Week 11 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Matchups to Exploit and Avoid for Fantasy Success

Shehan Peiris@@shehan_peiris_Correspondent IIINovember 15, 2013

Tom Brady has the worst matchup in the league, but he's Tom Brady. Do you sit him or start him?
Tom Brady has the worst matchup in the league, but he's Tom Brady. Do you sit him or start him?Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Matchups are a crucial aspect of fantasy football. If you don’t play the matchups correctly, you’ll end up starting duds and sitting studs. There are some intriguing matchups in Week 11 that create some difficult decisions. To help you with your tough choices, here are some of the sits and starts for this week.

Note: All fantasy points against stats are from ESPN standard-scoring leagues.



Sit: Tom Brady vs. Carolina Panthers

Brady's matchup doesn't bode well. Stay away if you can.
Brady's matchup doesn't bode well. Stay away if you can.Jim Rogash/Getty Images

It’s a rare occasion when the word “sit” is associated with Tom Brady, but this is one of those times where you should consider it if possible. As always, he has the upside to put up good numbers, but this is a terrible matchup for him and he’ll likely finish the week as a mid-level QB2.

The Carolina Panthers are the worst matchup for opposing quarterbacks, giving up 8.4 fantasy points per game. They have a loaded front seven that can stuff the run and get after the quarterback.

Brady has faced a couple of teams in that mold this year, and he hasn’t fared well against any of them.

Tom Brady vs. Jets, Bengals
OpponentYardsTDsINTsStandard Fantasy Points
Vs. New York Jets1851011.4
At Cincinnati Bengals197015.4
At New York Jets228016.6

Because he’s Brady, he’s not an absolute must-sit player, but you should try to find another option if possible because he won’t give you fantastic production.


Start: Carson Palmer vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Carson Palmer hasn't been great this year, but he will be on Sunday.
Carson Palmer hasn't been great this year, but he will be on Sunday.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Carson Palmer has not been a reliable fantasy quarterback this year. He hasn’t broken 300 yards since Week 1, and he’s thrown an interception in every game so far.

Despite these facts, he’s somebody that you should start if you’re in a pinch at the quarterback position. He gets his most-favorable matchup of the year against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he will be able to take advantage of it.

The Jaguars are the third-most favorable fantasy matchup for quarterbacks, and their defense is horrid. Pro Football Focus rates them as the worst defense in the league, and they rank in the bottom 10 for both pass coverage and pass-rushing grades (subscription required).

Jacksonville Jaguars Defense
CategoryStatisticNFL Rank
Passing TDs Allowed1826
Points Allowed/Game32.332
Passer Rating Allowed103.430

A key for Palmer’s success is that the Jaguars can’t generate any semblance of a pass rush. Palmer has actually been pretty good when he doesn’t have to deal with pressure, and the Jaguars won’t give him much cause for concern.

Carson Palmer Under Pressure
SituationCompletion PercentageTDsINTsRating
Under Pressure46.6%2837.5
No Pressure70.210796.6

Palmer is a one-week rental, but he’ll be a solid starter in Week 11.


Running Backs

Sit: Lamar Miller vs. San Diego Chargers

Lamar Miller and his offensive line have been terrible this year.
Lamar Miller and his offensive line have been terrible this year.Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Does this one really need much explaining? Lamar Miller picked up all of 11 total yards last week, and the offensive line that’s blocking for him was terrible before the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito scandal. Without two starters, the line has become horrendous.

Furthermore, the Miami Dolphins offense hasn’t had much balance to it at any point this year.

Miami have been a pass-heavy team this season.
Miami have been a pass-heavy team this season.ESPN.com

The San Diego Chargers are the 12th-worst fantasy matchup for running backs, and there is no reason to think that Miller is going to have a good game.

Start him at your peril.


Start: Andre Brown vs. Green Bay Packers

Andre Brown made a triumphant return last week.
Andre Brown made a triumphant return last week.Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, there was some question about the workload that Andre Brown would receive given that he was just returning from injury.

Worry no more.

Brown received 35 carries and picked up 115 yards and a score. His average wasn’t great, but it’s clear that he’s the No. 1 back in New York and will continue to receive the overwhelming majority of the carries (Peyton Hillis only notched five carries on the day).

The New York Giants offensive line isn’t great, but he’ll have plenty of attempts to rack up yardage for an offense that has been desperate for some balance.

Opportunity is half the battle in fantasy football, and Brown has the chance to be an excellent option in Week 11.


Wide Receivers

Sit: Greg Jennings

Greg Jennings hasn't been the same since leaving Green Bay.
Greg Jennings hasn't been the same since leaving Green Bay.Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Greg Jennings has two things working against him this week. The first is his matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are the third-worst fantasy matchup for wide receivers, and Jennings will be matched up against Richard Sherman all game.

The second thing working against Jennings is his quarterback situation. There is still uncertainty as to who will play, as head coach Leslie Frazier stated that his decision will be made over the weekend:

Regardless of who plays, none of the options are particularly appealing. Stay away from Jennings at all costs this week.


Start: Dwayne Bowe vs. Denver Broncos

Bowe is coming off his best game this year.
Bowe is coming off his best game this year.Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Dwayne Bowe has been underwhelming so far. He hasn’t topped 70 receiving yards yet, and he’s been a major disappointment for fantasy owners.

Nevertheless, if there were ever a week for him to break out, it would be Week 11. For starters, he’s coming off his best game of the year where he was targeted 12 times by Alex Smith.

More importantly, his Kansas City Chiefs are matched up against the high-scoring Denver Broncos. The Chiefs defense is the best in the league, but it will be hard-pressed to contain Denver’s powerful offense.

As a result, Kansas City will need to throw the ball to stay in the game and put points on the board. There will be opportunities for Bowe to make plays against the Denver defense, and he’ll make the most of them.