Week eleven of the 2011 NFL season is coming to a close Monday night as we await the Monday Night Football contest between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. The close of week eleven means bye weeks are officially behind us. Additionally, fantasy football playoffs are fast approaching, with most traditional playoff structures starting in three weeks.
Week eleven featured some extremely impressive performances. Of course, some of these came from players that haven't sniffed a fantasy lineup all season. The most prominent was Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith. The Lions have struggled to replace Jahvid Best, but Smith put together a dominant performance just a couple weeks removed from being a free agent. Smith and Lions QB Matthew Stafford combined for close to 70 fantasy points in most leagues. Given that the Lions threw up 49 points against Carolina, this is not surprising.
Some of the most impressive performances of the day came from team defenses. The Miami Dolphins, topped the 20-point mark in most leagues, while four other teams provided at least 15 points to fantasy football efforts. The Broncos defense is notable in that they have been one of the big reasons for Denver's turnaround. Tim Tebow has made some big plays late in games, but the defense has put this team in a position to succeed. They are becoming a great fantasy option.
And if you needed more proof about why Cam Newton is a great fantasy quarterback, the man threw four interceptions and still finished with close to 30 fantasy points in most leagues. Cam is an absolute beast right now and a must-start each week.
As we move ahead to week 12, Thursday football takes on a big role in fantasy football lineups. Thanksgiving features three games this week. Considering the games include Green Bay, Detroit, Miami, Dallas, San Francisco and Baltimore, there are a lot of high impact players hitting the field on Thursday. Don't forget to check your lineups before then.
Over the next week we'll break down some possible sleepers for the week ahead, as well as other generally big performances. Friday, Sunday and Monday we'll follow that up with a breakdown of all the pertinent fantasy performers.