Last Minute Fantasy Football Advice for Every Position on Your Roster in Week 11
It's hard to believe that playoff time is almost here. If you are within shouting distance of a playoff spot, I'm here to help. I pray that you are as excited about the last three weeks of the regular season as I am.
The bye weeks are coming to an end soon, so it's time to set up your team for a run to your championship game.
Before I give you some advice, I want to take this opportunity to answer some of your e-mails that I haven't been able to get to yet.
So let's get this show on the road and hit the next slide.
Opening the Mail Bag
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
I haven't had a chance to get to e-mails yet this week, so I will do it here.
Kenny M writes, "As you can see, the only weakness is my QB's going down the stretch. Eli was golden early on, then Big Ben has carried the load the rest of the way. I had to dump Ben this past week because Eli was on bye week...no QB to start. Fitz killed me last night and I really don't want to rely on him any more moving forward. If Eli would get it together I would be OK...but he has not been good the past several weeks. I have a possible trade with a last place team to get Tony Romo off his bench for LeShoure. Then I could grab Wells off waivers to replace Leshoure since he's about to come back. What do you think of that strategy? Or do you have another suggestion? I welcome your input."
I wouldn't trade for Romo, Kenny. December is coming so it's about time for Romo to disappoint. If you can, I would try to trade for a mid-level guy like Josh Freeman or Andrew Luck. Or just pray that Eli can get back to his regular ways.
As for the running backs, I would keep Leshoure since I don't like the Romo deal, but picking up Wells and dropping Brandon Myers (not pictured) would be a good idea after this week. More on that later.
Laura B writes, "Thoughts. Most of my played are NYG on bye this week. With that said, here are my options: WR: M Austin, D. Bryant, D. Alexander, D. Jones, C. Shorts RB: J. Dwyer, V. Ballard. Your thoughts??? Lol"
I like the "Lol" at the end but I'm getting mixed signals. I'm not sure if you are laughing at your team or at the fact you're asking me for advice. Either way, it's funny, and I can help.
You need two receivers, who I would say would be Dez Bryant and Miles Austin (both playing the Browns). For the running back, I would play Vick Ballard (I guess). Then for your two flex spots, I would go with Alexander and Shorts. Not thrilled about your team this week, though.
Ryan F writes, "Hey korey, Just accepted the following trade and want to know if I got the best end. Traded away Nate Washington and Dwyer. Received: Brandon Lloyd, earl Bennett and cotchery. 12 team PPR league and we start 2rb 3WR and a flex I have Dwayne Bowe, Calvin Johnson. Did i do ok?"
That's a decent trade, I suppose. I'm not crazy about Bowe right now, but who is? You can play Lloyd as your third receiver each week which is a small upgrade from Washington.
Kevin S writes, "Got an offer to trade Vernon Davis and dwayne bowe for tony gonzales (sic). Do I stick it out with Davis or make the trade?"
Make the trade. Bowe is barely a starter at this point, if it all. Vernon Davis has flamed out in a big way. Gonzalez (or To-Go as I like to call him), is the best tight end this year and a huge asset for your team.
Quarterbacks to Start
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Carson Palmer (Oakland Raiders): Every single week, I have told you to start a quarterback against the New Orleans Saints.
Nothing changes this week. Outside of Matt Cassel, no QB has gotten less than 18 fantasy points against the Saints. Take the easy money and start Palmer in your league unless you have someone who is an absolute must-start.
Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers): Much like their NFC South counterparts, Tampa has had their struggles stopping the opposing quarterback.
With an average of 22.5 points scored against them the past four weeks, this boosts Newton into the start column. I'm fully expecting a high scoring game between the Panthers and Bucs, just the way it has been for Tampa lately.
With that said, I still don't like any of the Panthers running backs.
But I'll get to that.
Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals): The Chiefs defense may have improved over the last three games, but I'm still not buying it.
I like Dalton a lot this week. He's only had one bad week and one mediocre week since his season debut. Other than that, he's been one of the better quarterbacks in fantasy.
Oh, and that one bad game came against Pittsburgh. So don't write him off.
Quarterbacks to Sit
Andy King/Getty Images
Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions): I know he's on a pretty good streak, and I know the match up seems favorable. I just don't like it, though.
The Packers are bound to show up and be the Packers. Fantasy-wise, they haven't given up more than 16 points to opposing quarterbacks in the past four weeks.
If Stafford is your best option, then play him. I'm just telling you that I don't think he's going to have a great week.
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) and Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins): It pains me to write this since I love both guys (especially RGIII)—you may call it a hunch, or a gut feeling—but I just don't see good weeks coming from either one of them.
Right now, they both seem like amazing matchups. The Eagles are falling apart in front of our very eyes, and the Patriots' pass defense has been less than stellar this season.
But the Eagles always show up against the Redskins, and New England will make darn sure Tom Brady doesn't get shown up by a rookie. I only see about 12-15 points coming out of these guys. Not terrible, but there could be better options on your team.
Running Backs to Start
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Stevan Ridley (New England Patriots): Ridley actually got 22 carries last week against Buffalo, his most since Week 5. As a Ridley owner, I can tell you he is the most hair-pulling-inducing player to have on your roster.
On one hand, he's had some tremendous games. On the other, he's had some stinkers. The common factor is, he's had great matchups in all of his good games, and bad matchups in his poor games.
If you've read this far, you know the Pats play Indianapolis this week. Good matchup. Start Ridley.
Marcel Reece (Oakland Raiders): Playing against the Saints defense. No more needs to be said.
Felix Jones (Dallas Cowboys): He's finally starting to get the ball rolling a little bit, just as Demarco Murray looks like he's getting close to a return.
