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Fantasy Football Week 11 Preview: First Six 1PM Games

Time for the first six 1PM games. Going forward, I’ll likely have to break up the 1PM games somewhat, or else articles will grow to (even more) ridiculous sizes.

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills

Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

Jets
Injury Report: Santonio Holmes and Kellen Winslow are questionable. Jeremy Kerley is doubtful.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 20th; RB: 8th; WR: 31st; TE: 4th.
Must Play: No one.
Good Play: No one.  I’d like to recommend some guys, but I’m too cautious.
Tough Play: Chris Ivory (RB), Santonio Holmes (WR), and Geno Smith (QB). The Jets have gone back to the ground game, and Chris Ivory has taken over as the focal point of the run game, forcing Powell onto the shelf. Santonio Holmes is likely back, which could be a nice WR addition to someone’s roster, but I’d be wary and expect him to be eased back into things first. Geno Smith has been very poor in open air stadiums, and very inconsistent in general, so I would likely not play him. The only thing making me even consider it is the matchup and the return of Santonio Holmes, but in general I don’t like it.

Bills
Injury Report: Steve Johnson and Robert Woods are out.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 22nd; RB: 3rd; WR: 22nd; TE: 29th.
Must Play: No one.
Good Play: No one.
Tough Play: Fred Jackson (RB), CJ Spiller (RB), and Scott Chandler (TE). Fred Jackson is usually a better play than “tough,” but between his matchup and his time share with Spiller, I worry a lot about his performance. Likewise, the same thing can be said about Spiller, the difference being he typically gets slightly fewer carries than Jackson. I am generally distrustful of the Bills’ air attack, what with Steve Johnson and Robert Woods out, but Scott Chandler might be worth a peek. He rises up the depth chart, and will likely get red zone looks, making him a high risk high reward prospect.

Baltimore Ravens @ Chicago Bears

Ravens
Injury Report: No major injuries.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 13th; RB: 25th; WR: 16th; TE: 23rd.
Must Play: No one.
Good Play: Torrey Smith (WR).
Tough Play: Joe Flacco (QB), Ray Rice (RB), Bernard Pierce (RB), Marlon Brown (WR), and Dallas Clark (TE). Pretty much everyone else. Flacco has been inconsistent, but also poor more often than good. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce both look very, very weak out there, and neither really seems worth a play. The only reason they’re here is if you’ve got faith one is finally going to break out against a nice matchup. Marlon Brown is also probably not worth playing, as he has been incredibly inconsistent, and even when he has decent weeks compared to his bad weeks, they’re often just “ok.” Outside of two weeks ago, he hasn’t been that great since the opening two weeks. Finally, Dallas Clark actually has some good upside. While his yardage numbers are very poor, he’s caught TDs in 3 of the past 4 weeks.

Bears
Injury Report: Martellus Bennett is questionable. Jay Cutler is out.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 19th; RB: 1st; WR: 20th; TE: 21st.
Must Play: Brandon Marshall (WR).  Marshall hasn’t missed a beat with McCown in. Heck, if anything, he’s got a better rapport with McCown than with Cutler (probably not, but he hasn’t slowed at all).
Good Play: Matt Forte (RB), Josh McCown (QB), Alshon Jeffrey (WR). Matt Forte has his work cut out for him against this Ravens matchup, but his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield should help him rebound from last week. McCown has been a surprisingly good fantasy option in two of his three games, and this week’s matchup makes me feel bullish on his prospects. And similar to Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey hasn’t missed a beat with McCown under center, putting up low double digits in the past three games.
Tough Play: Martellus Bennett (TE). Bennett is really slipping, and doesn’t seem to have the rapport with McCown that the other receivers do, so he barely makes it here.  Frankly, it’s unlikely that he’s relevant.

