X

Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings: Breaking Down Each Position

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

As the fantasy football world shifts its focus to Week 11, certain owners might have playoff berths in hand or even the knowledge they won't be invited to the big dance this season.

For the rest of us, though, the next few weeks figure to be a furious race to the finish line. The stakes could not be higher at this juncture, so one ill-timed misstep could prove to be a fatal mistake.

Let's get you in the best possible position, then, by arming you with our top 10 rankings at every spot and highlighting a player at each position worth closer inspection.

                     

Quarterbacks

1. Patrick Mahomes, KC (at LAR)

2. Jared Goff, LAR (vs. KC)

3. Cam Newton, CAR (at DET)

4. Carson Wentz, PHI (at NO)

5. Deshaun Watson, HOU (at WAS)

6. Drew Brees, NO (vs. PHI)

7. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. DAL)

8. Philip Rivers, LAC (vs. DEN)

9. Aaron Rodgers, GB (at SEA)

10. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI (vs. MIN)

If you drafted Aaron Rodgers, you certainly thought this position would be a set-it-and-forget-it easy choice. On some levels, that's true. Despite a daunting matchup with a Seattle defense surrendering the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, Rodgers still holds a top-10 ranking.

But the two-time MVP has quietly been trending the wrong direction. His passing output has decreased each game since his Week 5 442-yard, three-touchdown performance. After entering the Week 7 bye on the heels of consecutive 400-yard performances that yielded five combined touchdowns, he's totaled just five scores and averaged only 248 passing yards in the three games since.

A decrease in rushing output isn't helping. Perhaps still bothered by his Week 1 knee sprain, Rodgers is averaging his fewest rushing attempts per game since 2014 (3.1) and fewest rushing yards per game since 2013 (16.1). He hasn't scored a rushing touchdown since December 2016.

Again, if you drafted Rodgers, you probably didn't add another option potent enough to consider sitting your stud. But you're also probably not as comfortable with this position as you'd initially planned.

                   

Running Backs

1. Todd Gurley, LAR (vs. KC)

2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (at ATL)

3. David Johnson, ARI (vs. OAK)

4. Saquon Barkley, NYG (vs. TB)

5. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. PHI)

6. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (at DET)

7. Kareem Hunt, KC (at LAR)

8. Melvin Gordon, LAC (vs. DEN)

9. Leonard Fournette, JAX (vs. PIT)

10. James Conner, PIT (at JAX)

Thank Week 10 for this reminder—Ezekiel Elliott is still good at football.

The Cowboys running back gouged a tough Philadelphia defense (seventh-fewest rushing yards allowed per game) for 151 yards and a score on 19 carries. He also tied for the team lead with six receptions, which he turned into 36 yards and another touchdown.

NFL @NFL

25 touches. 187 yards from scrimmage. Two touchdowns. @EzekielElliott went OFF on #SNF! #DallasCowboys https://t.co/mLPOosyKTK

It's been a trick year for Elliott. This was only his fourth time over the century mark as a rusher, and two of the previous three were followed by duds. In Week 5, he could only generate 54 yards on his 20 attempts. Two weeks later, he struggled to gain just 33 yards on 15 carries.

But Week 11 could play out a lot like Week 4, when he exploited a favorable matchup with Detroit for a season-high 152 yards on the heels of a 127-yard performance. This matchup is another good one; Atlanta allows the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs.

                

Wide Receivers

1. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. PHI)

2. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (vs. TB)

3. Adam Thielen, MIN (at CHI)

4. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. DAL)

5. Antonio Brown, PIT (at JAX)

6. Brandin Cooks, LAR (vs. KC)

7. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (at WAS)

8. Tyreek Hill, KC (at LAR)

9. Mike Evans, TB (at NYG)

10. Davante Adams, GB (at SEA)

Admittedly, being the preferred target of a prolific passer like Drew Brees sounds like a sweet gig. But strong quarterback play is far from the only reason to take a big interest in what Michael Thomas is doing.

