7 Fantasy Stars to Watch in Week 11

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2012

7 Fantasy Stars to Watch in Week 11

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    The stretch run in fantasy football is always a nerve-wracking time for owners all over the world. Those last-second decisions are going to drive you nuts, and if they don't work, you will be beating yourself up for a whole week. 

    That's why we are here. Instead of keeping the burden of decision-making on you, we can give you the push you need to make decisions and put you in prime position to dominate your weekly matchup. 

    The names here are not going to be surprises. After all, we promised you we would talk about stars, and that's exactly what we are going to do. 

    In fact, we are going to go above and beyond by providing you with an entire starting lineup of offensive players. As much as we love kickers and defense, fans don't want to hear us talk about the strength of someone's leg. 

    Without further ado, here are the Week 11 fantasy stars who are going to make a lot of owners very happy. 

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (vs. Oakland)

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    2012 Season Stats

    230-for-374, 2,847 yards, 25 TD, 9 INT, 97.3 QB Rating

    Oakland Defense vs. Pass

    210-for-318, 2,303 yards, 17 TD, 6 INT, 11 Sacks, 98.4 QB Rating

    What Brees Will Do

    Anything short of world domination would be a surprise. Brees has been on fire since that dreadful performance against Denver on Sunday Night Football. In his last two games, against Philadelphia and Atlanta, he has completed 42-of-59 passes for 537 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. 

    The Raiders are coming off a dreadful game against Baltimore that saw them give up 55 points. Joe "Call Me Elite" Flacco had 341 yards and three touchdowns. 

    Everything is lined up for Brees to have the biggest fantasy week of any player, quarterback or otherwise. Don't be shocked to see him get around 400 passing yards and at least three touchdowns. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (vs. Carolina)

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    2012 Season Stats

    173 carries, 862 yards, 7 TD; 23 receptions, 296 yards, 1 TD

    Carolina Defense vs. Run

    250 carries, 1,017 yards, 7 TD

    What Martin Will Do

    Thanks to the emergence of Martin, the Buccaneers suddenly find themselves back in the thick of a playoff race. While the team's fortune doesn't apply to fantasy football, it does show how much of a difference Martin has made to this offense already. 

    Martin struggled on the ground against San Diego with just 68 yards, but he found a lot of yards in the receiving game to make up for it. He had 51 yards through the air, for a total of 119 in the game. 

    The Panthers have been so inconsistent against the run—as they have in every other phase of the game—and given the strength of the Buccaneers up front, Ron Rivera's bunch should have problems figuring out what hit them. 

    Look for Martin to get his season rolling again with a 100-yard game and at least one big touchdown run. 

St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson (vs. New York Jets)

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    2012 Season Stats

    137 carries, 504 yards, 2 TD; 14 receptions, 124 yards

    Jets Defense vs. Run

    300 carries, 1,305 yards, 10 TD

    What Jackson Will Do

    Living in Indiana, I am not afforded the opportunity to watch Jackson as much as I would like. However, what I saw from him against San Francisco last week, I kept asking myself how he isn't one of the five best backs in the NFL

    Sure, there are offensive line problems in St. Louis, but Jackson has linebacker strength with running back speed. He can barrel defenders over if he wants. 

    This week is the best matchup Jackson will have the rest of the season. The Jets have been dreadful against the run all season. Teams have been exploiting the Jets up front all season. Even if you can't throw on Rex Ryan's crew, you should have no problem winning the battle in the trenches. 

    Jackson is going to approach his second straight 100-yard rushing game and score a touchdown along the way. 

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (vs. Green Bay)

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    2012 Season Stats

    60 receptions, 974 yards, 2 TD

    Green Bay Defense vs. Pass

    200 receptions, 2,192 yards, 13 TD

    What Johnson Will Do

    If you just looked at the receptions and yards, Megatron would look like he was up to his usual tricks. The surprise has been that he only has two touchdown catches. 

    Johnson is starting to rectify his lack of end zone productivity. He had a touchdown catch last week against Minnesota, which was just one of his 12 catches that went for 207 yards. More impressive than those numbers is the fact that he made 12 catches on 13 targets. Only once when the ball was thrown his way did he miss it. 

    The Packers have had their share of problems defending the pass this season, though they are better than they were in 2011, so that's something. 

    Johnson is on a roll right now with two straight 100-yard games. Matthew Stafford has found his rhythm with Megatron, and that duo should have a huge weekend at home against a division rival. 


Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (vs. San Diego)

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    2012 Season Stats

    54 receptions, 891 yards, 4 TD

    San Diego Defense vs. Pass

    198 receptions, 2,107 yards, 16 TD

    What Thomas Will Do

    Finding consistency on a week-to-week basis with a wide receiver in fantasy football is tough. Outside of the elite group, there are going to be some duds from a starting receiver every single year. 

    Thomas had one of those games, against Houston in Week 3, when he had just 34 yards. Since then he has been one of the best receivers in fantasy football. His last three games, in particular, have been very strong. 

    Since Week 8, Thomas has 22 catches, 349 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers are a team that gives up a lot of touchdown catches. With Peyton Manning on such an incredible hot streak, Thomas is going to have plenty of opportunities to make plays, especially in the red zone. 

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (vs. Oakland)

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    2012 Season Stats

    45 receptions, 533 yards, 7 TD

    Oakland Defense vs. Pass

    210 receptions, 2,303 yards, 17 TD

    What Graham Will Do

    If Brees is going to have a monster game, someone has to be the beneficiary of all those receptions, right?

    Graham is arguably Brees' favorite target, especially right now during this run of four wins in five games. The star tight end has 20 catches, 281 yards and four touchdowns in his last three games. 

    The Raiders are tied for seventh in the NFL in most touchdown passes allowed. Graham has more than half of his touchdown catches in the last three weeks. All the stars have lined up for Graham to have one of his best games of the season. 

    Really, anyone going up against Oakland is catnip to fantasy owners. When you have an offense as good as the Saints, you start salivating as soon as you see the matchup on the horizon. 

Cincinnati Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Kansas City)

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    2012 Season Stats

    157 carries, 537 yards, 3 TD; 12 receptions, 61 yards

    Kansas City Defense vs. Run

    249 carries, 1,103 yards, 5 TD

    What Green-Ellis Will Do

    While his first season in Cincinnati has not been a smooth ride, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has had moments where he looks like he is putting it all together. If he has been riding the bench for a few weeks on your team, now is the time to use him as your flex player. 

    Green-Ellis has a very favorable matchup with a Chiefs team that just looks lost at sea. They do fight with everything they have, but talent still wins out over heart. 

    Sure, the strength of the Chiefs defense is up front and defending the run, but the Bengals' game plan must be to establish Andy Dalton and the passing game, which will open up draw plays, which was always Green-Ellis' strength with the Patriots. 

    It won't be a huge week for Green-Ellis, but he should be able to crack the 80-yard mark for the first time since Week 4. Not bad for a No. 3 back this week, if you ask me.