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

Redskins
Injury Report: No major injuries.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 23rd; RB: 15th; WR: 32rd; TE: 6th.
Must Play: Alfred Morris (RB) and Pierre Garcon (WR). Morris is getting carries, and he’s rewarding fantasy owners; he’s had over 90 yards in each of the past four games, and such consistency is hard to find. Garcon, similarly, is getting targets out the wazoo, and his past two weeks have made him look like a top 5 WR. And with RGIII under center playing like he has the past two weeks, there’s no reason for Garcon to not look that good.
Good Play: Robert Griffin III (QB). In terms of “football” play, Griffin has looked decent in three of the past four games, but in fantasy, he’s having a little tougher time. I’d say, however, that this matchup bodes well, since he’s seemingly found his footing and built a rapport with Garcon. This matchup is also beneficial to him.
Tough Play: Jordan Reed (TE).  He’s exploded onto the scene and has been a good start three of the last four weeks, but the Eagles defense concerns me, as they are very stingy when it comes to TEs. If you’ve got him, you’ll likely want to play him, and that’s fine, just don’t expect the stars.

Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Eagles
Injury Report: Michael Vick (who won’t start anyway) and Brent Celek are questionable.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 26th; RB: 31st; WR: 28th; TE: 25th.
Must Play: LeSean McCoy (RB), DeSean Jackson (WR), and Riley Cooper (WR). We have a top heavy team here. McCoy has been running and catching well, and the matchup is very favorable. Jackson and Cooper both benefit from apparently having a great rapport with Foles as well as a great matchup. I think Cooper might have the better week again, thanks to Jackson likely getting the majority of attention from the defense, but there’s no reason both can’t do well here.
Good Play: Nick Foles (QB). Foles has looked great these last two weeks, and Washington’s defense makes me pretty confident that he can be worth starting again. The only reason he’s not in “must play” territory is the sort of “young player” tax I impose.
Tough Play: No one.

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals

Browns
Injury Report: No major injuries.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 8th; RB: 4th; WR: 11th; TE: 9th.
Must Play: No one.
Good Play: Jordan Cameron (TE) and Josh Gordon (WR).  Poor week last week aside, Cameron has been a very solid TE play, and his ceiling is very high. He warrants being put in in the vast majority of leagues. Josh Gordon is the less viable option between he and Cameron, but Gordon has been worth playing most weeks. While the matchup is concerning, I think a bounce back could be in order here.
Tough Play: Jason Campbell (QB), Greg Little (WR), and Chris Ogbonnaya (RB).  I still don’t trust Campbell, but he’s been a good play in his last two games, so that has to count for something. If he has another good game against this matchup, I’ll elevate him a level. Greg Little finally did something last game, but it’s tough to know if that will happen consistently, and one game is not enough to elevate him, especially against the Bengals.  Finally, there are rumors that Ogbonnaya could see an expanded role in the running game, which would bode well for his value. But right now those are just rumors, so treat them appropriately.

Bengals
Injury Report: No major injuries.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 17th; RB: 18th; WR: 9th; TE: 15th.
Must Play: A.J. Green (WR).  Double digit point performances in each of the past five weeks? Sounds good to me!
Good Play: Giovani Bernard (RB). While Bernard and Green-Ellis are still in a timeshare, Bernard has been getting results and the better quality of carries. As a result, he gets the nod as the better of the two plays.
Tough Play: Andy Dalton (QB), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RB), and Marvin Jones (WR). Dalton’s streak of great games has been over for a couple games, and the last game Dalton had against the Browns was very poor, so I’m not too optimistic. It’s for that reason that Marvin Jones is down here too. Jones’ best games came during Dalton’s streak, so Jones’ fortunes are pretty much intimately tied to Dalton’s. Finally, Green-Ellis is getting decent carry numbers, but he’s not getting TDs, which hurts him. And he hasn’t broken any big runs either.

