Fantasy Football Week 11: Stars to Avoid at All Costs This Weekend

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 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

Fantasy football is all about trends and matchups. But let's face it: Superstar players typically transcend both of those factors. 

However a handful of star talents have struggled recently, causing many owners to second-guess their decision to insert them into their lineup.

Let's take a closer look at a trio of star players fantasy owners should avoid at all costs in Week 11.

*Scoring statistics according to ESPN Fantasy.  


Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons, WR

Aug 8, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) on the sidelines in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome. The Bengals won 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Average Points: 1.3

Week 11 Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It's mind-blowing to consider the fact that Atlanta Falcons star receiver Roddy White hasn't scored more than four fantasy points in a single game this season.

And following a one-catch performance against Seattle in Week 10, the banged-up veteran should be avoided by all on Sunday. 

While there are points to be had against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense in Week 11, White is unlikely to score many with Darrelle Revis matched up against him. Plus, with nagging hamstring and ankle injuries holding him back all season long, he's been unable to separate from even average opposing defensive backs and provide quarterback Matt Ryan with any throwing windows.

Until White proves he can break free from the shackles and produce more than 20-40 receiving yards, he's best suited for the bench. 


Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens, RB

Nov 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs with the ball as Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey (57) defends at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Average Points: 5.7

Week 11 Opponent: Chicago Bears

Most Ray Rice owners have probably already learned their lesson by now. One of the most productive and consistent fantasy performers over recent years, the Baltimore Ravens running back has been an unreliable shell of himself in 2013.

Since Week 1, Rice has scored more than six fantasy points in just one game. 

But what's most disconcerting is the fact that Rice's struggles have come against lackluster defenses. In Week 7, he only rushed for 45 yards on 15 carries against the Pittsburgh Steelers' 29th-ranked run defense.

Therefore, even against the Chicago Bears' suspect run defense, owners shouldn't count on Rice to improve on his 2.5 yard-per-carry average. His lack of explosion in the passing game has been disappointing as well and suggests he'll fly under the radar again this weekend.


Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos, TE

Average Points: 11.7

Week 11 Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs 

Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas has seen his targets decrease over the past few weeks, relying on a 74-yard touchdown reception to explode for fantasy owners in Week 10.

On Sunday night, Thomas and his sore ankle will face off against one of the league's stingiest pass defenses in Kansas City. The Chiefs rank sixth in fewest passing yards allowed and only Carolina and Tennessee have surrendered fewer passing touchdowns this season.

Unlike White and Rice, Thomas has been a fantasy monster throughout 2013. But this is one of those weekends where the athletic pass-catcher will likely disappear. Kansas City's defenders know how to tackle and limit the big play. Plus, Peyton Manning has so many other weapons to choose from it's unlikely that Thomas will see enough targets to turn out a big-time performance against such a quality defense.

Clearly, Thomas brings loads more potential to the table than the aforementioned stars, but given his troublesome matchup in Week 11, you wouldn't be foolish to avoid him for one weekend.


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