Fantasy Football: Andy Dalton Leads 'Start-or-Sit' Battles for Week 11
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The following countdown details six start-or-sit scenarios for Week 11, factoring in competitions at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end.
For the most part, the rushing and receiving conundrums were broken down with standard-scoring leagues in mind.
But, as routinely stated on The Fantasy Blog, it's hard to make rational decisions about wideouts and tight ends without factoring in receiving targets.
Enjoy the show!
Start: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
2012 Stats: 2,011 Yards Passing, 17 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Dolphins (Home)
Reasons To Start Ryan Fitzpatrick Over Philip Rivers
1. Through nine games, Ryan Fitzpatrick has accounted for 270 total yards and/or two touchdowns six times.
2. Last week, Fitzpatrick shredded the Patriots defense for 337 yards passing and two TDs.
3. In his last three games against Miami, Fitzpatrick has per-outing averages of 249.3 yards passing and 1.3 touchdowns.
4. The Dolphins, the NFL's 28th-ranked pass defense, have surrendered 300 yards passing four times this season.
Sit: QB Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
2012 Stats: 2,204 Yards Passing, 15 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Broncos (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench (For Ryan Fitzpatrick)
There are no obvious reasons to bench Philip Rivers against Denver. After all, he threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns last week against Tampa Bay. So, let's get nit-picky here:
1. In his last seven games against the Broncos, Rivers has averaged only 235 yards passing and 1.4 touchdowns.
2. Rivers hasn't thrown for more than 250 yards in his last three road games against AFC West foes.
3. The Chargers will likely focus on the run this week, through time-consuming drives, in an effort to keep Broncos QB Peyton Manning on the sidelines.
Start: RB Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys
2012 Stats: 481 Total Yards (278 Rushing), 3 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Browns (Home)
Reasons To Start Felix Jones Over Mikel Leshoure
1. Felix Jones has accounted for 74 total yards and/or one touchdown in his last five games.
2. Jones has racked up 202 total yards and one touchdown in his last two outings.
3. Dallas tailback DeMarco Murray (foot) is likely to sit another week.
4. The Browns, the NFL's 27th-ranked rush defense, are surrendering 132 yards per game.
Sit: RB Mikel Leshoure, Detroit Lions
2012 Stats: 547 Total Yards (418 Rushing), 4 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Packers (Home)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench (For Felix Jones)
In leagues that offer starting slots for a third running back, Mikel Leshoure is a solid consideration for Week 11. However, when compared to Felix Jones...
1. Leshoure has been a productive fantasy back on the road. At Ford Field, though, he has a pedestrian two-game average of 59 total yards (and zero scores).
2. Through seven games, Leshoure has posted only two outings of double-digit fantasy points (standard-scoring rules).
3. Leshoure only has four catches for 14 yards since Week 8.
Start: WR Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
2012 Stats: 44 Catches, 510 Yards, 4 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Bears (Home)
Reasons To Start Michael Crabtree Over Mike Williams
1. Through nine games, Michael Crabtree has collected six-plus targets eight times.
2. For the season, Crabtree has crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown six times.
3. Since Week 5, Crabtree has accounted for all four of his seasonal touchdowns.
4. Crabtree is a better candidate for top-20 numbers when Alex Smith (Week 10 concussion) is starting over Colin Kaepernick.
Sit: WR Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2012 Stats: 31 Catches, 568 Yards, 5 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Panthers (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench (For Michael Crabtree)
Time to nit-pick our way through another position battle:
1. In four road games, Mike Williams has yet to record more than 68 yards receiving (although that hasn't stopped him from finding the end zone three times).
2. For the season (nine games), Williams has only caught more than four balls once.
3. In five career games against the Panthers, Williams has soft averages of 2.4 catches, 53 yards and 0.4 touchdowns.
Start: TE Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
2012 Stats: 25 Catches, 280 Yards, 2 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Patriots (Away)
Reasons To Start Dwayne Allen Over Dennis Pitta
1. Dwayne Allen has emerged as the Colts' go-to tight end in the last few weeks. (An injury to Coby Fleener played a part in this development.)
2. Allen's quarterback, Andrew Luck, has thrown for an average of 300 yards in the last seven games.
3. The Patriots currently rank as the NFL's fourth-worst pass defense.
4. Tight ends Scott Chandler (two games), Dennis Pitta, Jacob Tamme and Dustin Keller combined for 27 catches, 320 yards and five TDs against New England earlier this season (five games total).
Sit: TE Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
2012 Stats: 37 Catches, 376 Yards, 3 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Steelers (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench (For Dwayne Allen)
1. Of his last six games, Dennis Pitta has tallied more than 50 receiving yards only once.
2. In his last three road tilts, Pitta has a deflating grand total of 10 catches for 88 yards (and zero scores).
3. Pitta's quarterback, Joe Flacco, is one of the NFL's most confounding quarterbacks on the road (more on that later).
Start: WR Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
2012 Stats: 19 Catches, 417 Yards, 4 TDs
Week 11 Opponent: Cowboys (Away)
Reasons To Start Josh Gordon Over Danario Alexander
1. Josh Gordon is the Browns' No. 1 receiving option, especially in the red zone.
2. For Weeks 5-7, Gordon rolled the opposition for seven catches, 240 yards and four touchdowns.
3. Gordon, who starred at Baylor with Robert Griffin III last year, will play his first pro game in Texas (his native state). Never underestimate the power of a "homecoming" game.
Sit: WR Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers
2012 Stats: 8 Catches, 195 Yards, 1 TD
Week 11 Opponent: Broncos (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench (For Josh Gordon)
I was very encouraged by Danario Alexander's five-catch, 134-yard, one-TD outing against the Buccaneers last week. But let's exercise a little patience here:
1. In three NFL seasons, Alexander has never caught four-plus balls in back-to-back games.
2. Along those lines, he's never had consecutive games of 70-plus receiving yards or one touchdown.
Start: QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
2012 Stats: 2,329 Yards Passing, 19 TDs (1 Rush)
Week 11 Opponent: Chiefs (Away)
Reasons To Start Andy Dalton Over Joe Flacco
1. Of his last four games, Andy Dalton has accounted for 300 total yards and/or three touchdowns three times.
2. Dalton has an impressive streak of three touchdowns (passing/rushing) in his last three road games. In that span, he averaged 318 yards passing.
3. A.J. Green, Dalton's favorite receiver, is currently riding an eight-game streak of at least one touchdown. He's also the No. 1 receiver in fantasy circles.
Sit: QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
2012 Stats: 2,331 Yards Passing, 15 TDs (2 Rush)
Week 11 Opponent: Steelers (Away)
Fantasy Reasons To Bench (For Andy Dalton)
1. Joe Flacco is fantasy's answer to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (Who's the evil one of that pairing?)
At home this season, Flacco already has four games of 299 yards passing or more.
On the road, Flacco is averaging only 180 yards passing and 0.75 TDs.
2. The Steelers are the NFL's top-ranked defense against the pass.