Fantasy Attack: Week 11

Gambling on Le’Veon didn’t pay off

by Lead Fantasy writer Steve Cook | @SteveCook84 |

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It’s Week 11. How goes things in fantasy? If you drafted Le’Veon Bell, they probably haven’t been great. It’s been a bittersweet week for his fantasy owners, as Bell’s final deadline to play this season came & went. Now we can all drop him without the fear that he’ll actually show up.

I had him in one league, an auction league where we have $999 to spend. Most auctions have less, but we like having more because the bidding process is the most fun part. Bell was the second-most expensive player at $231. In case you’re wondering, Alvin Kamara was the most expensive at $249, largely because the owner is a Tennessee Volunteers fan. The most annoying part is I could have had Todd Gurley for ten less dollars. RB has been a fiasco most of the season, as my second-best RB picked, Mark Ingram, missed the first few games due to suspension. I’ve been running out the likes of Bilal Powell, Jordan Wilkins, and Wendell Smallwood while waiting for Bell & Ingram to come back, and for the Cleveland Browns to figure out how to use Nick Chubb.

Somehow this team is still in the playoff picture, one spot out & down fifty points. Fortunately my QB, WR & TE selections went a lot better and I’ve managed to survive having a depleted RB corps most of the year.

There are a number of lessons here. One is that you can survive without top-level running backs if you’re willing to be patient. Another is to never give up on a team until you’re officially out of contention. The most important: Never trust a Pittsburgh Steeler.

Fave 5
Carson Wentz: The Saints defense looked pretty good in Week 10, but that was due to facing Andy Dalton without A.J. Green. Wentz & the Eagles actually manage to do things when their skill players are hurt, which is pretty often. He’s had multiple TD passes every week since Week 4, and that trend should continue in Week 11.

DeAndre Hopkins: Washington hasn’t done much to stop wide receivers this season, in fact they rank 30th in the NFL in yards given up to WRs. D-Hop has gone over double digits every week since Week 3 & having Demaryius Thomas across the field from him proved useful for his production in Week 9. The Texans are coming off a bye & Hopkins should be ready to feast.

Christian McCaffrey: CMC’s last three weeks have been ridiculous, and Week 10 against the Steelers was especially so. He was the only Panther able to get into the end zone on that night. He’ll probably find the end zone either running with or catching the ball against this week against the Detroit Lions. People that got him in the second round of drafts have to be pretty happy campers these days.

David Johnson: Once Byron Leftwich took over as Cardinals’ offensive coordinator, he figured out pretty quickly that getting Johnson the ball more was a smart move. He’s their most effective player on that side of the ball by a mile. Johnson still went off for 30 fantasy points on a mostly ineffective day for Arizona’s offense in Kansas City, and could do similar numbers against a Raiders defense that doesn’t stop anybody.

All Offensive Chiefs & Rams: Sure, it typically goes without saying to start most of the people on these teams. Patrick Mahomes & Jared Goff are easy QB1s. Todd Gurley & Kareem Hunt are RB1s on any team they’re on. WRs like Brandin Cooks, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins & Robert Woods go into most lineups without much thought. Travis Kelce is one of the few tight ends you can actually rely on. Both teams have elite-level offenses & not exactly elite defenses. I’ll be shocked if the losing team doesn’t go over 30 points. If you have anybody on your roster from one of these teams, they have to be in the lineup.

Fearful 4
Andy Dalton: The Red Rifle went off in Week 2 against the Ravens, throwing four touchdown passes in a relatively easy victory. My, how things have changed. Dalton barely threw for over 150 yards against a Saints defense that typically gives up yards for days. Take AJ Green out of the lineup, and Dalton has no answers. The Ravens have struggled of late but are coming off a bye & will be looking for revenge against a division rival. I don’t like Andy’s chances, even if the game won’t be in prime time or have one of the top announce teams.

Allen Robinson: Robinson’s groin is all better now, and his return to action in Week 10 was his best game of the season. The Detroit Lions had no answers for him & the rest of the Bears offense. Sunday night will be Football night, and something tells me that the Vikings will have a better strategy. They haven’t allowed a wide receiver into the end zone since Week 4. Robinson may break the trend but I wouldn’t count on it.

Jack Doyle: I know that Andrew Luck is always looking for Jack Doyle, but it sure seems like Eric Ebron has become the tight end of record in Indianapolis. All that dude does is get touchdowns.Tell that to Yahoo though, they got Doyle with more projected points this week for some reason. I don’t see it.

Leonard Fournette: People that took this guy with a top-twenty pick and held on to him for this long had to be happy last week. After weeks of inactivity, Fournette returned to the field and went off on the Colts. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, he gets the Steelers this week. He’ll also be missing two of his linemen. Not exactly a road map to success here.

3 sleepers
Eli Manning (17% Yahoo-owned): Eli’s been counted out more times than just about anybody in NFL history, but occasionally he shows flashes of competence. Three touchdowns against the 49ers had people talking about how Eli Manning is back. It’s the 49ers, so let’s not get too excited…but this week he does play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who can’t stop any quarterback put in front of them. Not the worst week to run Eli out there if you have to.

Dak Prescott (36% Yahoo-owned): Is Dak the QB of the Cowboys’ future? Jerry Jones says so, and he’s the one that has the vote. He’s been solid fantasy-wise lately & gets the best matchup he’s had in awhile when he faces the sorry, no account Falcons defense. If you’re in a tough spot at QB this week, there are worse places to go.

Jeff Heuerman (7% Yahoo-owned): We all know how bad tight end is this season, so you’ll take anything you can get at the position. Heuerman went off back in Week 9 for Denver with ten catches, 83 yards & a touchdown against Houston. You can’t expect that again, but we at least know that Demaryius Thomas’s departure has opened doors for somebody.

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