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The Baltimore Ravens held off the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon as they put together a strong offensive performance to win 31-24. The big star of Sunday's game was rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith, who caught six passes for 165 yards and a touchdown to equal Vincent Jackson in fantasy points for non-PPR leagues.
Smith has been a bit inconsistent at times in his rookie season, but that inconsistency has included some monster performances. He made his way onto the fantasy stage with five catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns in week three. He's been up and down but this performance book-ends that and raises the hopes of folks who spent a waiver claim on him over Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz the same week.
The Ravens face the 49ers on Thanksgiving this week in a matchup that will be a tough one for Smith. The 49ers and Ravens both have strong defenses and we could be looking at a low-scoring game with ground-oriented offensive attacks. Smith remains a huge upside guy as the 49ers secondary has been torched on occasion.
The Dallas Cowboys escaped FedEx Field with 27-24 overtime victory as they also welcomed back long-injured running back Felix Jones. DeMarco Murray remained in the starting lineup and rushed 25 times for 73 yards while hauling in six receptions for 32 yards, but Jones was finally active, rushing five times for 19 yards. Jones has been out since a week six high ankle sprain.
Murray struggled in the Cowboys win as he averaged a season-low 2.9 yards per carry. Now that Felix Jones is back, it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys split the carries between Jones and Murray, if at all. Murray struggled a bit on Sunday, but otherwise he has been downright dominant since replacing the injured Jones. Odds are Murray keeps the number one job, but Jones could easily cut into his carries a modest amount. It is something to keep in mind moving forward.
Vince Young was inserted as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time on Sunday night, filling in for the injured Michael Vick. Young didn't get out to the hottest start for his fantasy owners in his Eagles debut, but the veteran was able to lead his team to a victory over the New York Giants.
Young didn't look like he was going to be able to put up the most impressive statistics as he began the game with a pair of interceptions. When all was said and done, however, the Eagles quarterback ended the game by completing 23 of his 36 passing attempts for 258 yards and two touchdowns to go with an unfortunate three interceptions.
It's doubtful too many people were counting on Young for their fantasy team, but he performed at a respectable level regardless. For those that did start him, hopefully he kept his fake team's playoff hopes alive like he did Philadelphia's on Sunday Night Football.
The Cleveland Browns held on Sunday to win a 14-10 nail-biter over the Jacksonville Jaguars and running back Chris Ogbonnaya was a key part of the victory with his second straight strong performance. The Browns defense had to make a final second stop to secure the win, but Ogbonnaya put them in that position with a 115-yard performance and one touchdown. Ogbonnaya also added in 19 receiving yards.
The Browns have struggled to develop their rushing attack ever since Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty went down. However, they might finally have some kind of answer as Ogbonnaya has averaged at least 4.7 yards per carry each of the last two games. He rushed for 90 yards on 19 carries against the St. Louis Rams and built on that this week.
Normal second string running back Montario Hardesty has been dealing with a calf muscle injury and might be able to return to action in week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Whenever he does return, he likely will re-take the number one running back role, but it is worth tracking for now given Ogbonnaya's two-game success.
The Miami Dolphins continued their recent strong run as they won their third straight game, decimating the Buffalo Bills 35-8. The Dolphins defense shut down the high-flying Bills and Matt Moore led the Dolphins offense to a very efficient and productive day. Moore finished the day with only 160 passing yards, but he also threw three touchdowns.
Moore is not a great fantasy option, but if you are dealing with the loss of Matt Schaub or Jay Cutler, Moore is actually an intriguing option the rest of the way. Over the course of this three game winning streak, Moore has scored at least eight points per game (in four points per passing TD leagues). This week he grabbed approximately 18 points, last week he had eight points and the week before he grabbed almost 22 points. That's not too shabby for a quarterback that was riding the bench to start the season.
Moore and the Dolphins travel to face the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, followed by home games against the Raiders and Eagles. These are not the best of matchups, but if you are struggling with QB injuries, Matt Moore might be able to help you out.
Two weeks ago, Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith was unemployed and waiting by the phone. Today he is coming off one of the strong performances in Detroit Lions history. Smith helped key a Lions comeback from a 24-7 deficit as he provided a career-high three rushing touchdowns and 203 total yards of offense.
Smith entered the NFL in 2008 and put together a fairly solid rookie campaign in which he rushed for 976 yards and eight touchdowns. He struggled in 2009 as he began to deal with some injuries. He tore his ACL late in 2009 and struggled for much of 2010 with the ACL recovery and a subsequent thumb injury.
The Lions have been without running back Jahvid Best since he went down with a concussion in week six. Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams have tried to fill the void, but neither has been able to do a whole lot of much. Smith's breakout performance should get him more carries and might be enough to secure the starting job until (if) Best returns. Everyone will be making a claim on Kevin Smith this week. Feel free to go after him, but do not expect monster performances every week.
LeSean McCoy has been one of the best running backs in fantasy football this year, at least when looking at the value received from the running backs selected early in August's fantasy drafts. McCoy wasn't quite able to live up to the impressive performances his owners probably expect from him on Sunday night, but the Philadelphia Eagles dynamo still had a solid game.
McCoy rushed 23 times for 113 yards against the New York Giants in a 17-10 victory on Sunday Night Football, but he was held out of the end zone for the first time this season. McCoy's longest run, a 60-yard jaunt late in the fourth quarter to seal the game, almost ended up in the end zone -- but it was apparently just not meant to be.
