The Best Fantasy Football Starts at Every Position for NFL Week 11
Week 11 marks the final week of bye weeks in the NFL, meaning this will be the last time that fantasy football is potentially without some of the top scorers.
However, even without Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch and Victor Cruz playing this week, there are still plenty of options at each position to yield maximum points. Today, we'll look at those best options and break down why each player is the best start at each specific position.
Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Did anyone see Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens drop 55 points on the Oakland Raiders last week? Guess who Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints play this week?
You got it: the Oakland Raiders. Sixty points isn't a crazy assumption for New Orleans to hit this week, and 70 points is even possible.
There simply isn't a single defender on the Raiders roster who is capable of slowing down the Saints' passing attack. Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston should get open at will, and if Darren Sproles returns this week—and it looks like he could—it will be open season in Oakland on Sunday.
Look for Brees to put up video-game numbers and easily lead all other quarterbacks in scoring this week.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick isn't going to be playing this week, which means Foles will get a full 60 minutes to prove to the people of Philadelphia that he is a long-term answer for the franchise.
While filling in for Vick last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Foles played pretty well despite the complete and utter lack of an offensive line. He threw for 219 yards and a touchdown, but two turnovers really killed his fantasy production.
However, with a full week of practice and a matchup with the extremely weak defense of the Washington Redskins, Foles could have quite the week in Week 11.
Running Back: Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Arian Foster has a good chance every week to be the top-scoring running back, but the fact that he plays against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week makes it a guarantee.
The Jaguars are giving up the fourth-most rushing yards per game at nearly 140 yards per game. They've also given up 14 rushing touchdowns—good for the second most in the NFL.
Foster has scored an offensive touchdown in 11 straight games, and it is extremely likely that streak will continue on Sunday. Don't be surprised if Foster is a factor in both the run and pass game and finds the end zone multiple times in Week 11.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders
Reece was our sleeper pick last week, and he certainly didn't disappoint, with 104 total yards on offense. That gave him two straight games with at least 10 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues.
This week, Reece and the Raiders take on the New Orleans Saints and their porous defense. He should have no difficulty picking up chunks of yards in the ground game as well as in the passing game.
If he can find the end zone even just one time, he could end up having one of the better weeks at the running back position.
Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
We've been waiting the whole season for Calvin Johnson to have the game he had last week against the Minnesota Vikings. He had 12 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown, and he finally looked comfortable with Matthew Stafford for the first time this season.
This week, Johnson gets the Green Bay Packers—a team he has been rather successful against over the course of his career. With both Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson out for this game, Stafford and Johnson should have no difficulty continuing their rhythm in Week 11.
While another 200-yard, one-touchdown performance might be a stretch, Johnson should have no problem putting up another dominating performance to be the top-scoring wide receiver this week.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders
Heyward-Bey will only be a sleeper pick if he plays this week, which appears to be a game-time decision.
However, if he can play, he's really been on a hot streak with Carson Palmer. He's had back-to-back games with five receptions and a combined 156 yards and a touchdown. As long as Heyward-Bey can play, he'll have a great chance to have a big week.
Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
At 36 years old, Gonzalez is having one of the best seasons of his incredible career. He had 11 receptions, 122 yards and two receptions last week. That was the second time he has posted 10-plus receptions, 100-plus yards and a touchdown this season.
A matchup against the Arizona Cardinals this week could easily bring about another monster week for him. The Atlanta Falcons will be looking to bounce back from a difficult loss last week and should have no difficulty putting up a ton of points against a defense that's been struggling in recent weeks.
Gonzalez having a huge week is about as sure of a pick as you can get for Week 11 fantasy football.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
With Indianapolis traveling to play the New England Patriots, Andrew Luck is going to need all the help he can get to keep up with Tom Brady.
With Coby Fleener missing another game this week with a shoulder injury, Allen will need to be that player to step up. Look for him to take advantage on this opportunity and really put together a quality game.
Kicker: Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints
Remember how we talked about the New Orleans Saints potentially dropping 70 points on the Oakland Raiders this weekend? Even if the Saints only get half those points, Garrett Hartley will still be on the field enough to have his best week of fantasy football this season.
Heck, if Drew Brees and Co. really get things going against Oakland, Hartley could end up having one of the best fantasy weeks of the season for a kicker.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns
The Dallas Cowboys have been prone to giving up points (22.7 per game this year), as well as playing down to the level of their opponents.
If the Browns can force Tony Romo into making poor plays and give Dawson good field position, he could surprise some people with a solid week.
Defense: Houston Texans
When you get one of the league's best defenses against one of the league's worst offenses, the outcome is usually a high-scoring game for the defense.
The Houston Texans get the Jacksonville Jaguars at home this week in one of the most lopsided matchups of Week 11. This game could get ugly real quick, and the Texans should have no difficulty dominating from start to finish.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Cincinnati Bengals
Any team playing the Kansas City Chiefs should be able to put up some solid points on defense for fantasy football.
The Bengals get the Chiefs this week, and considering they actually have a decent defense, they should have no trouble absolutely shutting down whatever Kansas City tries to do offensively.