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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 11
John Tuvey
Updated: November 19, 2010
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CHI at MIA OAK AT PIT DET at DAL TBB at SFO Start/Bench List by Position
BAL at CAR CLE at JAC GBP at MIN IND at NEP
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HOU at NYJ ARI at KCC SEA at NOS NYG at PHI
BUF at CIN WAS at TEN ATL at STL DEN at SDC
Start/Bench Codes (SBC)
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Solid matchup) X: Unclear situation / Could go either way
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)
 
 
Arizona at Kansas City Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Derek Anderson B

The 322 yards last week were a pleasant sign of life, but Anderson has now made six straight appearances without throwing multiple touchdowns. Don't expect him to match Kyle Orton's monster day against the Chiefs last week; in KC, the Chiefs allow averages of less than 250 yards and two touchdown tosses per game... and Anderson is below average.

RB Tim Hightower
S3 The Chiefs haven't allowed a running back rushing touchdown since Week 6—but they have given up three RB receiving scores in that span. In addition to his third-down duties, Hightower will handle whatever portion of the workload Beanie Wells and his balky knee are unable to provide. From those dual roles, Hightower should carve out enough productivity to constitute a fringe fantasy starter.
RB Chris "Beanie" Wells
B Wells was limited all week in practice, but he simply can't be trusted with a fantasy start until he demonstrates he's both fully healthy and Arizona's primary ball-carrier.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
S3

The Chiefs have allowed one—and only one—WR TD in each home game this season. And while it's been a couple weeks since Larry has found the end zone, he's still Anderson's most popular target and thus the best bet to be a fantasy factor here.

WR Steve Breaston
Early Doucet
B

Aside from the aforementioned quartet of touchdowns, the Chiefs have allowed almost nothing of fantasy note to wideouts who visit Arrowhead. In four home games, only two players who did not score topped 50 yards—both in the same game. Giving Breaston and/or Doucet a fantasy start means you're betting against Fitzgerald this week.

DT Cardinals S3 It's not a great matchup or venue, but the Cardinals lead the NFL in return touchdowns so you can't bet against them.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Cassel S2

Cassel has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games, and he faces an Arizona defense that has given up an average of 370 yards per game over the past three. His numbers will be tempered only by the likelihood that the Chiefs will run the ball more than 30 times against the league's most fantasy-friendly run defense.

RB Jamaal Charles
S1

For the second straight week the Chiefs face the league's most permissive run defense—and this time around we don't see the Cards jumping out to a 35-0 lead. That leaves Charles, the more productive half of KC's RBBC, to continue his hot home hand. His carries have climbed with each home game, and he has either a touchdown or at least 97 rushing yards (or both) in every game at Arrowhead this year.

RB Thomas Jones
S2

While Jones is starting to take a wingman role to Charles—and rightly so—he's still a viable fantasy play this week. Consider that he has 19 or more carries in each of his last three home games, with 297 yards and two touchdowns in that span. There should be plenty to go around against an Arizona defense that has allowed multiple RB TDs in three straight contests.

WR

Dwayne Bowe

S2

The Cardinals have allowed 100-yard receivers in three straight and WR TDs in four of the last five, but that's not what's important. Bowe has touchdowns in five straight games (a total of eight scores in that span) and is so hot right now you'd start him against the '85 Bears. With Ryan Leaf as his quarterback. On a bye week.

TE

Tony Moeaki

B

Moeaki keeps fielding these favorable matchups, and each week he keeps letting us down. The rookie hasn't scored since Week 3, and that streak will continue as Moeaki has been ruled out this week due to post-concussion issues.

DT Chiefs S3 Any time Derek Anderson is the other team's quarterback you should have some pick six opportunities.
 
Washington at Tennessee Back to top
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb B

All it took was a 35-point deficit for McNabb to start throwing enough to produce a multiple touchdown game. However, Kyle Orton is the only QB of the four to visit Tennessee who put up anything resembling helpful fantasy numbers. With all 32 teams in action, McNabb falls in the bottom half of the options which in most cases lands him on the fantasy bench.