The Eagles' starting running back was actually better last season with Michael Vick in the lineup than he was without, meaning fantasy owners probably should have tempered their expectations for McCoy considering backup quarterback Vince Young was starting under center in Week 11.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggled Sunday afternoon as his Carolina Panthers blew a 24-7 lead en route to a 49-35 loss to the Detroit Lions. Newton threw four picks, which naturally qualifies as a bad day for a quarterback. The good news for Cam Newton fantasy owners is that he brings serious scrambling skills to the field and it more than makes up for those errors in passing judgment.
Cam Newton finished the day with 280 passing yards, one passing touchdown, four interceptions, 37 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. The two rushing touchdowns give Newton nine on the season, which is the most by a rookie QB since 1970. Considering he still has six games left on the schedule, that's not too shabby.
Touchdowns in general are great, but for a QB, most passing touchdowns are worth four points instead of six. Add in the rushing yards points and each week he often puts together a strong fantasy performance just from scrambling. He has had plenty of rookie struggles throwing the ball, but his natural athleticism has more than made up for that when he runs with the ball. At this point he is as much a must-start as just about any other quarterback out there.
The Detroit Lions won a shootout with the Carolina Panthers Sunday afternoon, coming from behind to take down the high-flying Panthers 49-35. The Panthers jumped on top 24-7 behind a strong performance from Cam Newton, but Matthew Stafford and Kevin Smith keyed a strong Lions comeback.
Stafford proved once again how weak the Panthers secondary is as he lit them up for 335 passing yards and five touchdowns. He threw a pair of interceptions but overcame them with his best fantasy performance of the season. The performance gave him back-to-back 300-yard passing games with a very solid schedule the rest of the way as fantasy playoffs approach.
This coming week the Lions host the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving. The Packers remain undefeated, but they also have had some holes emerge in their secondary. The Lions will want to control the clock against Green Bay, but there is a very good chance they end up in a shootout with the Packers. After the Packers, the Lions travel to New Orleans, host Minnesota, travel to Oakland and host San Diego in week 16. All of those matchups provide strong fantasy potential for Stafford.
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has had a solid day for fantasy owners, despite Eli Manning often playing poorly. Cruz caught the game-tying touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles early in the fourth quarter. It was a 24 yard catch, giving Cruz five receptions for 81 yards so far.
Cruz has had a break through this season. He leads the Giants in receiving yards,\ and is tied for the team lead in receptions and receiving touchdowns. If he can stay out of nightclubs where handguns get discharged in other parts of the room, Cruz could compile some nice stats down the stretch as the Giants make a playoff push.
Entering Week 11, Cruz had 40 catches for 672 yards and four touchdowns. Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, has Cruz ranked 22nd on their list of receivers for week 11.
New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has only one reception for five yards through the third quarter of play. It has not been a banner night for Eli Manning, the receivers and the running backs. Manning had just 12 completions on 26 attempts for 113 yards through three quarters. The running backs had just 27 yards.
The Giants had a healthy Hakeem Nicks ready to go for a divisional battle against the falling Eagles this week. The last time these two teams met, back in Week 3, Nicks had just three catches for 25 yards against the pricey Philadelphia secondary. Since then, Nicks has had some big games, topping 150 yards once.
For the season, Nicks has a total of 40 receptions with 616 yards and four touchdowns. Hamstring issues limited him in recent weeks, but he had a full week a practice ahead of this game. Fake Teams has Nicks ranked eighth on their list of wide receivers for week 11.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice found the end zone for just the second time this season when he caught a 14-yard pass from Tarvaris Jackson in the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams. It was one of Rice's three receptions for a total of 35 receiving yard. Rice also thew one pass for a gain of 55 yards.
Mike Williams, who caught Rice's pass, and Doug Baldwin put up 62 and 60 receiving yards, respectively, to lead the team on a so-so day by Jackson. Jackson was 14-of-24 with two interceptions.
Rice has had an up-and-down season. He didn't play until late September due to injury and opened up with 109 receiving yards. But in the middle of October he put up back-to-back games with 38 receiving yards. With neither Tarvaris Jackson nor Charlie Whitehurst performing strongly, Rice's production has suffered.
The Buffalo Bills have cooled off after an incredibly hot start and that usually hurts fantasy owners as well. For wide receiver Steve Johnson, the last two games have seen poor production. He had two receptions for eight yards two weeks ago and followed that up with two more catches for 16 yards this week against the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick targeted him eight times, however.
Johnson had 44 catches for 531 yards and four touchdown receptions entering Week 11. He had partially fueled the Bills' early run with two straight performances of eight receptions. He had 96 and 94 yards in those games.
Until the Bills can get their minds straight and figure out how to be productive again on offense, Johnson's value is going to suffer. Scott Chandler and Fred Jackson aren't helping his stats much, either.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones didn't factor into the team's 35-26 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Jones failed to haul in a ball on any of his three targets. Aaron Rodgers had looked to nine receivers in total and Jones was the only one not to record a catch.
But Jones hasn't had a real fantasy impact since Oct. 9 when he caught five passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Entering this game, Jones had 21 receptions for 356 yards and four touchdowns, three in three straight in October.
In his previous two games, Jones had just two catches for 30 yards and touchdown. With Rodgers always looking to spread the wealth around him, Jones is a flex option but not much more than that.
Vernon Davis had five receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's win over the Arizona Cardinals. He was targeted 10 times during the win, a season high. The performance was all the more impressive consider the up-and down performance from Alex Smith.
