch passes from Driskel.
Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (thumb) is officially active for Week 15 against the Detroit Lions. Winston wasn't able to throw a football in practice until Friday, though he was able to finish off last week's 456-yard, four-touchdown performance with the injury. Winston has a great chance to stay hot against Detroit's suspect pass defense. Fantasy owners must beware the risk- Winston can be erratic even without a fractured thumb.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (ribs, illness) is inactive for Week 15 against the Denver Broncos. Darwin Thompson, LeSean McCoy and Spencer Ware will shoulder the load for Kansas City. The Chiefs backfield isn't an ideal fantasy situation, though McCoy, who's had success running in snowy conditions, and Thompson are probably the safest choices.
Detroit Lions running back Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is officially inactive for Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Scarbrough wasn't able to practice on Thursday or Friday, so it was likely a longshot for him to play anyway. Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic, and practice-squad call-up Wes Hills will lead the backfield in Scarbrough's absence. All are shaky plays, considering Tampa Bay possesses the league's best run defense.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) is officially active for Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans. When healthy, Fuller has been a difference-maker, averaging 7.6 targets and 74 receiving yards per game. He possesses considerable upside and could be worth a start in what should be a competitive divisional game. Fuller's presence is also a boost to quarterback Deshaun Watson's stock for this contest.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) is active for Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Edelman was optimistic about playing, though it's nice to get the official word. He's a must-start considering his eight-game streak with double-digit targets and the fact that Tom Brady doesn't seem to trust any other receiver in this offense right now.
The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Lane Johnson, DL Shareef Miller, OG Sua Opeta, DE Derek Barnett, QB Nate Sudfeld, RB Jordan Howard and WR Nelson Agholor inactive for Week 15.
Detroit Lions RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is not active for Week 15's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry (hamstring) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Henry should receive his normal workload this week and has been one of the top running backs in the NFL during the second half of the season. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller will return to the lineup after missing some time because of his hamstring injury. He should see a handful of targets in the passing game but may not be more than a flex option in leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (rib) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 15 game.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman should be the main option in the passing game for the Patriots this week and can be a No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues.
According to a report by NFL's Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns plan to retain Freddie Kitchens as their head coach after the season ends. Kitchens has gone through some growing pains as a first-time head coach, struggling with play calling at times while trying to manage some big egos in the Cleveland locker room. Despite the rough year, Kitchens is said to have support from the front office barring a late-season disaster. In what has seemed like a lost season at times, Kitchens and the Browns still have a chance to finish with a winning record, which would be just the third time that has happened since the team came back in 1999.
The New York Giants have declared TE Rhett Ellison, TE Evan Engram, OG Kevin Zeitler, QB Daniel Jones, OG Chad Slade and RB Wayne Gallman inactive for Week 15.
The Carolina Panthers have declared LB Christian Miller, OT Garrett McGhin, CB Corn Elder, TE Greg Olsen, DE Marquis Haynes, DL Woodrow Hamilton and LB Ramik Wilson inactive for Week 15.
The Tennessee Titans have declared WR Adam Humphries, CB Adoree' Jackson, LB Daren Bates, LB Sharif Finch, DE Matt Dickerson, DT Isaiah Mack and OG Kevin Pamphile inactive for Week 15.
The Washington Redskins have declared OG Brandon Scherff, TE Caleb Wilson, WR Trey Quinn, CB Quinton Dunbar, SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, OG Ross Pierschbacher and QB Colt McCoy inactive for Week 15.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is not planning on requesting a trade this offseason. This is a change from what Fox's Jay Glazer reported last week when he broke that Beckham has been telling opposing coaches and players to trade for him on-field before games. While it now appears that Beckham will stay in Cleveland, he is among a group of veterans who are hoping the team makes a few adjustments to the coaching staff and how roles are delegated for the 2020 season. Beckham is also said to be playing through a hernia injury although no decisions have been made in regards to his offseason plans just yet. A source told LaCanfora that the injury is not a major one and that surgery may not be a requirement this offseason.
The Denver Broncos have declared DL Adam Gotsis, OG Ronald Leary, CB Shakial Taylor, OT Ja'Wuan James, DE DeMarcus Walker, OT Calvin Anderson and DT Dre'Mont Jones inactive for Week 15.
The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Chad Henne, CB Morris Claiborne, OG Nick Allegretti, CB Rashad Fenton, RB Damien Williams, OT Jackson Barton and TE Deon Yelder inactive for Week 15.