RB Keiland Williams
B The good news, for fantasy purposes, is that Ryan Torain has been ruled out for this week with his lingering hamstring issue. The bad news is that, despite being limited in practice all week, Clinton Portis is listed as questionable and could horn in on Williams action. Not that any Redskins back would make a great play against a Titans defense that hasn't allowed a running back rushing score in Tennessee this season. But if Portis is deactivated prior to kickoff, Williams would get both feature back carries and maintain his third-down workload, in which case he might cobble together enough production against a defense that has surrendered two 50-yard receiving backs at home and allowed two RB receiving TDs in Nashville as well. But all that would do is make him a fringe starter, so bench him unless and until Portis is officially in street clothes.
WR Santana Moss
S3 Only two teams have given up fewer wide receiver TDs than the Titans, but that's not where Moss gets his value; he's a yardage and PPR guy, hacking out a relatively steady stream of 5-for-60 stat lines. Tennessee has allowed five different wideouts to top 50 yards in just their past two home games, so Moss should find enough room in the Titans secondary to make some fantasy hay; just don't expect that room to be found in the end zone.
WR Anthony Armstrong
B Armstrong has actually outperformed Moss each of the past two weeks, but he still trails in the targets race and as such can't be banked on to hit the long ball every week.
TE Chris Cooley S2

The Titans have allowed back-to-back 100-yard receiving games to tight ends and TE TDs in three of their last five games. With Cooley consistently seeing seven or more targets per game, he's a prime candidate to not only put up some decent yardage but also snap his personal five game scoring drought.

DT Redskins B Maybe Albert Haynesworth will get motivated and make some plays. Wait, I just said "Haynesworth" and "motivated" in the same sentence; my bad.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young S2

The Redskins have allowed back-to-back four-touchdown games to opposing quarterbacks. And while Young isn't likely to throw for another Abe Lincoln, he should throw enough to take advantage of such a fantasy-friendly secondary.

RB Chris Johnson S2

You're not benching CJ, not against a Redskins defense that's allowed three 100-yard rushers in the last five games.

WR Randy Moss
Nate Washington
S2 In the past four games alone the Redskins have allowed nine WR TDs and eight receivers to top 75 yards. No reason Moss and Washington can't get theirs this week.
TE Bo Scaife B Scaife is definitely not the first option in Tennessee's passing game, but he does have this trend on his side: the Redskins have allowed a tight end touchdown in three of their four road games. If last week's nine targets weren't nearly double his previous season high we might be inclined to follow that trend; as it stands, Scaife is on the bench side of the equation and should only be used if you're really in a bind at the position.
DT Titans S3 Tennessee’s defense has slowed its pace a tad, but they're still capable of taking a McNabb miscue the other way.
 

Detroit at Dallas

Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Shaun Hill S2

For a guy who's largely viewed as a journeyman fill-in, Hill is a fantasy stud. He has three 300-yard games already this season, and he'll enjoy a favorable matchup with a Dallas defense that has allowed multiple passing TDs in four straight games, not to mention ceding multiple TD tosses to every visiting quarterback this season.

RB Jahvid Best S3

If Best had done anything—anything, mind you—since Week 2, we'd be a lot more excited about his prospects against a Dallas defense that has allowed three straight visiting feature backs to reach the century mark. As it stands, you can look to him for some decent yardage but don't let your expectations stray too far from that.

WR Calvin Johnson S1

In the past four games alone eight different wideouts have scored on the Cowboys and seven have topped 80 yards; six have done both. Since there's no Darrelle Revis in Dallas, Megatron is a must start; toss out the Jets game and he's scored in five straight (eight TDs) in all, and averaged better than 100 yards per outing over that span.

WR Nate Burleson S2

With all those wideouts scoring and putting up decent yardage, expect Burleson to get into the fun as well.

TE Brandon Pettigrew S2

No team has completed more passes to tight ends than the Lions, and even with Megatron and Burleson and Tony Scheffler taking bites Pettigrew continues to carve out solid fantasy numbers. He's a decent start again this week against a Cowboys defense that has given up three TE TDs in the last three games.

DT Lions S3 The Cowboys are beginning to take better care of the ball, but the Lions are still doing enough defensively to warrant some fantasy consideration.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S2

Kitna has had one dog and three quality outings since taking the reins in Dallas, and while the Lions are improved they're certainly not the Packers. There's a difference between holding McNabb, Sanchez and Fitzpatrick to one TD a game, however, and containing Kitna—especially since the Cowboys aren't going to bother to run.

RB Felix Jones S3

If there's any fantasy value to be cobbled together from this backfield it's in Jones' prowess as a receiver. The Lions have given up four RB receiving TDs, two in the last three games, and after watching Jones house a screen pass last week it's worth plugging him in for another shot at six this week.

WR Miles Austin
Dez Bryant
S2

Bryant is at least a WR1A to Austin's WR1, and while the Lions are no longer pushovers they've given up decent fantasy outings to multiple receivers in three of their last four. Bryant has scored in three of four since Kitna took over, and though Austin's numbers have lagged a bit he's still seeing just as many targets as Bryant.

WR Roy Williams
B

While Austin and Bryant have split 60 targets in the last four games and Jason Witten has seen 31, Williams has had 12 balls thrown his way. Can you say, "afterthought"?

TE Jason Witten S3

The Lions have allowed only two TE TDs all year and only one to top 50 yards. With Witten's numbers trending back down after an early honeymoon period with Kitna, he's back on the fantasy fringe.

DT Cowboys S3 Signs of a pulse with that defensive TD last week. Not a great start, but at home against a backup quarterback is usually a step in the right direction.
 
Green Bay at Minnesota Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Rodgers S1

Rested and ready after the bye, Rodgers looks to deliver the kill shot to the Vikings this week. He's had at least 295 yards and two TDs in three straight against Minnesota, and we've seen nothing from their secondary or pass rush to suggest they're ready to snap that string.

RB

Brandon Jackson

B

Jackson is going to get you 15-60 or so on the ground, but he might bring a little something extra to the table as a pass catcher; he had 46 yards in that capacity in the earlier meeting with the Vikings and scored on a reception in Green Bay's last game before the bye. In larger leagues that might be enough to get him over the hump, but in most situations he's best left on your bench.

WR Greg Jennings

S2

While Donald Driver nursed an injury and Jones and Nelson battled to fill his shoes, Jennings kept churning out solid fantasy games—maybe better than solid, with touchdowns in three of his last four. He's posted remarkably similar stat lines in each of his past two against the Vikings—7-81-1 and 6-74-1—and all signs point towards at least that sort of productivity here again.

WR Donald Driver

B

Despite having the bye to get healthy, Driver was limited in practice all week. It's going to be tough to trust him with a fantasy start until actually seeing him complete an entire game and look good doing so.

WR James Jones
Jordy Nelson

S3

With Driver limited, Jones and Nelson will be on the field more—and facing Minnesota's lesser corners. Advantage, Packers.

TE Andrew Quarless
S3 It's not that Quarless has done anything to make people forget Jermichael Finley. But you'll note that all four of the TE TDs the Vikings have allowed this season have gone to divisional foes; in fact, Minnesota has surrendered at least one TE TD in every NFC Norris game this year. And last we checked, Green Bay was in the Norris, too.
DT Packers S2 Who better to pick six Favre than his former team?
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S3

Green Bay has given up multiple touchdown passes just twice all year; they held Favre to 212 and one in the earlier meeting. This offense isn't likely to kick into gear until they go to the no huddle sooner than the final four minutes; we'll put the odds on that at something akin to Chilly getting dreadlocks and position Favre firmly on the fantasy fence.

RB Adrian Peterson S2

Peterson has scored in five straight against the Packers, including earlier this year, but as we saw by the egg he laid in Chicago history isn't always repeating itself. AP's 97 and 1 was far and away the best fantasy game the Packers have surrendered this year, and with the Minnesota passing game in disarray Green Bay will be even more committed to slowing the run. You can't bench Peterson, but after last week's confirmation that Brad Childress hates AP and won't consistently give him the 20-plus touches he needs it's tough to start him with anything other than crossed fingers.

WR Percy Harvin

S2

Harvin was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but he's been limited for a while by a variety of ailments and he's still the most dynamic player on the field. And since we promised we'd upgrade him if he got a full practice session in this week, and he did just that on Friday, bump Harvin up to S2 status and hope he doesn't come down with a migraine between now and kickoff.

WR Bernard Berrian
Sidney Rice

B

The rest of Minnesota's receiving corps is either banged up (Berrian and Rice), underappreciated (Greg Camarillo), or lacking in NFL-caliber talent (Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis). Nothing in there suggests fantasy help. Indications are that Rice will play, but it's risky to trust him with a fantasy lineup spot without seeing him do more than catch passes while jogging.

