Darren McFadden, Donald Brown, Julio Jones: Play or not play?
This is the last of the bye weeks. It’s all up to health and strategy from here on out to get you to a fantasy football championship. Here are some updates on injured players, their status for the Week 11 games or the outlook for their replacements.
Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints
Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are out again this week with their high ankle sprains, and while Marcel Reece (hamstring) is on the injury report, he did practice this week and is expected to start. And there are a lot of factors that point toward Reece being a very, very solid start this week. First and foremost, he is all but last-man standing in the Raiders' backfield. Starting WR Darrius Heyward-Bey is highly questionable (hamstring) and TE Brandon Myers is dealing with a concussion. Add to all of those factors that the Saints are the second-worst team in the league against fantasy running backs and this should be a stars align kind of matchup. Reece can run and catch and will need to do both for Oakland to keep pace with the Saints.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots
Donald Brown returned last week from his knee injury to split carries with Vick Ballard in the team's 27-10 win at Jacksonville. Two things disconcerting about the timeshare is that neither backs reached 50 yards with the 12 and 14 carries they got, and they won by 17. It is unlikely the Colts are winning by 17 today against New England. Yes, they might run the ball more to try and control the clock against the Patriots, but will one back emerge if that's the route the Colts go? This, of course, is the state of fantasy football with RBBC, but there is nothing dynamic about Brown that makes him a worthy start today. Add in that he is still dealing with the knee and I'd rather take my chances with Marcel Reece or Jacquizz Rodgers.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals
The every other week philosophy is in place with Julio Jones and Roddy White this season. Almost every other week one of the two has gotten theirs and the other simply has not. Only once this season have the two scored above 14 points each in the same game in PPR scoring. Jones started the trend in Week 1 and it turned out to be road games were his forte as the schedule fell. Last week was supposed to be his week in New Orleans and for the first time on the road he failed to reach at least 17.7 points in PPR scoring. Trends say this should not be his week as it is White's turn and the Falcons are at home. Add in the ankle injury for Jones and perhaps the fantasy football gods are telling us something. He did not practice at all this week due to the injury but is active. Arizona is 15th against fantasy receivers in PPR scoring and eighth over the last five weeks. The Cardinals have not surrendered over 80 yards to a receiver since Week 6 but they have allowed seven TDs to the position since then. Tough to sit Jones, but the Falcons do have other weapons to get the job done against an Arizona team which is 1-3 on the road and has not scored more than 17 points away from its house since the 20 it had in Week 2.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter