Lineup Prep: Week 11

Wed Nov 17 10:28am ET
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

Fournette looks good Week 11

This season in the NFL has been about as crazy as I can remember. There have been so many upsets. Things you just don’t expect to see. This is causing all sorts of issues in fantasy land, too. When good teams that are supposed to roll to a big victory lose, it causes chaos in your fantasy leagues. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, though. It gives you some hope if things aren’t going your way right now. There are a few games left in the regular season to still go on a roll and make a run. Maybe the craziness can give you some hope for the future. Enjoy the ride!

Now for my random thoughts for the week. . . . .

If you haven’t figured it out, Deebo Samuel is a legit No. 1 fantasy receiver. His stats after 10 weeks are not a fluke. He is second overall in fantasy receiver scoring and has at least 16 fantasy points all but two games. And remember, he does this in an offense that is run first. Samuel has the skill set to be an elite receiver for years to come. The only issue holding him back early in his career was injury. As long as he is healthy, the sky is the limit for Samuel. I would not sell high on him.

Darren Waller has been one of the bigger disappointments to date. He hasn’t been awful, but pretty mediocre most weeks. It really looks like he is ready to breakout, though. He does have at least seven targets all but a game. Plus, the Raiders are down a receiver, meaning Waller could see an increase in targets. I still think he could have a big finish to his season, putting his slow start behind him. Don’t give up hope.

So Jalen Hurts is starting to make some strides throwing the ball. He is completing 67 percent of his passes the last three weeks. He also is running the ball as well as usual, having at least 30-rushing yards every game. If he keeps making strides as a passer, he could be a big factor for fantasy teams the rest of this season. He is never going to be a top thrower in the NFL but if he becomes just average, he will continue to start and help fantasy teams. Remember, he is sixth overall in fantasy quarterback scoring right now.

I’m anxious to see what A.J. Dillon does as the starter for the Packers the next few weeks with Aaron Jones out. He has been a bigger factor in recent weeks and now gets a chance to be the guy with Jones out. Dillon could be auditioning for the starter’s job going forward. I would consider him a low-end No. 1 fantasy back as long as he is starting.

I can’t wait for the Chiefs/Cowboys game this weekend. This should be a great one. The Chiefs offense came back to life last weekend as did the Cowboys. But the most encouraging for both teams is on the defensive side of the ball. These units have really turned the corner after terrible starts to the year. If the defenses keep playing well, both these teams can represent their respective conferences in the Super Bowl. Hopefully, this game lives up to the hype this weekend. It should be a fun one to watch.

I’m kind of excited to see what Cam Newton does this weekend. I want to know how much he really has left in the tank. He is setup for good things in Carolina, so if he is ever going to rebound, I think this is the place. I like him as a speculative add in fantasy leagues if you need a quarterback. He has some real touchdown potential, especially on the ground. I do think his addition is a negative for Christian McCaffrey, though. I could see him taking some touchdowns away from McCaffrey.

If Cooper Kupp can manage to play a full season, he is going to have one of the best seasons ever for a fantasy receiver. He has been a true difference maker for fantasy teams. He is posting numbers of a No. 1 fantasy quarterback at the receiver spot. He has an amazing eight games with 20-plus fantasy points. He has three games with double-digit receptions and six 100-yard games. Kupp has double-digit targets all but a game. He has been an absolute steal for all the fantasy owners that took him as a No. 2 fantasy receiver in the fourth or fifth round of fantasy drafts. Enjoy the ride.

News and Notes: The Ravens released running back Le'Veon Bell on Tuesday. Bell has seen his playing time drop off in recent weeks, so this move does not come as a huge surprise.


Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans. Tannehill has been a little more down to earth this year. He hasn’t had that huge game just yet. He does have 20-plus fantasy points seven of 10 games, though. He has been pretty consistent. He is finding the end zone, especially on the ground, which helps his fantasy numbers. He might have one of his big games this week against the Texans, though. Houston allows the ninth most fantasy points to quarterbacks and 16-passing touchdowns.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Bucs. Fournette hasn’t done much on the ground in recent weeks, but he caught eight passes last week. His work in the passing game gives him a really high weekly floor. He is having a great season overall, positing 15-plus fantasy points five of six games. He should have more success this week against the Giants, a team that allows the sixth most fantasy points to running backs. He could have success on the ground in this one, giving him the potential for a really big fantasy performance.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Eagles. Smith has touchdowns two straight games, scoring 22.6 fantasy points each of those games. He is showing his big-time potential as the No. 1 receiver in the offense. And with Jalen Hurts throwing the ball better these days, that really helps the stock of Smith. He might get matched up against Marcus Lattimore in coverage this week, but don’t let that scare you from using Smith. The Saints have been leaky against the pass, allowing the seventh most fantasy points to receivers.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders. Jacobs is not having the year most expected. He has battled injury and posted mediocre rushing numbers nearly every week. He has not topped 80-rushing yards in any game. The good news is Jacobs seems to be getting healthy and ready for a bigger workload. He had 12 touches last week but didn’t get the work in the running game with the Raiders getting down big. He should run more this week against the Bengals, a team that has struggled to stop the run. Cincinnati allows the fifth most fantasy points to running backs. Look for Jacobs to have his best rushing game of the season in this one.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans. The return of Tyrod Taylor led to Cooks getting 13 targets his last time out. This is good news for Cooks going forward. He can rack up the targets with Taylor throwing him passes. Cooks has five games with 17-plus fantasy points this year, being one of the few bright spots for the Texans. Look for more success this week against the Titans in a game the Texans could be playing from behind. Plus, Tennessee allows the most fantasy points to receivers this season.


Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Bills. Sanders caught just two passes for 27 yards last week on two targets. He has just six receptions his last three games. And most concerning is he played a season-low 60 percent of the snaps last week. Gabriel Davis saw a lot more playing time, being on the field 52 percent of the time. It is hard to trust Sanders right now because of his drop in playing time and production. Go with safer options.

Carson Wentz, QB, Colts. Wentz seemed to have a prime matchup last week but laid an egg, scoring just nine fantasy points. He had three straight games with 22-plus fantasy points before that performance in Week 10. He is playing some good football but isn’t a plug and play option just yet. He needs to be in the right matchup to be used for fantasy teams. And a game against the Bills is not a good one for Wentz. The Bills are second overall against the pass and allow the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Steelers. McCloud was a huge factor in the passing game with Chase Claypool out. He was targeted 12 times and caught nine passes for 63 yards. He did not have more than 35 yards in a game until last week, though. This game came out of nowhere and was against a bad Lions defense. We would not expect a repeat performance this week against the Chargers. Los Angeles has one of the best pass defenses in football, ranking fourth overall. Plus, the Chargers allow the second fewest fantasy points to receivers. McCloud is likely to come back down to earth this week.

Jordan Howard, RB, Eagles. Howard has emerged as the lead back for the Eagles with Miles Sanders out. He has at least 12 carries three straight games. He had a season high 83-rushing yards last week. But he has yet to catch a pass this year, which limits his fantasy value. If he gets shutdown running the ball, he could be a real disappointment to fantasy teams. Howard might have trouble finding room to run this week against the Saints. New Orleans is first overall against the run, allowing just 72.9-rushing yards per game. Howard might be best left on fantasy benches this year.

Devonta Freeman, RB, Ravens. Freeman has played 58 percent of the snaps each of his last two games. He has become the top back for the Ravens with Latavius Murray out. Freeman has produced alright in that role but not off the charts by any means. He had just 8.8 fantasy points last week, which was his lowest total since becoming the lead back for Baltimore. He could have more tough sledding this week against the Bears, a team that allows the 10th fewest fantasy points to running backs.


Mac Jones, QB, Patriots. Jones had his first three-touchdown game as a pro last week. He missed on just four passes. He is 31-of-41 his last two games, showing great accuracy at the quarterback spot. Jones has a great grasp of the offense and seems to be gaining confidence every week. He makes good decisions and has a knack for the clutch play. He isn’t a fantasy star just yet but is worth a spot play. And a game this week against the Falcons is a good spot to use Jones. Atlanta was torched by the Cowboys passing game last week and allow the third most fantasy points for the season.

Eno Benjamin, RB, Cardinals. Benjamin is getting some chances in the Cardinals offense because of the injury to Chase Edmonds. He has 15 carries his last two games. Edmonds should get around six to 10 touches per game, backing up James Conner. He could have a good showing this week if he gets that amount of work once again. He plays Seattle, a team 26th overall against the run. Seattle has allowed 36-plus points to running backs two of the last three games. Benjamin has some flex appeal in this matchup.

Elijah Moore, WR, Jets. Moore scored a touchdown for the second straight games last week. He has double-digit fantasy points tour straight games. He has become a legit fantasy factor after a slow start to the year. He is going to get his weekly looks in this offense. Moore is an explosive player with big-play ability. The Jets need to get him the ball as much as possible. He could break a few big plays this week against the Dolphins. Miami is 28th overall against the pass and allow the third most fantasy points to receivers.