TE Vishante Shiancoe S3

Shank has scored in three straight against the Packers, though the one in the earlier meeting this year didn't count on account of bad officiating. Green Bay hasn't surrendered much of anything to tight ends this year, but Shiancoe's track record and the fact that Brett Favre might have no one else to throw to make him at least worthy of an S3.

DT Vikings B

Green Bay's much-maligned offensive line didn't allow a sack to the Vikings in the earlier meeting. In fact, Minnesota's defense has been one of the more dramatic fantasy underachievers of the season. No reason to look for them to wake up now.

 
Seattle at New Orleans Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck B Hass hasn't thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game since the season opener; a visit to the Superdome to face a New Orleans defense that's allowed exactly one total touchdown pass in its last five games—yes, you read that correctly—isn't likely to make things better.
RB Marshawn Lynch
Justin Forsett
B

Lynch's pedestrian effort last week, coupled with Forsett's success with a slight uptick in touches, muddy the RBBC waters in Seattle. Not that it should matter this week, as the Saints have allowed only four RB TDs over the past six weeks, with no back rushing for more than 86 yards. Surely you can come up with better options than a pair of part-timers with a bad matchup.

WR

Mike Williams

S3 Roddy White scored against the Saints, but he's a stud; so did Morgan Spurlock, but that was a fluke. And that constitutes the entirety of the wide receiver touchdowns allowed by the Saints thus far this season. The only reason Williams gets a mention over the remainder of Seattle's no-name crew of receivers is that he's been targeted 61 times over the past five games. That many looks at least warrants a mention.
TE John Carlson B The Saints haven't allowed a tight end touchdown since Week 3; the Seahawks haven't scored one since Week 2.
DT Seahawks S3 Seattle has an opportunistic defense, but they're a much better fantasy play at home.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S1

Brees has five straight games with multiple touchdown tosses and hasn't dipped below 250 passing yards since the season opener. Wait, it gets better: Seattle has given up at least 289 passing yards in every road game this season. With the New Orleans running game still a bit of a hot mess, this is an opportunity for Brees to pad his stat line.

RB

Chris Ivory

B

Ivory was limited in practice all week by the shoulder injury he suffered prior to the bye, but he is still listed as probable. He's indicated that he still has trouble moving his arm, and the fact that a) he couldn't get in a full practice; b) the Saints will get Reggie Bush back this week; and c) New Orleans has several other healthier backs they can employ all suggest that Ivory is a risky fantasy play at best even with a favorable matchup.

RB

Reggie Bush

S3

Like Ivory, Bush was limited in practice all week as he works his way back from his broken leg. Unlike Ivory, Bush is used to being a productive fantasy player even with limited touches. He's a better play in performance and PPR leagues, but New Orleans has used him with success at the stripe and he should see a typical slice of the workload as well.

RB

Julius Jones

S3

Somebody needs to exploit this matchup against the sixth-most fantasy friendly run defense, one that's allowed at least one RB TD in every game since their Week 5 bye. Jones is nothing special, but it wouldn't be at all surprising for him to try a little harder and get a couple extra looks against the team that kicked him to the curb earlier in the season.

WR Marques Colston S2

Colston is what passes for a go-to wideout in New Orleans, and with a team-high 33 targets over the past three games he's the safest bet to put up good numbers against a Seattle secondary that's allowed four different receivers to score in the past three games, plus another two to top 90 yards.

WR Lance Moore
S3

A step down from Colston is Moore, who has been targeted 24 times over the past three games. He's a consistent fringe fantasy producer with upside in an explosive offense.

WR Robert Meachem
B

And a step down from Moore is Meachem, targeted 16 times over the past three games. He's still a threat to score on any given play, but his wild inconsistency makes him unstartable even with such a favorable matchup.

TE Jeremy Shockey B Shockey suffered a rib injury heading into the bye and has been ruled out for this week's action. You could reach for rookie Jimmy Graham, who'll start in his place, but he gets the same tough matchup with a defense that's giving up less than 40 yards per game to tight ends and has allowed just two TE TDs all year.
DT Saints S3 Still waiting for signs of that Saints defense that electrified fantasy owners last season. Maybe Hasselbeck can oblige with a pick six.

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