Davis has had trouble matching his fantastic Week 3 performance during which he caught eight passes for 114 yards. He did not have more than four receptions in any game prior to this week's game against the Cardinals. With five touchdowns on the season, all in the last seven games, Davis makes up for his lack of receptions with his prowess in the red zone.
Davis came into the week ranked as the fifth best fantasy tight end according to Fake Teams. If he can maintain his effectiveness near the goal line, he should be continue to be one of the better options at a position with plenty of drop-off between the elite and the rest of the pack.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 316 yards against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon, averaging nearly 10 yards per attempts. He completed 22 of 32 passes and had one touchdown pass. He has thrown at least one touchdown in nine straight games.
Heading into this week's game against the Titans, Matt Ryan was on pace for career bests in several categories, including receiving yards. Last week in a loss to the New Orleans Saints he threw for more than 300 yards for just the third time this season, as he approaches the 4,000 yard mark for the year.
Prior to Sunday's game, Ryan had completed 197 of 328 passing attempts for 2,309 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, had Ryan ranked 10th among quarterbacks for week 11.
Adrian Peterson still goes near the top of nearly every fantasy draft. But the Minnesota Vikings' superstar may be on the shelf or diminished in the near future, thanks to an ankle injury sustained in Week 11.
The injury came early in Minnesota's 27-21 loss to Oakland. Peterson hurt his ankle on a seemingly normal tackle, and left the game. He wouldn't return, but X-rays of the ankle were negative, leaving Peterson's status up in the air for the rest of Minnesota's schedule.
Peterson had touchdowns in all but two of the Vikings' games entering Week 11, and had three 100-yard games. His six carries for 26 yards against the Raiders, though, were both season lows.
For more on Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings, visit SB Nation's Vikings blog Daily Norseman. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has scored a rushing touchdown in six straight games after needing three yards to find the end zone against the St. Louis Rams. He finished the game with 27 carries for 88 yards.
After seemingly being lost in the sputtering Seahawks offense, Lynch has emerged lately as a viable force for Seattle and fantasy owners. Injuries to Seattle's offense line will put a strain on his ability to produce going forward. Over his last two games, Lynch topped triple digits in rushing yards.
Entering week 11, Lynch had 507 rushing yards on 129 carries with five rushing touchdowns. He also had 149 receiving yards on 17 catches. Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, ranked Lynch 16th on their list of running backs for week 11.
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brandon Lloyd made the most out of what he could get from quarterback Sam Bradford, but it wasn't all that great. Bradford targeted Lloyd 14 times, but the receiver grabbed just five of them for 67 yards. While that's a nice bit of production, the nine missed targets didn't help. At least Lloyd also grabbed Bradford's only touchdown pass.
Lloyd has been a breath of fresh air for the receiver starved St. Louis Rams. Since bringing him in at the NFL trade deadline in the middle of October, Lloyd has been the Rams top receiver, hands down. Also working in his favor is health, which has eluded so many other players on the Rams.
Since joining the Rams, Lloyd has 21 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He found the end zone twice in his last two games. Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, has Lloyd ranked seventh on their receiver rankings for Week 11.
Steven Jackson had been on a great run. But his Week 11 match-up against the Seahawks proved far less fruitful for the Rams running back, who had just 42 yards on the ground and three catches for 19 yards against Seattle.
Jackson had topped 125 yards in each of his last three outings, but those came against the Saints, Cardinals, and Browns; Seattle isn't that much better than those three teams, but was allowing just over 100 yards per game on the ground entering Week 11.
And Jackson probably wasn't aided by Sam Bradford's poor day, either. Consider that and the Rams' remaining schedule, which includes San Francisco twice, Pittsburgh once, and Seattle again, before relying on Jackson.
For more on Jackson and the St. Louis Rams, visit SB Nation's Rams blog Turf Show Times. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White had a big day in a win over the Tennessee Titans. White grabbed seven receptions for 147 yards, including a 43-yard catch. He didn't, though, have any touchdown receptions.
The Falcons are not having the season they envisioned for themselves in the spring when they traded the farm to move up in the first round to draft Julio Jones. That disappointment has also trickled down to fantasy owners. White has been quiet too often this year, with just three touchdowns through the first ten weeks of the season.
Last week against the Saints, White caught four passes for 62 yards. He also had an untimely dropped pass. For the season, White has 47 receptions for 563 yards and three touchdowns, far off his numbers from last season. For this week's game against the Tennessee Titans, Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, ranked White sixth on their receiver rankings.
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson had a performance many receivers can only hope that their virtual avatars do in Madden. Despite the loss, Jackson grabbed seven passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. This was second only to his 10-catch, 172-yard game against the New England Patriots in Week 2.
This has been a boom or bust season for Jackson. He seems to either make his fantasy owners' day or crush their hopes, with no in-between. Last week, Jackson caught one 22-yards pass against the Raiders. Jackson has 35 receptions for 635 yards and six touchdowns so far this season, including a three-touchdown, 141-yard game against Green Bay in Week 9.
Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy site, had Jackson ranked 14th on their receiver rankings for week 11.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught a touchdown pass from Richard Bartel in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Outside of the touchdown, Fitzgerald totaled three receptions for 41 yards.
Fitzgerald looked like his old self entering this week, and all it took was for John Skelton to take over at quarterback for an injured Kevin Kolb. Last week, he was a one-man wrecking crew, leading his team to a huge upset win over the Philadelphia Eagles. In that game, Fitzgerald caught seven passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. The week before that, against the hapless Rams, he caught four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown.
Through the first ten weeks of the season, Fitzgerald had 45 catches for 792 yards and five touchdowns, three of those touchdowns coming in the last two week.