C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals. Uzomah is starting to be more than just a red-zone target for the Bengals. He has four receptions each of his last two games and at least three receptions four straight and five of six. He gets his weekly looks in the Bengals high-powered passing game. He might get even more looks this week against the Raiders, a team that has really struggled to stop the tight end. Las Vegas allows the second most fantasy points to tight ends, making Uzomah an intriguing play for Week 11.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions. St. Brown had four receptions for 61 yards on six targets last week. He has been targeted 11 times his last two games and has at least five targets five of six games. He gets his weekly looks and is emerging as the top target in the Lions passing game. St. Brown isn’t the most exciting fantasy play but a consistent one, capable of bigger things. He might have his best game of the season this week against a Browns team this week that allows the ninth most fantasy points to receivers.

High/Low Scoring Games

Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.

High Scoring Games: Colts/Bills, Bengals/Raiders, Cowboys/Chiefs, Cardinals/Seahawks, Giants/Bucs.

Low Scoring Games: Lions/Browns.

Bye Weeks: Rams, Broncos.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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RTSports Weekly: Week 13

Player Notes
J.J. Watt Dec 2 2:00pm ET
J.J. Watt

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (shoulder) has resumed conditioning after tearing the labrum and rotator cuff in his shoulder, and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said on the Pat McAfee show that it's possible that Watt returns before the Super Bowl to help the Cardinals on a playoff run. The 32-year-old had what was believed to be season-ending shoulder surgery at the time on Oct. 27, but as long as the Cardinals keep winning deep into the playoffs, Watt could be a pass-rushing factor for them late in the postseason. We've seen the superhuman Watt return from devastating injuries before, so this wouldn't be a huge surprise, but it remains to be seen how effective he'd actually be if this scenario comes to pass.

From RotoBaller

Boston Scott Dec 2 1:50pm ET
Boston Scott

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott (illness) missed his second straight practice of the week on Thursday with a non-COVID-19-related illness. A second straight practice has put Scott's status up in the air for the Week 13 game against the New York Jets. And with Jordan Howard (knee) unlikely to return this Sunday, Miles Sanders could have a stranglehold on backfield touches in an excellent matchup if Scott cannot play this weekend. But the 26-year-old still has a chance to get back on the field for practice on Friday, which would put him on track to play. Rookie Kenneth Gainwell would have a much bigger pass-catching role and could be worth a flex play in deeper PPR leagues if Scott and Howard are both inactive.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Howard Dec 2 1:50pm ET
Jordan Howard

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard (knee) missed another day of practice on Thursday and has yet to practice this week after missing the Week 12 loss to the New York Giants. A multi-week absence was never out of the question when Howard was injured in Week 11, so fantasy managers shouldn't have been expecting to have him available for this Sunday's game against the New York Jets. Miles Sanders and Boston Scott split the workload last Sunday, but Scott has now missed two practices this week with an illness. If both Howard and Scott are inactive in Week 13, Miles Sanders will be a strong RB2 play, while rookie Kenneth Gainwell might be worth a look in a flex spot in deep PPR leagues.

From RotoBaller

Russell Wilson Dec 2 1:40pm ET
Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that he doesn't think quarterback Russell Wilson needs more rest but more repetitions. "He's ready to go. He doesn't need to be rested. He's not tired," Carroll said. Wilson underwent surgery to fix a ruptured tendon in his finger and hasn't been the same since his return from Injured Reserve three weeks ago. Wilson did return from the injury quickly, however, which might be the reason for his recent struggles. In his last three games, he has completed just 55.67% of his 97 passing attempts for 615 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while being sacked nine times. Things won't get easier this Sunday against the division-rival San Francisco 49ers, either. San Fran allows the sixth-fewest passing yards per game (207.3), making Wilson a high-end QB2 instead of the surefire QB1 he was earlier in the year before his injury.

From RotoBaller

Corey Davis Dec 2 1:40pm ET
Corey Davis

New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis (groin) was absent from practice again on Thursday. Davis said on Wednesday that he's feeling better than he did last week, but that hasn't manifested itself yet on the practice field. With Davis missing last week's win over the Houston Texans, he's looking very questionable to play in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles. If he returns, he should be rookie quarterback Zach Wilson's go-to target alongside impressive rookie Elijah Moore. But the longer Davis remains out of practice, the more likely it is that he'll miss his second straight contest. With Keelan Cole on the COVID-19 list, Moore, Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios would be the team's top three receivers if Davis misses another game.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Dec 2 1:20pm ET
Melvin Gordon

