Week 11 Fantasy Rankings: Carson Palmer, Tarvaris Jackson and Other Sleepers

Curtis GainesContributor INovember 19, 2011

Week 11 Fantasy Rankings: Carson Palmer, Tarvaris Jackson and Other Sleepers

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    This week is the last week of byes and probably the most crucial, especially if you have Big Ben, Drew Brees, Darren Sproles or Adrian Foster.

    Hopefully, you have a disposable player on your bench that you can, or should, drop in favor of these fantasy sleepers.

    This week, I will give you my drops and adds to put into perspective what most owners should be doing now—positioning themselves for quality matchups and emerging players for the home stretch.

    My second section will focus on players I think will emerge as fantasy sleepers in Week 11.

Drop Torrey Smith for Laurent Robinson

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    My first drop was Torrey Smith for Laurent Robinson. I'm willing to bet that as long as Miles Austin is on the bench, Robinson will be a home run threat.

    I think most owners will steer clear of Smith because of his propensity to disappear. Dropping him now is advantageous. If you pick him back up for Robinson when Austin returns or for an injured fantasy option, he will more than likely be available.

    But I would advise to keep him cut until Week 14, when Baltimore faces Indianapolis. Other than that matchup, the outlook is bleak for Smith, especially with Flacco playing so sporadically.

    This week, Robinson should see quality targets against a good defense. Romo is playing at a high level, which I expect will continue into December, and should again put up decent fantasy numbers.

    Robinson makes a good WR2 or flex start this week.



    Five catches, 80 yards, one TD

Drop Jon Baldwin for Carson Palmer

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    My next drop is Jon Baldwin, despite the favorable matchup against New England Baldwin. The Chiefs have burned fantasy owners twice since his breakout game three weeks ago.

    This is an even more unattractive matchup, considering Cassel is hurt and backup Tyler Palko can easily make any Kansas City receiver a skeptical start this week.

    I also made this drop, because I picked up Carson Palmer to start against Minnesota in lieu of Cam Newton against Detroit. However, if you are hurting for a flex or WR3 fill-in this week, and you find the waiver wires thin, you may find Baldwin a high risk/high reward option.

    The factors you have to keep in mind are that the Chiefs' offensive line has given up the 15th-most sacks (22) and 18th-most QB hits (44).

    Keep in mind also that the Chiefs have only mustered 10 touchdowns through the air all season with their 27th-ranked passing offense.

    Despite the matchup against the worst pass defense in the league, all signs point to a mediocre performance from Kansas City wide receivers and Palko.

Cam Newton vs. Carson Palmer Week 11 Analysis

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    That concludes my drop list this week, so let's focus on analysis and matchups. 


    Cam Newton versus Carson Palmer

    It's a known fact the NFL is a copycat league. With that being said, last week Tennessee exposed the Panthers' offensive line and demonstrated how to defend against Cam Newton.

    Pressure. Tennessee held Newton to his second-lowest fantasy performance and held him to his only game thus far without a running or passing touchdown.

    Detroit has held quarterbacks they've faced to the 5th-lowest fantasy points this season. Only Tony Romo amassed over 300 yards passing and multiple touchdowns against them.

    I am not suggesting you bench Cam Newton, but if Palmer is available in your league and you can afford to drop an under-performing fantasy player, this is the week to do it.

    I would have to rank Cam below the following quarterbacks this week: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Tarvaris Jackson and Matthew Stafford.

    Detroit's front four will be a true test of Newton's ability to adapt to pressure this week, a test I am unwilling to gamble on considering Oakland's matchup and Palmer's potential stats.

    Palmer proved last week he still has the arm and accuracy to spread pass defenses thin. Add Denarius Moore and the lethal combination of throwing power, accuracy and speed against one of the league's slowest secondary, and you have a beautiful scenario for fantasy points.

    Minnesota has allowed multi-touchdown games for all opposing quarterbacks with the exception of Kevin Kolb, Josh Freeman and Matt Cassel.

    Palmer has already thrown for 6.5 touchdowns in his last two-and-a-half games, thus adding to the speculation he will once again pass for over two touchdowns this week.



    Cam Newton: 200 passing yards, 50 rush yards, one TD, two INT

    Carson Palmer: 330 yards, three TDs

Sleeper: Tarvaris Jackson

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    I don't think Palmer is a sleeper, but I do think people are ignoring the matchup and Palmer's capability.

    Minnesota has given up the second-most fantasy points thus far, and it doesn't look like it will get any better. Top cornerback Antoine Winfield went down to injury last week.

    I strongly believe Carson Palmer will outplay all quarterbacks not named Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.


    Tarvaris Jackson

    Tarvaris has the arm and supporting cast (Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu) and faces the Rams this week.

    I'm not picking on the Rams' pass defense, but I do believe Seattle's wide receiver core is deep and will wreak havoc on them.

    Especially if they commit to stopping Marshawn Lynch and the run, which they haven't been able to do well this year.

    If you have a bye week fill-in need, insert Jackson.



    280 passing yards, 40 rush yards, three TDs, one INT

Sleeper: Earl Bennett

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    With orange shoes and NFL fines, Bennett is Cutler's favorite target since returning from injury.

    The two have history previous to the NFL from their college days at Vanderbilt, so the chemistry and timing should be noted.

    San Diego's defense has been hampered by injury and have been under-performing this year.

    Chicago's offensive line has been great protecting Cutler the past few weeks, allowing him enough time to make quality passes.



    Five catches, 60 yards, one TD

Sleeper: Braylon Edwards

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    San Francisco made an offensive statement last week against the Giants when they relied on the arm of Alex Smith to steer them to victory.

    This only makes Edwards a more attractive fantasy option for the weeks to come. What better defense to break out against than the Arizona Cardinals, who give up the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers?

    Considering Gore is still nursing an injury and Smith is playing exceptionally well, one can deduce that Braylon Edwards should have a medium-to-stellar game this week.



    Five catches, 95 yards, one TD

Sleeper: Marion Barber

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    Marion Barber should be able to capitalize on red zone carries this week against a weak San Diego run defense.

    Matt Forte is the man in Chicago, but Barber should get enough touches to consider him a good fill-in this week ahead of Jackie Battle, Roy Helu, Tashard Choice, Mike Tolbert and Chris Ogbonnaya.



    50 rush yards, one TD


    Honorable Mentions

    Micheal Crabtree, Denarius Moore and Doug Baldwin