Fore more on Fitzgerald and the Cardinals, visit Revenge of the Birds.
Gore had been on a white-hot streak before rushing for zero yards against the 49ers in Week 10, with 100-yard games in his five previous starts. That string of excellent play helped boost all his per-game and per-carry averages after a beginning to the season that saw him record under 60 yards on the ground in each of his first three games.
And as long as the Niners keep winning, Gore will keep running; he's gotten 15 or more carries in all but one game in 2011.
For more on Gore and the San Francisco 49ers, visit SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree didn't grab either of Alex Smith's two touchdown passes in the team's wins over the Arizona Cardinals, but he did lead all receivers with seven catches for 120 yards. This was his best game of the season, though fantasy owners would prefer he also catch a few touchdown passes. He has just one on the season.
Crabtree has been hit-or-miss as a fantasy option this season. He was shut down against the New York Giants last week, though he had been coming off a streak of three-straight games of at least five receptions. Still, with just one touchdown on the year there may be better options available.
Crabtree was averaging just under 11 yards per reception on the season, making him better-suited for PPR leagues. He came in 30th in Yahoo! Sports' wide receiver standard league rankings for Week 11. At best, he should be considered as a flex option in most cases.
Once upon a time, Chris Johnson was the NFL's most explosive running back, and a dynamite fantasy option. The 2011 version of Johnson isn't anything close to that player, and he struggled again in Week 11, rushing for 12 yards on 13 carries against the Falcons.
After a brief moment of 2009-esque play in Week 10, Johnson continues to be one of fantasy football's biggest disappointments of the 2011 NFL season. His 130 yards and a touchdown against Carolina last week seem like a long-forgotten blip, and he's failed to average over five yards per carry for a single game all season.
For more on Johnson and the Tennessee Titans, visit SB Nation's Titans blog Music City Miracles. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Once again, Andy Dalton had a chance to lead the Bengals on an improbable fourth quarter comeback drive. But while the Cincinnati quarterback did not eek out a win on Sunday against the Ravens, he did put up some above-average fantasy stats.
Dalton threw the ball 45 times, amassing 373 yards and a touchdown pass (along with three interceptions). Dalton is without his favorite target, rookie wide receiver A.J. Green who missed the game because of an injury. Andre Caldwell caught Dalton's lone TD pass, while the Bengals got more scoring out of running back Cedric Benson, who had two touchdowns despite just 15 carries.
Next week, Dalton will go up against the Cleveland Browns, a tough passing defense.
For more on Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, visit SB Nation's Bengals blog Cincy Jungle. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Torrey Smith got tackled by his hair on Sunday, but that was just about the only thing that didn't go according to plan for the Ravens wide receiver against the Bengals. Smith had the big stats to please fantasy football owners in Baltimore's 31-24 win against Cincinnati.
Smith hauled in six passes for 165 yards and a touchdown for one of the biggest days from a wide receiver in the early afternoon games.
The Ravens wide receiver entered Week 11 averaging 47 total receiving yards per game, but he has had extra big days before -- most notably a 150+ yard, three touchdown game against the Rams on Sept. 25. Smith has given quarterback Joe Flacco another target outside of Anquan Boldin.
For more on Rice and the Baltimore Ravens, visit SB Nation's Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Fantasy owners who picked Ray Rice in their 2011 drafts and hoped that he would be a big part of the Baltimore offense have been sorely disappointed for much of the fall. But against the Bengals in Week 11, Rice delivered a fantastic day.
Rice ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns, and caught another five passes for 43 yards, giving him the sort of numbers that should make him a leading scorer on many teams this week. And it continued a trend of the Ravens' workhorse doing more work at home.
Rice has scored seven of his nine combined rushing and receiving touchdowns at home, and all three of his 100-yard rushing days in 2011 have come in Baltimore.
For more on Rice and the Baltimore Ravens, visit SB Nation's Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount ran his way back into the good graces of fantasy football owners this week. The Buccaneers’ running back topped the 100-yard mark this week for just the second time this season. Blount had 107 rushing yards on 18 carries against the Green Bay Packers today. The highlight of his day was a 54-yard touchdown run in which he broke a handful of tackles to put Tampa Bay back into the game after Green Bay jumped out to an early lead.
Prior to this game, Blount had 434 yards rushing on 100 carries this season. He had three touchdowns to go with it. Blount has played just eight games this season, missing some time because of injuries.
Tampa Bay plays the Tennessee Titans next week.
For Maurice Jones-Drew, the script is familiar: play well in a close Jaguars loss. That's what happened in Jacksonville's 14-10 loss to Cleveland in Week 11, and the way the game ended may leave Jaguars owners even less happy.
Jones-Drew ran for 87 yards and a touchdown in the game, and caught four passes for 31 yards, but he wasn't utilized on either of the two final downs of the game, as Blaine Gabbert threw incomplete passes from the Cleveland 2 to consign the Jaguars to defeat. And Jones-Drew was wide open in the flat on the final play of the game.
That's about par for the course for Jones-Drew owners, who have gotten just three 100-yard games and five rushing touchdowns out of the perennial first-round pick this season.
For more on Jones-Drew and the Jacksonville Jaguars, visit SB Nation's Jaguars blog Big Cat Country. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Josh Freeman did not quite match the stats his counterpart had today, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback had a very strong outing, giving the Packers a tough run for their money until late in the game. Freeman finished the game with 342 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
It was Freeman’s best game of the year, a year in which the young quarterback has struggled after a solid season in 2010. This was the second time he topped the 300-yard mark and the third time he had two or more touchdowns all season. Unfortunately for Freeman and the Bucs, it was also the fifth time he had multiple interceptions in a game. Freeman has 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions on the season.
