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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Fantasy 6-Pack: Week 11
Paul Sandy
November 18, 2011
 

Quarterback

  • Philadelphia is not who we thought they were. The Eagles pass defense has allowed quality fantasy performances to John Skelton and Jay Cutler over the last two games. Giants QB Eli Manning should have little difficulty passing for multiple scores. Manning has owned the Eagles in recent appearances against them, posting 13 scores in the last four meetings (averaging better than three TDs per game). Look for at least 275 yards with 2-3 touchdowns on Sunday.
  • Cowboys QB Tony Romo was in the zone last week, throwing three first-half touchdowns and missing on just three passes all day. He should be in your lineup but understand the recent history of the Washington-Dallas matchup hasn’t been conducive to fantasy scoring. The last five contests between the clubs have been low-scoring affairs with an average combined point total of just 21.6 ppg. In all five of those games, Romo failed to pass for multiple touchdowns. Don’t count on a repeat of Week 10 for Romo.
  • In recent meetings with Cincinnati, Ravens QB Joe Flacco has struggled mightily from a fantasy perspective. He failed to pass for 200 yards the last four times he faced the Bengals. And during that four-game stretch, he threw just two touchdown passes. Although the Bengals lost their top cornerback (Leon Hall) to a season-ending Achilles injury, Flacco remains a risky play. Expect a low-scoring game with one or zero TDs for Flacco.
  • In the last two games, Dolphins QB Matt Moore has completed 71.2% of his passes. The Aaron Rodgers-esque accuracy has made Moore a legitimate part of the fantasy conversation for Week 11. Miami hosts a Bills team that was shredded by Tony Romo last week for three touchdowns. If your team was affected by the QB carnage last week, take a chance on Moore. He will be an acceptable fill-in, putting up a minimum of 200 yards with a touchdown.  

This Week’s Sleepers: Matt Moore, Sam Bradford, Alex Smith and Vince Young

Running Back

  • Give Packers No. 1 RB James Starks a token start this week against the Buccaneers. Tampa has allowed 12 RB touchdowns in their last five games—at least two in every game. No team has allowed more fantasy points to RBs. Although Starks’ lack of carries makes him a liability on most weeks, he’ll get enough touches and production to be useful on Sunday. The Six-Pack predicts 75 yards and a touchdown.
  • Strange but true: Rams RB Steven Jackson has never had a 100-yard rushing performance against Seattle despite facing them 14 times. Jackson has been running well lately but owners should expect a temporary dip in production. The Seahawks have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to RBs. Jackson should net about 80 yards on the ground. Hopefully his receiving yardage will push his numbers to respectability.
  • Ryan Mathews is practicing fully this week after dealing with a groin injury. However, fantasy owners shouldn’t count on a very helpful stat line from the Chargers starting RB. San Diego will face a swarming Bears defense that has dominated opposing runners over the last month. Sure Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy managed to score touchdowns against them, but their yardage was meager. In order for a RB to be productive against the Bears defense, he needs to score a touchdown. With Mike Tolbert serving as the primary goal-line RB, Mathews figures to disappoint.
  • Although Frank Gore looks like he’ll be active on Sunday, San Francisco rookie RB Kendall Hunter merits starting consideration in deep leagues.  Gore might see a reduced number of snaps as the team attempts to keep him healthy for a playoff run. Owners can expect a minimum of 12 touches for Hunter. That should translate into fine fantasy numbers for the explosive runner. Arizona has allowed 12 rushing touchdowns this season—tied for most in the NFL.

This Week’s Sleepers: James Starks, Kendall Hunter, Maurice Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Wide Receiver

