In baseball, if a particular hitter is lighting up your pitching staff, you can pitch around him, walk him. It might not always be the soundest strategy, but it works. But in football, if a guy is "on fire," he's Calvin Johnson and you just make a perma-sad face.
Best wide receivers in Week 11
Calvin Johnson, DET (179 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns, 29 fantasy points)
Johnson now has scored in four straight games, with multiple scores in three of those and 329 yards in the other one. When healthy, he's been unstoppable this season, and could make a serious run at the NFL MVP this season. Sunday, he scored on 79-yard and 19-yard catches in the second quarter, and his 179 yards came on only six catches. Johnson has now averaged 28 points a game in his last four, which is insanity of the highest order. He probably has a bigger gap over No. 2 at his position than anyone else in the fantasy game, and that includes the Kansas City defense.
Antonio Brown, PIT (147 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns, negative-8 rushing yards, 26 fantasy points)
Brown's season has been on the upswing of late; after scoring in the single digits in six of his first seven games, he has at least 10 in his last three, including Sunday's 26-point explosion. Much of Brown's damage came in the first quarter, including both of his touchdowns (one for 34 yards and one for 47). He had almost 60 more yards than any other Steeler, a dominant force on a 37-point offense Sunday.
Next game: Brown is clearly the Steelers' No. 1 receiver, which means he'll likely draw cornerback Joe Haden when the Steelers travel to Cleveland next week to face the Browns. Haden is a shutdown corner of the highest order, so it'll be a surprise if Brown comes even close to Sunday's numbers again next week.
Michael Floyd, ARI (193 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 25 fantasy points)
Floyd had easily the best game of his young career Sunday, and only his second-career game above 100 receiving yards. Almost half of his damage came on a single long play -- his 91-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the third quarter -- but that is as much a part of Floyd's game as anything. This is the type of Floyd the Cardinals were hoping they were getting when they used a first-round draft pick on him in 2012.
Next game: Floyd and the Cardinals get the Indianapolis Colts next week, a team that has been very kind to wide receivers lately (see the performances of Andre Johnson and Kendall Wright in recent weeks). Floyd deserves a long look.
Worst wide receivers in Week 11
A.J. Green, CIN (7 receiving yards, 0 fantasy points)
It's hard to imagine a worse game from such a high-profile receiver, but Green was completely shut down by the Browns' Joe Haden. It broke up a string of five straight 100-yard games for Green, and he's still the second-highest scoring wide receiver in fantasy, so it's hard to judge him too harshly for one awful game. Still, the odds had to be pretty high that the Bengals would score 41 points in a game in which their one true superstar managed only seven total yards.
Next game: It doesn't really matter, as the Bengals' next opponent definitely won't have Joe Haden, but after a Week 12 bye, the Bengals travel to California to take on the San Diego Chargers, in a matchup that should be significantly more friendly to Green.
Cecil Shorts III, JAC (22 receiving yards, 2 fantasy points)
Shorts had his second straight bad game for the Jaguars, in the wake of the rest-of-season suspension to teammate Justin Blackmon. With defenses able to focus their attentions on Shorts, and the receiver still battling nagging injuries, he has only two catches in consecutive games, with his 22 yards Sunday his worst of the season outside of the Jaguars' game against the Denver Broncos that Shorts left early with injury. It might be time to look beyond Shorts, at least until he shows he can perform without Blackmon alongside him.
Next game: Shorts and the Jaguars travel to Houston for a game against the Texans. Houston has struggled against opposing wide receivers this year, so Shorts needs to make something happen.
Brandon Marshall, CHI (42 receiving yards, 4 fantasy points)
Marshall couldn't get much going Sunday, in a game where the weather was the biggest story. Amid a two-hour delay and horrible conditions afterward, the Bears went the entire third quarter without throwing a pass. In the entire game, only one pass-catcher -- Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery -- exceeded 50 yards, so the fact that Marshall was stuck at 42 was not really an indictment of his performance. This was a weather game, and reading much into it beyond that seems foolish.
Next game: The Bears face the St. Louis Rams in St. Louis next week; that's a dome, so Marshall is probably celebrating.
Other wide receivers that warrant mention
Harry Douglas, ATL (134 receiving yards, 1 TD, 19 fantasy points)
Douglas had 20 fantasy points in the Falcons' first game after losing wide receiver Julio Jones for the year, but his production had dropped off steadily since that point, bottoming out at two fantasy points a week ago against the Seattle Seahawks. Much of Douglas' production Sunday came on a single 80-yard touchdown he had late in the third quarter, but still, seeing 19 points out of Douglas was nice for owners who had to be getting worried.
Next game: The Falcons host the New Orleans Saints next week, meaning Douglas has to go against a stingier defense than the one he faced Sunday. Roddy White still isn't doing much of anything (though he did score Sunday), so Douglas will need to be the guy for the Falcons.
T.Y. Hilton, IND (44 receiving yards, 4 fantasy points)
Hilton was coming off of consecutive monster games (121 yards and three scores in Week 9, 130 yards in Week 10), so perhaps he was due for a bit of a drop-off. Tight end Coby Fleener got the big receiving yardage for the Colts Thursday, but he only had one more target than Hilton. It's hard to imagine Hilton won't have more big games going forward, so if 44 yards is his low point, fantasy owners will be OK with that.
Next game: The Colts travel to Arizona for a game against a tough Cardinals defense next Sunday. Hilton will have 10 days' rest before that game, so that has to help.