Sorry, Reggie Bush fantasy football owners, but the Dolphins running back didn't even have the best Week 11 for a person named Bush. (That would be Raiders running back Michael Bush, who ran for 109 yards and a touchdown.)
Even so, Reggie Bush had a decent day, scoring a touchdown. He carried the ball 15 times for just 32 yards, but he did also catch four passes for 34 yards.
A move to Miami has breathed new life into the career of the former No. 2 overall selection. Bush is averaging 52 rushing yards per game, the highest mark of his career so far. And he's been on a tear lately, scoring at least one touchdown in three consecutive weeks. The last game Bush didn't score a touchdown, on Oct. 30 against the Giants, he rushed for more than 100 yards for the second time in his career.
Tony Romo has the Dallas Cowboys on a tear, and his fantasy stock has never been higher as a result. He led the 'Boys to a 27-24 overtime victory against the Redskins in Week 11, and threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the win.
That makes Week 11 the third consecutive week in which Romo has topped 270 yards and thrown for multiple touchdowns with no interceptions. That's a superb stretch of play for Romo, but it should be noted that it hasn't come against top-level competition: those performances helped Dallas defeat Seattle, Buffalo, and Washington.
The good news for Romo owners is that while Week 12 brings the red-hot Dolphins to town for a Thanksgiving showdown, he should have opportunities to dominate lesser competition for the next two weeks before a brutal December slate that includes the New York Giants twice.
For more on Romo and the Dallas Cowboys, visit SB Nation's Cowboys blog Blogging the Boys. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Matt Moore had his best day as a Dolphin on Sunday against the Bills, much to the delight of anyone lucky enough to start the Miami quarterback.
Moore threw three touchdown passes. Coming into this NFL Week 11 matchup, Moore had thrown just four touchdowns all season. But the Dolphins only through the football 20 times and Moore ended up with just 160 passing yards, making him no better than an above-average QB this week.
The Dolphins quarterback came into the game having thrown for 1159 total passing yards this season. His average of 193.2 yards per game is nothing to write home about (even if you're the type of person who writes home about fantasy stats). With today's haul of touchdowns, Moore now has more TDs this season than interceptions, which is good for him.
When Darren McFadden went down with an injury several weeks ago, it was largely expected to cripple the Oakland Raiders' offense. Michael Bush, though, has filled in admirably. The backup running back had another strong game for the Raiders, rushing for 130 yards and scoring a touchdown on 30 carries. He added 20 receiving yards on two catches
It was Bush's second straight game with at least 30 carries and also the second game in a row in which he's gone over 150 all-purpose yards. A week ago, he rushed for 157 yards against the San Diego Chargers.
In fact, Bush has now rushed for at least 96 yards in each of the last four games. He now has five touchdowns on the season, as well. Bush's performance was a key reason why the Raiders were able to beat the Minnesota Vikings.
For more insight and analysis of Bush's performance, be sure to check out Raiders blog Silver and Black Pride.
It was a quiet day on the field for Packers receiver Greg Jennings. He caught just two passes for a total of six yards. It was the fewest receptions and yards he's had on the stat sheet all season.
Green Bay Packers WR Greg Jennings has been a top-tier wide receiver week after week thanks to the ridiculous play of his quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Jennings has caught a touchdown pass each of the past three weeks, a stunningly consistent string considering how much Rodgers has spread the ball around. On the season, Jennings has 51 catches in nine games, is averaging 83.9 yards a contest and has seven touchdown receptions. Those are WR1 numbers, with a bullet.
The beautiful thing about the Packers offense is they're completely matchup proof. Even if they weren't, fantasy owners would have been excited about Week 11, as they face a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that's been hammered against the pass all season long.
The Dolphins offense exploded on Sunday against the Bills, but Brandon Marshall was not a part of it. While Matt Moore, Reggie Bush and other Dolphins put up big fantasy football stats, the wide receiver was barely heard from.
Marshall caught one pass for five yards and did not catch any of Moore's three touchdown passes.
After a wholly disappointing 2010 campaign, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall has had a strong bounce back season in 2011, totaling 53 receptions, 742 yards and two touchdowns in nine games. While everyone would like those touchdown numbers to be higher (except Marshall's opponents, I suppose), his production has seriously increased with Matt Moore behind center and dealing in recent weeks.
Marshall combined for 15 catches, 204 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 9 and 10, so he that production level was expected to continue against the Bills' generous defense, that only really ever stops people when they can force a turnover.
Fred Jackson had been one of the best fantasy options at running back in 2011. An injury and a poor game against Miami may have knocked Jackson from the elite tier of running backs, however.
Jackson rushed for just 17 yards on seven carries in Buffalo's 35-8 loss to the Miami Dolphins, though he did have five catches for 50 yards. But Jackson left the game with an injury and did not return, and that may damage his value going forward.
Jackson hadn't rushed for fewer than 60 yards in a game entering Week 11, and had been averaging 5.6 yards per carry over the Bills' first nine games. Whether his drop is temporary or significant likely depends on the severity of his injury, but he might not be an automatic start in Week 12, as the Bills visit the Jets.
For more on Jackson and the Buffalo Bills, visit SB Nation's Bills blog Buffalo Rumblings. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Love or hate Tony Romo, you gotta appreciate his ability to produce as a fantasy quarterback. This week, in a game against the Dallas Cowboys' biggest rivals, he tossed three touchdowns and threw for 292 yards in a winning performance.