  • If you snagged Denarius Moore off the waiver wire in the last couple weeks, don’t be shy about getting him some work. Moore faces a depleted Vikings secondary that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to WRs this season. In the last four games, the Vikings have been scorched for five TD passes over 20 yards in distance. Moore has an excellent chance to tally another long score.
  • Only one No. 1 WR has scored on the Titans this season. With Atlanta’s Julio Jones (hamstring) looking iffy for Week 11, Roddy White will likely be the Falcons top wideout by default. If you’ve been waiting for a breakout performance from White, you’ll likely have to wait another week.
  • Fantasy owners who have been counting on Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin or Steve Breaston should entertain alternatives. Although the Patriots have allowed the most fantasy points to WRs this season, Kansas City might have a difficult time exploiting that weakness with an inexperienced backup QB under center. QB Tyler Palko will get his first NFL start. While it’s not imperative that you bench your KC wideouts, they are all risky options.
  •  Early in the season, Miami’s secondary was getting picked apart. However, over the last month they’ve played better. What happened? What happened is they faced Rex Grossman, Matt Cassel and Tim Tebow. Miami’s pass defense is still average or below average. They’ve allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to WRs. With Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson (shoulder) looking unlikely to play Sunday, David Nelson should lead the team in targets and is a sneaky play. Nelson scored last season against the Dolphins and has a good chance to reach paydirt again this week.

This Week’s Sleepers: Denarius Moore, David Nelson, Harry Douglas, Earl Bennett and Michael Crabtree

Tight End

  • Don’t jump ship on Washington’s Fred Davis yet. After a couple poor performances in a row, Davis should bounce back against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed the second-most fantasy points to TEs. Davis also plays better at home. He’s posted excellent fantasy numbers in three out of four games at FedEx Field this season. Look for 80+ yards from Davis this week.
  • Seven different opposing TEs have scored a touchdown or recorded 70+ yards against the Titans over the last seven weeks. They’ve allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez has a great opportunity to deliver a useful stat line on Sunday. With Julio Jones injured, expect an uptick in targets and production for Gonzo.

This Week’s Sleepers: Greg Olsen and Jermaine Gresham

Kicker

  • During their five-game losing streak, the Redskins have allowed at least eight points to every kicker they’ve faced. All told, they’ve given up the second-most fantasy points to the position this season. Having put up double-digits in six of the last seven games, Dallas kicker Dan Bailey seems like a near lock to do so again. 
  • Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has been steady this year but he hasn’t been in the league of many of fantasy football’s elite kickers. Only twice has he posted double-digit points. Only once has he connected on a kick of 50 yards or longer. With a home matchup against the Chiefs on Monday night, Gostkowski should be busy. Kansas City’s four-game winning streak in the middle of the season was a mirage. When they face quality offenses, they give up big numbers. Look for at least nine points from Gostkowski on MNF.

This Week’s Sleepers: Lawrence Tynes and Stephen Hauschka

Team Defense / Special Teams

  • The glossy sheen might be wearing off Cam Newton’s rookie campaign. Newton has been sacked 12 times in the last three games—after being sacked 10 times in the first six games. He’s also turned the ball over five times during that three-game stretch. It appears he’s human after all. Look for a solid performance from the Detroit Lions defense this week. They rank sixth in the NFL with 26 sacks.
  • Bank on a big performance from the New York Giants in Week 11. The G-men will play host to the rival Eagles, who will likely be without Michael Vick. The enigmatic Vince Young will take command the “dream team.” Young has not looked comfortable in the Andy Reid offense. You get the feeling it’s going to get worse in Philly before it gets better. New York leads the league with 30 sacks. Look for them to pressure Young all day and force him into a few mistakes.

This Week’s Sleepers: New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks

The Six-Pack

This Week's Six-Pack: McSorley’s Irish Pale Ale

Brewed by: McSorley’s Brewery, Utica, NY

Price: $7.99

Appearance: Packaged in a typical brown longneck, McSorley’s pours amber with a ¾” head that quickly reduces to a thin layer of foam. It’s darker and redder than your typical pale ale. Overall, it’s a good-looking beer in the pint glass.

Smell: Weak in the aroma department. It smells bready with hints of green grapes and orange zest.

Taste: Appealing taste.  The first flavor that hits the palette is caramel malt, which gives way to a ripe fruit flavor and citrus zest. The finish has some hops and pepper flavors. I enjoyed the brew but is it really a pale ale?

Drinkability: McSorley’s is medium-bodied and goes down pretty smoothly. It’s easy to knock back a few.

Last Call: This isn’t a bad beer. It has some redeeming qualities. However, it’s probably miscategorized as a pale ale. It should be an amber ale.  Two stars out of five.

Up Next: Rouge Mocha Porter, Oregon Brewing Company, Newport, OR


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