Now it's time for Jones to make some money while he can. This should be his blowup game against a No. 21 ranked Cleveland defense in what could be Jones's last start for Dallas.
Other Running Backs I like this week: Arian Foster, Doug Martin, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Alfred Morris, Trent Richardson, Willis McGahee, Darren Sproles, Michael Turner
Running Backs to Sit
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs): Charles finally broke his three-game skid against Pittsburgh last week on Monday Night Football. It was a welcome sign for all of his owners.
I just don't see any consistency out of him lately, though. He had a great three-week stretch early in the season and a good game against Pittsburgh, but it hasn't all come together yet.
Don't give up on him completely, because if he can gain some consistency into your playoffs, he will be extremely valuable. Just not this week.
Matt Forte (Chicago Bears): With Jason Campbell at quarterback for the Bears, they will likely try to rely on Forte to carry the load for the offense.
The only problem is, they are playing San Francisco, the No. 1 ranked rushing defense, which will be more than ready for the Bears. I expect Chicago to abandon the run early, as this one will be a slugfest in the early going.
Ryan Mathews (San Diego Chargers): Nothing about an injured running back that has broken double digits just once this season and shares too many carries going against the No. 11 defense sounds good to me.
If he blows up, I'll be the first one to blame. But I don't see him getting more than seven points. Then again, I am playing the guy that has him in our league this week, so I'll probably be wrong.
By the way, his one double digit game was against the Saints. So there you go.
Other Running Backs I don't like this week: Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Shonn Greene, Mikel Leshoure, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Rashard Mendenhall, LaRod Stephens-Howling
Wide Receivers to Start
David Banks/Getty Images
Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) and DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles): Smith takes on the second-worst defense against receivers (Tampa Bay), while Jackson takes on third-worst (Washington). Both are amazing matchup plays this week.
Brandon Marshall (Chicago Bears): This, however, appears to be a terrible matchup on paper.
From what we've from Marshall over the past six games though, is that he's matchup-proof. He is now a must-start every single week, no matter the competition. He had over 100 yards against the very solid Houston Texans defense in the rain last week.
And he even dropped what would have been a 40-yard touchdown. Don't be afraid of the 49ers or Jason Campbell when it comes to Marshall.
Other Wide Receivers I like this week: Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Reggie Wayne, Demaryius Thomas, Roddy White, Marques Colston, Vincent Jackson, Eric Decker, Any Packers WR, Andre Johnson
Wide Receivers to Sit
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Torrey Smith (Baltimore Ravens): If one has a better chance at a good week than the other, it would be Smith.
Without Roethlisberger, Wallace's value plummets. He did have a touchdown last week against the Chiefs, but not many yards to go with it.
Smith, on the other hand, had a nice week but will draw a lot of attention from the Steelers defense. Especially after catching a game-winner last season against Pittsburgh.
Cecil Shorts (Jacksonville Jaguars): Last week, I promised someone that I would give Cecil Shorts some respect this week. Here it is: nice garbage touchdown.
There, are you happy?
The Jags play the Texans this week, so if he grabs another garbage touchdown, feel free to berate me again.
When he gets his Cecil Shorts-esque 30 yards and no touchdowns, though, don't come crying to me.
Actually, you can still come crying; I'm here to help.
Other Wide Receivers I don't like this week: Larry Fitzgerald, Miles Austin, Danny Amendola, Dwayne Bowe, Mike Williams
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Tight Ends I like this week: Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Brandon Myers, Brent Celek, Greg Olsen
Most of these guys are no-brainers, but I've changed my mind on Myers. (The Raiders are going against the Saints, after all.) I expect about six or seven points if he doesn't snag a touchdown.
Greg Olsen also had a huge game last week, and should follow it up nicely against the Bucs.
Tight Ends I don't like this week: Heath Miller, Owen Daniels, Vernon Davis, Dennis Pitta
There's obviously more, but these are all guys that you would consider starting on your team. All of them just have nightmare matchups, which is why I rank Brandon Myers ahead of Davis and Pitta.
Daniels appears to be beat up, while Heath Miller has been a little inconsistent and plays the Ravens with a backup quarterback.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Defenses I like this week: Bears, Texans, Broncos, 49ers, Patriots, Falcons, Jets, Bengals, Cowboys, Rams
The Bengals were the hot pickup this week as they take on the No. 32 ranked offense in Kansas City, so they are a fairly safe play.
Expect the Texans to have the biggest week out of all defenses, though, as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Defenses I don't like this week: Cardinals, Chargers, Buccaneers, Browns, Redskins, Panthers, Colts
I noticed some people picking up the Redskins since they are playing against Nick Foles in his debut as a starter. I still wouldn't do it. I have zero confidence in their defense.
Again, the Bucs-Panthers game should be a shootout, so avoid both defenses. Also, the Cardinals are the highest-ranked defense to show up on this list at No. 7.
Last Minute Free Agents
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Players available in more than 50 percent of leagues that are worth a look: Jeremy Kerley, Rod Streater, Josh Morgan, Brandon LaFell, Brandon Myers, Cowboys D/ST
If your team has become the most sad and desperate team in all of fantasy football, then I would suggest Rod Streater.
His Raiders do play the Saints, so he may find his way in to the end zone. I still don't think he's going to get a ton of yards, but the possibility against New Orleans is always ever-present.
Well, as always, it has been fun bringing this to you every week. I'm flattered by the responses that I've got and as most of you regulars know, I always answer questions. The preferred method of contact is my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/koreybeckettBR since my e-mail has gotten filled up with a lot of spam. I'm not going to blame you, though, as I am the one who put my e-mail address on about sixty different web pages. Still, if you want to give it a shot, it's firstname.lastname@example.org Good luck in your matchups this week! See you next time!