Fantasy Football Week 11 Rankings: Early Look at Top Matchup Plays

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystNovember 12, 2012

Fantasy Football Week 11 Rankings: Early Look at Top Matchup Plays

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    It's Week 11 of the 2012 NFL season, and that means there are three distinct groups of fantasy football owners right now.

    There are the smilers who are already checking the playoff schedules, the cursers trying to figure out where everything went so terribly wrong, and the scramblers who are trying like crazy to avoid the second group while getting into the first.

    No matter which group you're in though there are still at least three more regular season games to go. And to help you lock up a win in Week 11, here's a look at some of the less-than-obvious matchup plays who should accomplish big things.

QB: Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders (vs. NO)

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    To say that Week 10 was not kind to quarterback Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders would be an understatement. Despite 368 passing yards from the 10th-year veteran, the Raiders were absolutely annihilated by the Baltimore Ravens, 55-20.

    With that said it's Oakland's tendency to fall behind that has led to plenty of garbage-time production for Palmer this year. Fantasy's ninth-ranked quarterback should be in for more of the same this week in a shootout with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

    Other quarterbacks with favorable matchups: Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles (at WAS), Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (at NE), Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (vs. TB)

RB: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. CIN)

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    There have been precious few bright spots for the Kansas City Chiefs in a 2012 season in which the team still hasn't led during a game (man, that stat makes my head hurt), but at least running back Jammal Charles has rebounded well from last season's ACL injury, averaging nearly 100 total yards a game this year.

    The biggest stumbling block to the fifth-year pro's fantasy production this season has been the ineptitude of the Kansas City coaching staff. However, the table is set for Charles to post solid numbers Sunday against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has been a top 10 fantasy matchup for running backs in 2012.

    Other running backs with favorable matchups: Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins (at BUF), Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints (at OAK), BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (at KC)

WR: Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles (at WAS)

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    Injury has been added to insult for the Philadelphia Eagles, as their disappointing 2012 season was dealt another blow when starting quarterback Michael Vick sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

    That concussion all but certainly means that rookie quarterback Nick Foles will make his first career start this week against the Washington Redskins, and that bodes well for the fantasy prospects of wideout Jeremy Maclin.

    Foles clearly seemed to favor Maclin against the Cowboys, and the fourth-year pro has a very nice matchup this week with a Washington Redskins team that is allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season.

    Other wide receivers with favorable matchups: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (vs. TB), Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders (vs. NO), Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (at BUF)

TE: Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (vs. CHI)

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    It wasn't that long ago that San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis was a no-brainer start every week in fantasy football leagues. However, after having only nine catches for 101 yards over his past three games combined, that isn't necessarily the case any longer.

    The likelihood that Colin Kaepernick will start at quarterback for the 49ers this week might make Davis that much riskier of a play.

    However, the second-year pro will need his top underneath option, and Chicago's Tampa-2 defense has proven to be susceptible to getting exploited over the middle in recent seasons.

    Other tight ends with favorable matchups: Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles (at WAS), Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (at NE), Dustin Keller, New York Jets (at STL)

DEF: Atlanta Falcons (vs. ARI)

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    There's a very easy rule of thumb this season when it comes to selecting a fantasy defense.

    Pick the team that's playing the Arizona Cardinals, who are surrendering both the most sacks and fantasy points per game to opposing defenses in 2012.

    This week that's defensive end John Abraham and the Atlanta Falcons, who should rebound in a big way from their first loss of the season against a terrible Arizona offensive line.

    Other defenses with favorable matchups: Washington Redskins (vs. PHI), Cincinnati Bengals (at KC), St. Louis Rams (vs. NYJ)