Fantasy Football Rankings Week 11: Highlighting Most Trustworthy Stars

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Fantasy Football Rankings Week 11: Highlighting Most Trustworthy Stars
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Every week, I get a lot of questions from people on Twitter asking me if they should trust their stars despite tough upcoming matchups. And depending on the player—some guys should never, ever be doubted—their fears are generally warranted.

That said, there are plenty of stars with favorable matchups this week whom you absolutely, positively should trust. You'll find them in my top-10 rankings, and we'll break a few of them down, along with providing an overall look at each position this week.

 

Notes: Points against stats via ESPN. Point totals are for standard-scoring leagues. The St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys are on a bye. 

 

Quarterbacks

Week 11 Quarterback Rankings
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Robert Griffin III Washington Philadelphia Eagles 28
2 Nick Foles Philadelphia Eagles Washington 25
3 Cam Newton Carolina Panthers New England Patriots 24
4 Matt Stafford Detroit Lions Pittsburgh Steelers 22
5 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints San Francisco 49ers 21
6 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Kansas City Chiefs 20
7 Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks Minnesota Vikings 18
8 Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns 17
9 Case Keenum Houston Texans Oakland Raiders 17
10 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16

Despite both players having tough matchups, you simply don't sit Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, ever. They are so good—and their offenses so potent—that they get started regardless of their opponent. 

That said, it doesn't mean either one is the top option this week. They remain in the QB1 grouping, but matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, respectively, limit their upside somewhat. 

Generally speaking, I think you trust your studs at quarterback this week. A few players have emerged in the later weeks—well hello there, Nick Foles and Case Keenum—but don't get too fancy at quarterback.

And don't trust Tom Brady just yet—the Carolina Panthers give up just 8.4 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per game, best in the NFL

 

Running Backs

Week 11 Running Back Rankings
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles Washington 22
2 Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks Minnesota Vikings 21
3 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Denver Broncos 19
4 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Seattle Seahawks 18
5 Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers New Orleans Saints 17
6 Reggie Bush Detroit Lions Pittsburgh Steelers 17
7 Alfred Morris Washington Philadelphia Eagles 16
8 Matt Forte Chicago Bears Baltimore Ravens 15
9 Giovani Bernard Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns 14
10 Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers New York Giants 13

Much like the quarterback position, you trust your studs at running back this week.

Yes, the questions get interesting in the RB2 ranks—can you trust Stevan Ridley against the Carolina Panthers? Can we trust Ray Rice or C.J. Spiller again this season? Will Knowshon Moreno disappear against Kansas City? How much will Chris Johnson produce against the Indianapolis Colts—but the RB1 group is pretty much par for the course this week. 

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Matt Forte isn't a tough call to start given how good he has been this year, but his upside seems limited by a Baltimore Ravens defense giving up just 10.4 points to opposing running backs per week, best in the NFL. Still, Giovani Bernard managed 14 points against them last weekend, so Forte should produce as well. 

LeSean McCoy is still a steady RB1, but he probably won't be one of the top two or three options very often the rest of the way. With Foles starting, McCoy is averaging 12.2 points. When Foles hasn't started this year, McCoy averaged 14.8 points and exceeded 20 points twice. 

Still, a matchup against Washington is tantalizing to put him atop the rankings this week. 

 

Wide Receivers

Week 11 Wide Receiver Rankings
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Pittsburgh Steelers 23
2 DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles Washington 20
3 Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears Baltimore Ravens 19
4 Josh Gordon Cleveland Browns Cincinnati Bengals 18
5 Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers Atlanta Falcons 16
6 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Kansas City Chiefs 15
7 Andre Johnson Houston Texans Oakland Raiders 14
8 Pierre Garcon Washington Philadelphia Eagles 14
9 Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals Jacksonville Jaguars 13
10 Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers Detroit Lions 13

Welcome back to the land of the WR1, Andre Johnson—you were sorely missed. Sixty-three fantasy points in his past three games with Keenum under center will do that. This week, he replaces Jordy Nelson, who has exactly nine receptions for 96 yards since Aaron Rodgers went down to injury in the Green Bay Packers' first drive against the Chicago Bears two weeks ago. 

A lot of folks have questioned why I have Josh Gordon so high, and the answer is two-fold. First, the Cincinnati Bengals are without their top cover corner, Leon Hall. Second, Gordon has reached seven or more fantasy points in five of seven games and has hit double-digit points four times. 

I think he's locked and loaded as a WR1, barring truly tough matchups.

A.J. Green also drops out of the top 10 this week with a tough assignment lining up across from Joe Haden, making it a tough week for elite receiving options considering Dez Bryant is on bye and Wes Welker could have a tough week against a good Kansas City offense.

Still, mainstays of the WR1 group—Calvin Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Marshall and Demaryius Thomas—aren't going anywhere and seem matchup-proof at this point. And look for Vincent Jackson to break his string of three-straight games with seven fantasy points or less against the same Atlanta Falcons defense he torched in Week 7 to the tune of 10 receptions, 138 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Tight Ends

Week 11 Tight End Rankings
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints San Francisco 49ers 17
2 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Carolina Panthers 17
3 Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns Cincinnati Bengals 15
4 Vernon Davis* San Francisco 49ers New Orleans Saints 14
5 Jordan Reed Washington Philadelphia Eagles 13
6 Tony Gonzalez* Atlanta Falcons Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13
7 Julius Thomas Denver Broncos Kansas City Chiefs 11
8 Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers Miami Dolphins 10
9 Timothy Wright Tampa Bay Buccaneers Atlanta Falcons 9
10 Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers New England Patriots 9

*If he plays

In general, this position is so thin that you have no choice but to trust your studs.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

And honestly, players like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Julius Thomas have done nothing to make you doubt them. Jordan Cameron torched the Bengals for 10 receptions, 91 yards and a touchdown in Week 4, so he should get back on track after having just one reception for four yards last week.

The only real concern among the top 10 is the health of Vernon Davis and Tony Gonzalez. Davis practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday, so he should be good to go, though Gonzalez didn't practice and looks like a game-time decision.

If he starts, you start him. But have a backup plan in place.

 

Defense/Special Teams

Week 11 Defense/Special Teams Rankings
Rank Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Seattle Seahwks Minnesota Vikings 18
2 Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns 16
3 New York Jets Buffalo Bills 15
4 Arizona Cardinals Jacksonville Jaguars 14
5 Detroit Lions Pittsburgh Steelers 12
6 New England Patriots Carolina Panthers 11
7 Green Bay Packers New York Giants 10
8 New York Giants Green Bay Packers 10
9 Carolina Panthers New England Patriots 9
10 Indianapolis Colts Tennessee Titans 8

Surprisingly, two of the top four fantasy defenses—the Chiefs and Niners—don't even make this list, while starting the Panthers is absolutely terrifying against a rejuvenated Brady and New England Patriots offense coming off a bye.

I like the Panthers enough to keep them in the top 10, but they're a risky selection nonetheless. 

So, trust the Seattle Seahawks or Bengals, but after that, don't be afraid to go with an unorthodox choice for your defense this week. 

 

Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions, tweet random fantasy musings and wonder how the New Orleans Saints could earn almost as many first downs (40) on Sunday night as the Dallas Cowboys ran plays (43).

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