As Week 11 of the NFL season draws nearer, it’s more important than ever to analyze and respect matchups when setting your fantasy football lineup.
We’ve got a great read on what certain defenses are capable of locking down, and there are a few instances in which you may just want to sit a bona fide star because of the opposition.
Let’s take a look at a few players you should consider avoiding this week due to their tough matchups.
QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
If you have Cutler slated to start for your fantasy team this week, you may want to strongly consider inserting your backup.
The Chicago signal-caller reportedly suffered a concussion against the Houston Texans on Sunday night and is going to need 7 to 10 days to fully recuperate.
Considering that the Bears will clash with the Niners on Monday Night Football, there is no backup solution (other than either San Fran’s Colin Kaepernick or Alex Smith—a situation you’d best avoid) if Cutler is ruled out. Couple that with the 49ers beastly defense against opposing quarterbacks and it’s clear that it is time for Cutler owners to find a replacement.
WR Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
Smith exploded against the Oakland Raiders in Week 10, garnering two receptions on six targets for 67 yards and two scores. The Ravens' No. 1 wideout is now up to 31 receptions for 548 yards and seven TDs on the year.
However, his scoring output is highly likely to be shut down and his reception total shouldn’t be higher than two or three total catches against the Steelers this coming Sunday.
This is an important rivalry game between both teams, and there is a high chance that it will be decided on the ground. We believe this will be a low-scoring, hard-hitting affair between two franchises that absolutely detest one another.
Don’t expect much from any of the WRs participating in this one, especially not a predictable player like Smith.
TE Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
Gronk has been one of our favorite players to own in fantasy over the past two seasons, but he’s a tough start against a stingy Colts TE defense in Week 11.
Indy is only giving up an average of 4.53 fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2012, and Gronk has been clearly hobbled by his hip injury. He managed to score last week against the Buffalo Bills, but only had three total receptions.
Tom Brady and the New England offense will certainly air it out against a suspect secondary, but we don’t believe that Gronk will be a major factor when it comes to bringing in catches.