Detroit Lions @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Lions
Injury Report: Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson are questionable (Burleson looks like he won’t play).  Ryan Broyles is on IR.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 9th; RB: 24th; WR: 6th; TE: 14th
Must Play: Calvin Johnson (WR), Reggie Bush (RB), and Matthew Stafford (QB). Calvin Johnson is self explanatory. Reggie Bush has a nice matchup here and when he’s healthy, as he is now, he puts up double digit fantasy numbers with regularity. Stafford doesn’t have the best matchup, but his status as the 3rd best fantasy QB, averaging 20 points a game, makes it easy to start him with confidence.
Good Play: No one.
Tough Play: Joique Bell (RB), Brandon Pettigrew (TE), and Kris Durham (WR). Bell has been pretty quiet since Bush got healthy, but there’s two things that might help him. First, this defense gives up lots of touchdowns, something Bell needs to be relevant. The Lions gave him 10 rushes last week, a number, that, if he sees a similar amount going forward, could be enough to make him relevant again. Pettigrew finally saw some decent yardage last week, so if that happens again, he could be a low end TE1, but it’s pretty doubtful based on his history. Finally, Durham has been putting up low WR3 numbers very consistently, so use him for that, if you need that.

Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Steelers
Injury Report: No major injuries.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 14th; RB: 14th; WR: 30th; TE: 9th.
Must Play: Antonio Brown (WR). Maybe calling him a must play is a bit much, but he’s Big Ben’s biggest target, and has a very nice matchup. For those reasons, I think you definitely play him.
Good Play: Le’Veon Bell (RB). Bell has had double digit fantasy performances the past three weeks, so even with the poor matchup, I think he’s worth plugging into your fantasy lineup, without too many questions.
Tough Play: Ben Roethlisberger (QB) and Emmanuel Sanders (WR), Jericho Cotchery (WR). Big Ben hasn’t really been a solid QB all year, and I don’t see much of a reason for him to suddenly explode. He’s a backup fantasy QB. Sanders has not been consistent, but he’s had a couple big games this year. That’s similar to Cotchery, who has done very well the last two games. The issue with Cotchery is that a huge amount of his value is purely from TDs, which are always tough to count on.

Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Falcons
Injury Report: Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, Harry Douglas, and Jason Snelling are questionable (Gonzalez is likely out).
Opposing Defensive Rankings:  QB: 26th; RB: 7th; WR: 18th; TE: 16th.
Must Play: No one.
Good Play: Matt Ryan (QB). It’s a tough call, but Ryan gets Roddy White back, and has a nice matchup. As such, I think there is a good argument to be made that he’s worth starting.
Tough Play: Roddy White (WR), Jacquizz Rodgers (RB), Steven Jackson (RB), Harry Douglas (WR). The problem with White and Douglas is that both aren’t exactly 100%, and even if they were, what would the target division end up looking like? Gonzalez being likely out helps the WRs, but that conjecture is still speculative at best. There is upside for both of them, that’s for sure. But how much exactly, I don’t know. Jacquizz Rodgers and Steven Jackson are in a timeshare with each other, facing a tough defense, and were generally ineffective the past couple of weeks. If I had to pick one, I’d pick Rodgers, since he doesn’t have age creeping up on him like Jackson, but that isn’t a conclusive thing as to who is the better play.

Buccaneers
Injury Report: Doug Martin, Mike Williams, and Mike James are on IR.
Opposing Defensive Rankings: QB: 28th; RB: 20th; WR: 26th; TE: 18th.
Must Play: No one.
Good Play: Vincent Jackson (WR). V-Jax has really fallen off a cliff the past three weeks, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt with this matchup. A weak defense plays right into his hands.
Tough Play: Mike Glennon (QB), Brian Leonard (RB), Bobby Rainey (RB). Glennon had a nice stretch where he was fantasy relevant, and this matchup has some potential to get him back on track. Leonard is now the top back, thanks to a number of injuries, but he’s better in the receiving game than the running game. He’ll likely split carries with Bobby Rainey, and how each of them will perform when they’re both in a timeshare is anyone’s guess. My personal guess is that Leonard will be the better of the two for fantasy purposes this week and has some upside, but it’s tough to say with certainty.

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