Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 11: Analyzing Tough Fantasy Football Lineup Decisions

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 13:  Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens rushes against the Green Bay Packers at M&T Bank Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Most fantasy football decisions have already been made as kickoff approaches for a loaded slate of Week 11 action on Sunday. Owners are probably left debating a few slots, which could very well end up making a big difference in the end.

The good news is the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams are the only teams on bye this week. Recently, there have have as many as six teams sitting on the sidelines, which left fantasy owners with limited bench and free-agent options to solidify their lineups.

With that in mind, let's examine where some fringe fantasy assets should land for Week 11 before breaking down some of the toughest calls as the playoff race continues.

 

 

Start 'Em or Sit 'Em?

Week 11 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
PositionStart 'EmSit 'Em
QBCase Keenum (HOU)Colin Kaepernick (SF)
RBAndre Ellington (ARZ)Ray Rice (BAL)
WRRiley Cooper (PHI)Marvin Jones (CIN)
TEJordan Reed (WSH)Brandon Myers (NYG)
KKai Forbath (WSH)Randy Bullock (HOU)
DBuffalo BillsKansas City Chiefs
Fantasy Week 11

 

Analyzing Toughest Calls

Start: Case Keenum (Houston Texans)

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 20:  Quarterback Case Keenum #7 of the Houston Texans throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on October 20, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Quarterback is a deep position this season, which means it takes quite awhile for unheralded players like Keenum to make their way onto the fantasy radar. It takes even longer for them to crack the starting lineup, but his recent success is making the Texans quarterback impossible to ignore.

Over the past two weeks, Keenum has thrown for over 550 yards and connected on six touchdown passes. Add in his modest rushing totals and he's tallied 47 fantasy points over that span, which is definitely starter-level production.

This week he gets to face an Oakland Raiders pass defense that ranks 22nd against the pass. Given his strong play since the team's bye week and the good matchup, Keenum warrants starting for fantasy teams without an elite quarterback option.

 

Sit: Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens)

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 5: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates his touchdown run in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos during the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 5, 2013 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pen
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Until Rice shows he's capable of making a major fantasy impact, he belongs on the bench regardless of how appealing a matchup might look on paper. He simply hasn't done enough to keep letting him bog a lineup down week after week.

Entering Week 11, the Ravens running back has scored six or fewer points in four straight games and has only cracked double digits twice all season. That's certainly not the type of production fantasy owners were expecting when they used an early draft pick on him.

So even though the Ravens are set for a clash with the Chicago Bears, who have the league's second-worst run defense, Rice should remain planted on the bench. There isn't even upside to risk a fifth straight subpar score.

 

Sit: Marvin Jones (Cincinnati Bengals)

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 27:  Marvin Jones #82 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against the New York Jets at Paul Brown Stadium on October 27, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jones was one of the hottest names in fantasy football just three weeks ago. He was riding a three-week touchdown streak and had just wrapped up a monster four-touchdown, 36-point game against the New York Jets to steal the spotlight.

Now, he's not even worth putting in the lineup. As you'd expect, the hot streak forced opposing defenses to pay much closer attention to him during game-planning. The result has been a couple lackluster performances, including just one catch for two yards last week.

It's hard to imagine Jones putting together a strong bounce-back performance against a Cleveland Browns defense that ranks inside the top 10 against the pass. He's still worth a roster spot, but wait for him to heat back up before starting him.