This was Romo's seventh game this season with at least two touchdown passes and the second straight week in which he's tossed three. It was also the eighth time in 10 games that Romo has thrown for at least 250 yards in a game.
On the year, Romo has throw for 2,800 yards and 19 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. Yes, he might be prone to some costly mistakes, but from a fantasy perspective you just have to love this guy. He's about as reliable as any quarterback can possibly be from a production standpoint.
For more insight and analysis of Romo's game, be sure to check out Cowboys blog Blogging the Boys.
Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart was his team's to receiver in a loss to the Detroit Lions today. Stewart caught six passes for 87 yards. He also added eight rushing attempts for 22 yards in the game.
Jonathan Stewart is the odd man out in Carolina. He is arguably their best running back, but does not get the touches that DeAngelo Williams gets in their pass-heavy offense. He does get a regular amount of targets in the passing game, which adds to his fantasy value as a flex player.
For the season, Stewart had 350 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 75 carries, prior to a week 11 game against the Lions. He had 242 receiving yards and a touchdown on 27 catches prior to this week. Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, has Stewart ranked 27th on their week 11 running back rankings.
Matthew Stafford returned to prominence as a fantasy option in Week 11 NFL action. That's what 335 yards and five touchdowns will do for a quarterback. Stafford's two interceptions mitigated that excellence slightly, but there's a very good chance that Stafford's massive day swung millions of match-ups this week.
Stafford has been an up-and-down fantasy quarterback in 2011. He began the year with seven touchdowns in two games, then promptly threw just nine touchdowns over his next five starts. And in his last three games, he's thrown nine touchdowns and six interceptions.
There's a lot of risk and reward with Stafford, but he tends to carve up limited secondaries. And though the Green Bay Packers loom on Thanksgiving, their secondary has been more than forgiving in 2011.
For more on Stafford and the Detroit Lions, visit SB Nation's Lions blog Pride of Detroit. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter for up-to-the-minute injury information and start/sit advice.
Daniel Thomas had 15 carries for 50 yards in Miami's win over the Buffalo Bills today. It was Thomas' best rushing total since week 7 against Denver. Much of Thomas' work came in garbage time again, as the Dolphins grabbed an early lead and did not let go.
The Miami Dolphins have a strange plan for running back Daniels Thomas. Recently, Reggie Bush has been used as the team's feature back, for everything from running between the tackles to work at the goal line. Thomas did have 17 carries last week, but mostly those came late with the game in hand.
For the season, Thomas has 99 carries for 356 yards, with no rushing touchdowns. His lone touchdown came on a reception, and he has seven catches for 49 yards this year. Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, has Thomas all the way down at #41 on their week 11 running back rankings.
Jason Witten, the massive Dallas Cowboys tight end, had another big game in what has been a highly successful 2011 season. Against the rival Washington Redskins, he caught three passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.
So far, he has had the kind of consistent fantasy season that's become typical of him in recent years. Through nine games, he had 49 receptions for 585 receptions and four touchdowns. He had two touchdowns in his last four games entering Week 11 and hasn't had fewer than four receptions in any game this season.
He's a rare breed of tight end that you can draft, put in your starting lineup every week and not worry about. In Week 11, the Cowboys are facing the Redskins, a team that sports a solid defense but is vulnerable to bigger targets because of the size it lacks in the secondary.
Dez Bryant caught three passes for 68 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins. It was the second week in a row that Bryant found the end zone, and the third week that he topped 50 receiving yards for Dallas.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant looks like he will be the man in the Dallas offense with Miles Austin on the shelf. Last week in a lopsided win over the Buffalo Bills, the second-year receiver caught six passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. The week before that, he had 76 receiving yards. Up to week 11, Bryant has 32 receptions for 517 yards and five touchdowns. He was averaging almost 65 yards per game coming into this week.
Fake Teams, SB Nation's fantasy sports site, ranked Bryant fifth on this week's receiver rankings, thanks to what looked like a very favorable matchup against the Washington Redskins. Bryant could be very helpful in fantasy league's down the stretch. After this week, Dallas plays Miami and Arizona ahead of a week 14 showdown with the Giants.
As is becoming the norm, Aaron Rodgers compiled a ton of fantasy points today. The Packers' quarterback threw for 299 yards and three touchdown as they went on to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Green Bay Packers quarterback is having what could be argued as the greatest season for a quarterback in history through nine games. He hasn't thrown for fewer than two touchdowns or 247 yards in any game, he's turned the ball over just three times, and he's overall just a swell guy.
The past three weeks, surrounding a bye, Rodgers has played even better, if that were possible. He's averaging 277.3 yards and 3.7 touchdowns with no turnovers. He's also throwing in 27 rushing yards per game for good measure in that time. If he continues this pace for the rest of year, it will be incredibly hard to argue anyone has ever had a better season at the quarterback position.
Jordy Nelson is having a big first half for the Packers. So far, he has five receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown, as the Packers lead the Buccaneers by a score of 21-10 at the half.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson is seeing tons of playing time for the Packers. He also has a propensity for finding the end zone, no difficult task when Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball. Over his last four games, he has four touchdowns, topping the 100-yard mark twice in that same stretch.
Nelson had 34 receptions for 633 yards and seven touchdowns prior to this week's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fake Teams, SB Nation's Fantasy sports site, has Nelson ranked 15th on their receiver rankings for week 11.