In six of Thomas' nine outings this season, he's had at least 100 receiving yards or a touchdown. In two of those contests, he's tallied both. He's tied for the NFL lead with 78 receptions (on a minuscule 87 targets), second with 950 receiving yards and tied for fifth with seven scoring grabs.

In Week 10, he corralled all eight of the passes thrown his direction—the third time he's caught all of his targets this year—for 70 yards and two scores.

NFL @NFL

.@cantguardmike keeps flexin' on 'em. 💪 Eight catches. 70 yards. And two more scores! #NOvsCIN #GoSaints https://t.co/6vTiRTTiQZ

Now, Thomas gets the chance to feast on an Eagles defense allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. If Thomas' day is anything like the ones enjoyed by Julio Jones (10 receptions for 169 yards), Mike Evans (10 for 83 yards and one touchdown), Corey Davis (nine for 161 yards and a score) or Adam Thielen (seven for 116 yards and a touchdown) against Philly, Thomas' owners should have even more reasons to celebrate.

               

Tight Ends

1. Travis Kelce, KC (at LAR)

2. Zach Ertz, PHI (at NO)

3. Greg Olsen, CAR (at DET)

4. Jared Cook, OAK (at ARI)

5. O.J. Howard, TB (at NYG)

6. Evan Engram, NYG (vs. TB)

7. Eric Ebron, IND (vs. TEN)

8. Trey Burton, CHI (vs. MIN)

9. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. HOU)

10. Vance McDonald, PIT (at JAX)

Zach Ertz had been signaling his ascension for quite some time. Over each of the past three seasons, he'd been targeted over 100 times and collected 70-plus receptions for 800-plus yards.

But back then, he was merely chasing the elite at his position. Now, he's wearing that title and threatening for the fantasy crown at tight end. He's only played nine games, and he's already approaching his career highs in catches (75, high is 78), targets (100, 112) and touchdowns (five, eight).

Week 10 might have been another step up the ladder. He caught 14 of his 16 targets for 145 yards and two scores. As ESPN Stats & Info noted, that pushed Ertz's production into historic territory:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Zach Ertz's 4th-quarter TD gave him 70 catches on the season. He has the most receptions by a tight end in a team's 1st 9 games of a season all-time. The previous mark was 66 by Jason Witten in 2012. H/T @EliasSports https://t.co/rVNUSgGhR4

While the Saints have been solid against tight ends (sixth-fewest fantasy points allowed), they've still allowed the second-most passing yards per game (296). Assuming this becomes yet another shootout, look for the Eagles to involve their star tight end early and often.

                   

Defense

1. Chicago Bears (vs. MIN)

2. Carolina Panthers (at DET)

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (at JAX)

4. Los Angeles Chargers (vs. DEN)

5. Houston Texans (at WAS)

6. Baltimore Ravens (vs. CIN)

7. Arizona Cardinals (vs. OAK)

8. Minnesota Vikings (at CHI)

9. Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at NYG)

Some good fantasy defenses are opportunistic. The Bears, however, create their own opportunities.

Chicago is one sack out of first place. It leads everyone in interceptions. It has forced the second-most fumbles and recovered the third-most. Three of those interceptions and one of those fumble recoveries have all turned into touchdowns.

Oh, and the Vikings aren't a bad matchup, either. Over their last two outings—one of which came against the Saints—they've totaled just 38 points while allowing five sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.

                

Kickers

1. Greg Zuerlein, LAR (vs. KC)

2. Justin Tucker, BAL (vs. CIN)

3. Harrison Butker, KC (at LAR)

4. Wil Lutz, NO (vs. PHI)

5. Jake Elliott, PHI (at NO)

6. Mason Crosby, GB (at SEA)

7. Matt Prater, DET (vs. CAR)

8. Adam Vinatieri, IND (vs. TEN)

9. Giorgio Tavecchio, ATL (vs. DAL)

10. Chris Boswell, PIT (at JAX)

Unless you're streaming kickers, hopefully you have this position under control by now. And if you are streaming kickers, you probably don't have a shot at most of our top 10.

               

Statistics used courtesy of NFL.com and ESPN.com. Fantasy scoring information obtained via Yahoo Sports.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.