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Week 11 Fantasy: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

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Thumbs Up of the Week: Justin Herbert (v KC)

I assume Herbert being ranked as more of a low-end QB1 by the consensus might change if Mike Williams (ankle) and Keenan Allen (hamstring) are indeed back, but Herbert has overall QB1 upside with a full supporting cast—especially in a possible shootout versus the Chiefs. Despite already having their bye, Kansas City leads the league in touchdown passes allowed (19), and Herbert threw for 334 yards and three scores against them on the road in Week 2.


Thumbs Up: Jimmy Garoppolo (@ ARI)

Garoppolo is another option with an excellent supporting cast, and a rushing touchdown saved him last week after his four-game streak with multiple passing scores was snapped. I’d say there is a good chance of Jimmy G getting back to thriving through the air versus an Arizona team that he’s thrown for 318.0 yards per game with a 13:3 touchdown-interception ratio against in five career matchups. Fantasy owners can view Garoppolo as a top-ten option for Week 11.


Thumbs Up: Aaron Rodgers (v TEN)

Only 20 pass attempts were needed for Rodgers to put up 224 yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys, and Green Bay will hope to keep the momentum going on a short week with a Tennessee team that they destroyed 40-14 a couple of years ago coming to town. Rodgers having more trust in rookie Christian Watson and possibly getting Randall Cobb (ankle) back puts him in the QB1 ranks for a tough week at the position.


Thumbs Up: Daniel Jones (v DET)

Jones is also a top-12 option for this week, and he could be primed for a big game on the ground with Detroit not making it a priority to stop mobile quarterbacks with a spy. Just last week, Justin Fields rushed 13 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions, and Jones—with 7.7 rushing attempts per game—brings a nice floor with quality upside if the Giants can hit on a long touchdown like they were able to against Houston.


Thumbs Down of the Week: Kyler Murray (v SF)

In general, those planning to play Murray (hamstring) could be in a tough spot if his status in unknown when the injury report releases on Saturday, but it might be a good idea to view him as a QB2 anyway. Last year, the 49ers limited Arizona’s quarterback to 239 passing yards and one touchdown through the air while bottling him up with one rushing yard on seven carries, so Murray—limited to 19.0 or fewer fantasy points in four of the past five games—isn’t a clear start.


Thumbs Down: Matthew Stafford (@ NO)

Cooper Kupp (ankle) was the only thing keeping Stafford’s sub-par numbers from absolutely cratering this season, and the veteran passer is barely hanging on as a low-end QB2 option for this week. Unless a shootout suddenly breaks out between two struggling offenses, Stafford is likely to disappoint again with just one game with multiple scores on the season; and even with their defense not living up to its potential, New Orleans has allowed 11 touchdown passes through ten games.


Thumbs Down: Matt Ryan (v PHI)

From a long-term perspective, Ryan can be a strong QB2 and is an obvious boost to Indy’s offense for the rest of season. However, the Eagles have continued to push Denver as the NFL’s top pass defense (No. 2 at 177.7 yards per game allowed and 5.7 yards per attempt allowed), and the Colts should live on the ground with Philadelphia struggling to stop the run without rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis (ankle) in the lineup. Matty Ice should only be considered in two-quarterback leagues.


Thumbs Down: Joe Burrow (@ PIT)

It doesn’t look like Ja’Marr Chase (hip) will return on Sunday, so Burrow—after being sacked seven times and turning it over five times against Pittsburgh in the opener—needs to be downgraded for a passing attack that has been much less explosive without their superstar wideout in the lineup (219.0 passing yards per game). The bye week should help Cincinnati, but Burrow is a low-end QB1 on the road.


Running back


Thumbs Up of the Week: Devin Singletary (v CLE)

The Browns playing terrible run defense versus Miami last week and Singletary coming off a two-touchdown performance seems to be the perfect storm for him to stay hot—particularly with snow again in the forecast for Buffalo. Plus, I’d anticipate the Bills might be a little more committed to the run with Singletary having just one carry following the team jumping out to 27-10 lead in the third quarter last week, so he’s a tremendous RB2 option for Week 11.


Thumbs Up: Brian Robinson Jr. (@ HOU)

Washington had no issues with staying committed to the run in their win over the Eagles on Monday night—feeding Robinson 26 carries to set up favorable third downs and keep the chains moving. Now, the rookie will take on a Houston defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (30.2), and he should be viewed as a borderline top-20 option at the position with a good chance of a positive game script.