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (hip, shoulder) is 50-50 to play on Sunday night against the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs, according to head coach Vic Fangio. Gordon injured his hip on his first carry of the game in the Week 12 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, but he returned immediately and finished out the game. But the 28-year-old missed practice on Wednesday, won't practice Thursday and is looking iffy to play in Week 13. Gordon is averaging a solid 4.5 yards per carry and has seven total touchdowns (five rushing, two receiving) while sharing touches pretty much down the middle with impressive rookie Javonte Williams through 12 weeks. If Gordon is limited at all or out entirely against KC, Williams would become a must-play in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Griffin Dec 2 1:00pm ET
Ryan Griffin

New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin has seen four or more targets in three of his last four games. Sadly, Griffin has only surpassed 30 receiving yards in one of those contests. The good news is, his workload has increased with Tyler Kroft (chest) unavailable. Although, the lack of yardage does make Griffin a tough fantasy option. He should be able to find some success against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13. However, Griffin isn't anything more than a deep league option. It's unlikely that he gets heavily involved in the passing attack.

From RotoBaller

Kadarius Toney Dec 2 12:50pm ET
Kadarius Toney

New York Giants rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney (oblique, quadriceps) was working on a side field again on Thursday with a trainer and seems doubtful to play in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins. It's Toney's second straight day of missed practice after he was inactive in the Week 12 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The first-round pass-catcher has looked electric with the ball in his hands at times this year, but the problem is the Giants offense as a whole has mostly been beat up this year and has never really hit its stride. Fantasy managers should obviously look to pivot away from Toney this weekend, especially with Sterling Shepard (quadriceps) trending towards playing after a long layoff. In his first nine games, Toney has 35 catches for 392 yards and no touchdowns on 48 targets.

From RotoBaller

Braxton Berrios Dec 2 12:50pm ET
Braxton Berrios

New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios put together a couple surprisingly solid performances to begin the season. However, his fantasy appeal has disappeared since then. In fact, Berrios has three or less targets in every game since Week 3. Last week, Berrios hauled in two receptions for 47 yards in the win over the Houston Texans. He could be involved with Corey Davis (groin) banged up and Keelan Cole Sr. (Covid) sidelined. That being said, Berrios could see more action than normal during the Week 13 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. At the moment, Berrios isn't someone worth starting in almost any formats. Berrios should be more involved, assuming Davis sits out alongside Cole. However, it sounds like Davis should suit up, which means Berrios might only see a handful of targets at best.

From RotoBaller

Sterling Shepard Dec 2 12:50pm ET
Sterling Shepard

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (quadriceps) is doing light work at practice on Thursday and has an outside chance to play in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins. Shepard was listed as not practicing on Wednesday, so this represents some progress. But it's also not a ringing endorsement to consider him in fantasy lineups this weekend, since Shepard has been out since suffering his quad injury in Week 8. The 28-year-old was involved heavily in the passing attack in his first five games of the season, but there's a good chance that he'll have his snaps limited if he's back on Sunday against the Dolphins. That'll make him a pretty risky WR4/flex if he's active this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Dec 2 12:40pm ET
Jamison Crowder

New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder is coming off his worst game of the season. Last week, he hauled in his lone target for five yards in the win. To be fair, it's not all his fault with quarterback Zach Wilson only targeting him once. Possibly, the chemistry between the two isn't there yet. That being said, Crowder could have a tough time finding success against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13. A defense that has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to wideouts this season. Wilson appears to be in line for another start, so Crowder could be looking at another dud. At this point, Crowder is basically a desperation flex option in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

James Robinson Dec 2 12:40pm ET
James Robinson

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (heel, knee) did not practice on Thursday after he was limited on Wednesday. It's unclear yet if the Jaguars were just resting Robinson on Thursday or if he actually had a setback with heel and knee injuries that he's been managing in recent weeks. Regardless, fantasy managers should be on the lookout for an update on his status, but if he misses another practice on Friday, it will likely be Carlos Hyde time on Sunday in the Week 13 meeting with the Los Angeles Rams. If Robinson is active, he'll be on the RB1/2 borderline against Los Angeles, a defense that has allowed just over 100 yards rushing per game to their opponents. Hyde had a season-high 21 carries in Week 9 when Robinson sat out, but he gained just 3.19 yards per carry and has a low fantasy ceiling even with a starter's workload.

From RotoBaller

Elijah Moore Dec 2 12:30pm ET
Elijah Moore

New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore has been much more involved in the offense since the Week 6 bye. In fact, Moore has seen six or more targets in each of his last five games. That trend should continue against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13. A defense that ranks 23rd in pass DVOA this season. This certainly appears to be a favorable matchup for Moore despite him and quarterback Zach Wilson having little playing time together. That being said, Moore is worth a look as a flex play in most fantasy formats for this Week 13 matchup.

