Jay Cutler, Ryan Mathews, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders updates
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.
Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, QBs, Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers (Monday night)
Jay Cutler has been ruled out of Monday night's game at San Francisco after the concussion he received in the first half of last week's game. Jason Campbell, who stepped under center in the second half last week, will get the starting nod. And the team he draws is fourth-best against fantasy QBs. Granted, here is who the 49ers have faced since Matthew Stafford in Week 2: Christian Ponder, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson, John Skelton and Sam Bradford. However, three of the last four starters have had double-digit days. Now Campbell steps in and takes over for a Bears' offense that was already ranked 24th amongst fantasy QBs with three games above 24 fantasy points at the position, and four games below 15 points. If Cutler couldn't do it, why would Campbell, whose had plenty of chances bouncing around the league, be any better for the Bears? Go grab Nick Foles off the wire if he's still out there (in 84 percent of Yahoo leagues he is) and take your chances with him vs. a Redskins defense ranked 31st against fantasy QBs instead of relying on Campbell.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
A neck injury suffered last week vs. Tampa Bay kept Ryan Mathews off the practice field until he returned in a limited capacity on Friday. Injuries are making this quite an interesting matchup on both sides. If Mathews plays he will likely not have left tackle Jared Gaither (groin) helping block for him. On the other side of the line is injured defensive end Elvis Dumervil (shoulder), who will be a game-time decision and cornerback Tracy Porter (illness), who is out. Denver currently ranked 14th against fantasy RBs and have not allowed a back to reach 20 points in fantasy since Week 5. Mathews had 13.3 points in PPR scoring in their Week 6 matchup. Mathews has only eclipsed 20 points once this season (Week 5 - 25.9). It is unlikely you have a better back out there and have been dealing with the Mathews situation all season. But I would take a chance with guys like Alfred Morris and Marcel Reece over Mathews this week; as a matter of fact, I am.
Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, WRs, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens (Sunday night)
Antonio Brown (ankle) will miss his second straight game with the injury that knocked him out two weeks ago. Emmanuel Sanders will get his second start in place of Brown. The good news: the Steelers face a Ravens team that is ranked 22nd against fantasy receivers in PPR scoring and the secondary, already besieged by injuries earlier in the season, has corner Jimmy Smith out with a groin and safety Ed Reed dealing with a stinger in his shoulder. The bad news: Byron Leftwich is at quarterback for the Steelers and Pittsburgh has a full stable of running backs now that might make depending on a particular receiver a little troublesome. Sanders drew seven targets and caught two of them for 30 yards last week with Brown out. That was with both Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich at QB. I think I'd pass on Sanders tonight as the Steelers run on the Ravens.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter