Last week was a really weird week in the fantasy football world. Players with great matches came up extremely short and a few with bad situations came through in a big life. That’s life. That’s fantasy football. We move on Week 11, which is the last week this season where we’ll have to deal with bye weeks. It’ll feel good to have everyone back in your starting lineup next week, so do your best to win this week and enjoy the ride after that.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Derek Carr (QB – Oakland)
Unfortunately I can’t just tell you to start the quarterback playing against New Orleans this week because they’re on the bye, so I have to go a little deeper. I’m not going too deep though because the quarterback position has some cream rising to the top these days in the name of Derek Carr. People are still worried about starting Carr every week and they shouldn’t be. Carr had a bad game last week and still threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns. The two interceptions weren’t great, but you know he’s got a high floor at this point. Now he gets to feast on the Lions, who have given up the third most fantasy points to QBs this year.
Charcandrick West (RB – Kansas City)
Along the same lines as Carr, fantasy owners don’t feel 100% confident in West yet. I’m not sure why that’s the case since West has scored 17 or more fantasy points in his three starts. Does he have a nickname yet? Is Feivel too obvious? We’re going west with West this week, all the way to San Diego, home of the most points allowed to running backs this year. 17 points? I’ll take the over.
Frank Gore (RB – Indianapolis)
Gore is an old man with some miles on his tires. The Colts were limiting his use early in the season because they wanted to save him for the end of the season. Apparently the end of the season starts in Week 11 or maybe Indianapolis is panicking because Andrew Luck is injured. Either way, it’s good news for Gore as he’s now no longer on a pitch count. Gore put up an average of 10.5 points in the two games Matt Hasselbeck started for Andrew Luck. Now the reins are off and Gore takes on a defense giving up 18.8 points to fantasy RBs this season. It’s time to renew our faith in this old man.
Stevie Johnson (WR – San Diego)
It’s addition by subtraction for Mr. Johnson. Keenan Allen is out for the year and now Malcom Floyd is missing time with a torn labrum as well. The running game is horrible, so Philip Rivers is resigned to passing it 40 times a game. Someone has to catch the ball for San Diego and Antonio Gates can’t do everything. Insert Johnson into the equation. He became the primary weapon for Rivers when Floyd went down against Chicago and posted a seven catch for 68 yards game. He was also a couple yards away from finding the end zone. Kansas City’s passing defense numbers have improved, but it’s more a matter of who they’ve played against then who they are. Have faith in Stevie in this spot.
Danny Amendola (WR – New England)
Maybe this is the obvious play of the week because whoever owns Amendola likely picked him up off waivers this week. I’m here to tell you that you can insert the little man into your starting lineup right away. Amendola caught 10 balls on 11 targets last week due mostly to the injury to Julian Edelamn. There’s no reason that shouldn’t continue this week as Buffalo does a good job of locking down the outside of the field with their quality cornerbacks. Amendola should work the middle of the field and find plenty of success.
Eric Ebron (TE – Detroit)
This analysis is very easy. Tight ends score touchdowns against the Raiders. It’s happened in all but one Raiders game this year and that was with the corpse of Owen Daniels playing. Ebron gets to take on Oakland in what could be this weekend’s shootout. With three of the worst defenses against fantasy TEs on the bye this week, we keep it simple stupid.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Andy Dalton (QB – Cincinnati)
Primetime Andy came back to life on Monday with an awful display against Houston. Now we have to worry even more since Cincinnati travels on a short week to another primetime game against Arizona. The Cardinals pass defense is the 4th best in the league according to Football Outsiders and limits fantasy quarterbacks to 14.1 points per game. With all the good quarterback options out there on a weekly basis, you need to move on Dalton and get something better in your lineup this weekend.
James Starks (RB – Green Bay)
I was on the Starks bandwagon last week because Eddie Lacy was inactive and the Lions are terrible at defense. He was ok, but not that great. One reason why? He didn’t break one tackle! Not a one! How bad do you have to be to get 15 carries and 6 catches and not break one tackle against a bad defense?!? Minnesota has only allowed a 100-yard rusher in two of its nine games. The Vikings and the return of Eddie Lacy should crush Starks this weekend even if he’s still the starter.
Doug Martin (RB – Tampa Bay)
Everyone jumped on the Doug Martin bandwagon during the preseason. Then he ran for no more than 78 yards in each of his first three games and didn’t score a touchdown. We got off the bandwagon. Then Martin blew up for three straight 100-yard rushing games including touchdowns in two of those games. We jumped back on the bandwagon. Now Martin is back to sucking ass with no more than 71 yards and zero touchdowns in his last three games. I can’t believe I relied on him in DFS cash games. Never again! He also takes on Philadelphia this week and that doesn’t bode well. The Eagles held down Lamar Miller last week and only gave up a few burst runs to Jay Ajayi. They’ve only given up three 100-yard games on the season. I’ve found another bandwagon.
Desean Jackson (WR – Washington)
We were all celebrating Jackson’s 42-yard catch on Washington’s opening drive last week. We then went silent as Jackson managed just one more catch for two yards the rest of the game as Kirk Cousins went off? What happened? Jackson got a little banged up and other matchups were there to exploit. It doesn’t matter too much if Jackson is still banged up because he’s about to be shut down by Josh Norman. If you don’t know why then it’s time to start watching some Panthers games or read this column on a weekly basis. He shuts your ass down!
Jeremy Maclin (WR – Kansas City)
Another young stud cornerback is making moves this year, but hasn’t gone as noticed by the average fantasy football player. Because San Diego’s defense is so bad, people don’t realize that Jason Verrett is killing it in his second season as a Charger. He injured his groin against the Bears, but had the bye week to rest up. Now he’s ready to be Maclin’s best friend all Sunday long as he follows him wherever he goes. Alex Smith isn’t good enough to throw a receiver open, so look for Verrett to squat on everything and handle Maclin with ease.
Martellus Bennett (TE – Chicago)
Bennett was certainly happy to have Jay Cutler back and it showed two weeks ago in San Diego. Then the Bears took on St. Louis, settled for a lot of field goals, and really used Jeremy Langford more than anything else to get away from a heavy pass rush. Denver also has a heavy pass rush, so Langford or Matt Forte will be the option this week for a heavy workload and not Bennett. It also doesn’t help that Denver hasn’t allowed more than 66 passing yards to a TE since Week 2 and has only given up three touchdowns to the position all year.