Fantasy Football Week 11 Rankings: Matchups We Love and Player Stat Projections

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 16, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 08:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers in action during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field on November 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Thanksgiving might be a week away, but Week 11 of the 2018 NFL season looks like a holiday feast.

The Seattle Seahawks' 27-24 win over the Green Bay Packers Thursday night served as a delectable appetizer. The entree choices on Sunday include the Houston Texans traveling to face the Washington Redskins, the New Orleans Saints hosting the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings visiting the Chicago Bears.

As per usual, dessert might be the highlight of the meal. Monday's battle between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs not only features the league's only 9-1 squads going head-to-head, but it will also decide myriad fantasy matchups given the wealth of talent on both rosters.

Below, we'll lay out our top 10 rankings for each offensive position and spotlight players with favorable matchups.



Rich Schultz/Associated Press

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 RyanATL (vs. DAL)

8. Philip Rivers, LAC (vs. DEN)

9. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI (vs. MIN)

10. Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB (at NYG)

While the Eagles have failed to live up to their Super Bowl-winning standards, Carson Wentz has taken a step forward from his 2017 Pro Bowl form.

The third-year signal-caller has upped his completion percentage to a career-high 71.0, while also posting personal bests in passing yards per attempt (8.0) and yards per game (306.9). He's thrown just three interceptions all season, thrown multiple touchdown passes in all but one outing and topped the 300-yard mark in four of his seven contests.

Now, he'll not only be tasked with keeping pace with Drew Brees, but Wentz will be doing so against a Saints defense surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

As ESPN's Matthew Berry sees it, Wentz could be looking at a monster stat line:

"Since Week 11 of 2016, the Saints are giving up the most QB PPG when playing at home (19.7). Wentz has six straight games with at least 275 passing yards and multiple TD passes. Since 2012, only Peyton Manning (twice) and Tom Brady have done that. I like his chances at keeping the streak going against a Saints squad giving up the third-most yards per dropback this season."

We're expecting a 290-yard, interception-free, two-score performance from Wentz.


Running Backs

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 11:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes up field against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half on November 11, 2018 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Get
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

1. Todd GurleyLAR (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 FournetteJAX (vs. PIT)

10. James Conner, PIT (at JAX)

Byron Leftwich's promotion to Cardinals offensive coordinator has done wonders for David Johnson's fantasy output.

Through two games with Leftwich at the helm, Johnson has averaged 24 touches, which he's converted into 141.5 scrimmage yards and one touchdown per game. Before the switch, the 2016 All-Pro was only getting 18 touches per game and averaging 71.6 scrimmage yards.

It's not just a volume increase, either. As NFL.com's Graham Barfield observed, Leftwich is changing the way Johnson is utilized:

Graham Barfield @GrahamBarfield

In Weeks 1-7 under former-OC Mike McCoy, 59% of David Johnson's carries went in between the tackles. Over the last two weeks with OC Leftwich, 41% of DJ's carries went in between the tackles. In 2016 under HC Arians: 35%. [NFL average is 49%.]

The result is Johnson looking a lot like his old self again. Back in 2016, he emerged as a fantasy powerhouse, with averages of 132.3 scrimmage yards and 1.3 scores.

This upward climb should continue in Week 11, as Johnson gets a crack at an exploitable Raiders defense. Oakland—which has only held two opponents south of 26 points (and none below 20)—allows the third-most rushing yards per game and sixth-most fantasy points to the position. We're putting Johnson down for 119 scrimmage yards and a touchdown.


Wide Receivers

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 4: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints runs after a catch against Sean Mannion #14 of the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on November 4, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty I
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

1. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. PHI)

2. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (vs. TB)

3. Adam Thielen, MIN (at CHI)

4. Julio JonesATL (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. Keenan Allen, LAC (vs. DEN)

Michael Thomas rarely disappoints when the Saints make him a featured part of their offense.

There's every reason to believe New Orleans will do exactly that this weekend.

The Eagles-Saints tilt has the second-highest over/under of the weekend, per OddsShark, meaning Vegas expects a shootout. Philadelphia is vulnerable against the pass (23rd in yards allowed per game) and might be now more than ever with injuries having ravaged this secondary.

All Thomas needs are opportunities. When he gets at least eight targets this season, he averages 10.8 receptions for 124.7 yards and 1.2 touchdowns.

Four receivers have cleared the century mark against the Eagles this far. We'll say that Thomas makes it five with 10 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown.


Tight Ends

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Evan Engram #88 of the New York Giants is stopped short of the goal line during their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on November 12, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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)

Since returning from injury, Evan Engram has been targeted 18 times in three games. He could boost that number in a big away against a porous Tampa defense.

The Buccaneers allow the second-most fantasy points to tight ends, and it's almost hard to believe they aren't the most generous.

Five different tight ends have a touchdown against this defense in its past seven games. Four of those players—Vance McDonald, Trey Burton, Austin Hooper and Greg Olsen—bolstered their stat lines with more than 70 receiving yards.

Engram owners, you drooling yet?

You should be. We have the second-year tight end getting five catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.


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