Week 11 Fantasy Rankings: Injuries and Byes Lead to Some Interesting Top Plays
Quarterback is the one position where it's a little easier to figure out who the best plays are from week to week. However, with some of the league's top wide receivers injured, some QBs injured themselves and more than a few inter-division rivalries to consider, Week 11 might not be as simple to decipher as it might usually be.
That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give the reader a gauge of what to expect from the players on his or her fantasy team on any given Sunday.
With that, here are the week's top 10 quarterbacks along with some detailed analysis on each player's overall game and matchup for the week.
10. Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers)
Josh Freeman has two games with three or more touchdown passes in his career thus far. One was against the Seahawks at the end of last season when he put up a whopping five TDs in a blowout. The second was in his very first game as a starter back in 2009 going up against these same Green Bay Packers.
Now I don’t know if that means much of anything, but at least Big Josh will have some good memories heading into this contest up in Lambeau Field against the Pack.
Besides that, the Packers pass defense has been terrible this season allowing five out of nine QBs to throw for 300 yards or more and one of the other remaining four to throw for three TDs and 273 yards.
As I’ve said before, Josh Freeman is about as vanilla of a statistical quarterback as you’ll ever find in this league, but this Sunday up in Wisconsin, he’ll at least have a chance to add some fantasy sprinkles to that cone.
9. Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers @ Chicago Bears)
Harry How/Getty Images
His overall performance throughout the year has been staggeringly bad, but at least he’s been turning it on in the fantasy department as of late.
Over the last three weeks, Rivers has averaged 343 yards, two TDs, two INTs and almost 22 fantasy points per game for his owners, which isn’t too bad considering his rough start to the season.
The Bears are an up-and-down team when it comes to defending the pass as they’ve held Michael Vick and Matt Ryan to some of their worst numbers on the year, yet allowed Cam Newton and Josh Freeman to have some of their best.
No doubt this game will be interesting, though I’m betting on Rivers to end up with decent numbers with the Chargers playing from behind in the second half.
8. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons vs. Tennessee Titans)
Though his season has been somewhat disappointing considering the expectations laid upon him before the season started, Matt Ryan has started to turn it on of late putting up two straight real nice fantasy performances against the Colts and Saints.
The Titans are better against the pass than both of those teams, though overall, they’ve played much worse on the road, allowing both a five-TD game to Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh and a 350-yard game to Colt McCoy in Cleveland earlier in the season.
It would be a huge bonus for Ryan if WR Julio Jones suits up as he’ll have a big target to throw to while Titans CB Cortland Finnegan concentrates on Roddy White, but it really shouldn’t matter all that much.
Basically, get Matty Ice in there while he’s hot.
7. Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
After his first-half performance last weekend against the Bills when he went 18-for-19 passing for 237 yards and three touchdowns, most experts have Romo ranked among the top three quarterbacks for the week…but not I.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the way he’s been playing of late as it seems he and the Cowboys have found their groove once again, but don’t be fooled into thinking he can just all of a sudden put up huge numbers every week now.
In his last six games against the Redskins, only once has he thrown for more than one TD or tossed up 300-plus yards, with both accomplishments coming in the same game at home back in 2008.
Washington actually has one of the better pass defenses in the league, holding their opponents to just 217 yards and fewer than one passing TD a game, so even though I think Tony will have some nice numbers in the end, don’t expect a headline-making performance this week.
6. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
So it looks like the Cherry Fig Newton is human after all.
The Carolina rookie QB finally fell from second place down to third in fantasy points per game after putting up a bit of a stinker in a home loss against the Tennessee Titans last weekend. The question now is: How will the youngster respond?
My guess is he’ll be just fine considering how well he’s done in proving people wrong so far this season.
The Lions pass defense has been relatively tough this season, but they’ve had a real hard time stopping the run lately, which is where about a third of Newton’s fantasy points are scored.
With that, I expect Cam to bounce back with a nice game indoors up in Detroit this Sunday.
5. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Carolina Panthers haven’t given up a ton in the passing game this season, but that’s mostly because teams have found they are able to win with just their running game and end up not even bothering to pass the ball.
The problem with this little tidbit is that the Lions don’t have much of a running game to speak of, but that’s exactly why it’s nice to have a guy like Matthew Stafford be able to step in and take over a game for you.
The Panthers can be beaten through the air when needed, as Drew Brees showed with his 359-yard, two-TD performance back in Week 5, so despite his bum finger, I expect Stafford to end up with numbers similar to those…though maybe not quite as gaudy in the yardage department.
4. Carson Palmer (Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings)
Harry How/Getty Images
Palmer put on quite a performance in San Diego last Thursday night, eh?
Of course, it doesn’t hurt when your receivers are catching everything thrown their way, but going 14-of-20 for 299 yards and two TDs in an inter-division away game is no easy task regardless.
Carson and the now-division-leading Raiders will be on the road once again this Sunday, but this time he’ll be up against a Vikings team that not only just lost their top cover corner for the year (Antoine Winfield), but were allowing the third-most passing yards, second-most TDs and third-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs anyway.
Even with Jacoby Ford out, I expect Palmer and the rest of his talented WR corps to do some big things this weekend.
3. Eli Manning (New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Eli had arguably his best game of the season when he faced the Philadelphia Eagles back in Week 3 completing 16-of-23 passes for 254 yards, four TDs and no INTs.
In 2010, he did the same thing throwing for 289 yards, four TDs and just one INT.
In 2009, same thing as he tossed up 391 yards, three TDs and zero INTs.
Notice a pattern here?
Basically, Manning loves playing against the Eagles, or at the very least knows how to get up for these inter-division rivalry games.
Either way, with CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie out and Philly falling apart at the seams, I expect Manning and his All-Star cast of wide receivers to take full advantage this Sunday night and give fantasy owners a nice day in the stat column.
2. Tom Brady (New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
When Tom Brady and the Patriots brain trust realize that some part of their game is amiss, they change it—and almost always change it for the better.
The Stetson Man was personally in a bit of a five-game fantasy funk coming into last week’s game with the Jets, so after losing two straight games to the Steelers and Giants, he knew adjustments needed to be made…and make them he did, as he became the first QB to throw three TDs versus the Jets defense this season along with being the first to beat them at home.
This weekend he’ll be facing a much-easier Kansas City pass D that has let three different QBs throw for three or more TDs against them, along with allowing both Curtis Painter and Donovan McNabb to toss up two TDs apiece.
Look for a good one out of Mr. Bundchen this Monday night.
1. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Can this otherworldly robotic figure formally known as Aaron Rodgers be stopped?
The answer is an emphatic “no,” as the Packers head back to Lambeau Field to take on a reeling 4-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team.
Rodgers is playing out of his mind at this point and is currently on pace to set three separate single-season records (passing yards, QB rating and completion percentage) and tie another (passing TDs).
With the Buccaneers defense allowing the fifth-most passing yards per game in the league (263) along with the most yards per attempt (8.5), Aaron “It Out” should have no problem keeping in stride with his historic season this Sunday.
Click here to see the Full List of QBs and Rankings For All Other Positions
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