The NFL continues week eleven of the 2011 season following Thursday's wild finish between the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. Tim Tebow finished with a solid 16+ point effort, but he was actually outscored in fantasy by a Broncos defense that sacked Mark Sanchez three times, recovered a fumble and ran back an interception for a touchdown.
Week 11 features four teams on bye, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers and Texans have been very solid defenses and will be missed by their owners. As fantasy football playoffs get closer, teams are looking for sleeper options this week to fill the void of missing the Steelers and Texans.
In picking a fantasy defense, there are a variety of factors including simply how you think a team matches up against its opponent. It is hard to predict turnovers, but you can look at a team's pass rush and general defensive ability to try and figure out sacks and points allowed.
The Seattle Seahawks face a struggling St. Louis Rams team that has not scored a ton of points this year. The Seahawks are a solid option. On the other hand, the Seahawks offense has been incredibly up and down, so realistically you could with the Rams defense as well. This kind of decision would be where you consider who you think will win the game to make a potential tie-breaker.
The NFL continues its week ten schedule of games with the majority of the slate scheduled for Sunday. Thursday Night Football between the Denver Broncos and New York Jets got things going with a wild finish, but now we get the main course of games. Week 11 features four bye weeks including New Orleans, Houston, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis are all out this week.
While that takes some fairly solid kicking situations out of the mix this week, there are plenty of decent kickers available on waivers to cover that zero. You can easily just waive your current kicker to make room for a new guy if you are dealing with a bye. There are some particularly solid kickers you might want to hold onto, but for the most part, no kicker is worth the potential zero or releasing a solid running back or receiver.
If you find yourself in need of a kicker, see if anybody dropped Sebastian Janikowski following his hamstring injury. He has kicked the last two weeks but has been limited, not kicking 50+ field goals like normal. Janikowski was questionable the last two weeks but is probable this week, which would seem to indicate some improvement. If you can get ahold of Seabass, I say grab him.
The NFL kicked off week 11 this past Thursday with the Broncos and the Jets, but returns Sunday for the heavy slate of games. The week features four teams on bye, including the New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts. Those byes knock out Jimmy Graham, Owen Daniels, Heath Miller and Dallas Clark.
If a league owner has not picked up one of the top four or five tight ends (like Graham or Daniels), it is easy to end up waiting too long and find your self changing tight ends on a weekly basis. It is not the easiest strategy, but there are some intriguing tight ends in free agency. If you normally start one of the tight ends above, there are some solid one-week rentals for this week 11 bye.
Kellen Winslow, Bucs: Winslow is not exactly a sleeper, but in my leagues I have noticed he has been on the waiver wire the last few weeks. The Bucs face a Packers team that will score a ton of points but could also give up a fair amount through the air. I think Winslow could be in line for a nice performance.
Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings: I'm a fan of tight ends with young QBs. Christian Ponder hasn't been spectacular but he has shown he can make some solid throws. He hasn't looked Shiancoe's way a ton, but I think there is some upside with Shiancoe if you need a body.
Delanie Walker, 49ers: Vernon Davis is the big play weapon at tight end, but Delanie Walker has been a solid option in the 49ers offense. It is tough to tell week in and week out what the 49ers will do in their passing attack, but they have done a good job in 2011 of getting their athletic backup tight end more involved.
The NFL schedule returns for one last set of byes in week 11 as the New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts all sit out this week. The bye is big for the Texans because it will give Andre Johnson one more week to get healthy and also to figure out life with lefty quarterback Matt Leinart. Aside from that, week 11 byes mean no Marques Colston, Mike Wallace, or Pierre Garcon, among others.
Fantasy football playoffs are only a few weeks away at this point, which means teams on the playoff fringe need big performances this week. If you are missing out on quality receivers due to a bye or injury, there are some intriguing sleeper options at wide receiver.
Denarius Moore, Raiders: Given his monster performance against the Chargers last week, I'm not sure rookie Denarius Moore can be qualified as a sleeper. Nonetheless, if you're not sure whether to start him, consider that he seems to be developing a solid rapport with Carson Palmer, and Palmer will be without Jacoby Ford. Moore faces a Vikings secondary that is struggling and without Antoine Winfield. He's in line for a very solid game.
Damian Williams/Nate Washington, Titans: This is a tough play to figure out. Damian Williams was quite for much of the season and has turned into a very solid option the last few weeks with a pair of touchdowns the last two weeks and 107 yards last week. Does the Atlanta secondary focus on Williams? I think both Williams and Washington are solid plays.
Week 11 of the 2011 NFL season picks up a few days after Thursday's Broncos-Jets contest that saw second year running back Joe McKnight potentially work his way into the discussion for more carries behind Shonn Greene. It was a fairly ugly game for the most part, otherwise.
Week 11 features four bye weeks, including New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Houston. The most significant running back byes are Texas RB Arian Foster, Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall and Saints running backs Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram. Foster is the biggest loss and owners are likely scrambling to find some talent for this particular bye week. Here are some sleeper options if you are still short a man:
Kendall Hunter, 49ers: Frank Gore was limited in practice this week but is expected to start on Sunday. However, Gore injured his knee and missed the second half of the 49ers game with the Giants. The team also has to play in four days against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving. If the 49ers can take an early lead, it would not surprise me to see them go to Hunter a bit more than normal.
Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns: Most of the Browns offense is a bad option when it comes to fantasy football. However, the Cleveland Browns will be hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, which could open the door for a solid performance from Ogbonnaya. At the very least, he will be getting the carries, which is more than a lot of players can guarantee.