From RotoBaller

T.J. Watt Dec 2 12:30pm ET
T.J. Watt

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed linebacker Robert Spillane on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday. Spillane has played in 10 games for the Steelers this year, with just one start. He's recorded 17 tackles (one for a loss). Offensive lineman Joe Haeg and linebacker T.J. Watt were placed on the COVID-19 list earlier this week. The 25-year-old Spillane has also been dealing with a knee injury, so even if he clears the league's COVID-19 protocols, he may not be available to return in Week 14 next Thursday when Pittsburgh takes on the Minnesota Vikings. If Watt ends up missing this Sunday's game against the division-rival Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers defensive unit in fantasy could struggle.

From RotoBaller

Ty Johnson Dec 2 12:20pm ET
Ty Johnson

New York Jets running back Ty Johnson saw only six carries despite Michael Carter (ankle) being out last week. Although, those six carries were actually Johnson's highest total since Week 2. Despite that, Johnson wasn't able to do much with his chances with Tevin Coleman and Austin Walter getting a majority of the carries. It's uncertain if Walter will play during the Week 13 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. His absence could mean more chances for Johnson. Although, there's not a lot of upside for Johnson with Zach Wilson under center. Fantasy managers should consider him a low-end flex option in deep leagues. There's PPR value here with Johnson, but his workload is uncertain.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Lindsay Dec 2 12:20pm ET
Phillip Lindsay

Miami Dolphins running back Phillip Lindsay (ankle) was not seen at practice on Thursday at the portion open to the media. Lindsay was a limited practice participant on Wednesday, so this would represent a downgrade if he in fact is listed as missing Thursday's session. Friday will be big for the former Houston Texan and Denver Broncos as the Dolphins head into their Week 13 game against the New York Giants. The 27-year-old played 20% of the offensive snaps in his team debut in the Week 12 win over the Carolina Panthers, seeing a season-high 12 carries for 42 yards. That's a good sign for Lindsay, but Myles Gaskin remains Miami's lead back. If Lindsay cannot play this Sunday, Salvon Ahmed, who played 18% of the snaps and had five carries, will see more playing time as Gaskin's backup.

From RotoBaller

Tevin Coleman Dec 2 12:10pm ET
Tevin Coleman

New York Jets running back Tevin Coleman took over the lead back job for last week's matchup against the Houston Texans. He rushed 11 times for 67 yards and hauled in two receptions for three additional yards. It was surprisingly a decent outing from Coleman, but fantasy managers shouldn't get too excited. The Jets offensive line is horrendous and it was tough for Michael Carter (ankle) to have any success when he was healthy. His absence should mean another start for Coleman, but it doesn't guarantee success. The Philadelphia Eagles are ranked 16th in rush DVOA this season. This isn't a favorable matchup, but Coleman does have some deep league flex appeal for this Week 13 matchup. The touches should be there without Carter available, but the results are tough to predict.

From RotoBaller

J.D. McKissic Dec 2 12:10pm ET
J.D. McKissic

Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic (concussion) is in the league's concussion protocol and didn't practice for a second straight day on Thursday. McKissic scored the team's only two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Monday night win over the Seattle Seahawks, but he suffered a head/neck injury late in the game and is now seriously in danger of missing the Week 13 contest against the Las Vegas Raiders. Antonio Gibson would be in line for a huge workload against a vulnerable Raiders run defense if McKissic is unable to play, giving him easy RB1 upside. Rookie Jaret Patterson would see a bigger role behind Gibson if McKissic is unable to play, but it's debatable whether he'll have standalone value. Friday's practice will be big for McKissic's weekend status.

From RotoBaller

Miles Sanders Dec 2 12:00pm ET
Miles Sanders

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (ankle) said he feels good and expects to play on Sunday in a plus matchup against the Jets. With Jalen Hurts (ankle) also battling an ankle injury, head coach Nick Sirianni had mentioned that Hurts would likely run less this weekend. That would likely mean more carries for Sanders and Boston Scott, especially with Jordan Howard still banged up and unlikely to play. Given the strong matchup, both Sanders and Scott could be started this weekend, with Sanders being a risky RB2 option with clear upside.

From RotoBaller

Zach Wilson Dec 2 12:00pm ET
Zach Wilson

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (knee) was able to fully practice on Wednesday. That means, Wilson should be in line to start against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13. Last week, Wilson put together a lackluster performance against the below average Houston Texans pass defense. It's unlikely going to get better against the Eagles despite them being ranked 23rd in pass DVOA this season. There should be better streaming options in just about every fantasy format. Wilson is a desperation option, but it's hard to imagine many worse options right now.

From RotoBaller