Thumbs Up: Isiah Pacheco (@ LAC)

Pacheco is another rookie runner that’s firmly in the RB2 ranks on Sunday, as he rushed 16 times for 82 yards last week with Clyde Edwards-Helaire not recording a touch on just four offensive snaps. Los Angeles remains very vulnerable versus the run, and just lost two defensive tackles for the season. We have Pacheco ascending towards the top 15 based on the matchup, talent, and changed circumstances.


Thumbs Up: Miles Sanders (@ IND)

I had Sanders as “Thumbs Down” last week because of a difficult draw versus the Commanders, but the way the game played out leads me to believe that Philadelphia—after finding something late with their starter getting the ball—will recommit to the ground game in Week 11. While the lack of receiving production remains a concern, Sanders can rebound with 15-18 touches on the road to get the offense back on track.


Thumbs Down of the Week: D’Andre Swift (@ NYG)

New York continues to have one of the NFL’s worst run defenses with 5.5 yards per carry allowed, but Swift has seen touch totals of ten, five, and seven since returning from a four-game absence—pushing him down to risky FLEX territory. Jamaal Williams should be the preferred option until further notice, and the Giants have allowed just five rushing touchdowns on the year despite their struggles.


Thumbs Down: Damien Harris (v NYJ)

I’m not giving up on Harris as a potential RB2 down the stretch, and his playing time—at 41% against the Jets in Week 8—was right in line with his early-season percentages before the hamstring injury. That said, New York has been a fringe top-ten run defense, and the Patriots giving Rhamondre Stevenson goal-line carries in addition to work in the passing game limits the upside and lowers the floor for Harris.


Thumbs Down: Kareem Hunt (@ BUF)

Hunt has seen touch totals of four, five, and seven in three of his past four games, and the Browns becoming far too pass happy has actually been a bad thing for him despite the pass-catching skillset. Buffalo showing some weakness versus the run will perhaps lead to Cleveland feeding both Nick Chubb and Hunt, but I’d not be confident in starting him as the low-end RB2/FLEX option that many expected the 27-year-old to be in 2022.


Thumbs Down: James Conner (v SF)

The workload for Conner was extremely encouraging last week (24 touches) and he converted for touchdowns from four and nine yards out in a 27-17 victory. Unfortunately, San Francisco has the NFL’s best run defense in terms of both yards per game (82.7) and yards per carry (3.4) allowed, so it might take more scoring luck for Conner to not follow up his best game of the season with a disappointment in Mexico City. He’s our RB24 for this week.


Wide receiver


Thumbs Up of the Week: Mike Williams (v KC)

It’s still unclear if Williams will return on Sunday night, but if he plays, I’d immediately get him back in lineups versus a Kansas City defense he’s gone for 108+ yards and at least one touchdown against in three of the past four matchups. That includes an 8/113/1 line back in Week 2 without Keenan Allen in the lineup, so both star targets returning would take the pressure off Williams if he’s not quite 100%. Start him in a probable shootout.


Thumbs Up: Allen Robinson II (@ NO)

The No. 1 wideout for the Rams until Cooper Kupp returns, Robinson should see his targets jump over the next few weeks, and it’s only logical that LA tries to get him going considering he’s under contract through 2024. For what it’s worth, Robinson has put up huge numbers in three career matchups versus New Orleans with lines of 6/151/1, 10/87/1, and 6/87/1, so I’m giving him a shot as a high-end WR2 that can takeoff if given enough targets on an offense that’s missing a key piece with Kupp out.


Thumbs Up: Kadarius Toney (@ LAC)

I put Toney here last week with the caveat that it might take another game for him to be fully integrated into the offense, but Mecole Hardman (abdomen) being out and JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) leaving early opened the door for him to have a major role—resulting in a 4/57/1 line and two carries for 33 yards. There probably isn’t reason to put the genie back in the bottle at this point with Toney maximizing his opportunities, so I have him as a top-24 play what will likely be a high-scoring game.


Thumbs Up: Michael Gallup (@ MIN)

Although Gallup hasn’t had a monster game yet this season, I’m sure he will eventually, and it could come on Sunday against a Minnesota defense that just allowed Stefon Diggs (12/128) and Gabe Davis (6/93/1) to combine for over 200 yards. CeeDee Lamb going off last week and Ezekiel Elliott (knee) hopefully returning gives Gallup a good chance of routine single coverage that he’s proven he can beat. Consider him a high-upside FLEX.


Others: Darnell Mooney (@ ATL), Jahan Dotson (@ HOU)


Thumbs Down of the Week: Courtland Sutton (v LV)

The volume might be enough to Sutton to pay off as a start this week if Jerry Jeudy (ankle) is out, but before going for 66 yards last week, he had yardage totals of 14, 23, and 13 in the previous three games—and only has one touchdown on the season. While the score happened to be against Las Vegas, the WR1 expectations some have placed on Sutton are too rosy in my opinion, and he should arguably be viewed as a low-end WR2 or FLEX option.


Thumbs Down: Michael Pittman Jr. (v PHI)

Eagles cornerback Darius Slay is coming off his worst game of the year, but Philadelphia’s pass defense should rebound, and Pittman’s limited ceiling was again shown last week with 53 scoreless yards on nine targets. With zero touchdowns since the opener and a tough matchup versus Slay and James Bradberry, I would consider Pittman to again be a FLEX option rather than a WR2 play.


Thumbs Down: Brandin Cooks (v WAS)

Cooks is the third wideout in this section to have just one touchdown on the season, and the explosiveness numbers in particular have been a concern with his yards per reception (14.2 > 11.5 > 10.9) and yards per target (9.7 > 7.7 > 6.5) dropping over the past three years. On a below-average offense with talks of a quarterback change in the air (which Lovie Smith said he isn’t thinking about), Cooks is our WR40 for Week 11.


Thumbs Down: Garrett Wilson (@ NE)

Averaging over 100 receiving yards per game versus the Patriots and Bills prior to the bye has Wilson trending up, but I believe Bill Belichick’s defense will have an answer for the rookie passing the century mark against them in the first matchup. Overall, the passing attack could struggle on the road for what is expected to be a low-scoring game (over/under of 38.5 is the lowest of Week 11), and the Wilson-to-Wilson connection is unlikely to replicate their previous success.


Others: Amari Cooper (@ BUF), DeVante Parker (v NYJ)


Tight end


Thumbs Up of the Week: Dalton Schultz (@ MIN)

All it took for Schultz to regain his TE1 standing was for Dak Prescott to be back in the lineup, as the veteran tight end has gone for lines of 7/62, 5/49, 6/74, and 6/54/1 in four games together this season. Minnesota allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to the position sets up Schultz as a top-five option with Dallas Goedert (shoulder) and Darren Waller (hamstring) both out, and Cowboys-Vikings has definite shootout potential.


Thumbs Up: Greg Dulcich (v LV)

Dulcich finally had a sub-par showing in Week 10, but that’s expected for a rookie tight end—and he still played 89% of the team’s offensive snaps. Now facing a Las Vegas defense that just allowed Kylen Granson to catch four-of-four targets for 57 yards, I like Dulcich as a top-ten option on an offense that could again be without Jerry Jeudy.


Thumbs Up: Gerald Everett (v KC)

If Everett (groin) is good to go on Sunday night, he should remain a TE1 play against a Kansas City defense he’s loved facing with nine receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns in two career matchups. Keenan Allen in particular being back would lower the floor some, but not enough to move Everett outside the top 12 at tight end for a game that should provide plenty of offensive fireworks.


Thumbs Down of the Week: Tyler Higbee (@ NO)

Beyond this week, Higbee should be a strong TE1 with Cooper Kupp out as the guy Matthew Stafford seems to view as his second most trusted target. The Saints are allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, though, and Higbee has been limited to 109 receiving yards and zero scores against them in four meetings.


Thumbs Down: Trey McBride (v SF)

McBride is another tight end that should see a significant uptick in opportunities due to Zach Ertz (knee) being done for the season, but like Higbee, it’s best to wait until the schedule softens up with San Francisco often erasing opposing tight ends. We can look to Ertz as the example here with 23.9 yards per game against them in five career matchups, so McBride drawing the start isn’t enough to make him a comfortable TE2 option.


Thumbs Down: Jack Stoll (@ IND)

Stoll only having eight career receptions is reason to hold off on considering him in lineups with Dallas Goedert out, and there is a chance Philadelphia simply relies more on the running backs (and wide receivers) to pick up the slack without one of their star pass-catchers available. The Colts have been a plus matchup for opposing tight ends, but there are probably safer options to start in Week 11.