The bulk of the week 11 NFL schedule is upon us following Thursday's wild Broncos-Jets game. Tim Tebow and the Broncos defense provided the bulk of the fantasy scoring in that game, as Tebow continues to develop into a solid fantasy option. His rushing numbers are such that they make up for his struggles in completing passes.
Week 11 features some significant bye weeks New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Houston and Indianapolis. The big question mark is for folks with Drew Brees sidelined. We are fast approaching fantasy football playoff season, which means teams battling for playoff spots need every man up this week. If you are without Brees or Ben Roethlisberger, or you've lost Matt Schaub for the season, there are some intriguing options for this week.
Alex Smith, 49ers: Over the first nine games of the season, Smith has not put up particularly great numbers. He's had some solid fantasy days, but he hasn't blown up to any particular degree. This week could be his best chance at a monster game. Smith and the 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have won two straight but their pass defense is not particularly good. If the 49ers can continue their strong play, Smith could be in line for a solid performance.
Carson Palmer, Raiders: We've reached the point where Palmer is no longer a sleeper. It is not always going to be pretty, but if you have Palmer on your bench or if he is sitting on waivers, he is a very intriguing option. This week he faces a brutal Minnesota Vikings pass defense that lost one of its top playmakers in Antoine Winfield. Palmer is without Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford, but Michael Bush remains a beast and Palmer has developed a nice chemistry with rookie Denarius Moore.
Matt Moore, Dolphins: The Dolphins have been playing some solid football lately and welcome Buffalo to South Beach. The Bills should win this game, but it could turn into a bit of a shootout, which means Matt Moore could benefit. It's a roll of the dice with Moore, but he's got some decent upside.
While the New York Jets Thursday Night Football contest against the Denver Broncos was often devoid of quality offense, a few fantasy figures emerged from the rubble. Tim Tebow is the most notable, but Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress stepped up with a solid game. Burress caught four passes for 64 yards while being targeted a team-high nine times. The stats raised his season totals to 30 receptions for 425 yards and six touchdowns.
Burress has been up and down in his first season since leaving prison. The highlight thus far has been his three touchdown performance against the San Diego Chargers. That big performance aside, Burress has still emerged as a solid red zone threat because you simply can't teach 6'5.
Although Burress outperformed Santonio Holmes on Thursday, Burress remains a flex option. Now that we are getting through the last bye weeks, he will rarely be a guy you want to rely on as a WR2. He'll occasionally put up some big games, but you don't want to be relying on Plaxico too much.
New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez had another up and down day Thursday as he struggled to get the Jets in the end zone against the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. Sanchez finished the game with 252 yards and an interception and generally justified why he should be no more than a bench option.
Sanzhez has been no one's idea of a fantasy stud so far this year. Heading into Week 11, he had been averaging just 231.2 passing yards per game. On the plus side, he had thrown 14 touchdowns, but those were largely off set by his nine interceptions.
In recent weeks, that trend had grown worse. In weeks 9 and 10, Sanchez had thrown two touchdowns and three interceptions. In fact, Sanchez has thrown for at least 200 yards and tossed at least two touchdowns in the same game just twice all year and he hasn't done it all since Week 3. Sanchez's best game since then was his three-touchdown performance against the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 23, but he offset by completing just 18 of 33 passes for 173 yards.
For more insight and analysis of Sanchez's performance, be sure to check out Jets blog Gang Green Nation.
Early in Thursday's loss to the Denver Broncos, the New York Jets lost running back Shonn Greene to a rib injury. X-rays came up negative and Greene showed all signs of being ready to return to the game, but the Jets decided to play it safe. Backup Joe McKnight was given the bulk of the touches, including plenty of third down work in the passing game. He finished the day with 16 carries for 59 yards and six receptions for 62 yards.
Entering Thursday's game, McKnight had a grand total of 53 rushing yards and 29 receiving yards. In his brief career to date he had 291 total yards. Greene indicated he planned on returning in week twelve against the Buffalo Bills, but McKnight's performance opens the door for some more touches even if Greene is healthy. Shonn Greene has struggled to get going this season and it would not be surprising to see him end up splitting more carries with McKnight as the Jets try and jump-start their ground game.
Greene remains the play right now, but it is worth keeping an eye on McKnight. Given his use in the passing game, we could at the very least see more third down work for him. It is possible he emerges over the next few weeks into a bit of a Mike Tolbert role with the Jets.
If there were any doubts about Tim Tebow's ability to be a strong fantasy football quarterback, they were once again answered on Thursday Night Football. Tebow not only led his Denver Broncos to a thrilling last minute victory, but his fourth quarter heroics salvaged what could have been a dismal fantasy performance. Tebow finished the game with 104 passing yards, 68 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also avoided turning the ball over, thus finishing with approximately 16.8 points in basic leagues.
Even as people doubt him, Tim Tebow continues to amaze. His victory really was a team effort (Von Miller deserves a big thank you), but for fantasy purposes, he is a one-man machine. The rushing yards allow him to accumulate points that he has generally been unable to do with his passing skills. He is not quite at the elite level of a Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, but you could legitimately place him in the top ten of fantasy quarterbacks.
The Broncos face the Chargers and Vikings on the road over the next two weeks. Both have questionable pass defenses, but traditional reasons for starting quarterbacks really don't apply to Tim Tebow. He is a solid weekly start no matter the matchup until he proves otherwise. It is not the most in-depth of analysis, but it remains the truth.
Preview and highlighting the best -- and worst -- fantasy performances from Week 11.
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